Poster B116, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Sex Differences in Brain Network Connectivity Subserving Theory of Mind in Individuals with Alcohol Use Disorder
Sergey V. Chernyak1, Marisa M. Silveri1,2, Amy Janes1, Jennifer T. Sneider1, Shelly Greenfield1, Lisa Nickerson1; 1McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA, 2Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is associated with impairments in Theory of Mind (ToM), which is the ability to infer actions and emotions of self and others. Converging evidence that ToM may be more impaired in males (M) versus females (F) with AUD has been reported, yet sex differences in the neural correlates of ToM are understudied in those with AUD. To address this issue, we analyzed resting state functional connectivity (RS-FC) data from 104 participants (52 F) with AUD (matched for tobacco/marijuana use) and 104 healthy controls (HC) matched for sex, age, menstrual cycle factors, and family history of drug/alcohol disorders. RS-FC was analyzed using group independent component analysis (GICA) with dual regression (p<0.05, corrected). Interactions between sex and AUD were evaluated using two-way ANOVAs in ToM-related brain networks. Importantly, a sex-by-AUD interaction (F>M for AUD, F<M for HC) was found for RS-FC of the dorsal attention network (dAN) with the bilateral temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), a key region in the default-mode network (DMN) implicated in ToM. Increased RS-FC in AUD relative to HC was found within the DMN itself (in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, left superior temporal gyrus and TPJ). Alterations in the RS-FC within the DMN in individuals with AUD and a sex-by-AUD interaction in the connectivity of the TPJ, a key node of the DMN, with the dAN, suggest that processing involved in orienting to social stimuli via dAN in the context of mentalizing, and ToM via DMN/TPJ, may be differentially affected by sex and AUD.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Self perception