Edinburgh Imaging

25 Feb 19. Prof James Boardman

Inaugural lecture. The developing human brain.


The first 1000 days of life – the time between conception and a child’s second birthday – set the foundation for healthy growth and development across the whole life course. It is a critical period of rapid and expansive change in brain structure and function: new structures emerge and connections that underpin the ability to think, learn and relate to others become established.

Professor James Boardman will describe how magnetic resonance imaging and other technologies have deepened knowledge about ways in which problems during this period including premature birth, sub-optimal nutrition, and drug exposures affect brain development; and he will discuss new ways of measuring the impact of these events on childhood outcome.

Understanding how the trajectory of brain development is influenced during the first 1000 days may lead to new approaches for optimising brain development, and restoring the life potential of children who experience complications around the time of birth.