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Happy New Year from the Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience!
"Where Kids Help Kids"

Dear Parents & Participants,

The LCN would like to wish you a Happy New Year! We hope this email finds you well after the holiday season. Much like previous years, we find the beginning of 2016 to be an exciting and busy time. We have many new studies beginning, new lab members settling into our team, and many participant visits ahead! We’re looking forward to seeing many of you in the lab in the coming months.

We have an exciting announcement to make about the Participant Registry we have here in Division of Developmental Medicine; after years of faithful participants and growth, the Participant Registry is expanding from the Division of Developmental Medicine to the Translational Neuroscience Center! The Translational Neuroscience Center, or TNC, is a partnership between researchers in Developmental Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, Genetics/Genomics and other departments at Boston Children’s Hospital who study the health and development of children and neurodevelopmental disorders. This expansion of the Participant Registry means we can collaborate on even more research projects, aid more discoveries, and learn more about growth and development in kids.

The process by which families in the Registry are notified about studies will remain the same. As always, we will contact you by letter or e-mail when your family may be eligible for a study, and you will have the opportunity to opt out from further communication about any given study. We will also continue to ensure that you are not contacted by multiple studies at the same time, or even within the same month. And, as always, you may remove your family’s information from the Participant Registry at any time. Simply call or e-mail us and we will promptly remove your information.

We’re excited to continue to grow our participant community and to allow our participants to learn about more studies! Whether you've participated in our studies many times or are a new member to our growing community, we greatly appreciate your interest in our research program. If you have questions about this expansion, please contact our Outreach Coordinator at 857-218-3011 or Your support and participation continue to be invaluable as we seek to answer many important questions about infant and child development.

Warm wishes,

Charles A. Nelson, PhD

Exciting Upcoming Research Projects
Infant Screening

The main goal of this study is to map early development and identify infants at risk for developing an Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or language and communication difficulties. By screening early and learning more about neural and behavioral functioning, we aim to improve techniques for early identification.

Participants: Al linfants between 12-14 months of age (with or without an older sibling with a confirmed ASD diagnosis) who participate in a developmental screener.

More information
Healthy Baby

The purpose of this study is to reduce the prevalence of lifelong health problems that can be associated with stressful experiences in the early years of life. It is natural for every family to have a range of life experiences and we hope through this study to better understand how such experiences influence infant development.

Participants:Typically developing infants and their mothers 0-2 months of age.

More information
Words and Objects Study

The purpose of this study is to learn more about how infants process pictures of familiar objects and word sounds during their first 1.5 years of life. In order to investigate how age influences infants’ perceptions, we will measure brain activity as infants look at pictures of familiar objects and/or hear familiar words.

Participants:Typically developing children between 6-9 months of age and 12-15 months of age.

More Information
The LCN in the News
Nadine Gaab, PhD

"For dyslexia, writing is often on the wall from birth."
Vector Blog, Dec. 7, 2015.

An article on the ability to use MRI processes to detect dyslexia as early as infancy.

Susan Faja, PhD

"Strengthening the brain's executive function in autism."
Vector Blog, October 12, 2015.

This article explains Dr. Faja's GAMES Project, a study using strategic computer games to attempt to improve executive function skills in children with ASD.

Charles Nelson, PhD

"The Brain with David Eagleman."
PBS, October 21, 2015.

The excerpt on Dr. Nelson focused on the Bucharest
Early Intervention Project and explained the effects neglect and adversity can have on the brain in early childhood.

In The Community
Upcoming Events!
Nadine Gaab, PhD presents "Academic Struggles: Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia".

This event is hosted by the Sharon Special Education Parent Advisory Council. All interested families are welcome!

Time: Monday, February, 1th at 9:15 am.
Place: Sharon, MA Middle School
Admission: free!

Autism Night at the Children's Museum

On Friday, February 5th, a team from the Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience will be attending Autism Night at the Children's Museum in Easton, MA. Ths night is for families of children with autism that are interested in attending in having a fun and educational experience at the museum!

Time: Friday, February 5th, 5:30-8pm
Location: Easton, MA
For more details on the event!
Susan Faja, PhD presents "Using Brain Function to Guide Intervention Development in Autism" at the West End Community Center

This event will be held at the West End Community Center. All interested families are welcome! Please see the West End Community Center's webpage to register for the event.

Time: Sunday, February, 28th at 2 pm.
Place: West End Community Center
Admission: free!
Childcare: Provided!

Are you interested in an easy way to participate in our work right now?
Consider filling out a quick survey on social and emotional development in children!

Dr. Dana McCoy, one of Dr. Nelson’s colleagues at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is developing an item set to measure the motor, cognitive, and social-emotional development of children aged 0-36 months. This item set is called the Saving Brains Early Childhood Development Scale (SBECDS). The goal of the survey is to help create the first cross-culturally valid, population-level measure of childhood development for this age range. This survey is now being tested across the globe (including Tanzania, Zambia and Brazil). It's time to test the survey in the U.S. and we'd absolutely love your help!

Please consider completing the survey here! Every response helps immensely!
Do you have a new baby at home?

We have several ongoing infant studies, including a project looking at emotion processing in the first year. If you have welcomed a new little one and would like to stay in the loop about studies that he or she may be eligible for, please sign up for our Participant Registry!

To add your newest family member to the Participant Registry, please e-mail us at or click on the button below to sign up on our website.

We invite all families to follow us on Facebook!

1 Autumn St., Boston, MA, 02215