Research Review: Functional brain connectivity and child psychopathology – overview and methodological considerations for investigators new to the field

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Background:Functional connectivity MRI is an emerging technique that can be used to investigate typical and atypical brain function in developing and aging populations. Despite some of the current confounds in the field of functional connectivity MRI, the translational potential of the technique available to investigators may eventually be used to improve diagnosis, early disease detection, and therapy monitoring.Method and Scope:Based on a comprehensive survey of the literature, this review offers an introduction of resting-state functional connectivity for new investigators to the field of resting-state functional connectivity. We discuss a brief history of the technique, various methods of analysis, the relationship of functional networks to behavior, as well as the translational potential of functional connectivity MRI to investigate neuropsychiatric disorders. We also address some considerations and limitations with data analysis and interpretation.Conclusions:The information provided in this review should serve as a foundation for investigators new to the field of resting-state functional connectivity. The discussion provides a means to better understand functional connectivity and its application to typical and atypical brain function.

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