Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

fmri Related Abstracts

12 An Inspection of Two Layer Model of Agency: An fMRI Study

Authors: Keyvan Kashkouli Nejad, Motoaki Sugiura, Atsushi Sato, Takayuki Nozawa, Hyeonjeong Jeong, Sugiko Hanawa, Yuka Kotozaki, Ryuta Kawashima

Abstract:

The perception of agency/control is altered with presence of discrepancies in the environment or mismatch of predictions (of possible results) and actual results the sense of agency might become altered. Synofzik et al. proposed a two layer model of agency: In the first layer, the Feeling of Agency (FoA) is not directly available to awareness; a slight mismatch in the environment/outcome might cause alterations in FoA, while the agent still feels in control. If the discrepancy passes a threshold, it becomes available to consciousness and alters Judgment of Agency (JoA), which is directly available in the person’s awareness. Most experiments so far only investigate subjects rather conscious JoA, while FoA has been neglected. In this experiment we target FoA by using subliminal discrepancies that can not be consciously detectable by the subjects. Here, we explore whether we can detect this two level model in the subjects behavior and then try to map this in their brain activity. To do this, in a fMRI study, we incorporated both consciously detectable mismatching between action and result and also subliminal discrepancies in the environment. Also, unlike previous experiments where subjective questions from the participants mainly trigger the rather conscious JoA, we also tried to measure the rather implicit FoA by asking participants to rate their performance. We compared behavioral results and also brain activation when there were conscious discrepancies and when there were subliminal discrepancies against trials with no discrepancies and against each other. In line with our expectations, conditions with consciously detectable incongruencies triggered lower JoA ratings than conditions without. Also, conditions with any type of discrepancies had lower FoA ratings compared to conditions without. Additionally, we found out that TPJ and angular gyrus in particular to have a role in coding of JoA and also FoA.

Keywords: fmri, Agency, two layer model, TPJ

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11 Development of a Pain Detector Using Microwave Radiometry Method

Authors: Nanditha Rajamani, Anirudhaa R. Rao, Divya Sriram

Abstract:

One of the greatest difficulties in treating patients with pain is the highly subjective nature of pain sensation. The measurement of pain intensity is primarily dependent on the patient’s report, often with little physical evidence to provide objective corroboration. This is also complicated by the fact that there are only few and expensive existing technologies (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging-fMRI). The need is thus clear and urgent for a reliable, non-invasive, non-painful, objective, readily adoptable, and coefficient diagnostic platform that provides additional diagnostic information to supplement its current regime with more information to assist doctors in diagnosing these patients. Thus, our idea of developing a pain detector was conceived to take a step further the detection and diagnosis of chronic and acute pain.

Keywords: fmri, pain sensor, microwave radiometery, pain sensation

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10 Neural Correlates of Decision-Making Under Ambiguity and Conflict

Authors: Helen Pushkarskaya, Ifat Levy, Michael Smithson, Jane E. Joseph, Christine Corbly

Abstract:

Studies of decision making under uncertainty generally focus on imprecise information about outcome probabilities (“ambiguity”). It is not clear, however, whether conflicting information about outcome probabilities affects decision making in the same manner as ambiguity does. Here we combine functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and a simple gamble design to study this question. In this design, the levels of ambiguity and conflict are parametrically varied, and ambiguity and conflict gambles are matched on both expected value and variance. Behaviorally, participants avoided conflict more than ambiguity, and attitudes toward ambiguity and conflict did not correlate across subjects. Neurally, regional brain activation was differentially modulated by ambiguity level and aversion to ambiguity and by conflict level and aversion to conflict. Activation in the medial prefrontal cortex was correlated with the level of ambiguity and with ambiguity aversion, whereas activation in the ventral striatum was correlated with the level of conflict and with conflict aversion. This novel double dissociation indicates that decision makers process imprecise and conflicting information differently, a finding that has important implications for basic and clinical research.

Keywords: Decision Making, Conflict, Uncertainty, fmri, Ambiguity

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9 Neural Changes Associated with Successful Antidepressant Treatment in Adolescents with Major Depressive Disorder

Authors: Dung V. H. Pham, Kathryn Cullen

Abstract:

Introduction: 40% of adolescents with major depression (MDD) are unresponsive to 1st line antidepressant treatment. The neural mechanism underlying treatment-responsive and treatment-resistant depression in adolescent are unclear. Amygdala is important for emotion processing and has been implicated in mood disorders. Past research has shown abnormal amygdala connectivity in adolescents with MDD. This research study changes in amygdala resting-state functional connectivity to find neural correlates of successful antidepressant treatment. Methods: Thirteen adolescents aged 12-19 underwent rfMRI before and after 8-week antidepressant treatment and completed BDI-II at each scan. A whole-brain approach, using anatomically defined amygdala ROIs (1) identified brain regions that are highly synchronous with the amygdala, (2) correlated neural changes with changes in overall depression and specific symptom clusters within depression. Results: Some neural correlates were common across domains: (1) decreased amygdala RSFC with the default mode network (posterior cingulate, precuneus) is associated with improvement in overall depression and many symptom clusters, (2) increased amygdala RSFC with fusiform gyrus is associated with symptom improvement across many symptom clusters. We also found unique neural changes associated with symptom improvement in each symptom cluster. Conclusion: This is the first preliminary study that looks at neural correlates of antidepressant treatment response to overall depression as well as different clusters of symptoms of depression. The finding suggests both overlapping and distinct neural mechanisms underlying improvement in each symptom clusters within depression. Some brain regions found are also implicated in MDD among adults in previous literature.

Keywords: Depression, Adolescents, Antidepressants, fmri

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8 The Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and the Consumer Behaviour: Reviewing Recent Research

Authors: Mikel Alonso López

Abstract:

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, advanced imaging techniques began to be applied for neuroscience research. The Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is one of the most important and most used research techniques for the investigation of emotions, because of its ease to observe the brain areas that oxygenate when performing certain tasks. In this research, we make a review about the main research carried out on the influence of the emotions in the decision-making process that is exposed by using the fMRI.

Keywords: Decision Making, Consumer behaviour, fmri, Emotions

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7 Newly Designed Ecological Task to Assess Cognitive Map Reading Ability: Behavioral Neuro-Anatomic Correlates of Mental Navigation

Authors: Roland Maurer, Igor Faulmann, Arnaud Saj

Abstract:

Spatial cognition consists in a plethora of high level cognitive abilities: among them, the ability to learn and to navigate in large scale environments is probably one of the most complex skills. Navigation is thought to rely on the ability to read a cognitive map, defined as an allocentric representation of ones environment. Those representations are of course intimately related to the two geometrical primitives of the environment: distance and direction. Also, many recent studies point to a predominant hippocampal and para-hippocampal role in spatial cognition, as well as in the more specific cluster of navigational skills. In a previous study in humans, we used a newly validated test assessing cognitive map processing by evaluating the ability to judge relative distances and directions: the CMRT (Cognitive Map Recall Test). This study identified in topographically disorientated patients (1) behavioral differences between the evaluation of distances and of directions, and (2) distinct causality patterns assessed via VLSM (i.e., distinct cerebral lesions cause distinct response patterns depending on the modality (distance vs direction questions). Thus, we hypothesized that: (1) if the CMRT really taps into the same resources as real navigation, there would be hippocampal, parahippocampal, and parietal activation, and (2) there exists underlying neuroanatomical and functional differences between the processing of this two modalities. Aiming toward a better understanding of the neuroanatomical correlates of the CMRT in humans, and more generally toward a better understanding of how the brain processes the cognitive map, we adapted the CMRT as an fMRI procedure. 23 healthy subjects (11 women, 12 men), all living in Geneva for at least 2 years, underwent the CMRT in fMRI. Results show, for distance and direction taken together, than the most active brain regions are the parietal, frontal and cerebellar parts. Additionally, and as expected, patterns of brain activation differ when comparing the two modalities. Furthermore, distance processing seems to rely more on parietal regions (compared to other brain regions in the same modality and also to direction). It is interesting to notice that no significant activity was observed in the hippocampal or parahippocampal areas. Direction processing seems to tap more into frontal and cerebellar brain regions (compared to other brain regions in the same modality and also to distance). Significant hippocampal and parahippocampal activity has been shown only in this modality. This results demonstrated a complex interaction of structures which are compatible with response patterns observed in other navigational tasks, thus showing that the CMRT taps at least partially into the same brain resources as real navigation. Additionally, differences between the processing of distances and directions leads to the conclusion that the human brain processes each modality distinctly. Further research should focus on the dynamics of this processing, allowing a clearer understanding between the two sub-processes.

Keywords: Spatial Cognition, Navigation, fmri, cognitive map

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6 Structural and Functional Correlates of Reaction Time Variability in a Large Sample of Healthy Adolescents and Adolescents with ADHD Symptoms

Authors: Laura O’Halloran, Zhipeng Cao, Clare M. Kelly, Hugh Garavan, Robert Whelan

Abstract:

Reaction time (RT) variability on cognitive tasks provides the index of the efficiency of executive control processes (e.g. attention and inhibitory control) and is considered to be a hallmark of clinical disorders, such as attention-deficit disorder (ADHD). Increased RT variability is associated with structural and functional brain differences in children and adults with various clinical disorders, as well as poorer task performance accuracy. Furthermore, the strength of functional connectivity across various brain networks, such as the negative relationship between the task-negative default mode network and task-positive attentional networks, has been found to reflect differences in RT variability. Although RT variability may provide an index of attentional efficiency, as well as being a useful indicator of neurological impairment, the brain substrates associated with RT variability remain relatively poorly defined, particularly in a healthy sample. Method: Firstly, we used the intra-individual coefficient of variation (ICV) as an index of RT variability from “Go” responses on the Stop Signal Task. We then examined the functional and structural neural correlates of ICV in a large sample of 14-year old healthy adolescents (n=1719). Of these, a subset had elevated symptoms of ADHD (n=80) and was compared to a matched non-symptomatic control group (n=80). The relationship between brain activity during successful and unsuccessful inhibitions and gray matter volume were compared with the ICV. A mediation analysis was conducted to examine if specific brain regions mediated the relationship between ADHD symptoms and ICV. Lastly, we looked at functional connectivity across various brain networks and quantified both positive and negative correlations during “Go” responses on the Stop Signal Task. Results: The brain data revealed that higher ICV was associated with increased structural and functional brain activation in the precentral gyrus in the whole sample and in adolescents with ADHD symptoms. Lower ICV was associated with lower activation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and medial frontal gyrus in the whole sample and in the control group. Furthermore, our results indicated that activation in the precentral gyrus (Broadman Area 4) mediated the relationship between ADHD symptoms and behavioural ICV. Conclusion: This is the first study first to investigate the functional and structural correlates of ICV collectively in a large adolescent sample. Our findings demonstrate a concurrent increase in brain structure and function within task-active prefrontal networks as a function of increased RT variability. Furthermore, structural and functional brain activation patterns in the ACC, and medial frontal gyrus plays a role-optimizing top-down control in order to maintain task performance. Our results also evidenced clear differences in brain morphometry between adolescents with symptoms of ADHD but without clinical diagnosis and typically developing controls. Our findings shed light on specific functional and structural brain regions that are implicated in ICV and yield insights into effective cognitive control in healthy individuals and in clinical groups.

Keywords: ADHD, fmri, functional connectivity, reaction-time variability, default mode

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5 Neuro-Connectivity Analysis Using Abide Data in Autism Study

Authors: Dulal Bhaumik, Fei Jie, Runa Bhaumik, Bikas Sinha

Abstract:

Human brain is an amazingly complex network. Aberrant activities in this network can lead to various neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and autism. fMRI has emerged as an important tool to delineate the neural networks affected by such diseases, particularly autism. In this paper, we propose mixed-effects models together with an appropriate procedure for controlling false discoveries to detect disrupted connectivities in whole brain studies. Results are illustrated with a large data set known as Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange or ABIDE which includes 361 subjects from 8 medical centers. We believe that our findings have addressed adequately the small sample inference problem, and thus are more reliable for therapeutic target for intervention. In addition, our result can be used for early detection of subjects who are at high risk of developing neurological disorders.

Keywords: fmri, Autism spectrum disorder, ABIDE, mixed-effects model

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4 Task Based Functional Connectivity within Reward Network in Food Image Viewing Paradigm Using Functional MRI

Authors: Preetham Shankapal, Jill King, Kori Murray, Corby Martin, Paula Giselman, Jason Hicks, Owen Carmicheal

Abstract:

Activation of reward and satiety networks in the brain while processing palatable food cues, as well as functional connectivity during rest has been studied using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the brain in various obesity phenotypes. However, functional connectivity within the reward and satiety network during food cue processing is understudied. 14 obese individuals underwent two fMRI scans during viewing of Macronutrient Picture System images. Each scan included two blocks of images of High Sugar/High Fat (HSHF), High Carbohydrate/High Fat (HCHF), Low Sugar/Low Fat (LSLF) and also non-food images. Seed voxels within seven food reward relevant ROIs: Insula, putamen and cingulate, precentral, parahippocampal, medial frontal and superior temporal gyri were isolated based on a prior meta-analysis. Beta series correlation for task-related functional connectivity between these seed voxels and the rest of the brain was computed. Voxel-level differences in functional connectivity were calculated between: first and the second scan; individuals who saw novel (N=7) vs. Repeated (N=7) images in the second scan; and between the HC/HF, HSHF blocks vs LSLF and non-food blocks. Computations and analysis showed that during food image viewing, reward network ROIs showed significant functional connectivity with each other and with other regions responsible for attentional and motor control, including inferior parietal lobe and precentral gyrus. These functional connectivity values were heightened among individuals who viewed novel HS/HF images in the second scan. In the second scan session, functional connectivity was reduced within the reward network but increased within attention, memory and recognition regions, suggesting habituation to reward properties and increased recollection of previously viewed images. In conclusion it can be inferred that Functional Connectivity within reward network and between reward and other brain regions, varies by important experimental conditions during food photography viewing, including habituation to shown foods.

Keywords: fmri, functional connectivity, task-based, beta series correlation

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3 Neural Correlates of Attention Bias to Threat during the Emotional Stroop Task in Schizophrenia

Authors: Camellia Al-Ibrahim, Jenny Yiend, Sukhwinder S. Shergill

Abstract:

Background: Attention bias to threat play a role in the development, maintenance, and exacerbation of delusional beliefs in schizophrenia in which patients emphasize the threatening characteristics of stimuli and prioritise them for processing. Cognitive control deficits arise when task-irrelevant emotional information elicits attentional bias and obstruct optimal performance. This study is investigating neural correlates of interference effect of linguistic threat and whether these effects are independent of delusional severity. Methods: Using an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), neural correlates of interference effect of linguistic threat during the emotional Stroop task were investigated and compared patients with schizophrenia with high (N=17) and low (N=16) paranoid symptoms and healthy controls (N=20). Participants were instructed to identify the font colour of each word presented on the screen as quickly and accurately as possible. Stimuli types vary between threat-relevant, positive and neutral words. Results: Group differences in whole brain effects indicate decreased amygdala activity in patients with high paranoid symptoms compared with low paranoid patients and healthy controls. Regions of interest analysis (ROI) validated our results within the amygdala and investigated changes within the striatum showing a pattern of reduced activation within the clinical group compared to healthy controls. Delusional severity was associated with significant decreased neural activity in the striatum within the clinical group. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the emotional interference mediated by the amygdala and striatum may reduce responsiveness to threat-related stimuli in schizophrenia and that attenuation of fMRI Blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal within these areas might be influenced by the severity of delusional symptoms.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, fmri, Stroop, attention bias

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2 Treating Voxels as Words: Word-to-Vector Methods for fMRI Meta-Analyses

Authors: Matthew Baucum

Abstract:

With the increasing popularity of fMRI as an experimental method, psychology and neuroscience can greatly benefit from advanced techniques for summarizing and synthesizing large amounts of data from brain imaging studies. One promising avenue is automated meta-analyses, in which natural language processing methods are used to identify the brain regions consistently associated with certain semantic concepts (e.g. “social”, “reward’) across large corpora of studies. This study builds on this approach by demonstrating how, in fMRI meta-analyses, individual voxels can be treated as vectors in a semantic space and evaluated for their “proximity” to terms of interest. In this technique, a low-dimensional semantic space is built from brain imaging study texts, allowing words in each text to be represented as vectors (where words that frequently appear together are near each other in the semantic space). Consequently, each voxel in a brain mask can be represented as a normalized vector sum of all of the words in the studies that showed activation in that voxel. The entire brain mask can then be visualized in terms of each voxel’s proximity to a given term of interest (e.g., “vision”, “decision making”) or collection of terms (e.g., “theory of mind”, “social”, “agent”), as measured by the cosine similarity between the voxel’s vector and the term vector (or the average of multiple term vectors). Analysis can also proceed in the opposite direction, allowing word cloud visualizations of the nearest semantic neighbors for a given brain region. This approach allows for continuous, fine-grained metrics of voxel-term associations, and relies on state-of-the-art “open vocabulary” methods that go beyond mere word-counts. An analysis of over 11,000 neuroimaging studies from an existing meta-analytic fMRI database demonstrates that this technique can be used to recover known neural bases for multiple psychological functions, suggesting this method’s utility for efficient, high-level meta-analyses of localized brain function. While automated text analytic methods are no replacement for deliberate, manual meta-analyses, they seem to show promise for the efficient aggregation of large bodies of scientific knowledge, at least on a relatively general level.

Keywords: Machine Learning, Meta-analysis, fmri, Text Analysis

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1 Distraction from Pain: An fMRI Study on the Role of Age-Related Changes in Executive Functions

Authors: Angelika Dierolf, Katharina M. Rischer, Ana M. Gonzalez-Roldan, Pedro Montoya, Fernand Anton, Marian van der Meulen

Abstract:

Even though age has been associated with increased and prolonged episodes of pain, little is known about potential age-related changes in the ˈtop-downˈ modulation of pain, such as cognitive distraction from pain. The analgesic effects of distraction result from competition for attentional resources in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a region that is also involved in executive functions. Given that the PFC shows pronounced age-related atrophy, distraction may be less effective in reducing pain in older compared to younger adults. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of aging on task-related analgesia and the underpinning neural mechanisms, with a focus on the role of executive functions in distraction from pain. In a first session, 64 participants (32 young adults: 26.69 ± 4.14 years; 32 older adults: 68.28 ± 7.00 years) completed a battery of neuropsychological tests. In a second session, participants underwent a pain distraction paradigm, while fMRI images were acquired. In this paradigm, participants completed a low (0-back) and a high (2-back) load condition of a working memory task while receiving either warm or painful thermal stimuli to their lower arm. To control for age-related differences in sensitivity to pain and perceived task difficulty, stimulus intensity, and task speed were individually calibrated. Results indicate that both age groups showed significantly reduced activity in a network of regions involved in pain processing when completing the high load distraction task; however, young adults showed a larger neural distraction effect in different parts of the insula and the thalamus. Moreover, better executive functions, in particular inhibitory control abilities, were associated with a larger behavioral and neural distraction effect. These findings clearly demonstrate that top-down control of pain is affected in older age, and could explain the higher vulnerability for older adults to develop chronic pain. Moreover, our findings suggest that the assessment of executive functions may be a useful tool for predicting the efficacy of cognitive pain modulation strategies in older adults.

Keywords: fmri, Executive Functions, PFC, cognitive pain modulation

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