A magnetic resonance imaging-safe method for the study of human eyeblink conditioning

Jerillyn S. Kent, D. Michael Bailey, Jennifer M. Vollmer, Sharlene D. Newman, Amanda R. Bolbecker, Brian F. O'Donnell, William P. Hetrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Eyeblink conditioning (EBC) is a widely used translational probe of cerebellar function in both humans and non-human animals. Decades of animal research have identified the cerebellum as critical for EBC. While there is evidence for the involvement of the cerebellum in human EBC, the neural circuitry of EBC in healthy humans has yet to be fully elucidated. The purpose of this study was to design and validate a highly customisable system for EBC stimulus presentation and response recording using infrared (IR) reflectance suitable for use in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) environments; in this way, the neural activity of EBC could be investigated using fMRI in humans. Four participants underwent delay EBC and simultaneous fMRI. The results indicate (1) a high signal-to-noise ratio in the IR reflectance data that effectively quantifies the eyeblink morphology and timing and (2) evidence of conditioning in the fMRI environment. The quality of the data, the feasibility of conducting EBC experiments in the fMRI environment, and the customisability of the current system to fit a variety of EBC experimental design parameters are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-21
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2013


  • Cerebellum
  • Eyeblink conditioning
  • FMRI
  • Infrared
  • Translational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A magnetic resonance imaging-safe method for the study of human eyeblink conditioning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this