KUNM

Mapping The Healthy Adolescent Brain

Oct 14, 2015

When do mental health disorders begin? Researchers in New Mexico, Nebraska and Louisiana are going to be scanning 230 adolescent brains to find when problems start.

The New Mexico MIND Research Network is leading a four year research project with the universities in Nebraska and Louisiana to create a more comprehensive model of the adolescent brain. Vince Calhoun, UNM professor of computer science and engineering, is the lead researcher for the project.

“One of the benefits of our study is, we’re really going to try to characterize the healthy adolescent brain," said Calhoun. "That will also give us a reference point as we start to study different disorders and try to see what’s going wrong.” 

Test subjects ages 9 to 15 will each have three Magnetic Resonance Enterography (MRE) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG) scans over the course of the research period to map their brain development. Most of the pre-teen and teenagers will likely come from urban locations in New Mexico and Nebraska.