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URPP Adaptive Brain Circuits in Development and Learning (AdaBD)


Neural basis of multisensory learning and processing during child development

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Research project

Efficient integration and processing of multisensory information is fundamental for perception, cognition, learning and language development. Deficits in multisensory processing put children at severe disadvantage and at risk for a variety of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. The neurobiological causes of impaired multisensory processing and learning remain largely unknown, but such knowledge is essential to define therapeutic targets and to advance individualized interventions.

Our project provides novel insights into how the structure, activation and connectivity of brain regions adapt during multisensory learning across early and middle childhood in healthy children and in patients with developmental language disorders (DLD). This is implemented by applying the tests developed in collaboration with the project FuncMechanisms to children with typical development and with DLD during behavioural and neuroimaging assessments.

This project lays the ground for longitudinally re-evaluating the study cohorts, and for implementing the developed assessment tool in clinical assessments, and next-generation interventions for children with DLD.

Research Groups

Principal Investigators: Silvia Brem, Nora Raschle, Anita Rauch, Christian Ruff, Michael von Rhein

Postdoc: Réka Borbás, Sarah Di Pietro

PhD Students: Plamina Dimanova, Carmen Providoli, Nina Raduner

Students and Assistants: Sina Gubler,  Sarah Ismail, Iris Phoebe Johnson, Carmen Providoli, Maya Schneebeli, Liora Strickler,

Platforms: Developmental Delay Database

We are looking for study participants

We are currently looking for children (5-12 years, with or without language impairment) and parents who would be interested in participating in an MRI More information and registration


Di Pietro SV, Karipidis II, Pleisch G, Brem S (2023) Neurodevelopmental trajectories of letter and speech sound processing from preschool to the end of elementary schoolDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Di Pietro SV, Williger D, Frei N, Lutz C, Coraj S, Schneider C, Stämpfli P, Brem S (2023) Disentangling influences of dyslexia, development, and reading experience on effective brain connectivity in children NeuroImage

Fraga-González G, Di Pietro SV, Pleisch G, Walitza S, Brandeis D, Karipidis II, Brem S (2022)Visual Occipito-Temporal N1 Sensitivity to Digits Across Elementary School. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 16 : 887413. 

Karipidis II, Pleisch G, Di Pietro SV, Fraga-González G, Brem S (2021) Developmental Trajectories of Letter and Speech Sound Integration During Reading Acquisition. Front. Psychol., 16 November 2021.

Underlined: AdaBD researchers