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Abstract #2503

Towards the "Baby Connectome": Mapping the Structural Connectivity of the Newborn Brain

Olga Tymofiyeva1, Christopher P. Hess1, Nan Tian1, Donna M. Ferriero2,3, A. James Barkovich1,3, Duan Xu1

1Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging, UCSF, San Francisco, CA, United States; 2Department of Neurology, UCSF, San Francisco, CA, United States; 3Department of Pediatrics, UCSF, San Francisco, CA, United States

The characterization of the full connectivity structure of the human brain (the human "connectome") is a basic challenge in neuroscience. The purpose of this study was to establish a procedure of noninvasively mapping the structural connectivity of the newborn brain. Based on DTI imaging, a baby connectome was assembled capturing the common axonal connectivity pattern of the brain cortex across ten 6 month old babies. Network graph analysis was applied to the obtained connectivity matrix. The procedure established in this study can be applied to newborns of different age including premature babies, revealing structural maturation of the brain.