Baseline brain function in the preadolescents of the ABCD Study

the ABCD Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study® is a 10-year longitudinal study of children recruited at ages 9 and 10. A battery of neuroimaging tasks are administered biennially to track neurodevelopment and identify individual differences in brain function. This study reports activation patterns from functional MRI (fMRI) tasks completed at baseline, which were designed to measure cognitive impulse control with a stop signal task (SST; N = 5,547), reward anticipation and receipt with a monetary incentive delay (MID) task (N = 6,657) and working memory and emotion reactivity with an emotional N-back (EN-back) task (N = 6,009). Further, we report the spatial reproducibility of activation patterns by assessing between-group vertex/voxelwise correlations of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activation. Analyses reveal robust brain activations that are consistent with the published literature, vary across fMRI tasks/contrasts and slightly correlate with individual behavioral performance on the tasks. These results establish the preadolescent brain function baseline, guide interpretation of cross-sectional analyses and will enable the investigation of longitudinal changes during adolescent development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1176-1186
Number of pages11
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data used in the preparation of this article were obtained from the ABCD Study ( held in the NDA. This is a multisite, longitudinal study designed to recruit more than 10,000 children ages 9–10 years old and follow them over 10 years into early adulthood. The ABCD study is supported by the National Institutes of Health and additional federal partners under award numbers U01DA041048, U01DA050989, U01DA051016, U01DA041022, U01DA051018, U01DA051037, U01DA050987, U01DA041174, U01DA041106, U01DA041117, U01DA041028, U01DA041134, U01DA050988, U01DA051039, U01DA041156, U01DA041025, U01DA041120, U01DA051038, U01DA041148, U01DA041093, U01DA041089, U24DA041123 and U24DA041147. A full list of supporters is available at federal-partners.html. A listing of participating sites and a complete listing of the study investigators can be found at ABCD consortium investigators designed and implemented the study and/or provided data, but did not necessarily participate in the analysis or writing of this report. Most ABCD research sites rely on a central Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of California, San Diego, for the ethical review and approval of the research protocol, with a few sites obtaining local IRB approval. The views expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, the US federal government or ABCD consortium investigators. Computations were performed on the Vermont Advanced Computing Core supported, in part, by NSF award number OAC-1827314. A. Ivanciu and E. Pearson helped with the submission process. G. Dowling was substantially involved in all of the cited grants, M. Lopez and J. Matochik were substantially involved in U24DA041147, and S. Grant and A. Noronha were substantially involved in U24DA041123, consistent with their roles as Scientific Officers. All other Federal representatives contributed to the interpretation of the data and participated in the preparation, review and approval of the manuscript, consistent with their roles on the ABCD Federal Partners Group. The views and opinions expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors only and do not necessarily represent the views, official policy or position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or any of its affiliated institutions or agencies.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc.


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