Shaping the Developing Brain: Prenatal through Early Childhood Fifth Annual Aspen Brain Forum

| August 8, 2014

November 11 – 13, 2014

Presented by The Aspen Brain Forum FoundationScience Translational Medicine, and the New York Academy of Sciences

Register Now

The future success of a child is crucially dependent upon the earliest stages of brain development, during pregnancy and infancy. Scientific research from multiple academic and medical disciplines has shown that the changes that take place during this early period of brain development can profoundly shape the rest of a child’s life, and affect long-term health, well-being, and cognitive ability.

As a child grows — from inside the womb through the first few years of life — massive changes take place in the connectivity and plasticity of the brain. Deepening our understanding of the connection between a child’s early behavioral milestones and their brain’s structural and neural development is a critical first step for promoting healthy brain development, as well as improving treatments for developmental and learning disorders. Additionally, functional or dysfunctional social and family relationships, socioeconomic status/poverty, stress, nutrition, and other environmental experiences produce lasting effects on the brain and impact how children will respond to adversity, how they will interact with their peers, and whether they will succeed in school and throughout their lives.

This 2.5-day conference will convene leading researchers with expertise in the fundamental stages of early brain development, and will focus on the connection between research and improved outcomes for children.  Conference speakers will present the latest discoveries from cognitive neuroscience and experimental psychology regarding typical and atypical development of human learning and memory, emotion, and social behavior in the first few years of life. They will also explore socioeconomic, family, and nutritional factors that can affect brain and behavior.  The conference will highlight educational practices, health and nutrition practices, applied research, and government policy with the potential for enhancing healthy brain development and improving outcomes for at-risk children.

This conference will feature a dedicated session: Spotlight on Nutrition and Brain Development, co-presented with The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science, a program of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Keynote Speaker: Thomas R. Insel, MD

National Institute of Mental Health

Call for Abstracts

The deadline for poster abstract submission is Monday, September 15, 2014.
Select abstracts will be chosen for oral presentation during the Hot Topics session. For complete abstract submission instructions, please send an email to with “Abstract Information” in the subject line. There is no need to type a message; instructions will be forwarded automatically. Please call 212.298.8681 with any questions.

Call for Early Career Investigator and Minority Early Career Investigator Travel Fellowship and Childcare Grant Applications

The deadline for submission of applications is Monday, September 15, 2014.
Applications are invited from qualified early career investigators and investigators with childcare needs.  For detailed information on eligibility and application instructions, please send an email with the words “Fellowship Information” in the subject line.  There is no need to type a message; instructions will be forwarded automatically. Please call 212.298.8681 with any questions.

Public Lecture Information

Registration for the associated Public Lecture on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 is free for Shaping the Developing Brain Conference registrants (Please see Agenda tab for a detailed schedule). However, separate pre-registration will be required. Ticket availability we be on a first come, first served basis. Public Lecture registration will open shortly, and further information regarding how to register will be sent to Conference registrants at that time.

Registration Pricing

By 10/03/2014 After 10/03/2014 Onsite
Member $295 $350 $395
Student/Postdoc Member $195 $250 $295
Nonmember (Academia) $395 $450 $495
Nonmember (Corporate) $495 $595 $650
Nonmember (Non-profit) $395 $450 $495
Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Fellow) $220 $275 $320

Registration includes a complimentary, one-year membership to the New York Academy of Sciences. Complimentary memberships are provided to non-members only and cannot be used to renew or extend existing or expiring memberships. A welcome email will be sent upon registration which will include your membership credentials