Relationships between Brain Activation and Brain Structure in Normally Developing Children

UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Department of Neurology, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
Cerebral Cortex (Impact Factor: 8.67). 03/2009; 19(11):2595-604. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhp011
Source: PubMed


Dynamic changes in brain structure, activation, and cognitive abilities co-occur during development, but little is known about how changes in brain structure relate to changes in cognitive function or brain activity. By using cortical pattern matching techniques to correlate cortical gray matter thickness and functional brain activity over the entire brain surface in 24 typically developing children, we integrated structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging data with cognitive test scores to identify correlates of mature performance during orthographic processing. Fast-naming individuals activated the right fronto-parietal attention network in response to novel fonts more than slow-naming individuals, and increased activation of this network was correlated with more mature brain morphology in the same fronto-parietal region. These relationships remained even after effects of age or general cognitive ability were statistically controlled. These results localized cortical regions where mature morphology corresponds to mature patterns of activation, and may suggest a role for experience in mediating brain structure-activation relationships.

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    • "Therefore, within the group of EB, areas with a thinner cortex should be associated with more effective function, so negative correlations between CT and magnitude of activation might be expected. Consistent with this prediction, most studies in which relationships between cortical structure and function have been tested suggest a negative correlation between CT and activation in typically developing children and adults, that is, thinner cortex is activated more strongly (Rasser et al. 2005; Lu et al. 2009; Nunez et al. 2011). To our knowledge, only one study has shown a positive correlation between CT and functional activation in a limbic structure, the anterior cingulate cortex (Hegarty et al. 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Early blindness results in both structural and functional changes of the brain. However, these changes have rarely been studied in relation to each other. We measured alterations in cortical thickness (CT) caused by early visual deprivation and their relationship with cortical activity. Structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 12 early blind (EB) humans and 12 sighted controls (SC). Experimental conditions included one-back tasks for auditory localization and pitch identification, and a simple sound-detection task. Structural and functional data were analyzed in a whole-brain approach and within anatomically defined regions of interest in sensory areas of the spared (auditory) and deprived (visual) modalities. Functional activation during sound-localization or pitch-identification tasks correlated negatively with CT in occipital areas of EB (calcarine sulcus, lingual gyrus, superior and middle occipital gyri, and cuneus) and in nonprimary auditory areas of SC. These results suggest a link between CT and activation and demonstrate that the relationship between cortical structure and function may depend on early sensory experience, probably via selective pruning of exuberant connections. Activity-dependent effects of early sensory deprivation and long-term practice are superimposed on normal maturation and aging. Together these processes shape the relationship between brain structure and function over the lifespan.
    Cerebral Cortex 02/2014; 25(8). DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhu009 · 8.67 Impact Factor
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    • "To circumvent some of these limitations and expand the current literature concerning the influences of individual differences on SWM integrity, this study applied an advanced computational analysis approach that combines information from both DTI and sMRI data to allow local sampling of SWM integrity measures. Specifically , cortical pattern-matching algorithms, which have been validated and used for integrating data across imaging modalities (Lu et al., 2009; Phillips et al., 2011a, 2011b, Rasser et al., 2009), were applied to estimate and compare the effects of sex, age, and hemisphere, and their interactions for FA, AD, and RD values at thousands of spatially matched locations within the SWM in a demographically homogenous sample of healthy subjects assessed cross-sectionally (n = 65, age range: 18–74 years). DTI metrics were also examined within lobar regions to describe more global changes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Structural and diffusion imaging studies demonstrate effects of age, gender and asymmetry in many brain structures. However, few studies have addressed how individual differences might influence the structural integrity of the superficial white matter (SWM), comprised of short-range association (U-fibers), and intra-cortical axons. This study thus applied a sophisticated computational analysis approach to structural and diffusion imaging data obtained from healthy individuals selected from the International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM) database across a wide adult age range (N=65, age: 18-74 years, all Caucasian). Fractional anisotropy (FA), radial (RD) and axial diffusivity (AD) were sampled and compared at thousands of spatially matched SWM locations and within regions-of-interest to examine global and local variations in SWM integrity across age, gender and hemisphere. Results showed age-related reductions in FA that were more pronounced in frontal SWM than in posterior and ventral brain regions while increases in RD and AD were observed across large areas of the SWM. FA was significantly greater in left temporo-parietal regions in males and in the posterior callosum in females. Prominent leftward FA and rightward AD and RD asymmetries were observed in temporal, parietal, and frontal regions. Results extend previous findings restricted to deep white matter pathways to demonstrate regional changes in SWM microstructure relating to processes of demyelination and/or to the number, coherence or integrity of axons with increasing age. SWM fiber organization/coherence appears greater in left hemisphere regions spanning language and other networks while more localized gender effects could possibly reflect sex-specific advantages in information strategies.
    Brain Connectivity 03/2013; 3(2). DOI:10.1089/brain.2012.0111
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    • "Furthermore, developmental studies of intelligence have shown that among same-age groups, children with the highest level of intelligence show the most vigorous cortical thinning in the mPFC during adolescence (Shaw et al. 2006). Another study of older children showed that thin cortices were associated with a more mature pattern of functional activation (Lu et al. 2009). Furthermore, longitudinal training and intervention studies in normal subjects have revealed decreased GMV in areas associated with cognitive functions involved in training a while after training was stopped (Boyke et al. 2008; Driemeyer et al. 2008) or after intensive training given over a short period (Takeuchi et al. 2011b, c). "
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    ABSTRACT: Executive functions involve control processes such as goal-oriented planning, flexible strategy generation, sustaining set maintenance, self-monitoring, and inhibition. Executive functions during everyday events (EFEEs) are distinct from those measured under laboratory settings; the former can be severely impaired while the latter remain intact. Non-routine everyday problems due to executive dysfunctions affect individual functioning in everyday life and are of great clinical interest. Despite the importance of anatomical bases underlying better EFEEs, such bases have never been investigated among non-clinical samples. Using voxel-based morphometry to measure regional gray matter volume (rGMV) and regional white matter volume (rWMV) and diffusion tensor imaging to determine fractional anisotropy values, we identified the anatomical correlates of better EFEEs using the Dysexecutive Questionnaire in 303 normal young subjects (168 men and 135 women). Better EFEEs were associated with a smaller rGMV in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) spread across Brodmann areas (BA) 25, 11, and 12 and larger rWMV in the WM area of OFC adjacent to BA 11. Furthermore, individual EFEEs were positively associated with rWMV in the temporal areas, primarily the inferior longitudinal fasciculus and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, the latter of which connects OFC and posterior regions. Thus, our findings suggest that brain structures involving OFC, together with other regions, contribute to the maintenance of effective EFEEs among non-clinical subjects.
    Brain Structure and Function 08/2012; 218(4). DOI:10.1007/s00429-012-0444-z · 5.62 Impact Factor
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