May 24, 2010

eat dirt

The University of Washington has a new research facility dedicated to cracking open the skulls of children and revealing the gooey knowledge inside. Sort of:
The Magnetoencephalography (or MEG) machine monitors minute changes in the magnetic field in the brain. The study subject reclines in a chair (or in the case of an infant, a car seat), and the machine fits over the head, like an old beauty-salon hair dryer would, if the hair dryer were the size of a fridge.

The MEG facility at the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington is the first in the world to be designed for use with young children.
(For the irony-impaired, no skulls will be harmed in the making of this research.)

Now, what to study?

How about... the effect of soil bacteria on early child development? Kids like to eat dirt, kids love to learn, and mycobacterium vaccae might help 'em. Let's stick some dirt-eating tykes in a magnetoencephalography machine and see what happens.

For science.


RBH said...

As my great-grandmother used to say, "You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die."

Jim Anderson said...

That's comforting.