The Role of Brain Imaging Techniques (MRI And FMRI) in ADHD Research

Brooklyn Letters IconBrooklyn Letters

1139 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn

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    We would highly recommend Ally! Our son always asks about her, so very thankful to Brooklyn Letters for introducing us.
    ~ Emily, mom of Brooklyn 2 year old
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    Nicole has been an amazing therapist!! She played a tremendous role in our daughter’s speech progress and overall development. She has come such a long way and we are so happy with the therapy she received!
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    I cannot express how grateful and rewarding my experience with Brooklyn Letters has been. Her tutor Ms. Daria is so knowledgeable, amazing, kind and awesome. My daughter has made so much progress in Literacy and Math and it's all … More thanks to Ms. Daria. I know my daughter is sad that she can no longer work with Ms. Daria, as she looked forward to their sessions every week. Thank you again!
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    Excellent services, caring therapists.
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    Christina was absolutely wonderful. She went out of her way to win my son over and it worked. He looked forward to her visits and his speech improved so much under her care. She was super flexible and it’s clear she truly cares. We adore … More Christina and we’re going to miss her. Almost sad he improved so much! She’s simply amazing and we can’t say enough how great she is. I would recommend her services to anyone and everyone, without hesitation. Thank you so much for connecting us with her!
  • Avatar Colin Peters ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    We could not be happier with the services Valerie provided! She is very thoughtful and knowledgeable and provided significant guidance to support our daughter's speech development outside of our scheduled sessions. She established … More a great working relationship with her, and she will definitely be missed! Your business model is amazing and it was an absolute pleasure working with Valerie. I've referred your organization and Valerie to the Executive Director of our daughter's school and friends/colleagues who are in need of speech therapy services.
  • Avatar Heather Liljengren ★★★★★ a year ago
    We cannot say enough good things about Effie, the ASL teacher, who was so engaged and effective with our 2 year old daughter from the very first session! Effie gladly included our whole family in the sessions! Her expertise and fantastic … More personality gave our daughter a way to communicate that she was so desperately seeking. The coordinators at Brooklyn Letters were so helpful and communicative…I would highly recommend their services!
  • Avatar Chris duke Fields ★★★★★ a month ago
    The company is great with outstanding customer service. They keep my horses protected. I have recommended them to other horses trainers as well that are going to get service early next year. Very professional an honest too. Respectfully … More submitted Christopher
  • Avatar Nikhil Jaisinghani ★★★★★ 5 months ago
    Ron and Ken did a fantastic job with our security system today. Installed everything very quick. Both of them were very polite and asked us throughout if the installation met our needs. Simply fantastic!
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    I called Cornerstone Protection to get a Security system at a relatives out of state property, within a week it was installed! The installers worked with the client to help understand her new system and she was happy! Our relative said … More they were courteous, professional and patient! I highly recommend Cornerstone Protection for all of your security needs!
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    Had blink cameras; Car was broken into multiple times so I called CornerStone & they were able to install multiple cameras very quickly & for a reasonable price. I am so happy with the app & getting alerts that are not superfluous, … More like they were with Blink. Highly recommend CornerStone & the tech Ronnie.
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    Ron and Ken are great guys to work with.
    Both were very knowledgeable and got our system back up and running.
    Thanks to both for a job well done...
  • Avatar Brigid Bower ★★★★★ 11 months ago
    Samantha Dalmas was fantastic! We saw her for a feeding therapy evaluation and while she doesn’t think my daughter needs more feeding therapy sessions at this time, but she gave me lots of tips to try. If my daughter's doctors want … More to see more progress at her next appointment, I wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to Samantha again.
  • Avatar Larry Barton ★★★★★ a year ago
    Amazing assistance provided by Shannon today on my security system. I’m so grateful for your prompt, efficient, professional, and courteous service. Put me down as a customer for life!
  • Avatar Megan Haller ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    One of the most painless experiences I've had. They came on time and was over the moon professional with still keeping a level of personability to it. The gentleman also went out of his way to say that my husband and Mines business … More was appreciated. Which is actually rare to be appreciated by such a great company. So thank you and we look forward to continuing services with this company.
  • Avatar Megan Magsam ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    I am so happy we decided to go with cornerstone. They were quick and efficient. Shannon and the installer we very friendly. We got a lot of equipment and it was still within our budget. 10/10 would definitely recommend! Thank you
  • Avatar Collins Youngblood ★★★★★ a year ago
    Love the customer service and Shanon and his team go above and beyond for my restaurant. Couldn't of asked for a better security system and level of service that his team provides.
  • Avatar kanu patel ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    I have been using Cornerstone Protection service for over 5 years and I'm really happy with the service and state-of-the-art equipments and it's futures are so much in advance and friendly, I highly recommend Cornerstone Protection … More Service any and all business that need a security protection days and nights specially after business hours(Cornerstone Protection is perfect solution for your business). Owner of Cornerstone Protection is proactive with their customers and their equipments. Good experienced with Cornerstone Protection!!!
    Kanu Patel
  • Avatar Liz Jones ★★★★ 2 years ago
    We had a very positive experience with Alissa as a tutor for our pod of 5th grade boys from January - June 2020. She cared a lot about the boys and worked hard to create meaningful activities for them. The pod experience was invaluable … More for all of our families during a difficult year and we were so grateful to have found this partnership! We also want to appreciate Craig for helping to match us with a tutor on very short notice after we had cycled through a few folks who were not able to see the commitment through. Thanks for sticking with us!
  • Avatar S CL ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Dusty was the exact person we needed to help our child finish out the school year. So grateful to him for the way he steadily encouraged her and helped her stay on track and organized. He is flexible, responsive to our needs/schedule as … More a family, and a delight to be with. We are also thankful that Craig at Themba Tutors really "gets it" and partnered us with such a wonderful tutor who was a great fit for our girl.
  • Avatar Nicole May ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    My child worked with Gillian D virtually for math enrichment. She is an excellent teacher. She took time to understand my child's specific learning style and provided tools that would be engaging. She was kind and empathetic- really … More made it her goal to connect with my child and build trust and rapport. My child started the school year with confidence and without the typically "brain-drain" that occurs over the summer, thanks to Gillian.
  • Avatar Gillian Davidoff ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    I am going into my second year as a Themba tutor. I have met so many great individuals while working for this company. Craig and the rest of the Themba team do such an excellent job picking and choosing Themba tutors that suit each client's … More individual needs! I look forward to meeting new tutors and clients in the 2021-2022 school year!
  • Avatar carolina luttmann ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Our son started in a new high school, 100% remote, and was really struggling with Latin and Physics. I found Themba Tudors online and had an initial call with Craig, who was very knowledgeable, responsive, and found 2 amazing tutors for … More us. Both the Latin and the physics tutors were fantastic, connected with my son really well and helped him go from 'failing' grade to 'honors'! I will for sure continue using (and recommending!) Themba Tutors. Thank you, C, K, and W!
  • Avatar Eric Fingerman ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Brian is a fantastic executive functioning coach. Super helpful, flexible with hours, and tailored the experience to our needs.
  • Avatar Susan Wong ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Giulia Mercuri is a great Italian tutor! She was very responsive and accessible. Giulia put a ton of effort into preparing for each session and really helped our son with test preparation and projects. We are grateful that she was able … More to help, especially since our son did not receive any live teaching during COVID. We are happy that she was referred to us!
  • Avatar Christine Gennetti ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    As an adult student diagnosed with a learning disability during grad school, I knew I needed help dealing with my Master's program's demanding workload. I was seriously considering dropping out when I was referred to Themba Tutors. … More I was paired up with a wonderful tutor, Julie, who was a total lifesaver. I learned many techniques that I can utilize in the future as I embark on the next phase of my career.
    I can wholeheartedly say after working with Themba for two years that I would not have finished my program without this organization. And I am so thankful I selected them.
  • Avatar Fabiola FITZPATRICK ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    We were introduced to a wonderful tutor: Mcedwyn. He and our son, a freshman in college, worked well together. As a result, our son’s grades significantly improved. The tutor taught our son subject content and various methods to effectively … More study for quizzes and exams. Our son was also taught time management and organization. My son’s experience with the tutor made the first year of college a less intimidating experience.
  • Avatar Jude Eugene ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    We have been with our tutor, Cailin Schiller, for two years, from 5th - 7th grade. She started as an executive functioning tutor with my daughter. From the start, she demonstrated a depth of expertise and a selective use of techniques skillfully … More adapted to my daughter’s ADHD and Math disability. Cailin made Math accessible and understandable to her in a way that even her teachers had not been able to do. She differentiated reading, writing and math tasks and assignments to tailor them to my daughter’s unique learning differences. Not only did it have an effect on her grades and her work efficiency, but she finally could do her work with less anxiety. Even my daughter’s teachers used Cailin’s guidance to modify their work with her. But most importantly, she became my daughter’s favorite resource. I can’t say how invaluable Cailin has been to my daughter’s progress and well-being. I’d recommend her a million times over. She is a gem.
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    Victoria is a superb tutor. She helped my high school age daughter with her writing. Victoria's skills as a tutor, as well as her sense of humor and her engaging personality went a long way with my daughter.
  • A Google User ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    I'm so glad we were referred to Themba Tutors. After a great initial conversation to learn our needs, we were connected with an excellent tutor, Felicia, who is helping our high school daughter learn better organizational and executive … More skills. Highly recommended.
  • Avatar Fara Jones ★★★★★ 5 years ago
    Themba Tutors provided a leaning specialist that was a perfect fit for my daughter. I told them what we were looking for and they delivered. Our tutor is responsive and flexible and makes it easy for my daughter to reach out to her own … More her own, which gives her an added sense of responsibility over her learning. As a therapist myself, I now regularly recommend Themba to my patients. A much needed and well provided service to the community!!
  • Avatar Frances Simpson ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    The tutors at Themba are fantastic! Caitlyn McNeill helped our son academically, but also with getting organized in every subject, which he so desperately needed. She offered great advice and useful strategies that helped our son become … More a more successful student. We are using Themba tutors again this year for our daughter. We're so happy to have been referred to them!
  • Avatar Mary Jean Babic ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    I'm so glad we were referred to Themba Tutors. After a great initial conversation to learn our needs, we were connected with an excellent tutor, Felicia, who is helping our high school daughter learn better organizational and executive … More skills. Highly recommended.
  • Avatar Nina Herman ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    We had a wonderful experience with our tutor Micaela. She helped our son not only academically but at every level. We will be forever grateful to have her in our lives.
  • Avatar Frances ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    The tutors at Themba are fantastic! Caitlyn McNeill helped our son academically, but also with getting organized in every subject, which he so desperately needed. She offered great advice and useful strategies that helped our son become … More a more successful student. We are using Themba tutors again this year for our daughter. We're so happy to have been referred to them!
  • Avatar Michael Birnbaum ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    Paul Smith at Themba has been an exceptional tutor for my son, both in terms of teaching the subject matter and teaching how best to approach the process of learning math and executing assignments. We feel very fortunate to be working with … More Paul.
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    We were very lucky to have found Edwouine Swift, my son's therapist through Themba Tutors. Thomas is 12 years old, and it is extremely difficult to get him to write. Edwouine just works her magic with him, he adores her and is so … More eager to follow her guidance. I have no doubt she will be a positive driving force in his academic future.


What Advanced Imaging Reveals

brain imaging techniques

Ever wonder what’s going on inside the brain of someone with ADHD? Thanks to recent advances in brain imaging techniques like MRI and fMRI, scientists are getting an unprecedented view into how the ADHD brain works—and doesn’t work. If you or someone you know lives with ADHD, this glimpse into the inner workings of the ADHD brain may help explain some of the daily struggles and frustrations. But it also offers hope. We get closer to more targeted treatments as we better understand the underlying issues.

The Role of Brain Imaging Techniques MRI and fMRI in ADHD Research

Functional MRI (fMRI) and structural MRI have allowed scientists to peer inside the ADHD brain like never before. fMRI, in particular, can detect changes in blood flow as certain brain areas activate, giving researchers insights into how the ADHD brain functions differently.

Studies using fMRI show that in individuals with ADHD, the areas of the brain involved in focus and attention, like the prefrontal cortex, tend to be less active. At the same time, areas involved in reward and motivation, like the ventral striatum, appear hyperactive. This combination makes it hard to focus but easy to get distracted by exciting or interesting things.

fMRI also reveals that the ADHD brain has a harder time connecting the prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum. The prefrontal cortex helps control impulses and make good decisions, while the ventral striatum is involved in motivation and reward. A weaker connection between these areas may make it harder for someone with ADHD to self-regulate.

Other studies show that the ADHD brain has lower dopamine levels, an important neurotransmitter for motivation and focus. Medications for ADHD, like stimulants, work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain to improve functioning in critical areas.

While fMRI and MRI have revealed biological differences that contribute to symptoms of ADHD, the diagnosis still relies primarily on behavioral assessments. However, as technology and understanding advance, brain scans could play an increasing role in diagnosis and treatment. A more personalized approach may help tailor treatments to individual needs based on their unique brain function.

The future is bright for gaining a better understanding of ADHD’s neurological underpinnings. Continued research into the structural and functional variations of the ADHD brain can pave the way for earlier diagnosis, more targeted interventions and new treatment options to help those affected live their best lives.

Structural Differences in the ADHD Brain Revealed by MRI

When researchers peer into the ADHD brain using MRI and fMRI scans, they uncover some striking differences in both structure and function compared to neurotypical brains.

MRI scans reveal that several areas of the ADHD brain, including the prefrontal cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia, tend to be smaller in size and volume. The prefrontal cortex, responsible for executive functions like planning and impulse control, is particularly impacted. This likely contributes to difficulties with focus, organization, and decision-making that many with ADHD experience.

fMRI scans go a step further by measuring brain activity and blood flow. These functional scans show that the ADHD brain also has lower activity in the prefrontal cortex and other frontal lobe regions involved in self-regulation and reward processing. At the same time, some deeper brain regions involved in motivation and reward show higher activity. This combination may drive tendencies toward impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and seeking stimulation or rewards.

Neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers in the brain, are also implicated in ADHD. Studies point to imbalances or deficiencies in dopamine and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters important for attention, motivation, and reward processing. Stimulant medications for ADHD work by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine activity in the prefrontal cortex and connected regions to improve functioning.

While more research is needed, advanced imaging and an evolving understanding of the neurochemistry behind ADHD are helping to improve diagnosis and open doors to new treatment options. The future is bright for better understanding and managing this disorder.

brain imaging techniques

Functional Variations in the ADHD Brain Uncovered by fMRI

Functional MRI (fMRI) scans allow researchers to see the ADHD brain in action. These scans measure changes in blood flow in the brain, which indicates which areas are more or less active during certain tasks. Studies using fMRI have found some significant differences in how the ADHD brain functions.

One of the hallmark signs of ADHD is difficulty with executive function, the ability to plan, organize, and regulate behavior. fMRI scans show less activity in the frontal lobe of the ADHD brain during tasks involving executive function, like decision-making or impulse control. There also seems to be a lack of connectivity between the frontal lobe and other areas involved in executive function, like the basal ganglia.

fMRI scans also reveal decreased activity in the basal ganglia, which is important for motivation and reward processing. This may explain why people with ADHD have trouble staying focused on tasks that aren’t highly stimulating or rewarding. The basal ganglia interact closely with the dopamine system, and dopamine is thought to play an important role in ADHD.

Other studies have found decreased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and caudate nucleus, areas involved in emotional regulation and motivation. There also seems to be a lack of connectivity between these areas and the prefrontal cortex. These findings provide biological evidence for the inspirational and motivational symptoms of ADHD.

In summary, fMRI has been invaluable for identifying functional differences that provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of ADHD. Continued research using fMRI and other imaging techniques will help improve diagnosis and open doors to new treatment options aimed at targeting the specific areas of deficiency in the ADHD brain.

The Role of Neurotransmitters in ADHD

When it comes to ADHD, neurotransmitters—the chemical messengers in your brain—play an important role. Two key neurotransmitters involved in ADHD are dopamine and norepinephrine.


Dopamine is crucial for motivation, reward-seeking behavior, and motor control. For people with ADHD, dopamine signaling seems to be impaired, making it difficult to focus and control impulses. Imaging scans show differences in the dopamine system of the ADHD brain compared to neurotypical brains.
Medications for ADHD, like stimulants, work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. This helps improve focus and attention while reducing hyperactive and impulsive behaviors.


Norepinephrine is involved in arousal, alertness, and stress responses. It seems norepinephrine signaling may also be altered in ADHD, contributing to problems with attention regulation and impulsiveness.

Some ADHD medications also target the norepinephrine system. Reuptake inhibitors for norepinephrine and dopamine, known as SNRIs, can help improve focus and concentration in people with ADHD.

While neurotransmitters are not the only factor involved in ADHD, they do appear to play a significant role for many individuals. A better understanding of the neurochemistry behind ADHD is helping to guide treatment and may eventually improve diagnosis.

The more we understand the inner workings of the ADHD brain, the better equipped we are to develop targeted interventions. Advanced imaging and an expanding knowledge of neurochemistry continue to provide insight into this complex condition.

The Role of Brain Imaging Techniques (MRI And FMRI) in ADHD Research

Implications for ADHD Treatment and Management

The discoveries from advanced brain imaging have significant implications for how we understand and treat ADHD. Knowledge about structural and functional differences can help guide more targeted treatment approaches.


Medications for ADHD work by altering neurotransmitter levels, especially dopamine and norepinephrine, to improve focus and self-control. Imaging shows these meds can normalize activity in the prefrontal cortex and striatum, areas involved in executive function and reward processing. Understanding a patient’s specific brain differences may help determine which meds and dosages could be most effective for them.

Behavioral Interventions

Non-drug interventions like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can also benefit from neuroimaging insights. CBT aims to modify problematic thoughts and behaviors. Knowing which brain regions are most impacted in a patient allows therapists to tailor strategies to target executive functions like planning, prioritizing, and impulse control specifically. Mindfulness practices also help by increasing awareness and control over wandering attention.

Early Intervention

Identifying ADHD-related brain changes can allow for earlier diagnosis and treatment. The brain is most malleable in children, so intervening early with therapy and meds may help rewire connections before symptoms worsen. Studies show treatment can significantly improve the brain development trajectory.

Managing Severe Cases

For severe ADHD that does not respond sufficiently to typical treatments, alternative options may be explored, such as neurofeedback training. This technique provides real-time feedback about brain wave activity to help people learn to regulate their brain function better. While still considered experimental, it shows promise for normalizing the brain activity patterns associated with ADHD symptoms.

The future is bright for better understanding and managing ADHD. Continued research on brain structure and function will unlock new insights into this complex disorder and open more doors to personalized, effective solutions. The key is to keep exploring, learning, and applying the latest knowledge to help improve lives.


So there you have it, an inside look at how ADHD impacts the structure and function of your brain. While ADHD is often thought of as a behavioral issue, we now know it has real neurological underpinnings. The good news is we have technologies like MRI and fMRI to visualize what’s happening in the ADHD brain. These scans are helping researchers better understand the role of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. They’re also shedding light on differences in connectivity and activity patterns in key focus, attention, and inhibition regions. The more we learn, the better equipped we’ll be to diagnose and treat the condition. The future is bright as we work to unlock the mysteries behind that restless, distracted mind of yours. Keep your head up – the answers are coming into focus.

Get the support you need to manage ADHD. Chat with Themba Tutors today.
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Meet Craig Selinger, the passionate owner behind Themba Tutors, a renowned practice specializing in executive function coaching and tutoring. Together with his team of multidisciplinary professionals, they bring their extensive knowledge to numerous locations: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut, as well as offering remote services. As a licensed speech-language pathologist in the state of NY, executive functioning coach, and educational specialist with an impressive track record spanning over two decades, Craig has professionally assisted thousands of families. Craig's proficiency encompasses a wide spectrum of areas, including language-related learning challenges such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. He is also well-versed in executive functioning, ADHD/ADD, and various learning disabilities. What truly distinguishes Craig and his team is their unwavering commitment to delivering comprehensive support. By actively collaborating with the most esteemed professionals within the NYC metropolitan region – from neuropsychologists to mental health therapists and allied health experts – they create a network of expertise.
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