1Physiological Psychology 1 (Psych 2900): Fall 2020Lab # 8- Nov.18 & 19Designing experiments for functional MRIThis lab will begin with a lecture on experimental design in fMRI. The PowerPoint slides fromthis lecture are posted on Nexus. Last week we reviewed the physics and physiology of recordingthe BOLD response in behaving brains. This week we are going to learn how practicalexperiments in functional MRI are designed and implemented. We will review how anexperiment must be implemented as a series of “trials”, which are individual episodes of what asubject is seeing, or doing, or thinking during the scanning session. We will cover two methodsof presenting trials – either as blocks of trials (in a block design), or as individual trials (in anevent-related design). We will also discuss the additive model of brain activation, which modelstotal activation as a sum of one or more subprocesses that affect the fMRI signal. Finally, we willdiscuss the technique called “cognitive subtraction” that enables us to tease out effects related tothe variable of interest from other effects that might contribute to the total pattern of brainactivation.After the lecture and discussion, you should have the background you need to proceed to theassignment described below.Assignment: (due December 9 & 10): (10 marks)Your assignment for this lab is to design an experiment where you manipulate a perceptual,cognitive or psychological process that would be expected to change BOLD activity in the brainin some predictable way. You will need to describe the variable you are manipulating, the levelsof this variable you are using to compare activations across conditions, and the way that stimulior events will be presented across time. You will need a control condition as part of this designto account for brain activations that contribute to the activation you expect to see, but which arenot likely due to the variable of interest. This is where the business of cognitive subtraction fitsin. Finally, you need to indicate whether this design is best implemented as a block or eventrelated design and describe how the trial types will be distributed across time during theexperimental session. If you like (optionally), you can suggest which brain regions might beexpected to be activated by your process of interest, and why that might be the case (you can citeliterature here if you like to justify your prediction)

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