UW MRI Mock Scanner

At the request of the affiliates, the Instrument Development Laboratory designed and constructed a mock scanner for use in training volunteers for MRI research projects. The mock scanner was designed to give subjects the sensual experience of the real MRI scanner wthout the associated cost.

The mock scanner has the following characteristics:

The structure of the mock scanner was built from wood. The tube is a pressboard cylinder used by the construction industry as a form for pouring concrete. The table the volunteer lies upon rolls in and out of the tube on rollers and casters.

MRI room sounds were recorded on an endless loop cassette tape and projected into the room with wall-mounted speakers. A second tape plays scan noises into speakers mounted on the tube.

The mock head coil is a replica of the actual head coil constructed of PVC material. Headphones are mounted inside the coil and are adjustable to help hold the volunteer’s head still.

The vision system differs from that in the real MRI. The mock vision system uses two mirrors to allow the volunteer to see an LCD monitor mounted on the table above their head. The monitor and the headphones are connected to the computer running Eprime

The volunteer can hold two buttons for stimulus response (not shown) which connect to the computer through an Eprime interface box.

Under development is a head motion tracking system based on the Naturalpoint Smart-nav hands free mouse (www.naturalpoint.com). This device uses infrared light to track a target for mouse motion. A reflective dot will be placed on the subject’s forehead, and another mirror is used by the Naturalpoint system to view the dot. Head motion will be recorded using custom software currently under development.

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