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The Network

Our mission is to create an inclusive multidisciplinary community that brings together neurodivergent families, bioengineers, psychologists, psychiatrists, paediatricians and related disciplines to develop Responsible, Reliable, Scalable and Personalised Neurotechnologies for neurodivergent children.

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Our Vision

RESPECT 4 Neurodevelopment stands for Responsible, Reliable, Scalable and Personalised Neurotechnologies for infants and children with neurodevelopmental conditions.  It is a EPSRC/ MRC funded UKRI-Network Plus that started in September 2022 and will be funded until August 2025.

 

For the first time, this new network gives us the opportunity to build an inclusive, multi-disciplinary community to make transformative changes in developing child-specific neurotechnologies for the clinic or home.

Network Aims

The Four Pillars of RESPECT 4 Neurodevelopment

Responsibility

Ensure that neurotechnologies are ethical, desired, acceptable and user-friendly for children and families

Reliability

Ensure that neurotechnologies are accurate 

Scalability

Ensure that neurotechnologies can be used in different labs, clinics or homes 

Personalisation

Ensure that neurotechnologies can be tailored to individual children’s needs and characteristics

Learn more about Responsible, Reliable, Scalable & Personalised Technologies
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What Has Motivated this Network?

Approximately 1 in 10 people worldwide have a neurodevelopmental condition and many more identify as neurodivergent. This includes autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)1, developmental delay, learning and motor disabilities, developmental speech disorders, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia,  and several neurogenetic conditions. Neurodevelopmental conditions develop early and are life-long. Support needs range from mild (transient,  in specific situations or for specific purposes) to strong.

 

Advances in neurotechnologies hold promise to make a substantial difference to people’s lives. Applications range from detecting differences in brain development in neonatal intensive care units to device-based therapies in clinics or at home, to improving learning opportunities in schools.  In order to harness these opportunities and to make neurotechnologies most relevant and user-friendly for professionals and families, bioengineers, medical and social scientists, and neurodivergent families need to work together. 

 

 

Note1: ADHD We are using this term as it is the most commonly used term but we recognise that it is also known as ADHC or VAST as the term is under review.  We will continue to update this and are happy for you to share your thoughts with us.  

The Foundations

Network Framework

Our vision is to create a framework to co-develop neurotechnologies from the design through to implementation in health care, at home and  in educational settings. It intersects three major approaches: 

Neurodiversity Affirmative Approaches

Neurodiversity affirmative approaches start with recognition of the diversity in brain development that shape people’s perception, cognition and experience. This diversity can be associated with both strengths and varying support needs in different socio-cultural contexts. Neurodiversity affirmative approaches aim to increase the quality of life of neurodivergent people by both reducing stigma and obstacles in current society and by creating tailored support that respects human diversity.

Precision Healthcare

Precision healthcare was motivated by the recognition that categorical diagnoses (for example, Autism, ADHD) do not allow us to make accurate predictions about a person’s development, support needs and benefits, or the underlying cause and mechanisms of clinical features. It aims to match therapies (medical and non-medical) to individual needs and biological profiles. Neurodiversity affirmative approaches and precision healthcare intersect by appreciating the diversity among neurodivergent people and share the common goal to tailor support to individual needs, strengths and characteristics.

Next Generation Neurotechnology

Currently major advances in neurotechnologies are being made. This includes increasing resolution and reliability of non-invasive neuroimaging techniques, development of wearable and mobile neurotechnologies that may be more accessible for families, advances in robotics, as well as in Artificial Intelligence approaches such as closed-loop neuroadaptive techniques. Key applications include: 1) to help in earlier and more reliable detection of neurodevelopmental conditions 2) to monitor a child’s development 3) to develop device-based therapies and to tailor support to each person’s needs and characteristics.

Activities & Events

Discover our wide range of educational activities, workshops, webinars and working groups.

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  • Early Careers Network
  • Lunch and Learn Webinar Series
  • Participatory Research Group (PPI)
  • Working Groups

Annual Conference 2024

Date: 5th & 6th September
2nd Annual Event will be held at King’s College London, Strand Campus. This is a two-day event.

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Lunch and Learn Webinar Series

Next Lunch and Learn Webinar is 24th June 2024. A monthly online event, 1-2pm UK time. See details for our inspiring list of future and past speakers and link to previous recordings.

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Early Career Researcher Network (ECR)

We have an active Early Career Researcher Network to train the next generation of researchers in multi-disciplinary aspects of Neurotechnology. From peer to peer group mentorship to cross – sector secondments drawing on senior expertise.

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Responsibility Working Group

This group identifies research priorities and challenges for the responsible development and use of neurotechnologies, and aims to develop principles of how to address them.

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Reliability Working Group

The Reliability Working Group is working towards standardising approaches within technologies, such as EEG, fNRIS, fMRI, MEG, ultrasound, eye-tracking or apps but also across technologies to improve comparability of data acquired by different teams or in different settings.

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Scalability Working Group

Most neuroimaging tools can only be used in research or hospital settings and are expensive. The goal of the scalability working group is to thus to understand how as a community we can overcome these challenges, to make sure that the neurotechnology we use are affordable, accessible, and representative for all children and families.

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Personalisation Working Group

The Personalisation Working Group aspires to move away from one-size-fits-all neurotechnology and towards more inclusive and adaptable technology for neurodivergent individuals across developmental stages.

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Participatory Research Group (PPI)

The Participatory Research Group is central to the network. Members include those who identify as neurodivergent and have first-hand lived experience, parents/ family members of children with different neurodevelopmental conditions and varying support needs, and professionals (teachers, support workers). Participatory research is critical to learn more about what matters the most to the users of existing and future neurotechnologies.

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Industry Members

We have members from multiple industries in our network and this membership is increasingly growing. 

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Annual Conference 10th November 2023

See News for summary of this conference event.

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View all Network Activities