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Behav Res Methods. 2005 Nov;37(4):657-64.

A fiber-optic system for recording skin conductance in the MRI scanner.

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University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia


The acquisition of the skin conductance response (SCR) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) raises significant safety issues, as well as practical ones, which need to be addressed in order for these experiments to be conducted safely and successfully. Metallic and conductive wires in the presence of time-varying gradient magnetic fields such as those present in fMRI experiments may induce heating, as well as electric fields, in these components and, if in contact with the subject, could produce severe burns and electric shocks. Moreover, these metallic and conductive components can significantly distort the magnetic field, resulting in image artifacts. A system for recording the SCR in humans simultaneously with fMRI is presented. The device is a fiber-optic-based transducer, which records the SCR from two fingers of the same hand, using electrodes containing inline radio frequency (RF) suppression filters and protective resistive loads. The fiber-optic SCR transducer was tested using 1.5 and 3.0 Tesla MRI scanners running EPI sequences. This system was able to safely record SCRs free of RF interference during an fMRI experiment, and the fiber-optic design of the transducer eliminated any artifacts on the MRI scan.

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