Lifespan Brain Institute

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The Lifespan Brain Institute (LiBI) is a collaboration between Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania that bridges the gap between pediatric and adult research, making it possible for researchers to begin studying participants at a young age and to continue to follow them into adulthood. With this lifespan approach, researchers are able to study what early risk factors might contribute to the development of mental health disorders, what factors might protect children from developing mental disorders or help them cope more effectively, and how illness affects the brain and behavior over time. We study children and young adults with many different kinds of diagnoses, including people without any diagnosis at all. By focusing our research in these areas, the LiBI hopes to help improve treatment options and outcomes for both patients and their families.

Research Project Highlights

Researchers at the Lifespan Brain Institute are currently engaged in the following efforts:

  • Intake and Screening Study: Uses a computerized neurocognitive battery, clinical interview, and self-report questionnaires to screen participants for a variety of psychopathologies and to measure their cognitive performance
  • Neuroimaging of Executive Function (Cognition) in Youth: Uses an MRI scan, decision-making tasks, and questionnaires to study decision making and cognition in youth
  • Melatonin, Sleep, and Mental Health Study: Investigates melatonin as an intervention for at-risk participants who have mild sleep problems
  • Adolescent Brain Development, Memory, and Motivation: Uses MRI, a computerized neurocognitive battery, computer games, and questionnaires to study how brain structure and function relate to behaviors, motivations, and thoughts
  • Brain-Behavior and Genetic Studies of 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome: Studies cognitive function and behavior in children, adolescents, and adults with 22q11.2 DS.