University of Oulu

Päivi Lindholm, Johannes Lieslehto, Juha Nikkinen, Irma Moilanen, Tuula Hurtig, Juha Veijola, Jouko Miettunen, Vesa Kiviniemi, Hanna Ebeling, Brain response to facial expressions in adults with adolescent ADHD, Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, Volume 292, 2019, Pages 54-61, ISSN 0925-4927,

Brain response to facial expressions in adults with adolescent ADHD

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Author: Lindholm, Päivi1,2; Lieslehto, Johannes3,4; Nikkinen, Juha5,6,7,8;
Organizations: 1PEDEGO Research Unit, Child Psychiatry, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
2Clinic of Child Psychiatry, Oulu University Hospital, P.O. Box 26, FI-90029 Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
4Section for Neurodiagnostic Applications, Department of Psychiatry, Ludwig Maximilian University, Nussbaumstrasse 7, 80336, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
5Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
6Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, P.O. Box 50, FI-90029 Oulu, Finland
7Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Oulu University Hospital, P.O. Box 20, FI-90029 Oulu, Finland
8Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
9Clinic of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Oulu, P.O.Box 26, FI-90029 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-09-07


The symptoms of ADHD tend to have continuity to adulthood even though the diagnostic criteria were no longer fulfilled. The aim of our study was to find out possible differences in BOLD signal in the face-processing network between adults with previous ADHD (pADHD, n = 23) and controls (n = 29) from the same birth cohort when viewing dynamic facial expressions. The brain imaging was performed using a General Electric Signa 1.5 Tesla HDX. Dynamic facial expression stimuli included happy and fearful expressions. The pADHD group demonstrated elevated activity in the left parietal area during fearful facial expression. The Network Based Statistics including multiple areas demonstrated higher functional connectivity in attention related network during visual exposure to happy faces in the pADHD group. Conclusions: We found differences in brain responses to facial emotional expressions in individuals with previous ADHD compared to control group in a number of brain regions including areas linked to processing of facial emotional expressions and attention. This might indicate that although these individuals no longer fulfill the ADHD diagnosis, they exhibit overactive network properties affecting facial processing.

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Series: Psychiatry research. Neuroimaging
ISSN: 0925-4927
ISSN-E: 1872-7506
ISSN-L: 0925-4927
Volume: 292
Pages: 54 - 61
DOI: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2019.09.003
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: The study has been financed by grants from the Academy of Finland (Grant codes: 111711, 123772, 124257, 212818, 214273), NARSAD: the Brain and Behavior Research Fund, Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler Developmental Psychobiology Research Program Investigator grant, the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, Thule Institute University of Oulu Finland, Alma and K.A. Snellman Foundation Oulu Finland, Alfred Kordelin Foundation (Grant codes: 170279), Orion Research Grants, the Finnish Medical Foundation (Grant codes: 2393), Jalmari and Rauha Ahokas Foundation, Yrjö Jahnsson's Foundation (Grant codes: 20187087). NFBC1986 has received financial support from the Academy of Finland (project grants 104781, 120315, 129269, 1114194), University Hospital Oulu, Biocenter, University of Oulu, Finland (75617), the European Commission (EURO-BLCS, Framework 5 award QLG1-CT-2000-01643), NHLBI grant 5R01HL087679-02, NIH/NIMH (5R01MH63706:02).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 129269
Detailed Information: 129269 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
123772 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
124257 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
114194 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
214273 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license