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Clin Neurophysiol. 2014 Jul;125(7):1360-70. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2013.11.028. Epub 2013 Dec 6.

The maturation of cortical sleep rhythms and networks over early development.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02144, USA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02144, USA. Electronic address: cjchu@hms.harvard.edu.
2
Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02144, USA.
3
Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02144, USA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02144, USA.
4
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Although neuronal activity drives all aspects of cortical development, how human brain rhythms spontaneously mature remains an active area of research. We sought to systematically evaluate the emergence of human brain rhythms and functional cortical networks over early development.

METHODS:

We examined cortical rhythms and coupling patterns from birth through adolescence in a large cohort of healthy children (n=384) using scalp electroencephalogram (EEG) in the sleep state.

RESULTS:

We found that the emergence of brain rhythms follows a stereotyped sequence over early development. In general, higher frequencies increase in prominence with striking regional specificity throughout development. The coordination of these rhythmic activities across brain regions follows a general pattern of maturation in which broadly distributed networks of low-frequency oscillations increase in density while networks of high frequency oscillations become sparser and more highly clustered.

CONCLUSION:

Our results indicate that a predictable program directs the development of key rhythmic components and physiological brain networks over early development.

SIGNIFICANCE:

This work expands our knowledge of normal cortical development. The stereotyped neurophysiological processes observed at the level of rhythms and networks may provide a scaffolding to support critical periods of cognitive growth. Furthermore, these conserved patterns could provide a sensitive biomarker for cortical health across development.

KEYWORDS:

Brain networks; Brain rhythms; Development; EEG; Functional connectivity; Sleep

PMID:
24418219
PMCID:
PMC4035415
DOI:
10.1016/j.clinph.2013.11.028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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