Brain, Behavior, and Girls!

Girl BAND stands for Girl Brain and Neuro-Development

Researchers at Stanford University are studying brain development in relation to behavior, cognition, and mood in girls.

This study is an NIH-funded research project aimed to increase our understanding of the brain during a critical time of a child’s growth. Information learned from this research can ultimately contribute to an increased understanding of learning, behavior, and emotion facilitating the development of intervention services/therapies.

What does a study visit look like?

Study Update

We want to share some exciting news... The Girl BAND team recently published our first paper utilizing data we collected with the help of your family! You can read the paper online here. We are so grateful to all of the families who participate in our research. We couldn't do it without you!

We look forward to coming to your home for the second annual visit soon. Please be on the lookout for more information about scheduling your next visit!

Meet the Girl BAND Research Team

Message from the Principal Investigator

I am very pleased to tell you that we are beginning a new Stanford NIMH-funded study investigating how anxiety, attentional, learning and behavioral issues develop in girls over time.  The project is designed to improve our understanding of brain and behavioral growth in girls during a critical time in their development (a hugely understudied area of investigation). Information gained from this research is designed to improve our scientific and clinical understanding of behavioral and emotional challenges in girls, ultimately facilitating the development of more specific and effective intervention services/therapies in the future.

Girls between the ages of 6 and 14 that are typically developing, have learning/behavioral challenges, have developmental disabilities, or have fragile X syndrome will be recruited and have an initial visit at Stanford over a 2-day period. Comprehensive cognitive, educational and psychological testing will be administered accompanied by a brain imaging exam (MRI). We will then follow up with each participant at three additional annual time points, including two in their own homes. (There is one more on-site Stanford visit requested.) All lodging and travel expenses will be covered for participating families.

Potential benefits for the participants and their families include: (1) a written report providing results and discussion of the comprehensive cognitive testing, including information about learning strengths, weaknesses, differences and challenges, (2) written report will include information on psychological function, (3) annual follow-up to track progress over the 5-year period of the study, (4) honorarium of $100 for each assessment, (5) first access to results of the study as they are generated (via a study newsletter), (6) interaction with experts in child psychiatry and psychology if questions arise or referral is needed. This research has been approved by the Stanford University Institutional Review Board (protocol #42442).

We are very excited about the contribution our “Girl BAND” (Girl Behavior and NeuroDevelopment) study will make to furthering our understanding of brain development in girls over time and look forward to meeting participants and their families. Please do not hesitate to contact me (, 650-498-4538) or Amy Lightbody (, 650-721-5645) with further questions or needs regarding the project.

Many thanks for your consideration.


Allan L. Reiss, M.D. 
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University School of Medicine