Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI is a noninvasive imaging technique that allows us to look inside the brain while kids are doing math.

To create images of the brain's structure and function, MRI scanners use magnetic fieldselectric field gradients, and radio waves.  

 

MRI does not involve X-rays or ionizing radiation, and is considered a very safe research method. 

MRI FAQ

Video for kids

Video explaining the science

When thinking about getting an MRI, there are two important things to consider:

1) Since the MRI is a big magnet, it is very important to never bring metal into the MRI room. Metal objects (e.g., keys, coins, barrettes) will become projectiles, and metal that is inside bodies (e.g., braces, dental crowns, implants) may move or heat up.

2) The scanner is a tight space and makes loud noises, which people may find uncomfortable.

Every precaution is taken to ensure that each MRI scan at Vanderbilt is safe and as comfortable as possible. Children interact with a mock MRI scanner so that they become comfortable with the scanner's size, shape, and noises before going to the real thing. Scan technicians screen children before they are allowed to go into the MRI environment.

The mock scanner we use for practice!

Behavioral Testing

We use testing easels to assess math, reading, and other cognitive abilities.

Children play math and reading games, solve logic puzzles, and do math problems. 

We use testing easels, computers, iPads, and pencils and paper.

Eye Tracking

Eye trackers measure gaze and eye movements. This helps us figure out how kids are engaging with math symbols and math problems.