Development and Psychopathology

Neuroimaging of typical and atypical development: A perspective from multiple levels of analysis

a1 Birkbeck College, University of London
a2 Institute of Child Health, London

To date, research involving functional neuroimaging of typical and atypical development has depended on several assumptions about the postnatal maturation of the brain. We consider evidence from multiple levels of analysis that brings into question these underlying assumptions and advance an alternative view. This alternative view, based on an “interactive specialization” approach to postnatal brain development, indicates that there is a need to: obtain data from early in development; focus more on differences in interregional interactions rather than searching for localized, discrete lesions; examine the temporal dynamics of neural processing; and move away from deficits to image tasks in which atypical participants perform as well as typically developing participants.

c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Mark H. Johnson, Centre for Brain & Cognitive Development, School of Psychology, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, UK.