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Go/No Go task performance predicts cortical thickness in the caudal inferior frontal gyrus in young adults with and without ADHD.


Response inhibition deficits are widely believed to be at the core of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Several studies have examined neural architectural correlates of ADHD, but research directly examining structural correlates of response inhibition is lacking. Here we examine the relationship between response inhibition as measured by a Go/No Go task, and cortical surface area and thickness of the caudal inferior frontal gyrus (cIFG), a region implicated in functional imaging studies of response inhibition, in a sample of 114 young adults with and without ADHD diagnosed initially during childhood. We used multiple linear regression models to test the hypothesis that Go/No Go performance would be associated with cIFG surface area or thickness. Results showed that poorer Go/No Go performance was associated with thicker cIFG cortex, and this effect was not mediated by ADHD status or history of substance use. However, independent of Go/No Go performance, persistence of ADHD symptoms and more frequent cannabis use were associated with thinner cIFG. Go/No Go performance was not associated with cortical surface area. The association between poor inhibitory functioning and thicker cIFG suggests that maturation of this region may differ in low performing participants. An independent association of persistent ADHD symptoms and frequent cannabis use with thinner cIFG cortex suggests that distinct neural mechanisms within this region may play a role in inhibitory function, broader ADHD symptomatology, and cannabis use. These results contribute to Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) by revealing novel associations between neural architectural phenotypes and basic neurobehavioral processes measured dimensionally.

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