The CCNU has direct access to several facilities essential for comparative neuroimaging in dogs and humans.

Neuroimaging Center (NIC)

Balian lying on the scanner bed after a successful training session

The neuroimaging center is key for the work of the CCNU. It is equipped with a 3 T Siemens Skyra whole-body MRI scanner. The NIC is directed by Prof. Claus Lamm from the CCNU, and has permission for dual use in dogs and humans, in compliance with several specific hygiene regulations. The NIC has been established as part of a collaborative infrastructure use initiative granted by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (“Interdisciplinary Translational Brain Research Cluster with High Field MR Magnetic Resonance”, Hochschulraumstrukturmittel-Initiative), involving both directors of the CCNU.


The NIC is equipped with an MRI-compatible eye tracker (SR Research Eyelink 1000 Plus). Special adaptations, such as a special lens and different infrared wavelength for eye tracking, are essential to integrate eye tracking smoothly and with added comfort for the dog participants.

Eye tracking equipment

(screen moved for display purpose)

Eye tracker display

Eye tracking at the Clever Dog Lab

Head Coil

Together with Prof.Windischberger and the Radio Frequency Lab of the Medial University of Vienna, the CCNU is currently developing a tailor-made dog head MRI coil. Channel geometry will be optimized for the smaller field-of-view requirements of dog fMRI, and aims for substantial improvements of image quality and sensitivity compared to current setups using human imaging coils. In addition, housing geometry will be tailored to dog anatomy and increase comfort and stability for dogs.

Training at the mock scanner

Mock Scanner

The CCNU has access to a dedicated mock scanner recently developed at the Clever Dog Lab (built by Wolfgang Berger and Peter Füreder). The mock scanner has been designed after the 3T Skyra of the NIC, and is equipped with an equally sized table with a movable part, an equally sized cardboard tube, a cardboard scanner case, two Teufel loudspeakers, a TFT computer screen and a laptop to play the (pre-recorded) scanner noise.

Clever Dog Lab

The Clever Dog Lab is part of the Comparative Cognition Unit headed by CCNU director Prof. Huber, and located at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna. It has eight testing rooms equipped with multiple-camera surveillance systems to observe and record the dogs’ behaviour. Additional special equipment, such as dog-compatible touch screens, a projection and a sound replay system, as well as an eye-tracker allowing for displaying carefully designed visual and acoustic stimuli for the dogs and for recording their eye-movements. The CCNU directly benefits from these facilities for behavioural and eye tracking studies, as well as from the large database of dogs and dog owners (> 1500).

Action at the touch screen

fMRI session with a human subject




The SCAN-Unit at the Faculty of Psychology hosts a number of junior and advanced researchers focusing on Social Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging in humans. Its technical facilities include three EEG labs, two brain stimulation labs, eye trackers, psychophysiology and group behavioral labs. These facilities and the research personnel are of direct relevance for the “human part” of the CCNU’s research.