Do intrinsic brain functional networks predict working memory from childhood to adulthood?

Han Zhang, Shuji Hao, Annie Lee, Simon B. Eickhoff, Diliana Pecheva, Shirong Cai, Michael Meaney, Yap Seng Chong, Birit F.P. Broekman, Marielle V. Fortier, Anqi Qiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Working memory (WM) is defined as the ability to maintain a representation online to guide goal-directed behavior. Its capacity in early childhood predicts academic achievements in late childhood and its deficits are found in various neurodevelopmental disorders. We employed resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) of 468 participants aged from 4 to 55 years and connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) to explore the potential predictive power of intrinsic functional networks to WM in preschoolers, early and late school-age children, adolescents, and adults. We defined intrinsic functional networks among brain regions identified by activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis on existing WM functional studies (ALE-based intrinsic functional networks) and intrinsic functional networks generated based on the whole brain (whole-brain intrinsic functional networks). We employed the CPM on these networks to predict WM in each age group. The CPM using the ALE-based and whole-brain intrinsic functional networks predicted WM of individual adults, while the prediction power of the ALE-based intrinsic functional networks was superior to that of the whole-brain intrinsic functional networks. Nevertheless, the CPM using the whole-brain but not the ALE-based intrinsic functional networks predicted WM in adolescents. And, the CPM using neither the ALE-based nor whole-brain networks predicted WM in any of the children groups. Our findings showed the trend of the prediction power of the intrinsic functional networks to cognition in individuals from early childhood to adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4574-4586
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

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