Wouldn’t it be great if a physician could accurately assess and predict an individual’s brain maturity and development on the basis of a single fMRI scan?
That’s what researchers set out to provide tools for in the study “Prediction of Individual Brain Maturity Using fMRI” published September 10, 2010 in Science.
The result was a functional connectivity maturation curve derived from 238 brain scans of healthy 7 to 30 year old people. A physician can know where a patient fits on this curve by computing a functional connectivity maturation index number using the curve’s associated parametric equation from 5 minutes of resting state fcMRI data.
Overall, the data showed that as a person matures there is a weakening of short range functional connections and a strengthening in long range functional connections. Interestingly, the region with the greatest predictive power for brain maturity was the right anterior prefrontal cortex (see blog post “Are you right? Introspective Accuracy and Individual Differences in Brain Structure“).
The data predicts that a human brain is fully mature at around 22 years.
Other related blog posts:
Are you right? Introspective Accuracy and Individual Differences in Brain Structure
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