Neural synchrony and the development of cortical networks

Trends Cogn Sci. 2010 Feb;14(2):72-80. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2009.12.002. Epub 2010 Jan 14.


Recent data indicate that the synchronisation of oscillatory activity is relevant for the development of cortical circuits as demonstrated by the involvement of neural synchrony in synaptic plasticity and changes in the frequency and synchronisation of neural oscillations during development. Analyses of resting-state and task-related neural synchrony indicate that gamma-oscillations emerge during early childhood and precise temporal coordination through neural synchrony continues to mature until early adulthood. The late maturation of neural synchrony is compatible with changes in the myelination of cortico-cortical connections and with late development of GABAergic neurotransmission. These findings highlight the role of neural synchrony for normal brain development as well as its potential importance for understanding neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Cortex / growth & development
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Movement / physiology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Perception / physiology