Date of Award

8-1-2019

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kibby, Michelle

Abstract

The current project investigated brain-behavior relationships between caudate nucleus volume and executive functioning in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Reading Disability (RD). It was hypothesized that there would be differences in caudate nucleus volume and asymmetry between those with and without ADHD; those with and without RD were expected to differ in head volume only. The analysis of the relationship between caudate volume with RD/ADHD was exploratory. It also was hypothesized that size of the caudate nucleus components would be correlated with scores from a questionnaire measuring executive function (i.e., Brief Rating Inventory of Executive Function [BRIEF]). Results demonstrated that there were no differences in caudate asymmetry between children with and without ADHD. Nevertheless, there was a trend for left ventral head and total caudate volumes to be smaller in the children with ADHD. In addition, ventral head volume of the caudate displayed trends with the executive functioning measures. More specifically, working memory, monitor, and inhibition were related to ventral head volume. The body demonstrated a trend with planning and organization. Lastly, the head of the caudate showed a trend with verbal and spatial working memory. The findings reported here suggest that further research examining the relationship between caudate head and body volume and EF is warranted.

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