Adolescent maturation of the relationship between cortical gyrification and cognitive ability.
There are changes to the degree of cortical folding from gestation through adolescence into young adulthood. Recent evidence suggests that degree of cortical folding is linked to individual differences in general cognitive ability in healthy adults. However, it is not yet known whether age-related cortical folding changes are related to maturation of specific cognitive abilities in adolescence. To address this, we examined the relationship between frontoparietal cortical folding as measured by a Freesurfer-derived local gyrification index (lGI) and performance on subtests from the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence and scores from Conner's Continuous Performance Test-II in 241 healthy adolescents (ages 12-25 years). We hypothesized that age-related lGI changes in the frontoparietal cortex would contribute to cognitive development. A secondary goal was to explore if any gyrification-cognition relationships were either test-specific or sex-specific. Consistent with previous studies, our results showed a reduction of frontoparietal local gyrification with age. Also, as predicted, all cognitive test scores (i.e., Vocabulary, Matrix Reasoning, the CPT-II Commission, Omission, Variabiltiy, d') showed age × cognitive ability interaction effects in frontoparietal and temporoparietal brain regions. Mediation analyses confirmed a causal role of age-related cortical folding changes only for CPT-II Commission errors. Taken together, the results support the functional significance of cortical folding, as well as provide the first evidence that cortical folding maturational changes play a role in cognitive development.
Chung, YS; Hyatt, CJ; Stevens, MC
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