Children's impulsive behaviour is related to their brain connectivity

July 22, 2014
Children's impulsive behaviour is related to their brain connectivity

Researchers from the University of Murcia have studied the changes in the brain that are associated with impulsiveness, a personality trait that causes difficulties in inhibiting a response in the face of a stimulus and leads to unplanned actions without considering the negative consequences. These patterns can serve as an indicator for predicting the risk of behavioural problems.

A new study headed by researchers from the University of Murcia analyses whether the connectivity of an infant's brain is related to children's impulsiveness.

"Impulsiveness is a risk factor for the development of serious behavioural problems," Luis J. Fuentes, the main author of the study, explains to SINC. "Among the children with a typical development, we can observe individual differences in their interaction with the environment."

In his opinion, the experts asked a group of parents to respond to a series of questions related to their children's impulsive behaviour.

With their responses, the 24 children in the sample were classified according to their levels of impulsive behaviour. Then, through neuroimaging techniques, the experts studied their patterns of . With this information, they analysed the patterns to see if they were related to the level of impulsiveness that the parents had noticed in their children.

"We can confirm that the greater the level of impulsiveness in the children, the greater the alteration in the connections between the and the right angular gyrus, which is also observed in people with antisocial behaviour; and other cerebral areas that are usually activated when performing given cognitive tasks," adds Fuentes.

For the authors, these results have two important implications. They affirm that "On the one hand, what the parents notice about their children's behaviour has a clear reflection in their cerebral connectivity patterns, and this is useful information for checking what is observed on a daily basis on a neuro-anatomical level."

Furthermore, alterations in the connectivity between areas of the brain that were previously related with have been identified in children with normal development.

"Said brain connectivity patterns can serve as biological indicators for predicting the risk of the appearance of and social adaptation difficulties," concludes Fuentes.

Impulsiveness and violence

Impulsiveness is a trait of the basic personality that causes difficulties in inhibiting a response in the face of a stimulus and leads to unplanned actions without considering the .

For many years, experts have associated high levels of with behaviour problems. This is characteristic of children with attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, but also of those which display antisocial personality traits that, in extreme cases, can lead to violent behaviour.

Explore further: Excessive TV in childhood linked to long-term antisocial behaviour

More information: Alberto Inuggi, Ernesto Sanz-Arigita, Carmen González-Salinas, Ana V. Valero-García, Jose M. García-Santos y Luis J. Fuentes. "Brain functional connectivity changes in children that differ in impulsivity temperamental trait." Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 2014 volume 8 article 156.

Related Stories

Excessive TV in childhood linked to long-term antisocial behaviour

February 18, 2013
Children and adolescents who watch a lot of television are more likely to manifest antisocial and criminal behaviour when they become adults, according to a new University of Otago, New Zealand, study published online in ...

Anxious children have bigger 'fear centers' in the brain

June 16, 2014
The amygdala is a key "fear center" in the brain. Alterations in the development of the amygdala during childhood may have an important influence on the development of anxiety problems, reports a new study in the current ...

World first project to help children with special needs

May 21, 2014
In a world first, Monash University researchers will lead a new project that will provide a public health approach, evidence based, parenting support to parents of children with a disability.

Babies' early social relationships influence life skills

June 19, 2014
By sharing experiences such as book-reading, cooking or pretend play with babies as young as two, parents can help shape their children's lives for the better.

Confirmation of the neurobiological origin of attention-deficit disorder

April 14, 2014
A study, carried out on mice, has just confirmed the neurobiological origin of attention-deficit disorder (ADD), a syndrome whose causes are poorly understood. Researchers from CNRS, the University of Strasbourg and INSERM ...

Recommended for you

Study examines effects of stopping psychiatric medication

July 20, 2017
Despite numerous obstacles and severe withdrawal effects, long-term users of psychiatric drugs can stop taking them if they choose, and mental health care professionals could be more helpful to such individuals, according ...

Study finds gene variant increases risk for depression

July 20, 2017
A University of Central Florida study has found that a gene variant, thought to be carried by nearly 25 percent of the population, increases the odds of developing depression.

In making decisions, are you an ant or a grasshopper?

July 20, 2017
In one of Aesop's famous fables, we are introduced to the grasshopper and the ant, whose decisions about how to spend their time affect their lives and future. The jovial grasshopper has a blast all summer singing and playing, ...

Perceiving oneself as less physically active than peers is linked to a shorter lifespan

July 20, 2017
Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about equally active as other people your age?

New study suggests that reduced insurance coverage for mental health treatment increases costs for the seriously ill

July 19, 2017
Higher out-of-pocket costs for mental health care could have the unintended consequence of increasing the use of acute and involuntary mental health care among those suffering from the most debilitating disorders, a Harvard ...

Old antibiotic could form new depression treatment

July 19, 2017
An antibiotic used mostly to treat acne has been found to improve the quality of life for people with major depression, in a world-first clinical trial conducted at Deakin University.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.