Neural correlates of attention deficits in incarcerated adolescents

ContributorsÖnay, Neslihan
Master program titleMaîtrise universitaire en neurosciences
Defense date2021-12-08

ADHD (attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder), characterized by attention deficits, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, is five times more prevalent in detention settings than in the general population. Adolescence is a critical period that entails developmental vulnerability towards poor decisions such as delinquency. Although behavioral studies suggest links between impulsivity and criminal behavior, neuroimaging studies focusing on psychopathy traits in the adult population and psychological mechanisms behind impulsivity are scarce. In this study, we aimed to explore the link between attention symptoms and three large networks related to vital human socio-affective functions: the executive control network, the default mode network, and the salience network. Insufficient communication of these networks is a common characteristic in several neuropsychiatric conditions. Considering attentional control, the salience network is a hub region in the regulation of cognitive control by coupling and decoupling with other two large networks. To research attentional deficits in incarcerated populations, we investigated the relationship between resting-state fMRI measures and manifestations of ADHD in 35 incarcerated juveniles. We implemented independent component analysis to define the intrinsic networks based on spatial templates and we validated their reliability with state-of-art techniques. We then studied the effects of age, gender, and their-interactions on pairs of networks through MANCOVA model. We further measured the how the pairs of networks are correlated to clinical measurements while controlling for comorbidity, age, and gender. MANCOVA model yielded no significant effect of age, gender, or their interactions on functional connectivity between pairs of networks. However, in terms of clinical measures we found that an increased functional connectivity between the left executive control network and the posterior salience network is associated with attentional deficits. To the best our knowledge, this is the first study using fMRI technology that reveals the relationship between ADHD characteristics and network-level interactions of the populations in detention settings. We argue that extending existing literature with further studies will provide insightful findings in the development of preventive and therapeutic programs for vulnerable populations to commit a crime. Additionally, by providing further knowledge, supplementary studies will improve models that predict future arrests by revealing subtle psychological mechanisms such as attentional systems.

Citation (ISO format)
ÖNAY, Neslihan. Neural correlates of attention deficits in incarcerated adolescents. 2021.
Main files (1)
Master thesis
  • PID : unige:159949

Technical informations

Creation03/29/2022 10:10:00 AM
First validation03/29/2022 10:10:00 AM
Update time03/16/2023 2:59:35 AM
Status update03/16/2023 2:59:34 AM
Last indexation02/01/2024 8:01:29 AM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack