Neuroscience Program faculty member, Nancy McElwain, presenting at Beckman on March 5th

Children in the Wild: Developmental Theory Meets Engineering Solutions

During early development, dynamic transactions between children and their environments are posited to shape brain structure and function, physical and mental health, and cognitive and academic performance. Yet, our understanding of how dynamic transactions between children and their environments guide development is limited by several methodological challenges. At the same time, technological advances in wearable devices, remote sensing, machine learning, and big data analytics are poised to transform our understanding of child-environment transactions and how individual differences in those processes may set children on varying trajectories of behavioral adjustment, mental health, and academic achievement. In this talk, I will highlight methodological challenges faced by developmentalists (and social and behavioral scientists, broadly) and illustrate how collaborations with computer scientists and engineers are especially ripe for innovation at Illinois.

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