Payphone! PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 18 December 2009 01:39

This is one of the best gifts I've ever received (back in 2007)... a used public payphone. It's an Intellicall UltraTel, made sometime in the mid 1990s. These older Ultratel payphones are AC powered instead of phone-line powered like most modern payphones. Even the older Western Electric payphones made by Ma Bell were line powered, so this phone is unique in that respect. Unfortunately, when the unit was taken out of service, the power cable was cut, leaving the AC transformer somewhere in the 970 area code.

I had to order a new AC transformer, handset cradle, and battery and eventually got the phone powered up and got a dial tone. Then I had to have Intellicall program it remotely, and now it now makes and receives calls. It's an interesting phone... every time we get a call, the phone's coin mechanism clicks to release any coins if there happened to be any in there. The phone also dials 111 every time we answer a call on it. Unfortunately I had to disconnect the phone line from it because my daughter learned to walk... and she learned to press buttons and take the handset off its cradle. Now all she hears is a tinny female voice saying "Please hang up and try again". As my daughter gets older, I'll be able to connect the phone again and use it as a regular phone. I also think as she gets older, this will be one of the only payphones she'll ever see and use.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 December 2009 17:58
Ebony dominoes PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 15 December 2009 21:24

For Rachel's 3rd Hanukkah, I decided to make wooden dominoes. I chose Gabon ebony for the dominoes and rosewood for the box to hold them. Working with Tropical hardwoods was quite an experience because they are so much denser than any North American hardwood. Tropical woods hold an edge much better than cherry or maple, and combined with its near black color, made it perfect for small dominoes.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 December 2009 18:03
Hyperscanning PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 02:30

This is a really interesting project that is currently ongoing at the Olin Center. It started back in 2007 with the idea to have two participants play a game of dominoes between two MRI sites. The sites would be the Olin Center in Hartford, CT and the MIND Institute in Albuquerque, NM. The game play is based off of a reward/punishment game written by Itamar Kahn around 2002. Since we knew we got the activation we wanted from the Itamar's game design, we wanted to replicate it for the hyperscanning game. I used similar commands and timings to the old game, but the rest of it was built from scratch. I redid the domino and screen layout, got new voiceovers for the commands, and most important made it networked. I needed to write a server, which actually controlled the game play. The clients connect to the server and all communication between clients goes through the server. We also needed to overcome firewalls and IRB approval, but we eventually ran 3 sets of subjects between the two sites.

As anyone can imagine, the task of arranging and executing game play over the internet, while synchronizing two fMRI sessions can be challenging. Not to mention booking the subjects, especially at centers which don't have a lot of free scan slots. We also found that a landline telephone is the best method to synchronize the start of the game. No special network protocols necessary.

Hopefully we'll run another 10 sets of subjects and publish some results this year.

MRI data storage system PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 02:41

The Olin Center was started back in 2003, with it's first recorded scans in April. The archiving and retrieval method at the time was a simple web interface that had access to only the past 30 days worth of data. The rest of the data was archived to DVD. After a couple years it became tough to find the data you wanted because you'd need to sift through 200 DVDs to find the MRI scans you wanted. It became more challenging if you needed data from 100 subjects. So in 2005 I built 4 servers to house the MRI data and created a simple web interface to allow people to search and download the directly to our analysis servers. The whole system was dubbed "All Data Online" or the adoserver for short.

In 2007 I rebuilt the system, distributing the data between 2 servers. At the time, there was approximately 6.5TB of data stored on the servers, all instantly searchable and downloadable. Earlier this year, I needed to rebuild the system and placed the entire system on a single server... The trend from 4 to 2 to 1 server is because of the tremendous drop in the price of disk space. It's just more affordable to have 14TB of space on a single server than 2 servers with 7TB. It's also easier to maintain. Since the amount of data transfer on and off the server is about 8GB/day, there's no bottleneck in keeping it in one place.

Now, at the end of 2009 after 7 years of collecting MRI data, our data is archived in triplicate on 1200 DVDs, we have more than 7500 MRI studies, and 170,000 series of MRI data, stored in 4 different formats. In total there are 12TB of data in approximately 68 million files, and the system has used 160 CPU-days to process and archive the data. There are also new reporting, auditing, and trend monitoring tools. Searches are faster and more comprehensive, with thumbnail image results. There have been approximately 40,000 data requests since the system was created, though the counter was reset with each new system.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 December 2009 19:45
Publications PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 02:18


Tolin, D. F., Kiehl, K. A., Worhunsky, P., Book, G. A., & Maltby, N. (2009). An exploratory study of the neural mechanisms of decision-making in compulsive hoarding. Psychological Medicine, 38, 1-12. [PDF]

G.A.Book, Q. Wang, S. Ortiz, C. Primiano, R. McKay, W. Sun, Dimensional Analysis of Aortic Valve Geometry from Clinical 64-Slice MSCT Scans: A Comparison of Methods, Submitted to The American Journal of Cardiology, 2010


fMRI of Brain Activation During Menstrual Migraine - Departmental award from Olin Center, July 2006 ($8,955)


Posters/Conference Abstracts

G.A. Book, M.C. Stevens, G. Pearlson, K.A. Kiehl - Fusion of fMRI and the Pupil Response During an Auditory Oddball Task - Accepted to the 2008 Conference of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society [Abstract] [Poster]

L. Miller, M. Assaf, G.A. Book, G.D. Pearlson - Face Building: An fMRI investigation of brain activation of faces versus houses, objects, and patterns in individuals with high functioning autism. - Accepted to the 2008 Conference of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society

G.A. Book, A.D. Thomas, M.R. Johnson, J.L. Hylton, M.M. Andrews, M. Assaf, G.D. Pearlson. - Reward Processing in Social Competitive Task in Subjects with Familial History of Alcoholism - International Conference on Applications of Neuroimaging to Alcoholism January 2008 [Abstract] [Poster]

A.L. Byrd, M.S. Shane, G.A. Book, E. Mulder, R.E. Kahn, O. Antonenko, K.A. Kiehl - Response Inhibition as a Protective Factor against Incarceration in Those High and Low in Psychopathic Traits - Conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy April 2007

M.M. Andrews, S.A. Meda, G.A. Book, J.L. Hylton, A.D. Thomas, M Potenza, P Worhunsky, M.C. Stevens G.D. Pearlson - Differences In Reward Circuit Activation In People With a Family History Of Alcoholism - International Conference on Applications of Neuroimaging to Alcoholism January 2008



Gregory A Book - Introduction to Perl Programming - Presented at Olin Center, August 2006 [PDF]

Gregory A Book - Migraine Pathogenesis - Presented at Olin Data Talks September 25, 2007 [PDF]

Nicholas Maltby, Patrick Worhunsky, Gregory A. Book, Kent A. Kiehl, David F. Tolin - Putting Neurobiological Models of OCD to the Test, An fMRI Study of Specifity and Response to Treatment

Last Updated on Sunday, 24 October 2010 14:33

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