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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Mar 11;105(10):4028-32. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0800376105. Epub 2008 Mar 5.

The maturing architecture of the brain's default network.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA. damien.fair@aya.yale.edu

Abstract

In recent years, the brain's "default network," a set of regions characterized by decreased neural activity during goal-oriented tasks, has generated a significant amount of interest, as well as controversy. Much of the discussion has focused on the relationship of these regions to a "default mode" of brain function. In early studies, investigators suggested that, the brain's default mode supports "self-referential" or "introspective" mental activity. Subsequently, regions of the default network have been more specifically related to the "internal narrative," the "autobiographical self," "stimulus independent thought," "mentalizing," and most recently "self-projection." However, the extant literature on the function of the default network is limited to adults, i.e., after the system has reached maturity. We hypothesized that further insight into the network's functioning could be achieved by characterizing its development. In the current study, we used resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) to characterize the development of the brain's default network. We found that the default regions are only sparsely functionally connected at early school age (7-9 years old); over development, these regions integrate into a cohesive, interconnected network.

PMID:
18322013
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2268790
Free PMC Article

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