Poster B85, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Frontal Cortex and Executive Functions in Healthy and Neuropsychiatric Samples: A Meta-Analysis of Structural Neuroimaging Studies
Valeria Vilomar1,2, Abigail B. Waters1, Lance P. Swenson1, David A. Gansler1; 1Suffolk University, 2University of Puerto Rico
Previous meta-analyses have shown the link between the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and performance on tasks of executive function in healthy adults (Yuan & Raz, 2014). Given certain regions and tasks, the range of the strength of association is .08 - .23. However, the strength of this relationship in neuropsychiatric populations is unknown via meta-analysis. We conducted a meta-analysis of published studies (k = 30) that assessed the relationship between executive functions and frontal regions in vivo (N = 1935) for both healthy (20 samples) and neuropsychiatric (21 samples) adults. Random effects modeling was used to calculate mean effect sizes and CIs. Neuropsychiatric samples were classified as psychiatric disorders, MCI/Alzheimer’s, lowered vascular health, neurodegenerative disorders, or acute brain injuries. Brains regions were classified as lateral, medial, and/or ventral due to variance in study region operationalization. Larger volumes and thickness were associated with better executive functioning in both healthy (r = .32, 95% CI = .22 - .42) and neuropsychiatric populations (r = .47, 95% CI = .29 - .62). Although, the mean effect size was larger for the neuropsychiatric populations (Zobserved = 3.90, p < .001), the overlapping CIs imply that the effect sizes are not significantly different due to the increased variability of effects in neuropsychiatric patient groups. Focal brain regions (single brain surfaces) had similar effects (r = .40, 95% CI [.16 - .60]) compared to more diffuse brain regions (three brain surfaces; r =.35, 95% CI [.17-.53]). Results suggest that brain-behavior relationships are more variable in neuropsychiatric populations.
Topic Area: NEUROANATOMY