IDDRC: Neurobehavioral Evaluation Core
The Neurobehavioral Evaluation Core (NEC) supports studies of the developmental, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes in children who have a variety of neurogenetic, neurodevelopmental, or acquired neurologic disorders that affect cognition and behavior, such as brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, ADHD, autism, infant anorexia, and many others.
The NEC has the capacity to assess a wide variety of neuropsychological and neurobehavioral functions including general intellectual functioning, attention, learning and memory, language, visual-spatial processes, executive functioning, motor skills, academic achievement, adaptive behavior, and social-emotional functioning. See complete listing. Using the expertise of the faculty, the appropriate test battery is developed according to the specific research questions being addressed for each protocol, drawing on the commonly used age-specific assessment tools, but also considering the study population and setting. Specialized batteries for children with sensory impairments, physical handicaps, culturally diverse language backgrounds, and for high and low incidence disorders can also be designed as needed.
The NEC provides sophisticated neurobehavioral/neuropsychological research support to IDDRC investigators, including:
Neuropsychological testing services
Consultation and training
- Assists investigators with the development and validation of measures used in neurobehavioral phenotyping and neuroimaging studies
- Performs assessments of infants, children, adolescents, and adults as specified in IDDRC-approved protocols
- Scores and interprets neurobehavioral and neuropsychological tests and measures
Assistance in the administration of neurobehavioral tasks
- Consultation and training on the proper design, use, and interpretation of neurobehavioral, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging measures.
- Train research assistants (RAs) in testing/data collection methods using the study instruments; monitor study data collection methods and data quality.
- Support for studies investigating neurobehavioral and neuropsychological outcomes that involve exploring mechanisms at the genetic level (utilizing the Molecular Genetics, Proteomics, and Biochemical Analysis Core) and neuropathophysiologic level, using the Neuroimaging Core. Collaboration between the cores serves to enhance these studies.
- Expertise in task development and refinement for neuroimaging studies of neurocognitive development and disorders, assuring continuity between studies of clinical neuropsychological factors and underlying neuropathophysiology.
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