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Tuesday, June 27, 2017- Connectomic insights into brain development before birth

We propose a multinational symposium presenting leading-edge brain connectomic research focused on the beginning of human life. The brain is subject to dramatic developmental processes during the antinatal period, and yet our understanding of this critical early time in development is limited. Emergent non-invasive MRI methodologies are changing the paradigm and allowing investigators to deconstruct the living human connectome, or connectional architecture of the brain, beginning in utero. We will present challenges inherent in fetal and neonatal MRI and will propose solutions for those. We will also present new findings regarding maternal prenatal stress, the preterm brain, and relevance of prenatal brain development to child outcomes. This symposium will increase researcher and clinician knowledge about emergent MRI technologies for non-invasive examination of early human brain development, and will highlight some of the newest discoveries emerging in this area.