The new CUBRIC MEG will use the same CTF 275 axial gradiometer design that we are currently using within CUBRIC. This system combines physical first-order axial gradiometers with effective third-order noise cancellation delivered by a reference SQUID array in the dewar. We have found this system to be a robust and stable platform for studying human brain activity, with a particular emphasis on cortical oscillatory dynamics in health and disease. This has resulted in several successful publications and grant awards for research projects studying both healthy brain function and diseases such as Epilepsy, Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s.
In the new building, the core sensor array will be completely refurbished and upgraded with a new set of processing and acquisition electronics and we will install a larger magnetically shielded room (5m x 4 m).
This larger MSR will make it easier to study both challenging patient populations and drug manipulations that require careful physiological monitoring during the experiment. Coupled to the adjacent clinical research facility within the new building, this will make the CUBRIC MEG lab an optimised environment for clinical and pharmacological studies of the brain’s oscillatory dynamics.
In order to minimise the cost of running the MEG lab and to safeguard operation in the next few years, we will also install a new re-liquifier system that will capture helium gas normally lost to the atmosphere and re-liquefy it for use in the MEG system.