One way to measure attention is to track a person’s eyes while she or he is looking at a picture or a video! This is a non invasive procedure that uses an infra-red light that shines a small, invisible light on a person’s eye and a special camera that can detect that light. This allows us to track where someone is looking on the screen showing the picture or the video! Usually, we either ask parents to hold their babies while we test them or we let the babies sit in an infant seat or high-chair while the parents are next to them.
Another way to test what children know is to allow them to play a game on an iPad and, while they are playing, ask them to make specific responses to specific questions!
What is an fNIRs? fNIRS stands for Functional Near Infra-Red Spectroscopy ! That’s a fancy way of saying- we use light to detect brain activity. More specifically, we place a lightweight cap which comprises a set of emitters and detectors on the head. The emitters will shine a small harmless near-infrared light toward the brain and the detectors will collect the light that passes through. The recorded changes in the amount of light collected will allow us to study how the brain activates while you are / your child is experiencing sounds, images and learning about the world!
Does this hurt? No! Take a flashlight and place your hand over the light. That’s essentially what we are doing! NIRS is perfectly safe and this technology has several clinical applications. The caps are designed to be a painless and fun experience.
What does EEG stand for? EEG stands for electroencephalography ! That’s a fancy way of saying- we use an array of detectors simply placed on the hair to record the tiny electrical currents generated by the brain ! The detectors are salt based and completely safe!
Does this machine hurt? No! EEG completely safe and it is used on a daily basis in the clinic. This machine is designed to be a painless and enjoyable experience.
What is an fMRI? fMRI stands for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging! That’s a fancy way of saying we use a machine with giant magnets to measure changes in brain activity. More specifically, we have participants lay down on a table that we can put inside the MRI scanner. The scanner will use the magnets inside of it to measure changes in the amount of oxygen in the brain at any given moment during a given task! The recorded changes in the amount of oxygen collected will allow us to study how the brain activates while you or your child is experiencing sounds, images and learning about the world!
Does this hurt? No! fMRI is perfectly safe and this technology has several clinical applications. The machine is designed to be a painless and fun experience.