Charting moment-to-moment brain signal variability from early to late childhood.

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Max Owens

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Large-scale brain signals exhibit rich intermittent patterning, reflecting the fact that the cortex actively eschews fixed points in favor of itinerant wandering with frequent state transitions. Fluctuations in endogenous cortical activity occur at multiple time scales and index a dynamic repertoire of network states that are continuously explored, even in the absence of external sensory inputs. Here, we quantified such moment-to-moment brain signal variability at rest in a large, cross-sectional sample of children ranging in age from seven to eleven years. Our findings revealed a monotonic rise in the complexity of electroencephalogram (EEG) signals as measured by sample entropy, from the youngest to the oldest age cohort, across a range of time scales and spatial regions. From year to year, the greatest changes in intraindividual brain signal variability were recorded at electrodes covering the anterior cortical zones. These results provide converging evidence concerning the age-dependent expansion of functional cortical network states during a critical developmental period ranging from early to late childhood.


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.