Prediction of neurocognition in youth from resting state fMRI

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Difficulties with higher-order cognitive functions in youth are a potentially important vulnerability factor for the emergence of problematic behaviors and a range of psychopathologies. This study examined 2013 9–10 year olds in the first data release from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development 21-site consortium study in order to identify resting state functional connectivity patterns that predict individual-differences in three domains of higher-order cognitive functions: General Ability, Speed/Flexibility, and Learning/Memory. For General Ability scores in particular, we observed consistent cross-site generalizability, with statistically significant predictions in 14 out of 15 held-out sites. These results survived several tests for robustness including replication in split-half analysis and in a low head motion subsample. We additionally found that connectivity patterns involving task control networks and default mode network were prominently implicated in predicting differences in General Ability across participants. These findings demonstrate that resting state connectivity can be leveraged to produce generalizable markers of neurocognitive functioning. Additionally, they highlight the importance of task control-default mode network interconnections as a major locus of individual differences in cognitive functioning in early adolescence.

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Data used in the preparation of this article were obtained from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (, held in the NIMH Data Archive (NDA). This is a multisite, longitudinal study designed to recruit more than 10,000 children age 9–10 and follow them over 10 years into early adulthood. The ABCD Study is supported by the National Institutes of Health and additional federal partners under award numbers U01DA041022, U01DA041028, U01DA041048, U01DA041089, U01DA041106, U01DA041117, U01DA041120, U01DA041134, U01DA041148, U01DA041156, U01DA041174, U24DA041123, U24DA041147, U01DA041093, and U01DA041025. A full list of supporters is available at A listing of participating sites and a complete listing of the study investigators can be found at ABCD consortium investigators designed and implemented the study and/or provided data but did not necessarily participate in analysis or writing of this report. This manuscript reflects the views of the authors and may not reflect the opinions or views of the NIH or ABCD consortium investigators. This work was supported by the following grants from the United States National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: R01MH107741 (CS), U01DA041106 (CS, LH, MH), 1U24DA041123-01 (WT), U01DA041120 (ML), T32 AA007477 (AW). In addition, CS was supported by a grant from the Dana Foundation David Mahoney Neuroimaging Program. This research was supported in part through computational resources and services provided by Advanced Research Computing at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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Correspondence to Chandra Sripada.

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Sripada, C., Rutherford, S., Angstadt, M. et al. Prediction of neurocognition in youth from resting state fMRI. Mol Psychiatry (2019) doi:10.1038/s41380-019-0481-6

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