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Raznahan A, Lerch JP, Lee N, Greenstein D, Wallace GL, Stockman M, Clasen L, Shaw PW, Giedd JN. Patterns of coordinated anatomical change in human cortical development: a longitudinal neuroimaging study of maturational coupling. Neuron. 2011 Dec 8 ; 72(5):873-84. Pubmed Abstract

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Primary Papers: Patterns of coordinated anatomical change in human cortical development: a longitudinal neuroimaging study of maturational coupling.

Comment by:  Tonya White
Submitted 20 December 2011
Posted 20 December 2011

Maturational Coupling and Neurodevelopmental Trajectories
Raznahan and colleagues (Raznahan et al., 2011) present an interesting article that evaluates maturation coupling of brain regions in a large, longitudinal cohort of typically developing children and adolescents. The authors utilized a correlation-based approach to map distinct brain regions that most closely follow similar growth trajectories, which they coin "maturational coupling." Their results replicate prior findings from their group (Shaw et al., 2008), but are extended to show that the structural brain regions involving the default-mode network also demonstrate similar maturational coupling, thus forming a structure/function relationship within this network. "Regions that wire together, grow together, and fire together" perhaps?

One weakness of the study, as noted also by the authors, is that the growth trajectories are modeled using linear parameters, when it is well known that neurodevelopmental trajectories are non-linear (Sowell et al., 2004). In addition, with this approach, regions that have greater measurement variability would show less maturational coupling. Nevertheless, defining typical developmental trajectories and maturational coupling of brain regions will be crucial to developing a better understanding of when processes go askew.

References:

1. Raznahan A, Lerch JP, Lee N, Greenstein D, Wallace GL, Stockman M, Clasen L, Shaw PW, Giedd JN. Patterns of coordinated anatomical change in human cortical development: a longitudinal neuroimaging study of maturational coupling. Neuron . 2011 Dec 8 ; 72(5):873-84. Abstract

2. Shaw P, Kabani NJ, Lerch JP, Eckstrand K, Lenroot R, Gogtay N, Greenstein D, Clasen L, Evans A, Rapoport JL, Giedd JN, Wise SP. Neurodevelopmental trajectories of the human cerebral cortex. J Neurosci . 2008 Apr 2 ; 28(14):3586-94. Abstract

3. Sowell ER, Thompson PM, Toga AW. Mapping changes in the human cortex throughout the span of life. Neuroscientist . 2004 Aug 1 ; 10(4):372-92. Abstract

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