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Special Issue "Environmental and Social Influences on Cognitive Development and Function"

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. David Harley

Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mater Research Institute-UQ, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4101, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: infectious diseases epidemiology; environmental epidemiology; developmental disability medicine; lifecourse epidemiology; climate change and health; health disparities
Guest Editor
Dr. Shamshad Karatela

School of Public Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4006, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: environmental epidemiology; exposure science; biomarkers; maternal and child health; microbiome and infectious diseases; health disparities and neurodevelopmental disorders

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on the impact of the environment on cognitive development and function throughout the lifecourse in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The venue is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph. 

The environment plays a critical role on cognitive development and function and consequently upon lifecourse trajectory. Toxins including arsenic, mercury, and lead impact the cognitive development and function of children. In utero exposure to alcohol and consequent fetal alcohol spectrum disorder impair cognitive function. Exposure to sodium valproate in utero may increase the likelihood of autism. Deficiencies in iodine and iron can impair cognition. Traumatic brain injury at any stage in the lifecourse may have major adverse impacts. In utero infection with cytomegalovirus and rubella virus can impair special senses and cognition. Cerebral infections including pneumococcal meningitis can adversely impact cognitive development. Cognitive function is significantly influenced by the social environment, and the social environment modifies the effects of other exposures outlined above.

This Special Issue is open to any subject area related to the impacts of the environment on cognitive development and function. In this context environment is interpreted broadly to include toxins, nutrients, radiation, education and other parts of the social environment, infections, and other exposures that may impact cognitive function at any stage in the lifecourse from in utero to advanced age. The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Assoc. Prof. David Harley
Dr. Shamshad Karatela
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Cognition
  • Cognitive development
  • Infection
  • Environment
  • Diet
  • Food
  • Nutrition
  • Toxins
  • Poisons
  • Education
  • Social determinants of health

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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