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Child Development Lab

The Child Development Lab at the University of Maryland is conducting studies examining mu rhythm suppression in human infant and child populations. These studies involve subjects observing an experimenter performing an action (observation of action) and then performing the action themselves (execution of action).

We will measure brain activity using EEG while simultaneously video recording the infants' actions -- this will allow us to see exactly what the brain is doing during action observation and execution. Because we are interested in the way mirroring is affected by experience, we will have families come to the lab for two visits. Allowing a one-month period between the EEG sessions will allow us to identify areas of strengthening in the MNS with experience and age.

This research site also has access to a fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) machine at the University of Maryland Neuroimaging Center. In another study, we plan to have school-aged children complete a similar observation-execution task during EEG and fMRI visits. By using multiple methods of examining the brain, we hope to gain a better understanding of the specific location and function of the Mirror Neuron System. Similar to the infant study, we will invite participants back to the lab for follow-up visits two years later.