Opportunities and challenges for current developmental neuroscience
Steinbeis N., Margulies DS.
While developmental neuroscience can often be motivated by clinical and policy concerns, its constituent research methodologies aim to provide insights into the limits and potential of the developing brain. Our article addresses two main approaches for characterizing psychological and neural changes that occur between infancy and adolescence. Specifically, with respect to psychological change, intensely debated topics such as the nature of developmental continuity can potentially gain from the insights provided by brain data. Whereas for neuroimaging approaches, which have gained substantial traction in recent years, the advances in describing the developing “connectome” have been challenged by awareness of imaging artefacts related to behavioural aspects of development (such as motion). As these two fields (developmental psychology and neuroscience) continue to integrate by, for example, constraining psychological hypotheses with brain data and offering explanatory models of neuroimaging findings, the resolution of these challenges charts the development of the field itself.