The Research Program in the Cognitive Development, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Psychobiology develops and supports research that focuses on developmental pathways leading to normal and at-risk brain development and behaviors and their underlying developmental mechanisms at the molecular, genetic, cellular and network levels. In addition, the program supports research that identifies biological and behavioral indices of individual differences predictive of performance in sensory, motor, cognitive, and social behavioral domains at different points of development. This program also supports research training in developmental psychobiology, behavioral genetics, and developmental cognitive neuroscience. Areas of emphasis include both human and animal model studies assessing neuroanatomical, neurofunctional, electrophysiological and neurochemical correlates of attention and attention deficits, perception, sensation, sensorimotor function, memory, basic learning, problem-solving, and socio-emotional behavior. Research examining the influence of genetic-environmental interaction factors on biobehavioral development, cognition, and social and group behavior in the developing organism is encouraged. Also of importance is research investigating the effect of hormonal influences on behavioral development. In this domain, the emphasis is on the development of gender-specific behaviors, the role of endocrines in social, emotional, and cognitive development, and the interaction of hormones and stress-related behaviors during development. The program supports human and non-human animal model research.
Cognitive Development. Areas of focus include attention, memory, conceptual knowledge and its formation, learning, decision-making, problem-solving, executive functioning, principles and mechanisms of development, intelligence, action, and motor control.
Developmental Behavioral Neuroscience. Studies focus on brain/behavior relationships in the developing organism. Populations of interest include both human and animal models but exclude populations with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs), autism, Fragile X, Rett syndrome, or head trauma-induced impairment. Studies assessing neuroanatomical, neurofunctional, electrophysiological and neurochemical correlates of attention and attention deficits, perception, sensation, sensorimotor, memory, learning, problem-solving, socio-emotional functioning and genetic bases of brain/behavior relations are of particular interest.
Developmental Behavioral Genomics. Studies of the interrelation of genetics, environment, and behavior and its implications for health and normal human development are supported. Examples include examination of the influence of genetic-environmental interaction factors on brain structural and functional development, stress reactivity, temperament, basic learning, and cognition. Comparative experimental analyses of differences both within and between species in adaptive behaviors are of interest.
Developmental Behavioral Endocrinology. Studies include the effect of hormonal influences on behavioral development. Emphasis is on the development of gender-specific behaviors, the role of endocrines in social, emotional, and cognitive development, and the interaction of hormones and stress-related behaviors during development.
Program Director: Lisa Freund
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