ELRL-ELTE-PPCU Adolescent Development Research Group
The research group has been working on the BETA project since 2017. BETA is a composite word based on the prompt wording of our main topic: “Biological and Experience-based Trajectories in Adolescent brain and cognitive development” (http://betalab.hu/en/main/). We are trying to find out what are the exact mechanisms turning a child’s brain into an adult one. Due to our novel methodology, the project provides answers to the many open questions related to this developmental period. The technique involves an exact measurement of biological age that we can sufficiently pit against chronological age. Biological age is measured by ultrasound scanning of the hand, and we are planning to employ genetical and neurobiological biomarkers as well.
We have shown the effect of biological and chronological age can be dissociated in cognitive (Sci Rep 12, 5311, 2022) and emotional (J Pediatr Nurs 67,132, 2022) development, and now we are working on the description of large-scale neuronal network development as a function of those. We are also planning to study the atypical adolescent developmental trajectories behind later occurring psychiatric disorders.
BETA is the first research project specifically addressing the effects of biological maturation in adolescence. We hope that the project will advance the development of novel pedagogical strategies serving healthy development.