Richards, J.E. & Xie, W. (2015). Brains for all the ages: Structural neurodevelopment in infants and children from a life-span perspective. In J. Benson (Ed.), Advances in Child Development and Behavior (Volume 48, chapter 1, pps 1-52). Philadephia, PA: Elsevier. DOI:10.1016/bs.acdb.2014.11.001
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive method to measure brain structure and function that may be applied to human participants of all ages. This chapter reviews our recent work creating a life-span neurodevelopmental MRI database. It provides age-specific reference data in fine-grained age-intervals from 2 weeks through 89 years. The reference data include average MRI templates, segmented tissue priors, and a common stereotaxic atlas for pediatric and adult participants. The database will be useful for neuroimaging research over a wide range of ages, and may be used to make lifespan comparisons. The chapter reviews the application of this database to the study of neurostructural development, including a new volumetric study of segmented brain tissue over the lifespan. We also show how this database could be used to create “study-specific” MRI templates for special groups and apply this to the MRIs of Chinese children. Finally we review recent use of the database in the study of brain activity in pediatric populations. Keywords: Structural MRI, Neurodevelopmental MRI Database, brain development, brain-behavior relation, neurostructural development (or, brain structure development, structural neurodevelopment).