The brain undergoes a protracted, metabolically expensive maturation process from childhood to adulthood. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how network cost is distributed among different brain systems as the brain matures. To address this issue, here we examined developmental changes in wiring cost and brain network topology using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) data longitudinally collected in awake rats from the juvenile age to adulthood. We found that the wiring cost increased in the vast majority of cortical connections but decreased in most subcortico-subcortical connections. Importantly, the developmental increase in wiring cost was dominantly driven by long-range cortical, but not subcortical connections, which was consistent with more pronounced increase in network integration in the cortical network. These results collectively indicate that there is a non-uniform distribution of network cost as the brain matures, and network resource is dominantly consumed for the development of the cortex, but not subcortex from the juvenile age to adulthood.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cognitive Neuroscience