An event hosted at Poole Hospital has marked the launch of a new collaboration between Poole Hospital and Bournemouth University.
In 2012 Poole Hospital had a new 3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner installed. The MRI scanner has become the standard strength scanner employed in functional brain imaging research, which measures blood flow in the brain to index brain activity.
Since its installation, BU has been working with the MRI team at Poole Hospital to prepare the scanner for research use. The Psychology Department at BU has members of staff with experience using functional MRI in their research in areas such as emotion, decision-making, and behavioural control.
These areas of cognitive, clinical and social neuroscience aim to understand the brain mechanisms behind many cognitive and social phenomena so that we can better understand what happens when things go wrong in the brain as a result of injury, stroke or disease; much of the research has medical implications.
The Poole Hospital Cancer Treatment Trust (PHCTT) provided funds for the scanner and latterly for the software needed for this transformational use of the scanner. Dr. Ben Parris, Head of Research in the Psychology Department at BU said, “Bournemouth University's £100k investment provided an incentive for the PHCTT to make this investment by highlighting the business case and the benefits for medically–related research.
Moreover, BU provides the necessary skills in experimental design and advanced analysis techniques needed to properly understand the images of brain activity retrieved from the scanner. In future collaborations the research use of the scanner can be commercialised allowing interested companies and businesses to engage in Neuromarketing, providing a source of income for both the hospital and the university.
Professor John Fletcher, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research at Bournemouth University said, "This collaboration is yet another step in the developing relationship between BU and the Health providers in the region in general and with Poole Hospital in particular as BU sets out its desire to develop world leading medical science research by bringing clinicians and academics together to tackle the global issues of health and well-being."