NIMH MEG Core Facility

National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland


User Information

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Using the MEG Core Facility

Currently, the MEG Core Facility is a shared resource between NIMH (70%) and NINDS (30%). Researchers from these institutes may use the facility free of charge. Outside collaborations are possible with researchers from one of these two institutes.

Becoming a New User

The following steps are required to gain initial access to the facility.

1. Obtain Protocol Approval

  • Users are required to have an NIH IRB-approved protocol describing the intended MEG research.

2. Request a User Account

  • A Facility Access Request form must be filled out to establish a user account. Accounts are given on an individual basis; every member of a lab or group who needs access must fill out this form. Filling out this request will initiate the process of establishing a user account ID and password.
  • The account will give you access to the scheduling calendar and also provide access to the MEG Core Facility data storage system. All request must be sent electronically.
  • The account ID information will be emailed to the email address provided in the Facility Access Request Form generally within 24 hours, if not please contact the MEG Core Facility at 301/402–2362 or 402–2445.
  • Established users with new protocols will be required to complete a "new" Facility Access Request for each new protocol indicating the new protocol number and intended research.

3. Attend MEG Orientation

New users will be given a tour of the facility, at which time the operation of the scanner, facility rules, etc., will be discussed. Issues related to experimental design, data analysis, etc., are also open for discussion, and generally the staff will schedule a further meeting where these issues can be discussed in more detail.

Returning Users

Returning users with established accounts and protocols who wish to carry out a new study, are requested to fill out the Facility Access Request form again, so that we can keep track of the studies being performed.

Setting Up Your Experiment

1. TASK DESIGN - Users must make an appointment with the MEG Director and/or MEG Staff Scientist to provide a description of the research study design including information regarding:

  • Setup requirements,
  • Software and
  • Equipment needs.

2. TASK SETUP - Users must schedule a time to test their task / paradigm, equipment, software, etc. via the MEG Web Calendar.

  • When scheduling indicate that the appointment is for a "system test".
  • Indicate whether assistance is needed with programming / scripting the stimulus program.
  • Indicate whether technical support is needed - i.e., training or assistance with EEG/EP electrode placement or setup.
  • If you have a specific electrode setup or placement and require assistance you must provide a detailed description of your setup.
  • Also you must check with the staff scientist to assure his availability.


  • Most protocols will require a pilot study to test equipment, paradigms / programs and refine procedures with a test subject. Users must provide their own volunteer subject; if this is an external volunteer, he.she must be consented according to IRB guidelines.
  • Pilot Studies must be scheduled via the MEG Web Calendar. Please indicate in the description that time is being requested for a "pilot study".

The MEG Core Facility Staff can assist you in task design, programming, and other aspects of actually running your experiment and analyzing the data. Please see the Design, Programming, Pilot, and other pages of this section, as well as the MEG Information section, for more details.

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Page last modified on September 30, 2010, at 03:56 PM
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