Relationship of temporal lobe volumes to neuropsychological test performance in healthy children

Brain Cogn. 2008 Nov;68(2):171-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2008.04.004. Epub 2008 May 29.


Ecological validity of neuropsychological assessment includes the ability of tests to predict real-world functioning and/or covary with brain structures. Studies have examined the relationship between adaptive skills and test performance, with less focus on the association between regional brain volumes and neurobehavioral function in healthy children. The present study examined the relationship between temporal lobe gray matter volumes and performance on two neuropsychological tests hypothesized to measure temporal lobe functioning (visual perception-VP; peabody picture vocabulary test, third edition-PPVT-III) in 48 healthy children ages 5-18 years. After controlling for age and gender, left and right temporal and left occipital volumes were significant predictors of VP. Left and right frontal and temporal volumes were significant predictors of PPVT-III. Temporal volume emerged as the strongest lobar correlate with both tests. These results provide convergent and discriminant validity supporting VP as a measure of the "what" system; but suggest the PPVT-III as a complex measure of receptive vocabulary, potentially involving executive function demands.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Language Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Linear Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Occipital Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Occipital Lobe / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Temporal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*
  • Verbal Learning / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology*