The BrainsCAN Human Cognition and Sensorimotor Core (HCSC) provides state-of-the-art equipment and resources for measuring cognitive abilities, emotional and social behaviour, psychophysics and sensorimotor performance in neurotypical and neurologically-impaired individuals throughout the lifespan. These facilities are based in the Brain and Mind Institute in the Western Interdisciplinary Research Building (WIRB). In addition to equipment, the HCSC provides access to technicians and other personnel with expertise in computer programming, data analysis, design and fabrication of specialized equipment, recruitment of participants, including from special populations, and the development of databases.
CFREF investments into BrainsCAN’s HCSC supports, maintains and leverages Cognitive Neuroscience research to ensure access to shared resources in the most cost-effective way. This investment provides users access to the following tools and services:
A suite of flexible testing rooms that can be booked by researchers for their specific projects on a web-based calendar.
- The HCSC provides access to a gait laboratory, a driving simulator, a VR laboratory, equipment for measuring speech and auditory processing, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a human microneurography laboratory, infant observation rooms and a range of other specialized facilities for measuring human cognition and sensorimotor performance.
- Each testing room is equipped with a computer setup that allows researchers to present visual and/or auditory displays and to record responses.
- These computers can be interfaced with equipment for recording eye movements, autonomic responses, and electromyography (EMG).
- Some of the testing rooms are equipped for the administration of pharmacological agents to assess the role of specific neurotransmitters on cognitive performance in both normal volunteers and individuals with Parkinson’s disease or other degenerative disorders.
All research being conducted through the HCSC must be aligned with BrainsCAN priorities.
5-bedroom Sleep Laboratory
- Polysomnographic EEG monitoring
- Audio/visual monitoring
Electroencephalography (EEG) Laboratories
- Includes 16, 32, 64, 128, and 256 channel EEG systems
- Includes mobile and hospital-approved EEG systems
Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) Laboratories
- 64x32 NIRx NIRScout
The HCSC also provides access to state-of-the-art motion-tracking laboratories for measuring both the kinematics of skilled manual movements and the forces deployed when grasping and manipulating objects.
- Each laboratory is equipped with motion capture systems for measuring limb and hand movements, eye movement monitors and transducers for measuring force and torque.
There are several robotic setups, including robotic arms, which are designed to investigate human motor behavior. By simulating novel objects or dynamic environments, investigators can study how the brain recalibrates well-learned motor skills or acquires new ones.
Research space and equipment in the HCSC is available to researchers on campus who are interested in conducting a project in cognitive neuroscience that falls under the mandate of BrainsCAN.
If you are interested in exploring this opportunity and would like more details about available equipment and space, please contact:
Dr. Derek Quinlan
Lab Manager / Research Technician, Human Cognition and Sensorimotor Core
*please provide a brief description of the proposed project in your email (250 words or less).