Virtual Assessments to Understand Developmental Trajectories of Substance Use Exposure
The Research Need
Children’s brains and behavior develop rapidly over the first few years of life. During this time, they are especially susceptible to outside influences and experiences. Use of opioids and/or other drugs during pregnancy can affect infant behavior and other health outcomes. Assessing infant outcomes in response to these influences is difficult in typical clinical research settings, particularly for infants and families from historically underserved communities, such as those living in rural areas.
About the Program
This program supports technology-guided research to monitor cognitive development during infancy and childhood in a naturalistic, family setting. This research employs use of one or more remote technologies (including wearable devices) and real-time or near real-time data collection to measure multiple factors that contribute to infant outcomes. These include infant cognition, physiology, and environmental condition, and caregiver interactions. The research evaluates developmental outcomes related to sociocultural, biobehavioral, and environmental influences.
Research examples supported by this program include:
- Developing and validating wearable technologies to study infants and their caregivers in their natural environments
- Developing and validating psychosocial measures of real-time or near real-time infant-caregiver interactions
- Developing and validating mobile imaging technologies paired with behavioral measures to measure infant neurocognition and brain development
- Developing innovative analytic tools and measures, such as machine learning, to integrate multiple types of data collected remotely and longitudinally
- New York University – New York
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – Illinois
- University of Texas at Austin – Texas