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Brain Cogn. 2010 Feb;72(1):6-15. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2009.08.009. Epub 2009 Sep 30.

Mapping gray matter development: implications for typical development and vulnerability to psychopathology.

Author information

1
Child Psychiatry Branch, NIMH, NIH, Building 10, Rm 3N202, 10 Center Drive, MSC-1600, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. gogtayn@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

Recent studies with brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have scanned large numbers of children and adolescents repeatedly over time, as their brains develop, tracking volumetric changes in gray and white matter in remarkable detail. Focusing on gray matter changes specifically, here we explain how earlier studies using lobar volumes of specific anatomical regions showed how different lobes of the brain matured at different rates. With the advent of more sophisticated brain mapping methods, it became possible to chart the dynamic trajectory of cortical maturation using detailed 3D and 4D (dynamic) models, showing spreading waves of changes evolving through the cortex. This led to a variety of time-lapse films revealing characteristic deviations from normal development in schizophrenia, bipolar illness, and even in siblings at genetic risk for these disorders. We describe how these methods have helped clarify how cortical development relates to cognitive performance, functional recovery or decline in illness, and ongoing myelination processes. These time-lapse maps have also been used to study effects of genotype and medication on cortical maturation, presenting a powerful framework to study factors that influence the developing brain.

PMID:
19796863
PMCID:
PMC2815268
DOI:
10.1016/j.bandc.2009.08.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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