Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a safe, non-invasive technique that shows us how the brain works. The MRI scanner uses magnets, radio waves and computers to produce very clear pictures of the human brain. An fMRI scan involves lying on a table, which slides part way into the tube. When in the tube, you will perform computer reading games while your brain activity is recorded.What exactly is fMRI?
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a safe, non-invasive technique that shows us how the brain works. The MRI scanner uses magnets, radio waves and computers to produce very clear pictures of the human brain. An fMRI scan involves lying on a table, which slides part way into the tube. When in the tube, you will perform computer reading games while your brain activity is recorded.
Is MRI safe?
MRI is absolutely safe for children, and has been a fun and learning experience for our family of participants.Can anyone have an fMRI scan?
Most people can have an fMRI scan. However, the MRI machine is a big magnet there are some metal items that would restrict you from participating, like dental braces or a permanent retainer. Here is a more complete list of types of metal that would disqualify someone from participating:
Are some kinds of metal OK?
Anything non-ferrous is safe. We have a magnetic detector here to check if there is any doubt.What if I wear glasses?
It is okay if you wear glasses with metal frames, because we can provide prescription glasses with plastic frames just as a “loaner” during the scan. If you are able to, please bring along the prescription information for your glasses.How should I dress? Will I have to wear any special clothing?
You should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing (no dresses or skirts), but keep in mind that metal must be avoided in or near the region where you are going to be scanned. Other kids usually like to wear a t-shirt and sweatpants. Don't worry. If you don't have suitable clothing, we will give you a gown.Does it hurt? Will I feel anything?
It is completely painless. You won't feel anything.Will I hear any noise during the scan?
You will hear a knocking and beeping sound during the scan. To make sure your ears are protected, you will wear earplugs. There is a two-way intercom system providing communication between you and research team. We will play you the noises prior to the reading games (during the training phase).Can someone else stay with me in the MRI scanner room?
Absolutely. One of the researchers will be with you all the time.What will I do in the scanner?
You will play reading games presented on a computer screen. For example, you will be asked whether two words rhyme. You will have an fMRI scan while you do these reading activities. Your appointment will last approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Most of the time is just to let you become familiar with the reading activities and get to know us and our furry researchers Dr. Bunny and his friend Froggy!How long will it take?
Normally, the entire scan takes between 30 and 45 minutes.Do I have to lie very still?
Yes – as still as you can. The more still you are during the scan, the better the MRI image will come out. As you know from your camera at home, moving causes blurring in a picture. The same is true for our camera.What to expect:
You will be dressed in comfortable clothes and you will lay down on a bed where you will try to be as still as you can.
You will hold a game controller in your hands for playing the computer games.
You will wear a mirror holder around your head - the mirror is what you will allow you to be able to see the computer screen to play the games.
You will wear earphones to protect your ears.
You will always have an adult with you to keep you company while you're in the scanner. If you like, you can take Froggy in the scanner too! .
Screening questions for parents:
Does your child have any metal? (e.g. a permanent dental retainer, braces, cochlear implant, etc.)
Does your child wear glasses? (if so, please try to obtain the prescription information)
Is your child right-handed or left-handed?
Is your child a native English speaker?
Is your child afraid of enclosed spaces?
Does your child have a diagnosis of any kind?
Is your child taking any medications?
Still have questions? Please email us!