ABOUT THE LAB
Research focuses on the long-term cognitive development of children, including healthy infants and those afflicted by a newborn brain injury. The research lab aims to identify imaging, neurophysiological, and behavioral biomarkers that will help predict executive dysfunction and cognitive disability in populations at risk.
PART OF A LARGER COMMUNITY
The Neonatal Neurology Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is committed to providing the highest quality of care among newborns with neurological disorders. Our providers offer comprehensive and family-centered care, with a focus on neuroprotection. Team members are involved in a wide range of clinical and translational research projects that seek to optimize long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes among these high-risk infants. Our program offers ample opportunities for trainees: medical students, residents and fellows across a wide variety of specialty fields are welcome to gain expertise with our team, with the ultimate goal to become the next generation of leaders in the field.
The study will identify early predictors of long-term cognitive disability among at-risk children. Methods include use of MRI, EEG, and behavioral/cognitive assessments to meet study goals.
Language and Brain Development
This study aims to understand the early brain markers associated with optimized language development in the first 12 months of life.
The project aims to use evidence-based protocols to improve access to best-medical practices for treating newborns with neurological disorders.
Electroencephalography (EEG) is a non-invasive test that detects electrical activity in your child’s brain using small, metal discs (electrodes) attached to a hat that your child will be asked to wear. Because you and your child’s brain cells communicate via electrical impulses and are active all the time, this activity shows up as brain waves on an EEG recording! Your child’s brain activity will be assessed using EEG while your child is playing and cuddling with you.
Another way to test what children know is by having them play different games that require for them to think, plan and focus. We will play several games with your child, to learn how children develop attentional and memory abilities.
Melisa Carrasco McCaul, MD, PhD
Maeve Ryan will be graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2024 and plans to pursue a career in education.
I am a Senior studying Neurobiology with a certificate in Entrepreneurship! Throughout the entirety of my academic career, I have been fascinated by the anatomy, physiology, and plasticity of the human brain. This intrigue, along with my passion for entering the healthcare field as a PA, greatly sparked my interest in joining Dr. Carrasco McCaul’s TREES lab to learn more about the cognitive development of children following a neonatal brain injury!
Naba Rao graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2023 and is taking a gap year in anticipation of pursuing a career in medicine.
Olivia Gibbs was invited to present her data as part of this year’s University of Wisconsin Undergraduate Symposium and did a terrific job during the posterior presentation.