MAGNETOENCEPHALOGRAPHY STUDY ON MULTISENSORY INTEGRATION IN ADOLESCENTS WITH FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER
Alfredo Bolanos1, Brian Coffman2, John Pinner1, Piyadasa Kodituwakku1, Julia Stephen1.
1The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 2The Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, NM.
It is now known that children exposed to substantial amounts of alcohol in utero display a broad range of cognitive and behavioral deficits along with functional and structural neural anomalies. Previous studies have shown impairments in sensory processing and executive functioning, suggesting atypical brain development in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). To further our knowledge of sensory processing in children with FASD, brain responses were recorded using magnetoencephalography (MEG) from 19 adolescents with FASD and 23 age-matched, typically developing controls during a cross-hemisphere multisensory paradigm with passive auditory, somatosensory, and multisensory stimulation. We hypothesized that neural oscillations would be altered in adolescents with FASD. Time-frequency analysis of the MEG data revealed a significant decrease in oscillatory power for 6 conditions in the FASD group based on permutation testing of significant group differences. Through one-sample t-tests, we noted that between-group differences in multisensory conditions were accompanied by a significant within-group increase in oscillatory power relative to baseline in the control group and a decrease in the FASD group. Furthermore, results revealed that unisensory oscillatory power predicted multisensory oscillatory power more strongly in the control group than in the FASD group. Yet, oscillatory power only correlated with attention and impulsivity scores in the FASD group. The present results provide further evidence of abnormal gamma-band oscillations in adolescents with FASD when responding to sensory stimuli, which may be associated with the neurobehavioral deficits experienced by individuals with FASD by restricting their ability to respond properly to external stimuli during day-to-day interactions.