Neural response to monetary loss among youth with disruptive behavior disorders and callous-unemotional traits in the ABCD study

Byrd AL, Hawes SW, Waller R, Delgado MR, Sutherland MT, Dick AS, Trucco EM, Riedel MC, Pacheco-Colon I, Laird AR, Gonzalez R, Neuroimage Clin 32 :102810 (2021).


Etiological models highlight reduced punishment sensitivity as a core risk factor for disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) and callous-unemotional (CU) traits. The current study examined neural sensitivity to the anticipation and receipt of loss, one key aspect of punishment sensitivity, among youth with DBD, comparing those with and without CU traits. Data were obtained from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD)(SM) Study (N = 11,874; Mage = 9.51; 48% female). Loss-related fMRI activity during the monetary incentive delay task was examined across 16 empirically-derived a priori brain regions (e.g., striatum, amygdala, insula, anterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex) and compared across the following groups: (1) typically developing (n = 693); (2) DBD (n = 995), subdivided into those (3) with CU traits (DBD + CU, n = 198), and (4) without CU traits (DBD-only, n = 276). Latent variable modeling was also employed to examine network-level activity. There were no significant between-group differences in brain activity to loss anticipation or receipt. Null findings were confirmed with and without covariates, using alternative grouping approaches, and in dimensional models. Network-level analyses also demonstrated comparable activity across groups during loss anticipation and receipt. Findings suggest that differences in punishment sensitivity among youth with DBD are unrelated to loss anticipation or receipt. More precise characterizations of other aspects punishment sensitivity are needed to understand risk for DBD and CU traits.