MR connectomics: a conceptual framework for studying the developing brain

Front Syst Neurosci. 2012 Jun 13;6:43. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2012.00043. eCollection 2012.


THE COMBINATION OF ADVANCED NEUROIMAGING TECHNIQUES AND MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN COMPLEX NETWORK SCIENCE, HAVE GIVEN BIRTH TO A NEW FRAMEWORK FOR STUDYING THE BRAIN: "connectomics." This framework provides the ability to describe and study the brain as a dynamic network and to explore how the coordination and integration of information processing may occur. In recent years this framework has been used to investigate the developing brain and has shed light on many dynamic changes occurring from infancy through adulthood. The aim of this article is to review this work and to discuss what we have learned from it. We will also use this body of work to highlight key technical aspects that are necessary in general for successful connectome analysis using today's advanced neuroimaging techniques. We look to identify current limitations of such approaches, what can be improved, and how these points generalize to other topics in connectome research.

Keywords: connectivity; development; diffusion MRI; human brain; networks; resting state functional MRI; tractography.