Pew-Thian Yap1, Yong Fan1, Yasheng Chen1, John H. Gilmore2, Weili Lin1, Dinggang Shen1
1Department of Radiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, United States; 2Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, United States
Our objective is to study pediatric brain networks by applying DTI based fiber tractography on 39 healthy pediatric subjects with longitudinal data collected at the average ages of 2 weeks, 1 year, and 2 years. Our results indicate that the small-world architecture exists at birth, with low global and local efficiencies, and is strengthened in later stages of development. In addition, we found that the node degree distributions of the networks have Gaussian tails, signifying their single-scale nature. We also observe, across development, that the brain network seems to evolve progressively from a local, predominantly proximity based, connectivity pattern to a more distributed, predominantly functional based, connectivity pattern.