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Verbal and non-verbal intelligence changes in the teenage brain.

Ramsden S, Richardson FM, Josse G, Thomas MS, Ellis C, Shakeshaft C, Seghier ML, Price CJ - Nature (2011)

Bottom Line: By using longitudinal assessments of the same individuals, we obviated the many sources of variation in brain structure that confound cross-sectional studies.More generally, our results emphasize the possibility that an individual's intellectual capacity relative to their peers can decrease or increase in the teenage years.This would be encouraging to those whose intellectual potential may improve, and would be a warning that early achievers may not maintain their potential.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, London WC1N 3BG, UK.

ABSTRACT
Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a standardized measure of human intellectual capacity that takes into account a wide range of cognitive skills. IQ is generally considered to be stable across the lifespan, with scores at one time point used to predict educational achievement and employment prospects in later years. Neuroimaging allows us to test whether unexpected longitudinal fluctuations in measured IQ are related to brain development. Here we show that verbal and non-verbal IQ can rise or fall in the teenage years, with these changes in performance validated by their close correlation with changes in local brain structure. A combination of structural and functional imaging showed that verbal IQ changed with grey matter in a region that was activated by speech, whereas non-verbal IQ changed with grey matter in a region that was activated by finger movements. By using longitudinal assessments of the same individuals, we obviated the many sources of variation in brain structure that confound cross-sectional studies. This allowed us to dissociate neural markers for the two types of IQ and to show that general verbal and non-verbal abilities are closely linked to the sensorimotor skills involved in learning. More generally, our results emphasize the possibility that an individual's intellectual capacity relative to their peers can decrease or increase in the teenage years. This would be encouraging to those whose intellectual potential may improve, and would be a warning that early achievers may not maintain their potential.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Location of brain areas where grey matter changed with VIQ and PIQ. Top the correlation between change in grey matter density and change in VIQ (yellow) in the left motor speech area [peak in the left precentral gyrus at x=−47, y=−9, z=+30; with Z score of 5.2 and 681 voxels at p<.001]. The corresponding effect on volume was slightly less significant (Z score =3.5; 118 voxels at p<.001). Bottom, the correlation between change in PIQ (red) and change in grey matter density in the anterior cerebellum [peak at x=+6, y=−46; z= +3; with Z score of 3.9 with 210 voxels at p<.001]. Both effects were significant at p<0.05 after FWE correction for multiple comparisons in extent based on the number of voxels in a cluster that survived p<0.001 uncorrected. In addition, the VIQ effect was significant at p<0.05 after FWE correction for multiple comparisons in height. The statistical threshold used in the Figure (p<0.001) illustrates the extent of the effects. Plots show the change in grey matter density against the change in both VIQ and PIQ at the voxel with the highest Z score in the appropriate area. Changes in the motor speech area correlated with changes in VIQ but not changes in PIQ, while changes in the anterior cerebellum correlated with changes in PIQ but not changes in VIQ (p<.001). n = 33. GMD = grey matter density.
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Figure 1: Location of brain areas where grey matter changed with VIQ and PIQ. Top the correlation between change in grey matter density and change in VIQ (yellow) in the left motor speech area [peak in the left precentral gyrus at x=−47, y=−9, z=+30; with Z score of 5.2 and 681 voxels at p<.001]. The corresponding effect on volume was slightly less significant (Z score =3.5; 118 voxels at p<.001). Bottom, the correlation between change in PIQ (red) and change in grey matter density in the anterior cerebellum [peak at x=+6, y=−46; z= +3; with Z score of 3.9 with 210 voxels at p<.001]. Both effects were significant at p<0.05 after FWE correction for multiple comparisons in extent based on the number of voxels in a cluster that survived p<0.001 uncorrected. In addition, the VIQ effect was significant at p<0.05 after FWE correction for multiple comparisons in height. The statistical threshold used in the Figure (p<0.001) illustrates the extent of the effects. Plots show the change in grey matter density against the change in both VIQ and PIQ at the voxel with the highest Z score in the appropriate area. Changes in the motor speech area correlated with changes in VIQ but not changes in PIQ, while changes in the anterior cerebellum correlated with changes in PIQ but not changes in VIQ (p<.001). n = 33. GMD = grey matter density.

Mentions: Using a regression analysis, we looked at the brain changes associated with a change in VIQ, PIQ or FSIQ (see Methods Summary for details). The results (see Figure 1) showed that changes in VIQ were positively correlated with changes in grey matter density (and volume) in an area of the left motor cortex that is activated by the articulation of speech10. Conversely, changes in PIQ were positively correlated with grey matter density in the anterior cerebellum (lobule IV), which is associated with motor movements of the hand11-12. Post-hoc tests that correlated structural change with change on each of the nine VIQ and PIQ subtest scores that were common in the WISC and WAIS assessments found that the neural marker for VIQ indexed constructs that were shared by all VIQ measures, while the neural marker for PIQ indexed constructs that were common to three of the four PIQ measures (see Table 2). This indicates that our VIQ and PIQ markers indexed skills that were not specific to individual sub-tests. There were no other grey or white matter effects that reached significance in a whole brain structural analysis of VIQ, PIQ or FSIQ. See Supplementary Information for details of further post-hoc tests.


Verbal and non-verbal intelligence changes in the teenage brain.

Ramsden S, Richardson FM, Josse G, Thomas MS, Ellis C, Shakeshaft C, Seghier ML, Price CJ - Nature (2011)

Location of brain areas where grey matter changed with VIQ and PIQ. Top the correlation between change in grey matter density and change in VIQ (yellow) in the left motor speech area [peak in the left precentral gyrus at x=−47, y=−9, z=+30; with Z score of 5.2 and 681 voxels at p<.001]. The corresponding effect on volume was slightly less significant (Z score =3.5; 118 voxels at p<.001). Bottom, the correlation between change in PIQ (red) and change in grey matter density in the anterior cerebellum [peak at x=+6, y=−46; z= +3; with Z score of 3.9 with 210 voxels at p<.001]. Both effects were significant at p<0.05 after FWE correction for multiple comparisons in extent based on the number of voxels in a cluster that survived p<0.001 uncorrected. In addition, the VIQ effect was significant at p<0.05 after FWE correction for multiple comparisons in height. The statistical threshold used in the Figure (p<0.001) illustrates the extent of the effects. Plots show the change in grey matter density against the change in both VIQ and PIQ at the voxel with the highest Z score in the appropriate area. Changes in the motor speech area correlated with changes in VIQ but not changes in PIQ, while changes in the anterior cerebellum correlated with changes in PIQ but not changes in VIQ (p<.001). n = 33. GMD = grey matter density.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3672949&req=5

Figure 1: Location of brain areas where grey matter changed with VIQ and PIQ. Top the correlation between change in grey matter density and change in VIQ (yellow) in the left motor speech area [peak in the left precentral gyrus at x=−47, y=−9, z=+30; with Z score of 5.2 and 681 voxels at p<.001]. The corresponding effect on volume was slightly less significant (Z score =3.5; 118 voxels at p<.001). Bottom, the correlation between change in PIQ (red) and change in grey matter density in the anterior cerebellum [peak at x=+6, y=−46; z= +3; with Z score of 3.9 with 210 voxels at p<.001]. Both effects were significant at p<0.05 after FWE correction for multiple comparisons in extent based on the number of voxels in a cluster that survived p<0.001 uncorrected. In addition, the VIQ effect was significant at p<0.05 after FWE correction for multiple comparisons in height. The statistical threshold used in the Figure (p<0.001) illustrates the extent of the effects. Plots show the change in grey matter density against the change in both VIQ and PIQ at the voxel with the highest Z score in the appropriate area. Changes in the motor speech area correlated with changes in VIQ but not changes in PIQ, while changes in the anterior cerebellum correlated with changes in PIQ but not changes in VIQ (p<.001). n = 33. GMD = grey matter density.
Mentions: Using a regression analysis, we looked at the brain changes associated with a change in VIQ, PIQ or FSIQ (see Methods Summary for details). The results (see Figure 1) showed that changes in VIQ were positively correlated with changes in grey matter density (and volume) in an area of the left motor cortex that is activated by the articulation of speech10. Conversely, changes in PIQ were positively correlated with grey matter density in the anterior cerebellum (lobule IV), which is associated with motor movements of the hand11-12. Post-hoc tests that correlated structural change with change on each of the nine VIQ and PIQ subtest scores that were common in the WISC and WAIS assessments found that the neural marker for VIQ indexed constructs that were shared by all VIQ measures, while the neural marker for PIQ indexed constructs that were common to three of the four PIQ measures (see Table 2). This indicates that our VIQ and PIQ markers indexed skills that were not specific to individual sub-tests. There were no other grey or white matter effects that reached significance in a whole brain structural analysis of VIQ, PIQ or FSIQ. See Supplementary Information for details of further post-hoc tests.

Bottom Line: By using longitudinal assessments of the same individuals, we obviated the many sources of variation in brain structure that confound cross-sectional studies.More generally, our results emphasize the possibility that an individual's intellectual capacity relative to their peers can decrease or increase in the teenage years.This would be encouraging to those whose intellectual potential may improve, and would be a warning that early achievers may not maintain their potential.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, London WC1N 3BG, UK.

ABSTRACT
Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a standardized measure of human intellectual capacity that takes into account a wide range of cognitive skills. IQ is generally considered to be stable across the lifespan, with scores at one time point used to predict educational achievement and employment prospects in later years. Neuroimaging allows us to test whether unexpected longitudinal fluctuations in measured IQ are related to brain development. Here we show that verbal and non-verbal IQ can rise or fall in the teenage years, with these changes in performance validated by their close correlation with changes in local brain structure. A combination of structural and functional imaging showed that verbal IQ changed with grey matter in a region that was activated by speech, whereas non-verbal IQ changed with grey matter in a region that was activated by finger movements. By using longitudinal assessments of the same individuals, we obviated the many sources of variation in brain structure that confound cross-sectional studies. This allowed us to dissociate neural markers for the two types of IQ and to show that general verbal and non-verbal abilities are closely linked to the sensorimotor skills involved in learning. More generally, our results emphasize the possibility that an individual's intellectual capacity relative to their peers can decrease or increase in the teenage years. This would be encouraging to those whose intellectual potential may improve, and would be a warning that early achievers may not maintain their potential.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus