Sunday, July 8, 2012
This is My Brain
Last week I saw an advertisment on the UT listserv asking for right-handed, native English speaking research subjects willing to get an MRI. Heck, yeah!
So I go down to this itty bitty shack at the East Pickle Research campus and wait (I'm there early) for the nice young grad students to let me in, administer a short survey and release form, and hand me a pair of scrubs to change into.
I keep trying not to fall asleep. Far from my days of high school claustrophobia, here I have a big cozy blanket on, a dark room, earplugs (the MRI is noisy) and essentially pjs on. One of the grad students is cute. I try to think about the cards that they flash above me and make my responses on a multiple-choice answer box taped to my thigh. I really want to impress the team looking at my brain in their cubicle outside the room so I try my very best, and I think I'm quite good at the memory games.
After 2 hours, they let me change back into my clothes and remind me to come again on Monday. Monday, I go through the process again, much faster, because it's a shorter test.
Then they pay me! I didn't know they would pay me. I think I saw somewhere something like $25 dollars, but they meant $25 an hour! So I made, so to speak, $150 lying on my back. I would have done it for free. Didn't I get a free MRI? (A $2000 savings!) Didn't I get to be part of Science? Didn't I get to flirt like a fiend with the intense-eyed researcher? What a sweet gig this was.