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Development of human electrophysiological brain networks

Briley, Paul M.; Liddle, Elizabeth B.; Groom, Madeleine J.; Smith, Helen J. F.; Morris, Peter G.; Colclough, Giles L.; Brookes, Matthew J.; Liddle, Peter F.

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Paul M. Briley

Helen J. F. Smith

Peter G. Morris

Giles L. Colclough

Peter F. Liddle


Functional activity in the human brain is intrinsically organized into independently active, connected brain regions. These networks include sensorimotor systems, as well as higher-order cognitive networks such as the default mode network (DMN), which dominates activity when the brain is at rest, and the frontoparietal (FPN) and salience (SN) networks, which are often engaged during demanding tasks. Evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) suggests that although sensory systems are mature by the end of childhood, the integrity of the FPN and SN develops throughout adolescence. There has been little work to corroborate these findings with electrophysiology. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings of 48 participants (aged 9–25 yr) at rest, we find that beta-band functional connectivity within the FPN, SN, and DMN continues to increase through adolescence, whereas connectivity in the visual system is mature by late childhood. In contrast to fMRI results, but replicating the MEG findings of Schäfer et al. (Schäfer CB, Morgan BR, Ye AX, Taylor MJ, Doesburg SM. Hum Brain Mapp 35: 5249–5261, 2014), we also see that connectivity between networks increases rather than decreases with age. This suggests that the development of coordinated beta-band oscillations within and between higher-order cognitive networks through adolescence might contribute to the developing abilities of adolescents to focus their attention and coordinate diverse aspects of mental activity.


Briley, P. M., Liddle, E. B., Groom, M. J., Smith, H. J. F., Morris, P. G., Colclough, G. L., …Liddle, P. F. (2018). Development of human electrophysiological brain networks. Journal of Neurophysiology, 120(6), 3122-3130.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 19, 2018
Online Publication Date Dec 7, 2018
Publication Date Dec 1, 2018
Deposit Date Apr 4, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 5, 2019
Journal Journal of Neurophysiology
Print ISSN 0022-3077
Electronic ISSN 1522-1598
Publisher American Physiological Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 120
Issue 6
Pages 3122-3130
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Apr 4, 2019