Illustration by Shenuka Corea

New MRI Machine

A new MRI machine has been constructed at NYUAD.

Apr 21, 2018

NYU Abu Dhabi has recently acquired a Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine on campus. Along with a combination of other technologies, including electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography, this machine is making NYUAD a regional leader in neuroscience.
MRI is a noninvasive scanning technique which works by using a powerful magnetic field to detect hydrogen atomic nuclei naturally abundant in the body, especially in water and fats. Though often known for medical applications, NYUAD’s new MRI machine will not be used for clinical purposes, but rather for research in neuroscience and psychology.
Managed by NYUAD’s Brain Imaging Core Technology Team, the new MRI machine has already begun supporting ongoing research.
“In collaboration with UAE University, researchers with this [Core Technology Platform] work to answer questions about how the brain mediates the most critical aspects of our communication system, and which properties of the mind/brain facilitate the seemingly effortless processing of language, ranging from the analysis of speech sounds to the construction of meaning,” as described in a statement on the NYUAD website.
Among the projects that will benefit from the MRI technologies is the Neuroscience of Language Lab, led by Liina Pylkkönen and Alec Marantz, NYU Professors of Linguistics and Psychology. The aim is to understand how the brain processes language in both the analysis of speech sounds and the construction of meaning from these sounds. Another researcher is Olivia Cheung, who seeks to understand how the brain reacts to visual perception, as well as how perception is influenced by learning and experience. There is also the lab of Kartik Sreenivasan, whose research seeks to understand working memory in the brain.
Thus far, 14 people have been scanned with the university's MRI machine.
The lab that houses the MRI machine is currently in construction, but the Brain Imaging Team will release a sign up sheet soon, allowing volunteers to get a scan of their own brain and potentially compare it to other references from the Human Connectome Project.
Nathan Quimpo is Deputy Features Editor. Email him at
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