Baycrest is the only geriatric academic centre with capabilities in four modalities of structural and/or functional brain imaging: PET, MEG, ERP, fMRI. Convergence of these technologies, with the addition of an eye-tracker, enables our scientists to carry out experiments that result in breakthroughs.
Baycrest’s Siemens 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner was obtained as a result of donations from the Weinbaum, Ross and Rotman families.
Research staff can use the resources scheduler.
Structural and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive method of recording brain signals and a valuable tool for more precise localization of cognitive and affective processes. It uses strong magnetic fields and non-ionizing radiation in the radio frequency range to measure signal changes in the brain that are due to changing neural activity.
Baycrest’s Siemens 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner was obtained as a result of donations from the Weinbaum, Ross and Rotman families. Visit the fMRI group to learn more about current research using MRI.
Researchers use eyetrackers to monitor where a person looks, when and for how long. The movement of the eyes is influenced by “bottom-up” information, such as the contrast or specific colors present within a picture. Eye movements are also influenced by “top-down” information such as task instructions, attention, and memory. Examining where people look can provide information about the integrity of cognitive processing.
Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is an imaging technique used to measure the small magnetic fields resulting from electrical activity in brain cells. Clinically, MEG may be used to detect and localize spiking activity in patients with epilepsy and in localizing brain regions involved in sensory processing and linguistic ability in surgical planning. In research, MEG is primarily used in the measurement of time courses of activity because of its high temporal resolution. MEG enables accurate pinpointing of sources in primary auditory, somatosensory and motor areas. Visit the MEG lab to learn about research using this technology.
Electroencephalography (EEG) is a reliable method of measuring electrical activity in the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp. It is a test of brain function that measures voltage differences between different parts of the brain, which can then be used clinically for gross correlation of brain activity. The EEG detects activity of large groups of neurons, which produces a greater voltage than the firing of an individual neuron. As a non-invasive method of obtaining information on brain activity related to stimuli, it is relatively easily used for experimentation with subjects. Furthermore, its capability of detecting changes in electrical activity on a millisecond-level leads to high temporal resolution. The equipment can be used to obtain Event-Related Potentials (ERP) to study structural basis, functional localization and temporal unfolding of human thought, feelings and reactions.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine medical imaging technique that produces three-dimensional images of functional processes in the body by using radio-labelled molecular probes that have different rates of uptake and/or binding to receptors, depending on the type and function of tissue involved. The changing of regional blood flow in various anatomic structures, which is measured via the injected positron emitter, can be visualized and relatively quantified with a PET scan.
Through collaboration with researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), RRI and KLAERU scientists have access to the DART 3D brain PET scanner that resides there. This device is optimal for whole brain imaging and neurochemical research. In cognitive neuroscience it is an effective tool for examining the links between brain activity specific psychological processes and disorders
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive technique which uses a rapidly changing magnetic field to induce, through the skull, an electrical current in a localized region of the cerebral cortex. This allows researchers to study the functioning and interconnections of the human brain. A variant of TMS, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), has been tested as a treatment tool for various neurological and psychiatric disorders including migraines, depression and movement disorders. Visit the Paus lab to learn more about research using this technology.