Public Engagement Innovation Grant – Understanding MRI (part 2)

Understanding MRI (Part 2) 

Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging Public Engagement Innovation Fund – £2,000

In 2020, members of the PhysicsImaging SupportqMAP-PD and PLORAS teams from across the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging (WCHN) came together to deliver a multi-disciplinary public engagement project. Together with volunteers who participate in the Centre’s research, they co-created an animation to explain a core aspect of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

This animation, What is functional MRI?, can be viewed here. Its main aim was to explain MRI technology and alleviate the worries of members of the public who attend the Centre to have an MRI brain scan for research. The team took on the challenge of creating an animation which strikes a tricky balance between maintaining a high level of scientific accuracy while also ensuring the final product remains both accessible and engaging. You can read more about the project here.

Due to the success of this first animation, the Understanding MRI team were successfully awarded a second WCHN Public Engagement grant to create two more animations, alongside research volunteers.

The topics of the two additional videos were selected based on a survey that was sent to nearly 200 research participants and volunteers. It aimed to discover which MRI-related questions they found most interesting and salient. The results showed there was most interest in two topics: Safety and Experience of having an MRI, and the advantages of using MRI. Therefore the second stage of the project will co-create two animations which focus on explaining these two topics. As with the first animation, the second phase of animations will be co-developed with research participants and volunteers, and illustrator, Alice Haskell.  These will be published in 2022.