- • Prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) is associated with long-term arousal dysregulation.
- • PCEs and controls were scanned with rfMRI at the mean ages of 14.3 and 16.6 years.
- • Amygdala connectivity changed oppositely with age in the PCE and control groups.
- • Amygdala connectivity in rest predicted emotional interference in task state.
- • PCE may contribute to increased emotional arousal in adolescent development.
Background: Prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) is associated with arousal dysregulation, but interactions between exposure and age are rarely investigated directly with longitudinal study designs. Our previous study had examined task-elicited emotional arousal and noted persistently high amygdala activations in the development of adolescents with PCE. However, while externally imposed emotional arousal could be considered a “state” effect depending on specific task stimuli, it is still unclear whether similar developmental alterations extend to intrinsic functional connectivity (FC), reflecting more of a “trait” effect.
Conclusions: These results provided additional data directly characterizing developmental changes in the emotional network of adolescents with PCE, complementing and extending the notion of a PCE-associated long-term teratogenic effect on arousal regulation.