Kids receive 3D printed model of their brains for study participation

A handful of children are receiving 3D printed models of their brains for taking part in an MRI study at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, according to a recent report by The Toronto Star.  

The study, conducted by faculty at the Cumming School of Medicine’s department of radiology, recruited 178 kids aged between two to seven years old to have MRI scans of their brain. The scans were used to examine how a child’s language abilities are related to brain structure and how maternal depression and pregnancy influence a child’s brain function, among other research topics.  

For the last six months, the researchers have been using their collected data to create 3D models of the participants' brains as thank-you gifts for the kids who underwent 45-minute sessions once every six months for the study.  

So far, they've printed 14 but they hope to make more, according to the article.  

“A kid is not going to appreciate the publication and the scientific knowledge that we get out of the study but holding their brain in their hand is something really cool,” research Catherine Lebel, PhD, an assistant professor in radiology at the University of Calgary told The Star. “I think they’ve contributed really significantly to some important science that we’re doing, but we’re hoping that this is a fun way for them to celebrate that.” 

See The Toronto Star’s entire article below.