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Cereb Cortex. 2011 Jan;21(1):145-54. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhq071. Epub 2010 Apr 26.

The functional architecture of the infant brain as revealed by resting-state fMRI.

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Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, SE-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden.


The functional network topology of the adult human brain has recently begun to be noninvasively mapped using resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging and described using mathematical tools originating from graph theory. Previous studies have revealed the existence of disproportionally connected brain regions, so called cortical hubs, which act as information convergence zones and supposedly capture key aspects of how the brain's architecture supports human behavior and how it is affected by disease. In this study, we present results showing that cortical hubs and their associated cortical networks are largely confined to primary sensory and motor brain regions in the infant brain. Our findings in infants stand in stark contrast to the situation found in adults where the majority of cortical hubs and hub-related networks are located in heteromodal association cortex. Our findings suggest that the functional network architecture in infants is linked to support tasks that are of a perception-action nature.

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