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Post-Adolescent Brain Maturation

In Vivo Evidence for Post-Adolescent Brain Maturation in Frontal and Striatal Regions

Sowell et al. 1999 Nature Neuroscience

We spatially and temporally mapped brain maturation between adolescence and young adulthood using a whole-brain, voxel-by-voxel statistical analysis of high-resolution structural magnetic resonance images (MRI). The pattern of brain maturation during these years was distinct from earlier development, and was localized to large regions of dorsal, medial and orbital frontal cortex and lenticular nuclei, with relatively little change in any other location. This spatial and temporal pattern agrees with convergent findings from post-mortem studies of brain development and the continued development over this age range of cognitive functions attributed to frontal structures.