Relationship of temporal lobe volumes to neuropsychological test performance in healthy children

Carolyn T. Wells, E. Mark Mahone, Melissa A. Matson, Wendy R. Kates, Trisha Hay, Alena Horska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Ecological validity of neuropsychological assessment includes the ability of tests to predict real-world functioning and/or covary with brain structures. Studies have examined the relationship between adaptive skills and test performance, with less focus on the association between regional brain volumes and neurobehavioral function in healthy children. The present study examined the relationship between temporal lobe gray matter volumes and performance on two neuropsychological tests hypothesized to measure temporal lobe functioning (visual perception-VP; peabody picture vocabulary test, third edition-PPVT-III) in 48 healthy children ages 5-18 years. After controlling for age and gender, left and right temporal and left occipital volumes were significant predictors of VP. Left and right frontal and temporal volumes were significant predictors of PPVT-III. Temporal volume emerged as the strongest lobar correlate with both tests. These results provide convergent and discriminant validity supporting VP as a measure of the "what" system; but suggest the PPVT-III as a complex measure of receptive vocabulary, potentially involving executive function demands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain volumes
  • MRI
  • Neuropsychological tests
  • Normal development
  • PPVT
  • Receptive language
  • Temporal lobe
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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