By now, few studies have employed DTI to characterize structural connectivity differences in the brain between lower and higher intelligent individuals. There is evidence that general intelligence is related to higher integrity of WM fiber tracts connecting parieto-frontal cortical areas (Barbey et al., 2013 and Gläscher et al., 2010). This result is in line with the parieto-frontal integration theory, assuming that general intelligence is particularly associated with effective parieto-frontal information processing (Jung STA-9090 datasheet & Haier, 2007). Another study testing the relationship between intelligence and the white matter microstructure found positive correlations
with FA in bilateral frontal and occipito-parietal regions (Schmithorst, Wilke, Dardzinski,
& Holland, 2005), indicating higher white-matter fiber ERK inhibitor in vitro integrity of those regions in higher intelligent individuals. Clayden et al. (2012) demonstrated that FA in the splenium and left-side inferior longitudinal and arcuate fasciculi positively predicts intelligence. This tract connects regions within hemispheres, which is crucial for the integration of information between frontal (including Broca’s area) and temporo-parietal regions (including Wernicke’s area). Interhemispheric white matter microstructure differences between lower and higher intelligent individuals were found by Navas-Sánchez et al. (2014). They reported a positive correlation of intelligence
with FA in the corpus callosum. Turning to sex differences in the white matter microstructure, Szeszko et al. (2003) reported that women have higher FA in the left frontal lobe as compared to men. Schmithorst, Holland, and Dardzinski (2008) found that females (average age of 12 years) show higher FA in the splenium of the corpus callosum, while males have higher FA in associative white matter regions (including the frontal lobes). Higher FA and lower RD in men as compared to women were reported by Menzler et al. (2011) in the corpus callosum, the cingulum, and the thalamus. While sex differences in the corpus callosum and cingulum have been previously observed (Westerhausen Meloxicam et al., 2003), the finding that men show higher thalamic FA accompanied by lower RD than women has not been described before. Instead, higher local efficiency in cortical anatomical networks was found in women, especially those with smaller brains, specifically in the precuneus, the precentral gyrus, and the lingual gyrus (Yan et al., 2011). Although these studies provide some evidence for sex differences in white matter structure, research on the intelligence-WM relationship has rarely considered sex a potential moderator variable. Studies focusing on intelligence (Clayden et al., 2012 and Schmithorst et al., 2005) typically apply statistical techniques to control for morphological differences associated with age and sex.