Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Measuring brain activity in premature infants

Date:
January 29, 2014
Source:
Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE)
Summary:
A procedure to identify newborns and children at-risk for developmental problems, especially those born prematurely has been published. The technique is an infant friendly way of measuring brain activity using non-traditional methods, and it will aid in the invention of treatment strategies leveraging neural plasticity present in the first three years of life.

In this image, an infant’s brain activity is measured while tactile stimulation, in the form of air puffs, is administered to the child’s hand. The goal of this research technique is to identify and develop treatments for mental disabilities commonly associated with premature birth.
Credit: JoVE — The Journal of Visualized Experiments

On January 29, JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, will publish a procedure to identify newborns and children at-risk for developmental problems, especially those born prematurely. The technique is an infant friendly way of measuring brain activity using non-traditional methods, and it will aid in the invention of treatment strategies leveraging neural plasticity present in the first three years of life.

"This new methodology has recently been used to investigate cortical processing of touch and speech sounds in a large group of full-term and preterm neonates," said Dr. Nathalie Maitre, one of the two researchers behind the experiment, "It has also been used to characterize the effect of neuro-rehabilitation in the brains of young children with cerebral palsy." Dr. Maitre also said that its application could lead to wider adaptations in treating infants and adolescents with brain injuries, for example, or in addressing abnormal sensory experiences in the neonatal period during intensive care hospitalization.

According to the article, such studies on the developing cortical sensory processes are essential for understanding the basis of most higher order functions in the brain. "Sensory experiences are responsible for much of the brain's organization through infancy and childhood, laying the foundation for complex processes such as cognition, communication, and motor development," the authors wrote. They said that most sensory studies focus on auditory and visual stimulation since they are easy to test, but that the tactile processing is of particular interest in children as it is the first sense to develop in the growing fetus.

The article, a collaboration between Dr. Maitre and Dr. Alexandra Key of Vanderbilt University, explains how to pair a tactile stimulus, puffs of air, with a method called Event-Related Potential (ERP). The ERP technique reports electrophysiological responses in the brain using a net of electrodes fitted over a child's head. The authors also describe how to measure the electrophysiological response to speech when paired with tactile stimulation.

Dr. Maitre said that the technique is unlike traditional sensory research systems, like MRI and electrical median nerve stimulation, because it is well suited for infants and children. "Other techniques require use of painful or invasive stimuli and often require active subject participation, which would not be possible in babies or vulnerable subjects," she said.

The researchers hope that their JoVE video-article will better familiarize the field with the benefits of their ERP approach. "One of the major problems in getting people to use ERP methodology is that scientists do not often realize how rapid, non-invasive and child-friendly it is," said Dr. Maitre, "JoVE was an ideal format to conclusively show this, as the baby and child in the video were clearly comfortable with this rapid procedure."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nathalie L. Maitre, Alexandra P. Key. Quantitative Assessment of Cortical Auditory-tactile Processing in Children with Disabilities. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2014; (83) DOI: 10.3791/51054

Cite This Page:

Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE). "Measuring brain activity in premature infants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140129091745.htm>.
Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE). (2014, January 29). Measuring brain activity in premature infants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140129091745.htm
Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE). "Measuring brain activity in premature infants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140129091745.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins