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Assessing the impact of Childhood martial arts Training through Imaging On pediatric Neurodevelopment (ACTION)

How does martial arts training influence the child's brain and the development of skills like language and attention? The Neurosciences Institute, UC San Diego, and the San Diego Youth Symphony have formed a new partnership to address these questions. We are recruiting children between 5 to 8 years of age who receive or plan to receive martial arts instruction to participate in the ACTION study. To understand how martial arts training affects the structure of the brain, participants will be asked to lie still in an MRI scanner for up to one hour while watching a video. To understand how martial arts training affects cognition, participants will do simple computerized tasks. These sessions will occur at different points in their martial arts education and will be conducted in association with CHD's PLING Study.


Eligibility Requirements:

  • 5 to 8 years of age
  • Parental consent
  • Must have begun formal, weekly martial arts training within the past 6 months or plan to begin training within the next 3 months
  • Fluency in English
  • No history of head trauma/loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes
  • No heavy alcohol/drug use by mother during pregnancy
  • Normal or corrected-to-normal hearing/vision
  • Not born preterm (less than 36 weeks)
  • No braces or permanent retainer in mouth
  • No metal or electronic implants in body
  • No history of claustrophobia
  • No diagnosis of neurological disorder

To learn more about the ACTION study or to find out if your child is eligible to participate, please contact us at actionstudy@ucsd.edu or (858) 822-2148.

For more information about other Center for Human Development studies, please contact Melanie Maddox at mmaddox@ucsd.edu or (858) 822-2148.

Project supported by:
National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, Grant #R01HD061414