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College of Arts and Sciences



The McCausland Brain Imaging Center is situated within the Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital.  In 2015 we updated our Siemens Trio 3-Tesla (3T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system to a Siemens Prisma fit 3T MRI system with both a 20-channel head neck coil and a 32-channel head coil. The scanner is shared between clinical and research work, with dedicated research time each day. This is optimal for scientists who wish to conduct clinical studies where a research-only facility is inappropriate (e.g. allowing acute stroke clinical scans to be acquired on the same system as the chronic follow-up images). The center has dedicated labs for research and behavioral testing. The system is fully equipped for functional brain imaging, with a rear projection computer screen, optical trigger pulses (to ensure acquisition times do not drift with respect to behavioral tasks), optical response buttons, MRI compatible tactile stimuli, MRI-compatible ERG/EEG, MRI-compatible pulse and respiration measurement, and high-quality (ceramic) audio presentation headphones. All research images are stored on a dedicated RAID DICOM server (and mirrored to a server in another building). We also include high-end Sun Grid Engine clusters for data analysis. Our computers include the most popular tools for image analysis (SPM, FSL, AFNI, MedInria), as well as our own popular tools (

Below we list a few of the most popular MRI sequences used by scientists at our center. All of these scans use the 32-channel head coil. Most of these sequences leverage the terrific  Human Connectome multi-band sequences.


T1-weighted: 3D MPRAGE sequence, 320x320 sagittal matrix, 208 slices, 0.8mm isotropic, TR=2400ms, TI=1060ms, TE=2.24ms, 8° flip angle, GRAPPA=2, acquisition time of 6:38 minutes.

Diffusion-weighted: Four EPI series (pairs with opposite phase encoding directions), will be acquired with 92 axial slices using the following parameters: TR=3222ms, TE=89.2 ms, monopolar, voxel size = 1.5mm isotropic, 78° flip angle, 210mm FOV, a total of volumes with optimally sampled full-sphere directions (28 with b=0, 92=750, 94=1000, 92=1500, 92=2000 s/mm2), 6/8 partial fourier, multiband 4, ~ 23 minutes for all four series.

T2*-weighted fMRI: EPI volumes with 72 axial slices (104x104 matrix), TR=720ms, TE=37ms, 52° flip angle, multi-band x8, 2mm isotropic (no gap), 7/8 partial Fourier. We also acquire two sets (both phase encoding directions) of spin-echo images with identical spatial parameters and positioning, which allow spatial undistortion of the fMRI data using FSL's TOPUP.

T2-SWI: 80 axial slices TR=28ms, TE=20, 15° flip angle, 384x336 matrix, 0.6mm in plane, 1.2mm thick slices (plus 20% gap), GRAPPA=2, acquisition time of 6:37 minutes.

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