UCL News


Participants sought for neuropsychology research project

21 February 2013

Healthy young people (aged 5-16 years) are wanted to take part in a UCL research project: Neuroimaging investigations of language to aid paediatric neurosurgical decision-making.


What is involved?
Participants will visit UCL for neuropsychological assessment (intelligence and language). They will also have the opportunity to visit Great Ormond Street Hospital for a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scan. MRI is a safe brain scan, which uses magnetism to create a picture of the brain.

As a thank you for their time and co-operation, participants will receive a £10 gift voucher and a picture of their brain to take home.

If you are interested and would like further information please contact me directly:
Lucy Palmer, BSc
UCL Institute of Child Health
Developmental Cognitive Neurosciences Unit
30 Guilford Street

Tel: 020 7905 2729
Email: l.pamer.12@ucl.ac.uk

Project summary
We have developed a set of child-friendly and developmentally-appropriate language games for children aged between 5 and 16 years, called the 'Panda Games'. These games can be performed inside a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scanner to identify parts of the brain supporting language.

This information is extremely important. Firstly, it can help us understand how the typical language network develops during childhood. Secondly, for children with very severe epilepsy, language brain scans can be used to help doctors plan neurosurgical treatment. This surgery aims to improve quality of life by reducing seizure frequency, but relies on accurate mapping of language cortex prior to surgery to avoid language deficits after surgery.

This project aims to trial the 'Panda Games' in a sample of 40 healthy children (aged 5-16 years) in order to: assess their accuracy identifying language cortex and provide a better understanding of how the typical language network develops during childhood. Information about the typically developing language network can help us understand how language may be affected by epileptic seizures and brain injury.

This research project is funded by the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and the Child Health Research Appeal Trust, and has been approved by the London-Queens Square Research Ethics Committee.