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Optical imaging technologies have the ability to monitor changes in cerebral bloodoxygenation 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 while children and adults interact with each other. Specifically, we are interested in how brain areas, such as the prefrontal cortex and parietal cortex, change their activity patterns in response to interaction with others in an emotional manner. This research is unique and innovative in that it examines brain development in parents and their young children (as young as 3 years), who are unable to participate in other forms of neuroimaging research.

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