1. Neuroscience
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Brain and Behavior: Assessing reproducibility in association studies

  1. Hugo Schnack  Is a corresponding author
  1. UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e46757 doi: 10.7554/eLife.46757
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Bringing together brain structure and behavioral traits.

Several ways exist to examine how the structural properties of the brain (in blue) underpin complex behavioral traits such as intelligence (in red). At a low, neuronal level, some connections can be drawn between the characteristics of neurons and processing speed. To study more complex behavioral constructs, the brain can be examined at different levels. MRI scans provide averaged information about neural tissue throughout the brain at the scale of the millimeter (voxel; right, middle). This information can then be correlated with high-level behavioral measures using mass-univariate associations. While these structural brain -behavior associations are stronger than those obtained when looking at the whole brain volume (lower left), many have not been replicated (Kharabian Masouleh et al., 2019). However, multivariate analyses (lower right), and innovative, multi-modal analyses that work at the scale of networks (bottom), are expected to provide the strongest associations. They may hold the key to understanding how brain structure underpins psychological measures like intelligence.

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