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Midwest Rett Syndrome Foundation

Fully committed to improving the lives of all who live with Rett Syndrome

University of Minnesota Rett Syndrome

EEG Study

Goals: The goal of this research project is to study development of the visual system in children with Rett and related syndromes throughout early childhood development and later in life. We will also gain insight into the progression of behavioral abnormalities by observing the electrical activity in the brains of individuals affected by MECP2-related syndromes during various activities. By understanding how this activity produces the abnormal behaviors seen these syndromes, we will be better able to identify treatments and therapies to improve outcomes of children.

Procedures: At each visit we will record event-related potentials (ERPs) with two types of visual tasks; the first assesses basic visual processing and the second evaluates face recognition. An event-related potential (ERP) is any measured brain response that is EEG time-locked to a stimulus presentation (in this study a picture or a sound).
In addition to the ERP measures, we will also be using a behavioral test in which we record your child’s eye movements while he/she views pictures presented on a computer screen. To record your child’s brain activity, we use recording sensors. The sensors are inside of small sponges, which are held together in a cap made of stretchable material. The sponges are placed in salt water with a small amount of baby shampoo to get them wet, and the cap is then placed on your child’s head.
A researcher will watch your child via a video camera throughout the session in order to show the pictures when the child is looking at the computer monitor. Once we have placed the sensors on your child’s head, your child will sit on your lap or on a chair in front of a computer screen and view the set of pictures for that session. All testing sessions will take place in the Center for Neurobehavioral Development on the University of Minnesota campus.

Criteria: All ages, ability levels, and diagnoses (Classic, atypical Rett syndrome, MECP2 duplication syndrome) welcome to participate.


If you are interested in participating, please contact Breanne Byiers, the project coordinator, at 612-626-7110 or byier001@umn.edu.