Facilities and Equipment
Laboratory computer resources include 40 PC and Macintosh computers, high-resolution monitors, magnetic and optical storage media, printers, scanners, etc. Ethernet networks allow communication between computer resources and access to the Mason central computer network. The laboratory computers and monitors are used for human performance testing in 20 individual testing rooms. Additional rooms are available for testing groups of participants. Other laboratory facilities include an acoustically shielded rooms for auditory research.
Cognitive neuroscience equipment includes 40-, 64-and 128-channel EEG recording systems, functional near infrared and ultrasound imaging devices, and a MRI-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation system.
George Mason University (GMU) currently has a suite of two desktop driving simulators along with a larger motion-base simulator for immersive 2D simulation. All of these simulators use the same software provided by Realtime Technologies, Inc. (RTI). GMU’s open-cab driving simulator is equipped with a motion-base system capable of a single degree of pitch motion and a 90 +/- degree high-quality yaw motion, a 3-channel visual system covering 180-deg forward field-of-view, and a force-feedback steering wheel. It is equipped with a 7-inch touch-screen display with integrated prototyping software capable of simulating a wide range of in-vehicle interfaces that communicate with the simulator software in real-time.
The Arch Lab has 5 eye trackers including 4 non-invasive desk-mounted systems and a high-speed 500 Hz head-mounted Eyelink 2 eyetracker. The high-speed system allows for real-time gaze-contingent display changes, including the ability to make display changes during saccadic eye movements. Because visual processing is suppressed during saccades, this allows us to use saccadic suppression to mask changes made to the environment, allowing us to better assess situational awareness. In addition, the real-time nature of the high-speed system allows us to simulate augmented reality.
The George Mason MRI Center is housed in the Krasnow Institute, which occupies a large building with dedicated neuroscience laboratory space, including a vivarium. A 3 Tesla Siemens Allegra head MRI scanner (Siemens AG, Erlangen, Germany) optimized for best image quality and fast imaging of the brain is available for neuroimaging studies. This MRI scanner is equipped with a bird-cage coil to conduct neurocognitive functional MRI research including advanced neuroimaging applications such as T1-, T2- weighted, diffusion, multi-directional diffusion imaging, perfusion, and spectroscopy sequences. The fMRI stimulus delivery includes a FDA approved visual system.