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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 16;106(24):9866-71. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0900390106. Epub 2009 May 28.

The development of neural synchrony reflects late maturation and restructuring of functional networks in humans.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, 60528 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. uhlhaas@mpih-frankfurt.mpg.de

Abstract

Brain development is characterized by maturational processes that span the period from childhood through adolescence to adulthood, but little is known whether and how developmental processes differ during these phases. We analyzed the development of functional networks by measuring neural synchrony in EEG recordings during a Gestalt perception task in 68 participants ranging in age from 6 to 21 years. Until early adolescence, developmental improvements in cognitive performance were accompanied by increases in neural synchrony. This developmental phase was followed by an unexpected decrease in neural synchrony that occurred during late adolescence and was associated with reduced performance. After this period of destabilization, we observed a reorganization of synchronization patterns that was accompanied by pronounced increases in gamma-band power and in theta and beta phase synchrony. These findings provide evidence for the relationship between neural synchrony and late brain development that has important implications for the understanding of adolescence as a critical period of brain maturation.

PMID:
19478071
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2687997
Free PMC Article
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