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Dynamic causal modelling of the relationship between cognition and theta - alpha oscillations in adults with Down syndrome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalCerebral Cortex
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Feb 2019


King's Authors


Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) show high inter-subject variability in cognitive ability
and have an ultra-high risk of developing dementia (90% lifetime prevalence). Elucidating
factors underlying variability in cognitive function can inform us about intellectual disability
(ID) and may improve our understanding of factors associated with later cognitive decline.
Increased neuronal inhibition has been posited to contribute to ID in DS. Combining EEG
with dynamic causal modelling (DCM) provides a non-invasive method for investigating
excitatory/inhibitory mechanisms. Resting-state EEG recordings were obtained from 36
adults with DS with no evidence of cognitive decline. Theta-alpha activity (4-13 Hz) was
characterized in relation to general cognitive ability (raw Kaufmann’s Brief Intelligence Test
2nd Edition (KBIT-2) score). Higher KBIT-2 was associated with higher frontal alpha peak
amplitude and higher theta-alpha band power across distributed regions. Modelling this
association with DCM revealed intrinsic self-inhibition was the key network parameter
underlying observed differences in 4-13 Hz power in relation to KBIT-2 and age. In
particular, intrinsic self-inhibition in right V1 was negatively correlated with KBIT-2. Results
suggest intrinsic self-inhibition within the alpha network is associated with individual
differences in cognitive ability in adults with DS, and may provide a potential therapeutic
target for cognitive enhancement.

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