Changes in functional coupling between neural networks in the brain during maturation revealed by omega complexity

C J Stam, E M Hessels-van der Leij, J Meulstee, J H Vliegen

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19 Citations (Scopus)


To study age-dependent changes in coupling between cortical neural networks we applied a new method (omega complexity) to determine overall coherence of EEGs of 34 subjects ranging in age from 3 months to 16 years. We found that the functional coupling between different brain regions is low at birth and increases significantly in the first two decades of life. We suggest that this coupling depends critically upon the system of associational and callosal fibers which is unmyelinated at birth, and which only finishes myelinization in the second or third decade. Thus age-dependant changes in omega complexity may reflect maturation of brain structures underlying higher cerebral functions. If these results can be replicated, preferably in prospective, cohort rather than transectional type studies, omega complexity might prove to be clinically useful as an objective, quantitative measure of brain maturation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-8
Number of pages5
JournalClinical EEG (electroencephalography)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000


  • Adolescent
  • Aging/physiology
  • Brain/growth & development
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Nerve Net/physiology

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