New Brain Imaging (MRI) Study
We are delighted to announce the launch of an exciting addition to the Dunedin Study – the Brain Imaging Study. This project commenced in August 2016 and will run through to approximately December 2018.
Since it commenced in August 2016, Dunedin-based Study members only have been invited to take part, but all other Study members will receive an invitation to particpate during the next assessment phase – Age 45 – which will begin in April 2017. By doing the brain imagining alongside the Age 45 assessment, we hope to minimise disruption to those Study members who are not living in Dunedin.
What is the purpose of this study?
The purpose of this study is to gather information that will help scientists understand how parts of the brain influence people’s reaction to different experiences in their daily life. We will link the results of this study to all the other information you (and your family and others) have provided over the years to see if our experiences in early life might shape our brain function and how this might influence our life as adults. We also want to see how the brain is connected to those parts of our body’s functions which are involved in diseases of lifestyle and age.
What is involved in the Study?
During the study, pictures of your brain will be taken using an MRI scanner. An MRI scanner is basically a large magnet with a tube in the middle that allows us to take pictures of the inside of your body or, in our case, your brain. The scanner itself does not move while we are taking the pictures, but it does make a lot of noise. The MRI procedure is completely non-invasive and painless, that is, you won’t be poked, prodded or disturbed in any way. Two types of imaging will be done: functional and structural.
Functional means that you will be asked to complete mental tasks and play games while the images are taken. These tasks will include looking at numbers, words, sentences or pictures. You will see these using a combination of a mirror in the scanner and a projection screen placed near your head. Headphones will allow you to talk to us between scans. There will even be a game in which you could win money! You will be able to respond to these tasks by pressing buttons on a button glove. Before entering the scanner training will be given on how to do these tasks.
- Structural means that images are taken of your brain anatomy. This will be done while you are resting comfortably and ifyou like, listening to music of your choice. We will ask you to lie very still as the smallest movement can affect the images, so no tapping of toes if you are listening to music!