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Optical imaging technologies have the ability to monitor changes in cerebral blood oxygenation within the brain using non-invasive measurements of optical absorption changes. This technique uses nonionizing, low wattage, visible and near-infrared light sources to make time-resolved spectroscopic measurements of the brain based on the diffusion of light through the head. The goal of this study is to image the awake, behaving, human brain across development, while children perform tasks related to emotion and cognition. Specifically, we are interested in how brain areas, such as the prefrontal cortex and parietal cortex, develop in correlation with increasing social and cognitive abilities. This research is unique and innovative in that it examines brain development in young children (as young as 2 years) who are unable to participate in other forms of neuroimaging research.



THE BRAINY KIDS STUDY