On development of functional brain connectivity in the young brain

G. E.Anna Jasmijn Hoff, M. P. Van den Heuvel, Manon J.N.L. Benders, Karina J. Kersbergen, L. S. De Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Our brain is a complex network of structurally and functionally interconnected regions, shaped to efficiently process and integrate information. The development from a brain equipped with basic functionalities to an efficient network facilitating complex behavior starts during gestation and continues into adulthood. Resting-state functional MRI(rs-fMRI) enables the examination of developmental aspects of functional connectivity (FC) and functional brain networks. This review will discuss changes observed in the developing brain on the level of network FC from a gestational age of 20 weeks onwards. We discuss findings of resting-state fMRI studies showing that functional network development starts during gestation, creating a foundation for each of the resting-state networks (RSNs) to be established. Visual and sensorimotor areas are reported to develop first, with other networks, at different rates, increasing both in network connectivity and size over time. Reaching childhood, marked fine-tuning and specialization takes place in the regions necessary for higher-order cognitive functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number650
JournalFrontiers in human neuroscience
Issue numberOCT
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2013


  • Brain development
  • Functional connectivity
  • Resting-state functional MRI

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