1. Understand typical variation in the neural and cognitive underpinnings of the early social brain, and to better understand the role of genetic and environmental risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders (WP1: ESR1, ESR2, ESR3).
  2. Investigate disruptions of early brain development that underlie early onset developmental disorders (WP2). Towards this goal, we aim to examine in high-risk foetuses and/ or infants structural development of the brain and maturation of excitatory-inhibitory system prenatally and postnatally by MRI/MRS (ESR4), examine abnormalities of general movements prenatally (ESR5), assess atypical neural connectivity from EEG and NIRS data (ESR6), examine the role of excitatory-inhibitory balance from EEG data (ESR7), evaluate the role of social information processing from EEG data (ESR8), and investigate action understanding by means of neuroimaging and behavioural methods (ESR9).
  3. Investigate how the atypical development of social, attentional, cognitive and motor functions and abnormal parent-child interaction contribute to atypical trajectories towards neurodevelopment disorders (WP3). Towards this goal, we aim to examine behavioural trajectories of inattention, impulsivity and response variability (ESR10), investigate synchrony patterns in parent-child interaction (ESR11), and conduct analyses of automated recorded motion patterns (ESR12).
  4. Develop tools and applications (WP4). Towards this goal, we aim to develop and test a Baby FaceReader for automatic decoding of facial emotional expressions in infants (ESR13), conduct an early intervention study in infants at high familial risk to develop ASD (ESR14), and integrate findings from multiple imaging modalities and multiple functional domains to understand development of atypical trajectories (ESR15).