Babies in brain scanners

1400213991_4395841b09.jpg(Image credit: Karolinska University Hospital)

A study led by neuroscientist Peter Fransson of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden shows that there is spontaneous activity in at least 5 resting-state networks in the brains of sleeping babies.

Fransson and his colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the brains of 12 sleeping babies, for 10 minutes each. They found that there was activity in parts of the brain associated with the processing of visual, motor and auditory information.

This type of activity had previously been observed in sleeping adults, but until now it was unclear whether or not it also occurs in babies. The findings are published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

One thought on “Babies in brain scanners

  1. This study is in the aim to support an hypothesis commonly observed in cognitive neuroscience that says that activity reflected in a network of baby´s brain called pontogeniculate-occipital, shows waves during REM sleeps that seems to exercise and mature certain visual pathways even in the absence of external stimuli, rather as a kind of exercise to prepare the baby for “real” stimuli. I don´t know if this is a counterpart to Hubel and Wiesel´s classical and outstanding notion “crtical period” of development of brain´s systems, specially the visual system.

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