The Center for Development and Behavioral Neuroscience

The purpose of the Center for Development and Behavioral Neuroscience (CDBN) is to promote both basic and applied research examining the ontogenetic development of normal and abnormal behavior and their biological bases. Many of society's most serious problems with developing humans, such as the consequences of birth complications or prenatal exposure to toxic agents and drugs of abuse, cannot be understood solely through experimental research with humans. In recognition of this limitation, the intention of the center is to provide a vehicle to promote both basic research as well as more applied clinical research examining the ontogeny of adaptive behavior, and to provide an opportunity for the cross-fertilization between these areas.

In ongoing basic research, center members investigate the developmental consequences of prenatal exposure to alcohol or cocaine, postnatal encounters with these and other drugs or environmental toxins, prenatal and postnatal modes of adaptation to sensory stimulation (including memory for early experiences that seem to determine later adult behavior) and the consequences of early brain damage for adjustment later in life. Our intention is that this information may be interchanged with that from the center's more clinically oriented laboratories that encounter the products of prenatal and postnatal misfortune in human development arising from many of the same sources studied in our animal experiments. Such children with severe learning disabilities, special challenges or behavioral abnormalities create difficulties not only in formal classroom settings, but also in their social adjustments within and outside their homes.

A major goal of the center is to facilitate interaction and interchange of ideas and new empirical evidence among basic and applied researchers in development and behavioral neuroscience, as well as to encourage additional research in this area among other faculty, undergraduate students and graduate student trainees. A particular aim is to encourage integration of the results of basic research and relatively applied research in development and behavioral neuroscience to help further understanding of the ontogeny of adaptive behavior. These goals are accomplished through support of new collaborative research ventures, provision of resources for preliminary research toward the development of grant proposals, and special opportunities for graduate students to attend professional meetings, devote time to their research and prepare proposals for federal predoctoral training funds.

Other important functions of the center include organization and support of formal and informal meetings, colloquia, conferences and symposia within specific target topic areas in development and behavioral neuroscience, establishment of international collaborative ventures and a visiting scientist program, and development of a resource center to enhance the research capabilities and communication of research results of center-affiliated faculty and students.

Last Updated: 6/27/14