The publication of this handbook testifies to the rapid growth of developmental cognitive neuroscience as a distinct field. Brain imaging and recording technologies, along with well-defined behavioral tasks--the essential methodological tools of cognitive neuroscience--are now being used to study development. Whereas earlier methodologies allowed scientists to study only adult brains, recent technological advances have yielded methods that can be safely used to study structure-function relations and their development in children's brains. These new techniques combined with more refined cognitive models account for the progress and heightened activity in developmental cognitive neuroscience research.
The handbook contains forty-one original contributions exploring basic aspects of neural development, sensory and sensorimotor systems, language, cognition, and emotion. Aided by recent results in neurobiology establishing that the human brain remains malleable and plastic throughout much of the lifespan, the contributors also explore the implications of lifelong neural plasticity for brain and behavioral development.