Poster Session F, Tuesday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Cognitive Control Connectivity in Adolescents and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Rachel A. Wulff1, Marie K. Krug1, Cory C. Coleman1, Matthew V. Elliott2, Jeremy Hogeveen3, Tyler A. Lesh1, Tara A. Niendam1, J. Daniel Ragland1, Cameron S. Carter1, Marjorie Solomon1; 1University of California, Davis, 2University of California, Berkeley, 3The University of New Mexico
Many adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) rely on different neural networks to implement cognitive control than individuals with typical development (TD) (Solomon et al., 2014). It is unclear how these networks develop over adolescence. During fMRI scanning, 70 individuals with TD (mean age = 17.5) and 56 with ASD (mean age = 17.9) completed a rapid event-related version of the Preparing to Overcome Prepotency task. On 50% of trials a red cue required a button response on the opposite side as the subsequent arrow probe. On the other 50%, a green cue signaled a response on the same side. Both ASD and TD took longer to respond to red trials. The difference in response time (RT) between red and green trials was larger in ASD versus the TD group (F(1, 123) = 4.2, p<.05). Whole brain analysis revealed that there were no differences between groups on red - green cue or probe contrasts. Functional connectivity analysis showed that at the cue, TD exhibited greater anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) to parietal cortex connectivity than ASD, perhaps indicative of increased preparatory control processes. At the probe, TD showed increased dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) connectivity with the insula and left inferior frontal gyrus, and higher ACC to right insula connectivity, indicating more recruitment of response inhibition networks. Individuals with ASD showed greater DLPFC to occipital cortex connectivity compared to TD at the probe. Future analyses will investigate behavioral and connectivity correlates and differences in ASD subsets with and without cognitive control impairments.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Monitoring & inhibitory control