8 surprising things people have done in MRI scanners—from opera to magic

MRI might be best used as a critical diagnostic tool for radiologists, but outside of the specialty, researchers have used the powerful machines to image patients’ brains while they do things from play video games to write music.

Mental Floss topped its list with a 2016 study in which opera legend Michael Volle was asked to sing opera inside an MRI at the University of Freiburg. Volle, who sang from the German opera Tannhauser, was one of 12 professional singers asked to belt out a tune during an MRI trial aimed at studying vocal tract movements.

Another study tested humans’ empathy for artificial intelligence (AI), or robots. During imaging, patients were subjected to film in which a human hand either cared for or abused a robot dinosaur, and scientists studied brain patterns to ultimately find people can have a soft spot for AI.

Other tests involved patients having reported out-of-body experiences, going to the bathroom and composing music while in the MRI chamber, Mental Floss reported.

Read the full list below: