MEG Lab Etiquette

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Laboratory Safety

No matter how important the study, safety always comes first. The usual rules of any lab apply to the MEG, but some additional points unique to using MEG are worth stressing. No measurements should be made prior to reading the following section!

Before entering the MSR

Subjects may not enter the magnetically shielded room (MSR) without signing a consent form. Anyone entering the MSR must first “de-metal” (empty pockets; remove jewelry, watches, wallets, cell phones, beepers, hairclips; leave pens, clipboards etc. outside).
Don’t use paper clips or other small metal objects (staples, etc.) around the MSR; they tend to land on the floor and find their way inside the room.

Dos and Don'ts for MEG


There are a few important things one will need top know before you begin using the MEG machine.

  • Do not open the door to the MEG chamber, the MSR (Magnetically Shielded Room) when MEG acquisition is in session. Opening the MSR during acquisition during session will overload the sensitive SQUIDs and damage the system beyond repair.
  • The MEG machine uses LIQUID HELIUM. It is extremely cold, 4K (-269°C, -452°F). If the helium tank leaks, the liquid helium will immediately boil off. This can cause rapid suffocation and severe frostbite. Handle with care.
  • If you notice anything strange while doing an experiment (i.e., you suspect a helium leak), open the MSR and release the subject immediately. Do not leave the room with a subject in the MSR! Someone must be available for help if the subject suddenly has an attack of illness, or if something unexpected happens.
  • Do not bring ANY magnetic things (This includes belts, keys, watches, coins, bras, hair barrettes and pins, eyeglasses and pieces of clothing with magnetic parts. Objects such as cell phones, pagers, cameras, flashlights, or any other electrical equipment are strictly forbidden.) into the MSR. Strong magnetic fields may cause damage to the MEG sensors.
  • Always check the subjects for any Magnetic material before taking them into the MEG chamber.
  • Subjects who may arrive unprepared will be issued non-magnetic clothing supplied by the hospital.
  • No food or beverage is allowed inside the MSR!! You may bring food/beverage into the lab, but do NOT bring them into the MSR.


Subject Preparation and Experimental Setup

Before beginning any measurement, several steps must be taken to prepare the subject and the acquisition system. An overview of these steps is as follows:

Consenting the Subject

You MUST receive the subject’s consent before he or she can begin the study. Please make two copies of each of this document: one for the subject and one for the MEG lab.


Have the subject empty pockets, remove all jewelry, glasses, wire-bras, etc and take off shoes (see above). All subjects are required to wear hospital-issued pants, and if necessary (due to non-removable metal on shirts), subjects can be provided with tops and robes. Those subjects requiring glasses will be given special non-magnetic frames and lenses. Experimenters should also de-metal to the extent of removing items from pockets, jewelry, ID tags, etc, and most importantly anything electronic. (It is not necessary to remove glasses so long as you do not bring your face especially close to the sensors).