Healthy Children 3 to 4 Years Old Needed for a Research Study Looking at Rhyming Ability

Why are we doing this research?

Cincinnati Children’s is conducting a research study, sometimes known as a clinical trial or clinical study, to better understand how rhyming ability develops in a child’s brain, which later helps him/her learn to read. We also want to look at how reading and screen time during early childhood influences the brain structure and function that supports rhyming.

Who can participate?

Healthy children, 3 to 4 years old, may be able to participate.

Children with any of the following will NOT be able to participate:

  • Metal implants
  • Cannot have an MRI for any reason
  • Born prematurely (before 36 weeks gestation)
  • History of developmental delay
  • History of head trauma with loss of consciousness
  • Speak more than 1 language or live in a non-English speaking household


  • Healthy Babies Children and Teens

What will happen in the study?

If your child qualifies and you decide you want him/her to participate, you and your child will come to Cincinnati Children’s for 1 or 2 research study visits lasting a total of about 2.5 hours.

These are the things that will happen to you and/or your child while in the study:

  • Safety Questionnaire: you will answer safety questions related to the presence of metal or other devices that may prevent you and your child from entering the scanner area
  • Standardized Cognitive Tests: your child will take some tests, used to measure vocabulary and other language abilities, before the MRI (about 45 minutes)
  • Play-based Activities: activities that help your child become familiar and comfortable with the MRI machine and what he/she will be asked to do during the MRI (30 minutes – the MRI scanning will not take place until this is successfully completed)
  • MRI Scan: your child may watch a movie of his/her choice while the MRI takes several standard scans providing a picture of what your child’s brain looks like (about 18 to 20 minutes)
  • fMRI Scan: your child will first be shown a series of 2 illustrated pictures of common objects and be asked to press a button if the 2 pictures rhyme before listening to a series of 2 simple, fun stories with different amounts of rhyme in them (about 25 minutes)
  • Parent Survey: you will answer questions about reading and screen time practices at home

You will be given a consent form that thoroughly explains all the details of the study. A member of the study staff will review the consent form with you and will be sure that all your questions are answered.

What are the good things that can happen from this research?

Your child may not receive any direct medical benefit from being in this study right now.

When we finish this study, we hope to know more about how rhyming abilities develop and how to help children who struggle with reading.

What are the bad things that can happen from this research?

This is a minimal risk study as there are no known long-term effects of MRI procedures on the body. Possible risks, discomforts and side effects will be provided to and discussed with those parents, guardians, and/or participants interested in knowing more about this study.

Will you/your child be paid to be in this research study?

Participants will receive up to $100 for their time, effort and travel.


Contact Us.Amy Kerr
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Reading and Literacy Discovery Center
Division of General and Community Pediatrics
3333 Burnet Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039

Study Doctor

Contact Us.John S. Hutton, MS, MD, FAAP
Division of General and Community Pediatrics
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center