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Trends Cogn Sci. 2005 Mar;9(3):104-10.

Imaging the developing brain: what have we learned about cognitive development?

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Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 1300 York Avenue, Box 140, New York, NY 10021, USA.


The human brain undergoes significant changes in both its structural architecture and functional organization across the life span. Advances in neuroimaging techniques over the past decade have allowed us to track these changes safely in the human in vivo. We review the imaging literature on the neurobiology of cognitive development, focusing specifically on cognitive task-dependent changes observed in brain physiology and anatomy across childhood and adolescence. The findings suggest that cortical function becomes fine-tuned with development. Brain regions associated with more basic functions such as sensory and motor processes mature first, followed by association areas involved in top-down control of behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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