After all of this recent research with dogs and MRIs, we wondered how did dogs stay still for the scanning? Not only did they have to stay still, but they also wore headphones and a head coil. Humans already struggle with this, so how did they overcome this obstacle?
We have the answer from one of the lead researchers and head trainer, Marta Garcsi. The main technique they implemented was social training, or more specifically the model-rival training method.
The basis behind this method is praising the dogs that did what was asked and ignoring dogs who did not do what was asked. For this research, the dogs who went onto the MRI table we given praise from the trainers and their owners; dogs who did not do this were ignored.
As expected, most of the dogs wanted praise, so they went straight to the MRI table. This was reinforced over a period of time. They also had to choose the right dog for the task. Some dogs were too impatient for their reward, and therefore could not stay still in the MRI Scanner. It was important to choose dogs that were patient and understood social learning well.
While dogs may be able to undergo the MRI Suite better than some, we do understand the MRI Suite is not the most comfortable place. At Sound Imaging, we offer a number of accessories, such as the MRI Stereo and our CCTV, SAMM System, to make your MRI Suite comfortable.
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