Poster E31, Monday, March 26, 2:30-4:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Norepinephrine transporter phenotype impacts oscillatory power during cognitive flexibility
Sara White1, Paolo Medrano1, Robert S. Ross1; 1University of New Hampshire
A critical aspect of cognitive control is the ability to flexibly change behavior when encountering changing goals. This cognitive flexibility can be measured using rule-switching tasks and is related to oscillatory power in the alpha (8-12 Hz) and beta (13-30 Hz) frequency bands. Genetic phenotypes of the norepinephrine transporter gene (NET) related to the rs36024 single nucleotide polymorphism change fMRI network activity supporting cognitive control. As brain oscillations allow neuronal communication within and across brain regions, the current study compared oscillatory power during rule-switching in participants with different NET genetic phenotypes. Participants (n = 71) differentiated trial-unique stimuli based on two rules, color (red or green) or shape (circle or square). A cue indicated which rule to use on any given trial. A given rule was used 3-5 times before the cue indicated a switch to the other rule. The trial where the rule changed were termed switch trials and the trial immediately following a switch trial were termed maintain trials. Participants were split into two groups, those homozygous for the C allele of rs36024 (n = 25) and those who possessed a T-allele (C/T and T/T, n = 46). Comparison of oscillatory power in the theta, alpha, and beta frequency bands across NET phenotypes suggest that individuals with a T-allele show larger alpha desynchronization 300-400 ms post-cue in a region localized to right precuneus and 500-800 ms post-cue in a region localized to left temporal-parietal junction. These results suggest norepinephrine transporter phenotype influences alpha oscillatory power during cognitive flexibility.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Goal maintenance & switching