I may be odd, but looked forward to the MRI for a research project as much as I look forward to giving blood (I love giving blood). Run by psychology PhD candidate Raphael Underwood at King’s College London, they were looking for people who had had unusual, spiritual and/or mystical experiences and I did some tests while having the scan so they could measure the activity in my brain.
Having had an MRI for health reasons last year, this was beyond relaxing (all came back clear last year and I no longer have the symptoms that led to it), just answering a whole bunch of really strange questions as the machine banged away around me (it sounded like an old fashioned giant printer and felt oddly reassuring).
After the MRI, I was asked a series of other questions to test cognitive function around letters, numbers, shapes, spaces, words and so on. Similar to Pilates where you work certain muscles really hard for a short while and then release, this felt both exerting and relaxing for my brain.
Images of my and others’ brains will be available in a big brain picture library in conjunction with the Wellcome Trust.
So apart from the obvious reassurance of ‘Yay! I still have a brain!’ (I knew they’d found it last year so had hoped this wouldn’t be a problem), I feel happy to have contributed to a research project that will hopefully help people in the future.