One potential obstacle limiting our ability to clarify ADHD etiology is the heterogeneity within the disorder, as well as in typical samples. In this study, we utilized a community detection approach on 106 children with and without ADHD (aged 7-12 years), in order to identify potential subgroups of participants based on the connectivity of the reward system. Children with ADHD were compared to typically developing children within each identified community, aiming to find the community-specific ADHD characteristics. Furthermore, to assess how the organization in subgroups relates to behavior, we evaluated delay-discounting gradient and impulsivity-related temperament traits within each community. We found that discrete subgroups were identified that characterized distinct connectivity profiles in the reward system. Importantly, which connections were atypical in ADHD relative to the control children were specific to the community membership. Our findings showed that children with ADHD and typically developing children could be classified into distinct subgroups according to brain functional connectivity. Results also suggested that the differentiation in "functional" subgroups is related to specific behavioral characteristics, in this case impulsivity. Thus, combining neuroimaging data and community detection might be a valuable approach to elucidate heterogeneity in ADHD etiology and examine ADHD neurobiology.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was funded by R01 MH096773 (Fair), K99/R00 MH091238 (Fair), and R01 MH086654 (Nigg). The funding sources had no involvement in study design, data collections, analysis and interpretation of data, writing of the report, or in the decision to submit the article for publication.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Community detection
- Delay discounting
- Functional connectivity RDoC
- Nucleus accumbens