High-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging of interoception of breathing


Aim of the Study

In this study we investigate how the brain is processing perceptions of breathing-related body signals, and how this is influenced by personality traits, in particular a tendency to anxiety.

Background and purpose

In this project we want to understand the neurobiological mechanisms for the recognition and perception of internal body signals (such as perception of breathing).In particular, we are interested in how psychological properties, such as different levels of anxiety, interact with the brain circuitry involved in this perception. To investigate this, we use high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging.

Examination methods

  • Online-Questionnaires / Questionnaires
  • Lung function tests with a portable breathing system
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Benefits and risks

We would like to inform you that you do not stand to gain direct personal benefits from participation in this experiment. With your study participation you support research and contribute to the development of better diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in future.For your participation in the entire study you will receive a financial expense allowance of approximately CHF 180.-. You will also receive CHF 10.- for the completion of the online questionnaires after the prescreening. Expenses (e.g. travel expenses) will not be reimbursed.

Sequences of the study

  • Filling in the Pre-screening questionnaires (online), duration approx. 15 min
  • Laboratory experiment and practice session for the MRI scan, duration approx. 3 hours
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experiment, duration approx. 2.5 hours

The study takes place in the Translational Neuromodeling Unit at Wilfriedstrasse 6 in Zurich and at the magnetic resonance center at the University Hospital Zurich, Rämistrasse 100, 8091 Zurich, see map.

Inclusion criteria and reimbursement

  • Healthy right- handed adults, male and female (18-40 years)
  • Non-smokers

There are specific inclusion and exclusion criteria that will be checked at the screening directly before the study.
If you take part in the actual experiment, you will receive the following compensation: Participation in the experiment is in total CHF 180.- remunerated for both sessions together (approx. 6 hours). You will also receive CHF 10.- for the completion of the online questionnaire. Expenses (e.g. travel expenses) will not be reimbursed.

Are you interested?

Are you interested in this study? Please use the contact form to get in touch (see left column above).Your data will be handled strictly confidential. If you are interested in a study participation but will not participate in the end, your data recorded for this purpose will be deleted immediately.

Are all questions answered?

If not, please contact directly the project leader Dr. Olivia Faull:

Dr. Olivia Faull
Translational Neuromodeling Unit (TNU)
Institute for Biomedical Engineering
University of Zurich and ETH Zurich
Wilfriedstrasse 6, 8032 Zürich
Telefon: 044 634 91 11
E-Mail: faull(at)biomed.ee.ethz.ch

Please find the complete study information here.