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Home > Response inhibition and elevated parietal-cerebellar correlations in chronic adolescent cannabis users.

Behan, B and Connolly, CG and Datwani, S and Doucet, M and Ivanovic, J and Morioka, R and Stone, A and Watts, R and Smyth, Bobby P and Garavan, Hugh (2014) Response inhibition and elevated parietal-cerebellar correlations in chronic adolescent cannabis users. Neuropharmacology , 84 , pp. 131-7.

The ability to successfully inhibit an inappropriate behaviour is a crucial component of executive functioning and its impairment has been linked to substance dependence. Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in adolescence and, given the accelerated neuromaturation during adolescence, it is important to determine the effects of cannabis use on neurocognitive functioning during this developmental period.

In this study, a cohort of adolescent heavy cannabis users and age-matched non-cannabis-using controls completed a Go/No-Go paradigm. Users were impaired in performance on the task but voxelwise and region-of-interest comparisons revealed no activation differences between groups. Instead, an analysis of correlation patterns between task-activated areas revealed heightened correlation scores in the users between bilateral inferior parietal lobules and the left cerebellum. The increased correlation activity between these regions was replicated with resting state fMRI data and was positively correlated with self-reported, recent cannabis usage.

The results suggests that the poorer inhibitory control of adolescent cannabis users might be related to aberrant connectivity between nodes of the response inhibition circuit and that this effect is observable in both task-induced and intrinsic correlation patterns. This article is part of the Special Issue Section entitled 'Neuroimaging in Neuropharmacology'.


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