ADHD desynchronizes brain activity during watching a distracted multi-talker conversation

Juha Salmitaival, Mostafa Metwaly, Jussi Tohka, Kimmo Alho, Sami Leppämäki, Pekka Tani, Anniina Koski, Tamara Vanderwal, Matti Laine

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Abstract

Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have difficulties navigating dynamic everyday situations that contain multiple sensory inputs that need to either be attended to or ignored. As conventional experimental tasks lack this type of everyday complexity, we administered a film-based multi-talker condition with auditory distractors in the background. ADHD-related aberrant brain responses to this naturalistic stimulus were identified using intersubject correlations (ISCs) in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data collected from 51 adults with ADHD and 29 healthy controls. A novel permutation-based approach introducing studentized statistics and subject-wise voxel-level null-distributions revealed that several areas in cerebral attention networks and sensory cortices were desynchronized in participants with ADHD (n = 20) relative to healthy controls (n = 20). Specifically, desynchronization of the posterior parietal cortex occurred when irrelevant speech or music was presented in the background, but not when irrelevant white noise was presented, or when there were no distractors. We also show regionally distinct ISC signatures for inattention and impulsivity. Finally, post-scan recall of the film contents was associated with stronger ISCs in the default-mode network for the ADHD and in the dorsal attention network for healthy controls. The present study shows that ISCs can further our understanding of how a complex environment influences brain states in ADHD.
Original languageEnglish
Article number116352
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroImage
Volume216
Early online dateNov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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