a peek inside my head
I recently participated in a clinical study of runners (and actually, it was of people supposedly addicted to exercise — never in this universe could that be said of me, but I met the qualifications). I’m not exactly sure what the point of the study was, but they told me I would get some images of my brain from an MRI scan, and that was enuf to motivate me.
I went to the nearby university hospital where I answered a lot of questions, had an EKG done, did some funny breathing exercises, and then went across the road to the imaging lab where I got to enjoy being subjected to an MRI for about an hour. If you’ve ever had an MRI, you know how terrifying it can be. I lay on a bed that was moved into the large cylinder where the magic happens, and though I was not strapped down, I did have my head inside a cage that held it steady while they peeked inside. People are known to panic from feelings of claustrophobia inside MRI machines. I managed to hold it together, but I could see how some people might have trouble with it. Oddly, they taped a vitamin E pill to the right side of my forehead. They said it would help orient the technicians to which side of my head they were looking at. I guess.
During the hour, I read questions that were displayed on a screen before me. (Actually, above my head, but a clever arrangement of mirrors let me view them normally.) The questions were of this nature: Would I rather have $10 now or $100 now but not be able to run for two weeks? Would I rather have $20 now or $50 but not be able to run for two days? And so on for nearly an hour. I answered by pressing buttons on a small pad in my hand. I suppose they watched the lights flash in my brain as I answered the questions. Of course there was no right or wrong answer, but I tried to be consistent in my responses, even as they varied the questions slightly.
I hope they got what they wanted from the test. I was happy to participate, and I got a look inside my head.