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Pediatric Longitudinal Imaging, Neurocognition, and Genetics (PLING)

Principal Investigator - Terry Jernigan, Ph.D.

As parents know, the ages of children’s growth spurts differ a lot – even kids who end up about the same height when adults will leapfrog over each other at different ages. But do children’s minds and brains develop on different timetables as well?  And if so, what are the implications of these differences for their mental and academic development. This project will use magnetic resonance imaging to determine how much healthy children differ from each other in the rate at which their brains develop biologically, particularly in the connecting fibers that transmit information within the brain, and how closely this mirrors the pace of their mental development. The aim of the research is to increase our understanding of differences among children so that we can use this knowledge to create more supportive environments for all children, and also to guide us toward interventions that may help prevent behavioral disorders and mental illness. 

To learn more about the PLING study or to find out if your child is eligible to participate, please contact Melanie Maddox at mmaddox@ucsd.edu or (858) 822-2148.

Project supported by:
National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, Grant #R01HD061414