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Psychology department facilities

At Brunel, we want you to experience as much as you can of what it's like to work in the field. So we make sure you have access to a wide range of lab equipment during your psychology degree.

Our facilities include a dedicated MRI scanner, an EEG lab, and specialist facilities for functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), physiological measurements, eye-tracking, and virtual reality.

MRI scanner

Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) we can see which parts of the brain are more active during certain activities such as problem-solving, or can recognise patterns associated with psychiatric conditions. Brunel is a member of the Combined Universities Brain Imaging Centre (CUBIC), and so jointly owns and operates a 3T Siemens MAGNETOM TIM Trio MRI scanner with Royal Holloway, Surrey and Roehampton. Installed in a purpose-built lab suite and run with the support of a specialist MRI technician, it offers high resolution, real-time fMRI, MR spectroscopy (3D Chemical Shift Imaging), and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) for 3D white matter tractography.

EEG lab

Electroencephalography (EEG) uses electrodes to measure electrical activity in the brain. Our dedicated EEG lab houses multiple EEG systems including a new 128-channel actiCHamp Plus Brain Vision system. This is modular and can be split for hyperscanning EEG studies to allow us to study synchronisation of brain activity between two people during social interactions.

Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)

We have a brand new state-of-the art fNIRS system that can be used to non-invasively assess activity in different parts of the brain by looking at changes in blood flow. Unlike an MRI scanner – our fNIRS system is portable and uses a special cap which measures blood flow by shining light through the skull.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation labs

Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) we can non-invasively map the functional organisation of the brain. For this we have a Magstim TMS system and a state-of-the art Brainsight Neuro-navigation system that improves the accuracy of this research.

Physiological measurements

We have a range of specialist facilities and equipment for measuring physiological responses during various psychological events. These include equipment for electromyography (EMG) and for measuring movement, respiration, galvanic skin responses, and thermal imaging to assess temperature changes (e.g. on the face when experiencing emotions).

Eye tracking

Using our Eye Link 1000 eye tracker in a dedicated laboratory we can study how people process visual information. For example, what parts of an image they look at when trying to recognise a face or solve a problem.

Virtual reality

Brunel’s BITLab is a virtual reality centre with facilities for motion capture and animation.

Other facilities

Brunel holds an extensive collection of AV, virtual reality, laboratory and computing hardware resources, psychometric test library, specialist equipment for participant photography/video.