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Moving magnetoencephalography towards real-world applications with a wearable system

Boto, E; Holmes, N; Leggett, J; Roberts, G; Shah, V; Meyer, SS; Muñoz, LD; ... Brookes, MJ; + view all (2018) Moving magnetoencephalography towards real-world applications with a wearable system. Nature , 555 (7698) pp. 657-661. 10.1038/nature26147. Green open access

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Abstract

Imaging human brain function with techniques such as magnetoencephalography typically requires a subject to perform tasks while their head remains still within a restrictive scanner. This artificial environment makes the technique inaccessible to many people, and limits the experimental questions that can be addressed. For example, it has been difficult to apply neuroimaging to investigation of the neural substrates of cognitive development in babies and children, or to study processes in adults that require unconstrained head movement (such as spatial navigation). Here we describe a magnetoencephalography system that can be worn like a helmet, allowing free and natural movement during scanning. This is possible owing to the integration of quantum sensors, which do not rely on superconducting technology, with a system for nulling background magnetic fields. We demonstrate human electrophysiological measurement at millisecond resolution while subjects make natural movements, including head nodding, stretching, drinking and playing a ball game. Our results compare well to those of the current state-of-the-art, even when subjects make large head movements. The system opens up new possibilities for scanning any subject or patient group, with myriad applications such as characterization of the neurodevelopmental connectome, imaging subjects moving naturally in a virtual environment and investigating the pathophysiology of movement disorders.

Type: Article
Title: Moving magnetoencephalography towards real-world applications with a wearable system
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/nature26147
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1038/nature26147
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Movement Neurosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10046506
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