• attention deficit hyperactivity disorder;
  • correlational seed analyses;
  • endophenotype;
  • fMRI


Familial risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been associated with changes in brain activity related to cognitive control. However, it is not clear whether changes in activation are the primary deficit or whether they are related to impaired communication between regions involved in this ability. We investigated whether (1) functional connectivity between regions involved in cognitive control was affected by familial risk and (2) changes were specific to these regions. Correlational seed analyses were used to investigate temporal covariance between cognitive control and motor regions in two independent samples of typically developing controls, subjects with ADHD and their unaffected siblings. In both samples, correlation coefficients between cognitive control regions were greater for typically developing controls than for subjects with ADHD, with intermediate values for unaffected siblings. Within the motor network, unaffected siblings showed correlations similar to typically developing children. There were no differences in activity between the brain regions involved. These data show that functional connectivity between cognitive control regions is sensitive to familial risk for ADHD. Results suggest that changes in connectivity associated with cognitive control may be suitable as an intermediate phenotype for future studies. Hum Brain Mapp, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.