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Poster F74

Using Electroencephalography (EEG) to Assess the Long-Term Effects of ACEs on Frontal Lobe-Mediated Cognition

Poster Session F - Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Sinead Mukolo-Villegas1 (, Emma Sells1, Michelle Johnson1, Emily Stripling1, Deya Rassul1, Ashley Brooks1, Hannah Johnson1, Michael Oliver1; 1Belmont University, Nashville, TN

Given the rise in mental health conditions worldwide, it is imperative to investigate factors that may contribute to increased prevalence to understand the etiology of mental illness. One factor that has received copious amounts of attention is Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs are traumatic events occurring before the age of 18, including various forms of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction; all of which can have life-long effects on mental health and behavior. Most studies investigating ACEs focus on attention. For example, children reporting ACEs are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD compared to those without ACEs. While behavioral correlates of ACEs have been identified, research is limited on the effects of ACEs on brain activity. This study investigates ACEs and cortical responsiveness to cognitive tasks. 72 participants completed an ACEs survey and three tasks assessing selective attention, linguistic processing, and working memory presented randomly while electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded simultaneously. Results reveal that individuals with at least one ACE had longer reaction times on the selective attention task compared to those with no ACEs. Those with no ACEs had greater cortical responsiveness to the working memory task compared to those with at least one ACE. Further, as ACEs increased, responses to selection attention and working memory tasks weakened. Findings suggest that cortical processing differs by experience with ACEs as greater numbers of ACEs are associated with diminished brain activity. The use of EEG may provide a good technological advancement to understand the relationship between ACEs and mental health.

Topic Area: METHODS: Electrophysiology


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April 13–16  |  2024