Jessica L. Wisnowski1, 2, Vincent J. Schmithorst2, Rafael C. Ceschin3, 4, Patricia Corby5, Hanna Damasio1, Ashok Panigrahy2
1Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States; 2Radiology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA, United States; 3Radiology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States; 4Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States; 5Dentistry, New York University, New York, NY, United States
Long-range corticocortical and thalamocortical connections form the basis for the default mode (DMN) and other networks. These undergo critical periods of development during late fetal gestation. We examined whether preterm birth altered the developing structural and functional network topology of the human connectome using combined diffusion tensor (DTI) and fMRI methods in a sample of preadolescent children. DTI revealed microstructural differences in anterior and posterior deep white matter and decreased interhemispheric connectivity between the posterior-medial DMN hubs and the anterior DMN hub with the thalamus. fMRI analyses revealed that these structural differences were associated decreased cost-efficiency in the functional connectome.