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Brain Development, Gender And Iq In Children: A Volumetric Imaging Study

1396 words - 6 pages

Running Head: BRAIN DEVELOPMENT, GENDER, AND IQ

Brain development, gender and IQ in children: A volumetric imaging study

National University
Understanding Young Children: Cognition and the Growing Child
In partial fulfillment of ECE 652
Assignment 2.1
Dr. Brenda Sheppard-Johnson
April 2010

Brain development, gender and IQ in children: A volumetric imaging study

Recap
The quantitative study conducted by Reiss, Abrams, Singer, Ross, and Denckla, attempts to answer the question of how brain size, and more importantly cerebral capacity, differs between genders; what, if any, correlation exists between brain morphology; and ...view middle of the document...

All images were processed and then segmented grey, white, and CSF areas. (Reiss et al., 1996) Before measuring the grey and white compartments, composite images were created, and tissue and fluid in the brainstem and cerebellum were manually excluded. Histogram-based algorithms were used on each slice to determine the tissue classification. “CSF voxels comprising the lateral ventricles and subcortical grey voxels comprising the basal ganglia and thalamus were designated and segmented separately in each slice.” (Reiss et al., 1996, p. 1764) In each slice, the volume of the area of interest was calculated by multiplying the number of pixels in the area by the thickness of the slice. A sum of all the volumes found in a region resulted in the volume of the structure.
The presence of neuroanatomical differences in specific regions due to age or gender was identified by calculating the different volumes of the hemispheric and sub-hemispheric grey matter, cerebral white matter, tissue (grey + white) and CSF. To do so five planes were projected onto the image which divided the brain into sixteen sections. These sections corresponded to “prefrontal, posterior frontal, orbital-frontal, parietal, superior parietal-occipital, inferior parietal-occipital, anterior temporal, and mid/posterior temporal” (Reiss et al., 1996, p. 1764) on both the right and left sides.
Finally, the following measures were put in place to eliminate bias: the scans of those with and without genetic disorders were interspersed, all identifiable information was removed from the scans, and those researchers who were rating the morphologic change did not know to which group any subject belonged to.
Results
Cerebral volume in children – gender effects
It was found that the absolute cerebral volume (grey + white + CSF) is approximately 10% larger in boys then girls. Grey and white matter individual volumes were found to be similar (11.4% and 10.0% respectively), and it was determined that it is the volume of the grey matter contributes the most to the overall volume. These gender differences for grey matter for both were found to be statistically significant with p value ≤ 0.0002. Cortical grey had a p value ≤ 0.0001, whereas white matter was only marginally significant with a p value ≤ 0.0052. (Reiss et al., 1996, p. 1766)
In contrast, the size of the subcortical nuclei’s were not significantly different between genders, however, girls do have a larger amount of extraventricular CSF. Analysis of the eight bilateral subhemishperic regions did not result in any significant gender effect. All in all, the tissue and fluid volumes in both boys and girls is quite similar.
Change in cerebral volume with age
“There was no observable change in total cerebral volume as a function of age in either males or females.” (Reiss et al., 1996, p. 1767) Taking gender out of the equation, age was found to predict significant differences in the volumes of...

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