What resources are there for consumers who wish to get a detailed analysis of their personal brain function? (besides consumer EEG machines...)

That is, how do I get access to an fMRI scan? What's the current price range for such a thing? Do I have to be a grad student/researcher?

Furthermore, how do I get a detailed analysis of anything that could be interesting/out of the ordinary?

  • $\begingroup$ I provided an answer, but I am a little skeptical if this question is on topic. $\endgroup$ Feb 8 '12 at 18:28
  • $\begingroup$ Mind explaining why? I kinda see, but more detailed thoughts would help clear it up... $\endgroup$
    – BenCole
    Feb 8 '12 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ it is not a question about research in cogsci. It is not even a question that is useful for doing research in cogsci. $\endgroup$ Feb 8 '12 at 18:31
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    $\begingroup$ True...it's more of a .... "how does a person get personally involved in a subset of research" question. It's difficult, and I'd personally say it's on-topic mostly because I can't think of anywhere else it would be on-topic... But I'm baised because it's my question. :D $\endgroup$
    – BenCole
    Feb 8 '12 at 18:33
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    $\begingroup$ "I'd personally say it's on-topic mostly because I can't think of anywhere else it would be on-topic" is a very bad justification and should never be used to determine scoping. I am just worried that this question borders on self-help, but maybe we should discuss this in more detail on meta. $\endgroup$ Feb 8 '12 at 18:39

The easiest way to get an fMRI (and many other brain) scan is to volunteer to be a participant at your local university, hospital, or research center. They will let you keep a picture of your brain, provide some interesting information at de-briefing, and usually even give a bit of monetary compensation for your time. Since the research group has to have an MD on board in order to do these tests, they will also notify you if they detect something abnormal or dangerous in your scan. The only caveat is that the selection criteria for being a participant are usually a little bit more involved than in a standard psychological study. Thus, you might have to volunteer for a few studies before you are selected.

If you want further analysis, you might consider companies like this. There you can submit your brainscans after you've received them for further analysis.

  • $\begingroup$ Free brain scans and free money? How can I resist!? :D $\endgroup$
    – BenCole
    Feb 8 '12 at 18:30
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    $\begingroup$ Although I will say that something would have to be pretty bad in your scan for an MD or other qualified professional to say something about it. Normally, if you ask questions like "How does my brain compare to others," they'll direct you to a professional (who would want another scan). $\endgroup$ Feb 8 '12 at 18:48
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    $\begingroup$ Also, be sure to ask (ideally ahead of time) for a copy of the raw anatomical data, not simply a print-out of a few slices. Bring a high-capacity USB stick to store it on. $\endgroup$ Feb 8 '12 at 19:45

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