Brain Development in Infants

By Corey Bryton

A research team at the University of Turku conducted a study with the goal to investigate brain development in infants. While there is a fairly comprehensive understanding of adult brain structure and function, much of the brain development process in infancy remains a mystery to the scientific community.

In the study, the research team studied 68 babies (of both sexes) that were between 2-5 weeks old. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the brains of the babies were observed and compared with a focus on age’s effect of lobar volumes and brain symmetry. Satu Lehtola, the lead researcher, reported, "we observed that in both sexes, the lobes were asymmetric in the same way: the right temporal lobe, left parietal and left occipital lobes were larger than their counter side. Differences between sexes were found, but they were subtle and included only locally restricted areas in the grey matter." These findings support previous assumptions that the growth of grey matter in the brain occurs more rapidly than the growth of white matter in early infancy.

These findings strengthen findings from other studies that investigated infantile brain development. A strong foundation of understanding can allow further studies to be carried out to study the environment’s effect on brain development in infants.

University of Turku. (2018, November 30). New information about infant brain structure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 9, 2018 from