Poster E36, Monday, March 27, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pacific Concourse
Adolescents and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Show Differences in Dynamics and Recruitment of Cognitive Control Networks
Matthew V. Elliott1, Marie K. Krug1, Cory C. Coleman1, Jennifer E. Farren1, Andria J. Farrens1, J. Daniel Ragland1, Tara A. Niendam1, Cameron S. Carter1, Marjorie Solomon1; 1University of California at Davis
Adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show impairments in cognitive control, as they engage reactive control networks (associated with “last-minute” error prevention) in situations where typically developing (TYP) adolescents recruit proactive (strategic and preparatory) control regions (Solomon et al., 2014). To further investigate the development of cognitive control from adolescence to young adulthood, we recruited 17 ASD (M=16.29(2.44)) and 21 TYP (M=16.38(2.94)) youth and young adults to perform a cognitive control task (Preparing to Overcome Prepotency (POP)) during rapid event-related fMRI. Colored cues informed a directional button response to an upcoming arrow (Red cue=respond opposite to the direction of the arrow; Green cue=respond in the same direction as the arrow). ASD showed greater interference effects in reaction time and accuracy. fMRI results indicated that during the cue (red>green), ASD activated the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), as well as ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), insula, and anterior PFC. TYP activated dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), as well as VLPFC and insula. For the probe phase (red>green), TYP did not recruit cognitive control related brain regions while ASD activated dACC, VLPFC, and insula. Results suggest that ASD exhibit task set conflict at the cue and insufficient engagement of control mechanisms, as evidenced by behavioral deficits and continued dACC-mediated conflict processing and reactive control during the probe. TYP implement DLPFC-mediated proactive control during the cue phase only, which is more effective at resolving response interference. Data collection is ongoing. Future analyses will explore functional connectivity, age effects, and relationships to functional outcomes.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Monitoring & inhibitory control