Maturation of task-induced brain activation and long range functional connectivity in adolescence revealed by multivariate pattern classification

E. H. H. Keulers, A. Goulas, J. Jolles, P. Stiers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The present study uses multivariate pattern classification analysis to examine maturation in task-induced brain activation and in functional connectivity during adolescence. The multivariate approach allowed accurate discrimination of adolescent boys of respectively 13, 17 and 21. years old based on brain activation during a gonogo task, whereas the univariate statistical analyses showed no or only very few, small age-related clusters. Developmental differences in task activation were spatially distributed throughout the brain, indicating differences in the responsiveness of a wide range of task-related and default mode regions. Moreover, these distributed age-distinctive patterns generalized from a simple gonogo task to a cognitively and motivationally very different gambling task, and vice versa. This suggests that functional brain maturation in adolescence is driven by common processes across cognitive tasks as opposed to task-specific processes. Although we confirmed previous reports of age-related differences in functional connectivity, particularly for long range connections (> 60. mm), these differences were not specific to brain regions that showed maturation of task-induced responsiveness. Together with the task-independency of brain activation maturation, this result suggests that brain connectivity changes in the course of adolescence affect brain functionality at a basic level. This basic change is manifest in a range of tasks, from the simplest gonogo task to a complex gambling task. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1250-1265
JournalNeuroImage
Volume60
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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