Poster Session C, Sunday, March 24, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Segmentation of the Frontal Aslant Tract (FAT) and its relation to verbal fluency development in children
Dea Garic1, Diana P. Behar1, Hector Borges1, Valentina Lino1, Armando Torres1, Anthony S. Dick1; 1Florida International University
The frontal aslant tract (FAT) is a bilateral long association fiber pathway (Catani et al, 2012) that is thought to play an important role in verbal fluency and speech production (Dick, Garic, Graziano, & Tremblay, 2018). The FAT is most commonly thought to connect the inferior frontal gyrus (pars opercularis and pars triangularis) to the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) and supplementary motor areas (SMA) (Catani et al, 2013). Since it is frequently thought of as a language pathway, most studies have focused on only the left hemisphere FAT. Our study aims to expand on previous findings by examining the relationships between both the left and right hemispheric segments of the FAT and verbal fluency. We tracked the FAT in 129 typically developing participants (70 females, age= 0-18 years, M=8.67) and related the microanatomical properties of the FAT with NEPSY II verbal fluency outcomes. Results show that higher mean diffusivity of the left FAT is related with higher scores on the scaled semantic NEPSY II measure for both the pre-SMA to pars opercularis segment (β=.93, p<.05) as well as for the pre-SMA to pars triangularis segment (β=.93, p<.05). Inversely, higher mean diffusivity in right FAT predicts lower scores on scaled phonemic NEPSY II measures for both the pre-SMA to pars opercularis segment (β=-1.21, p<.05) as well as the SMA to pars triangularis segment (β=-1.23, p<.05). These findings provide initial support that the right and left FAT could serve different functions for language development.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Development & aging