Brain functional connectivity changes in children that differ in impulsivity temperamental trait

Alberto Inuggi, Ernesto Sanz-Arigita, Carmen González-Salinas, Ana V. Valero-García, Jose M. García-Santos, Luis J. Fuentes
Front. Behav. Neurosci.. 2014-05-06; 8:
DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00156

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1. Front Behav Neurosci. 2014 May 6;8:156. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00156.
eCollection 2014.

Brain functional connectivity changes in children that differ in impulsivity
temperamental trait.

Inuggi A(1), Sanz-Arigita E(2), González-Salinas C(3), Valero-García AV(3),
García-Santos JM(4), Fuentes LJ(5).

Author information:
(1)Basque Center for Cognition, Brain and Language San Sebastián, Spain.
(2)Neuroimage Department, CITA-Alzheimer Foundation San Sebastian, Spain ;
Radiology and Image Analysis Centre, VU Medical Centre Amsterdam, Netherlands.
(3)Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación, University of Murcia
Murcia, Spain.
(4)Servicio de Radiología, Hospital Morales Meseguer Murcia, Spain.
(5)Departamento de Psicología Básica y Metodología, University of Murcia Murcia,
Spain ; Regional Campus of International Excellence “Campus Mare Nostrum”,
University of Murcia Murcia, Spain.

Impulsivity is a core personality trait forming part of normal behavior and
contributing to adaptive functioning. However, in typically developing children,
altered patterns of impulsivity constitute a risk factor for the development of
behavioral problems. Since both pathological and non-pathological states are
commonly characterized by continuous transitions, we used a correlative approach
to investigate the potential link between personality and brain dynamics. We
related brain functional connectivity of typically developing children, measured
with magnetic resonance imaging at rest, with their impulsivity scores obtained
from a questionnaire completed by their parents. We first looked for areas within
the default mode network (DMN) whose functional connectivity might be modulated
by trait impulsivity. Then, we calculated the functional connectivity among these
regions and the rest of the brain in order to assess if impulsivity trait altered
their relationships. We found two DMN clusters located at the posterior cingulate
cortex and the right angular gyrus which were negatively correlated with
impulsivity scores. The whole-brain correlation analysis revealed the classic
network of correlating and anti-correlating areas with respect to the DMN. The
impulsivity trait modulated such pattern showing that the canonical anti-phasic
relation between DMN and action-related network was reduced in high impulsive
children. These results represent the first evidence that the impulsivity,
measured as personality trait assessed through parents’ report, exerts a
modulatory influence over the functional connectivity of resting state brain
networks in typically developing children. The present study goes further to
connect developmental approaches, mainly based on data collected through the use
of questionnaires, and behavioral neuroscience, interested in how differences in
brain structure and functions reflect in differences in behavior.

DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00156
PMCID: PMC4018550
PMID: 24834038

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