(From the abstract)
In the following manuscript I demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) laboratory course at an undergraduate liberal arts college without internal scanning facilities and with very modest resources, based on my recent experience implementing such a course using the textbook Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Sinauer Associates, Inc., 2004). I discuss how specific topics were incorporated into lectures, including MR hardware and physics, the physiological basis of the MR signal, data acquisition, fMRI experimental design, and the preprocessing and statistical analysis of fMRI data. I also discuss how I implemented laboratory sessions that allowed students individually to analyze freely available, existing fMRI data sets. I summarize how these laboratory sessions were implemented using existing campus computer clusters, requiring only minimal software expenditures. Finally, I describe how students were able to design their own research project and collect pilot fMRI data through collaborations with researchers at a larger institution. This type of course can be implemented at virtually any institution with proper planning and preparation and is an excellent opportunity to provide advanced undergraduate students with a first-hand appreciation of one of the fastest growing techniques for research in cognitive neuroscience.