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qBio Seminar Series: Douglas C. Dean III
October 25, 2017 @ 2:00 pm
Imaging White Matter Development Using Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging
The development of the brain is a lifelong process that results in a remarkable transformation of the neural architecture. During the first years of life, however, this change is perhaps most rapid. In particular, the white matter microstructure is far from mature at birth, but processes of axonal formation, dendrite sprouting, and myelination undergo a rapid and pronounced pattern of development that is accelerated from birth to two years. These processes are fundamental to brain connectivity, establishing rapid and efficient communication pathways that integrate neural systems, and help facilitate the advancement of higher-level cognitive functioning. Moreover, during this early developmental period, the neural substrates that govern individual differences toward vulnerability or resilience to adversity likely develop, making neurodevelopmental processes susceptible to early alterations. Increasingly, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is being used to explore the developmental trajectory of the brain. Specifically, quantitative MRI makes it possible to acquire measurable and reproducible quantities that can provide insight into the underlying processes of early brain development as well as allow one to begin to explore emerging relationships between cognition and developmental disability. In this talk, I will highlight recent advancements that have made it possible to perform MRI in infant and young children populations as well as describe how quantitative MRI techniques are being used to gain a better understanding of the highly dynamic and nonlinear mechanisms that support early brain development.
All qBio sponsored talks take place on Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. in the 3rd floor Orchard View room of the Discovery Building unless otherwise noted. Talks are open to the public. Access to the room is via the elevator behind Aldo’s Cafe in the Northeast corner of the building.