The role of field-ready stress neurobiology approaches in applied / intervention research on learning and development in adverse socioeconomic, political, and geographic contexts


We see that other people have indicated interest in this area of neurobiology and development. Based on our collective work we propose to take it a step farther and emphasize doing this work

  • From lab to field
  • Across countries and contexts
  • Using multiple methods in multiple systems

The meeting would focus more on the hands-on how to do this research in underresouced contexts with diverse populations, how to process and analyze the data, and how to interpret the data within context.

  • Moving from the lab to the real life setting,
  • Why: understanding mechanisms, additional level of variation, informing program designs to increase effectiveness
  • Why do we think it’s possible: Advancements of technology - mobile and telemetric units (e.g., ANS, EEG, fNIRS), noninvasive procedures (e.g., assays from saliva and hair, dermal patches), etc.
  • Testing existing Western theories and measures predominantly evaluated only in WEIRD samples, e.g., ecological adaptiveness of different magnitudes or kinds of stress reactivity, cohesion of multiple systems with each other and with self-reports of stress, etc.
  • Understanding risk and resilience across contexts, developmental processes and trajectories, individual differences in learning and development
  • What are the buffers, and/or supports to reverse effects of adversity on neurobiological health across cultural contexts (e.g., the role of chanting and physical play in the Rohingya)
  • Multi-method, multi-system approaches: brain, immune, ANS, HPA, HPG
  • Practical considerations
  • Applicability, feasibility, cultural appropriateness, power relations, buy in,
  • maintaining accuracy and integrity while allowing for cross-cultural adaptation/interpretation
  • Capacity building, field, lab

Topics suggested from surveys at other special meetings:
Bridging health and development
Measurement and analytical methods
Mixed methods
Methodological approaches cutting across content areas
Measurement and methods of constructs that change across development
Policy and practice / implementation science
Cross-cultural research
Resilience and children experiencing trauma
Adversity and psychobiology

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