Early phase in human brain development

Resting-state networks in the infant brain.
Peter Fransson, Beatrice Skiold, Sandra Horsch, Anders Nordell, Mats Blennow, Hugo Lagercrant and Ulrika Ă…den.
PNAS, September 25,2007,vol.104, no.39, 15531–15536

Background: In the absence of any overt task performance, it has been shown that spontaneous, intrinsic brain activity is expressed as systemwide, resting-state networks in the adult brain. However, the route to adult patterns of resting-state activity through neuronal development in the human brain is currently unknown.

Methods: 12 infants were scanned at term-equivalent age during sleep for 10 min. The total scanning time was 45–50 min. Functional MRI was used to map patterns of resting-state activity in infants during sleep. Physiologically relevant resting-state networks across subjects were extracted by using ICA.

Results: They found five unique resting-states networks in the infant brain that encompassed the primary visual cortex, bilateral sensorimotor areas, bilateral auditory cortex, a network including the precuneus area, lateral parietal cortex, and the cerebellum as well as an anterior network that incorporated the medial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

Conclusions: The results suggest that resting-state networks driven by spontaneous signal fluctuations are present already in the infant brain. The potential link
between the emergence of behavior and patterns of resting-state activity in the infant brain is discussed.

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