Functional Disconnection of Frontal Cortex and Visual Cortex in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Ali Mazaheri, Sharon Coffey-Corina, George R Mangun, Evelijne M. Bekker, Anne S. Berry, Blythe A. Corbett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

104 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Current pathophysiologic models of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) suggest that impaired functional connectivity within brain attention networks may contribute to the disorder. In this electroencephalographic (EEG) study, we analyzed cross-frequency amplitude correlations to investigate differences in cue-induced functional connectivity in typically developing children and children with ADHD. Methods: Electroencephalographic activity was recorded in 25 children aged 8 to 12 years (14 with ADHD) while they performed a cross-modal attention task in which cues signaled the most likely (.75 probability) modality of an upcoming target. The power spectra of the EEG in the theta (3-5 Hz) and alpha (8-12 Hz) bands were calculated for the 1-sec interval after the cue and before the target while subjects prepared to discriminate the expected target. Results: Both groups showed behavioral benefits of the predictive attentional cues, being faster and more accurate for validly cued targets (e.g., visual target preceded by a cue predicting a visual target) than to invalidly cued targets (e.g., visual target preceded by a cue predicting an auditory target); in addition, independent of cue-target validity, typical children were faster to respond overall. In the typically developing children, the alpha activity was differentially modulated by the two cues and anticorrelated with midfrontal theta activity; these EEG correlates of attentional control were not observed in the children with ADHD. Conclusions: Our findings provide neurophysiological evidence for a specific deficit in top-down attentional control in children with ADHD that is manifested as a functional disconnection between frontal and occipital cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-623
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Volume67
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • alpha
  • attentional control
  • children
  • disconnection
  • EEG
  • theta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry

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