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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Vanderbilt University
  • Kathryn L Humphreys
  • (615) 343-0379
Award Date:07/21/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 650,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 108,523
  • FY 2021=$108,523
Start Date:09/01/2021
End Date:08/31/2026
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:CAREER: Examining Prenatal and Postnatal Influences on Infant Brain Development
Federal Award ID Number:2042285
DUNS ID:965717143
Parent DUNS ID:004413456
Program:DS -Developmental Sciences
Program Officer:
  • Peter Vishton
  • (703) 292-8132

Awardee Location

Street:Sponsored Programs Administratio
Awardee Cong. District:05

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:The Vanderbilt University
Street:110 21st Avenue South, Suite 800
Cong. District:05

Abstract at Time of Award

This project explores the influence of stressful experiences and supportive caregiving on the developing brain. Given the dramatic growth that occurs during the prenatal and early postnatal periods, the brain seems especially sensitive to the environment during these months. Understanding when and how exposure to stress shapes the brain is essential for advancing knowledge about long-term health and functioning. This research will address fundamental questions regarding infant brain plasticity and provide insights that can be used to inform prevention and intervention efforts for children at risk for stress exposure in early life. Stressful experiences influence neurodevelopment in a manner that contributes to risks of emotional difficulties. Exposure to stress, even prenatally, may result in lasting changes in brain development. In this longitudinal study, following infants through early childhood, repeated assessments of infant brain structure and function will allow investigators to examine how prenatal stress exposure as well as measures of the subsequent caregiving environment serve as risk and protective factors in changes in the developing brain. During this period of heightened neuroplasticity the brain may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of stress, but also highly responsive to supportive caregiving experiences. Understanding how the brain changes in response to the early environment, particularly in a manner that explains links to later emotional difficulties, will provide new insight into when interventions may be most needed to support children in healthy development. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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