Innovative design achieves tenfold better resolution for functional MRI brain imaging


An international team of researchers has developed an ultra-high resolution 7 Tesla scanner that records up to 10 times more detail than current 7T scanners and over 50 times more detail than current 3T scanners, which are the mainstay of most hospitals. This new scanner is capable of producing functional MRI (fMRI) features that are 0.4 millimeters across, compared to the 2 or 3 millimeters typical of today’s standard 3T fMRIs. The NexGen 7T scanner is a new tool that allows scientists to look at the brain circuitry underlying different diseases of the brain with higher spatial resolution in fMRI, diffusion, and structural imaging, and therefore to perform human neuroscience research at higher granularity. This puts UC Berkeley at the forefront of human neuroimaging research. The ultra-high resolution scanner will allow research on underlying changes in brain circuitry in a multitude of brain disorders, including degenerative diseases, schizophrenia, and developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder123

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