Hemispheric Differences in White Matter Microstructure between Two Profiles of Children with High Intelligence Quotient vs. Controls: A Tract-Based Spatial Statistics Study

Abstract : Objectives: The main goal of this study was to investigate and compare the neural substrate of two children's profiles of high intelligence quotient (HIQ). Methods: Two groups of HIQ children were included with either a homogeneous (Hom-HIQ: n = 20) or a heterogeneous IQ profile (Het-HIQ: n = 24) as defined by a significant difference between verbal comprehension index and perceptual reasoning index. Diffusion tensor imaging was used to assess white matter (WM) microstructure while tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) analysis was performed to detect and localize WM regional differences in fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity, axial (AD), and radial diffusivities. Quantitative measurements were performed on 48 regions and 21 fiber-bundles of WM. Results: Hom-HIQ children presented higher FA than Het-HIQ children in widespread WM regions including central structures, and associative intra-hemispheric WM fasciculi. AD was also greater in numerous WM regions of Total-HIQ, Hom-HIQ, and Het-HIQ groups when compared to the Control group. Hom-HIQ and Het-HIQ groups also differed by their hemispheric lateralization in AD differences compared to Controls. Het-HIQ and Hom-HIQ groups showed a lateralization ratio (left/right) of 1.38 and 0.78, respectively. Conclusions: These findings suggest that both inter-and intra-hemispheric WM integrity are enhanced in HIQ children and that neural substrate differs between Hom-HIQ and Het-HIQ. The left hemispheric lateralization of Het-HIQ children is concordant with their higher verbal index while the relative right hemispheric lateralization of Hom-HIQ children is concordant with their global brain processing and adaptation capacities as evidenced by their homogeneous IQ.
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Fanny Nusbaum, Salem Hannoun, Gabriel Kocevar, Claudio Stamile, Pierre Fourneret, et al.. Hemispheric Differences in White Matter Microstructure between Two Profiles of Children with High Intelligence Quotient vs. Controls: A Tract-Based Spatial Statistics Study. Frontiers in Neuroscience, Frontiers, 2017, 11, pp.173 - 173. ⟨10.3389/fnins.2017.00173⟩. ⟨hal-01753107⟩

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