Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in pediatric patients presents a unique set of problems due to the need for patient compliance, the frequent need for sedation and an early developmental status. A new method for using fMRI in sedated infants and young children is presented using passive stimuli focused on visual, sensorimotor and language functions. All of these stimuli are presented such that no patient interaction is required. Eight sedated children undergoing diagnostic MRI scans of the brain participated in these passive fMRI procedures. Cortical regions were identified using standard techniques applied to the blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal which is the basis for fMRI. The results support the feasibility of brain mapping in sedated children with passive fMRI techniques.