Growth of the human brain and skull slows down at about 2.5 years old


en Comptes Rendus Palevol 3 (5) - Pages 397-402

Published on 30 September 2004

Brain and skull changes in postnatal growth were studied on a sample of 199 children and teenagers from 2 months to 21 years (42% under 3). Four measurements were taken on the para-median sagittal section of MRI brain scans: the glabella–opisthocranion and basion–vertex distances, and the ‘cerebral hemisphere’ and ‘infratentorial’ surfaces. Data were fitted by the cubic-spline method. Results have shown a slowing down for both brain and skull measurements between 2 and 3 years, earlier in boys. The tight relationship in growth timing between brain and skull is of great interest in palaeoanthropology, allowing inferences on brain changes from hominid skulls.


Brain, Skull, Postnatal growth, Evolution, Palaeoanthropology

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