Disrupted Executive Function and Aggression in Individuals With a History of Adverse Childhood Experiences: An Event-Related Potential Study

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Abstract

Here, we explored the functional and neural mechanisms underlying aggression related to adverse childhood experiences. We assessed behavioral performance and event-related potentials during a go/no-go and N-back paradigm. The participants were 15 individuals with adverse childhood experiences and high aggression (ACE + HA), 13 individuals with high aggression (HA), and 14 individuals with low aggression and no adverse childhood experiences (control group). The P2 latency (initial perceptual processing) was longer in the ACE + HA group for the go trials. The HA group had a larger N2 (response inhibition) than controls for the no-go trials. Error-related negativity (error processing) in the ACE + HA and HA groups was smaller than that of controls for false alarm go trials. Lastly, the ACE + HA group had shorter error-related negativity latencies than controls for false alarm trials. Overall, our results reveal the neural correlates of executive function in aggressive individuals with ACEs.

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