Gopikrishna Deshpande1, Priya Santhanam1, Zhihao Li1, George Andrew James1, Claire D. Coles2,3, Mary Ellen Lynch2, Stephen Hamman4, Xiaoping P. Hu1
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA; 2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA; 3Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Drug Exposure Clinic, Marcus Autism Center, Atlanta, GA, USA; 4Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
Previous research has led to the hypothesis that prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) alters emotional regulation. In this study, we evaluate Granger-based resting state effective connectivity in the emotional network in PCE subjects to examine the above hypothesis. We found interhemispheric connections between homologous areas in both PCE subjects and controls, but additional bidirectional connectivity between amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus in only PCE subjects. This supports the hypothesis of emotional dysregulation in PCE subjects, wherein disinhibition of emotional arousal affects other cognitive functions leading to behavioral impairments.