Requesting Use of the CATSS/MSP Lab

The Multi-Sensory Perception Laboratory is intended for research groups associated with the University of Minnesota conducting IRB-approved research. Due to funding from the CATSS/MSP Lab's startup grants, use of the lab is currently free. Please submit a New User Application if you would like to use the facility. Once approved, scheduling of the lab is handled using x500 access to shared Google-Apps calendars. Contact the CATSS/MSP Lab Coordinator ([email protected]) for more information about the CATSS/MSP Lab and its resources, or to request access to either the lab or the booking calendars.

For most researchers, access to the CATSS/MSP Lab can be granted shortly after they have been given a brief orientation to the lab's equipment and policies. For undergraduate students, keycard access is generally given only after sufficient supervised training in CATSS has occurred, and provided that there is a reasonable justification for the student to have after-hours or solo access to the lab. (Download the undergraduate access request form.)

Usage Guide for the CATSS/MSP Lab Space and Equipment

Thank you for your interest in the Multi-Sensory Perception Lab, a multi-user research space located in S22/S30/S41 Elliott Hall. This document provides general guidelines for courteous and efficient usage of the lab space.

Zero-State of the Lab Space

Users are expected to restore the lab space to its original condition after each session, removing any equipment that may have been brought into the space and returning any that was taken out. Since this is a multi-user space, each CATSS user may not know how to properly handle or care for the equipment that others are using. Returning the space to a zero state after each user session helps ensure that no equipment is accidentally mishandled and that users can rely on certain equipment settings. Zero-state specifications for certain lab equipment are available in the lab's wiki pages, along with technical guides.

Scheduling Policies

General Guidelines:

  • When adding sessions on the CATSS' shared Google calendar, please name the event with your CATSS Project ID first, followed by any other additional information you'd like (e.g., "MSP-001: EEG Training"). Since the calendar is currently viewable to anyone on our website, do not include subject names in your event description.
  • Booked sessions must include sufficient time for set up and clean up, in addition to the actual running of the experiment. If you are unsure of how long a session may take, it is recommended that you book more time than necessary in order to avoid disrupting a session that may be booked immediately following yours.
  • Scheduling of the lab is first-come-first-served; however, experiment building/piloting should be booked within the upcoming two weeks as much as possible to allow for subject scheduling to be done farther out on the calendar.
  • Be mindful of your booked sessions and remove them from the calendar as soon as possible if unable to attend.
  • Please direct all questions regarding the scheduling of other groups to the CATSS/MSP Lab Coordinator ([email protected]). To avoid confusion, please avoid contacting the individual groups directly.

Scheduling Quotas:

  • Each research group (faculty PI) is limited to 20 hours per booth on a given week (measured from Sunday to Saturday).
  • When scheduling more than two weeks in advance, each group is limited to 12 hours per week during the lab's peak hours (8 am-6 pm, Mon-Fri).

Scheduling of Research Participants:

  • Prior to the scheduling of participants for new projects (or for substantial changes to existing projects), a rough estimate and timeline of scheduling must be provided to the CATSS Lab Coordinator. (This information is not required for experiment building/piloting, but is encouraged.) Projects with time-sensitive scheduling or other special considerations should provide as much advance notice as possible to ensure the availability of the lab. (Download the "Subject Scheduling Timeline" form.)
  • The calendar beyond two weeks from the present date should be reserved for the scheduling of confirmed subjects. i.e., Please avoid blocking off time with the expectation that non-specific subjects could be run.
  • Please try not to book only morning or only afternoon sessions. If a group books up all afternoons, it can severely limit other groups' scheduling options when a particular subject only has afternoons available.

Backups & Subject Privacy

The CATSS/MSP Lab's computers will occasionally have complete system images saved; however, this is not meant for backing up the experiments and data of individual groups. Users of the CATSS/MSP Lab are responsible for backing up their own files offsite.

It is essential that all data generated at the CATSS/MSP Lab must be de-identified. At no time can personal identifiers, such as name, date of birth, or address, be stored with the data files. (Visit the Institutional Review Board website for more information.)

Role of Lab Staff

The staff of the CATSS/MSP Lab are familiar with the operation and general capabilities of the equipment and are able to assist you in familiarizing yourself with proper care and operation; however, lab staff may not be able to provide you with detailed insight into experimental design or complex usage of equipment and software specific to your research.


Please contact the CATSS/MSP Lab Coordinator ([email protected]) for more information about the CATSS/MSP Lab and its resources, for assistance with equipment operation, or to request access to either the lab or the booking calendar.