Congratulations Dr. Han Zhang!

Dr. Han Zhang’s work on “The Developing Triple Networks in Infants from 2-Week-Old to 2-Year-Old: A Longitudinal Study” (H. Zhang, W. Yin, W. Lin, D. Shen) received the “Merit Abstract Award” offered by Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM), one of the largest annual conference in the neuroimaging community. This award is intended to highlight those particularly noteworthy abstracts with the peer-reviewed scores being placed at the topmost tier.

Dr. Zhang et al. investigate the developmental trajectories of the important high-order cognition-related brain networks in the first two years of life which were largely unknown before. Based on a longitudinal infant brain functional imaging data set with five scans at every 6 months from 2 weeks after birth to 2 years old, they found that the “default mode network” (for episodic memory and self-awareness), “salience network” (for emotion processing) and “executive control network” (for task execution and attention maintenance) may not develop in parallel. Based on this observation, they proposed a “Developing Triple Network” model, which not only reflects behavioral/cognitive milestones, but also provides an unprecedented knowledge to the most dynamic period of human brain development, during which any early disturbance may cause imbalance among these triangular interactions and lead to neurodevelopmental disorders at later age.

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Han_ZhangThe first author, Dr. Han Zhang, was a postdoctoral researcher during preparation of this work and now a research instructor in IDEA lab (supervisor: Prof. Dinggang Shen) at Department of Radiology and BRIC. His research interest is to develop tools for revealing early functional organization dynamics of the infant brain based on the “Baby Connectome Project”.