Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The human brain is a complex organ that gives rise to many behaviors. Specialized neural regions cooperate as functional networks that form an intricate functional architecture. Development provides a unique window into how brain functioning and human thinking are affected if the necessary neural features and connections are not fully formed. Similarly, developmental disorders can shed light on atypical trajectories of neural systems that may lead to or be a consequence of symptomatic behavior. A description of the typical and atypical development of functional networks is essential to identify the features of brain organization critical for mature human thinking and to provide better diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis in neurodevelopmental disorders. Recently, resting state functional MRI has been found to illuminate functionally related regions, giving access to functional networks and the organization of brain’s functional architecture. This thesis aims to harness resting-state functional connectivity to explore how functional networks coordinate over the course of development. First, I present our work investigating the organizing principles of typical developmental patterns in functional networks (Chapter 2). Then, I apply these approaches to the atypical development of functional networks in Tourette syndrome (TS), a developmental disorder characterized by motor and vocal tics. In this work, we tested whether the patterns in functional networks that distinguish individuals with TS from controls differ between children and adults and alter the typical developmental pattern of functional networks (Chapter 3). Lastly, I present our work to identify and describe the coordination of specific functional networks that develop atypically in TS (Chapter 4).
Chair and Committee
Bradley L. Schlaggar
Steven E. Petersen, Deanna J. Greene, Jonathan E. Peelle, Deanna M. Barch,
Nielsen, Ashley Nicole, "Typical and atypical development of the brain’s functional network architecture" (2019). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1868.