Sydnor, Valerie J.; Bart Larsen; Danielle S. Bassett; Aaron Alexander-Bloch; Damien A. Fair; Conor Liston; Allyson P. Mackey; Michael P. Milham; Adam Pines; David R. Roalf; Jakob Seidlitz; Ting Xu; Armin Raznahan and Theodore D. Satterthwaite
The human brain undergoes a prolonged period of cortical development that spans multiple decades. During childhood and adolescence, cortical development progresses from lower-order, primary and unimodal cortices with sensory and motor functions to higher-order, transmodal association cortices subserving ex-ecutive, socioemotional, and mentalizing functions. The spatiotemporal patterning of cortical maturation thus proceeds in a hierarchical manner, conforming to an evolutionarily rooted, sensorimotor-to-association axis of cortical organization. This developmental program has been characterized by data derived from multi -modal human neuroimaging and is linked to the hierarchical unfolding of plasticity-related neurobiological events. Critically, this developmental program serves to enhance feature variation between lower-order and higher-order regions, thus endowing the brain's association cortices with unique functional properties. However, accumulating evidence suggests that protracted plasticity within late-maturing association cortices, which represents a defining feature of the human developmental program, also confers risk for diverse developmental psychopathologies.