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Front Psychiatry. 2012 Jan 11;2:83. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2011.00083. eCollection 2011.

Resting state functional connectivity correlates of inhibitory control in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Phyllis Green and Randolph Cowen Institute for Pediatric Neuroscience, NYU Langone School of Medicine, NYU Child Study Center New York, NY, USA.


Motor inhibition is among the most commonly studied executive functions in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Imaging studies using probes of motor inhibition such as the stop signal task (SST) consistently demonstrate ADHD-related dysfunction within a right-hemisphere fronto-striatal network that includes inferior frontal gyrus and pre-supplementary motor area. Beyond findings of focal hypo- or hyper-function, emerging models of ADHD psychopathology highlight disease-related changes in functional interactions between network components. Resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) approaches have emerged as powerful tools for mapping such interactions (i.e., resting state functional connectivity, RSFC), and for relating behavioral and diagnostic variables to network properties. We used R-fMRI data collected from 17 typically developing controls (TDC) and 17 age-matched children with ADHD (aged 8-13 years) to identify neural correlates of SST performance measured outside the scanner. We examined two related inhibition indices: stop signal reaction time (SSRT), indexing inhibitory speed, and stop signal delay (SSD), indexing inhibitory success. Using 11 fronto-striatal seed regions-of-interest, we queried the brain for relationships between RSFC and each performance index, as well as for interactions with diagnostic status. Both SSRT and SSD exhibited connectivity-behavior relationships independent of diagnosis. At the same time, we found differential connectivity-behavior relationships in children with ADHD relative to TDC. Our results demonstrate the utility of RSFC approaches for assessing brain/behavior relationships, and for identifying pathology-related differences in the contributions of neural circuits to cognition and behavior.


ADHD; connectivity; fMRI; interaction; intrinsic architecture; rest; transition zones

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