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Individual Variation in Control Network Topography Supports Executive Function in Youth

By Zaixu Cui, Hongming Li, Cedric H Xia, Bart Larsen, Azeez Adebimpe, Graham L Baum, Matt Cieslak, Raquel E. Gur, Ruben C Gur, Tyler M Moore, Desmond J. Oathes, Aaron Alexander-Bloch, Armin Raznahan, David R Roalf, Russell T Shinohara, Daniel H Wolf, Christos Davatzikos, Dani S. Bassett, Damien A. Fair, Yong Fan, Theodore D Satterthwaite

Posted 08 Jul 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/694489 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.01.029)

The spatial distribution of large-scale functional networks on the anatomic cortex differs between individuals, and is particularly variable in networks responsible for executive function. However, it remains unknown how this functional topography evolves in development and supports cognition. Capitalizing upon advances in machine learning and a large sample of youth (n=693, ages 8-23y) imaged with 27 minutes of high-quality fMRI data, we delineate how functional topography evolves during youth. We found that the functional topography of association networks is refined with age, allowing accurate prediction of an unseen individual's brain maturity. Furthermore, the cortical representation of executive networks predicts individual differences in executive function. Finally, variability of functional topography is associated with fundamental properties of brain organization including evolutionary expansion, cortical myelination, and cerebral blood flow. Our results emphasize the importance of considering both the plasticity and diversity of functional neuroanatomy during development, and suggest advances in personalized therapeutics.

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