Studying the Pre-Adolescent Brain to Gain Insight into Mental Health Disorders

Studying the Pre-Adolescent Brain to Gain Insight into Mental Health Disorders

Studying the Pre-Adolescent Brain to Gain Insight into Mental Health Disorders University of Utah Health scientists and collaborators with the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Consortium have developed a rich resource for studying how the brain changes and matures during adolescence: a collection of functional MRI scans revealing patterns of brain activity in more than 6,000 nine- and ten-year-old children. The findings are an essential foundation for the ABCD Study, which is investigating how childhood experiences influence brain development and impact behavior later in life. The ABCD Study is the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States. Nearly 12,000 children and their families are participating at 21 sites across the country, where researchers are tracking their physical and behavioral development over a ten-year period beginning at age nine or ten. The study spans a period of intense brain development characterized by rapid growth and the fine-tuning of neural circuits. The new functional MRI data, reported June 7, 2021, in the journal Nature Neuroscience, reveals which parts of the brain are active when children engage …
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