Electroencephalography power and coherence changes with age and motor skill development across the first half year of life.
Existing research in infants has correlated electroencephalography (EEG) measures of power and coherence to cognitive development and to locomotor experience, but only in infants older than 5 months of age. Our goal was to explore the relationship between EEG measures of power and coherence and motor skill development in younger infants who are developing reaching skill. Twenty-one infants with typical development between 38 and 203 days of age participated. Longitudinal EEG recording sessions were recorded in monthly increments, with 3-5 sessions acquired for 19 participants and 1 session for 2 participants, resulting in 71 sessions in total. EEG variables of interest were relative power in the 6-9 Hz range and coherence between selected electrode pairs. We describe the development of the peak in relative power in the 6-9 Hz frequency band of EEG; it is not present around 1 month of age and starts to appear across the following months. Coherence generally increased in the bilateral frontal-parietal networks, while the interhemispheric connectivity in motor cortices generally decreased. The results of this relatively small pilot study provide a foundational description of neural function changes observed as motor skills are changing across the first half year of life. This is a first step in understanding experience-dependent plasticity of the infant brain and has the potential to aid in the early detection of atypical brain development.
Xiao, R; Shida-Tokeshi, J; Vanderbilt, DL; Smith, BA
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