Neuroimaging Methods

Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS)

Similar to functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), fNIRS measures blood flow changes in the brain, or the hemodynamic response. The CHGD fNIRS system is quiet, small, and motion tolerant — thus making it a child-friendly imaging method. Importantly, fNIRS allows for the study of awake and behaving infants, children, and adults, as well as the study of populations that cannot safely undergo fMRI or EEG. The system uses near infrared light, which can pass into the brain, to detect the changes in blood oxygenation — changes that reflect brain function and brain physiology.


Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

fMRI is an FDA-approved neuroimaging method and is save for use with children and adults who do not have metal implants. During fMRI neuroimaging we ask participants to wear a cap with vitamin E capsules attached to the cap. Participants are asked to lie as still as possible inside the fMRI scanner and watch silent cartoons as we take pictures of their brain for about 20 minutes.

fMRI works by detecting other magnets or “magnetic fields.” Our bodies are made out of water. Water has magnetic particles (protons). The magnet can detect and take pictures of these magnetic particles.