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Ephys & fMRI

Record real-time spikes and LFPs during fMRI scans


Specs & Resources


TDT has engineered a complete solution for concurrent electrophysiology recordings during fMRI imaging. The major hurdles for these experiments are:

  • Recording the MRI artifact without saturating the amplifier
  • Minimizing fMRI contamination from ephys hardware
  • Viewing ephys in real-time without the MRI artifact

TDT has developed integrated hardware and software to rectify these issues and make simultaneous electrophysiology and fMRI possible.

Cao … Liu, et al “SPARC: Brain‐stomach Synchrony Observed with Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Electrogastrogram in Rats”. FASEB Apr, 2020. doi: 10.1096/fasebj.2020.34.s1.03197

Cruttenden … Chen, et al “Towards Completely Sampled Extracellular Neural Recordings during fMRI”. IEEE Trans Med Imaging Feb, 2022.  doi: 10.1109/TMI.2022.3149002


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Capture Scanner Artifact without Saturation

PZ5 Amplifier

The core of TDT’s solution is the PZ5 amplifier. This analog amplifier has a large input range (500 mVolts) and excellent signal resolution (<250 nanoVolts). This ensures perfect signal fidelity during the MRI scan with no signal saturation.

Combined with TDT’s real-time signal processor (RZ5D or RZ2), the PZ5 is an optimal solution for concurrent ephys and fMRI.


16 and 32 ch MRI-compatible headstages

The TDT MRI-compatible headstages are non-ferrous to minimize electromagnetic  interference in the scanner. The small form factor of our 16 and 32 channel Omnetics-based headstages fit easily into small bore MRIs for rodents and marmosets; and our extra-long cables ensure that only the headstage is in the MRI room.



The MRI kit contains RF filters, cable extenders and test resistors that augment our MRI-compatible headstages. Includes:

  • RF filters that minimize EMF artifacts on your fMRI scans
  • Cable extenders that maintain proper distance between the scanner and amplifier without reduced signal quality
  • Test resistors for measuring electrical noise in the MRI


MRI compatible Non-ferrous HeadstageHeadstages for Primate and Rodent work


MRI Compatibility Kit (right)


Real-time MRI artifact rejection

This Gizmo provides users with real-time artifact removal of the MRI scan for visualization of neural activity, such as LFPs and spiking activity. Use the Gizmo to:

  • Control the artifact threshold and size of the artifact window
  • Set a threshold for artifact removal
  • Save the raw data for offline analysis and artifact subtraction

MRI Recording Processor Gizmo


Integrating Ephys and fMRI

Learn about recent advances in tools for concurrent electrophysiology with fMRI. Featuring guest researchers:

  • Jiayue (Cherry) Cao – PhD student | PI: Dr. Zhongming Liu | University of Michigan
  • Yuncong Ma – PhD student | PI: Dr. Nanyin Zhang | Penn State

Play Webinar