When you come in to our center we will first explain the whole study to you and your child in detail. You will have the opportunity to discuss with our researchers any questions you have about the procedure before agreeing to proceed with the study.
MRI is a safe procedure but it does require that your child has no embedded metal objects such as pins, plates, or pacemakers in her/his body. We will ask you to fill out a screening questionnaire on behalf of your child to screen your child for MRI safety. We will also gather information about your child's personal and language background.
Just like photographs taken with regular cameras, brain images get very blurry if the person moves while the images are being taken. It is crucial that your child stays still in the MRI to increase the clarity of their brain images. We will help your child to be relaxed and comfortable in the scanner.
Before your child goes into the MRI scanner, we will first make sure that your child is familiar and comfortable with the scanner and the procedures. We have a mock scanner room where your child will be free to explore a realistic replica of the brain scanner, but without the magnet. We will also practice the tasks that your child will be doing inside the scanner so that your child will be prepared and relaxed.
What To Expect During The Visit
Below is a break down of the steps that will take place during your child's visit
to the imaging center.
In the MRI, when we are not doing tasks with your child, we will show him/her cartoons or movies. Before the scan session, your child will get to pick out a cartoon or a movie. You are also welcome to bring your child’s favorite movie on a DVD! Just make sure to give it to one of our researchers as soon as you arrive for your scanning session.
For the brain scanning session, your child will lay down on a bed in the MRI scanner. Your child will see words and movies on a mirror display positioned above their head to do the tasks and watch her/his favorite movie or cartoon. There will be some knocking noises while the scanner is working, but we will provide her/him with headphones so that the noise will not cause any discomfort. During the whole time your child is in the scanner, we will be able to observe your child through a closed-circuit camera. Your child will also be able to talk to us at any time using the microphone built into the scanner. We will also give your child an emergency squeeze button so that s/he can get our attention at any time. We will communicate with your child throughout the experiment. If necessary, one of our researchers will stay in the scanner room with your child during the scanner session. Your child will spend 50 to 70 minutes total in the scanner.
After the brain scanning session, your child will have a rest/snack time. Then we will do some more tasks with your child outside of the MRI.
After we are done, you are free to enjoy Chicago's many attractions. Please see our "Fun After Visit" page for more details.
Don’t forget to visit our Fun After Visit page for more information about family-activities you can do in downtown Chicago when we are all done!