Infant Brain Development

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is strongly suspected to involve altered developmental trajectories for structural and functional brain organization. Prospective infant sibling studies have brought increased focus on examinations of these potential changes in the first years of life, including prior to symptom expression. ASD researchers and providers need to be knowledgeable about basic aspects of infant brain development to be the most effective consumers of emerging scientific information about ASD. This panel will provide the non-neuroscientist and non-neuroimager with basic information about infant brain development and essential scientific methods used for interrogating it. Presentations will cover cellular processes, milestones of pre- and postnatal brain development, genetic and experiential effects on these processes, fundamentals of magnetic resonance imaging studies of the developing infant brain, developmental factors that influence trajectories for change in brain morphometry, and basic findings from brain imaging studies in infancy. Increased knowledge of infant brain development and the methods used for studies of brain changes in the first years of life will better enable ASD researchers and providers to assess emerging information about potential brain-based contributions to ASD in the first years of life.
Thursday, May 15, 2014: 10:30 AM-12:15 PM
Marquis BC (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)