Thursday, August 30, 2012


Today, Finley participated in a study at MIT.  A few months ago, a new friend of mine (an adult with LCA) contacted us because they were running a study looking at children who were blind/vision impaired and how their brains function during certain tests.

So we agreed to participate, and today was our day.  IT was a 5 hour day, but Finley did great.  They did a "mock" scan for one hour to show her what it would be like in the scanner and the sounds she would hear.  She didn't care at all.  She got to listen to music during the whole thing, so she really paid no attention to the whole ordeal.

After the practice, they got her all set up for the real scanner.  I had one of the girls take her picture, so when I get that, I will post it.  She looked pretty cute in all the head gear.  She was a real trooper. She was in the MRI scanner for nearly 1 hour, and she didn't move a muscle.  She had a blindfold on which - personally - I think helped.  And she had earplugs in and was listening to music, and then to the games (tests) they were giving her. 

From what I understand, they are looking for changes in the brain related to music, stories, etc. in kids who are vision impaired.  When kids have missing site, certain parts of the brain are asleep.  Some never start functioning because they aren't used.  What science is showing, though, is that these parts of the brain can be retrained.  It is pretty cool.

After the MRI, we had lunch (courtesy of the MIT neuro folks) and then she did more testing (games and questions with the teacher of the vision impaired there) for another 1 1/2 hours.  Never complained once, and listened to all of the directions.

In the end, she came home with little prizes from being in the MRI and participating in those test, a BIG prize at the end of the day (which was a $50 gift card to Amazon and a brain jello mold), and I told her I would give her $5 toward her goal of getting Kit the American Girl (she only has $10 more to earn).  So all in all, she thought it was a great day.

They sent her home with pictures of her brain.  She is excited that she will get to take them to school to show her friends.  Here is Finley's brain!  At least she has one in that head of hers.

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