Inter-individual differences in fMRI entropy measurements in old age

Moses O Sokunbi, Roger T Staff, Gordon D Waiter, Trevor S Ahearn, Helen C Fox, Ian J Deary, John M Starr, Lawrence J Whalley, Alison Dorothy Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the association between individual differences in cognitive performance in old age and the approximate entropy (ApEn) measured from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data acquired from 40 participants of the Aberdeen Birth Cohort 1936 (ABC1936), while undergoing a visual information processing task: inspection time (IT). Participants took a version of the Moray House Test (MHT) No. 12 at age 11, a valid measure of childhood intelligence. The same individuals completed a test of non-verbal reasoning (Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices [RPM]) aged about 68 years. The IT, MHT and RPM scores were used as indicators of cognitive performance. Our results show that higher regional signal entropy is associated with better cognitive performance. This finding was independent of ability in childhood but not independent of current cognitive ability. ApEn is used for the first time to identify a potential source of individual differences in cognitive ability using fMRI data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3206-3214
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • Approximate entropy (ApEn)
  • Raven’s matrices
  • Scottish mental survey
  • blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD)
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • inspection time (IT)


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