Center for Development and Behavioral Neuroscience

About the CDBN

The purpose of the Center for Development and Behavioral Neuroscience (CDBN) is to promote both basic and applied research examining the development of normal and abnormal behavior and their biological bases. Many of society's most serious problems with respect to the development of humans across the life span, such as the consequences of birth complications, prenatal exposure to toxic agents, abuse and misuse of drugs, and other environmental and biological influences, cannot be understood solely through experimental research with humans. In recognition of this limitation, the intention of the center is to provide a vehicle to promote both basic research, as well as more applied clinical research and to promote cross-fertilization between these areas.

Center members investigate:

  • Developmental consequences of prenatal and adolescent exposure to alcohol and other drugs of abuse. Indeed, many CDBN members are also members of the Developmental Exposure Alcohol Research Center (DEARC) and its associated Developmental Neuroadaptations in Alcohol and Addiction (DNA2) Training grant, both of which are funded by NIH.
  • The influence of early life enrichment and adversity on later brain function. Labs affiliated with the CDBN examine wide range of developmental processes such as sensorimotor development, learning and memory processes, responses to stress, variations in maternal care, and the ontogeny of social behavior.
  • Clinically-oriented faculty study the relationship between child/adolescent abuse and trauma on the development of psychiatric conditions such as Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, and PTSD.
  • From an applied perspective, faculty study children with intellectual, behavioral, and emotional impairments that create significant challenges for children, families, schools, peers, and society. The ultimate goals are to (a) better understand neural and developmental origins of these problems; (b) train new investigators and clinicians; and (c) identify novel, empirically-based interventions.

A major goal of the CDBN is to facilitate the interchange of ideas and spur new empirical studies among basic and applied researchers in developmental and behavioral neuroscience, as well as to encourage additional research in this area among other faculty, undergraduate research assistants and graduate student trainees. A particular aim is to help further our understanding of the ontogeny of adaptive behavior. These goals are accomplished through the support of new collaborative research ventures, the provision of resources for preliminary research toward the development of grant proposals and the offering of special opportunities for graduate students to attend professional meetings, devote time to their research and prepare proposals for federal pre-doctoral training funds.