Brain Research Unit (BRU)
At the Brain Research Unit of the Low Temperature Laboratory, we address human brain functions at systems level, mainly by applying non-invasive brain imaging methods that we continuously develop and sharpen. We also design and construct stimulation and monitoring devices to create versatile but controlled stimulus environments for systems neuroscience experiments.
Within this framework, we study functions of the human cerebral cortex by measuring weak magnetic fields outside the head. This method, magnetoencephalography (MEG), allows a totally non-invasive view into healthy and diseased human brains during different tasks and conditions. Our 306-channel neuromagnetometer (Vectorview, Neuromag Ltd), functional since 1998, houses 204 gradiometers and 102 magnetometers with a whole-scalp coverage. To combine functional and structural information, we typically integrate MEG data with the subject's magnetic resonance images (MRIs).
In addition, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at the Advanced Magnetic Imaging (AMI) Centre of TKK; fMRI with its excellent spatial resolution complements the superb temporal resolution of MEG in tracking activation patterns and sequences in the human brain. The AMI Centre operates a 3 Tesla MRI/fMRI superconducting magnet (General Electric 3T Signa) for whole-body imaging.
Since the beginning of 2006, we form the core of the Center of Excellence on Systems Neuroscience and Human Brain Imaging, appointed by the Academy of Finland for years 2006-2011.The other partners of the Center of Excellence work at the AMI Centre of TKK, at the Applied Electronics Laboratory of TKK, and at the Neuroscience Unit of the University of Helsinki.