The Program in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience integrates developmental, cognitive, neuroscience and molecular genetic approaches to examine fundamental questions about the development of “executive functions” (cognitive control abilities such as selective attention, working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility) that rely on the prefrontal cortex of the brain.
These abilities are critically important for success in all life’s aspects. Dysfunction in these plays a major role in a great many psychiatric and developmental disorders. Executive function abilities include being able to keep your attention focused, stay on task, complete what you start, exercise self-control, and creatively and flexibly switch perspectives (“think outside the box”).
Research studies examine the modulation of executive functions by genes and neurochemistry, their modulation by the environment (including detrimental environmental factors such as poverty and facilitative ones such as school programs), how they become derailed in disorders (as in ADHD or autism), effective treatments for preventing or ameliorating such disorders, and educational implications.
Visit Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience for more information on research and people.
Dr. Adele Diamond
Department of Psychiatry
University of British Columbia
Fax: 604 822-7232
LAB: 604 822-7404 or 827-3074