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Characterizing Developmental Growth and Individual Differences in Brain Systems Supporting Inhibitory Control: A Longitudinal fMRI Study

Ordaz, Sarah and Luna, Beatriz (2013) Characterizing Developmental Growth and Individual Differences in Brain Systems Supporting Inhibitory Control: A Longitudinal fMRI Study. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Inhibitory control, the ability to voluntarily suppress responses to task-irrelevant stimuli, enables goal-directed behaviors and continues to develop through adolescence. Neuroimaging studies indicate that developmental improvements in inhibitory performance are supported by the maturation of brain systems, but these studies have not used longitudinal designs and continuous metrics of age to characterize the process of growth or individual differences in trajectories. This study used longitudinal fMRI data from over 312 visits from 129 participants aged 8 to 28 years to characterize growth curves of brain function. Mean growth curves revealed developmental increases in activity within an error monitoring region, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). DACC activity was uniquely associated with task performance, suggesting that late-maturing dACC activity may be a primary process underlying the maturation of inhibitory control. Activity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) declined from childhood to adolescence, and may function as a scaffold to support immature networks. Growth curves across remaining areas of the inhibitory control circuitry did not show developmental changes, suggesting that the foundational inhibitory control system is available early in development. Investigating individual differences in trajectories revealed patterns of variability segregated according to function. Error monitoring evidenced the least variability, and executive control regions showed parallel trajectories, indicating a preservation of rank-order stability over development. Some motor response control regions showed a decline in variability with age,v
indicating individuals follow different paths to the same end point of maturity. Sex predicted slope variability in a set of motor response control regions and an executive control region, with females but not males showing developmental declines in reactivity. Taken together, these findings extend prior cross-sectional studies to indicate that primary to the development of inhibitory control is enhanced error monitoring and less reliance on supportive dlPFC control. Further, results highlight important variability in developmental pathways, including notable sex differences.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Luna, Beatrizlunab@upmc.eduLUNA
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairLuna, Beatrizlunab@upmc.eduLUNA
Committee MemberForbes, Erikaforbese@upmc.eduERIKA
Committee MemberManuck,
Committee MemberSiegle, Greggsiegle@pitt.eduGSIEGLE
Committee MemberStrauss, Markstrauss@pitt.eduSTRAUSS
Date: 30 September 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 31 May 2012
Approval Date: 30 September 2013
Submission Date: 29 May 2013
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 100
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: longitudinal development fMRI growth curves brain function inhibitory control cognitive control
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2013 15:15
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2018 05:15


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