Multimodal brain signal complexity predicts human intelligence

  • Spontaneous brain activity builds the foundation for human cognitive processing during external demands. Neuroimaging studies based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) identified specific characteristics of spontaneous (intrinsic) brain dynamics to be associated with individual differences in general cognitive ability, i.e., intelligence. However, fMRI research is inherently limited by low temporal resolution, thus, preventing conclusions about neural fluctuations within the range of milliseconds. Here, we used resting-state electroencephalographical (EEG) recordings from 144 healthy adults to test whether individual differences in intelligence (Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices scores) can be predicted from the complexity of temporally highly resolved intrinsic brain signals. We compared different operationalizations of brain signal complexity (multiscale entropy, Shannon entropy, Fuzzy entropy, and specific characteristics of microstates) regarding their relation to intelligence. The results indicate that associations between brain signal complexity measures and intelligence are of small effect sizes (r ∼ 0.20) and vary across different spatial and temporal scales. Specifically, higher intelligence scores were associated with lower complexity in local aspects of neural processing, and less activity in task-negative brain regions belonging to the default-mode network. Finally, we combined multiple measures of brain signal complexity to show that individual intelligence scores can be significantly predicted with a multimodal model within the sample (10-fold cross-validation) as well as in an independent sample (external replication, N = 57). In sum, our results highlight the temporal and spatial dependency of associations between intelligence and intrinsic brain dynamics, proposing multimodal approaches as promising means for future neuroscientific research on complex human traits.

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Author:Jonas A. ThieleORCiD, Aylin Richter, Kirsten HilgerORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):eNeuro
Publisher:Society for Neuroscience
Place of publication:Washington, DC
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2023/01/19
Date of first Publication:2023/01/19
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/11/14
Tag:EEG; brain signal complexity; cognitive ability; intelligence; microstates; resting-state
Page Number:18
Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International