Poster E5, Monday, March 27, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pacific Concourse
Neural Activation Patterns of Binge Drinking Young-Adults When Performing a Mental Rotation Task: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Study
Karl Kashfi1, Peter Syapin1, Michael O'Boyle1,2; 1Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 2Texas Tech University
Here we investigate the relationship of binge drinking in young adults to subsequent changes in their brain/cognitive functioning. Seven binge drinkers (i.e., consumption of 5 or more drinks in two hours for men; 4 or more for women, on three or more occasions in the last 30 days) and 7 moderate drinkers (who drink but do not binge) mentally rotated a shape to determine which of four options matched a target. Concomitant fMRI scans were acquired and response accuracy and reaction (RT) were monitored. Binge drinkers and moderate drinkers did not differ in either accuracy or RT. However, moderate drinkers showed significantly greater parietal activation, including bilateral activation of the fusiform gyrus (Brodmann 37) and left angular gyrus (Brodmann 39); binge drinkers exhibited significantly greater activation in the right superior temporal gyrus (Brodmann area 21) and the right insula. These patterns tentatively suggests that moderate drinkers engage a prototypical imagery-based mental rotation strategy (i.e., manipulating the shape in the mind’s eye), while binge drinkers rely on a more verbally mediated approach, activating visual and auditory/language processing regions. Binge drinkers also recruited the right insula, reflecting greater attentional involvement in the task. These differential brain activation patterns are discussed in light of their potential as a neural marker of future alcohol dependence and/or misuse.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Spatial