Human Brain Mapping | 2019
Temporal stability of functional brain modules associated with human intelligence
Individual differences in general cognitive ability (i.e., intelligence) have been linked to individual variations in the modular organization of functional brain networks. However, these analyses have been limited to static (time‐averaged) connectivity, and have not yet addressed whether dynamic changes in the configuration of brain networks relate to general intelligence. Here, we used multiband functional MRI resting‐state data (N\u2009=\u2009281) and estimated subject‐specific time‐varying functional connectivity networks. Modularity optimization was applied to determine individual time‐variant module partitions and to assess fluctuations in modularity across time. We show that higher intelligence, indexed by an established composite measure, the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI), is associated with higher temporal stability (lower temporal variability) of brain network modularity. Post‐hoc analyses reveal that subjects with higher intelligence scores engage in fewer periods of extremely high modularity — which are characterized by greater disconnection of task‐positive from task‐negative networks. Further, we show that brain regions of the dorsal attention network contribute most to the observed effect. In sum, our study suggests that investigating the temporal dynamics of functional brain network topology contributes to our understanding of the neural bases of general cognitive abilities.