As a potential volunteer, you may be wondering what to expect when you come into our lab for an experiment. The main technique we use here in the CNL is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It may sound like an intimidating and frightening procedure, but be assured that it is very safe, and causes minimal discomfort.

Watch this video to know more about the scanning procedure.

Going through an MRI scan involves several stages of preparation. Volunteers participating in our experiments will be briefed individually on the scanning procedure as well as the in-scanner tasks. Here, we give an overview of what to expect when you do come for a scan.


1. After giving informed consent and being instructed regarding safety measures, you will have the opportunity to practice the experimental task before you do an actual run in the scanner.  
2. Inside the scanner, you will be given a set of headphones so that we may communicate with you while in the scanner. You will also have a microphone so that you can respond to the experimenter during the scan.  
3. You will be asked to hold a button box with your right hand to make responses during the experimental task.  
4. ...and as well as an alarm bell in your left hand for you to signal for assistance.  
5. To set you up for the scan, you will be asked to lie down on the scanner bed with your head positioned inside a head coil.  
6. Foam paddings will be fitted at the sides of your head to ensure minimal head movement during the experiment - a key requirement for the acquisition of good images.  
7. Final adjustments will be made to ensure your comfort before the bed is moved into the scanner.  
8. A projector placed at the front of the scanner will display the experimental stimuli; these images will be reflected through the mirror placed just above your eyes in the head coil. Do the tasks to the best of your ability!  
9. The experimenter will begin the experiment from the control panel outside. Once the experiment is complete, participants will be taken out of the scanner and debriefed.  

Return to top of page