T1w/T2w Ratio and Cognition in 9-to-11-Year-Old Children

Lara Langensee, Theodor Rumetshofer, Hamid Behjat, Mikael Novén, Ping Li, Johan Mårtensson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Childhood is a period of extensive cortical and neural development. Among other things, axons in the brain gradually become more myelinated, promoting the propagation of electrical signals between different parts of the brain, which in turn may facilitate skill development. Myelin is difficult to assess in vivo, and measurement techniques are only just beginning to make their way into standard imaging protocols in human cognitive neuroscience. An approach that has been proposed as an indirect measure of cortical myelin is the T1w/T2w ratio, a contrast that is based on the intensities of two standard structural magnetic resonance images. Although not initially intended as such, researchers have recently started to use the T1w/T2w contrast for between-subject comparisons of cortical data with various behavioral and cognitive indices. As a complement to these earlier findings, we computed individual cortical T1w/T2w maps using data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (N = 960; 449 females; aged 8.9 to 11.0 years) and related the T1w/T2w maps to indices of cognitive ability; in contrast to previous work, we did not find significant relationships between T1w/T2w values and cognitive performance after correcting for multiple testing. These findings reinforce existent skepticism about the applicability of T1w/T2w ratio for inter-individual comparisons.
Original languageEnglish
Article number599
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2022


  • T1w/T2w ratio
  • cognitive abilities
  • intracortical myelin
  • neurocognition
  • structural MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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