Developmental trajectories of intervention efficacy: multimodal and portable neuroimaging

Project Number

Project Duration
December 2015 - November 2016


Helping children with learning difficulties may require the effective tailoring or matching of interventions to subgroups of children. Some findings suggest that it is important to examine the neurofunctional profiles of such children, as well as to validate interventions with neuroscientific evidence. However, neurofunctional data is rarely, if ever examined in most educational interventions. The Full Proposal aims to address this problem by developing a neuroimaging complement to a school-based intervention for children with difficulties in mathematics. In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, our Education and Cognitive Development Lab is planning an intervention which includes different strategies for subgroups of children requiring Learning Support for Mathematics (LSM). The study to be proposed in the Final Proposal will collect neurofunctional data from a subset of participants to evaluate intervention efficacy in two ways: First, pre- and post-intervention neurofunctional data will be examined using multimodal neuroimaging techniques to identify neural patterns that distinguish children who benefit from intervention from those who do not. This will provide information on pre-intervention biological markers that help us identify which child is likely to benefit from a certain intervention strategy, as well as validate what successful interventions are changing at the neural level. Second, portable neuroimaging systems will be used for more frequent neurofunctional assessments in the classroom. The ability to monitor subtle changes (or lack thereof) at frequent points during a long intervention program will provide information on the developmental trajectory of intervention efficacy, and aid in earlier identification of children who may not be responding to intervention. Successful implementation of both multimodal and portable neuroimaging requires a diverse range of knowledge and expertise, part of which is interdisciplinary. The Planning Grant will support activities to pool together the knowledge and expertise base that will allow us to effectively develop the Full Proposal.

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