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Neuroimage. 2013 Nov 1;81:231-42. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.04.030. Epub 2013 May 1.

Developmental changes of functional and directed resting-state connectivities associated with neuronal oscillations in EEG.

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  • 1Institute of Neuroradiology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. lars.michels@usz.ch


Several studies demonstrated that resting-state EEG power differs tremendously between school-aged children and adults. Low-frequency oscillations (delta and theta, <7 Hz) are dominant in children but become less prominent in the adult brain, where higher-frequency alpha oscillations (8-12 Hz) dominate the mature brain rhythm. However, this assessment of developmental effects with EEG power mapping is restricted to the scalp level and blind to the information flow between brain regions, thus limiting insights about brain development. In contrast dynamic source synchronization provides a tool to study inter-regional directionality on the cortical and sub-cortical source level. In this study we investigated functional and directed connectivities (information flow) with renormalized partial directed coherence during resting state EEG (eyes open and eyes closed) recordings in 17 school-aged children and 17 young adults. First, we found higher spectral mean source power in children relative to adults, irrespective of the examined frequency band and resting state. We further found that coherence values were stronger in adults compared to children in all frequency bands. The directed within-group coherence analysis indicated information flow from frontal to parietal sources in children, while information flow from parietal to frontal was observed in adults. In addition, significant thalamocortical connectivity was unidirectional (i.e., outflow to cortical regions) in adults, but bidirectional in children. Group comparison confirmed the results of the single subject analyses for both functional and directed connectivities. Our results suggest that both functional and directed connectivities are sensitive to brain maturation as the distribution and directionality of functional connections differ between the developing and adult brains.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Adults; Children; Directed coherence; EEG; Resting-state

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