The human brain develops over an extended period; its maturation continues through adolescence and young adulthood. Studying trajectories of brain development in representative samples of the general population is important in order to understand exposures and stressors in the child’s and adult’s physical and social environment that shape human brain development.
Early environments may be particularly important in their impact on mental health, learning and behavior in human societies. In this context, it is important – for both theoretical and practical reasons – to measure trajectories of brain development in large population-based epidemiological studies.[...],
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology

Júlvez, J., Paus, T., Bellinger, D., Eskenazi, B., Tiemeier, H., Pearce, N., … Sunyer, J. (2016). Environment and brain development: Challenges in the global context. Neuroepidemiology (Vol. 46, pp. 79–82). doi:10.1159/000442256