Human brain maturation is a complex, lifelong process that can now be examined in detail using neuroimaging techniques. Ongoing projects scan subjects longitudinally with structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), enabling the time-course and anatomical sequence of development to be reconstructed. Here, we review recent progress on imaging studies of development. We focus on cortical and subcortical changes observed in healthy children, and contrast them with abnormal developmental changes in early-onset schizophrenia, fetal alcohol syndrome, attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Williams syndrome. We relate these structural changes to the cellular processes that underlie them, and to cognitive and behavioral changes occurring throughout childhood and adolescence.