Prematurity and Developmental Plasticity in the Brain
Institute of Child Health
Developmental plasticity may be defined as the ability of cells or tissue to develop in response to their environment. The transition from fetal to postnatal life constitutes a major change in environment, and if this occurs prematurely, then in response it can be expected that there may be a different developmental trajectory from that associated with term birth. It is becoming more widely appreciated that such differences may have a strong influence on long-term health. This presentation focuses on the role that MRI can play in understanding how prematurity impacts on brain structure and function.