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The Dog Project Prepares a New Class of MRI Dogs
November 6, 2016
The Dog Project, the first research team to successfully train any non-human animal to take an MRI without sedation or restraints, is now preparing its Echo Team of MRI Dogs. After graduating the Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta teams in Atlanta; scanning 50 dogs on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley; receiving funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR); creating Dog Star Technologies, LLC, a company co-owned by CPT’s Mark Spivak and Emory Professor Gregory Berns; receiving 3 contracts from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) totaling $1.6 million; and contracting with private vendors interested in using Dog Star’s proprietary canine fMRI technology, the group is ready for more MRI-ready dogs.
The Echo team includes a number of stellar human and canine participants. They started their training in October 2016 and more than half the group will be ready to graduate to their first live fMRI in January 2017. After passing their introductory MRI, they will participate in an experiment that evaluates olfactory learning. The experiment is practical for understanding the cognitive process of explosives and narcotics detection dogs and other dogs that work in scent detection roles.
Below we feature a few of the outstanding Echo Team members. In February or March we will be scheduling tryouts for the Foxtrot Team of MRI Dogs. If you believe your dog has what it takes to become an MRI Dog, we welcome you to participate in the Foxtrot tryout. To participate in the Foxtrot tryout, please send an email to: Ashley.Prichard@emory.edu.