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: 8.31). 03/2009; 19(11):2595-604. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhp011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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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