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      fMRI investigation of response inhibition, emotion, impulsivity, and clinical high-risk behavior in adolescents

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          High-risk behavior in adolescents is associated with injury, mental health problems, and poor outcomes in later life. Improved understanding of the neurobiology of high-risk behavior and impulsivity shows promise for informing clinical treatment and prevention as well as policy to better address high-risk behavior. We recruited 21 adolescents (age 14–17) with a wide range of high-risk behavior tendencies, including medically high-risk participants recruited from psychiatric clinics. Risk tendencies were assessed using the Adolescent Risk Behavior Screen (ARBS). ARBS risk scores correlated highly (0.78) with impulsivity scores from the Barratt Impulsivity scale (BIS). Participants underwent 4.7 Tesla functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing an emotional Go/NoGo task. This task presented an aversive or neutral distractor image simultaneously with each Go or NoGo stimulus. Risk behavior and impulsivity tendencies exhibited similar but not identical associations with fMRI activation patterns in prefrontal brain regions. We interpret these results as reflecting differences in response inhibition, emotional stimulus processing, and emotion regulation in relation to participant risk behavior tendencies and impulsivity levels. The results are consistent with high impulsivity playing an important role in determining high risk tendencies in this sample containing clinically high-risk adolescents.

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          Most cited references 64

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          The role of the medial frontal cortex in cognitive control.

          Adaptive goal-directed behavior involves monitoring of ongoing actions and performance outcomes, and subsequent adjustments of behavior and learning. We evaluate new findings in cognitive neuroscience concerning cortical interactions that subserve the recruitment and implementation of such cognitive control. A review of primate and human studies, along with a meta-analysis of the human functional neuroimaging literature, suggest that the detection of unfavorable outcomes, response errors, response conflict, and decision uncertainty elicits largely overlapping clusters of activation foci in an extensive part of the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC). A direct link is delineated between activity in this area and subsequent adjustments in performance. Emerging evidence points to functional interactions between the pMFC and the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), so that monitoring-related pMFC activity serves as a signal that engages regulatory processes in the LPFC to implement performance adjustments.
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            Anterior cingulate conflict monitoring and adjustments in control.

            Conflict monitoring by the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) has been posited to signal a need for greater cognitive control, producing neural and behavioral adjustments. However, the very occurrence of behavioral adjustments after conflict has been questioned, along with suggestions that there is no direct evidence of ACC conflict-related activity predicting subsequent neural or behavioral adjustments in control. Using the Stroop color-naming task and controlling for repetition effects, we demonstrate that ACC conflict-related activity predicts both greater prefrontal cortex activity and adjustments in behavior, supporting a role of ACC conflict monitoring in the engagement of cognitive control.
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              Age differences in sensation seeking and impulsivity as indexed by behavior and self-report: evidence for a dual systems model.

              It has been hypothesized that sensation seeking and impulsivity, which are often conflated, in fact develop along different timetables and have different neural underpinnings, and that the difference in their timetables helps account for heightened risk taking during adolescence. In order to test these propositions, the authors examined age differences in sensation seeking and impulsivity in a socioeconomically and ethnically diverse sample of 935 individuals between the ages of 10 and 30, using self-report and behavioral measures of each construct. Consistent with the authors' predictions, age differences in sensation seeking, which are linked to pubertal maturation, follow a curvilinear pattern, with sensation seeking increasing between 10 and 15 and declining or remaining stable thereafter. In contrast, age differences in impulsivity, which are unrelated to puberty, follow a linear pattern, with impulsivity declining steadily from age 10 on. Heightened vulnerability to risk taking in middle adolescence may be due to the combination of relatively higher inclinations to seek excitement and relatively immature capacities for self-control that are typical of this period of development.

                Author and article information

                Front Syst Neurosci
                Front Syst Neurosci
                Front. Syst. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                29 September 2015
                : 9
                1Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta Edmonton, AB, Canada
                2Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta Edmonton, AB, Canada
                3Psychology Department, Neuroscience Program, and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: Mikhail Lebedev, Duke University, USA

                Reviewed by: Giovanni Mirabella, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; Guillaume Sescousse, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Netherlands

                *Correspondence: Matthew R. G. Brown, Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, 12-127A Clinical Sciences Building, Edmonton, AB T6G2B3, Canada mbrown2@
                Copyright © 2015 Brown, Benoit, Juhás, Dametto, Tse, MacKay, Sen, Carroll, Hodlevskyy, Silverstone, Dolcos, Dursun and Greenshaw.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 4, Equations: 1, References: 105, Pages: 17, Words: 13714
                Original Research


                arbs, response inhibition, high-risk behavior, impulsivity, emotional go/nogo, adolescent


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