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McLean researchers

Martin Teicher: Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program

Our aim is to improve the lives of children, adolescents, and adults by exploring the cause of psychiatric disorders that arise during development, and by creating medical devices for their assessment. Our scientists are particularly focused on the enduring effects of childhood maltreatment.

Research reveals a strong link between physical, sexual, and emotional maltreatment and bullying, and depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and substance abuse.

Research we pioneered shows that childhood maltreatment alters brain structure and function, depending on the type of abuse and the stage of development.

Our research goals include:

  • Identifying sensitive periods when brain regions are maximally vulnerable to early life stress and associated with greatest risk for mental illness
  • Assessing whether alterations in brain structure can predict future risk for substance abuse
  • Evaluating novel treatments for ADHD, depression & learning disorders, including sensory enrichment, brain exercises, acupressure and mindfulness

The Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program was founded in 1988.