NORA the Brain Explorer

The Neurodevelopment Of Reasoning Ability study (better known as NORA) is a large and long-term study of the behavioral and neurological development of high-level cognition in children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 19. The sample consists of 201 individuals, for whom we have collected some or all of the following types of data at 1-2 timepoints, with an average of 1.5 years between assessments:
1. Demographic information
2. Standardized assessments of cognitive function
3. Scores on state-wide tests of academic achievement (California STAR testing)
4. Tests of reasoning carefully designed in our lab
5. Measures of brain structure
a) Cortical thickness, as measured by structural MRI scans
b) White matter integrity, as measured by diffusion tensor imaging
6. Measures of brain function
a) Patterns of blood flow on fMRI scans during performance of two different reasoning tasks
b) Patterns of functional connectivity, or correlated activation between brain regions
7. saliva samples for use in genotyping, in collaboration with Professors Torkel Klingberg and Juha Kere at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden

This study is co-led by Professors Silvia Bunge and Emilio Ferrer, and is currently funded by a 5-year grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. We hope to bring as many of the participants as possible back for a third wave of behavioral data collection starting this summer. It will take years for us to finish analyzing and publishing the results of this large and complex existing dataset.

Professor Bunge welcomes e-mails from qualified individuals interested in applying for external funding to support a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab to carry out data analysis and write up results for publication. She also welcomes e-mails from established researchers who would be interested in analyzing a subset of the data. Please write to sbunge @

Sample publications: