Brain-behavior correlation in children depends on the neurocognitive network
We examined brain-behavior correlations in 12 children (age range 9.3 to 11.7 years) during a selective attention task that required the visual search of a conjunction of features and during a response inhibition task that required the inhibition of a pre-potent response during “no-go” blocks. We found that the association between performance in these tasks and brain activation as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) depended on the neurocognitive network. Specifically, better performance during the no-go task was associated with greater activation in the response inhibition network including the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia. In contrast, better performance during the visual search task was associated with less activation in the selective attention network including superior parietal lobule and lateral premotor cortex. These results show that the relation of performance to the magnitude of neural activation is complex and may display differential relationships based on the cognitive domain, anatomical region, and perhaps also developmental stage.