You know where your eye color and height came from, but do you wonder where your reading and language abilities come from? How are we shaped by our genes, environment and the complex interplay between them? Our research team at the University of Connecticut is tackling this problem for the first time using the latest, non-invasive neuroscience approaches.  This study helps scientists disentangle genetic, prenatal, and postnatal environmental influences in brain networks underlying cognitive processes. Ultimately, this research will help us understand how we become the way we are.

This is a fantastic opportunity for you to contribute to the scientific understanding of genetic and environmental influences on language development and learn more of the most intriguing mysteries of the human brain!

What are we doing?

We are inviting families with a child born through ART or natural conception (ages 3-11) to join a program that offers comprehensive information about their child’s cognitive abilities and a brain scan at no cost.  Your participation will also help families by advancing scientific understanding of the effects of nature and nurture on cognitive, language, emotional and academic development.

Am I eligible?

  • If your child was born either through natural conception or assisted conception (e.g. in vitro fertilization (IVF), gestational surrogacy)
  • AND if your child is between 3-11 years old
  • You, your partner, and your child speak English as a native language
Mother and child

What will I do?

  • Complete a short survey to determine eligibility
  • Fill out questionnaires at home
  • Spend several hours on the UConn campus in Storrs, CT for neuropsychological testing and brain imaging using safe, non-invasive MRI scans (there is no X-ray/radiation or blood draw involved in our study)
  • Saliva collection during neuropsychological testing

You will receive:

  • You will be reimbursed for your time and travel
  • You will also receive MRI brain pictures of the whole family

For More Information:

Contact Us:

You can contact Dr. Roeland Hancock at or (860)-486-4170

This project is supported by the Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01HD094834. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.