White Matter Maturation Profiles Through Early Childhood Predict General Cognitive Ability
Sean Deoni 1 , Jonathan O'Muircheartaigh 2 , Holly Dirks 1 , and Douglas C Dean 1
Brown University, Providence, RI, United
King's College London, London, United Kingdom
An important neurodevelopmental processes during early
childhood is the maturation of the myelinated white
matter. Though prior brain imaging studies in older
children and adults have linked white matter development
with cognitive maturation and intelligence, few studies
have examined how these processes are related throughout
early development. Here we show the profile of white
matter myelination across the first 5 years of life is
strongly related to cognitive ability, even when
controlling for SES, gestation, and birth weight.
Specifically, higher ability children exhibit slower but
more prolonged early development, resulting in overall
increased myelin by ~3 years of age.
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