Walking, Gross Motor Development, and Brain Functional Connectivity in Infants and Toddlers.

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TitleWalking, Gross Motor Development, and Brain Functional Connectivity in Infants and Toddlers.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsMarrus, N, Eggebrecht, AT, Todorov, A, Elison, JT, Wolff, JJ, Cole, L, Gao, W, Pandey, J, Shen, MD, Swanson, MR, Emerson, RW, Klohr, CL, Adams, CM, Estes, AM, Zwaigenbaum, L, Botteron, KN, Mckinstry, RC, Constantino, JN, Evans, AC, Hazlett, HC, Dager, SR, Paterson, SJ, Schultz, RT, Styner, MA, Gerig, G, Schlaggar, BL, Piven, J, Pruett, JR
Corporate AuthorsIBIS Network
JournalCereb Cortex
Date Published2018 Feb 01

Infant gross motor development is vital to adaptive function and predictive of both cognitive outcomes and neurodevelopmental disorders. However, little is known about neural systems underlying the emergence of walking and general gross motor abilities. Using resting state fcMRI, we identified functional brain networks associated with walking and gross motor scores in a mixed cross-sectional and longitudinal cohort of infants at high and low risk for autism spectrum disorder, who represent a dimensionally distributed range of motor function. At age 12 months, functional connectivity of motor and default mode networks was correlated with walking, whereas dorsal attention and posterior cingulo-opercular networks were implicated at age 24 months. Analyses of general gross motor function also revealed involvement of motor and default mode networks at 12 and 24 months, with dorsal attention, cingulo-opercular, frontoparietal, and subcortical networks additionally implicated at 24 months. These findings suggest that changes in network-level brain-behavior relationships underlie the emergence and consolidation of walking and gross motor abilities in the toddler period. This initial description of network substrates of early gross motor development may inform hypotheses regarding neural systems contributing to typical and atypical motor outcomes, as well as neurodevelopmental disorders associated with motor dysfunction.

Alternate JournalCereb. Cortex
PubMed ID29186388
Grant ListU54 HD083091 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
P30 ES010126 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
U54 HD087011 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
K08 MH112891 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
K01 MH103594 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States