Technology that Opens a Window into Babies’ Developing Brains

baby brain

 A new setup at the University of Washington combines a cap to monitor head position (top) and the Magnetoencephalography (MEG) (bottom) lets researchers use it on infants and young children.

A maelstrom of neural connections develop in a child’s brain during the first five years of life. Understanding how interconnected circuits develop, and how babies think, could lead to a host of new insights into everything from autism to language acquisition. But gathering such information has been tricky: infants can’t be ordered to stay motionless, which is required for most advanced neuroimaging techniques. Now a system that works in concert with existing imaging machinery can account for head movement and, for the first time, let researchers see detailed activity in an active baby’s brain.

 

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