Neuroscientists at Stanford University are seeking second- and third-grade children for a study of how math skills develop in kids -- with and without math difficulties -- as a result of math tutoring.
Children will be asked to solve math problems while having their brains scanned with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Researchers are seeking both typically developing children and children with math learning disabilities.
The project is aimed at advancing the state of behavioral, cognitive and neuroscience research in the area of symbolic, numerical and mathematical reasoning and learning, according to its website.
The goal is to understand the neural basis of mathematical difficulties, and to develop "brain-based methods and evidence" to help improve math skills in people with learning disabilities, the website said.
The MRI is a non-invasive medical imaging technique typically used to visualize the internal structure and function of the body.
Participants in the math study will watch videos while undergoing a "structural" MRI to take a picture of the brain. That will be followed by a "functional" MRI, during which the child will do math problems while blood-flow responses related to neural activity are measured.
A child will be in the scanner for about an hour and a half, and will receive a picture of his or her brain as well as $50 for each scan.
According to Stanford's Math Brain website, the MRI is a "safe, FDA-approved non-invasive procedure.
"Since 2005, over 120 children ages 7-9 have safely completed MRI scans for the Stanford Math Brain Project," the website said.
The Math Brain Project has developed a video using the Sesame Street character Elmo to help kids prepare for the MRI scan.
For more information, visit the Math Brain Project website or contact Leslie McNeil at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-736-0128.