Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Gender differences in the brain connections that predict intelligence.

From Jiang et al:
Scores on intelligence tests are strongly predictive of various important life outcomes. However, the gender discrepancy on intelligence quotient (IQ) prediction using brain imaging variables has not been studied. To this aim, we predicted individual IQ scores for males and females separately using whole-brain functional connectivity (FC). Robust predictions of intellectual capabilities were achieved across three independent data sets (680 subjects) and two intelligence measurements (IQ and fluid intelligence) using the same model within each gender. Interestingly, we found that intelligence of males and females were underpinned by different neurobiological correlates, which are consistent with their respective superiority in cognitive domains (visuospatial vs verbal ability). In addition, the identified FC patterns are uniquely predictive on IQ and its sub-domain scores only within the same gender but neither for the opposite gender nor on the IQ-irrelevant measures such as temperament traits. Moreover, females exhibit significantly higher IQ predictability than males in the discovery cohort. This findings facilitate our understanding of the biological basis of intelligence by demonstrating that intelligence is underpinned by a variety of complex neural mechanisms that engage an interacting network of regions—particularly prefrontal–parietal and basal ganglia—whereas the network pattern differs between genders.

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