TitleProgramming in an fMRI Scanner: A Report from the Field
Publication TypeWorkshop Paper
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsTanimoto S
Secondary AuthorsThompson R, Richards T, Yates C, Berninger V
Keywordsaffect, blocks language, brain imaging, coding, experience of programming, fMRI, novice programming, programming, visual programming
AbstractA preliminary study is reported in which six human subjects were scanned while performing a simple form of computer programming. Functional magnetic resonance imaging typically precludes the use of ordinary computing equipment due to safety concerns when items with metallic parts are in the scanning room.We used a special visual programming environment, “Kokopelli’s World,” for which an optics-only trackball was sufficient. This research methodology is described. Aspects of the experience of programming, by one of the authors, in the fMRI scanner are reported. An analysis of the data from the scanning is presented, and brain areas where activity for coding exceeded activity for a control task were identified and are presented here. These observations suggest hypotheses and directions for future research. One hypothesis is that particular aspects of programming are inherently and measurably pleasurable.
Citation Key16329