Insights into the Brain: Neuroimaging of Brain Development and Maturation

Lyall AE, Savadjiev P, Shenton ME, Kubicki M

J Neuroimaging Psychiatry Neurol 2016;1(1):10-19

PMID: 28620654


The study of how the human brain develops has always been a challenge and an interest to the scientific community. In recent years, new evidence has suggested that many neuropsychiatric disorders may originate from aberrations early in development. This discovery necessitates the application of methodologies that make possible the investigation of human brain development and across the lifespan. In this commentary, we present evidence that the advent of structural neuroimaging has specifically and significantly contributed critical information about the developmental trajectories of postnatal human brain development that would otherwise not have been possible. We believe that this is particularly relevant to present day research as it has become increasingly clear that growth trajectories within the brain might serve as an endophenotype for a number of factors, ranging from IQ to psychiatric illness. We highlight seminal early works that helped to jumpstart the field of developmental neuroimaging and which inspired incredible new advances in neuroimaging methodologies that are being developed and applied in the field today.