, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 635–647 | Cite as

Long-term characteristics of analogical processing in high-school students with high fluid intelligence: an fMRI study

  • Franziska PreusseEmail author
  • Elke van der Meer
  • Dorothea Ullwer
  • Martin Brucks
  • Frank Krueger
  • Isabell Wartenburger
Original Article


Intelligence is known to predict scholastic achievement and enables high performance in cognitive tasks. Fluid intelligence is strongly related to analogical reasoning abilities, which are fundamental to mathematical thinking. Geometric analogical reasoning is a prototypical measure of fluid intelligence. However, the cerebral correlates of geometric analogical reasoning and their developmental modulation over time are still rarely investigated. We report a 1-year follow-up functional magnetic resonance imaging study of a geometric analogical reasoning task in high fluid intelligence high-school students. This study was designed to characterise the cerebral correlates of geometric analogical reasoning and to improve our knowledge about the impact of general cognitive development on behavioural performance and on cerebral mechanisms underlying geometric analogical reasoning in adolescents. Our data indicate that a fronto-parietal network comprising the left and right parietal lobes and the left middle frontal gyrus was equally modulated by task difficulty at both measuring time points. At the behavioural level, however, participants showed improvements in performance at the second measuring time point. The behavioural improvements point to a more efficient task processing. As this is not accompanied by differential recruitment of fronto-parietal brain regions, the data suggest an increase in neural efficiency for these brain regions.


Geometric analogical reasoning High fluid intelligence Adolescents Follow-up Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) 



This research was supported by grants from the German Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF; programme Neuroscience, Instruction, and Learning) and BNIC (Berlin NeuroImaging Center). IW is supported by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Claussen-Simon-Stiftung). The authors thank Jan-Ole Christian, Manja Homberg and Esther Kuehn for their help with data acquisition. Furthermore, the helpful comments of three anonymous reviewers are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franziska Preusse
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Elke van der Meer
    • 2
    • 3
  • Dorothea Ullwer
    • 1
  • Martin Brucks
    • 3
  • Frank Krueger
    • 4
  • Isabell Wartenburger
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Berlin NeuroImaging CenterCharité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin CCMBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Berlin School of Mind and BrainHumboldt-Universitaet zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyHumboldt-Universitaet zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Center for the Study of NeuroeconomicsGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  5. 5.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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