Who We Are &
What We Do
Have you ever wondered how your child’s brain grows as we learn and play? At the ABI Lab, we are working hard to find out!
Throughout childhood, our brain undergoes some pretty amazing changes. As we learn to walk, talk, sing the alphabet and even tie our shoes, our brain is changing - becoming bigger and stronger. How does this happen? Amazingly, we aren’t quite sure, but we are working hard to understand.
At the Advanced Baby Imaging Lab, we want to discover with you how your child’s brain grows and changes as they learn new things! We also want to understand how nutrition, sleep, our genes, and other influences shape this development.
To study development, we use ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to take detailed pictures of your child’s brain. These techniques are safe for you and your child. MRI is not like X-rays or a CT scan. MRI is safe and painless. We also use games and puzzles to study other aspects of development, such as grabbing, walking, language and memory. By putting all this information together, we can learn how different parts of the brain grow as we learn new things.
As you might expect, doing this sort of work requires a diverse range of expertise. The members of the CHILD Lab are experts in developmental neuroscience, neuropsychology, MRI physics, biology, education, nutrition, and early child development. From these unique backgrounds we have a shared vision to study, understand, and promote child development because, most importantly, we love children and what to see very child thrive.
Our current integrated studies focus on exploring the nutritional, environmental, and genetic influences that affect childhood brain and physical growth. Our ECHO, BAMBAM, CONNECT, LEAD, and NALA studies are seeking to characterise brain growth, relate those changes to cognitive and behavioural development, and examine specific environmental and genetic influences. As part of our NIH-funded ECHO project, we are working alongside other top research centers across the USA to help understand the complexity of early child development. We are extremely grateful for our funding partners, including the National Institutes of Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and to you, our parents. Without you, we couldn’t do what we do.