How does the scanner work?

What is an fMRI scan?

fMRI refers to “functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging”. It is a modern technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to take pictures of the brain. No X-rays or ionizing  rays are involved. After specialized analysis of the images it is possible to see which part of the brain works hardest to achieve a certain behavior (e.g. recognizing written words). The possibility to visualize brain activity during the processing of language makes it a unique and very important tool for reading and dyslexia research. Without this technique we would not be able to find out where and how the brain processes words and sounds. The scan is completely  painless and there are no known health risks associated with fMRI. Our pediatric imaging team will take a lot of care to optimally prepare your child for the MRI experiment.

What is an EEG measurement?

EEG stands for “electroencephalography”. It is a commonly used method with which we measure the electric activity that is automatically generated when a brain region is active. To measure this brain activity, participants wear a cap that contains electrodes. The signals that are detected by these electrodes are analyzed with specific software after which we can precisely follow when different brain areas are active during the performance of a task such as reading. Whereas fMRI tells us which brain areas are most active, the EEG gives us information on the time-course of this activity.