Overview of the Early Brain Development Research Studies

History, Studies Under Way, and Benefits....

Very little is known about how the human brain develops. Many psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders have their origins in very early brain development, so normal brain development must be studied to understand what changes may contribute to these disorders.

The Early Brain Development Studies use ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), EEG, and developmental assessments to study brain development in normal children, including twins, before and after birth.

In addition, early brain development in children who may be at risk for psychiatric or neurodevelopment disorders is also studied. Our hope is to improve knowledge about how the brain develops in very young children and to ultimately understand how differences in early brain development contribute to psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders.

The Early Brain Development Studies are conducted by the Departments of Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Radiology, Computer Science, and Psychology at the UNC School of Medicine and Duke University Medical Center.

The Early Brain Development Studies are sponsored by the National Institutes of Mental Health and have been approved by the Institutional Review Boards of UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University.