MRI Upgrade Enhances Researchers’ View

With a recent upgrade to the 3-Tesla (3-T) MRI scanner, Penn State will have one of the most technologically advanced MRI scanners in the nation. The upgrade will give doctors and researchers a clearer and more detailed picture of the human brain and its functions, in addition to other bodily structures. Special funding from the Office of the Vice President for Research made the upgrade a possibility; now, researches at Penn State can acquire high-quality images and incredibly high speeds.

According to professors at the university, the MRI technology upgrade means speed will no longer be an issue. In the past, researchers could obtain detailed pictures of the brain by focusing on capturing thin slices of the brain – a lengthy and very involved process. Now, researchers can obtain very detailed images of the brain in a fraction of the time it used to take.

Because the brain operates at such a great speed, the faster a scanner collects information, the better scientists and researchers can understand how the brain works. Although most research at the university focuses on the brain, the 3-T MRI scanner is a full-body scanner that has the capability of scanning both humans and animals. This versatility, combined with the fact that detailed images are easier than ever to capture, opens the doors for faculty members from around the university to address a range of questions they may have about physiology and behavior.