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TRI Awarded $600,000 to Study Executive Function in Low Birth Weight Babies

Oct 29, 2014

Dr. Patricia Blasco

Dr. Patricia Blasco, will serve as the Principal Investigator in a collaboration between TRI and the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to study the effects of low birth weight on the development of executive function in the first three years of life.

Executive Function (EF) is the collection of mental processes in the brain that allows for self-regulation, working memory, attention, and organization and planning, all necessary skills for school-readiness.

“To date, there is no single comprehensive measure of executive functioning for children ages 6 months to three years,” says to Dr. Blasco. “In fact, many studies of EF in the Low Birth Weight (LBW) population have been retrospective once the child is school-age and already experiences learning difficulties. If EF deficits are identified earlier in life, interventions can be put in place earlier to bolster skills and buffer deficits, leading to better success in school and day-to-day activities.”

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