Paediatric population neuroimaging is an emerging field that falls at the intersection between developmental neuroscience and epidemiology. A key feature of population neuroimaging studies involves large-scale recruitment that is representative of the general population. One successful approach for population neuroimaging is to embed neuroimaging studies within large epidemiological cohorts. The Generation R Study is a large, prospective population-based birth-cohort in which nearly 10,000 pregnant mothers were recruited between 2002 and 2006 with repeated measurements in the children and their parents over time. Magnetic resonance imaging was included in 2009 with the scanning of 1070 6-to-9-year-old children. The second neuroimaging wave was initiated in April 2013 with a total of 4245 visiting the MRI suite and 4087 9-to-11-year-old children being scanned. The sequences included high-resolution structural MRI, 35-direction diffusion weighted imaging, and a 6 min and 2 s resting-state functional MRI scan. The goal of this paper is to provide an overview of the imaging protocol and the overlap between the neuroimaging data and metadata. We conclude by providing a brief overview of results from our first wave of neuroimaging, which highlights a diverse array of questions that can be addressed by merging the fields of developmental neuroscience and epidemiology.

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European Journal of Epidemiology
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology

White, T., Muetzel, R., El Marroun, H., Blanken, L., Jansen, P., Bolhuis, K., … Tiemeier, H. (2017). Paediatric population neuroimaging and the Generation R Study: the second wave. European Journal of Epidemiology, 1–27. doi:10.1007/s10654-017-0319-y