I am in Washington, DC to cover Neuroscience 2008, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience; but yesterday, thanks to Kathleen Burke, PhD, of USC, I also had the opportunity to visit a poster session at the International Society of Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP), which is celebrating it 40th year. The focus of the ISDP is on the relationship between brain developmental and behavior. This is an area of research that has many practical applications.
For example, it is well-known that excessive alcohol consumption in pregnancy can cause the devastating condition known as fetal alcohol syndrome. Researchers are trying to uncover the mechanisms of this damage. They are also trying to determine whether there are any countermeasures, such as iron-supplementation, that really help prevent the damage.
The research topics are quite diverse. They range from questions about how babbling relates to language development to questions about adolescent brain. Jack Turman, PhD, arranged for me to talk to numerous researchers, and I hope to have some of them on a future episode of the Brain Science Podcast. You can learn more about ISDP at http://www.isdp.org/