Developmental Aspects of Pediatric fMRI: Considerations for Image Acquisition, Analysis, and Interpretation

Department of Neurology, The Children's National Medical Center, George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 03/2001; 13(2):239-49. DOI: 10.1006/nimg.2000.0681
Source: PubMed


Functional MRI provides a powerful means to identify and trace the evolution, development, and consolidation of cognitive neural networks through normal childhood. Neural network perturbations due to disease and other adverse factors during development can also be explored. Studies performed to date suggest that normal children older than 5 years show activation maps comparable to adults for similar cognitive paradigms. Minor differences in adult and pediatric activation maps may reflect age dependent strategies or maturation of cognitive networks. However, there are important physiologic and anatomic differences in children, varying with age, that may affect the acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of pediatric fMRI data. Differences between children and adult fMRI comparison studies may reflect technical aspects of data acquisition as much as developmental and brain maturation factors.

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    • "With the increase of interest in newborn brain studies and growth modeling, it has become necessary to overcome the inaccuracies caused by the application of inappropriate atlas to studies in newborns. Consequently, the use of agedependent atlas for growing subjects such as newborns has been proposed [22]. Such a specific atlas template has been created by Dehaene-Lambertz et al. [23] using T2 images from two 3-month old babies for language processing studies during the first months of life. "
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    ABSTRACT: It is well established that the two hemispheres of the human brain exhibit a certain degree of asymmetry. Postmortem studies of developing brains of pre-and postpartum infants have shown that already in this early stage of development Heschl gyrus, planum temporale and superior temporal sulcus (STS) exhibit pronounced asymmetry. Advances in acquisition and computational evaluation of high-resolution magnetic resonance images provide enhanced tools for noninvasive studies of brain asymmetry in newborns. Until now most atlases used for image processing contain themselves asymmetry and may thus introduce and/or increase asymmetry already contained in the original data of brain structural or functional images. So, it is preferable to avoid the application of these asymmetric atlases. Thus, in this paper we present our framework to create a symmetric brain atlas from a group of newborns aged between 39 and 42 weeks after gestation. The resulting atlas demonstrates no difference between its original and its flipped version as should be the case for an asymmetric atlas. Consequently, the resulting symmetric atlas can be used for applications such as analysis of development of brain asymmetry in the context of language development.
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    • "To overcome the inaccuracies caused by using inappropriate templates for newborns, it has been proposed to use age dependent templates for growing subjects such as newborns [9]. With increasing interest in newborn brain studies and growth modelling, some studies have been conducted to create atlas templates for newborns. "
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    ABSTRACT: Since the human brain has a certain degree of asymmetry, asymmetry analysis based on an asymmetric brain template may result in ambiguity. Therefore, in this paper we present our framework to create a symmetric brain template from a group of newborns aged between 39 to 42 weeks after gestation. Consequently, the resulting template shows no difference between its original and its flipped version as is the case for an asymmetric template. The resulting symmetric template can be used e.g. for brain asymmetry analysis in language development.
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    • "The range of levels of working memory capacity that can be assessed using our tasks is very relevant for the study of developmental and clinical populations. With a future aim to use the tasks for neuroimaging with developmental populations, we were interested in methods that minimize extraneous developmental-laden factors (we used short runs, child friendly content, etc.; see Gaillard et al. 2001; Luna et al. 2010). To facilitate comparisons across populations, Luna et al. (2010) recommended the use of tasks with well-understood neural correlations in the adult literature. "
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of neuroimaging studies focus on brain activity during performance of cognitive tasks; however, some studies focus on brain areas that activate in the absence of a task. Despite the surge of research comparing these contrasted areas of brain function, their interrelation is not well understood. We systematically manipulated cognitive load in a working memory task to examine concurrently the relation between activity elicited by the task versus activity during control conditions. We presented adults with six levels of task demand, and compared those with three conditions without a task. Using whole-brain analysis, we found positive linear relations between cortical activity and task difficulty in areas including middle frontal gyrus and dorsal cingulate; negative linear relations were found in medial frontal gyrus and posterior cingulate. These findings demonstrated balancing of activation patterns between two mental processes, which were both modulated by task difficulty. Frontal areas followed a graded pattern more closely than other regions. These data also showed that working memory has limited capacity in adults: an upper bound of seven items and a lower bound of four items. Overall, working memory and default-mode processes, when studied concurrently, reveal mutually competing activation patterns.
    Brain and Behavior 05/2013; 3(3):273-85. DOI:10.1002/brb3.128 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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