Structure-function relationships in human brain development
Author(s)Saygin, Zeynep Mevhibe
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
John D. E. Gabrieli.
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The integration of anatomical, functional, and developmental approaches in cognitive neuroscience is essential for generating mechanistic explanations of brain function. In this thesis, I first establish a proof-of-principle that neuroanatomical connectivity, as measured with diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), can be used to calculate connectional fingerprints that are sufficient to delineate fine anatomical distinctions in the human brain (Chapter 2). Next, I describe the maturation of structural connectivity patterns by applying these connectional fingerprints to over a hundred participants ranging from five to thirty years of age, and show that these connectional patterns have different developmental trajectories (Chapter 3). I then illustrate how anatomical connections may shape (or in turn be shaped by) function and behavior, within the framework of reading ability and describe how white matter tract integrity may predict future acquisition of reading ability in children (Chapter 4). I conclude by summarizing how these experiments offer testable hypotheses of the maturation of structure and function. Studying the complex interplay between structure, function, and development will get us closer to understanding both the constraints present at birth, and the effect of experience, on the biological mechanisms underlying brain function.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, 2012.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis. Page 125 blank.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Brain and Cognitive Sciences.