Neuropsychological predictors of BOLD response during a spatial working memory task in adolescents: what can performance tell us about fMRI response patterns?

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2005 Oct;27(7):823-39. doi: 10.1080/13803390490919038.


The relationship between standardized neuropsychological test performance and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) response during cognitive tasks is largely unknown. This exploratory investigation examined the relationship between neuropsychological test performance and fMRI response to a spatial working memory (SWM) task among 49 typically developing adolescents. Participants were administered a variety of neuropsychological tests in the domains of working memory, visuospatial skills, executive functioning, attention, learning and memory, visuomotor skills and processing speed, and language functioning. Neuropsychological domain scores were used to predict fMRI response during a SWM task. Results suggest that in many brain regions, neuropsychological performance negatively predicts fMRI response, suggesting that those teens with better neuropsychological abilities required fewer neural resources to adequately perform the task. This study provides further understanding of how neuropsychological abilities relate to neural activity during fMRI tasks, and provides an important link between neuropsychological and fMRI research.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Problem Solving / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Space Perception / physiology*


  • Oxygen