Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2010 Jan;35(1):147-68. doi: 10.1038/npp.2009.115.

Normal development of brain circuits.

Author information

1
Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA. taug@childpsych.columbia.edu

Abstract

Spanning functions from the simplest reflex arc to complex cognitive processes, neural circuits have diverse functional roles. In the cerebral cortex, functional domains such as visual processing, attention, memory, and cognitive control rely on the development of distinct yet interconnected sets of anatomically distributed cortical and subcortical regions. The developmental organization of these circuits is a remarkably complex process that is influenced by genetic predispositions, environmental events, and neuroplastic responses to experiential demand that modulates connectivity and communication among neurons, within individual brain regions and circuits, and across neural pathways. Recent advances in neuroimaging and computational neurobiology, together with traditional investigational approaches such as histological studies and cellular and molecular biology, have been invaluable in improving our understanding of these developmental processes in humans in both health and illness. To contextualize the developmental origins of a wide array of neuropsychiatric illnesses, this review describes the development and maturation of neural circuits from the first synapse through critical periods of vulnerability and opportunity to the emergent capacity for cognitive and behavioral regulation, and finally the dynamic interplay across levels of circuit organization and developmental epochs.

PMID:
19794405
PMCID:
PMC3055433
DOI:
10.1038/npp.2009.115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center