Individuals with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) exhibit significant impairments in attention across multiple domains. Very little is known about the contributing neural networks. We used task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine dorsal and ventral attention networks during auditory oddball processing in children and adolescents with NF1 and typically developing controls. Significant differences in neural activation patterns were identified within brain regions supporting the ventral attention system. Children with NF1 demonstrated hypoactivation in the temporoparietal junction and the anterior cingulate cortex compared to typically developing children. Hypoactivation in the anterior cingulate cortex was associated with poorer selective attention and attentional control in children with NF1. Results indicate an abnormality in bottom-up attention networks in NF1 that may lead to inefficient and faulty suppression of stimulus-driven information outside the current attentional set that play a significant role in the NF1 behavioral phenotype.
- neurofibromatosis 1
- auditory oddball