Multiple bases of human intelligence revealed by cortical thickness and neural activation

Yong Choi Yu, Noah A. Shamosh, Hee Cho Sun, Colin G. DeYoung, Joo Lee Min, Jong Min Lee, Sun I. Kim, Zang Hee Cho, Kyungjin Kim, Jeremy R. Gray, Ho Lee Kun

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    139 Scopus citations


    We hypothesized that individual differences in intelligence (Spearman's g) are supported by multiple brain regions, and in particular that fluid (gF) and crystallized (gC) components of intelligence are related to brain function and structure with a distinct profile of association across brain regions. In 225 healthy young adults scanned with structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging sequences, regions of interest (ROIs) were defined on the basis of a correlation between g and either brain structure or brain function. In these ROIs, gC was more strongly related to structure (cortical thickness) than function, whereas gF was more strongly related to function (blood oxygenation level-dependent signal during reasoning) than structure. We further validated this finding by generating a neurometric prediction model of intelligence quotient (IQ) that explained 50% of variance in IQ in an independent sample. The data compel a nuanced view of the neurobiology of intelligence, providing the most persuasive evidence to date for theories emphasizing multiple distributed brain regions differing in function.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)10323-10329
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Neuroscience
    Issue number41
    StatePublished - Oct 8 2008


    • Cortical thickness
    • Crystallized intelligence
    • Fluid intelligence
    • General intelligence
    • IQ
    • fMRI


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