Poster F131, Tuesday, March 27, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Individual differences in information processing predict distinct structural connectivity patterns
Justin C. Hayes1, Katherine L. Alfred1, David J. M. Kraemer1; 1Dartmouth College
Is habitual use of cognitive processing that favors visuospatial cognition or verbal cognition associated with differences in structural connectivity patterns in specific brain networks? To test this hypothesis, we collected diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data from 28 participants, as well as their scores on behavioral assessments, including the Verbalizer-Visualizer Questionnaire (VVQ), Wechsler Abbreviated Intelligence Scale (WAIS), Automated Working Memory Assessment (AWMA), and a verbal/visual response task (VVRT; intended to assess response-based modality specific processing preferences). Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to evaluate the structure of these behavioral scores. Results indicate 3 dimensions: working memory (AWMA), intelligence (WAIS), and a dimension that reflects habits of thought (HT), including variance from self-report surveys, objective measures of cognitive abilities, and attentional biases related to processing visuospatial and verbal information. Next, we used scores on the HT dimension (ranging from “strongly visuospatial” to “neutral” to “strongly verbal”) to associate with patterns in DTI. Consistent with our hypothesis, results indicate that HT scores correlate with specific networks of structural connectivity. Highly verbal HT scores were associated with greater fractional anisotropy (FA) values in white matter tracts associated with language processing (e.g., left perisylvian cortex). In contrast, highly visuospatial HT scores were associated with greater FA values in dorsal tracts traversing bilateral occipitoparietal cortex. The results suggest that connectivity within white matter tracts associated with processing verbal or visual information varies as a function of an individual’s habitual thought patterns.
Topic Area: THINKING: Problem solving