Individual Cortical Entropy Profile: Test–Retest Reliability, Predictive Power for Cognitive Ability, and Neuroanatomical Foundation

Mianxin Liu, Xinyang Liu, Andrea Hildebrandt, Changsong Zhou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The entropy profiles of cortical activity have become novel perspectives to investigate individual differences in behavior. However, previous studies have neglected foundational aspects of individual entropy profiles, that is, the test–retest reliability, the predictive power for cognitive ability in out-of-sample data, and the underlying neuroanatomical basis. We explored these issues in a large young healthy adult dataset (Human Connectome Project, N = 998). We showed the whole cortical entropy profile from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging is a robust personalized measure, while subsystem profiles exhibited heterogeneous reliabilities. The limbic network exhibited lowest reliability. We tested the out-of-sample predictive power for general and specific cognitive abilities based on reliable cortical entropy profiles. The default mode and visual networks are most crucial when predicting general cognitive ability. We investigated the anatomical features underlying cross-region and cross-individual variations in cortical entropy profiles. Cortical thickness and structural connectivity explained spatial variations in the group-averaged entropy profile. Cortical folding and myelination in the attention and frontoparietal networks determined predominantly individual cortical entropy profile. This study lays foundations for brain-entropy-based studies on individual differences to understand cognitive ability and related pathologies. These findings broaden our understanding of the associations between neural structures, functional dynamics, and cognitive ability.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbertgaa015
Number of pages17
JournalCerebral Cortex Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2020

User-Defined Keywords

  • brain signal entropy
  • cognitive ability prediction
  • individual differences
  • neuroanatomical basis
  • test–retest reliability


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