Outside the MEG shielded room - image courtesy of Robin Blumfield, CCD
Outside the MEG shielded room - image courtesy of Robin Blumfield, CCD

A history of firsts

The first MEG system in the Southern Hemisphere, the world’s first child MEG system and the world’s first MEG brain imaging system for people with hearing devices – the KIT-MQ Brain Research Laboratory is a hub of innovation.

How did it happen? In 2004, Distinguished Professor Stephen Crain joined Macquarie as an ARC Federation Fellow. Stephen had previously been an Adjunct Professor at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT), when he came to Macquarie he brought this strategic relationship with him.

In 2005 a preliminary cooperative agreement with KIT President Ken-ichi Ishikawa was signed, this agreement heralded the development of the KIT-Macquarie Brain Research Laboratory and in 2006 the Southern Hemisphere’s first MEG system was installed. By 2008 the laboratory had acquired the world’s first child MEG and in 2013 the world’s first MEG for people with hearing devices including Cochlear implants.

These world-leading innovative technologies have facilitated research into child brain development and language acquisition that was previously impossible. The work has involved close collaboration with engineers from Cochlear, CSIRO, The HEARing CRC and KIT. The MEG systems have enabled researchers to ask and answer research questions that were out of reach until now.

Professor Stephen Crain is the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders