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Hyperscanning PDF Print E-mail
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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.

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