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The world’s first dual-headed fMRI scanner has been developed by Ray Lee, technical director of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute.

The new design allows an MRI machine to scan two brains at once, potentially leading to future research on how different brains respond to stimuli and to each other.

For many different reasons scanning two brains at the same time resulted in a fuzzy image until now. But Mr. Lee altered the original MRI design by fitting a pair of magnets and radio frequency coils into the machine so that each participant’s head fits into a loop. He also placed a window between the coils so that participants could see one another.

During the tests, synchronized brain activity was observed when couples faced in the machine one another and blinked in unison, and were also asked to embrace and release one another repeatedly.


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