Within the UF Center for Addiction Research & Education, Sara Jo Nixon, Ph.D., and Linda Cottler, Ph.D., serve as co-principal investigators of the UF Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development, or ABCD, study. UF is one of 21 research sites across the country for this national consortium study that is the first of its kind. The study will follow over 10,000 children, beginning age 9-10, for 10 years — the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the U.S.
The UF site is nearing completion of its initial recruitment of 430 children across eight counties in North Central Florida. A diverse set of assessments and research tools are used, including the advanced neuroimaging facilities of the McKnight Brain Institute, examining brain structure and function during adolescence. In addition, the study examines academic achievement, cognitive skills and mental health, and tracks use of alcohol and recreational drugs.