BEAN Project

Photo by the BEAN Team

Project Description
The Bangladesh Early Adversity Imaging (BEAN) Project aims to investigate how does a child’s exposure to early adverse experiences could influence their brain and cognitive development. The project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Neuroimaging data (EEG, fNIRS and MRI) and behavioral assessments are collected in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Recent & Ongoing Studies
How deviations in early experience affect social attention and shape brain networks in children?
In a recent study, my colleagues and I (Xie et al., 2019) found that chronic inflammation is associated with decreased neural differentiation between familiar and novel faces in Bangladeshi children. In specific, children who more frequently had elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration, a biomarker of systemic inflammation, showed smaller difference between their brain responses to familiar and novel faces.

In another study, I worked with the team to explore the neural pathways by which stunting and poverty may affect future cognitive outcomes from a brain network perspective (Xie et al., In press, BMC Medicine). The pipeline I developed in Xie, Mallin, & Richards (2019) to study EEG brain functional connectivity became a valuable tool for this line of research. Using structural equation modeling, we found that EEG brain functional connectivity at 36 months mediates the relation between growth faltering (measured between 24 and 36 months) and children’s future IQ (measured at 48 months).

Wanze Xie, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow