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Neuroimage. 2008 Jul 1;41(3):1168-76. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.02.036. Epub 2008 Mar 5.

Brain spontaneous functional connectivity and intelligence.

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National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, PR China.


Many functional imaging studies have been performed to explore the neural basis of intelligence by detecting brain activity changes induced by intelligence-related tasks, such as reasoning or working memory. However, little is known about whether the spontaneous brain activity at rest is relevant to the differences in intelligence. Here, 59 healthy adult subjects (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale score, 90-138) were studied with resting state fMRI. We took the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (DLPFC) as the seed regions and investigated the correlations across subjects between individual intelligence scores and the strength of the functional connectivity (FC) between the seed regions and other brain regions. We found that the brain regions in which the strength of the FC significantly correlated with intelligence scores were distributed in the frontal, parietal, occipital and limbic lobes. Stepwise linear regression analysis also revealed that the FCs within the frontal lobe and between the frontal and posterior brain regions were both important predictive factors for the differences in intelligence. These findings support a network view of intelligence, as suggested in previous studies. More importantly, our findings suggest that brain activity may be relevant to the differences in intelligence even in the resting state and in the absence of an explicit cognitive demand. This could provide a new perspective for understanding the neural basis of intelligence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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