NVLD Neuroimaging Research Study

By November 23, 2016Experts Blog

The NVLD Project is supporting a research study on children with NVLD at Columbia University Medical Center. Our goal is to better understand what makes NVLD a distinct diagnosis. We are trying to learn more about how children with NVLD learn and if there are differences in the way that their brains work. In order to do this, we are having children come spend a day at Columbia University Medical Center. The day consists of spending time doing tasks and an MRI scan.

The day starts by me telling you and your child about the work we are doing and getting to know each other! I’ll ask questions about your child, his/her interests and hobbies, how he/she feels about school, and other associated topics.

We will do a variety of activities so I can learn about how your child learns. Some of the activities are similar to what he/she might do in school, like reading, spelling, and some math problems. Other activities may be new. These activities include a couple of computer games, an activity where we make designs with blocks, and an activity where we watch short video clips and talk about them.

The MRI scan is another part of the day that might be new to your child. The MRI is how we can take pictures of the brain to see what it looks like and learn how it works. The MRI is a big machine that looks kind of like a tunnel. Your child will lie down on a padded table that can move in and out of the machine. The machine makes noises when it is taking pictures, so we give him/her headphones and earplugs to make it less noisy. Your child can also listen to music or an audiobook while we take the pictures. The pictures we are taking are like pictures you would take with a regular camera, in that your child has to stay as still as possible so the pictures are not blurry. The time in the machine is broken into chunks, so the pictures last for about 5 minutes at a time.

We hope that you will consider helping our research! If you have any questions or are interested in participating please contact Lauren Thomas at mrilearningstudy@gmail.com or 646-774-5704.

Lauren Thomas

Lauren graduated from the George Washington University in 2012 with a BA in Psychology and a Secondary Degree in Business Administration. As an undergraduate, Lauren was a Research Assistant in the Health Cognitions and Behavior Lab, and studied college student’s thoughts and beliefs about health issues (i.e. skin cancer). Lauren went on to graduate from Teachers College in 2015 with an EdM in School Psychology and a MA in Educational Psychology: Schooling. She now works as a Research Assistant and coordinates Dr. Amy Margolis’ research studies, which investigate learning disabilities in children.

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