Poster C40, Sunday, March 26, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Childhood development of behavioral and brain network changes related to basal ganglia: resting-state functional connectivity of striatal regions varies with performance on cognitive tasks in children
Rachel K. Spooner1, Nicholas Christopher-Hayes1, Julia M. Stephen2, Vince D. Calhoun2, Yu-Ping Wang3, Tony W. Wilson1, David E. Warren1; 1University of Nebraska Medical Center, 2University of New Mexico, 3Tulane University
The basal ganglia contribute to behavioral and cognitive abilities such as skilled motor performance, executive functions, and feedback-driven learning, but the developmental trajectory of functional brain changes supporting maturation of these abilities is not well-characterized. Here, we report preliminary findings from the Developmental Chronnecto-Genomics project (Dev-CoG) dataset. We analyzed fMRI data from children (N=49, age=9-14) to measure the relationship between behavioral performance on cognitive tests and whole brain resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) using anatomically-derived striatal seeds for the caudate and putamen. NIH Toolbox tasks were selected to test the hypothesis that striatal connectivity would be related to executive functions and motor performance. Selected tasks included flanker, card sort, list sort, pattern comparison, and grooved pegboard. The caudate and putamen were manually traced from T1 MRI and were used as unique seeds in separate whole-brain rs-FC analyses. Resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) data were collected using identical multiband sequences (voxel size: 3.3×3.3×3.0 mm; TR: 460 ms; TE: 29 ms; 650 measurements) for 5-minute eyes-open and 5-minute eyes-closed conditions. We evaluated covariation of cognitive performance and striatal rs-FC. Results indicated that the rs-FC of the caudate and putamen covaried significantly with cognitive performance of tasks including pattern comparison. These preliminary findings suggest that specific behavioral and cognitive abilities are related to changes in striatal rs-FC with other brain regions during childhood, congruent with previous findings in adults. This study addresses an important gap in the current understanding of the development of brain systems that support skilled motor performance, executive functions, and cognitive flexibility.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Development & aging