The relationship between uncinate fasciculus white matter integrity and verbal memory proficiency in children

David J. Schaeffer, Cynthia E. Krafft, Nicolette F. Schwarz, Lingxi Chi, Amanda L. Rodrigue, Jordan E. Pierce, Jerry David Allison, Nathan Eugene Yanasak, Tianming Liu, Catherine Lucy Davis, Jennifer E. McDowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

During childhood, verbal learning and memory are important for academic performance. Recent functional MRI studies have reported on the functional correlates of verbal memory proficiency, but few have reported the underlying structural correlates. The present study sought to test the relationship between fronto-temporal white matter integrity and verbal memory proficiency in children. Diffusion weighted images were collected from 17 Black children (age 8-11 years) who also completed the California Verbal Learning Test. To index white matter integrity, fractional anisotropy values were calculated for bilateral uncinate fasciculus. The results revealed that low anisotropy values corresponded to poor verbal memory, whereas high anisotropy values corresponded to significantly better verbal memory scores. These findings suggest that a greater degree of myelination and cohesiveness of axonal fibers in uncinate fasciculus underlie better verbal memory proficiency in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-925
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroReport
Volume25
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 20 2014

Keywords

  • Children
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Uncinate fasciculus
  • Verbal memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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