Why do I study the fetal brain?

I am a computational neuroscientist who studies the brain functions of the fetus using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Just one year passed since I was first involved in a research project pertinent to pediatric neuroimaging. In spite of short-term experience, I have fallen in fervent love with the fetus. Indeed, it has extraordinary attraction compared to the adult brain.
Its anatomy and functions evolve in every moment as it grows inside the mother’s womb. Imagine how dynamic the change in the fetal brain is. As lots of neurons are newly formed everyday, the fetus extends its interaction with external environment. It has been well known that some classical music can be used as the prenatal care, which means that the fetal brain responds to external sounds. The dynamic evolution of the fetal brain is so mysterious that it sometimes reminds me of the creative providence of the God. All the mysteries lead me to get hooked on the research of the fetal brain. Although my background is originally rooted on engineering and computer science, I have great curiosities on the biological nature of the fetus.
However, the current knowledge on the fetal brain is extremely insufficient. The physical mechanism of fetal brain development is still unclear, and we still have lots of unsolved questions. How does the functional network of the fetal brain evolve over ages? How does the placenta influence the fetal brain functions? What physiological disorders disturb the natural development of the fetal brain functions? One of the main reasons which make it difficult to answer such questions is the technical limitation. The fetal brain should be definitely investigated in a non-invasive manner. In these reasons, the neuroimaging techniques based on magnetic resonance have been preferred by radiologist and neuroscientists working on pediatrics. However, since the fetus moves spontaneously and its motion is out of control, its imaging data get much erroneous.
As the technical limitations are coped with, more scientific facts would be revealed by pediatric radiologists and neuroscientists, and the mysteries of the fetal brain would get unveiled in the near future. I dream forward to meeting such a day.
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