Transient coordinated activity within the developing brain’s default network
The concept of a brain default network postulates that specific brain regions are more active when a person is engaged in introspective mental activity. Transient functional coordination between groups of neurons is thought to be necessary for information processing. Since children develop introspection as they mature, regions of the default network may establish increasing functional coordination with age, resulting in fewer fluctuations in synchronization patterns. We investigated the transient coordinated activity in regions of the default network in seventeen children aged 11 months to 17 years of age using EEG recordings while subjects were resting quietly with eyes closed. The temporal and spatial fluctuations in the phase synchrony patterns were estimated across sites associated with the default network pattern and compared to other regions. Lower variability of the spatio-temporal patterns of phase synchronization associated with the default network was observed in the older group as compared to the younger group. This indicates that functional coordination increases among regions of the default network as children develop.
KeywordsDefault network Instantaneous phase Synchronization Fluctuations Electroencephalography
The authors would like to thank the EEG technician team: Rohit Sharma, Bill Chu, Amrita Viljoen and Ashleigh Smith-Adam at The Hospital for Sick Children, under the direction of Dr. Hiroshi Otsubo for their technical expertise and support in this study. This work is supported by an NSERC Discovery Grant and a CIHR Banting and Best Doctoral Fellowship Award.
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