Neurodevelopment: Elucidating the development of brain structure, function, and computations
Neuroscientists have significantly advanced our understanding of the functional neuroarchitecture of the brain. However, is it largely unknown how brain structure and function develop from infancy to adulthood to enable behavior. This proposal has the potential to provide a major breakthrough in understanding neurodevelopment by using collaborative research to generate two paradigm shifts. First, a shift to new in vivo imaging technologies that measure specific microstructural changes across development, with a comprehensive understanding of the relation between in vivo measurements and specific biological changes. Second, a shift from examining isolated aspects of neurodevelopment to an integrated research program elucidating how the interplay among structural development, functional development, and experience together affect brain computations, and ultimately, behavior. This project not only represents a big idea and a significant scientific contribution, but also builds a new foundational interdisciplinary team at Stanford that includes cellular neuroscientists, MRI experts, computational neuroscientists, and bioengineers who will bring their expertise to a collaborative investigation of this issue.