• adolescence;
  • response inhibition;
  • alcoholism;
  • family history;
  • fMRI

Abstract: Disinhibition among alcoholics may precede or result from alcohol use disorders (AUDs). It remains unclear how disinhibition might contribute to AUD risk among youths with a family history of alcoholism (FHP). We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore inhibition-related neural risk factors for AUD. Participants were 12- to 14-year-old nondrinkers, including 12 FHP youths and 14 youths with no family history of alcoholism (FHN). Youths performed a go/no-go task during fMRI acquisition. At a conservative threshold, FHN youths showed less inhibitory response than FHP youths in the left middle frontal gyrus, despite similar task performance between groups. Using a more liberal threshold, FHP youths also demonstrated less response in additional frontal regions. These preliminary findings suggest that FHP youths show less inhibitory frontal response than FHN youths. Altered neural activation among FHP youths may underlie subsequent disinhibition and could be related to the AUD risk.