Atypical default network connectivity in youth with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder

Damien A. Fair, Jonathan Posner, Bonnie J. Nagel, Deepti Bathula, Taciana G.Costa Dias, Kathryn L. Mills, Michael S. Blythe, Aishat Giwa, Colleen F. Schmitt, Joel T. Nigg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

301 Scopus citations


Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a major public health concern. It has been suggested that the brain's default network may provide a crucial avenue for understanding the neurobiology of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Evaluations of the default network have increased over recent years with the applied technique of resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI). These investigations have established that spontaneous activity in this network is highly correlated at rest in young adult populations. This coherence seems to be reduced in adults with ADHD. This is an intriguing finding, as coherence in spontaneous activity within the default network strengthens with age. Thus, the pathophysiology of ADHD might include delayed or disrupted maturation of the default network. If so, it is important to determine whether an altered developmental picture can be detected using rs-fcMRI in children with ADHD. Methods This study used the typical developmental context provided previously by Fair et al. (2008) to examine coherence of brain activity within the default network using rs-fcMRI in children with (n = 23) and without attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (n = 23). Results We found that functional connections previously shown as developmentally dynamic in the default network were atypical in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorderconsistent with perturbation or failure of the maturational processes. Conclusions These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that atypical consolidation of this network over development plays a role in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1084-1091
Number of pages8
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research was supported by the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (DAH), Medical Research Foundation (DAH), UNCF Merck postdoctoral fellowship (DAH), Ford Foundation (DAH), R01 MH59105 (JTN), K08 NS52147 (BJN), Portland Alcohol Research Center pilot funds ( P60 AA010760 to BJN), and the Oregon Health and Science University Neuropsychiatric Institute (JTN).


  • ADHD
  • connectivity
  • default
  • development
  • fMRI
  • resting state


Dive into the research topics of 'Atypical default network connectivity in youth with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this