Two researchers from Brown University traded lab attire for princess gowns and tiaras Monday at Woonsocket Harris Public Library to invite parents to help them learn about children's brains.
Nicole Waskiewicz and Katie Lehman asked parents of children from 1-month to 11-years-old to sign up for MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans of their kids' brains at Brown University's Advanced Baby Imaging Lab.
Because some brain disorders are believed to result from development during the first 11 years of life, and there is little known about healthy brain development during that time, Waskiewicz and Lehman were seeking parents who would allow their kids' brains to be scanned, to learn more about brain development. In exchange, parents are reimbursed for time and travel, get a copy of the images and a report on their child's brain development.
Waskiewicz said their lab has a sleep room set up with toys, decorations and costumes for dress-up to help children feel more comfortable during their visits, so when the library staff suggested they show up to speak to families in costume, "We said, 'Oh, we have princess outfits,'" Waskiewicz said.
Monday was their last day at the library, but any parent interested in signing up for the program can call 401-863-7661 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.