Uncovering the moment-to-moment dynamics of functional connectivity (FC) in the human brain during early development is crucial for understanding emerging complex cognitive functions and behaviors. To this end, this paper leveraged a longitudinal resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging dataset from 51 typically developing infants and, for the first time, thoroughly investigated how the temporal variability of the FC architecture develops at the "global"(entire brain), "mesoscale"(functional system), and "local"(brain region) levels in the first 2 years of age. Our results revealed that, in such a pivotal stage, 1) the whole-brain FC dynamic is linearly increased; 2) the high-order functional systems tend to display increased FC dynamics for both within- and between-network connections, while the primary systems show the opposite trajectories; and 3) many frontal regions have increasing FC dynamics despite large heterogeneity in developmental trajectories and velocities. All these findings indicate that the brain is gradually reconfigured toward a more flexible, dynamic, and adaptive system with globally increasing but locally heterogeneous trajectories in the first 2 postnatal years, explaining why infants have rapidly developing high-order cognitive functions and complex behaviors.
- brain development
- dynamic functional connectivity
- temporal variability
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience