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Bioessays. 2007 Oct;29(10):962-73.

Intelligence and the developing human brain.

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10 Center Drive, 3N202, Child Psychiatry Branch, NIMH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1600, USA.


Determining the brain properties that make people 'brainier' has moved well beyond early demonstrations that increasing intelligence correlates with increasing grey and white matter volumes. Both structural and functional in vivo neuroimaging techniques delineate a distributed network of brain regions, perhaps with a focus in the lateral prefrontal cortex, which varies in extent and connectivity with individual differences in intelligence. Longitudinal studies further show that the neuroanatomic correlates of intelligence are dynamic, changing most rapidly in early childhood. Several promising candidate genes affecting neuronal development and neurotransmission have been proposed that might begin to explain the marked genetic overlap between cortical morphology and intelligence. A major future challenge is to determine the cellular events that underpin the neuroanatomic differences correlated with intelligence.

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