BRAIN AND COGNITIVE MATURATION--8-17 YEARS OF AGE

Summary

Principal Investigator: Beatriz Luna
Abstract: The aim of this career development plan is for the applicant to acquire the skills necessary to characterize changes in brain function subserving the acquisition of higher-order executive cognitive functions during late childhood and adolescence. This period is the time when higher-order cognitive abilities such as abstract thought, goal directed planning, and voluntary inhibitory control begin to achieve adult levels concurrently with significant reorganization of neural connectivity in neocortex. These higher level cognitive skills fail to develop normally in several major psychiatric disorders of presumed neurodevelopmental origin. These crucial cognitive and brain maturational processes during late childhood and adolescence are very poorly understood, and the field needs broadly trained developmental investigators to begin comprehensive and programmatic studies of this important epoch. In order to establish a research career dedicated to elucidating the neural substrates of normal and abnormal cognitive development, the applicant will obtain additional training in: 1) cognitive and other developmental processes pertinent to the time period of interest, 2) skills in designing and implementing a broader ranger of cognitive and imaging methodologies sensitive to developmental changes during this period, and 3) clinical aspects of neuropsychiatric disorders with a neurodevelopmental changes during this period, and 3) clinical aspects of neuropsychiatric disorders with a neurodevelopmental basis. She will also initiate a series of studies to examine patters of development in cognition and brain organization using tasks that probe spatial working memory, voluntary response suppression and attention shifting abilities both behaviorally and using fMRI. Studies at the end of the research program will begin to investigate abnormal development in autism and individuals at familial risk for schizophrenia. To the extent that the proposed research program can elucidate the developmental trajectories of pivotal executive functions, the proposed line of work can potentially provide crucial information needed for designing more effective programs for the early recognition, treatment, and preention of psychopathology.
Funding Period: 1999-08-01 - 2004-07-31
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc What has fMRI told us about the development of cognitive control through adolescence?
    Beatriz Luna
    Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    Brain Cogn 72:101-13. 2010
  2. ncbi Maturation of executive function in autism
    Beatriz Luna
    Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    Biol Psychiatry 61:474-81. 2007
  3. ncbi Cognitive processes in the development of TOL performance
    Miya R Asato
    Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    Neuropsychologia 44:2259-69. 2006
  4. ncbi Brain basis of developmental change in visuospatial working memory
    K Suzanne Scherf
    University of Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    J Cogn Neurosci 18:1045-58. 2006
  5. ncbi Circuitry underlying temporally extended spatial working memory
    Charles F Geier
    Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development, Department of Psychology, and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    Neuroimage 35:904-15. 2007
  6. pmc Development of working memory maintenance
    Charles F Geier
    Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, University of Pittsburgh, 121 Meyran Ave, Loeffler Bldg, Rm 113, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    J Neurophysiol 101:84-99. 2009
  7. pmc Missing the big picture: impaired development of global shape processing in autism
    K Suzanne Scherf
    Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA
    Autism Res 1:114-29. 2008

Detail Information

Publications7

  1. pmc What has fMRI told us about the development of cognitive control through adolescence?
    Beatriz Luna
    Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    Brain Cogn 72:101-13. 2010
    ....
  2. ncbi Maturation of executive function in autism
    Beatriz Luna
    Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    Biol Psychiatry 61:474-81. 2007
    ..Executive dysfunction has been reported at different ages in autism. It is not clear however, when this impairment emerges or how its expression is affected by development...
  3. ncbi Cognitive processes in the development of TOL performance
    Miya R Asato
    Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    Neuropsychologia 44:2259-69. 2006
    ....
  4. ncbi Brain basis of developmental change in visuospatial working memory
    K Suzanne Scherf
    University of Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    J Cogn Neurosci 18:1045-58. 2006
    ..These results suggest that the maturation of adult-level cognition involves a combination of increasing localization within necessary regions and their integration with performance-enhancing regions...
  5. ncbi Circuitry underlying temporally extended spatial working memory
    Charles F Geier
    Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development, Department of Psychology, and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    Neuroimage 35:904-15. 2007
    ..Our results suggest that specialized brain processes support extended periods of working memory...
  6. pmc Development of working memory maintenance
    Charles F Geier
    Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, University of Pittsburgh, 121 Meyran Ave, Loeffler Bldg, Rm 113, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    J Neurophysiol 101:84-99. 2009
    ..Taken together, these results suggest distinct developmental changes in the circuitry supporting visual spatial working memory...
  7. pmc Missing the big picture: impaired development of global shape processing in autism
    K Suzanne Scherf
    Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA
    Autism Res 1:114-29. 2008
    ....