Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging

at Carnegie Mellon University

Facilities

Siemens Simulators
The scanner simulator was designed to familiarize participants with the experience of performing a task inside a 3T Siemens Verio magnet. Before their actual scan, all participants complete a practice session in which they are introduced to the tasks that they will perform in the MRI scanner. The simulator is used as a part of this acclimatization procedure. During this preliminary exposure to the scanner environment, participants become accustomed to lying in the center of the magnet while listening to recorded scanner sounds. They are also acquainted with the use of response buttons for providing answers to cognitive tasks that they watch on an LCD-display screen through the head coil mirror. In addition, the simulator is equipped with head-tracking equipment, which provides feedback to the participants about head motion, helping them learn to keep their heads still. This is an ideal way to pre-screen participants and to help correct for head motion before they enter the actual MRI machine. The simulator helps participants feel at ease when they are ultimately tested in the scanner.

The CCBI uses three Siemens Simulators. The first is in a practice room near the CCBI offices in Baker Hall at CMU. Subjects practice activities and staying still in this simulator several days before their actual scan. There are two other simulators which are used for the Autism Research Project. Autistic and control participants are given multiple exposures to the MRI environment so that their transition to the actual scanner is as comfortable as possible. One simulator is housed in Bellefield Towers, the main site of the Autism Research Project. Participants first practice here, before the day of the actual scan, to see if they are comfortable and if they can stay still. The other simulator is at the Scientific Imaging & Brain Research Center in Wean Hall. Participants practice there on the day of the scan. In the simulator, they will practice one of the activities that they will be doing during the real scan.

spatial thinking
Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging
Baker Hall

spatial thinking
Scientific Imaging & Brain Research Center
Wean Hall
spatial thinking
Collaborative Program of Excellence in Autism
Bellefield Towers