Poster F25, Tuesday, March 27, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Functional and structural connectivity of cognitive control networks during narrative comprehension from birth to 9 years
Rola Farah1, Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus1,2; 1Technion- Israel Institute of Technology, 2Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center
Background: The cingulo-opercular (CO) and fronto-parietal (FP) networks are prominent components of the brain’s cognitive control system. Evidence suggests that over the course of development, within network connectivity of brain regions supporting cognitive control functions increases, along with an increase in between networks connectivity, due to increased maturation along development. Characterizing the developmental changes in functional and structural connectivity of neural networks supporting cognitive control from birth may provide unique insights into the role of cognitive control in narrative comprehension during infancy. Methods: 88 children divided into three age groups: A)0-3 years-old, B)3-6 years-old and C)6-9 years-old participated in the study. Participants participated in a DTI session and a functional MRI session while listening to stories inside the scanner. Measures of graph theory, within and between the CO and FP networks functional connectivity and Fractional anisotropy (FA) in the Arcuate Fasciculus (AF) were assessed. Results: Developmental increase in within-and between -network connectivity of the CO and FP networks from birth to 9 years-old was observed, mainly between groups A and C. Global efficiency of the CO and FP networks also increased, and greater FA in the AF was observed in group C, compared to A and B in hubs connecting language and cognitive control networks. Conclusions: Increase in functional and structural connections within and between networks related to cognitive control during narrative comprehension in children was observed. Future studies investigating failures in language acquisition should explore the role of those networks in the process as well.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Development & aging