Data Collection

Before collecting any data, you must make sure your project and any personnel working on it are covered by the lab’s IRB approval. You also must complete the required training before any human-subject/experimenter interaction takes place. See Human Subjects.

There are additional tutorials and training you must complete in order to conduct fMRI studies.

For subject recruitment, we often use SONA, a tool provided by the Psychology department.

– Make sure you get informed consent from each participant before starting the experiment. Always make sure you have a copy of the IRB stamped lab consent form. Follow instructions on the form carefully. See Human Subjects.
– Remember to ask subjects turn off mobile phones before starting the experiment.
– Restart the computer in your testing room before testing your first subject of the day.
– Check monitor settings such as refresh rate and screen resolution before each session and make sure they are correct for your study.
– Check sound volume if you are presenting auditory stimuli.
– Treat all equipment with care and keep it clean.
– No eating or drinking in the testing rooms. This includes you and the subjects.
– Do not borrow equipment or supplies from testing rooms.
– Do not install any software on testing computers without prior approval.
– Be respectful to other experiments in progress. Refrain from loud talking around the testing rooms. Do not interrupt testing unless there is an emergency.
– Arrive at least 10 minutes before your experiment is scheduled to prepare the room, the computers, and the paperwork.
– Be sure to treat all subjects equally before and during testing in order not to bias their behavior.
– At the end of testing, there should be a debriefing session where you explain the study to the participants and allow them to ask questions. If you are testing the participants in multiple sessions, you should wait until all sessions are completed to explain the details of the study so as to not bias them.
– Be prepared to compensate the participant at the end of the session. Make sure you have either a credit receipt or cash receipt at hand.
– You must enter the subject’s information in the subject database the same day you collect the data. Failure to keep these records is a violation of Human Subjects regulations.

See also: Computers and Software, Human Subjects, EEG, fMRI, Joining the Lab, Research Integrity and Ethics, Lab Notebooks