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Brain and Early Experience (BEE) Study

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


The purpose of this study is to learn more about how experiences early in life influence children's brain development. The brain develops very quickly during the first two years of life. Understanding how early experiences help to shape the brain during infancy is important for improving children's long-term physical, emotional and behavioral health. This study will provide valuable information that we hope will inform future programs to help parents and educators better support children's early brain development and their long-term health.


Behavior, Brain/Head, Microbiome, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Pregnancy, Sleep





18 - 99 years


Study Population

Pregnant women


Cathi Propper
Advanced Research Scientist
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

For questions, contact:

Kirsten McLaughlin
(984) 363-7885
Visit Website

Recruitment Period End

December 31, 2019


Primary Location
Biomedical Research Imaging Center (BRIC)
Marsico Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
Secondary Location
Biobehavioral Lab (BBL)
Carrington Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA

Study Qualifications

Gender Female

Age Range 18 - 99 years

Participant qualification(s) -Pregnant woman expecting a single baby -Over age 18 -Fluent in English

Not eligible if: -Pregnant with multiples (e.g., twins, triplets) -Younger than age 18

Number of Visits

    » 6 In person visit(s)

    1 prenatal lab visit, 2 MRI visits for your child (2 weeks and either 15 or 24 months), 2 home visits (6, 24 months), 1 lab visit (36 months)

    » 1 Remote visit(s)

    1 phone call during pregnancy

Participation Period

Approximately 3.5 years (pregnancy until your child is 3 years old)


Up to $500 for full participation (prenatal through age 3 lab visit)

By clicking I am interested, your contact information will be sent to the researcher/study coordinator for this study. The coordinator will respond by email with additional information on how to proceed.