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Birkbeck-UCL Centre for Neuroimaging 26 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AP, UK, +44 (0)20 7679 5475

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Pilot Studies

Often it is important to do some basic pilot work when preparing a new experiment. We break pilot testing down into two categories: (1) informal equipment/stimuli set-up and (2) acquiring pilot data.

  1. Informal testing of equipment and/or stimuli (without MRI data acquisition, or when using a phantom)
    Once your project has been presented and approved, it is a good idea to test equipment and/or stimulation scripts to ensure they are working correctly and to get scanning protocols in place. We encourage people to do this when the scanner is free on a first come, first served basis. During normal operating hours (10am-6pm) centre staff should be asked if the scanner is free.

  2. Acquiring pilot data
    Once you have your proposal approved and have set up your stimuli and protocol, it is a good idea to test the setup with a participant or two from your lab and to make sure your data and design are working as you think they are. Time for pilot testing should be routinely factored into the number of hours requested on the project proposal form.