THE ARTICLE by Peterson et al1 illustrates many pediatric neuroimaging advances of the last decade and highlights many of the neuroimaging challenges yet to be faced. Strong features of the study include a large sample size; careful attention to subject and control characterization, scan acquisition, and image analysis; and recognition of the importance of age and gender effects on brain morphometry.
A central tenet of structural imaging studies is that size matters. Critics of the principle contend that the unimportance of size within a broad range of extremes is demonstrated by healthy children with similar IQs having as much as a 50% difference in brain volume,2 robust differences in brain sizes between males and females with similar functional capacity, and the paucity of established correlations between the size of any given brain structure and cognitive abilities. However, from a computational science perspective it seems likely that the number of neuronal connections in a structure reflects its information processing capacity,3 and from an evolutionary perspective, interspecies differences in cerebral morphometry are predictive of behavioral complexity. There is modest positive correlation between IQ and total cerebral volume4 and a possible relationship between hippocampal size and memory recall.5 To conclude straightforward relationships between the volume of a single structure and performance on a particular cognitive task, however, is incautious, considering the intricacy of various neurochemical systems and the diversity of afferent and efferent connections to the many distinct nuclei of most brain structures. This supports the concept of distributed neural systems, whereby functional attributes are not thought to lie so much within a single structure as within a network of structures.
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Psychiatry editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
The Rational Clinical Examination
Among Patients With Headaches, Who Should Have Neuroimaging?
The Rational Clinical Examination
Assessing the Likelihood of a Significant Neuroimaging Intracranial Abnormality
All results at
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.