Document Type


Date of Award

Summer 8-31-2005

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Stanley S. Reisman

Second Advisor

Michael T. Bergen

Third Advisor

Tara L. Alvarez


Unfamiliarity with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) facilities leads to unwanted stress-related disturbances in the processing of fMRI data. A mock fMRI facility was developed to increase familiarization among subjects participating in fiviRI studies and to alleviate the time and cost of familiarizing each subject in an actual fMRI facility. A decommissioned Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) unit was remodeled to visually and aurally resemble the Siemens Magnetom Allegra 3 Telsa fMRI machine currently used at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), Newark, New Jersey. Instrumentation was developed using LabVIEW software which presented subjects with recreated sounds of the UMDNJ fMRI unit, displayed interactive Pain Descriptor Differential Scales to the subject, collected and displayed electrocardiogram (ECG), blood pressure (BP), and questionnaire data to the operator. In addition to these tasks, the LabVIEW program triggered the Medoc Neuro-Sensory Analyzer to begin producing warm stimuli to patient's forearm, in synchrony with the order of the study. A pilot experiment was conducted to assess if subjects became more habituated to the fMRI environment after two mock fMRI experiences. ECG, BP, and questionnaire data for two subjects in the mock fMRI unit for two sessions were compared. The results support that the subjects were more comfortable, relaxed, and familiar with the experiment and the fMRI environment during the second session.



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