CAT scan, despite its name*, doesn't really involve any cat. Well, Manxiu Ma and collages from the Human Brain Mapping Center at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing are fixing that.
Kerri Smith of Nature's newsblog spotted the experiment in a recent science poster session at the Organization for Human Brain Mapping meeting:
The poster tells me that the cats were surgically fitted with specially designed helmets that sent and picked up the MRI signal. The researchers then monitored the degree of motion while the cats were held in place in a chair (see picture), looking at a chequered screen.
Unsurprisingly the cats were far from catatonic – they moved around a fair bit. But the researchers clawed back a result and showed that they were able to process this movement out, removing the noise from their data.
*I know, I know. "Computed Axial Tomography" scan, or this cute Tumblr blog.