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Neural activity is both a driver of brain development and a readout of developmental processes. Changes in neuronal activity are therefore both the cause and consequence of neurodevelopmental compromises. Here, we review the assessment of neuronal activities in both preclinical models and clinical situations. We focus on issues that require urgent translational research, the challenges and bottlenecks preventing translation of biomedical research into new clinical diagnostics or treatments, and possibilities to overcome these barriers. The key questions are (i) what can be measured in clinical settings versus animal experiments, (ii) how do measurements relate to particular stages of development, and (iii) how can we balance practical and ethical realities with methodological compromises in measurements and treatments.

Original publication




Journal article


Prog Neurobiol

Publication Date





Animal model, Biomarker, Cerebral cortex, Development, Human, Neuronal activity