Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Neuropsychological Assessment of Children
Principal Investigator: SARAH MATTSON
Affiliation: San Diego State University
Abstract: The effects of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure reach beyond the diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and can result in a complex pattern of neurodevelopmental disorders. Although the precise nature of this pattern is not well defined, current research is progressing toward this end. Similarly, brain imaging studies point to a pattern of effects in the brain structure of children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure with some structures affected to a greater degree than others. The current application proposes studies based on recent neuropsychological and neuroanatomical studies of children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. The proposed studies are aimed at clarifying three important functional comparisons: "what" vs. "where" visuospatial processing, "global" vs. "local" hierarchical visuospatial processing, and "disengaging" vs. "shifting" of visual attention. These areas have been linked to the parietal lobe, an area of the brain affected by prenatal alcohol exposure. Although previous studies of individuals with brain damage have assessed these three areas separately, the research proposed herein aims to assess the three domains in one population. First, assessment of "what-where" visuospatial functioning will be conducted using computerized and traditional tests. Based on preliminary data, relative weaknesses in "where" processing are predicted. Second, assessment of global-local processing will be conducted using tests of both recall and potential biasing effects of hierarchical figures. Based on previous research, a relative weakness in local processing is predicted. Finally, assessment of disengaging-shifting of visual attention will be conducted using a classic measure of spatial orienting of attention. Based on both brain imaging studies and previous studies of attentional shifting, a relative weakness in disengagement is predicted. Thus, the proposed series of studies targets three important functional dissociations that are anatomically linked. The underlying rationale and hypotheses for these studies are based on previous neuropsychological and imaging studies. Clarification of these dissociations will help define the profile of weaknesses and strengths in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure and help identify core deficits in this population.
Funding Period: 1997-04-07 - 2010-03-31
more information: NIH RePORT
- Evaluation of psychopathological conditions in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposureSusanna L Fryer
San Diego State University University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, USA
Pediatrics 119:e733-41. 2007....
- Focused and shifting attention in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposureSarah N Mattson
Center for Behavioral Teratology, Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92120, USA
Neuropsychology 20:361-9. 2006..However, no deficits were noted in the ability to disengage and reengage attention when required to shift attention between visual and auditory stimuli, although reaction times to shift were slower...
- Abnormal cortical thickness and brain-behavior correlation patterns in individuals with heavy prenatal alcohol exposureElizabeth R Sowell
Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 7334, USA
Cereb Cortex 18:136-44. 2008..Further, the significant interactions show for the first time that brain-behavior relationships are altered as a function of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure...
- Prenatal alcohol exposure affects frontal-striatal BOLD response during inhibitory controlSusanna L Fryer
Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego State University, University of California, San Diego, California, USA
Alcohol Clin Exp Res 31:1415-24. 2007..This study characterized the neural substrates underlying the disinhibited behavioral profile of individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD)...
- Differences in executive functioning in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorderLinnea Vaurio
Department of Psychology, Center for Behavioral Teratology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA
J Int Neuropsychol Soc 14:119-29. 2008..These results, which indicate that, although EF deficits occurred in both clinical groups, the degree and pattern of deficit differed between the ALC and ADHD groups, may improve differential diagnosis...
- Characterization of white matter microstructure in fetal alcohol spectrum disordersSusanna L Fryer
San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego State University University of California, San Diego, California, USA
Alcohol Clin Exp Res 33:514-21. 2009..Exposure to alcohol during gestation is associated with CNS alterations, cognitive deficits, and behavior problems. This study investigated microstructural aspects of putative white matter abnormalities following prenatal alcohol exposure...
- Comparison of adaptive behavior in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorderNicole Crocker
Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA
Alcohol Clin Exp Res 33:2015-23. 2009..Therefore, the aim of the current study was to compare adaptive behavior in children with histories of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure (ALC), nonexposed children with ADHD (ADHD), and typically developing controls (CON)...
- Neuroimaging and fetal alcohol spectrum disordersAndria L Norman
Center for Behavioral Teratology, Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA
Dev Disabil Res Rev 15:209-17. 2009..Continued neuroimaging studies are needed to further advance understanding of the neuroteratogenic effects of alcohol...
- BOLD response during spatial working memory in youth with heavy prenatal alcohol exposureAndrea D Spadoni
San Diego State University University of California San Diego, CA 92120, USA
Alcohol Clin Exp Res 33:2067-76. 2009..Structural brain abnormalities observed in regions supporting spatial working memory (SWM) may contribute to observed deficits in visuospatial functioning in youth with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs)...