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Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2019 Apr;36:100602. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2018.11.004. Epub 2018 Nov 29.

No evidence of differences in cognitive control in children with autism spectrum disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder: An fMRI study.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands. Electronic address: b.gooskens@umcutrecht.nl.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
3
Department of Neuroimaging, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, London, UK.
4
Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Donders Institute of Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
5
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty, Mannheim/Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.
6
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty, Mannheim/Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany; Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Psychiatric Hospital, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; Neuroscience Center Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
7
Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Donders Institute of Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands; Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Abstract

Repetitive behaviors are among the core symptoms of both Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and are thought to be associated with impairments in cognitive control. However, it is still unknown how deficits in cognitive control and associated neural circuitry relate to the quality or severity of repetitive behavior in children with these disorders. Therefore, we investigated the behavioral and neural correlates of cognitive control using a modified stop-signal task in a multicenter study of children (aged 8-12 years) with ASD, OCD and typically developing (TD) children (N = 95). As both ASD and OCD have high levels of comorbidity with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), we did an exploratory analysis addressing ADHD-symptoms. We found that children with ASD and OCD did not show deficits in cognitive control or changes in brain activity in task-relevant neural networks when compared to TD children. However, increased activity in prefrontal brain areas was associated with increased symptoms of comorbid ADHD. As such, this study does not support differences in cognitive control or associated neural circuitry in children with ASD and OCD, but rather suggests that changes in cognitive control in these disorders may be related to symptoms of comorbid ADHD.

KEYWORDS:

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; Autism spectrum disorder; Cognitive control; Compulsive behavior; Obsessive-compulsive disorder; fMRI

PMID:
30559053
DOI:
10.1016/j.dcn.2018.11.004
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