Baseline brain perfusion and working memory capacity: a neuroimaging study

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Early studies of rest cerebral metabolism and perfusion reported no association with intellectual capacity. We revisit this issue using a larger sample (N=146) and a continuous arterial spin labeling technique to measure perfusion, and working memory capacity as a measure of intellectual capacity. In the cortex, working memory capacity correlated diffusely and negatively with perfusion. This negative association was more marked in the prefrontal and temporal cortex of the left hemisphere. However, there were also weak positive correlations in the auditory areas, accompanied by analogous correlations in all other areas associated with sensory modalities, with a preference for right lateralization. These findings are discussed in terms of the cortical and vascular organization of the brain.

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