Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides an excellent noninvasive method for imaging of the human body, though it presents a critical problem of loud machine noise during scanning which prevents the subjects from being able to listen to auditory stimuli. In this report, we describe a method of auditory stimulus presentation in an MRI system in which a bone-conduction speaker system is used to reduce exposure to airborne noise while maintaining effective auditory stimulation. The results indicate that this method guarantees high-quality MRI structural data during vowel production in phonation-synchronized MRI scans. The method is also shown to be beneficial for functional MRI (fMRI) experiments: activation patterns were equivalent to those of conventional air-conduction systems with less noise exposure.
2007 by The Acoustical Society of Japan