Cortical thickness and cognition

Proposal details

Title: Establishing cognitive correlates of cortical thickness in older adults
Research Area(s): Development and Aging
Brain Imaging
Thinking and Cognition
Individual Differences
Background: Bulk volumetry measures of brain morphology typically yield weak correlations with cognitive abilities among older adults. With the advancement of analytic methods applied to structural MRI data, we are now able to examine cortical thickness on a regional basis. Cortical thickness may prove to be a more sensitive measure of variability in brain morphology than traditional bulk volumetry measurements, but this has not been fully tested in a large data set.
Aims: This projects seeks to examine the relationship between regional measures of cortical thickness and cognition among older adults. A secondary aim is to compare brain-behavior relationships when deriving morphometric data with traditional volumetry approaches versus cortical thickness.
Method: The associations between regional measures of cortical thickness and performance on a neurocognitive battery will be examined. Similar associations will be examined between region-of-interest based measures of brain volume and cognition. We will model effects of background variables, including demography, education, health status, etc.