Information for Participants
We would like more people to know what we are doing and the importance of what we are trying to achieve. We rely on volunteers for participation in research projects. So, if you or any of your friends or relatives might be interested in volunteering for a scan, please contact us and we will give you more information about the current studies.
Where do I have to go?
The studies will take place at the NeSSY, Building W30, Küpkersweg 74, on Campus Wechloy.
In the building you can either wait for the responsible researcher in the entrance hall of the building to get picked up, or you can go to room W30-0-016 (MRI, third door on the right side) or to room W30-0-007 (MEG, right side at the end of the floor), both located at the ground floor.
Whom can I call?
In case you were to late or wish to cancel you appointment for whatever reason, please inform us as soon as possible (at the day of your appointment):
- MRI: +49 (0)441 798-3131
- MEG: +49 (0)441 798-3056
In case you wish to cancel your appointment beforehand, please contact the responsible researcher directly via email or phone (⇒ Research groups of the Neuroimaging Center).
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI is an acronym for „Magnetic Resonance Imaging“ whereas fMRI is an acronym for „functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging“. Both techniques enable us to examine the structures (MRI) of the brain in conjunction with their function (fMRI). MRIs a non-invasive process, or in other words, harmless for the human body (there are no side effects). The basis of MRI is the use of magnetic fields and radio frequencies to produce a map of the water concentrations in the body, due to magnetization of hydrogen molecules. fMRI is predominantly used to study blood flow and metabolism in a range of studies. When measuring a whole series of pictures while the participant is solving a specific task activation patterns of the brain allow us to conclude how the brain works during these tasks.
Contraindications - Who can not have an MRI scan?
Because of the use of strong rapidly changing magnetic fields, metallic objects are not allowed in the surrounding of the scanner. People who have implants such as cardiac pacemakers, aneurysm clips in their brain, cochlear implants, permanent eye lining or anyone who has been exposed to metallic flakes or splinters travelling at high speed, cannot be scanned. This is due to the force that is exerted on them and the deposition of heat in any metallic object exposed to rapidly changing radio frequencies. Pregnant women as well as people with tattoos, contraceptive coils or nicotine patches are also not allowed to participate.
Before entering the magnetic field of the scanner, you will be asked to remove any metal objects including keys, coins, jewelry and watches. You will also need to remove credit cards and travel-cards as the magnetic field will erase the magnetic strips on these items. The radiographer will check again that it is safe for you to have a MRI scan by going through a questionnaire. The scan format will then be explained to you. You will be asked to lie down on a special bed, which moves up and into the tunnel of the scanner. A special device, called a coil, will then be placed over your face. This allows us to obtain the signal from your brain, which creates the images. You will then be moved into the tunnel on the bed, so that your head is positioned in the center of the magnet. Several checks associated with the specific study will then be carried out. For particular studies, you may need to wear headphones, view a projector screen via a mirror box, press buttons on a keypad or be monitored using special equipment. Where headphones are not used, you will be given a pair of earplugs to absorb the loud noise of the scanner. This makes the process more comfortable for you. Although the researcher can talk to you via an intercom, during the scan it becomes too noisy. You will be given an alarm bulb so that you can call us during the scan if something is wrong or you want to come out. We carry out a short 10 second scan first, to find your position in the scanner. The procedure for the rest of the scan varies for each study. Either before or at the end of the experiment you will undergo a structural scan of 5 minutes which provides detailed images of the anatomy of the brain so that the areas stimulated during the experiment can be mapped on to the brain. During the experimental scans, you will need to carry out the tasks previously explained to you. This may last between ½ to 1½ hours. All we ask, is that you carry out the tasks as explained, keep your head very still at all times, stay awake and most importantly, try to relax!
Magnetencephalography is a non-invasive, neurophysiological method which is able to measure magnetic fields induced by neural activity in the brain. The magnetic field passes the brain tissue and can be detected by sensors outside of the brain. MEG is a non-invasive method with the primary use to measure time courses of activity. However, in contrast to fMRI it allows a high temporal resolution. In comparison with EEG, which is sensitive to activity in more brain areas, MEG allows a more accurate localization.
Contraindications - Who can not participate?
To avoid magnetic interactions – especially with metals – because they reduce the measurement accuracy, no metals should be worn on your body during the measurements. Because of that, before entering into the MEG room you have to speak with the researchers about any possible constraints which limit your participation in the study (e.g., if you have any kind of implants).
Please take the following points into account:
- It is not allowed to enter the MEG with any electronically controlled devices such as pacemakers, neuro-stimulators, insulin pumps or hearing devices.
- Only enter the MEG when all metallic objects are discarded (e.g., keys, glasses, belts, …).
- Metallic implants also have the possibility to be ferro magnetic. The researcher needs to be informed about all known or possible implants prior to the measurement.
- Tattoos (also permanent make-up) can contain color particles with metallic parts in it. Please inform the researcher if you have a tattoo.
- Also cosmetics such as mascaras, rouge or even styling gel can contain metal. Please avoid using those on the day of measurement.
- If you need any glasses, if it is possible, please wear lenses, at the day of the measurement.
Before starting the MEG measurement, your head will be measured via electromagnetic markers to find the exact position of your head within the MEG. This is totally painless and harmless. The real MEG, measurement will take about one hour and is separated in some blocks. The exact procedure will be explained to you by the researcher.
During the measurement, the researcher is in the neighboring room and will be in contact with you via a two-way intercom. In addition, there is a camera which is connected with a monitor in the experimenter’s room. The transferred video will not be stored.