Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDs): NICHD Research Information

Understanding human development across the lifespan, including Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDs), was a primary reason the NICHD was established in 1962. Since then, the Institute has helped to establish a research community and research infrastructure for studying IDDs, including those that affect the nervous system, metabolism, and cell function and survival.

Through its many components, the NICHD leads research efforts to understand IDDs, including (but not limited to): genetic and developmental causes of IDDs; the ways that IDDs affect learning, communication, cognition, and memory; characterization of the influence of IDDs on family and community dynamics; examination of the psychobiological and behavioral factors affecting social interactions and emotions in individuals with IDDs; and assessment of self-injurious behavior in individuals with IDDs.