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Cereb Cortex. 2016 May;26(5):2178-90. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhv050. Epub 2015 Mar 30.

Fronto-Parietal Network Reconfiguration Supports the Development of Reasoning Ability.

Abstract

The goal of this fMRI study was to examine how well developmental improvements in reasoning ability can be explained by changes in functional connectivity between specific nodes in prefrontal and parietal cortices. To this end, we examined connectivity within the lateral fronto-parietal network (LFPN) and its relation to reasoning ability in 132 children and adolescents aged 6-18 years, 56 of whom were scanned twice over the course of 1.5 years. Developmental changes in strength of connections within the LFPN were most prominent in late childhood and early adolescence. Reasoning ability was related to functional connectivity between left rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC) and inferior parietal lobule (IPL), but only among 12-18-year olds. For 9-11-year olds, reasoning ability was most strongly related to connectivity between left and right RLPFC; this relationship was mediated by working memory. For 6-8-year olds, significant relationships between connectivity and performance were not observed; in this group, processing speed was the primary mediator of improvement in reasoning ability. We conclude that different connections best support reasoning at different points in development and that RLPFC-IPL connectivity becomes an important predictor of reasoning during adolescence.

KEYWORDS:

adolescent; child; development; dorsolateral; functional connectivity; inferior parietal lobule; parietal cortex; prefrontal cortex; processing speed; reasoning; rostrolateral; working memory

PMID:
25824536
PMCID:
PMC4830293
DOI:
10.1093/cercor/bhv050
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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