Back to Index
Elizabeth R. Sowell-Crowell, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics
CHL MailStop 130 Off Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 361 7347


Elizabeth Sowell, PhD and her team have been dedicated to understanding how the brain changes in structure and function both in typically developing children and adolescent populations, and in populations with neurodevelopmental disorders such as fetal alcohol syndrome and autism spectrum disorders. The ultimate goal of this research is to determine how changes in the brain relate to changes in behavior and cognitive function, and to identify opportunities for educational, behavioral and pharmacologic intervention to alter abnormal patterns of brain development.


Effects of prenatal alcohol exposure and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder on adaptive functioning. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2014 May; 38(5):1439-47. View in: PubMed

A commonly carried genetic variant in the delta opioid receptor gene, OPRD1, is associated with smaller regional brain volumes: replication in elderly and young populations. Hum Brain Mapp. 2014 Apr; 35(4):1226-36. View in: PubMed

Reading skill and structural brain development. Neuroreport. 2014 Mar 26; 25(5):347-52. View in: PubMed

The NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery: results from a large normative developmental sample (PING). Neuropsychology. 2014 Jan; 28(1):1-10. View in: PubMed

White matter connectivity and aerobic fitness in male adolescents. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2014 Jan; 7:65-75. View in: PubMed

The neurobiology of childhood structural brain development: conception through adulthood. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2014; 16:3-17. View in: PubMed

Genome-wide association study of shared components of reading disability and language impairment. Genes Brain Behav. 2013 Nov; 12(8):792-801. View in: PubMed

Neuropsychological deficits associated with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure are not exacerbated by ADHD. Neuropsychology. 2013 Nov; 27(6):713-24. View in: PubMed

White matter microstructure abnormalities and executive function in adolescents with prenatal cocaine exposure. Psychiatry Res. 2013 Aug 30; 213(2):161-8. View in: PubMed

Further development of a neurobehavioral profile of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013 Mar; 37(3):517-28. View in: PubMed

The effects of prenatal alcohol exposure and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder on psychopathology and behavior. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013 Mar; 37(3):507-16. View in: PubMed

Prenatal alcohol exposure, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and sluggish cognitive tempo. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013 Jan; 37 Suppl 1:E338-46. View in: PubMed

White matter microstructural alterations in children with prenatal methamphetamine/polydrug exposure. Psychiatry Res. 2012 Nov 30; 204(2-3):140-8. View in: PubMed

Multimodal imaging of the self-regulating developing brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Nov 27; 109(48):19620-5. View in: PubMed

A longitudinal study of the long-term consequences of drinking during pregnancy: heavy in utero alcohol exposure disrupts the normal processes of brain development. J Neurosci. 2012 Oct 31; 32(44):15243-51. View in: PubMed

Neuroanatomical assessment of biological maturity. Curr Biol. 2012 Sep 25; 22(18):1693-8. View in: PubMed

Adolescents with prenatal cocaine exposure show subtle alterations in striatal surface morphology and frontal cortical volumes. J Neurodev Disord. 2012 Aug 07; 4(1):22. View in: PubMed

Executive function predicts adaptive behavior in children with histories of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2012 Aug; 36(8):1431-41. View in: PubMed

Neural correlates of socioeconomic status in the developing human brain. Dev Sci. 2012 Jul; 15(4):516-27. View in: PubMed

Promise for finding brain biomarkers among infants at high familial risk for developing autism spectrum disorders. Am J Psychiatry. 2012 Jun; 169(6):551-3. View in: PubMed

Abnormal cortical thickness alterations in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and their relationships with facial dysmorphology. Cereb Cortex. 2012 May; 22(5):1170-9. View in: PubMed

Callosal thickness reductions relate to facial dysmorphology in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2012 May; 36(5):798-806. View in: PubMed

Regional brain volume reductions relate to facial dysmorphology and neurocognitive function in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Hum Brain Mapp. 2012 Apr; 33(4):920-37. View in: PubMed

Association of common genetic variants in GPCPD1 with scaling of visual cortical surface area in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Mar 06; 109(10):3985-90. View in: PubMed

Along-tract statistics allow for enhanced tractography analysis. Neuroimage. 2012 Feb 15; 59(4):3227-42. View in: PubMed

Frontostriatal connectivity in children during working memory and the effects of prenatal methamphetamine, alcohol, and polydrug exposure. Dev Neurosci. 2012; 34(1):43-57. View in: PubMed

Sex matters during adolescence: testosterone-related cortical thickness maturation differs between boys and girls. PLoS One. 2012; 7(3):e33850. View in: PubMed

Reading skill is related to individual differences in brain structure in college students. Hum Brain Mapp. 2011 Aug; 32(8):1194-205. View in: PubMed

fMRI of syntactic processing in typically developing children: structural correlates in the inferior frontal gyrus. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2011 Jul; 1(3):313-23. View in: PubMed

Imaging the impact of prenatal alcohol exposure on the structure of the developing human brain. Neuropsychol Rev. 2011 Jun; 21(2):102-18. View in: PubMed

Puberty influences medial temporal lobe and cortical gray matter maturation differently in boys than girls matched for sexual maturity. Cereb Cortex. 2011 Mar; 21(3):636-46. View in: PubMed

Abnormal brain activation during working memory in children with prenatal exposure to drugs of abuse: the effects of methamphetamine, alcohol, and polydrug exposure. Neuroimage. 2011 Feb 14; 54(4):3067-75. View in: PubMed

Quantitative in vivo evidence for broad regional gradients in the timing of white matter maturation during adolescence. Neuroimage. 2011 Jan 01; 54(1):25-31. View in: PubMed

Focus on: structural and functional brain abnormalities in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Alcohol Res Health. 2011; 34(1):121-31. View in: PubMed

Collaborative initiative on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: methodology of clinical projects. Alcohol. 2010 Nov-Dec; 44(7-8):635-41. View in: PubMed

Differentiating prenatal exposure to methamphetamine and alcohol versus alcohol and not methamphetamine using tensor-based brain morphometry and discriminant analysis. J Neurosci. 2010 Mar 17; 30(11):3876-85. View in: PubMed

Relationships between brain activation and brain structure in normally developing children. Cereb Cortex. 2009 Nov; 19(11):2595-604. View in: PubMed

Altered frontal-parietal functioning during verbal working memory in children and adolescents with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. Hum Brain Mapp. 2009 Oct; 30(10):3200-8. View in: PubMed

Abnormal fMRI activation pattern during story listening in individuals with Down syndrome. Am J Intellect Dev Disabil. 2009 Sep; 114(5):369-80. View in: PubMed

Effects of prenatal methamphetamine exposure on verbal memory revealed with functional magnetic resonance imaging. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2009 Jun; 30(3):185-92. View in: PubMed

Semi-automated method for delineation of landmarks on models of the cerebral cortex. J Neurosci Methods. 2009 Apr 15; 178(2):385-92. View in: PubMed

Neurodevelopmental changes in verbal working memory load-dependency: an fMRI investigation. Neuroimage. 2008 Oct 01; 42(4):1678-85. View in: PubMed

Thinning of sensorimotor cortices in children with Tourette syndrome. Nat Neurosci. 2008 Jun; 11(6):637-9. View in: PubMed

Mapping white matter integrity and neurobehavioral correlates in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. J Neurosci. 2008 Feb 06; 28(6):1313-9. View in: PubMed

Abnormal cortical thickness and brain-behavior correlation patterns in individuals with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. Cereb Cortex. 2008 Jan; 18(1):136-44. View in: PubMed

Sex differences in cortical thickness mapped in 176 healthy individuals between 7 and 87 years of age. Cereb Cortex. 2007 Jul; 17(7):1550-60. View in: PubMed

Functional magnetic resonance imaging of verbal learning in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. Neuroreport. 2007 May 07; 18(7):635-9. View in: PubMed

Tracking Alzheimer's disease. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Feb; 1097:183-214. View in: PubMed

Mapping brain maturation. Trends Neurosci. 2006 Mar; 29(3):148-59. View in: PubMed

Brain imaging in FAS: commentary on the article by Malisza et al. Pediatr Res. 2005 Dec; 58(6):1148-9. View in: PubMed

Mapping cerebellar vermal morphology and cognitive correlates in prenatal alcohol exposure. Neuroreport. 2005 Aug 22; 16(12):1285-90. View in: PubMed

Structural MRI and brain development. Int Rev Neurobiol. 2005; 67:285-323. View in: PubMed

Longitudinal mapping of cortical thickness and brain growth in normal children. J Neurosci. 2004 Sep 22; 24(38):8223-31. View in: PubMed

Mapping changes in the human cortex throughout the span of life. Neuroscientist. 2004 Aug; 10(4):372-92. View in: PubMed

Teratogenic effects of alcohol: a decade of brain imaging. Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2004 May 15; 127C(1):35-41. View in: PubMed

Mapping brain size and cortical gray matter changes in elderly depression. Biol Psychiatry. 2004 Feb 15; 55(4):382-9. View in: PubMed

Anterior cingulate, gyrus rectus, and orbitofrontal abnormalities in elderly depressed patients: an MRI-based parcellation of the prefrontal cortex. Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Jan; 161(1):99-108. View in: PubMed

Mapping cortical change in Alzheimer's disease, brain development, and schizophrenia. Neuroimage. 2004; 23 Suppl 1:S2-18. View in: PubMed

Increases in regional subarachnoid CSF without apparent cortical gray matter deficits in schizophrenia: modulating effects of sex and age. Am J Psychiatry. 2003 Dec; 160(12):2169-80. View in: PubMed

Cortical abnormalities in children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Lancet. 2003 Nov 22; 362(9397):1699-707. View in: PubMed

Mapping cortical change across the human life span. Nat Neurosci. 2003 Mar; 6(3):309-15. View in: PubMed

Mapping cortical gray matter asymmetry patterns in adolescents with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. Neuroimage. 2002 Dec; 17(4):1807-19. View in: PubMed

Regional brain shape abnormalities persist into adolescence after heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. Cereb Cortex. 2002 Aug; 12(8):856-65. View in: PubMed

Mapping sulcal pattern asymmetry and local cortical surface gray matter distribution in vivo: maturation in perisylvian cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2002 Jan; 12(1):17-26. View in: PubMed

Development of cortical and subcortical brain structures in childhood and adolescence: a structural MRI study. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2002 Jan; 44(1):4-16. View in: PubMed

Mapping continued brain growth and gray matter density reduction in dorsal frontal cortex: Inverse relationships during postadolescent brain maturation. J Neurosci. 2001 Nov 15; 21(22):8819-29. View in: PubMed

Mapping callosal morphology and cognitive correlates: effects of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. Neurology. 2001 Jul 24; 57(2):235-44. View in: PubMed

Voxel-based morphometric analyses of the brain in children and adolescents prenatally exposed to alcohol. Neuroreport. 2001 Mar 05; 12(3):515-23. View in: PubMed

Improved memory functioning and frontal lobe maturation between childhood and adolescence: a structural MRI study. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2001 Mar; 7(3):312-22. View in: PubMed

Brain abnormalities in early-onset schizophrenia spectrum disorder observed with statistical parametric mapping of structural magnetic resonance images. Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Sep; 157(9):1475-84. View in: PubMed

Brain abnormalities observed in childhood-onset schizophrenia: a review of the structural magnetic resonance imaging literature. Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2000; 6(3):180-5. View in: PubMed

In vivo evidence for post-adolescent brain maturation in frontal and striatal regions. Nat Neurosci. 1999 Oct; 2(10):859-61. View in: PubMed

Localizing age-related changes in brain structure between childhood and adolescence using statistical parametric mapping. Neuroimage. 1999 Jun; 9(6 Pt 1):587-97. View in: PubMed

A decrease in the size of the basal ganglia in children with fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1996 Sep; 20(6):1088-93. View in: PubMed

Abnormal development of the cerebellar vermis in children prenatally exposed to alcohol: size reduction in lobules I-V. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1996 Feb; 20(1):31-4. View in: PubMed

Abnormalities of the corpus callosum in children prenatally exposed to alcohol. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1995 Oct; 19(5):1198-202. View in: PubMed

Cerebral structure on MRI, Part I: Localization of age-related changes. Biol Psychiatry. 1991 Jan 01; 29(1):55-67. View in: PubMed

Powered bySC CTSI