Fronto-Parietal Network Plays Role in General Intelligence

Data from veterans with brain damage show network plays role in g, executive function

MONDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a role for the fronto-parietal network in the general factor of intelligence (g) and executive function, according to a study published in the April issue of Brain.

Aron K. Barbey, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and colleagues used voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping to investigate the neural substrates of g and executive function in 182 Vietnam veteran patients with focal brain damage from penetrating injuries. Measures of g and executive function were derived using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System, respectively.

The researchers found that damage to a distributed network of left lateralized brain regions, including frontal and parietal cortex and white matter association tracts, correlated with impaired performance on the measures.

"Understanding the neural architecture of general intelligence and executive function will ultimately require a broader assessment that examines the functional organization of cognitive, social, and affective systems and their interactive role in high-level processes," the authors write. "The reported findings contribute to this emerging research program by elucidating the role of the fronto-parietal network in psychometric g and executive function, demonstrating that this system provides an integrative neural architecture for key competencies of human intelligence."

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