UCL News


Participants needed for research study about the developing functions of the human brain

29 August 2013

Are you expecting a baby or have you recently had a baby and could help us with our research?  An exciting study about the developing functions of the human brain is in progress at the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, NHS Foundation Trust.

We aim to study healthy babies as part of a research project that tracks the emergence and early development of memory and movement coordination.

Our aim is to relate the development of these functions to brain activity as measured by EEG, and brain structure and function as measured by MRI. Information obtained from the group of healthy babies will then be compared with those from babies with heart and lung disease who may have had brain injury as neonates due to lack of oxygen to the brain. This comparison will allow us to determine if the young infants with heart/lung disease are developing differently from normal. Participation of your healthy baby will enable us to make this comparison to benefit the diagnosis of early problems in the young patients, and hopefully lead, in due course, to provision of appropriate help and support for them.

We are looking for healthy babies who are 2-4 months old to take part in our study. Our study will involve observing your infant's memory and movement abilities while she/he looks at pictures, listens to sounds and plays with toys; we would also like to measure brain activity using EEG while your infant watches pictures or listens to sounds. We will also take pictures of your baby's brain with an MRI scanner. All of these examinations are harmless and do not cause discomfort for your baby. Your visit might last a few hours to give your baby time to eat and take breaks for sleep as needed. After this first visit, we would contact you again when your baby is about 18-36 months old for a further visit which would involve similar activities but designed to be interesting and engaging for an older child.

Travel and lunch expenses will be refunded and you will receive a voucher for a book or toy for your baby as a token of our appreciation for you and your child's help with our research. 

This research has been approved by the London- Hampstead Research Ethics Committee (REC Reference No.12/LO/1425).

If interested, please contact me: Tel. 020 7905 2730 E-mail: e.patai@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Eva Zita Patai, Research Associate, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health