Cognitive / MRI Visit

Department of Psychology

We are located at the northwest corner of Dean Keeton (26th Street) and Speedway Street.

Location: Seay Building, University of Texas at Austin, located at the corner of Dean Keeton (26th St) and Speedway St


Parking: Speedway Garage, located directly north of Psychology Department on Speedway Street. You can park in the garage for the duration of your cognitive visit and we will provide you with a card to allow you to exit free of charge. Please avoid parking in spaces where there’s a sign for university vehicles only.

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Duration of visit: 2.5 hours. This visit has two parts: Cognitive (conducted in Clinical Neuroscience Lab) and MRI. After we complete the Cognitive portion of the visit, we will walk with you to UT Imaging Research Center for the MRI portion of the visit.

What to expect:

  • You will be asked to provide a brief self-report of memory function and complete a battery of paper-and-pencil measures of memory, attention, visuospatial skills, and mood.
  • You will complete the UT IRC safety screening form on paper or securely encrypted computer or iPad.
  • You will be asked to change into medical scrubs and store your personal items in a locker.
  • You will be asked to lie on a table that will be slid into the MRI scanner so that your head and upper body are inside the magnet tube. You will not be required to spend more than one and a half hours inside the scanner;
  • You will be given earplugs to reduce the noise made by the MRI scanner (the magnets can make very loud noises);
  • You will have foam pads placed around your head to help you hold your head still during the MRI scan, so that the scans will be clear;
  • You will have your hands resting on plastic response pads;
  • You will lie still throughout your time in the MRI scanner;
  • You will view various visual stimuli and/or listen to sounds. You may be also asked to make judgments, recall certain words or pictures, or make finger, hand, or eye movements.


In each MRI session, anatomical images (images that show us the structures in your brain) will be obtained for about 6-10 minutes. Functional images will be obtained for about 12 minutes. Functional images are scans that show us how the brain works by illustrating what the brain is actively doing while you view various stimuli and/or perform particular tasks. The researcher will tell you before you enter the scanner exactly how long each procedure will take, and during the exam the researcher will tell you when each procedure will occur over the intercom. We also plan to acquire images containing information about your brain’s chemical composition (7 minutes) during which you be asked to simply to relax and lie quietly in the scanner.