Neurodevelopmental & Autism Spectrum Disorders Research | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Research Neurodevelopmental & Autism Spectrum Disorders Research

Neurodevelopmental & Autism Spectrum Disorders Research

At NYU Langone’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, we use our expertise in autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), other behavioral disorders, prenatal and fetal neuroimaging, and early childhood development to advance research on neurodevelopmental disorders.

We study topics as varied as the brain’s functional architecture; typical and atypical brain development; organizational and parenting interventions for children with ADHD; evidence-based interventions for other neurodevelopmental conditions; and the significance of brain structure and function for cognition, emotion, and behavior.

Our goal is to find new ways to effectively treat psychiatric illness and reduce the prevalence of mental health conditions among children and adolescents. Our experience developing testable theoretical formulations and scientific methods helps us to evaluate and identify the most effective interventions.

Neurodevelopmental Research Laboratories and Programs

Our investigators work closely with clinical partners at the Child Study Center—part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU LangoneNYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, and the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research.

Francisco X. Castellanos Laboratory

Researchers in the laboratory of Francisco X. Castellanos, MD, seek to improve our understanding of the neuroscience of ADHD and co-occurring conditions such as learning disabilities. To do this, we use structural and functional brain imaging studies and a range of other novel methods to measure behavior and cognition. We also study the molecular genetics and psychopharmacology of ADHD.

The Castellanos Lab runs organizational skills training for elementary school–aged children, a program developed at NYU Langone that for nearly two decades has helped children who have ADHD manage their time and plan activities.

We also offer programs that enhance organizational skills and executive functioning for teens and young adults who have ADHD and are developing programs to target organizational skills in children and adolescents who have autism spectrum disorder.

Social Cognitive Affective Neurodevelopment Laboratory

Researchers in the Social Cognitive Affective Neurodevelopment (SCAN) Laboratory, led by Moriah E. Thomason, PhD, study very early human brain development to evaluate how atypical variations in prenatal and baby brain connectivity may predispose children to delayed attainment of key developmental milestones and set the foundation for lifelong health.

Our team performs MRIs of the fetal brain in utero and follows children longitudinally throughout childhood.

We focus on high-risk communities, where early exposures to stress, disadvantage, and trauma have the potential to adversely affect health outcomes. We identify interventional targets, such as positive parenting and neurofeedback, that have the potential to ameliorate these negative consequences.

Our lab is currently enrolling people to participate in the iOPEN Pregnancy Study, which examines pregnancy, parenting, and infant brain development.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical and Research Program

In the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical and Research Program, we are dedicated to diagnosing and treating children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorder. We develop clinical and educational models for people with the condition and advance knowledge of autism spectrum disorder among clinicians who treat them.

Our faculty members founded the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE), which accelerates the pace of autism research by providing researchers throughout the world with access to a repository of brain imaging and phenotypic data from more than 2,000 people with autism spectrum disorder.