DOI: 10.1101/496729Dec 17, 2018Paper

Empirical examination of the replicability of associations between brain structure and psychological variables

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Shahrzad Kharabianfor the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Abstract

Linking interindividual differences in psychological phenotype to variations in brain structure is an old dream for psychology and a crucial question for cognitive neurosciences. Yet, replicability of the previously-reported “structural brain behavior” (SBB)-associations has been questioned, recently. Here, we conducted an empirical investigation, assessing replicability of SBB among heathy adults. For a wide range of psychological measures, the replicability of associations with gray matter volume was assessed. Our results revealed that among healthy individuals 1) finding an association between performance at standard psychological tests and brain morphology is relatively unlikely 2) significant associations, found using an exploratory approach, have overestimated effect sizes and 3) can hardly be replicated in an independent sample. After considering factors such as sample size and comparing our findings with more replicable SBB-associations in a clinical cohort and replicable associations between brain structure and non-psychological phenotype, we discuss the potential causes and consequences of these findings.

Related Concepts

Brain
Cognition
Gray Matter
Psychological Tests (Procedure)
Psychology
Evaluation
Brain Injuries
Cohort

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