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Title: Characterising structural and functional changes in the adolescent brain
Author: Lloyd, William K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 185X
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2012
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Brain maturation is an important factor in cognitive, emotional, behavioural and motor development during childhood and adolescence. This study uses multi-modal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to assess neural representations of devel opment in both healthy and abnormally developing populations. A novel face emotion stimulus set, designed to assess distinct dimensions of facial emotion, particularly to assess the e ect of averted faces, is introduced in a pilot functional MRI study of an adult cohort. Results from this pilot study show that interactions between face direction and emotion can infuence which brain areas are recruited for emo- tion processing, suggesting that the neural correlates of judging facial emotion content are modulated by face direction. Facial emotion perception was assessed as a neural task to investigate dimensions of emotion processing, and emotion processing development, in a group of children and adolescents. A number of correlations were found between dimensions of the task and developmental measures such as age, pubertal development and intelligence. In particular, intelligence was shown to be positively associated with the increasing utilization of regions associated with cognitive control, such as the prefrontal cortex. A voxel-based morphometry (VBM) study explored potential structural correlates of adolescent development. Age was found to correlate with changes in local brain regions, however pubertal development was shown to be a more accurate measure of those changes. A diusion tensor imaging assessment of white matter using fractional anisotropy has demonstrated important developmental di erences in white matter be- tween males and females over childhood and adolescence. Findings also suggest diff erent relationships between intelligence and white matter for males and females. Developmental Coordination Disorder, a common childhood disorder characterised by deficits in learning and automating motor skills, was assessed as an example of ab normal brain development. VBM was used to show that kinematic metrics of a simple visuomotor task correlated with regional grey matter volumes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Brain ; Magnetic resonance imaging ; Developmental neurobiology