NEURODEVELOPMENT

The brain as a work in progress

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  27 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6387, pp. 394-395
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6387.394-a

Cognitive skills, such as those relating to executive function and coordination, continue to develop into adulthood.

PHOTO: KAREL BOCK/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Although the brain grows little in volume after childhood, small structural changes, such as myelination and synapse pruning, continue into adulthood. Using multiecho functional magnetic resonance imaging to study subjects ranging in age from 8 to 46 years, Kundu et al. found that the functional organization of the brain shifts. Localized networks that characterize youth meld into larger and more functionally distinct networks with maturity. Not all parts of the brain change at the same rate; some regions are more dynamic. These regions correlate with aspects of cognition, such as the ability to monitor one's performance, to estimate others' intentions, or to develop a sense of self—all skills that are works in progress during adolescence.

J. Neurosci. 38, 3559 (2018).

Navigate This Article