Functional Imaging to Develop Outstanding Service-Dogs (FIDOS)

Period of Performance: 07/22/2014 - 07/21/2016


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

iK9, LLC
1246 1st Avenue Suite 402
Columbus, GA -
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Auburn University
310 Samford Hall
Auburn, AL 36849
Institution POC


IK9, LLC, and Auburn University shall collaborate in the development of prototype procedures for conducting cognitive neuroscience studies employing fMRI imaging of the brains of unrestrained dogs while they are in an awake and responsive state. IK9 is an international leader in innovative working dog training, handler instruction, and K9 team operations and management. Auburn s Canine Detection Research Institute (CDRI) has been a principal resource for detector dog related research and development for over 20 years. Auburn s MRI Research Center has state-of-the-art MRI instrumentation and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) capabilities. Auburn is engaged in the imaging of unrestrained, awake dogs to investigate cognitive aspects of olfaction. In Phase 1 of this project we shall: Extend and refine training procedures for fMRI brain imaging of awake, unrestrained dogs; develop transmissible protocols for applying these training procedures; explore the feasibility of cognitive neuroscience and imaging experimental procedures for examining qualities indicative of a dog being an exemplary candidate for working tasks and TBI/PTSD therapeutic roles, and; examine the feasibility of adapting experimental/imaging procedures as well as continue development of a custom canine head coil for Auburn s 7T MRI instrument.