The Preschool Brain Imaging and Behaviour Project (PIP)

Autism Policies

The Preschool Brain Imaging and Behaviour Project (PIP) is the first Europe-wide study to track the development of preschool children with and without autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions. The study involves researchers from the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Sweden. It is part of the AIMS-2-TRIALS and CANDY consortiums.

What are our aims?

Our first goal is to better understand variability in brain development in children from different backgrounds. We would then like to see how differences in brain development are related to a child’s behaviour, learning, social and emotional development.

Our second goal is to use this information to better understand the impact of differences in brain development on neurodevelopmental conditions, such as autism, ADHD, developmental delay and epilepsy.

We hope that in the future this research might aid in earlier diagnosis and improved support for children with different neurodevelopmental conditions.

What does the study involve?

In the PIP study, we aim to track the development of a large cohort of pre-schoolers over the course of three years.

We ask for parents or caregivers to complete questionnaires and interviews about their child’s behaviour, development, temperament, and environment.  

We use interactive games, touchscreen tablet tasks and eye-tracking with the children themselves. We also measure children’s brain activity and development using brain-imaging techniques, called EEG and MRI.


Who can take part? 

  • Children between 2 ½ and 4 ½ years old with or without autism
  • Children between 4 and 5 ½ years old with ADHD
  • Children between 3 and 4 ½ years old with developmental delay
PIP study