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Intrauterine and Early Postnatal Human Brain Development: Insights from Anatomy, Physiology and Developmental Psychology

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Structural assembly and maturation of the brain progress in a precise manner during fetal and early postnatal development. As with other complex phenotypes, these processes respond to cellular/molecular interactions as well as to the environment, and errors may result in congenital malformations, including ...

Structural assembly and maturation of the brain progress in a precise manner during fetal and early postnatal development. As with other complex phenotypes, these processes respond to cellular/molecular interactions as well as to the environment, and errors may result in congenital malformations, including aberrant neuronal migration, affecting neurological and/or mental health. Detailed information on human brain development consists mainly of extrapolations from animal research, with all the limitations it implies. Therefore, any advances toward making direct observations in utero and in the early postnatal period are valuable. Recent such advances include various forms of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (functional, diffusion tensor and high-resolution structural MRI) and other imaging modalities, together with improved data processing techniques. MRI and tissue-based research on postmortem specimens also give us important insights at higher imaging resolutions. In this proposal, we cover the most recent morphological, connectional, and physiological observations in prenatal and early postnatal human brains, and attempt to map onto findings of developmental psychology and of developmental neurobiology that uses experimental animal models and non-human primates. By this present attempt, we aim to move the field forward toward a better understanding of normal and aberrant human brain development.


Keywords: intrauterine, fetus, early development, brain, mind


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be in line with the scope of the specialty and field to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Manuscripts discovered during any stage of peer review to be outside of the scope may be transferred to a suitable section or field, or withdrawn from review.

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