They Sleep Like Babies in the Infancy Studies Laboratory

by: Ferlanda Fox Nixon, Anthony Alvarez

November 7, 2017

Sue Peters in the Infancy Studies Lab

Dr. Sue Peters, a member of the Infancy Studies Laboratory led by Dr. April Benasich, has the enviable job of studying brain rhythms of infants during sleep. With a $450,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health and a nearly $100,000 grant from the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, Peters uses high resolution sensor technology, known as dense EEG (dEEG), and analytic techniques to measure sleep as a biomarker (or measurable indicator) of brain maturation in typically developing babies.

With a goal of establishing a baseline of sleep brain rhythms for typically developing babies, Peters’s research is the first step toward developing future interventions for babies and ultimately adults. Slow waves, for example, may be a key component to understanding the development of brain-based disorders including schizophrenia, depression, ADHD, autism, and some chronic pain disorders like fibromyalgia.