Wellcome Announces Leap: Promoting Healthy Brain Networks
The first 1000 days can make all the difference to a child’s start in life, perhaps more so than we ever understood before. In this early period, we develop critical cognitive abilities, such as executive function (EF) and self-regulation. By the end of the first 1000 days, a child’s individual EF performance changes their odds of dealing successfully with opportunities and obstacles they face in life. Well-developed EF improves a child’s chances for lifelong physical, neural, and mental health; reduces the pace of aging; and underpins greater productivity and prosperity. Indeed, if EF is underdeveloped it has significant consequences. We know that children with underdeveloped EF at age 3 represent about 20 percent of the population, but make up nearly 80 percent of adults who are likely to require some form of societal or economic assistance.
So how do we assess and promote healthy development in the first 1000 days? We routinely measure height and weight to assess a child’s physical health. We also need objective, scalable ways to assess a child’s cognitive health. During the first 1000 days, the brain undergoes extensive network construction and remodeling in response to interactions with the environment, that in turn endows the capacity to successfully live in that environment.
Call for abstracts and proposals:
Wellcome is soliciting abstracts and proposals for work over three years (with a potential additional one-year option) in one or more of the following thrust areas.Proposers should clearly relate work in these thrust areas to one or more of the program goals.
ThrustArea1: Data Collection ,Measurement & Assessment in Infants
ThrustArea2: Developing and Validating Models of Network Development
ThrustArea3: Methods for Scalable Screening, Promotion, Prevention & Intervention
Visit the Wellcome Leap web page for more details on this funding opportunity.