MRI compatible equipment

Improving data from MRI scanners

To enhance research using our Skyra 3T MRI and Simultaneous MR-PET, we offer MRI compatible technologies that can be used inside or outside of our MRI scanners. This equipment enables researchers to gain more informative data than conducting separate studies, and also saves time and resources.

When applying to access our MRI scanners, you can request to use any of the below MRI compatible devices. Researchers who haven’t previously used these devices will need to undertake an induction on how to operate the equipment. Ongoing support from the MBI Clinical Support Team for all of our technologies is available at any time.

Neuropsychological testing software applications

A range of software tools are available to conduct neuropsychological testing both inside and outside of our MRI scanners. They include:

  • E-Prime, Psychtoolbox, MATLAB, PsychoPy, Experimental Builder, and Presentation for implementing and running experiments
  • Trigger interfaces to synchronise MRI pulse sequences with experimental paradigms
  • MRI compatible LCD screen (see BOLDscreen explained below) to display stimuli to the participants inside the MRI scanner.

BOLDscreen 3D

BOLDscreen is a high-definition LED LCD monitor designed to be used with fMRI to display visual stimuli to the participant. The displayed output is lag-free and synchronous with the input video signal.

When using the BOLDscreen, no effect has been observed on functional and structural MRI scans at 3T, even with screen located at exit of the scanner bore. In addition, there is no effect on the displayed image whilst scanning.

Our BOLDscreen displays visual stimuli to a
participant in the MRI scanner.

Monash Biomedical Imaging possesses two Boldscreens: 23” 3D BOLDScreen for use with the 3T MRI scanner and the 32” BOLDScreen for use with the Simultaneous MR-PET scanner.

Key specifications for the 23” BOLDScreen:

  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 RGB LCD @ 60Hz
  • Active area: 509mm x 290mm (0.265mm pixel pitch)
  • 8-bit colour resolution (6-bit with FRC), true colour 16.7 million display
  • Video input: 1920x1080 pixels, digital DVI, 60Hz, 24-bit RGB

Key specifications for the 32” BOLDScreen:

  • resolution: 1920 x 1080 RGB LCD @ 120Hz
  • active area: 698.4mm x 392.9mm (0.36375mm pixel pitch)
  • 10-bit colour resolution, Deep Colour display technology provides more than 1 billion colours
  • video input: 1920x1080 pixels, Single and Dual-Link digital DVI, 100Hz, or 120Hz; 24-bit RGB

Simultaneous fMRI and EEG

Our EEG-recording system (BrainAmp MR Plus from Brain Products) can be used to obtain integrated EEG and ERP recordings during fMRI scanning.

The passive BrainAmp MR Plus system can record during the pulse sequence without compromising the raw EEG data. Clock synchronisation between the MRI and EEG system improves the accuracy of gradient artefact reduction, simplifies the artefact reduction process, and allows acquisition using standard sampling rates. The additional BrainVision BrainAmp ExG MR can be used for ECG and EMG recordings inside or outside the MRI scanners.

Key specifications:

  • BrainAmp ExG MR 16:16 bipolar OR 8 bipolar + 8 AUC (to connect to sensors, such as respiration belt)
  • Integrated impedance measurement, suitable for MRI scanner room sampling rate of 5kHz per channel
  • Optical signal transmission (via twin fibre optics)
  • Rechargeable battery (PowerPack)
  • 16bit TTL trigger input

Simultaneous fMRI and ocular motor recording

Our MRI compatible and desktop-mounted eye-tracking system, EyeLink-1000, can record eye movements, pupil diameter, and monitor ocular behaviours during fMRI scanning. Read more about this system.

Nonin fibre optic pulse oximeter

Our Nonin fibre-optic MRI-compatible pulse oximeter (Plethysmograph) can record:

  • Pulse rate
  • Pulse waveform
  • Blood oxygen saturation during fMRI scanning

A hardware interface enables logging of these parameters on a computer during testing. The pulse oximeter can also be used in preclinical fMRI.

32-channel head coil for MRI-PET

In addition to our standard head coils for MRI studies, our 32-channel head coil for MR-PET research produces high quality neuroimaging data. The Siemens 32-channel head coil has a better signal-to-noise ratio and a more uniform signal compared with the previously used 16-channel head coil. Images can also be generated in much less time and/or greater resolution.

The 32-channel head coil offers increased parallel imaging capabilities, and improves the signal for structural imaging and multiparametric measurements including fMRI, MRS, ASL and DTI imaging. Operation of this head coil is more seamless and is adapted for the existing Siemens console at Monash Biomedical Imaging. For participants, the design of the head coil is slightly less claustrophobic compared with other models.

Auxiliary sensor: Brain Products respiration belt MR

This pneumatic respiration belt can measure respiration inside and outside of our MRI scanners. Respiration signals can be used to correct for artefacts linked to movement, physiological alterations, induced field inhomogeneity (inside the MRI scanner), or interference with the experimental paradigm.

The respiration belt is powered directly from the Brain Products amplifier (BrainAmp ExG MR), which guarantees participant safety.

Auxiliary sensor: Brain Products galvanic skin response (GSR) sensor

This MR-safe sensor measures the skin conductance of the participant, which in turn can be a measure of the emotional and cognitive state of the participant.

The sensor connects to the bipolar BrainAmp ExG MR and can record GSR data simultaneously with EEG and respiratory data.

Response devices

Our MRI compatible response devices can be operated by participants in our MRI scanners. These devices provide researchers with the ability to present participants with neurobehavioral tasks which require the participant to respond. The response devices send the recorded responses to the stimulus computer, where depending on the software application used, the researcher will have the actual response, time of response, and the reaction time of the participant.

The following response devices connect to the stimulus presentation computer via fibre optic cables and the 932 Response Device Interface Module, placed in the console room.


A trackball is a response device that can be
used in our MRI scanners.

Our trackball is an all plastic, non-magnetic and non-electronic response device with a centrally positioned ball and two side buttons. The movement of the ball by the participant’s hand is encoded in a two-dimensional space. The trackball’s key specifications are two axis encoder control and two side buttons.

4-button diamond box OR pair of 2-button boxes

Our 4-button and 2-button boxes are all plastic, non-magnetic and non-electronic response devices with different coloured buttons (blue, green, red, yellow) in an ergonomic enclosure.

These button boxes are also available in non-MR trainer models with a USB connection to a computer. They enable the participant to practice the task outside of the MRI environment, if desired.

fMRI grip force sensor

Our fMRI grip force sensor is an all plastic, non-magnetic and non-electronic sensor with a protruding force bar. When the participant grips the sensor, the bar moves and provides a force output value based on the exerted force on the bar. The measurement is approximately linear.

For further information on any of these equipment, please contact MBI Clinical Support Team.