Neural Networks in the Developing Human Brain
Pp. 21-31 (11)
Catherine J. Chu-Shore, Verne S. Caviness and Sydney S. Cash
The brain undergoes massive and exquisitely controlled age-specific anatomical and physiological
changes throughout development. The network paradigms discussed in this chapter provide a rich new method to
track these dynamic interregional relationships and describe global properties of the developing system as a
whole. Here, as background, we review the primary events of anatomical and physiological neurodevelopment
from gestation through adolescence. We then describe early work elucidating the presence and evolution of agespecific
functional brain networks in normal neurodevelopment. Finally, we discuss work aimed at understanding
how these relationships may be altered in disease, and perhaps even rectified with treatment. Although much
remains to be done, the application of the network model to the developing human brain holds tremendous
promise for future discovery.
Pruning, maturation, neuroanatomy, default network, epilepsy, autism.
Divisions of Pediatric Neurology and Neurophysiology, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 175 Cambridge Street, Suite 340, Boston, MA 02114, USA