How to best train children and adolescents for fMRI? Meta-analysis of the training methods in developmental neuroimaging

Neuroeducation aims to improve pedagogical approaches by adding neuroimaging data. Practical and technical challenges emerge when children undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), thereby raising several problems. We performed a meta-analysis of functional MRI datasets that were published during 1995 to 2011 according to the type of training of 4001 typically developing children and adolescents. The meta-analysis investigated whether different types of training (standard, mock, coaching trainings) improved the success rate of functional MRI inclusion rate and decreased the exclusion rate for excessive motion. We wondered if these specific trainings have differential developmental effects. Additionally, we examined if certain factors, such as age, the type of the cognitive tasks, the sex ratio, the financial compensation, the session order with structural MRI and the duration of the functional runs would influence the functional MRI success rate (more inclusion and less exclusion). The results indicated that coaching training for all of the children is the most relevant type of training to reduce motion and include more data. The type of task also took part in the success rate for fMRI. We propose guidelines to optimize the inclusion rate of functional MRI studies with typically developing children. Finally, we offer clinical and educational implications.

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