Ann Masten
January 31, 2019

The study demonstrates the role of school-based interventions to help kids after disaster, Masten says. “I think that schools need to recognize the importance of their role, not just in an immediate crisis, but over the long term, both in supporting learning and building a capacity for resilience,” she says.

Ann Masten, who studies resilience at the Institute for Child Development at the University of Minnesota, says she’d be hopeful. “I’m optimistic that there will be a long term positive picture,” she says. “Nonetheless, it’s important to document that there could be continuing delayed concerns.”

brain synapses
December 19, 2018

“Iron deficiency affects an estimated 40–50 percent of the world’s pregnant women and children and results in long-term neurological impairments, despite iron repletion,” said University of Minnesota researcher Thomas Bastian, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the departments of Pediatrics and Neuroscience and first author of a new study that reveals how iron deficiency wreaks its silent havoc.

“When it occurs in the womb, it raises the risk of significant psychopathologies...We want to find out if there’s some other nutrient—a metabolic stimulant—that can assist iron repletion in restoring normal brain function.”

Dr. Suma Jacob
December 12, 2018

For children with autism spectrum disorder or other sensory sensitivities, the long lines and loud noises of a typical visit to see Santa at the mall can be overwhelming.

But now, for the first time, the University of Minnesota is hosting a Sensory Friendly Santa event just for them. It will be held on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m inside the university's Center for Neurobehavioral Development.

"Our Santa has worked with kids with autism and other developmental disabilities," Jacob said. "Santa will be mindful to wait for the child to approach instead of taking the lead."

Jacob added that families will also be encouraged to take part in SPARK, the nation's largest autism genetics study.

Dante Cicchetti
December 12, 2018

Dante Cicchetti, PhD, a McKnight Presidential Chair and William Harris Professor of Child Development and Psychiatry in the Institute of Child Development, has been selected as a recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association (APA).

This award is an outstanding accolade for scientific achievement honoring psychologists who have made distinguished theoretical or empirical contributions to basic research in psychology. Cicchetti will be recognized during an awards ceremony at the APA National Convention in Chicago in August 2019.

Stephanie Carlson & Phil Zelazo
August 3, 2018

"In my research, I study the development of executive function skills, which are a crucial part of a child’s development. They help children regulate emotion, make decisions, and think critically. One way of promoting the development of healthy executive function skills is by encouraging children to practice mindfulness.

Working together with Jessie Forston at Learning Tree Yoga, my colleague and Distinguished McKnight University Professor Stephanie Carlson and I have created a curriculum for teaching the art of practicing mindfulness to young children. Practicing mindfulness helps them to understand the difference between being active and being calm, which can help them learn to relax, control their emotions and behavior, as well as improve their focus on tasks."

Megan Gunnar
June 15, 2018

“While not all of the children we are ripping from their parents will suffer the full consequences of toxic stress, many may. The age of the child matters,” Gunnar said. Children under age 10 are of deep concern.

“Those under 5 should get us all running around with our hair on fire to get this practice stopped.”

The science of how “toxic” stress damages kids' brains has become well established in the last two decades. "Here, what we are doing is even worse, adding a traumatic break with a parent onto children, many of whom have already been traumatized where they left...This is an extremely high price for these children to pay who have done nothing wrong, simply so that the US can punish their parents as a deterrent to others,” said Gunnar.

“We need to stop this practice immediately and return these children to their parents so they can begin healing.”

Washington Post Link

Brain scan
June 14, 2018

Every year, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine asks thousands of doctors across the Twin Cities region a simple question: Which doctor would you choose if you or a loved one needed medical attention?

In 2018, we’re proud to announce that 151 University of Minnesota Health doctors representing 43 different medical specialties were selected by peers in their field for inclusion in the magazine’s Top Doctors edition. Three additional doctors representing University of Minnesota Physicians were also selected.

Dr. Michael Potegal
May 14, 2018

Babies are speaking to us all the time, but most of us have no clue what they're saying. To us non-babies, it all sounds like charming, mysterious, gobbleydegook. To researchers, though, babbling is knowable, predictable, and best of all, teachable. This week, we'll find out how to decipher the vocabulary, and the behavior, of the newest members of the human family.