Development of structure-function coupling in human brain networks during youth
Graham L Baum,
David R Roalf,
Philip A. Cook,
Cedric H Xia,
Tyler M Moore,
Russell T Shinohara,
Raquel E. Gur,
Ruben C Gur,
Dani S. Bassett,
Theodore D Satterthwaite
Posted 12 Aug 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/729004 (published DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1912034117)
Posted 12 Aug 2019
The protracted development of structural and functional brain connectivity within distributed association networks coincides with improvements in higher-order cognitive processes such as working memory. However, it remains unclear how white matter architecture develops during youth to directly support coordinated neural activity. Here, we characterize the development of structure-function coupling using diffusion-weighted imaging and n-back fMRI data in a sample of 727 individuals (ages 8-23 years). We found that spatial variability in structure-function coupling aligned with cortical hierarchies of functional specialization and evolutionary expansion. Furthermore, hierarchy-dependent age effects on structure-function coupling localized to transmodal cortex in both cross-sectional data and a subset of participants with longitudinal data (n=294). Moreover, structure-function coupling in rostrolateral prefrontal cortex was associated with executive performance, and partially mediated age-related improvements in executive function. Together, these findings delineate a critical dimension of adolescent brain development, whereby the coupling between structural and functional connectivity remodels to support functional specialization and cognition.
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