2004 John Merck Fund Summer Institute on the Biology of Developmental Disabilities

Co-Directors: BJ Casey & Natasha Kirkham

The fourth annual John Merck Fund Summer Institute on the Biology of Developmental Disabilities was held July 18-23, 2004 at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. The course examined basic principles of behavior, brain function and organization in the context of typical and atypical development. Attention and learning were specific of focus. Experts in the fields of psychology, neurobiology, neuroendocrinology and neuroscience presented their work in addition to hands-on workshops on brain imaging, genetics and modeling methods. The institute was geared toward predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows and provided tuition, room, partial board and a small stipend. For information on summer institutes held previously, see Princeton 2003 and Cold Spring Harbor 2002 & 2001.

Theme: Evolutionary and Developmental Psychobiology
10:30   Welcome and Introductions:  BJ Casey*, Sackler Insititute Representative Paper 1  2  3
11:00   Opening Keynote Address Tom Insel, NIMH Director, Epigenesis:  Where Nurture Meets Nature  Representative Paper 1  2
12:30   Buffet Lunch at Palmer House
 2:00    Barbara Finlay, Cornell University, Developmental structure in brain evolution:  the proliferation
             and significance of cortical areas     Representative Paper 1  2
 3:30    David Washburn, Georgia State, Comparative Studies of Attention and Learning   Representative Paper 1  2
 5:00    Reception/Dinner/Student Presentations at Triumphs

Theme: Attention and Perception
 8:30    Bob Desimone, NIMH, Animal models
10:00   Break
10:30   Steve Yantis,  Johns Hopkins, Human selective attention: Insights from functional neuroimaging  Representative Paper
12:00   Lunch, on your own
 1:30    Scott Johnson, NYU,  Infant Perceptual Development   Representative Paper
 3:00    Break
 3:30    Mark Johnson, Birkbeck College, The development of the social brain  Representative Paper
 5:00    John Richards, USC, Infant Attention: Converging Methods Approach  Representative Paper
 6:30    Dinner, on your own

All Day Imaging Workshop
 8:30    Brad Schlaggar*, Washington University, How to design an fMRI experiment    Representative Paper
10:00   Safety film and article Matt Davidson, Sackler
11:00   Breakout into 3 groups to design experiment (Schlaggar*, Zevin & Davidson, Nystrom)
 1:00     Lunch, on your own   
 3:00    Afternoon of scanning with Leigh Nystrom, Princeton
 6:00    Happy Hour at Casey-Cohen House

Theme: Learning and Reward Systems
 8:30    Susan Andersen, McLean, Development of Dopamine System: Animal Studies
10:00   Break
10:30   Read Montague, Baylor, Imaging, Modeling and Animal Studies
12:00   Lunch, on your own
1:30     BJ Casey, Sackler, Imaging and Genetic Studies of Dopamine related Circuitry
3:00     Break
3:30     Genetics workshop, John Fossella, Sackler Institute
6:30     Dinner, on your own

Theme: Hippocampal and Cortical-dependent Learning
 8:30    Matt Wilson*, MIT, Hippocampal Learning
10:00   Break
10:30   Michael Frank, Institution University of Colorado at Boulder, Dopamine Modulation of the Basal Ganglia
12:00   Lunch, on your own
 2:00    Computational Modeling Workshop: Age Dependent Learning
             Bruce McCandliss* and Jason Zevin, Sackler Institute  Representative Paper 1  2  3
 5:00    Break
 7:00    Dinner and Debate at Prospect House

 9:30    Closing Keynote Address: System Neuroscience
             Bruce McEwen, Rockefeller University
11:00   Closing Remarks and Evaluations: Natasha Kirkham, Stanford
11:30   Adjourn

*  John Merck Scholar


A special thanks to Valorie Salimpoor for submitting them.
Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Box 140, 1300 York Avenue NY, NY 10065