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Abstract #3436

Somatosensory Cortical Activation in the Preterm Brain Identified with a Programmable Hand Interface and Functional MRI

Tomoki Arichi1,2, Alejandro Melendez3, Amelie Moraux3, Valentina Doria1, Etienne Burdet3, Christian F. Beckmann4, D J. Larkman5, A D. Edwards6

1Imaging Sciences Department, Imperial College , London, UK; 2Department of Neonatalogy, Imperial College , London, UK; 3Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London; 4Division of Neurosciences and Mental Health, Imperial College London; 5Imaging Sciences Department, Imperial College, London, UK; 6Department of Neonatalogy, Imperial College, London, UK

We describe the first use of a programmable hand interface for functional MRI data acquisition in newborn infants. The equipment described provides a tactile and proprioceptive stimulus to the fingers of the subject, which is fully synchronised with MR image acquisition. It has been successfully used to identify well-localised functional activity in the primary somatosensory cortex of term and preterm infants. We propose that the device described will be of great value in providing reliable, reproducible results and furthermore in the investigation of sensorimotor development in the preterm brain.