Starting to Scan

Scheduling participants
When you're ready to start scanning, you will be given an account on Calpendo (an online booking system). You may use Calpendo to request a booking for the MRI scanner as well as any briefing rooms you need to use; this booking will be reviewed within 2 working days by the Research Assistant assigned to your project.

For instructions on how to use Calpendo, view this video:

Guide to Calpendo

With regards to booking, please note the following:

Available slots
  • Scheduling priority will be given to the three Duke-NUS research labs (see details on the 'Home' tab).
  • Nominally, slots for external users will be available from 10am-5pm, Monday to Friday. These slots should be booked at least 1 month in advance.
  • Slots at other times will be released 2 weeks before the scheduled date. External users can book these on a first-come, first-served basis.   
Booking guidelines
  • Each booking slot must be at least 1 hour long, with increments in half-hour units (e.g., 1.5hrs, 2hrs, 2.5hrs).
  • Please try to book slots back to back - that is, try not to leave a half- or single-hour slot available (which will be hard for other users to fill).
  • As slots will be booked one after another, please ensure you book sufficient time on the scanner to complete your experiment.
  • In consideration of other users, we also request that you do not book slots you are not confident of filling. Cancellations made less than 1 week in advance will be charged as a completed scan.
Once a booking has been confirmed, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience will arrange for a trained scanner operator for the duration of the booking. This scanner operator will be responsible for: obtaining informed consent for the MRI component (sample consent form) that allow participants to choose if they want to be notified in the event that the research team notices unusual finding, setting the participant up in the scanner, administering MRI sequences, and bringing the participant out of the scanner. (Please note that we have a Chinese consent form; however, you will need to bring your own Chinese translator to ensure participants understand the contents of the form.)

Briefing Rooms
There are several rooms that can be used to brief participants. Please book the rooms on Calpendo accordingly:
  • At the scanner site, there are two rooms that can be used as briefing rooms - "EEG/Eye-tracker Room" and "Sleep Room Level 3". Both rooms are fully furnished with a bed and a desk.

 EEG/Eye-tracker Room (pictured on the left) is equipped with an iMac installed with Microsoft Office and MATLAB. Sleep Room Level 3 (pictured on the right) has several ports leading to the neighboring room that can be used for laptops needed in behavioral tests.
  • There is another briefing room housed within the office space of the Center of Cognitive Neuroscience (on the 6th floor), and is equipped with 4 desks with 4 iMacs. All iMacs have internet connection, and desks are divided with white boards that can be removed. (Please note that on Calpendo, this room is known as 'Briefing Room KTP'.)
  • Other amenities at the scanner site:
    • There is a desktop and an iMac, both installed with essential programs such as Microsoft Office and MATLAB, at the waiting area (pictured above).
    • You may also find an in-house pantry and washroom (with shower facilities). 
Arranging an experimenter 
You will need to arrange for your own experimenter to run all other procedures relating to the experiment (e.g., liaising with the participant, obtaining informed consent for experimental procedures, briefing participants on MRI scans, briefing participants on the task, administering in-scanner tasks). This experimenter should be able to run procedures independently, and should be present for the full duration of the scan.  

To help orientate potential experimenters, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience will organise quarterly sessions on MRI safety. Each session will last for 2 hours, and will consist of:
  • A safety orientation of the scanner research facility; and
  • An MRI safety quiz.
  • (To prepare for the quiz, please ensure that you go through this safety presentation before the session: Powerpoint presentation.)
  • If you would like to register yourself or your staff for this safety orientation, please inform the Research Assistant allocated to your project.

Ongoing administration

Data management
At the end of each session, please ensure that you export all acquired data. The Center clears out data from the scanner database every week.
Please bring an empty hard disk (no other documents inside) as the Research Assistant will be conducting antivirus scans to make sure that it is save from any viruses. This prevents contamination to the machines and will ensure that all the data are protected. The Research Assistant has the right to refuse exporting the data if the external hard disk is not empty.

At the end of every month, you will be sent a summary of scan sessions along with a billing invoice. Payment can be made to the Duke-NUS Finance Department via Giro or cheque.