Cognitive Neuroscience Center

The Cognitive Neuroscience Center (CNC) facilitates functional brain research and provides equipment for 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (3T MRI) scans, electroencephalography (EEG), near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The center supports data acquisition and analysis of clients from the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG), the University of Groningen, and other parties, including clinical research organisations.


Although the principal focus is functional brain research, the center also provides MRI scan slots for clinical studies, including neurosurgery, cardiology and nephrology. The CNC collaborates with the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Radiology to support integration with the institute of Medical Imaging.


    1. Present your project at an early stage at the Activation Meeting (AM). The AM takes place in odd weeks on Tuesdays (from 16 to 17) in room 129 in the basement of the building, Antonius Deusinglaan 2. EEG proposals need to be presented during the EEG meeting, in room 0332A, 3rd floor ADL2, every last Tuesday of the month. At these meetings, you can present your concept proposal and get feedback on it: the aim, design, volunteer/patient selection criteria, etc.
      To schedule your presentation please contact Hedwig van Oosten, or tel. +31 50 361 64 44.
    2. After the AM, a short summary of the project (two A4-pages) is submitted to Hedwig van Oosten.
      A TC Summary Blueprint for fMRI , and a Blueprint for EEG can be downloaded here.
    3. The summary will be discussed in the theme- coordinators meeting (TC). Your proposal will then be reviewed like a scientific paper: The scientific director of the CNC will appoint one or two independent scientific reviewers and ask them to evaluate your proposal.
      Please propose up to five suitable independent reviewers when submitting your proposal. After your proposal has been reviewed, you will have a chance to address the questions and issues raised by the reviewers, and your reply will be sent back to the reviewers. Based on the reviewers’ second report, the scientific director will send you an action letter stating under what conditions you can use the facilities. If the committee accepts your proposal you can send your protocol to the Medical Ethical Committee (METc).
    4. The scientific director will also determine the priority of the project, based on the reviewers’ report.
    5. After receiving the letter of approval from the METc, please send a copy of the approval to Hedwig van Oosten, CNC, Internal Zip code FA32, Antonius Deusinglaan 1, 9700 AD Groningen.
    6. After sending the METc approval, you can contact Anita Kuiper to plan an MRI time or Peter Albronda to plan an EEG time



3-Tesla magnetic resonance-scanner (3T MR-scanner)
The CNC has a 3T Philips Intera MR-scanner. Most of the functional MRI (fMRI) research is performed with either the 6- or 8-channel SENSE head-coil. Also, a T/R head-coil is available, used in combination with the MR-compatible EEG-system and for most of the spectroscopy research. To present visual stimuli to the subjects, a beamer in combination with a PC is installed. The fORP system is used to synchronize and integrate the MR data acquisition with the stimulus presentation and the response of the subject. An MR-compatible eye-tracker and an MR-compatible force-transducer are also available. A dummy scanner is available to train subjects and make them acquainted to the scanner environment.

Electroencephalography (EEG) equipment
Two independent cabins are available for EEG measurements, which are performed with a 64-channel EEG amplifier (brand and type: TMSI Refa 8-64 / 72). The registration and analysis of the EEG data is performed with Brain Products software. E-prime is used as a standard stimulus software, but in consultation with the EEG technician other software, such as Matlab, can also be used. The EEG laboratories operate according to a protocol set by the CNC to ensure quality and reliability.

Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)
Two NIRS machines are available to simultaneously measure NIRS and EEG. The 32-channel EEG caps are suitable for transcranial magnetic stimulation. The NIRS mobile (NIRx Medical Technologies) can be used both indoors and outdoors. For example, brain response can be measured while biking, walking or performing some other sport.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) equipment
The CNC has two fully equipped TMS laboratories with a MagStim Rapid stimulator and a Medtronic MagPro 100 stimulator. Five coils are available: two figure-of-eight coils, a round coil, a placebo coil, and an MRI-compatible coil. The NiC is also equipped with a weak field TMS (microTMS) machine.

Data analysis facilities
For data analysis, about 50 PCs running both Linux and Windows are available.



Cognitive Neuroscience Center
Internal Zipcode FA32,
Antonius Deusinglaan 2,
9713 AW Groningen

For information, you can contact Hedwig van Oosten, telephone +31 50 361 64 44.


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