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Poster D12

Analysis of Alpha Band Activity: Spatial Working Memory in Adults with ADHD

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Talía V. Roman Lopez1,2, Holly Truong1,2, Fang Yu Chang1,2, Timothy Kelley1,2, Joel P. Diaz-Fong1,2, Andrea Dillon1,2, Sandra K. Loo1,2, Agatha Lenartowicz1,2; 1Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles., 2Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles

In our previous research, we identified alpha band changes in children (7-14 years old) diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) during a Sternberg spatial working memory (SWM) task. Compared to typically developing (TD) children, those with ADHD displayed diminished alpha desynchronization during encoding, particularly over the occipital region, consistent with a potential maturational lag in ADHD in visual attentional processes. This study revisited a subset of these individuals, now adults, to investigate whether the observed alpha band differences persist into adulthood. A total of 85 participants (34 TD/51 ADHD) with mean ages of TD = 25 (±6.7) and ADHD = 23.3 (±4.6) engaged in a SWM task with different loads (1, 3, 5, or 7), while EEG was recorded. ERSP was computed to analyze EEG signal-power changes throughout the trial between groups. Results revealed alpha desynchronization during encoding across Frontal, Central, Parietal, and Occipital scalp regions. This pattern was load-sensitive, replicating earlier findings and supporting alpha as a reliable attentional marker in working memory. However, significant differences between ADHD and TD were observed in parietal electrodes, but not over occipital electrodes as seen in childhood, with no group-by-load interactions in any region. The data suggest a tendency for alpha normalization in the occipital region among ADHD adults, possibly reflecting cortical response maturation. However, the disparity in the parietal region suggests a potential reorganization in cortical network processing during encoding in adulthood. These findings contribute to our understanding of neural dynamics in ADHD individuals.

Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Working memory


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