Phil Zelazo, Stephanie Carlson and Megan McClelland discuss the importance of encouraging and developing executive function skills in young children in order to make their transition to formal schooling in kindergarten successful. Research shows that these skills contribute to a more successful school experience overall and to greater academic achievement in later life. For the CEHD news summary, click here.
Megan Gunnar, Regent’s Professor and Director, Institute of Child Development, will be presenting a session at the 15th Annual Communities Collaborative Brain Development Conference Closing the Gap in Mahnomen, MN, August 11-13, 2015. The conference draws presenters from across the state and the nation to offer cutting-edge information on brain development and strategies to close educational gaps for use in the home, early childhood programs, and elementary/secondary classrooms or programming.
In a new study from the University of Minnesota, researchers found there are numerous areas of the genome where obese and non-obese individuals differ in terms of their “methylome.”
Lead author, Ellen Demerath, an associate professor in the School of Public Health, conducted the study in collaboration with other UMN researchers as well as researchers at three other United States institutions all of whom are working on the large on-going Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. This is a 30-year prospective study of coronary heart disease risks in both white and African American adults ages 45-55 when the study started in 1985.
Wozniak is optimistic on the basis of early results that choline can be a viable option to help young children diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome and is moving ahead in this area.
“This would not be a therapy that can directly fix what alcohol exposure damaged,” he said. “However, adding choline at this critical preschool age helps the hippocampus develop as optimally as possible, which could reduce a lifetime of learning and memory difficulties.”
Cicchetti, along with three other University of Minnesota professors, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies. Cicchetti is one of the world’s leading researchers in developmental and clinical psychology and has long studied the effects of child maltreatment. Click here for the CE+HD news link.
The Department of Pediatrics, through the Center for Neurobehavioral Development, is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for innovative Neurodevelopment & Child Mental Health Development research at the University of Minnesota through the Masonic Children’s Hospital Research Fund.
The Distinguished McKnight University Professorship program recognizes outstanding faculty members who have recently achieved full professor status. Frank Symons has been recognized as a McKnight Professor for his ground-breaking work in transforming the field of special education - challenging conventional wisdom about pain, sensory processing, and self-injury. Recipients hold the title “Distinguished McKnight University Professor” for as long as they remain employed at the University of Minnesota.
Neuroscientist Bernadette Gillick works with young people who suffered a stroke in utero. The unaffected side of the brain has taken up the slack and is doing work the stroke side would normally do. Dr. Gillick thinks transcranial direct-current stimulation could help rebalance the brain, so both hemispheres can contribute to movement.