[Parentsgroup-list] An unusual and free! activity

Kara Swanson kswanson at fas.harvard.edu
Tue Mar 24 16:41:41 EDT 2009

Apologies if I posted this earlier, but I was just informed that they 
are currently seeking 5 and 6 year olds particularly:

There is a neurobiology lab at MIT doing brain scans on kids for a study 
on memory. For kids who are interested in science and/or the body, it is 
a cool and unique experience. I took my 8 year old a few weeks ago. The 
lab administrator is a mom of twins, and the whole set up is well-geared 
to kids, with kid-friendly furniture and decor, and snacks. I thought 
the research staff did an excellent job with the kids, with lots of 
intermediate feedback (stamps and stickers), and at the end, you get to 
play around with the 3D images of your brain on their computer. (The big 
highlight!) It is a challenge for some to hold still in the scanner for 
6 minutes at a time (total scan time about 30 minutes), but there is a 
practice scanner where they try it out ahead of time (plus the kids get 
to put a plush monkey in the real scanner first) and the kids have 
things to do during the scan (the purpose of the study is to collect 
data on brain activity while performing certain cognitive tasks, so the 
scanner is making a movie of blood flows in the subject's brain). The 
younger boy who was finishing up ahead of us was very enthusiastic, and 
my daughter had a great time. She was rewarded with a beautiful book on 
the brain, which she took to school for sharing and bragging rights.

It certainly brightened a wintry week for us.

They don't tell you this ahead of time, but there is also an Amazon gift 
certificate as a reward that will come in handy for birthday shopping, 
if your kid is young enough to let you have it! And they'll give you a 
parking permit to park right next to the building!

The information is here: http://saxelab.mit.edu/kids/Kids/Kids_Home.html 
There is an email to contact the lab recruiter to set up an appointment 
or ask questions.


Kara W. Swanson, B.S., M.A., J.D.
kswanson at fas.harvard.edu

Raoul Berger – Mark DeWolfe Howe Legal History Fellow
Harvard Law School
Cambridge, MA 02138

Ph.D. Candidate, History of Science
Harvard University 
Science Center 371
Cambridge, MA 02138

More information about the Parentsgroup-list mailing list