Solving the Mysteries of the Baby Brain

The HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study

A baby’s brain develops at a tremendous pace during pregnancy and in the first few years of life. Yet we still know very little about what “typical” early brain development looks like and how it contributes to a child’s cognitive, behavioral, social, and emotional functioning. We also don’t know a whole lot about how early brain development may be altered by things like exposures that may happen during pregnancy, stress or trauma in a child’s life, or other critical environmental influences. It’s the goal of the HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) Study to answer these important questions!

Volunteer for the HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study

Are you currently pregnant? If so, you may be eligible to participate in a research study about child health and development!

Researchers at UC San Diego are asking pregnant parents to be in a research study looking at child health and development beginning in pregnancy and continuing for up to 10 years of age. The HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) Study will be the first large-scale effort looking at how a child’s brain grows and develops in the early years of life, and how the child’s environment influences development. Knowledge gained from this research will have lasting impacts on future generations of children by informing health professionals about the benefits and risks of environmental exposures.

Mother-child pairs will be observed from pregnancy over the next 10 years. During study visits, you will be asked to complete surveys, provide samples like saliva and urine, and have your child undergo safe, non-invasive brain imaging (MRI, EEG) that provides brain pictures and measures brain activity, participate in developmental tests, and wear activity monitors, among other measures.

Being in the study is free and you will be compensated for your time and travel. If you would like more information, please fill out the form below and we will reach out to you.

Funding for the HBCD Study is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For more information about local study activities, contact us at (858) 230-5591 or HBCD@health.ucsd.edu. Download the study flyer in English and Spanish.

Yes! I would like to learn more about participating in the HBCD Study.