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Abstract #0837

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

1 Brown University, Providence, RI, United States, 2 NeuroImaging, 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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