Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I Am A Guinea Pig

So I've signed up to take part in a study being conducted by a friend of mine. I know how hard it is to get people to participate in studies and, since I was eligible and available for the time needed, I volunteered. I won't go into the details of the procedure, since it's not my research and I don't want to reveal too much info on the study, but suffice it to say that I have a nice collection of urine samples in my freezer now*.

This isn't the first time I've been a guinea pig. Back in my first year, I took part in a few psychology studies, because it meant that I could get out of writing some of the assignments for my first-year psychology class. When future civilizations dig up the remains of our civilization, there will be a plethora of info on first-year psychology students on which they will be able to base their understanding of our time (or, at the very least, they will learn that first-year psychology students will do just about *anything* to get out of having to write assignments).

The coolest study I ever took part in, though, was getting a fMRI** done -- again, it was someone I know who was working on a study and needed control subjects to compare to patients with schizophrenia. You lie down inside this tube with a giant magnet and have pictures of your brain taken while you take part in some kind of an activity -- in my case, I had to match up pictures and sounds. As remuneration I could either get $10 or a picture of my brain. So, of course, I took the picture. I would put the picture up here, but (a) it's really hard to scan since it is kind of like an x-ray, where you have to view it on one of those light box things, and (b) I don't want my enemies (of which I have many) to have access to the secrets of my genius.

*OK, I concede that perhaps that is TMI!

**functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging - it lets you see what parts of the brain are activated during different activities.

3 comments:

Jorge said...

The coolest thing I ever did (science-related) was to take a photograph of cancer cells.

Pretty shnazzy.

I wonder if you could scan your brain picture by putting a white sheet or mirror on top of the sheet with the picture on it.

Beth said...

Is this really Jorge, or is it one of my many enemies, cleverly disguising themselves as Jorge, in order to get the 411 on my genius?

Courtney-O said...

I wish I had a picture of my brain.

I'm so jealous.