The Victorian Infant Brain Study (VIBeS) Longitudinal Cohort is the world’s largest prospective longitudinal neuroimaging and neurodevelopmental study of very preterm and term children continuing into adolescence. This longitudinal study is investigating the long-term consequences of early brain injury on brain development and functional outcomes including cognitive, academic, motor, emotional and social functioning. This cohort has undergone brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at term equivalent age, seven and thirteen years of age, as well as neurodevelopmental assessments at two, five, seven and thirteen years of age. Detailed social and environmental information has also been collected. One of the primary aims of the VIBeS longitudinal cohort is to understand why the long-term outcome following very preterm birth varies so greatly, from children with severe cognitive and motor impairments to children who are functioning well across all domains. We are particularly focused on identifying neurological biomarkers for specific neurodevelopmental disorders from our longitudinal MRI data, as well as family protective factors such as parental mental health and parenting.

* CA – Corrected Age (for prematurity)

Study Summary
Study name VIBeS (Victorian Infant Brain Studies) Longitudinal Cohort Study
Study abbreviation VIBeS
Current principal investigator/s Prof Peter Anderson
Current project manager Prof Peter Anderson
Primary Institution Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Collaborating Institution/s The Royal Women’s Hospital
Major funding sources National Health and Medical Research Council
Study website
Are data available to others outside study team? The data are not publicly available and is only available to team members and collaborators.  Occasionally we will send data to experts outside the team for specific analyses/interpretation.
Study focus (e.g. social development) Documenting the evolution of brain alterations and neurobehavioural impairments in premature infants.
Sampling frame 227 preterm children (born < 30 weeks’ gestation or with birthweight < 1250 g) recruited from eligible admissions to the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne (Australia; control sample of 76 term children (born 37 to 42 weeks’ gestation).
Study type (e.g. randomised control trial, cohort, case-control) Longitudinal birth cohort study (case-control)
Year commenced 2001
Ongoing recruitment? No
Commencement sample (N) Preterm: 210 from birth
Term: 47 from birth plus 43 from age 2
Intergenerational (e.g. offspring)? No
Imaging (e.g. fMRI, ultrasound, retinal photograph)? Qualitative MRI
3-Dimensional Quantitative Volumetric Processing
Diffusion Tensor MRI
Functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI)
Brain ultrasound
Linkage (e.g. BioGrid, VPDC, NAPLAN, Medicare)? No
Biosamples (e.g. buccal, blood, hair)? No
Ethics approvals or requirements (e.g. specific, extended, unspecified, other)? This project only (Specific consent)
Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample (not deceased, not withdrawn)
2001 – 2003 term assessed shortly after birth
pre-term assessed at term equivalent age
227 (pre-term)
46 (term)
2003 – 2005 2 years (corrected age for pre-term) 220 assessed (pre-term)
76 assessed (45 from birth term group plus 31 term controls recruited at 2 years)
2006 – 2008 5 years (corrected age for pre-term)
Pre-term – 60.5 months, Term – 64.0 months
195 assessed (pre-term)
69 assessed (term)
2008 – 2010 7 years (corrected age for pre-term)
Pre-term – 7.5 years, Term – 7.6 years
198 assessed (pre-term)
70 assessed (term)
2014 – 2016 13 years (corrected age for pre-term) Data not yet available

Principal Investigator

Prof Peter Anderson

Senior Research Officer

Dr Karli Treyvaud

Research Nurse Coordinator

Merilyn Bear
+613 9345 4836