The Attachment and Neurodevelopment Lab is directed by Dr Lane Strathearn, a neuroscientist and developmental pediatrician at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. The lab’s research focuses on the neurobiology of mother-infant attachment, and neurodevelopmental disabilities such as autism. This includes a longitudinal study of women and their infants, examining maternal brain and hormone responses to infant facial expressions using functional MRI. The lab is launching a multi-year study that will recruit hundreds of mother-child dyads to investigate roles of social experience and epigenetic changes in autism spectrum disorder.


The lab has received funding from the U.S. National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to support the newly-funded University of Iowa Hawkeye Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (Hawk-IDDRC).


Research Participation

We are inviting mothers and their 14-month to 3 year-old children to participate in our Autism Genetics and Epigenetics Study! Please complete the Eligibility Screener (AGES) ( to determine if you are eligible for participation.

For additional information, call (319) 467-5053 or email us at