The NIH MRI study of normal brain development (Objective-2): Newborns, infants, toddlers, and preschoolers

C. R. Almli, M. J. Rivkin, R. C. McKinstry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


The Magn. Reson. Imaging (MRI) study of normal brain development currently conducted by the Brain Development Cooperative Group represents the most extensive MRI study of brain and behavioral development from birth through young adulthood ever conducted. This multi-center project, sponsored by four Institutes of the National Institutes of Health, uses a combined longitudinal and cross-sectional design to characterize normal, healthy brain and behavioral development. Children, ages newborn through 18-plus years of age, receive comprehensive behavioral, neurological and multimodal MRI evaluations via Objective-2 (birth through 4-years 5-months of age) and Objective-1 (4-years 6-months through 18 years of age and older). This report presents methods (e.g., neurobehavioral assessment, brain scan) and representative preliminary results (e.g., growth, behavior, brain development) for children from newborn through 4-years 5-months of age. To date, 75 participants from birth through 4-years 5-months have been successfully brain scanned during natural sleep (i.e., without sedation); most with multiple longitudinal scans (i.e., 45 children completing at least three scans, 22 completing four or more scans). Results from this younger age range will increase our knowledge and understanding of healthy brain and neurobehavioral development throughout an important, dynamic, and rapid growth period within the human life span; determine developmental associations among measures of brain, other physical characteristics, and behavior; and facilitate the development of automated, quantitative MR image analyses for neonates, infants and young children. The correlated brain MRI and neurobehavioral database will be released for use by the research and clinical communities at a future date.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-325
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007


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