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Brain Struct Funct. 2014 Mar;219(2):485-94. doi: 10.1007/s00429-013-0512-z. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

Architecture of fluid intelligence and working memory revealed by lesion mapping.

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Decision Neuroscience Laboratory, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, USA,


Although cognitive neuroscience has made valuable progress in understanding the role of the prefrontal cortex in human intelligence, the functional networks that support adaptive behavior and novel problem solving remain to be well characterized. Here, we studied 158 human brain lesion patients to investigate the cognitive and neural foundations of key competencies for fluid intelligence and working memory. We administered a battery of neuropsychological tests, including the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and the N-Back task. Latent variable modeling was applied to obtain error-free scores of fluid intelligence and working memory, followed by voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping to elucidate their neural substrates. The observed latent variable modeling and lesion results support an integrative framework for understanding the architecture of fluid intelligence and working memory and make specific recommendations for the interpretation and application of the WAIS and N-Back task to the study of fluid intelligence in health and disease.

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