Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Neuroimaging and cognitive development research overview

FYI - A very interesting (and well-written) article is "in press" in Neuropsychologia that, I believe, captures the essence of the various tidbits I've gleaned from my skimming of literature in cognitive psychology, fMRI research, and general brain development and maturation.  The article speaks for itself.  The most important conclusion I gleaned, which is consistent with my other related readings (re: working memory; ADHD; mental time-keeping; cognitive control; controlled executive attention; executive functions; etc.), is the continued implication of the frontal lobes in various higher-level cognitive functioning, particularly that dealing with executive functions of cognitive control. 
  • Durston, S. & Casey, B. (in press).  What have we learned about cognitive development from neuroimaging?  Neuropsychologia (click to view)

  • Changes in many domains of cognition occur with development. In this paper, we discuss neuroimaging approaches to understanding these changes at a neural level. We highlight how modern imaging methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) are being used to examine how cognitive development is supported by the maturation of the brain. Some reports suggest developmental changes in patterns of brain activity appear to involve a shift from diffuse to more focal activation, likely representing a fine-tuning of relevant neural systems with experience. One of the challenges in investigating the interplay between cognitive development and maturation of the brain is to separate the contributions of neural changes specific to development and learning. Examples are given from the developmental neuroimaging literature. The focus is on the development of cognitive control, as the protracted developmental course of this ability into adolescence raises key issues. Finally, the relevance of normative studies for understanding neural and cognitive changes in developmental disorders is discussed.

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Anonymous said...

Happy to know that this paper is good. I have to read it, it's just next to me on my desk ! I won't lose my time reading a boring time ! I'll let you know what I'm thinking about !

Kevin McGrew said...

I'd be very interested in your thoughts. I tend to skim these type of articles just to get the gist and would appreciate more detailed and reflective synthesis comments by those with more expertise in these domains