Integrating functional brain neuroimaging and developmental cognitive neuroscience in child psychiatry research

Mani N. Pavuluri, John A. Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: To provide an overview of clinical research aiming to develop a mechanistic understanding of brain dysfunction in child psychiatric disorders. Method: Technological, conceptual, and translalional approaches relevant to the investigation of brain function in pediatric psychiatric illnesses are explored. Research in the area of pediatric bipolar disorder is used as a prototypic model illustrating the use of complementary techniques of functional magnetic neuroimaging and neurocognitive studies to identify abnormalities in neural circuitry function. Results: Studies of bipolar youths indicate impairment in cognitive and affective neural systems and in the interface of these two circuits. This evolving field paves a future pathway for identifying diagnostic biomarkers for the disorder, providing tools for monitoring response to pharmacotherapy, examining illness-associated alterations in developmental trajectory, and facilitating the use of animal research for guiding the development of novel treatment strategies. Conclusions: Studies of brain function in child psychiatry are establishing a platform of knowledge and methods that offer promise for revolutionizing both models of illness pathophysiology and future diagnostic and therapeutic practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1273-1288
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Affect
  • Bipolar
  • Cognition
  • Fmri

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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