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Researcher | Research Overview

Our lab is interested in understanding the neural mechanisms impairing language acquisition and cognitive development across a range of neurodevelopmental disorders associated with intellectual disability. Ongoing studies in our lab use electroencephalography (EEG) to identify biomarkers of language development in young children with Fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, and autism spectrum disorders. Biomarkers identified through these studies could be used as objective measures of language prognosis, treatment monitoring during clinical trials, and development of effective therapeutics.

We are also interested in understanding biological and environmental factors that impact early brain development and, in turn, functional outcomes in children. In collaboration with Charles Nelson’s lab within the Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience, our studies leverage EEG and behavioral/developmental data collected in infants and children longitudinally across the first three years of life. Here, we aim to better characterize the expected developmental trajectory of a variety of EEG based brain measures over those first three years, and determine what individual differences in developmental trajectory are associated with developmental outcomes.

Together, the ultimate goal of our research is to guide the development of effective therapies to improve developmental outcomes and functional independence for children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Researcher | Research Background

Dr. Carol Wilkinson is a physician-scientist in the Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Wilkinson earned her MD, PhD, and completed her pediatric residency at the University of California, San Francisco. There, her graduate work focused on molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. As a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician in the Autism Spectrum Center and Developmental Medicine Center at Boston Children’s, she cares for children with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders and challenges. Through her research and clinical work, her goal is to help children maximize their potential in all aspects of their life.

 

Researcher | Publications