Imaging the developing brain with fMRI

Matthew C. Davidson, K. M. Thomas, B. J. Casey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Advancements in magnetic imaging techniques have revolutionized our ability to study the developing human brain in vivo. The ability to noninvasively image both anatomy and function in healthy volunteers, including young children, has already enhanced our understanding of brain and behavior relations. The application of these techniques to developmental research offers the opportunity to further explore these relationships and allows us to ask questions about where, when and how cognitive abilities develop in relation to changes in underlying brain systems. It is also possible to explore the contributions of maturation versus learning in the development of these abilities through cross-sectional and longitudinal research involving training and intervention procedures. Current imaging methodologies, in conjunction with new and rapidly evolving techniques, hold the promise of even greater insights into developmental issues in the near future. These methodologies and their application to development and learning are discussed in the current paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalMental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003


  • Development
  • Imaging
  • Learning
  • MRI
  • Maturation
  • fMRI


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