The MIND Institute's 22q11.2 Research Center and Clinic is directed by Dr. Tony J. Simon and funded by the National Institutes of Health. Our mission is to investigate, explain and eventually treat the impairments in cognitive function experienced by children with neurodevelopmental disorders.
The cognitive analysis part of our research involves developing theory-driven experiments that are presented to participants as interesting computer-based activities. These experiments test the functioning of specific cognitive systems under different conditions and predict characteristic patterns of performance depending on how well the system is working. The brain imaging part of our research is achieved using safe, radiation-free neuroimaging methods, such as electrophysiology and magnetic resonance imaging, to characterize the changes in brain development that affect the neural structure, connectivity and function of such participants. Knowing how the brains of people with neurodevelopmental disorders differs from those of their typically developing peers helps us to generate possible explanations for impairments in cognitive function and behavioral disturbances and also helps us to identify possible interventions to reduce or even cure these.
The long-term goal of our work is to develop a range of intervention techniques that we hope will reduce or even eliminate many of the cognitive and intellectual difficulties that present challenges to children with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Currently our major research focuses on children and young adults with chromosome 22q11.2 deletions (also known as Velocardiofacial or DiGeorge syndromes).