What is fMRI?

an fMRI machine

fMRI stands for functional magnetic resonance imaging. The MRI uses a large magnet to take pictures of activity in your brain. The machine looks like a large cylinder with a table inside for you to lie on. During the MRI you are asked to lie very still so that we get a clear picture. You will also be asked to play a computer task while you are lying in the MRI machine.

This is a completely non-invasive procedure. There will be no contrast, needles, or injections.

Will it Hurt?

The MRI will not hurt. You will be asked to lie on a soft table and remain as still as possible. You will have a pillow under your head, and a blanket is available if you get cold.

Can I Eat Before My Appointment?

Yes, you can eat before you come, but try not to drink too much.

What Should I Wear?

On the day of your scan, please wear comfortable clothes. The MRI uses a very large magnet, so be aware of how much metal you have on your clothes. Snaps and zippers on pants are fine, but please make sure that your shirts and sweaters are free of metal.

Please do not wear shirts or sweatshirts with hoods, and please do not wear any jewelry. Do not wear any metal barrettes in your hair, and be sure to remove earrings and any other body piercings if possible.

For more information visit the F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging.