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Differential engagement of cognitive and affective neural systems in pediatric bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

  • ALESSANDRA M. PASSAROTTI (a1) (a2), JOHN A. SWEENEY (a1) (a3) and MANI N. PAVULURI (a1) (a2)

This fMRI study investigates the neural bases of cognitive control of emotion processing in pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Seventeen un-medicated PBD patients, 15 un-medicated ADHD patients, and 14 healthy controls (HC) (mean age = 13.78 ± 2.47) performed an emotional valence Stroop Task, requiring them to match the color of an emotionally valenced word to the color of either of two adjacent circles. Both patient groups responded significantly slower than HC, but there were no group differences in accuracy. A voxel-wise analysis of variance on brain activation revealed a significant interaction of group by word valence [F(2,41) = 4.44; p = .02]. Similar group differences were found for negative and positive words. For negative versus neutral words, both patient groups exhibited greater activation in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and parietal cortex relative to HC. The PBD group exhibited greater activation in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) relative to HC. The ADHD group exhibited decreased VLPFC activation relative to HC and the PBD group. During cognitive control of emotion processing, PBD patients deployed the VLPFC to a greater extent than HC. The ADHD patients showed decreased VLPFC engagement relative to both HC and PBD patients. (JINS, 2010, 16, 106–117.)

Corresponding author
*Correspondence and reprint requests to: Alessandra M. Passarotti, Institute for Juvenile Research and Center for Cognitive Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, 912 South Wood Street (M/C 913), Chicago, IL 60612. E-mail:
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