Mapping IQ and gray matter density in healthy young people

Neuroimage. 2004 Nov;23(3):800-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.05.027.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies suggest that significant changes in gray matter density occur during adolescence because of brain maturation. It has also been reported that gray matter volume correlates with measures of intellectual ability. This study examined whether the relationship between general intellectual ability (IQ) and gray matter morphometry reflects differential involvement of particular cytoarchitectonic areas. We found positive correlations between IQ and gray matter density in the orbitofrontal cortex, cingulate gyrus, the cerebellum, and thalamus and negative correlations in the caudate nucleus. These findings suggest that general intellectual ability in healthy young people is related to specific brain regions known to be involved in the executive control of attention, working memory, and response selection.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Child
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Intelligence / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology