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Neural and Cognitive Correlates of the Common and Specific Variance Across Externalizing Problems in Young Adolescence
Natalie Castellanos-Ryan, Ph.D.; Maren Struve, Ph.D.; Robert Whelan, Ph.D.; Tobias Banaschewski, M.D., Ph.D.; Gareth J. Barker, Ph.D.; Arun L.W. Bokde, Ph.D.; Uli Bromberg, Dipl.Psych.; Christian Büchel, M.D.; Herta Flor, Ph.D.; Mira Fauth-Bühler, Ph.D.; Vincent Frouin, Ph.D.; Juergen Gallinat, M.D.; Penny Gowland, Ph.D.; Andreas Heinz, Ph.D.; Claire Lawrence, Ph.D.; Jean-Luc Martinot, M.D., Ph.D.; Frauke Nees, Ph.D.; Tomas Paus, M.D., Ph.D.; Zdenka Pausova, M.D.; Marcella Rietschel, M.D.; Trevor W. Robbins, Ph.D.; Michael N. Smolka, M.D.; Gunter Schumann, M.D., Ph.D.; Hugh Garavan, Ph.D.; Patricia J. Conrod, Ph.D.; The IMAGEN Consortium
Am J Psychiatry 2014;:. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.13111499
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From the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Psychoeducation, University of Montreal, and CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital, Montreal; the Department of Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience and the Department of Addictive Behaviour and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany; the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Vermont, Burlington; the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London; the Institute of Neuroscience and Discipline of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin; University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany; Neurospin, Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission, Paris; the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Campus Charité Mitte, Charité-Universitätsmedizin, Berlin; the School of Psychology and the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, U.K.; Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Braunschweig and Berlin, Germany; Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) Unit 1000, Imaging and Psychiatry, SHFJ CEA, University of Paris South, Orsay, France; AP-HP Department of Adolescent Psychopathology and Medicine, Maison de Solenn, University Paris Descartes, Paris; Rotman Research Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto; Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal; Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto; Behavioural and Clinical Neurosciences Institute, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K.; the Department of Psychiatry and the Neuroimaging Center, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany; and MRC Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre, London.

Address correspondence to Dr. Conrod (patricia.conrod@umontreal.ca).

Copyright © 2014 by the American Psychiatric Association

Received November 14, 2013; Revised March 03, 2014; Revised May 22, 2014; Accepted June 02, 2014.

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Objective  The authors sought to model the unique and common variance across conduct disorder, substance misuse, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to investigate the neurocognitive factors that relate generally or uniquely to externalizing problems in adolescence.

Method  Personality and behavioral measures and functional imaging responses to reward sensitivity and response inhibition tasks were assessed in 1,778 European adolescents at age 14 and, using structural equation modeling, were related to the unique and common variance across externalizing problems assessed and modeled at ages 14 and 16.

Results  Externalizing problems best fit a general-specific model made up of a specific factor representing ADHD and conduct disorder symptoms, a specific factor representing substance misuse symptoms, and a common externalizing factor representing the variance shared among all symptoms. Common variance across externalizing problems was associated with high impulsivity and delay discounting as well as low blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response in the substantia nigra and subthalamic nucleus but high BOLD response in the presupplementary motor area and precentral gyrus during successful inhibition. Unique variance for ADHD/conduct disorder was associated with impulsivity, poor response inhibition, and high delay discounting, as well as low BOLD response in frontal brain areas bilaterally during failed inhibition. In contrast, unique variance for substance misuse was associated with high sensation seeking and delay discounting, as well as differential brain response to reward anticipation: high BOLD response in the left orbitofrontal cortex but low BOLD response in the left inferior frontal gyrus.

Conclusions  Personality, behavioral, and fMRI findings suggest that abnormalities in response inhibition, error processing, and reward processing are differentially implicated in underlying vulnerability specific to ADHD/conduct disorder and substance misuse and general to externalizing problems.

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