September 20, 2009

My life as a test subject

Eigenfaces from Wikipedia

I volunteered to take part in an MRI-based study on face recognition / memory out of interest and for the $, which I immediately went to a cafe to spend on espresso and alcohol. I also hoped they'd let me know if they found a tumor or some other abnormality, like a massively enlarged pituitary gland, lit up like Las Vegas.

I worried slightly about claustraphobia, although I've never suffered from it before, so I took the last Xanax in my pill box and it kicked in just as they were explaining the procedure to me. I was relaaaaxed in the machine and even enjoyed the noise, which sounded like the intro to a Daft Punk show. Like an idiot, as I was led into the room I asked if 'the music' was part of the test.

I was in the machine for 30 minutes, and they stuck in a 6 minute 'rest period' between the practice and actual tests, during which I put myself into a trance and tripped out / fell asleep. I'm really interested in the results, which will be sent to me in a few weeks.

I ought to donate my whole body to science well before death, but I'm sure that I'm now on a university hospital blacklist.

But the summer / early fall mad rush is over, and I've lots of time for things that can't be easily explained.

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