R. Terry Pivik, Ph.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Section of Developmental Nutrition
Our research program is centered on determining the influence of postnatal diet, childhood nutrition and obesity on physiological, psychological and cognitive development and functioning in children. Our current program includes studies of: 1) the immediate and long-term influence of infant diet (e.g., breastfeeding vs. formula feeding) on brain development; 2) understanding the relationship between diet and processes that optimize attention and learning while in school; and 3) determining neurocognitive correlates and consequences of being overweight in children, and how these factors may relate to the development of childhood obesity. By understanding these processes, nutritional and other strategies can be developed for mothers, babies and children to optimize long-term brain function and cognitive health.