Kajo van der Marel1, Willem M. Otte1, 2, Umesh S. Rudrapatna1, Annette van der Toorn1, Rick M. Dijkhuizen1
1Biomedical MR Imaging and Spectroscopy Group, Image Sciences Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands; 2Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
Brain function maturation is increasingly studied with resting-state fMRI functional connectivity (RSFC) analysis, to further our understanding of developmental alterations underlying neuropsychiatric illness. As RSFC is routinely measured in rodents, we extended human cross-sectional studies by characterizing functional development from serial RSFC measurements in normally developing rats through adolescence into adulthood. Linear mixed-effects regression of homotopic RSFC revealed region-specific development trajectories. Nonlinear regression could predict individual brain maturity, and classification accurately distinguished adolescent from adult RSFC. Normal brain maturation profiles based on RSFC may thus provide valuable benchmarks for identifying and characterizing neurodevelopmental disturbances in rodent models of neuropsychiatric disease.