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Winter 2014
Dear Parents & Participants,

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and survived the chill of the polar vortex. Thank you to those of you who have braved the cold to come into lab the past few weeks!

Whether you've participated in our studies many times or are a new member to our growing community, I greatly appreciate your interest in our research. Your support and participation are invaluable as we seek to answer many important questions about infant and child development. 

Warm wishes,
Charles A. Nelson, PhD
Director of Research, Division of Developmental Medicine
Richard David Scott Chair in Pediatric Developmental Medicine Research
Professor of Pediatrics & Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School
In the News
Romania's Abandoned Children: Deprivation, Brain Development and the Struggle for Recovery
Harvard University Press
We are excited to share the news about a new book from our Bucharest Early Intervention Project, Romania’s Abandoned Children: Deprivation, Brain Development, and the Struggle for Recovery. The book reports on the first 8 years of the study, which examines the impact of high quality foster care as an alternative to institutionalization. For more details about the book and the project, visit
In the Community 

Visit us at the Museum of Science!

Saturdays, 1:00-4:00.
You can find us each week at the new Hall of Human Life exhibit, offering visitors the opportunity to participate in studies at the exhibit's Living Laboratory. Our research teams will have fun activities for kids of all ages, looking at a variety of questions about memory, executive function, and social development. You can also spot Dr. Nelson, our Research Director, who is featured in a video portion of the exhibit speaking about epigenetics. For more info on the exhibit, which covers everything from sleep patterns, to DNA, to bee colonies, click here. We hope to see you there! 

ParkSCIENCE Boston Children's Festival
Thursday, February 20th, time TBD
Franklin Park Golf Course Clubhouse
Wondering what you're going to do with the kids during school vacation week? This is a fabulous science-themed event, which last year featured everything from robots to rockets. We'll be there with our big brain puzzle and other fun brain teasers. Hope to see you there!

FCSN Visions of Community

Saturday, March 8th
With 45 workshops in 6 languages, this annual conference by the Federation for Children with Special Needs has a wealth of information to offer families and providers alike. This will be our fifth year participating in the resource fair, and we would love to see some of you there! For more information and details on how to register, visit
Featured Study: Could Specialized Video Games Help Children with ADHD?
Neuroplasticity Technology for ADHD
Children ages 8-11 with an ADHD diagnosis

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a paramount public health concern, impacting around 3-5% of the population. Although medications (especially psychostimulants) remain the most effective treatment for ADHD, there is an increasing need for alternative intervention strategies that decrease the reliance on ADHD medications and offer additional ways to improve the behavioral issues at the core of ADHD symptoms. For this study, we have partnered with NeuroScouting LLC, a local research and development company, to test out a range of computer games that may have potential as a supplemental treatment strategy for children with ADHD.

Previous research conducted by NeuroScouting has indicated that a neuroplasticity-based computer training has had a beneficial impact on inhibitory control in elite athletes. Inhibitory control is the ability to stop oneself from doing things you don’t want to do and do the things you do want to do. Kids with ADHD usually have some difficulties with inhibitory control, so we hope to investigate whether playing these specialized computer games could help children to increase their inhibitory control and decrease their ADHD symptoms. For this study, we are seeking children between 8 and 11 years of age who have been diagnosed with ADHD but not pervasive developmental disorder or an autism spectrum disorder. Eligible participants will be asked to attend 2 visits at Boston Children’s Hospital that will include computerized testing and 2 short EEG recordings and then will train at home on an iPad provided for the duration of the study (<20 minutes a day for 4 weeks). Participants may receive up to $140 in compensation.

If you are interested in learning more about the study, please contact Rosario Dawson at (857) 218-5228 or email us at

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Boston Children's Hospital
Division of Developmental Medicine Research Programs
1 Autumn St. 6th Floor
Boston MA 02215
(617) 355-0400

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