Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 40

Search results for: fMRI

40 Evaluation of the MCFLIRT Correction Algorithm in Head Motion from Resting State fMRI Data

Authors: V. Sacca, A. Sarica, F. Novellino, S. Barone, T. Tallarico, E. Filippelli, A. Granata, P. Valentino, A. Quattrone


In the last few years, resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) was widely used to investigate the architecture of brain networks by investigating the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent response. This technique represented an interesting, robust and reliable approach to compare pathologic and healthy subjects in order to investigate neurodegenerative diseases evolution. On the other hand, the elaboration of rs-fMRI data resulted to be very prone to noise due to confounding factors especially the head motion. Head motion has long been known to be a source of artefacts in task-based functional MRI studies, but it has become a particularly challenging problem in recent studies using rs-fMRI. The aim of this work was to evaluate in MS patients a well-known motion correction algorithm from the FMRIB's Software Library - MCFLIRT - that could be applied to minimize the head motion distortions, allowing to correctly interpret rs-fMRI results.

Keywords: head motion correction, MCFLIRT algorithm, multiple sclerosis, resting state fMRI

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

Authors: Mikel Alonso López


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, emotions, fMRI, consumer behaviour

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38 Understanding Cognitive Fatigue From FMRI Scans With Self-supervised Learning

Authors: Ashish Jaiswal, Ashwin Ramesh Babu, Mohammad Zaki Zadeh, Fillia Makedon, Glenn Wylie


Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a neuroimaging technique that records neural activations in the brain by capturing the blood oxygen level in different regions based on the task performed by a subject. Given fMRI data, the problem of predicting the state of cognitive fatigue in a person has not been investigated to its full extent. This paper proposes tackling this issue as a multi-class classification problem by dividing the state of cognitive fatigue into six different levels, ranging from no-fatigue to extreme fatigue conditions. We built a spatio-temporal model that uses convolutional neural networks (CNN) for spatial feature extraction and a long short-term memory (LSTM) network for temporal modeling of 4D fMRI scans. We also applied a self-supervised method called MoCo (Momentum Contrast) to pre-train our model on a public dataset BOLD5000 and fine-tuned it on our labeled dataset to predict cognitive fatigue. Our novel dataset contains fMRI scans from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) patients and healthy controls (HCs) while performing a series of N-back cognitive tasks. This method establishes a state-of-the-art technique to analyze cognitive fatigue from fMRI data and beats previous approaches to solve this problem.

Keywords: fMRI, brain imaging, deep learning, self-supervised learning, contrastive learning, cognitive fatigue

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37 Cognitive Dysfunctioning and the Fronto-Limbic Network in Bipolar Disorder Patients: A Fmri Meta-Analysis

Authors: Rahele Mesbah, Nic Van Der Wee, Manja Koenders, Erik Giltay, Albert Van Hemert, Max De Leeuw


Introduction: Patients with bipolar disorder (BD), characterized by depressive and manic episodes, often suffer from cognitive dysfunction. An up-to-date meta-analysis of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) studies examining cognitive function in BD is lacking. Objective: The aim of the current fMRI meta-analysis is to investigate brain functioning of bipolar patients compared with healthy subjects within three domains of emotion processing, reward processing, and working memory. Method: Differences in brain regions activation were tested within whole-brain analysis using the activation likelihood estimation (ALE) method. Separate analyses were performed for each cognitive domain. Results: A total of 50 fMRI studies were included: 20 studies used an emotion processing (316 BD and 369 HC) task, 9 studies a reward processing task (215 BD and 213 HC), and 21 studies used a working memory task (503 BD and 445 HC). During emotion processing, BD patients hyperactivated parts of the left amygdala and hippocampus as compared to HC’s, but showed hypoactivation in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Regarding reward processing, BD patients showed hyperactivation in part of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). During working memory, BD patients showed increased activity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Conclusions: This meta-analysis revealed evidence for activity disturbances in several brain areas involved in the cognitive functioning of BD patients. Furthermore, most of the found regions are part of the so-called fronto-limbic network which is hypothesized to be affected as a result of BD candidate genes' expression.

Keywords: cognitive functioning, fMRI analysis, bipolar disorder, fronto-limbic network

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36 Development of a Pain Detector Using Microwave Radiometry Method

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


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: pain sensor, microwave radiometery, pain sensation, fMRI

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

Authors: Matthew Baucum


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: FMRI, machine learning, meta-analysis, text analysis

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34 Neuromarketing: Discovering the Somathyc Marker in the Consumer´s Brain

Authors: Mikel Alonso López, María Francisca Blasco López, Víctor Molero Ayala


The present study explains the somatic marker theory of Antonio Damasio, which indicates that when making a decision, the stored or possible future scenarios (future memory) images allow people to feel for a moment what would happen when they make a choice, and how this is emotionally marked. This process can be conscious or unconscious. The development of new Neuromarketing techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), carries a greater understanding of how the brain functions and consumer behavior. In the results observed in different studies using fMRI, the evidence suggests that the somatic marker and future memories influence the decision-making process, adding a positive or negative emotional component to the options. This would mean that all decisions would involve a present emotional component, with a rational cost-benefit analysis that can be performed later.

Keywords: emotions, decision making, somatic marker, consumer´s brain

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33 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


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: agency, fMRI, TPJ, two layer model

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32 Neuro-Connectivity Analysis Using Abide Data in Autism Study

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


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: ABIDE, autism spectrum disorder, fMRI, mixed-effects model

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31 Multimodal Integration of EEG, fMRI and Positron Emission Tomography Data Using Principal Component Analysis for Prognosis in Coma Patients

Authors: Denis Jordan, Daniel Golkowski, Mathias Lukas, Katharina Merz, Caroline Mlynarcik, Max Maurer, Valentin Riedl, Stefan Foerster, Eberhard F. Kochs, Andreas Bender, Ruediger Ilg


Introduction: So far, clinical assessments that rely on behavioral responses to differentiate coma states or even predict outcome in coma patients are unreliable, e.g. because of some patients’ motor disabilities. The present study was aimed to provide prognosis in coma patients using markers from electroencephalogram (EEG), blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET). Unsuperwised principal component analysis (PCA) was used for multimodal integration of markers. Methods: Approved by the local ethics committee of the Technical University of Munich (Germany) 20 patients (aged 18-89) with severe brain damage were acquired through intensive care units at the Klinikum rechts der Isar in Munich and at the Therapiezentrum Burgau (Germany). At the day of EEG/fMRI/PET measurement (date I) patients (<3.5 month in coma) were grouped in the minimal conscious state (MCS) or vegetative state (VS) on the basis of their clinical presentation (coma recovery scale-revised, CRS-R). Follow-up assessment (date II) was also based on CRS-R in a period of 8 to 24 month after date I. At date I, 63 channel EEG (Brain Products, Gilching, Germany) was recorded outside the scanner, and subsequently simultaneous FDG-PET/fMRI was acquired on an integrated Siemens Biograph mMR 3T scanner (Siemens Healthineers, Erlangen Germany). Power spectral densities, permutation entropy (PE) and symbolic transfer entropy (STE) were calculated in/between frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital EEG channels. PE and STE are based on symbolic time series analysis and were already introduced as robust markers separating wakefulness from unconsciousness in EEG during general anesthesia. While PE quantifies the regularity structure of the neighboring order of signal values (a surrogate of cortical information processing), STE reflects information transfer between two signals (a surrogate of directed connectivity in cortical networks). fMRI was carried out using SPM12 (Wellcome Trust Center for Neuroimaging, University of London, UK). Functional images were realigned, segmented, normalized and smoothed. PET was acquired for 45 minutes in list-mode. For absolute quantification of brain’s glucose consumption rate in FDG-PET, kinetic modelling was performed with Patlak’s plot method. BOLD signal intensity in fMRI and glucose uptake in PET was calculated in 8 distinct cortical areas. PCA was performed over all markers from EEG/fMRI/PET. Prognosis (persistent VS and deceased patients vs. recovery to MCS/awake from date I to date II) was evaluated using the area under the curve (AUC) including bootstrap confidence intervals (CI, *: p<0.05). Results: Prognosis was reliably indicated by the first component of PCA (AUC=0.99*, CI=0.92-1.00) showing a higher AUC when compared to the best single markers (EEG: AUC<0.96*, fMRI: AUC<0.86*, PET: AUC<0.60). CRS-R did not show prediction (AUC=0.51, CI=0.29-0.78). Conclusion: In a multimodal analysis of EEG/fMRI/PET in coma patients, PCA lead to a reliable prognosis. The impact of this result is evident, as clinical estimates of prognosis are inapt at time and could be supported by quantitative biomarkers from EEG, fMRI and PET. Due to the small sample size, further investigations are required, in particular allowing superwised learning instead of the basic approach of unsuperwised PCA.

Keywords: coma states and prognosis, electroencephalogram, entropy, functional magnetic resonance imaging, machine learning, positron emission tomography, principal component analysis

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30 Neural Correlates of Decision-Making Under Ambiguity and Conflict

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


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, uncertainty, ambiguity, conflict, fMRI

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

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


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: attention bias, fMRI, Schizophrenia, Stroop

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

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


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: executive functions, cognitive pain modulation, fMRI, PFC

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27 Relationship Between Brain Entropy Patterns Estimated by Resting State fMRI and Child Behaviour

Authors: Sonia Boscenco, Zihan Wang, Euclides José de Mendoça Filho, João Paulo Hoppe, Irina Pokhvisneva, Geoffrey B.C. Hall, Michael J. Meaney, Patricia Pelufo Silveira


Entropy can be described as a measure of the number of states of a system, and when used in the context of physiological time-based signals, it serves as a measure of complexity. In functional connectivity data, entropy can account for the moment-to-moment variability that is neglected in traditional functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analyses. While brain fMRI resting state entropy has been associated with some pathological conditions like schizophrenia, no investigations have explored the association between brain entropy measures and individual differences in child behavior in healthy children. We describe a novel exploratory approach to evaluate brain fMRI resting state data in two child cohorts, and MAVAN (N=54, 4.5 years, 48% males) and GUSTO (N = 206, 4.5 years, 48% males) and its associations to child behavior, that can be used in future research in the context of child exposures and long-term health. Following rs-fMRI data pre-processing and Shannon entropy calculation across 32 network regions of interest to acquire 496 unique functional connections, partial correlation coefficient analysis adjusted for sex was performed to identify associations between entropy data and Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire in MAVAN and Child Behavior Checklist domains in GUSTO. Significance was set at p < 0.01, and we found eight significant associations in GUSTO. Negative associations were found between two frontoparietal regions and cerebellar posterior and oppositional defiant problems, (r = -0.212, p = 0.006) and (r = -0.200, p = 0.009). Positive associations were identified between somatic complaints and four default mode connections: salience insula (r = 0.202, p < 0.01), dorsal attention intraparietal sulcus (r = 0.231, p = 0.003), language inferior frontal gyrus (r = 0.207, p = 0.008) and language posterior superior temporal gyrus (r = 0.210, p = 0.008). Positive associations were also found between insula and frontoparietal connection and attention deficit / hyperactivity problems (r = 0.200, p < 0.01), and insula – default mode connection and pervasive developmental problems (r = 0.210, p = 0.007). In MAVAN, ten significant associations were identified. Two positive associations were found = with prosocial scores: the salience prefrontal cortex and dorsal attention connection (r = 0.474, p = 0.005) and the salience supramarginal gyrus and dorsal attention intraparietal sulcus (r = 0.447, p = 0.008). The insula and prefrontal connection were negatively associated with peer problems (r = -0.437, p < 0.01). Conduct problems were negatively associated with six separate connections, the left salience insula and right salience insula (r = -0.449, p = 0.008), left salience insula and right salience supramarginal gyrus (r = -0.512, p = 0.002), the default mode and visual network (r = -0.444, p = 0.009), dorsal attention and language network (r = -0.490, p = 0.003), and default mode and posterior parietal cortex (r = -0.546, p = 0.001). Entropy measures of resting state functional connectivity can be used to identify individual differences in brain function that are correlated with variation in behavioral problems in healthy children. Further studies applying this marker into the context of environmental exposures are warranted.

Keywords: child behaviour, functional connectivity, imaging, Shannon entropy

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26 Linking Enhanced Resting-State Brain Connectivity with the Benefit of Desirable Difficulty to Motor Learning: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Authors: Chien-Ho Lin, Ho-Ching Yang, Barbara Knowlton, Shin-Leh Huang, Ming-Chang Chiang


Practicing motor tasks arranged in an interleaved order (interleaved practice, or IP) generally leads to better learning than practicing tasks in a repetitive order (repetitive practice, or RP), an example of how desirable difficulty during practice benefits learning. Greater difficulty during practice, e.g. IP, is associated with greater brain activity measured by higher blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in the sensorimotor areas of the brain. In this study resting-state fMRI was applied to investigate whether increase in resting-state brain connectivity immediately after practice predicts the benefit of desirable difficulty to motor learning. 26 healthy adults (11M/15F, age = 23.3±1.3 years) practiced two sets of three sequences arranged in a repetitive or an interleaved order over 2 days, followed by a retention test on Day 5 to evaluate learning. On each practice day, fMRI data were acquired in a resting state after practice. The resting-state fMRI data was decomposed using a group-level spatial independent component analysis (ICA), yielding 9 independent components (IC) matched to the precuneus network, primary visual networks (two ICs, denoted by I and II respectively), sensorimotor networks (two ICs, denoted by I and II respectively), the right and the left frontoparietal networks, occipito-temporal network, and the frontal network. A weighted resting-state functional connectivity (wRSFC) was then defined to incorporate information from within- and between-network brain connectivity. The within-network functional connectivity between a voxel and an IC was gauged by a z-score derived from the Fisher transformation of the IC map. The between-network connectivity was derived from the cross-correlation of time courses across all possible pairs of ICs, leading to a symmetric nc x nc matrix of cross-correlation coefficients, denoted by C = (pᵢⱼ). Here pᵢⱼ is the extremum of cross-correlation between ICs i and j; nc = 9 is the number of ICs. This component-wise cross-correlation matrix C was then projected to the voxel space, with the weights for each voxel set to the z-score that represents the above within-network functional connectivity. The wRSFC map incorporates the global characteristics of brain networks measured by the between-network connectivity, and the spatial information contained in the IC maps measured by the within-network connectivity. Pearson correlation analysis revealed that greater IP-minus-RP difference in wRSFC was positively correlated with the RP-minus-IP difference in the response time on Day 5, particularly in brain regions crucial for motor learning, such as the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and the right premotor and supplementary motor cortices. This indicates that enhanced resting brain connectivity during the early phase of memory consolidation is associated with enhanced learning following interleaved practice, and as such wRSFC could be applied as a biomarker that measures the beneficial effects of desirable difficulty on motor sequence learning.

Keywords: desirable difficulty, functional magnetic resonance imaging, independent component analysis, resting-state networks

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

Authors: Igor Faulmann, Arnaud Saj, Roland Maurer


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: cognitive map, navigation, fMRI, spatial cognition

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24 Bilingual Experience Influences Different Components of Cognitive Control: Evidence from fMRI Study

Authors: Xun Sun, Le Li, Ce Mo, Lei Mo, Ruiming Wang, Guosheng Ding


Cognitive control plays a central role in information processing, which is comprised of various components including response suppression and inhibitory control. Response suppression is considered to inhibit the irrelevant response during the cognitive process; while inhibitory control to inhibit the irrelevant stimulus in the process of cognition. Both of them undertake distinct functions for the cognitive control, so as to enhance the performances in behavior. Among numerous factors on cognitive control, bilingual experience is a substantial and indispensible factor. It has been reported that bilingual experience can influence the neural activity of cognitive control as whole. However, it still remains unknown how the neural influences specifically present on the components of cognitive control imposed by bilingualism. In order to explore the further issue, the study applied fMRI, used anti-saccade paradigm and compared the cerebral activations between high and low proficient Chinese-English bilinguals. Meanwhile, the study provided experimental evidence for the brain plasticity of language, and offered necessary bases on the interplay between language and cognitive control. The results showed that response suppression recruited the middle frontal gyrus (MFG) in low proficient Chinese-English bilinguals, but the inferior patrietal lobe in high proficient Chinese-English bilinguals. Inhibitory control engaged the superior temporal gyrus (STG) and middle temporal gyrus (MTG) in low proficient Chinese-English bilinguals, yet the right insula cortex was more active in high proficient Chinese-English bilinguals during the process. These findings illustrate insights that bilingual experience has neural influences on different components of cognitive control. Compared with low proficient bilinguals, high proficient bilinguals turn to activate advanced neural areas for the processing of cognitive control. In addition, with the acquisition and accumulation of language, language experience takes effect on the brain plasticity and changes the neural basis of cognitive control.

Keywords: bilingual experience, cognitive control, inhibition control, response suppression

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23 Choosing Mountains Over the Beach: Evaluating the Effect of Altitude on Covid Brain Severity and Treatment

Authors: Kennedy Zinn, Chris Anderson


Chronic Covid syndrome (CCS) is a condition in which individuals who test positive for Covid-19 experience persistent symptoms after recovering from the virus. CCS affects every organ system, including the central nervous system. Neurological “long-haul” symptoms last from a few weeks to several months and include brain fog, chronic fatigue, dyspnea, mood dysregulation, and headaches. Data suggest that 10-30% of individuals testing positive for Covid-19 develop CCS. Current literature indicates a decreased quality of life in persistent symptoms. CCS is a pervasive and pernicious COVID-19 sequelae. More research is needed to understand risk factors, impact, and possible interventions. Research frequently cites cytokine storming as noteworthy etiology in CCS. Cytokine storming is a malfunctional immune response and facilitates multidimensional interconnected physiological responses. The most prominent responses include abnormal blood flow, hypoxia/hypoxemia, inflammation, and endothelial damage. Neurological impairments and pathogenesis in CCS parallel that of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Both exhibit impairments in memory, cognition, mood, sustained attention, and chronic fatigue. Evidence suggests abnormal blood flow, inflammation, and hypoxemia as shared causal factors. Cytokine storming is also typical in mTBI. The shared characteristics in symptoms and etiology suggest potential parallel routes of investigation that allow for better understanding of CCS. Research on the effect of altitude in mTBI varies. Literature finds decreased rates of concussions at higher altitudes. Other studies suggest that at a higher altitude, pre-existing mTBI symptoms are exacerbated. This may mean that in CCS, the geographical location where individuals live and the location where individuals experienced acute Covid-19 symptoms may influence the severity and risk of developing CCS. It also suggests that clinics which treat mTBI patients could also provide benefits for those with CCS. This study aims to examine the relationships between altitude and CCS as a risk factor and investigate the longevity and severity of symptoms in different altitudes. Existing patient data from a concussion clinic using fMRI scans and self-reported symptoms will be used for approximately 30 individuals with CCS symptoms. The association between acclimated altitude and CCS severity will be analyzed. Patients will be classified into low, medium, and high altitude groups and compared for differences on fMRI severity scores and self-reported measures. It is anticipated that individuals living in lower altitudes are at higher risk of developing more severe neuropsychological symptoms in CCS. It is also anticipated that a treatment approach for mTBI will also be beneficial to those with CCS.

Keywords: altitude, chronic covid syndrome, concussion, covid brain, EPIC treatment, fMRI, traumatic brain injury

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22 Combined Use of FMRI and Voxel-Based Morphometry in Assessment of Memory Impairment in Alzheimer's Disease Patients

Authors: A. V. Sokolov, S. V. Vorobyev, A. Yu. Efimtcev, V. Yu. Lobzin, I. A. Lupanov, O. A. Cherdakov, V. A. Fokin


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. Different brain regions are involved to the pathological process of AD. The purpose of this study was to evaluate brain activation by visual memory task in patients with Alzheimer's disease and determine correlation between memory impairment and atrophy of memory specific brain regions of frontal and medial temporal lobes. To investigate the organization of memory and localize cortical areas activated by visual memory task we used functional magnetic resonance imaging and to evaluate brain atrophy of patients with Alzheimer's disease we used voxel-based morphometry. FMRI was performed on 1.5 T MR-scanner Siemens Magnetom Symphony with BOLD (Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent) technique, based on distinctions of magnetic properties of hemoglobin. For test stimuli we used series of 12 not related images for "Baseline" and 12 images with 6 presented before for "Active". Stimuli were presented 3 times with reduction of repeated images to 4 and 2. Patients with Alzheimer's disease showed less activation in hippocampal formation (HF) region and parahippocampal gyrus then healthy persons of control group (p<0.05). The study also showed reduced activation in posterior cingulate cortex (p<0.001). Voxel-based morphometry showed significant atrophy of grey matter in Alzheimer’s disease patients, especially of both temporal lobes (fusiform and parahippocampal gyri); frontal lobes (posterior cingulate and superior frontal gyri). The study showed correlation between memory impairment and atrophy of memory specific brain regions of frontal and medial temporal lobes. Thus, reduced activation in hippocampal formation and parahippocampal gyri, in posterior cingulate gyrus in patients with Alzheimer's disease correlates to significant atrophy of these regions, detected by voxel-based morphometry, and to deterioration of specific cognitive functions.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, functional MRI, voxel-based morphometry

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21 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


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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20 Neural Correlates of Diminished Humor Comprehension in Schizophrenia: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Authors: Przemysław Adamczyk, Mirosław Wyczesany, Aleksandra Domagalik, Artur Daren, Kamil Cepuch, Piotr Błądziński, Tadeusz Marek, Andrzej Cechnicki


The present study aimed at evaluation of neural correlates of humor comprehension impairments observed in schizophrenia. To investigate the nature of this deficit in schizophrenia and to localize cortical areas involved in humor processing we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The study included chronic schizophrenia outpatients (SCH; n=20), and sex, age and education level matched healthy controls (n=20). The task consisted of 60 stories (setup) of which 20 had funny, 20 nonsensical and 20 neutral (not funny) punchlines. After the punchlines were presented, the participants were asked to indicate whether the story was comprehensible (yes/no) and how funny it was (1-9 Likert-type scale). fMRI was performed on a 3T scanner (Magnetom Skyra, Siemens) using 32-channel head coil. Three contrasts in accordance with the three stages of humor processing were analyzed in both groups: abstract vs neutral stories - incongruity detection; funny vs abstract - incongruity resolution; funny vs neutral - elaboration. Additionally, parametric modulation analysis was performed using both subjective ratings separately in order to further differentiate the areas involved in incongruity resolution processing. Statistical analysis for behavioral data used U Mann-Whitney test and Bonferroni’s correction, fMRI data analysis utilized whole-brain voxel-wise t-tests with 10-voxel extent threshold and with Family Wise Error (FWE) correction at alpha = 0.05, or uncorrected at alpha = 0.001. Between group comparisons revealed that the SCH subjects had attenuated activation in: the right superior temporal gyrus in case of irresolvable incongruity processing of nonsensical puns (nonsensical > neutral); the left medial frontal gyrus in case of incongruity resolution processing of funny puns (funny > nonsensical) and the interhemispheric ACC in case of elaboration of funny puns (funny > neutral). Additionally, the SCH group revealed weaker activation during funniness ratings in the left ventro-medial prefrontal cortex, the medial frontal gyrus, the angular and the supramarginal gyrus, and the right temporal pole. In comprehension ratings the SCH group showed suppressed activity in the left superior and medial frontal gyri. Interestingly, these differences were accompanied by protraction of time in both types of rating responses in the SCH group, a lower level of comprehension for funny punchlines and a higher funniness for absurd punchlines. Presented results indicate that, in comparison to healthy controls, schizophrenia is characterized by difficulties in humor processing revealed by longer reaction times, impairments of understanding jokes and finding nonsensical punchlines more funny. This is accompanied by attenuated brain activations, especially in the left fronto-parietal and the right temporal cortices. Disturbances of the humor processing seem to be impaired at the all three stages of the humor comprehension process, from incongruity detection, through its resolution to elaboration. The neural correlates revealed diminished neural activity of the schizophrenia brain, as compared with the control group. The study was supported by the National Science Centre, Poland (grant no 2014/13/B/HS6/03091).

Keywords: communication skills, functional magnetic resonance imaging, humor, schizophrenia

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19 Functional Neurocognitive Imaging (fNCI): A Diagnostic Tool for Assessing Concussion Neuromarker Abnormalities and Treating Post-Concussion Syndrome in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Patients

Authors: Parker Murray, Marci Johnson, Tyson S. Burnham, Alina K. Fong, Mark D. Allen, Bruce McIff


Purpose: Pathological dysregulation of Neurovascular Coupling (NVC) caused by mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is the predominant source of chronic post-concussion syndrome (PCS) symptomology. fNCI has the ability to localize dysregulation in NVC by measuring blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signaling during the performance of fMRI-adapted neuropsychological evaluations. With fNCI, 57 brain areas consistently affected by concussion were identified as PCS neural markers, which were validated on large samples of concussion patients and healthy controls. These neuromarkers provide the basis for a computation of PCS severity which is referred to as the Severity Index Score (SIS). The SIS has proven valuable in making pre-treatment decisions, monitoring treatment efficiency, and assessing long-term stability of outcomes. Methods and Materials: After being scanned while performing various cognitive tasks, 476 concussed patients received an SIS score based on the neural dysregulation of the 57 previously identified brain regions. These scans provide an objective measurement of attentional, subcortical, visual processing, language processing, and executive functioning abilities, which were used as biomarkers for post-concussive neural dysregulation. Initial SIS scores were used to develop individualized therapy incorporating cognitive, occupational, and neuromuscular modalities. These scores were also used to establish pre-treatment benchmarks and measure post-treatment improvement. Results: Changes in SIS were calculated in percent change from pre- to post-treatment. Patients showed a mean improvement of 76.5 percent (σ= 23.3), and 75.7 percent of patients showed at least 60 percent improvement. Longitudinal reassessment of 24 of the patients, measured an average of 7.6 months post-treatment, shows that SIS improvement is maintained and improved, with an average of 90.6 percent improvement from their original scan. Conclusions: fNCI provides a reliable measurement of NVC allowing for identification of concussion pathology. Additionally, fNCI derived SIS scores direct tailored therapy to restore NVC, subsequently resolving chronic PCS resulting from mTBI.

Keywords: concussion, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), neurovascular coupling (NVC), post-concussion syndrome (PCS)

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18 Classifications of Neuroscientific-Radiological Findings on “Practicing” in Mathematics Learning

Authors: Felicitas Pielsticker, Christoph Pielsticker, Ingo Witzke


Many people know ‘Mathematics needs practice!’ statement or similar ones from their mathematics lessons. It seems important to practice when learning mathematics. At the same time, it also seems important to practice how to learn mathematics. This paper places neuroscientific-radiological findings on “practicing” while learning mathematics in a context of mathematics education. To accomplish this, we use a literature-based discussion of our case study on practice. We want to describe neuroscientific-radiological findings in the context of mathematics education and point out stimulating connections between both perspectives. From a connective perspective we expect incentives that lead discussions in future research in the field of mathematics education.

Keywords: functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI, education, mathematics learning, practicing

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17 Effects of Oxytocin on Neural Response to Facial Emotion Recognition in Schizophrenia

Authors: Avyarthana Dey, Naren P. Rao, Arpitha Jacob, Chaitra V. Hiremath, Shivarama Varambally, Ganesan Venkatasubramanian, Rose Dawn Bharath, Bangalore N. Gangadhar


Objective: Impaired facial emotion recognition is widely reported in schizophrenia. Neuropeptide oxytocin is known to modulate brain regions involved in facial emotion recognition, namely amygdala, in healthy volunteers. However, its effect on facial emotion recognition deficits seen in schizophrenia is not well explored. In this study, we examined the effect of intranasal OXT on processing facial emotions and its neural correlates in patients with schizophrenia. Method: 12 male patients (age= 31.08±7.61 years, education= 14.50±2.20 years) participated in this single-blind, counterbalanced functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. All participants underwent three fMRI scans; one at baseline, one each after single dose 24IU intranasal OXT and intranasal placebo. The order of administration of OXT and placebo were counterbalanced and subject was blind to the drug administered. Participants performed a facial emotion recognition task presented in a block design with six alternating blocks of faces and shapes. The faces depicted happy, angry or fearful emotions. The images were preprocessed and analyzed using SPM 12. First level contrasts comparing recognition of emotions and shapes were modelled at individual subject level. A group level analysis was performed using the contrasts generated at the first level to compare the effects of intranasal OXT and placebo. The results were thresholded at uncorrected p < 0.001 with a cluster size of 6 voxels. Neuropeptide oxytocin is known to modulate brain regions involved in facial emotion recognition, namely amygdala, in healthy volunteers. Results: Compared to placebo, intranasal OXT attenuated activity in inferior temporal, fusiform and parahippocampal gyri (BA 20), premotor cortex (BA 6), middle frontal gyrus (BA 10) and anterior cingulate gyrus (BA 24) and enhanced activity in the middle occipital gyrus (BA 18), inferior occipital gyrus (BA 19), and superior temporal gyrus (BA 22). There were no significant differences between the conditions on the accuracy scores of emotion recognition between baseline (77.3±18.38), oxytocin (82.63 ± 10.92) or Placebo (76.62 ± 22.67). Conclusion: Our results provide further evidence to the modulatory effect of oxytocin in patients with schizophrenia. Single dose oxytocin resulted in significant changes in activity of brain regions involved in emotion processing. Future studies need to examine the effectiveness of long-term treatment with OXT for emotion recognition deficits in patients with schizophrenia.

Keywords: recognition, functional connectivity, oxytocin, schizophrenia, social cognition

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16 The Relationships between Autonomy-Based Insula Activity and Learning: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Authors: Woogul Lee, Johnmarshall Reeve


Learners’ perceived autonomy predicts learners’ interest, engagement, and learning. To understand these processes, we conducted an fMRI experiment. In this experiment, participants saw the national flag and were asked to rate how much they freely wanted to learn about that particular national flag. The participants then learned the characteristics of the national flag. Results showed that (1) the degree of participants’ perceived autonomy was positively correlated with the degree of insula activity, (2) participants’ early-trial insula activity predicted corresponding late-trial dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity, and (3) the degree of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity was positively correlated with the degree of participants’ learning about the characteristics of the national flag. Results suggest that learners’ perceived autonomy predicts learning through the mediation of insula activity associated with intrinsic satisfaction and 'pure self' processes.

Keywords: insular cortex, autonomy, self-determination, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

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15 Age-Dependent Anatomical Abnormalities of the Amygdala in Autism Spectrum Disorder and their Implications for Altered Socio-Emotional Development

Authors: Gabriele Barrocas, Habon Issa


The amygdala is one of various brain regions that tend to be pathological in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD is a prevalent and heterogeneous developmental disorder affecting all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and consists of a broad range of severity, etiology, and behavioral symptoms. Common features of ASD include but are not limited to repetitive behaviors, obsessive interests, and anxiety. Neuroscientists view the amygdala as the core of the neural system that regulates behavioral responses to anxiogenic and threatening stimuli. Despite this consensus, many previous studies and literature reviews on the amygdala’s alterations in individuals with ASD have reported inconsistent findings. In this review, we will address these conflicts by highlighting recent studies which reveal that anatomical and related socio-emotional differences detected between individuals with and without ASD are highly age-dependent. We will specifically discuss studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), structural MRI, and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to provide insights into the neuroanatomical substrates of ASD across development, with a focus on amygdala volumes, cell densities, and connectivity.

Keywords: autism, amygdala, development, abnormalities

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14 The Findings EEG-LORETA about Epilepsy

Authors: Leila Maleki, Ahmad Esmali Kooraneh, Hossein Taghi Derakhshi


Neural activity in the human brain starts from the early stages of prenatal development. This activity or signals generated by the brain are electrical in nature and represent not only the brain function but also the status of the whole body. At the present moment, three methods can record functional and physiological changes within the brain with high temporal resolution of neuronal interactions at the network level: the electroencephalogram (EEG), the magnet oencephalogram (MEG), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); each of these has advantages and shortcomings. EEG recording with a large number of electrodes is now feasible in clinical practice. Multichannel EEG recorded from the scalp surface provides a very valuable but indirect information about the source distribution. However, deep electrode measurements yield more reliable information about the source locations، Intracranial recordings and scalp EEG are used with the source imaging techniques to determine the locations and strengths of the epileptic activity. As a source localization method, Low Resolution Electro-Magnetic Tomography (LORETA) is solved for the realistic geometry based on both forward methods, the Boundary Element Method (BEM) and the Finite Difference Method (FDM). In this paper, we review The findings EEG- LORETA about epilepsy.

Keywords: epilepsy, EEG, EEG-LORETA

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13 Suicide in Late-Life Major Depressive Disorder: A Review of Structural and Functional Neuroimaging Studies

Authors: Wenqiu Cao


Suicide prevention is a global problem that needs to be taken seriously. Investigating the mechanisms of suicide in major depressive disorder (MDD) separately through neuroimaging technology is essential for effective suicide prevention. And it’s particularly urgent in geriatric depressive patients since older adults are more likely to use rapidly deadly means, and suicidal behavior is more lethal for older adults. The current study reviews five studies related to suicide in geriatric MDD that uses neuroimaging methodology in order to analyze the relevant neurobiological mechanisms. The majority of the studies found significant white matter and grey matter reduction or lesion widespread in multiple brain regions, including the frontal and parietal regions, the midbrain, the external capsule, and the cerebellum. Regarding the cognitive impairment in geriatric MDD, the reward signals were found weakened in the paralimbic cortex. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies also found hemodynamic changes in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and right frontopolar cortex (FPC) regions in late-life MDD patients with suicidal ideation. Future studies should consider the age of depression onset, more accurate measurements of suicide, larger sample size, and longitudinal design.

Keywords: brain imaging, geriatric major depressive disorder, suicidality, suicide

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

Authors: Dung V. H. Pham, Kathryn Cullen


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, fMRI, antidepressants

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11 Can the Intervention of SCAMPER Bring about Changes of Neural Activation While Taking Creativity Tasks?

Authors: Yu-Chu Yeh, WeiChin Hsu, Chih-Yen Chang


Substitution, combination, modification, putting to other uses, elimination, and rearrangement (SCAMPER) has been regarded as an effective technique that provides a structured way to help people to produce creative ideas and solutions. Although some neuroscience studies regarding creativity training have been conducted, no study has focused on SCAMPER. This study therefore aimed at examining whether the learning of SCAMPER through video tutorials would result in alternations of neural activation. Thirty college students were randomly assigned to the experimental group or the control group. The experimental group was requested to watch SCAMPER videos, whereas the control group was asked to watch natural-scene videos which were regarded as neutral stimulating materials. Each participant was brain scanned in a Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine while undertaking a creativity test before and after watching the videos. Furthermore, a two-way ANOVA was used to analyze the interaction between groups (the experimental group; the control group) and tasks (C task; M task; X task). The results revealed that the left precuneus significantly activated in the interaction of groups and tasks, as well as in the main effect of group. Furthermore, compared with the control group, the experimental group had greater activation in the default mode network (left precuneus and left inferior parietal cortex) and the motor network (left postcentral gyrus and left supplementary area). The findings suggest that the SCAMPER training may facilitate creativity through the stimulation of the default mode network and the motor network.

Keywords: creativity, default mode network, neural activation, SCAMPER

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