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Shaping the social brain through early interactions

Objective

The first three years of life are critical for children’s long-term development, health and wellbeing, since core brain functions are formed during this period and the brain is much more vulnerable to adversity, which is key for the emergence of developmental disorders (autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). Identifying the mechanisms that act during early childhood to shape individual long-term social development is essential for improving the health and wellbeing and has far-reaching consequences for social and educational policy. We propose that this key scientific problem cannot be solved without first understanding how early social exchanges tune critical brain functions in early childhood. Daily, repeated exchanges between infants and caregivers provide the substrate for the interacting influences of genes and the environment on brain development. By studying the micro-scale dynamics of early social exchanges we can revolutionise the understanding of macro-scale development of socially-relevant functions like theory of mind, language, attention, and emotion regulation. Our radically new approach puts social exchanges at the heart of brain development, which is sculpted through a complex ongoing cascade of interactions between the brain and its social environment. SAPIENS combines advances in ecological, mobile real-time brain and behaviour measurement, data modelling and artificial intelligence approaches to train a new generation of researchers in implementing these ground-breaking approaches to early social development. SAPIENS will generate revolutionary new tools for translating cutting-edge basic science into clinical diagnostic and treatment tools for developmental disorders, while engaging the public and delivering new public policy. By building on a strong intersectorial network of excellent research centres and industry, we will provide highly innovative and multidisciplinary training for young research leaders in developmental science.

Coordinator

UNIWERSYTET WARSZAWSKI

Address

Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28
00 927 Warszawa

Poland

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 454 957,20

Participants (10)

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BIRKBECK COLLEGE - UNIVERSITY OF LONDON

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 606 345,12

KING'S COLLEGE LONDON

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 303 172,56

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 303 172,56

UNIVERSITEIT GENT

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 512 640

STICHTING KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 531 239,76

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 531 239,76

UPPSALA UNIVERSITET

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 281 982,96

KAROLINSKA INSTITUTET

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 281 982,96

ISTITUTO SUPERIORE DI SANITA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 261 499,68

HARIMATA SP ZOO

Poland

Partners (7)

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Fundacja Rozwoju Dzieci im. J.A. Komenskiego

Poland

BABYBRAINS LIMITED

United Kingdom

iMotions A/S

Denmark

PHIER LTD

United Kingdom

MENTIS CURA EHF

Iceland

Atferlisgreining ehf

Iceland

VICARIOUS PERCEPTION TECHNOLOGIES BV

Netherlands

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 814302

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2019

  • End date

    31 December 2022

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 4 068 232,56

  • EU contribution

    € 4 068 232,56

Coordinated by:

UNIWERSYTET WARSZAWSKI

Poland