Lateral prefrontal cortex contributes to fluid intelligence through multinetwork connectivity

Michael W. Cole, Takuya Ito, Todd S. Braver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Our ability to effectively adapt to novel circumstances - as measured by general fluid intelligence - has recently been tied to the global connectivity of lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC). Global connectivity is a broad measure that summarizes both within-network connectivity and across-network connectivity. We used additional graph theoretical measures to better characterize the nature of LPFC connectivity and its relationship with fluid intelligence. We specifically hypothesized that LPFC is a connector hub with an across-network connectivity that contributes to fluid intelligence independent of within-network connectivity. We verified that LPFC was in the top 10% of brain regions in terms of across-network connectivity, suggesting it is a strong connector hub. Importantly, we found that the LPFC across-network connectivity predicted individuals' fluid intelligence and this correlation remained statistically significant when controlling for global connectivity (which includes within-network connectivity). This supports the conclusion that across-network connectivity independently contributes to the relationship between LPFC connectivity and intelligence. These results suggest that LPFC contributes to fluid intelligence by being a connector hub with a truly global multisystem connectivity throughout the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-504
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Connectivity
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • fMRI
  • functional connectivity
  • graph theory
  • individual differences
  • intelligence
  • prefrontal cortex
  • resting-state functional connectivity


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