Poster A69, Saturday, March 24, 1:30–3:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Caudate Activation in Adolescents during Goal-Directed Memory Performance is Associated with Mood, Anxiety, and Sensation Seeking
Emily Oot1,3, Jennifer Sneider1,2, Julia Cohen-Gilbert1,2, Derek Hamilton4, Anna Seraikas1, Maya Rieselbach1, Carolyn Caine1, Arkadiy Maksimovskiy1,2, Lisa Nickerson1,2, Sion Harris2,5, Marisa Silveri1,2; 1McLean Hospital, 2Harvard Medical School, 3Boston University School of Medicine, 4University of New Mexico, 5Boston Children's Hospital
Adolescence is a period of development characterized by rapid changes in brain structure and function. Incongruous maturation rates across brain systems during this period can manifest in both psychopathological symptoms and maladaptive behaviors, helping to explain why rates of depression, anxiety and risky activity (e.g. substance use) are elevated in adolescence. The present study aimed to elucidate the link between adolescent clinical characteristics and patterns of brain activation in the striatum. Healthy adolescent participants (n=32, 15 female) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during performance of a virtual water maze task. The task involved navigating to a hidden platform based on learning that was completed prior to imaging. Blocks of hidden trials, dependent on spatial memory, were alternated with motor control trials where the platform was visible. The caudate nucleus was examined as a region of interest due to its role in goal-directed action, as well as in spatial learning/memory. Participants also completed self-report scales of depression (CES-DC), anxiety (MASC), impulsivity (BIS) and sensation seeking (BSSS). A significant positive association was observed between caudate activation during navigation to the hidden platform and thrill seeking scores on the BSSS (p=0.026). A significant negative association was observed between caudate activation and both depression (CES-DC) and anxiety (MASC) scores on hidden (p=0.041, p=0.028, respectively) and visible trials (p=0.046, p=0.032, respectively). These findings suggest that personality and clinical characteristics may differentially influence neuronal recruitment of goal-directed motivational systems involved in learning and memory, which could in turn impact the trajectory of maturation through adolescence.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic