Developmental neuroimaging of the human ventral visual cortex

Trends Cogn Sci. 2008 Apr;12(4):152-62. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2008.01.009. Epub 2008 Mar 24.


Here, we review recent results that investigate the development of the human ventral stream from childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood. Converging evidence suggests a differential developmental trajectory across ventral stream regions, in which face-selective regions show a particularly long developmental time course, taking more than a decade to become adult-like. We discuss the implications of these recent findings, how they relate to age-dependent improvements in recognition memory performance and propose possible neural mechanisms that might underlie this development. These results have important implications regarding the role of experience in shaping the ventral stream and the nature of the underlying representations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Face*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / growth & development*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / growth & development
  • Visual Pathways / physiology