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Shedding new light on infant brain development
Date:2/18/2013

e're fascinated with figuring out 'how things work,' and the brain is no exception."

Next steps for Hillman and her team include further defining the cellular mechanisms underlying the developing hemodynamic response at a cellular and microvascular level, using methods such as high-speed and multi-plane in-vivo two-photon microscopy, another technique developed in the lab. They're particularly interested in tracking changes in neuronal activity, microvascular architecture and connectivity, and the distribution and activity of other cellular populations thought to be associated with neurovascular coupling as a function of development.

"This will help us understand how the neonatal brain is different, and better understand how mature blood-flow control mechanisms in the adult brain work," says Kozberg.

Adds Hillman, "We are also keen to take this research into the clinic and explore whether our findings could improve diagnosis and monitoring of newborn infants. Our findings so far feel like just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more for us to do now to understand why the infant brain is so different, and how we can use our findings to improve understanding of a wealth of devastating childhood and developmental conditions."


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Contact: Holly Evarts
holly.evarts@columbia.edu
347-453-7408
Columbia University
Source:Eurekalert  

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