Familial risk and ADHD-specific neural activity revealed by case-control, discordant twin pair design

Detre A. Godinez, Erik G. Willcutt, Gregory C. Burgess, Brendan E. Depue, Jessica R. Andrews-Hanna, Marie T. Banich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Individuals with ADHD, as well as their family members who do not meet clinical criteria, have shown deficits in executive function. However, it remains unclear whether underlying neural alterations are familial or ADHD-specific. To investigate this issue, neural activation underlying executive function was assessed using functional magnetic resonance imaging during performance of a Stroop task in three groups of individuals: 20 young adults who were diagnosed with ADHD in childhood, their 20 dizygotic co-twins without ADHD in childhood, and 20 unrelated controls selected from dizygotic twin pairs in which neither twin had ADHD in childhood (total n=60). Implicating the frontoparietal network as a location of effects specific to ADHD, activation in the superior frontal (Brodmann's Area - BA 6) and parietal regions (BA 40) was significantly reduced in twins with childhood ADHD compared to both their control co-twins and unrelated control twins. Consistent with familial influences, activity in the anterior cingulate and insula was significantly reduced in both the twins with ADHD and their co-twins compared to the unrelated controls. These results show that both ADHD-specific and familial influences related to an ADHD diagnosis impact neural systems underlying executive function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-465
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Cognitive control
  • Executive function
  • Familial influences
  • Neuroimaging
  • Twins
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Familial risk and ADHD-specific neural activity revealed by case-control, discordant twin pair design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this