General intelligence and memory span: evidence for a common neuroanatomic framework

Cogn Neuropsychol. 2007 Dec;24(8):867-78. doi: 10.1080/02643290701781557.


General intelligence (g) is highly correlated with working-memory capacity (WMC). It has been argued that these central psychological constructs should share common neural systems. The present study examines this hypothesis using structural magnetic resonance imaging to determine any overlap in brain areas where regional grey matter volumes are correlated to measures of general intelligence and to memory span. In normal volunteers (N = 48) the results (p < .05, corrected for multiple comparisons) indicate that a common anatomic framework for these constructs implicates mainly frontal grey matter regions belonging to Brodmann area (BA) 10 (right superior frontal gyrus and left middle frontal gyrus) and, to a lesser degree, the right inferior parietal lobule (BA 40). These findings support the nuclear role of a discrete parieto-frontal network.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Intelligence / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Reference Values
  • Serial Learning / physiology
  • Verbal Learning / physiology
  • Wechsler Scales