New studies will generally require a certain amount of piloting before "real" data can be acquired. By default, you can do a 'dry run' of your imaging session to check stimulus timing, data consistency etc. before actual data collection starts and hours are charged. In some cases, more time might be required. There can be several reasons for this, e.g. because
- a study requires MRI protocols that are not part of the default protocol set, or
- a study uses a custom experimental set-up that requires optimization in the scanning environment.
If you think this applies to your situation, get in touch with Diederick to discuss how much time is reasonable. One factor taken into account when determining how much pilot time is provided is to what extent sequences or a set-up might be useful in a broader context, i.e. for other projects / Spinoza partners. Agreed upon pilot time is booked as project time but will not or only partially count towards scanning quota. Note: when booking the scanner for pilot purposes indicate this with the remark 'pilot' in the summary field.
Mock scanner dry run: piloting paradigm and stimulus set-up
Before planning a dry run at the MRI scanner, plan a test session to check whether your tasks work correctly. If a task runs at the mock scanner (it displays correctly on the screen, button presses are properly registered), it should be transferable to the actual scanner environment with little to no modifications. You can contact Diederick if you have specific questions about the available peripheral equipment.
The SC staff is happy to help you set up your MRI protocol. Let Diederick know when you are preparing a study and require assistance or advice. We have defined a default set of protocols that can be used 'as is' or tweaked for the specific research question. Make sure to check your pilot data carefully.