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Publications (3)34.93 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural correlates of self-regulatory control across development in healthy individuals performing the Stroop interference task. Proper performance of the task requires the engagement of self-regulatory control to inhibit an automatized response (reading) in favor of another, less automatic response (color naming). Functional MRI scans were acquired from a sample of 70 healthy individuals ranging in age from 7 to 57 years. We measured task-related regional signal changes across the entire cerebrum and conducted correlation analyses to assess the associations of signal activation with age and with behavioral performance. The magnitude of fMRI signal change increased with age in the right inferolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area [BA] 44/45) and right lenticular nucleus. Greater activation of the right inferolateral prefrontal cortex also accompanied better performance. Activity in the right frontostriatal systems increased with age and with better response inhibition, consistent with the known functions of frontostriatal circuits in self-regulatory control. Age-related deactivations in the mesial prefrontal cortex (BA 10), subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (BA 24), and posterior cingulate cortex (BA 31) likely represented the greater engagement of adults in self-monitoring and free associative thought processes during the easier baseline task, consistent with the improved performance on this task in adults compared with children. Although we cannot exclude the possibility that age-related changes in reading ability or in the strategies used to optimize task performance were responsible for our findings, the correlations of brain activation with performance suggest that changes in frontostriatal activity with age underlie the improvement in self-regulatory control that characterizes normal human development.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2006 · Human Brain Mapping
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    ABSTRACT: Limbic structures are implicated in the genesis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by the presence of mood and cognitive disturbances in affected individuals and by elevated rates of mood disorders in family members of probands with ADHD. To study the morphology of the hippocampus and amygdala in children with ADHD. A cross-sectional case-control study of the hippocampus and amygdala using anatomical magnetic resonance imaging. University research institute. One hundred fourteen individuals aged 6 to 18 years, 51 with combined-type ADHD and 63 healthy controls. Volumes and measures of surface morphology for the hippocampus and amygdala. The hippocampus was larger bilaterally in the ADHD group than in the control group (t = 3.35; P < .002). Detailed surface analyses of the hippocampus further localized these differences to an enlarged head of the hippocampus in the ADHD group. Although conventional measures did not detect significant differences in amygdalar volumes, surface analyses indicated the presence of reduced size bilaterally over the area of the basolateral complex. Correlations with prefrontal measures suggested abnormal connectivity between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in the ADHD group. Enlarged subregions of the hippocampus tended to accompany fewer symptoms. The enlarged hippocampus in children and adolescents with ADHD may represent a compensatory response to the presence of disturbances in the perception of time, temporal processing (eg, delay aversion), and stimulus seeking associated with ADHD. Disrupted connections between the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex may contribute to behavioral disinhibition. Our findings suggest involvement of the limbic system in the pathophysiology of ADHD.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2006 · Archives of General Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: The etiology of Tourette syndrome (TS) involves disturbances in the structure and function of the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia mediate habit learning. To study habit learning in persons with TS. Patients with TS were compared with normal controls in performance on a probabilistic classification, or habit-learning task (weather prediction). University research institute. One hundred twenty-three children and adults, 56 with a diagnosis of TS and 67 healthy control subjects. Habit learning was assessed by the extent of improvement in accuracy of predictions and reaction times over trial blocks during performance of the weather prediction task. Declarative learning was assessed by performance on 3 tasks that required intact declarative memory functioning. Children with TS were impaired at habit learning relative to normal controls (P = .01). This finding was replicated in the independent sample of adults with TS (P = .01). The rate of learning correlated inversely with the severity of tic symptoms across both samples (r = -0.34; P = .01). Thus, impaired learning accompanied more severe symptoms. Measures of declarative memory functioning, in contrast, were normal in the TS groups. Striatal learning systems are uniquely dysfunctional in both children and adults with TS. The correlation of habit learning with symptom severity suggests that the number and severity of tics are a function of the degree to which the system for habit learning is dysfunctional. Thus, both the deficits in habit learning and the tic symptoms of TS are likely to be consequences of the previously reported anatomical and functional disturbances of the striatum in children and adults who have TS. The existence of a well-developed animal model for this learning system, which permits study of the neural and molecular bases of habit learning, has important implications for the neurobiological study of TS and for the development of new or improved therapeutics for this condition.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2005 · Archives of General Psychiatry