Poster F64, Tuesday, March 28, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Advance Paternal Age Effects on Offspring Academic Ability: The Role of Thalamic Maturation Links APA and Reading
Zhichao Xia1,2, Cheng Wang1, Maaike Vandermosten1,3, Roeland Hancock1, Fumiko Hoeft1,4,5; 1University of California, San Francisco, 2Beijing Normal University, 3University of Leuven, 4Yale University, 5Keio University
Advanced paternal age (APA) is associated with higher risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. Recently, APA has also been associated with impaired cognitive function and poorer academic performance including reading. None of the prior studies however, have taken into consideration reading-related measures such as family reading history, preliterate cognitive skills, or brain measures, leaving the cognitive and neurological mechanisms underlying the APA effect in reading virtually unknown. We addressed these issues by examining the relations among APA, offspring reading performance and brain development in a longitudinal neuroimaging study following 51 beginning readers (mean age 5.58 years) until they became proficient readers three-school years later. We for the first time confirmed a unique contribution of APA on offspring reading outcomes, independent of family reading history, socioeconomic status, home environment and preliterate precursors. Moreover, we found grey matter maturation in localized region in the left thalamus (especially pulvinar nucleus) mediated the APA effect on reading. To further understand the functional significance of this finding, we (1) compared the APA-related cluster with both histological and connectivity-based brain atlases, (2) calculated resting-state functional connectivity and co-activation maps by using a large dataset implemented in Neurosynth, and (3) examined functional and structural connectivity maps with a sub-group of participants. The results collectively suggested that the brain network for visuospatial attention might be the likely cognitive phenotype associated with APA. To summarize, this study provides novel insights into the neurocognitive mechanism underlying how APA may impact reading acquisition, which is independent from other familial factors and reading precursors.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Development & aging