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Neural Profile of Callous Traits in Children: A Population-Based Neuroimaging Study

Bolhuis, K; Viding, E; Muetzel, RL; El Marroun, H; Kocevska, D; White, T; Tiemeier, H; (2018) Neural Profile of Callous Traits in Children: A Population-Based Neuroimaging Study. Biological Psychiatry 10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.10.015. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Callous traits during childhood, e.g., lack of remorse and shallow affect, are a key risk marker for antisocial behavior. Although callous traits have been found to be associated with structural and functional brain alterations, evidence to date has been almost exclusively limited to small, high-risk samples of boys. We characterized gray and white matter brain correlates of callous traits in over 2000 children from the general population. METHODS: Data on mother-reported callous traits and brain imaging were collected at age 10 years from participants of the Generation R Study. Structural magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate brain morphology using volumetric indices and whole-brain analyses (n = 2146); diffusion tensor imaging was used to assess global and specific white matter microstructure (n = 2059). RESULTS: Callous traits were associated with lower global brain (e.g., total brain) volumes as well as decreased cortical surface area in frontal and temporal regions. Global mean diffusivity was negatively associated with callous traits, suggesting higher white matter microstructural integrity in children with elevated callous traits. Multiple individual tracts, including the uncinate and cingulum, contributed to this global association. Whereas no gender differences were observed for global volumetric indices, white matter associations were present only in girls. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to provide a systematic characterization of the structural neural profile of callous traits in the general pediatric population. These findings extend previous work based on selected samples by demonstrating that childhood callous traits in the general population are characterized by widespread macrostructural and microstructural differences across the brain.

Type: Article
Title: Neural Profile of Callous Traits in Children: A Population-Based Neuroimaging Study
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.10.015
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.10.015
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 Society of Biological Psychiatry. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Callous-unemotional, Child psychiatry, Diffusion tensor imaging, Epidemiology, Gender differences, Structural neuroimaging
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10065036
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