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Age, sex, and verbal abilities affect location of linguistic connectivity in ventral visual pathway


Burman DDDouglas D , Minas TTaylor , Bolger DJDonald J , Booth JRJames R . Brain and language. 2013 01 30; 124(2). 184-93


Previous studies have shown that the strength of connectivity between regions can vary depending upon the cognitive demands of a task. In this study, the location of task-dependent connectivity from the primary visual cortex (V1) was examined in 43 children (ages 9-15) performing visual tasks; connectivity maxima were identified for a visual task requiring a linguistic (orthographic) judgment. Age, sex, and verbal IQ interacted to affect maxima location. Increases in age and verbal IQ produced similar shifts in maxima location; in girls, connectivity maxima shifted primarily laterally within the left temporal lobe, whereas the shift was primarily posterior within occipital cortex among boys. A composite map across all subjects shows an expansion in the area of connectivity with age. Results show that the location of visual/linguistic connectivity varies systematically during development, suggesting that both sex differences and developmental changes in V1 connectivity are related to linguistic function.