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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Does co-morbid obsessive-compulsive disorder modify the abnormal language processing in schizophrenia patients? An FMRI study.
Front Hum Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 07-29-2014
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Impaired language processing is one of the most replicated findings in functional brain studies of schizophrenia (SCH). This is demonstrated by reduced activations in left prefrontal language areas (i.e., BA44/45, the inferior frontal gyrus, IFG) presented as decreased language lateralization. This finding was documented both in chronic as well as in first-episode SCH patients, arguing for a neurobiological marker for SCH. In a previous study, we demonstrated the specificity of this finding to SCH patients when compared to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients in whom language processing was similar to healthy controls. Since a sizable proportion of SCH patients also meet DSM-IV criteria for OCD, we further sought to elucidate whether OCD attenuates abnormal prefrontal language lateralization in this unique group of schizo-obsessive patients compared to their non-OCD-SCH counterparts.
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The Montreal Cognitive Assessment in Cognitively-intact Elderly: A Case for Age-adjusted Cutoffs.
J. Alzheimers Dis.
PUBLISHED: 07-26-2014
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The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a widely used screening test for evaluation of mild cognitive impairment, with a single cutoff for all ages. We examined whether it is associated with age in a sample of cognitively-intact elderly (CIE). The average MoCA score was negatively correlated with age and was significantly higher for younger than older CIE. Additionally, 42% of the older elderly fell below the proposed mild cognitive impairment cutoff score, although all subjects were CIE. Thus, cognitive abilities captured by the MoCA test decrease with age, even in CIE. Therefore, cutoff scores by age for the MoCA are needed.
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Father's brain is sensitive to childcare experiences.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2014
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Although contemporary socio-cultural changes dramatically increased fathers' involvement in childrearing, little is known about the brain basis of human fatherhood, its comparability with the maternal brain, and its sensitivity to caregiving experiences. We measured parental brain response to infant stimuli using functional MRI, oxytocin, and parenting behavior in three groups of parents (n = 89) raising their firstborn infant: heterosexual primary-caregiving mothers (PC-Mothers), heterosexual secondary-caregiving fathers (SC-Fathers), and primary-caregiving homosexual fathers (PC-Fathers) rearing infants without maternal involvement. Results revealed that parenting implemented a global "parental caregiving" neural network, mainly consistent across parents, which integrated functioning of two systems: the emotional processing network including subcortical and paralimbic structures associated with vigilance, salience, reward, and motivation, and mentalizing network involving frontopolar-medial-prefrontal and temporo-parietal circuits implicated in social understanding and cognitive empathy. These networks work in concert to imbue infant care with emotional salience, attune with the infant state, and plan adequate parenting. PC-Mothers showed greater activation in emotion processing structures, correlated with oxytocin and parent-infant synchrony, whereas SC-Fathers displayed greater activation in cortical circuits, associated with oxytocin and parenting. PC-Fathers exhibited high amygdala activation similar to PC-Mothers, alongside high activation of superior temporal sulcus (STS) comparable to SC-Fathers, and functional connectivity between amygdala and STS. Among all fathers, time spent in direct childcare was linked with the degree of amygdala-STS connectivity. Findings underscore the common neural basis of maternal and paternal care, chart brain-hormone-behavior pathways that support parenthood, and specify mechanisms of brain malleability with caregiving experiences in human fathers.
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Distinct iEEG activity patterns in temporal-limbic and prefrontal sites induced by emotional intentionality.
Cortex
PUBLISHED: 04-09-2014
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Our emotions tend to be directed towards someone or something. Such emotional intentionality calls for the integration between two streams of information; abstract hedonic value and its associated concrete content. In a previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study we found that the combination of these two streams, as modeled by short emotional music excerpts and neutral film clips, was associated with synergistic activation in both temporal-limbic (TL) and ventral-lateral PFC (vLPFC) regions. This additive effect implies the integration of domain-specific 'affective' and 'cognitive' processes. Yet, the low temporal resolution of the fMRI limits the characterization of such cross-domain integration. To this end, we complemented the fMRI data with intracranial electroencephalogram (iEEG) recordings from twelve patients with intractable epilepsy. As expected, the additive fMRI activation in the amygdala and vLPFC was associated with distinct spatio-temporal iEEG patterns among electrodes situated within the vicinity of the fMRI activation foci. On the one hand, TL channels exhibited a transient (0-500 msec) increase in gamma power (61-69 Hz), possibly reflecting initial relevance detection or hedonic value tagging. On the other hand, vLPFC channels showed sustained (1-12 sec) suppression of low frequency power (2.3-24 Hz), possibly mediating changes in gating, enabling an on-going readiness for content-based processing of emotionally tagged signals. Moreover, an additive effect in delta-gamma phase-amplitude coupling (PAC) was found among the TL channels, possibly reflecting the integration between distinct domain specific processes. Together, this study provides a multi-faceted neurophysiological signature for computations that possibly underlie emotional intentionality in humans.
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Neural dynamics necessary and sufficient for transition into pre-sleep induced by EEG neurofeedback.
Neuroimage
PUBLISHED: 03-31-2014
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The transition from being fully awake to pre-sleep occurs daily just before falling asleep; thus its disturbance might be detrimental. Yet, the neuronal correlates of the transition remain unclear, mainly due to the difficulty in capturing its inherent dynamics. We used an EEG theta/alpha neurofeedback to rapidly induce the transition into pre-sleep and simultaneous fMRI to reveal state-dependent neural activity. The relaxed mental state was verified by the corresponding enhancement in the parasympathetic response. Neurofeedback sessions were categorized as successful or unsuccessful, based on the known EEG signature of theta power increases over alpha, temporally marked as a distinct "crossover" point. The fMRI activation was considered before and after this point. During successful transition into pre-sleep the period before the crossover was signified by alpha modulation that corresponded to decreased fMRI activity mainly in sensory gating related regions (e.g. medial thalamus). In parallel, although not sufficient for the transition, theta modulation corresponded with increased activity in limbic and autonomic control regions (e.g. hippocampus, cerebellum vermis, respectively). The post-crossover period was designated by alpha modulation further corresponding to reduced fMRI activity within the anterior salience network (e.g. anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula), and in contrast theta modulation corresponded to the increased variance in the posterior salience network (e.g. posterior insula, posterior cingulate cortex). Our findings portray multi-level neural dynamics underlying the mental transition from awake to pre-sleep. To initiate the transition, decreased activity was required in external monitoring regions, and to sustain the transition, opposition between the anterior and posterior parts of the salience network was needed, reflecting shifting from extra- to intrapersonal based processing, respectively.
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A voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging analysis of asymptomatic Parkinson's disease-related G2019S LRRK2 mutation carriers.
Mov. Disord.
PUBLISHED: 01-30-2014
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Patients with Parkinson's disease have reduced gray matter volume and fractional anisotropy in both cortical and sub-cortical structures, yet changes in the pre-motor phase of the disease are unknown.
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Moods as ups and downs of the motivation pendulum: revisiting reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST) in bipolar disorder.
Front Behav Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Motivation is a key neurobehavioral concept underlying adaptive responses to environmental incentives and threats. As such, dysregulation of motivational processes may be critical in the formation of abnormal behavioral patterns/tendencies. According to the long standing model of the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST), motivation behaviors are driven by three neurobehavioral systems mediating the sensitivity to punishment, reward or goal-conflict. Corresponding to current neurobehavioral theories in psychiatry, this theory links abnormal motivational drives to abnormal behavior; viewing depression and mania as two abnormal extremes of reward driven processes leading to either under or over approach tendencies, respectively. We revisit the RST framework in the context of bipolar disorder (BD) and challenge this concept by suggesting that dysregulated interactions of both punishment and reward related processes better account for the psychological and neural abnormalities observed in BD. We further present an integrative model positing that the three parallel motivation systems currently proposed by the RST model, can be viewed as subsystems in a large-scale neurobehavioral network of motivational decision making.
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The brain basis of social synchrony.
Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 09-20-2013
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As a social species, humans evolved to detect information from the social behavior of others. Yet, the mechanisms used to evaluate social interactions, the brain networks implicated in such recognition, and whether individual differences in own social behavior determine response to similar behavior in others remain unknown. Here we examined social synchrony as a potentially important mechanism in the evaluation of social behavior and utilized the parenting context, an evolutionarily salient setting of significant consequences for infant survival, to test this issue. The brain response of healthy postpartum mothers to three mother-infant interaction vignettes was assessed. Videos included a typical synchronous interaction and two pathological interactions of mothers diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety that showed marked deviations from social synchrony. Mothers own interactions with their 4- to 6-month-old infants were videotaped and micro-coded for synchrony. Results indicated that the recognition of social synchrony involved activations in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), fusiform, cuneus, inferior parietal lobule, supplementary motor area and NAcc. Mothers own synchrony with her infant correlated with her dACC response to synchrony in others. Findings are consistent with models suggesting that social action underpins social recognition and highlight social synchrony and the mother-infant bond as one prototypical context for studying the brain basis of social understanding.
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Cry for her or cry with her: context-dependent dissociation of two modes of cinematic empathy reflected in network cohesion dynamics.
Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 04-24-2013
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Two empathy-related processes were recently distinguished neuroscientifically: automatic embodied-simulation (ES) based on visceromotor representation of anothers affective state via cingulo-insulary circuit, and emotional sharing relying on cognitive theory of mind (ToM) via prefrontal-temporo-parietal circuit. Evidence that these regions are not only activated but also function as networks during empathic experience has yet to been shown. Employing a novel approach by analyzing fMRI fluctuations of network cohesion while viewing films portraying personal loss, this study demonstrates increased connectivity during empathic engagement (probed by behavioral and parasympathetic indices) both within these circuits, and between them and a set of limbic regions. Notably, this effect was context-dependent: when witnessing as a determined-loss presented as a future event, the ToM and ToM-limbic cohesion positively correlated with state- and empathy indices. During the dramatic peak of this condition, the ToM cohesion was positively correlated with the trait-empathy index of personal distress. However, when the loss was presented as a probabilistic real-time occurrence, ToM cohesion negatively correlated with state-empathy index, which positively correlated with ES-limbic cohesion. In this case, it was the ES-limbic cohesion during the emotional peak which was correlated with personal distress scores. The findings indicate a dichotomy between regulated empathy toward determined-loss and vicarious empathy toward a real-time occurrence.
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Learning and memory-related brain activity dynamics are altered in systemic lupus erythematosus: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.
Lupus
PUBLISHED: 03-27-2013
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Memory impairment is prevalent in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); however, the pathogenesis is unknown.
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A causal model of post-traumatic stress disorder: disentangling predisposed from acquired neural abnormalities.
Trends Cogn. Sci. (Regul. Ed.)
PUBLISHED: 03-26-2013
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Discriminating neural abnormalities into the causes versus consequences of psychopathology would enhance the translation of neuroimaging findings into clinical practice. By regarding the traumatic encounter as a reference point for disease onset, neuroimaging studies of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can potentially allocate PTSD neural abnormalities to either predisposing (pre-exposure) or acquired (post-exposure) factors. Based on novel research strategies in PTSD neuroimaging, including genetic, environmental, twin, and prospective studies, we provide a causal model that accounts for neural abnormalities in PTSD, and outline its clinical implications. Current data suggest that abnormalities within the amygdala and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex represent predisposing risk factors for developing PTSD, whereas dysfunctional hippocampal-ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) interactions may become evident only after having developed the disorder.
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Gray matter atrophy distinguishes between Parkinson disease motor subtypes.
Neurology
PUBLISHED: 03-20-2013
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To assess differences in gray matter (GM) atrophy between 2 Parkinson disease (PD) subtypes: the tremor dominant (TD) subtype and the postural instability gait difficulty (PIGD) subtype.
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Portraying the unique contribution of the default mode network to internally driven mnemonic processes.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2013
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Numerous neuroimaging studies have implicated default mode network (DMN) involvement in both internally driven processes and memory. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether memory operations reflect a particular case of internally driven processing or alternatively involve the DMN in a distinct manner, possibly depending on memory type. This question is critical for refining neurocognitive memory theorem in the context of other endogenic processes and elucidating the functional significance of this key network. We used functional MRI to examine DMN activity and connectivity patterns while participants overtly generated words according to nonmnemonic (phonemic) or mnemonic (semantic or episodic) cues. Overall, mnemonic word fluency was found to elicit greater DMN activity and stronger within-network functional connectivity compared with nonmnemonic fluency. Furthermore, two levels of functional organization of memory retrieval were shown. First, across both mnemonic tasks, activity was greater mainly in the posterior cingulate cortex, implying selective contribution to generic aspects of memory beyond its general involvement in endogenous processes. Second, parts of the DMN showed distinct selectivity for each of the mnemonic conditions; greater recruitment of the anterior prefrontal cortex, retroesplenial cortex, and hippocampi and elevated connectivity between anterior and posterior medial DMN nodes characterized the semantic condition, whereas increased recruitment of posterior DMN components and elevated connectivity between them characterized the episodic condition. This finding emphasizes the involvement of DMN elements in discrete aspects of memory retrieval. Altogether, our results show a specific contribution of the DMN to memory processes, corresponding to the specific type of memory retrieval.
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An EEG Finger-Print of fMRI deep regional activation.
Neuroimage
PUBLISHED: 03-06-2013
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This work introduces a general framework for producing an EEG Finger-Print (EFP) which can be used to predict specific brain activity as measured by fMRI at a given deep region. This new approach allows for improved EEG spatial resolution based on simultaneous fMRI activity measurements. Advanced signal processing and machine learning methods were applied on EEG data acquired simultaneously with fMRI during relaxation training guided by on-line continuous feedback on changing alpha/theta EEG measure. We focused on demonstrating improved EEG prediction of activation in sub-cortical regions such as the amygdala. Our analysis shows that a ridge regression model that is based on time/frequency representation of EEG data from a single electrode, can predict the amygdala related activity significantly better than a traditional theta/alpha activity sampled from the best electrode and about 1/3 of the times, significantly better than a linear combination of frequencies with a pre-defined delay. The far-reaching goal of our approach is to be able to reduce the need for fMRI scanning for probing specific sub-cortical regions such as the amygdala as the basis for brain-training procedures. On the other hand, activity in those regions can be characterized with higher temporal resolution than is obtained by fMRI alone thus revealing additional information about their processing mode.
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Neural correlates of executive functions in healthy G2019S LRRK2 mutation carriers.
Cortex
PUBLISHED: 01-07-2013
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The G2019S mutation in the leucine rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene is prevalent among Ashkenazi Jewish patients with Parkinsons disease (PD). Cognitive deficits are common in early stage PD. We aimed to characterize the effect of the G2019S mutation on neural mechanisms of executive function processing by testing whether healthy mutation carriers who are an "at risk" population for the future development of PD differed from non-carriers on an functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) Stroop interference task.
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Mentalizing and motivation neural function during social interactions in autism spectrum disorders.
Neuroimage Clin
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are characterized by core deficits in social functions. Two theories have been suggested to explain these deficits: mind-blindness theory posits impaired mentalizing processes (i.e. decreased ability for establishing a representation of others state of mind), while social motivation theory proposes that diminished reward value for social information leads to reduced social attention, social interactions, and social learning. Mentalizing and motivation are integral to typical social interactions, and neuroimaging evidence points to independent brain networks that support these processes in healthy individuals. However, the simultaneous function of these networks has not been explored in individuals with ASDs. We used a social, interactive fMRI task, the Domino game, to explore mentalizing- and motivation-related brain activation during a well-defined interval where participants respond to rewards or punishments (i.e. motivation) and concurrently process information about their opponents potential next actions (i.e. mentalizing). Thirteen individuals with high-functioning ASDs, ages 12-24, and 14 healthy controls played fMRI Domino games against a computer-opponent and separately, what they were led to believe was a human-opponent. Results showed that while individuals with ASDs understood the game rules and played similarly to controls, they showed diminished neural activity during the human-opponent runs only (i.e. in a social context) in bilateral middle temporal gyrus (MTG) during mentalizing and right Nucleus Accumbens (NAcc) during reward-related motivation (Pcluster < 0.05 FWE). Importantly, deficits were not observed in these areas when playing against a computer-opponent or in areas related to motor and visual processes. These results demonstrate that while MTG and NAcc, which are critical structures in the mentalizing and motivation networks, respectively, activate normally in a non-social context, they fail to respond in an otherwise identical social context in ASD compared to controls. We discuss implications to both the mind-blindness and social motivation theories of ASD and the importance of social context in research and treatment protocols.
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Emotional processing of personally familiar faces in the vegetative state.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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The Vegetative State (VS) is a severe disorder of consciousness in which patients are awake but display no signs of awareness. Yet, recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have demonstrated evidence for covert awareness in VS patients by recording specific brain activations during a cognitive task. However, the possible existence of incommunicable subjective emotional experiences in VS patients remains largely unexplored. This study aimed to probe the question of whether VS patients retain a brain ability to selectively process external stimuli according to their emotional value and look for evidence of covert emotional awareness in patients.
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Neural traces of stress: cortisol related sustained enhancement of amygdala-hippocampal functional connectivity.
Front Hum Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Stressful experiences modulate neuro-circuitry function, and the temporal trajectory of these alterations, elapsing from early disturbances to late recovery, heavily influences resilience and vulnerability to stress. Such effects of stress may depend on processes that are engaged during resting-state, through active recollection of past experiences and anticipation of future events, all known to involve the default mode network (DMN). By inducing social stress and acquiring resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before stress, immediately following it, and 2 h later, we expanded the time-window for examining the trajectory of the stress response. Throughout the study repeated cortisol samplings and self-reports of stress levels were obtained from 51 healthy young males. Post-stress alterations were investigated by whole brain resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) of two central hubs of the DMN: the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and hippocampus. Results indicate a recovery pattern of DMN connectivity, in which all alterations, ascribed to the intervening stress, returned to pre-stress levels. The only exception to this pattern was a stress-induced rise in amygdala-hippocampal connectivity, which was sustained for as long as 2 h following stress induction. Furthermore, this sustained enhancement of limbic connectivity was inversely correlated to individual stress-induced cortisol responsiveness (AUCi) and characterized only the group lacking such increased cortisol (i.e., non-responders). Our observations provide evidence of a prolonged post-stress response profile, characterized by both the comprehensive balance of most DMN functional connections and the distinct time and cortisol dependent ascent of intra-limbic connectivity. These novel insights into neuro-endocrine relations are another milestone in the ongoing search for individual markers in stress-related psychopathologies.
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Can we share the joy of others? Empathic neural responses to distress vs joy.
Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 12-06-2011
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The neural bases of empathy have been examined mainly in the context of reacting to others distress, while almost no attention has been paid to the mechanisms by which we share others joy. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we demonstrated that the same neural network mediates judgment of the emotional state of the other in response to both negative and positive events through empathy-related structures, such as the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), the insula, the superior temporal sulcus (STS) and the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). However, the responses of the MPFC, bilateral insula and the right IFG to negative experiences occurring to the other (but not to the self) were found to be much more intense than the responses to positive experiences, indicating that humans have a remarkable ability to share the distress of others, but may react less to the joy of others.
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Feeling without seeing? Engagement of ventral, but not dorsal, amygdala during unaware exposure to emotional faces.
J Cogn Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 11-18-2011
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The ability to selectively perceive items in the environment may be modulated by the emotional content of those items. The neural mechanism that underlies the privileged processing of emotionally salient content is poorly understood. Here, using fMRI, we investigated this issue via a binocular rivalry procedure when face stimuli depicting fearful or neutral expressions competed for awareness with a house. Results revealed an interesting dissociation in the amygdala during rivalry condition: Whereas its dorsal component exhibited dominant activation to aware fearful faces, a ventral component was more active during the suppression of fearful faces. Moreover, during rivalry, the dorsal and ventral components of the amygdala were coupled with segregated cortical activations in the brainstem and medial PFC, respectively. In summary, this study points to a differential involvement of two clusters within the amygdala and their connected networks in naturally occurring perceptual biases of emotional content in faces.
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Predictors for poststroke outcomes: the Tel Aviv Brain Acute Stroke Cohort (TABASCO) study protocol.
Int J Stroke
PUBLISHED: 11-02-2011
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Recent studies have demonstrated that even survivors of mild stroke experience residual damage, which persists and in fact increases in subsequent years. About 45% of stroke victims remain with different levels of disability. Identifying factors associated with poststroke cognitive and neurological decline could potentially yield more effective therapeutic opportunities.
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Global functional connectivity deficits in schizophrenia depend on behavioral state.
J. Neurosci.
PUBLISHED: 09-09-2011
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Schizophrenia is a devastating psychiatric illness characterized by deterioration of cognitive and emotional processing. It has been hypothesized that aberrant cortical connectivity is implicated in the disease (Friston, 1998), yet previous studies of functional connectivity (FC) in schizophrenia have shown mixed results (Garrity et al., 2007; Jafri et al., 2008; Lynall et al., 2010). We measured FC using fMRI in human schizophrenia patients and healthy controls during two different tasks and a rest condition, and constructed a voxel-based global FC index. We found a striking FC decrease in patients compared with controls. In the task conditions, relatively weaker FC was specific to regions of cortex not active during the task. In the rest condition, the FC difference between patients and controls was larger and allowed a case-by-case separation between individuals of the two groups. The results suggest that the relative reduction of FC in schizophrenia is dependent on the state of cortical activity, with voxels not activated by the task showing higher levels of FC deficiency. This novel finding may shed light on previous reports of FC in schizophrenia. Whether this neural characteristic is related to the development of the disorder remains to be established.
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Specifying the neurobiological basis of human attachment: brain, hormones, and behavior in synchronous and intrusive mothers.
Neuropsychopharmacology
PUBLISHED: 08-31-2011
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The mother-infant bond provides the foundation for the infants future mental health and adaptation and depends on the provision of species-typical maternal behaviors that are supported by neuroendocrine and motivation-affective neural systems. Animal research has demonstrated that natural variations in patterns of maternal care chart discrete profiles of maternal brain-behavior relationships that uniquely shape the infants lifetime capacities for stress regulation and social affiliation. Such patterns of maternal care are mediated by the neuropeptide Oxytocin and by stress- and reward-related neural systems. Human studies have similarly shown that maternal synchrony--the coordination of maternal behavior with infant signals--and intrusiveness--the excessive expression of maternal behavior--describe distinct and stable maternal styles that bear long-term consequences for infant well-being. To integrate brain, hormones, and behavior in the study of maternal-infant bonding, we examined the fMRI responses of synchronous vs intrusive mothers to dynamic, ecologically valid infant videos and their correlations with plasma Oxytocin. In all, 23 mothers were videotaped at home interacting with their infants and plasma OT assayed. Sessions were micro-coded for synchrony and intrusiveness. Mothers were scanned while observing several own and standard infant-related vignettes. Synchronous mothers showed greater activations in the left nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and intrusive mothers exhibited higher activations in the right amygdala. Functional connectivity analysis revealed that among synchronous mothers, left NAcc and right amygdala were functionally correlated with emotion modulation, theory-of-mind, and empathy networks. Among intrusive mothers, left NAcc and right amygdala were functionally correlated with pro-action areas. Sorting points into neighborhood (SPIN) analysis demonstrated that in the synchronous group, left NAcc and right amygdala activations showed clearer organization across time, whereas among intrusive mothers, activations of these nuclei exhibited greater cross-time disorganization. Correlations between Oxytocin with left NAcc and right amygdala activations were found only in the synchronous group. Well-adapted parenting appears to be underlay by reward-related motivational mechanisms, temporal organization, and affiliation hormones, whereas anxious parenting is likely mediated by stress-related mechanisms and greater neural disorganization. Assessing the integration of motivation and social networks into unified neural activity that reflects variations in patterns of parental care may prove useful for the study of optimal vs high-risk parenting.
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Functional cliques in the amygdala and related brain networks driven by fear assessment acquired during movie viewing.
Brain Connect
PUBLISHED: 07-07-2011
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One of the greatest challenges involved in studying the brain mechanisms of fear is capturing the individuals unique instantaneous experience. Brain imaging studies to date commonly sacrifice valuable information regarding the individual real-time conscious experience, especially when focusing on elucidating the amygdalas activity. Here, we assumed that by using a minimally intrusive cue along with applying a robust clustering approach to probe the amygdala, it would be possible to rate fear in real time and to derive the related network of activation. During functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning, healthy volunteers viewed two excerpts from horror movies and were periodically auditory cued to rate their instantaneous experience of "Im scared." Using graph theory and community mathematical concepts, data-driven clustering of the fear-related functional cliques in the amygdala was performed guided by the individually marked periods of heightened fear. Individually tailored functions derived from these amygdala activation cliques were subsequently applied as general linear model predictors to a whole-brain analysis to reveal the correlated networks. Our results suggest that by using a localized robust clustering approach, it is possible to probe activation in the right dorsal amygdala that is directly related to individual real-time emotional experience. Moreover, this fear-evoked amygdala revealed two opposing networks of co-activation and co-deactivation, which correspond to vigilance and rest-related circuits, respectively.
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Robust modeling based on optimized EEG bands for functional brain state inference.
J. Neurosci. Methods
PUBLISHED: 06-21-2011
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The need to infer brain states in a data driven approach is crucial for BCI applications as well as for neuroscience research. In this work we present a novel classification framework based on Regularized Linear Regression classifier constructed from time-frequency decomposition of an EEG (electro-encephalography) signal. The regression is then used to derive a model of frequency distributions that identifies brain states. The process of classifier construction, preprocessing and selection of optimal regularization parameter by means of cross-validation is presented and discussed. The framework and the feature selection technique are demonstrated on EEG data recorded from 10 healthy subjects while requested to open and close their eyes every 30 s. This paradigm is well known in inducing Alpha power modulations that differ from low power (during eyes opened) to high (during eyes closed). The classifier was trained to infer eyes opened or eyes closed states and achieved higher than 90% classification accuracy. Furthermore, our findings reveal interesting patterns of relations between experimental conditions, EEG frequencies, regularization parameters and classifier choice. This viable tool enables identification of the most contributing frequency bands to any given brain state and their optimal combination in inferring this state. These features allow for much greater detail than the standard Fourier Transform power analysis, making it an essential method for both BCI proposes and neuroimaging research.
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Diminished language lateralization in schizophrenia corresponds to impaired inter-hemispheric functional connectivity.
Schizophr. Res.
PUBLISHED: 05-02-2011
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A consistent brain imaging finding in schizophrenia is decreased language-asymmetry, already evident in first episode patients, thus arguing for a biomarker of the disorder. Nonetheless, its specificity to schizophrenia is questionable. Furthermore, while previous studies suggested that enhanced right hemisphere activation underlies this diminished asymmetry, the mechanism for this anomaly is yet unknown. This study aimed to examine the role of inter-hemispheric relations in such abnormality through functional connectivity analysis driven by left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) activation. To test for disorder specificity we compared schizophrenia patients not only to healthy controls but also to patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
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Abnormal white matter integrity in young children with autism.
Hum Brain Mapp
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2011
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This study investigated white matter integrity in young children with autism using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Twenty-two children with autism, mean age 3:2 years, and 32 controls, mean age 3:4 years, participated in the study. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) revealed white matter abnormalities in several distinct clusters within the genu and body of the corpus callosum (CC), left superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and right and left cingulum (Cg). TBSS-VOIs analysis was performed in the clusters where differences in fractional anisotropy (FA) were detected to investigate the relationship between changes in FA and diffusivity indices. In all VOIs, increase in FA was caused by a decrease in radial diffusivity (Dr), while no changes in axial diffusivity (Da) or mean diffusivity (MD) were observed. Tractography analysis was applied to further study the CC, SLF, and Cg. Witelson parcellation scheme was used for the CC. Significant increase in FA was seen in children with autism in the mid-body of the CC as well as in the left Cg. It is suggested that such abnormal white matter integrity in young children with autism may adversely affect connectivity between different brain regions and may be linked to some of the behavioral impairments apparent in autism.
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A software tool for interactive exploration of intrinsic functional connectivity opens new perspectives for brain surgery.
Acta Neurochir (Wien)
PUBLISHED: 02-18-2011
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Functional connectivity analysis of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data (fcrs-fMRI) has been shown to be a robust non-invasive method for localization of functional networks (without using specific tasks) and to be promising for presurgical planning. However, in order to transfer the approach to everyday clinical practice, fcrs-fMRI needs to be further validated and made easily accessible to neurosurgeons. This paper addresses the latter by presenting a software tool designed for neurosurgeons for analyzing and visualizing fcrs-fMRI data.
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Towards a neuroscience of mind-wandering.
Front Hum Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 01-08-2011
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Mind-wandering (MW) is among the most robust and permanent expressions of human conscious awareness, classically regarded by philosophers, clinicians, and scientists as a core element of an intact sense of self. Nevertheless, the scientific exploration of MW poses unique challenges; MW is by nature a spontaneous, off task, internal mental process which is often unaware and usually difficult to control, document or replicate. Consequently, there is a lack of accepted modus operandi for exploring MW in a laboratory setup, leading to a relatively small amount of studies regarding the neural basis of MW. In order to facilitate scientific examination of MW the current review categorizes recent literature into five suggested strategies. Each strategy represents a different methodology of MW research within functional neuroimaging paradigms. Particular attention is paid to resting-state brain activity and to the "default-mode" network. Since the default network is known to exert high activity levels during off-task conditions, it stands out as a compelling candidate for a neuro-biological account of mind-wandering, in itself a rest-based phenomenon. By summarizing the results within and across strategies we suggest further insights into the neural basis and adaptive value of MW, a truly intriguing and unique human experience.
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Intraoperative mapping and monitoring of the corticospinal tracts with neurophysiological assessment and 3-dimensional ultrasonography-based navigation. Clinical article.
J. Neurosurg.
PUBLISHED: 08-27-2010
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Preserving motor function is a major challenge in surgery for intraaxial brain tumors. Navigation systems are unreliable in predicting the location of the corticospinal tracts (CSTs) because of brain shift and the inability of current intraoperative systems to produce reliable diffusion tensor imaging data. The authors describe their experience with elaborate neurophysiological assessment and tractography-based navigation, corrected in real time by 3D intraoperative ultrasonography (IOUS) to identify motor pathways during subcortical tumor resection.
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Prediction of neurological deficits and recovery after surgery in the supplementary motor area: a prospective study in 26 patients.
J. Neurosurg.
PUBLISHED: 07-16-2010
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Resection of lesions involving the supplementary motor area (SMA) may result in immediate postoperative motor and speech deficits that are reversible in most cases. In the present study the authors aimed to determine the critical involvement of SMA in the lesioned and healthy hemispheres in this functional recovery. They hypothesized that compensatory mechanisms take place following surgery in the SMA, and that these mechanisms can involve either the lesioned or the non-lesioned hemisphere. In addition, they hypothesized that a correlation will be present between the functional MR imaging (fMR) imaging-related activation in the SMA and the occurrence of a functional deficit during intraoperative cortical stimulation.
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Spatio-temporal indications of sub-cortical involvement in leftward bias of spatial attention.
Neuroimage
PUBLISHED: 06-21-2010
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A leftward bias is well known in humans and animals, and commonly related to the right hemisphere dominance for spatial attention. Our previous fMRI study suggested that this bias is mediated by faster conduction from the right to left parietal cortices, than the reverse (Siman-Tov et al., 2007). However, the limited temporal resolution of fMRI and evidence on the critical involvement of sub-cortical regions in orienting of spatial attention suggested further investigation of the leftward bias using multi-scale measurement. In this simultaneous EEG-fMRI study, healthy participants were presented with face pictures in either the right or left visual fields while performing a central fixation task. Temporo-occipital event related potentials, time-locked to the stimulus onset, showed an association between faster conduction from the right to the left hemisphere and higher fMRI activation in the left pulvinar nucleus following left visual field stimulation. This combined-modal finding provides original evidence of the involvement of sub-cortical central attention-related regions in the leftward bias. This assertion was further strengthened by a DCM analysis designated at cortical (i.e., inferior parietal sulcus; IPS) and sub-cortical (pulvinar nucleus) attention-related nodes that revealed: 1. Stronger inter-hemispheric connections from the right to left than vice versa, already at the pulvinar level. 2. Stronger connections within the right than the left hemisphere, from the pulvinar to the IPS. This multi-level neural superiority can guide future efforts in alleviating attention deficits by focusing on improving network connectivity.
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The envious brain: the neural basis of social comparison.
Hum Brain Mapp
PUBLISHED: 03-06-2010
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Humans have a drive to evaluate themselves by examining their abilities and outcomes in comparison to others. The present study examined the emotional and neural correlates of upward social comparison (comparison with those who have more) and downward social comparison (comparison with those who have less). Two experiments were conducted with volunteers in an interactive game of chance, in which a putative player won or lost more money than the participant. The results showed that even when participants lost money, they expressed joy and schadenfreude (gloating) if the other player had lost more money. On the other hand when they actually won money, but the other player had won more they expressed envy. This pattern was also demonstrated in a differential BOLD response in the ventral striatum. Comparing the activations between an actual gain and a relative gain indicated that even when a person loses money, merely adding information about another persons greater loss may increase ventral striatum activations to a point where these activations are similar to those of an actual gain. We suggest that the ventral striatum plays a role in mediating the emotional consequences of social comparison.
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Revealing voxel correlation cliques by functional holography analysis of fMRI.
J. Neurosci. Methods
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2010
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Data acquired by functional brain imaging are of a multivariate and complex nature. Selecting relevant topographically specific information for system-level analysis is a highly non-trivial task. This challenge has traditionally been addressed by hypothesis-driven approaches. Recently, data-driven methods making no a priori assumptions about the signal were developed. Here, we present a hybrid approach, selecting data-driven voxels in paradigm-driven measurements in order to identify functional connectivity motifs in the voxel correlations. Our tool is the functional holography (FH) method, originally developed for analyzing electrophysiological recordings and based on analyzing the voxel-voxel correlation matrices. The algorithm selects the relevant voxels using a dendrogram clustering method combined with a unique standard deviation (STD) filter, identifying the voxels with high STD correlations. Functional connectivity motifs are revealed through a dimension-reduction procedure by principal component analysis (PCA) allowing for a reduced three-dimensional holographic presentation space. Information loss due to PCA is retrieved by connecting voxels in the reduced space with lines that are color-coded according to the correlations. Our results show that the FH analysis performed for a single trial reveals interesting motifs, even in a simple motor task: unilateral hand movements yielded two clusters, one in the contralateral M1 region showing neuronal activation and one in the ipsilateral homologues region showing deactivation. Thus, according to a single trial level analysis, of 12-time points alone, we can determine which hand the subject moved. Moreover, using cluster quantification based on eigenvalue entropy calculation, we obtained good separation between right- and left-handed subjects.
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Neuronal encoding of human kinematic invariants during action observation.
Cereb. Cortex
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2009
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Human movements, besides entailing the presence of a body shape, comply with characteristic kinematic laws of motion. Psychophysical studies show that low-level motion perception is biased toward stimuli complying with these laws. However, the neuronal structures that are sensitive to the kinematic laws of observed bodily movements are still largely unknown. We investigated this issue by dissociating, by means of computer-generated characters, form and motion information during the observation of human movements. In a functional imaging experiment, we compared the levels of blood oxygen level-dependent activity elicited by human actions complying with or violating the kinematic laws of human movements. Actions complying with normal kinematic laws of motion differentially activated the left dorsal premotor and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex as well as the medial frontal cortex. These findings suggest that the kinematic laws of human movements specifically modulate the responses of neuronal circuits also involved in action recognition and that are predominantly located in the left frontal lobe.
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Mind your left: spatial bias in subcortical fear processing.
J Cogn Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 10-17-2009
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Hemispheric lateralization of emotional processing has long been suggested, but its underlying neural mechanisms have not yet been defined. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, facial expressions were presented to 10 right-handed healthy adult females in an event-related visual half-field presentation paradigm. Differential activations to fearful versus neutral faces were observed in the amygdala, pulvinar, and superior colliculus only for faces presented in the left hemifield. Interestingly, the left hemifield advantage for fear processing was observed in both hemispheres. These results suggest a leftward bias in subcortical fear processing, consistent with the well-documented leftward bias of danger-associated behaviors in animals. The current finding highlights the importance of hemifield advantage in emotional lateralization, which might reflect the combination of hemispheric dominance and asymmetric interhemispheric information transfer.
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Brain Activity Dissociates Mentalization from Motivation During an Interpersonal Competitive Game.
Brain Imaging Behav
PUBLISHED: 08-26-2009
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Studies demonstrating selective brain networks subserving motivation and mentalization (i.e. attributing states of mind to others) during social interactions have not investigated their mutual independence. We report the results of two fMRI studies using a competitive game requiring players to use implicit on-line mentalization simultaneously with motivational processes of gains and losses in playing against a human or a computer opponent. We delineate a network, consisting of bilateral temporoparietal junction, temporal pole (TP), medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and right fusiform gyrus, which is sensitive to the opponents response (challenging>not challenging the player) and opponent type (human>computer). This network is similar to a known explicit off-line mentalization circuit, suggesting its additional involvement in implicit on-line mentalization, a process more applicable to real-life social interactions. Importantly, only MPFC and TP were selective to mentalization compared to motivation, highlighting their specific operation in attributing states of mind to others during social interactions.
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Cerebral reorganization as a function of linguistic recovery in children: An fMRI study.
Cortex
PUBLISHED: 08-09-2009
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Characterizing and mapping the relationship between neuronal reorganization and functional recovery are essential to the understanding of cerebral plasticity and the dynamic processes which occur following brain damage. The neuronal mechanisms underlying linguistic recovery following left hemisphere (LH) lesions are still unknown. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated whether the extent of brain lateralization of linguistic functioning in specific regions of interest (ROIs) is correlated with the level of linguistic performance following recovery from acquired childhood aphasia. The study focused on a rare group of children in whom lesions occurred after normal language acquisition, but prior to complete maturation of the brain. During fMRI scanning, rhyming, comprehension and verb generation activation tasks were monitored. The imaging data were evaluated with reference to linguistic performance measured behaviorally during imaging, as well as outside the scanner. Compared with normal controls, we found greater right hemisphere (RH) lateralization in patients. However, correlations with linguistic performance showed that increased proficiency in linguistic tasks was associated with greater lateralization to the LH. These results were replicated in a longitudinal case study of a patient scanned twice, 3 years apart. Additional improvement in linguistic performance of the patient was accompanied by increasing lateralization to the LH in the anterior language region. This, however, was the result of a decreased involvement of the RH. These findings suggest that recovery is a dynamic, ongoing process, which may last for years after onset. The role of each hemisphere in the recovery process may continuously change within the chronic stage.
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Human vulnerability to stress depends on amygdalas predisposition and hippocampal plasticity.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 08-05-2009
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Variations in peoples vulnerability to stressful life events may rise from a predated neural sensitivity as well as from differential neural modifications in response to the event. Because the occurrence of a stressful life event cannot be foreseen, characterizing the temporal trajectory of its neural manifestations in humans has been a real challenge. The current prospective study examined the emotional experience and brain responses of 50 a priori healthy new recruits to the Israeli Defense Forces at 2 time points: before they entered their mandatory military service and after their subsequent exposure to stressful events while deployed in combat units. Over time, soldiers reported on increase in stress symptoms that was correlated with greater amygdala and hippocampus responsiveness to stress-related content. However, these closely situated core limbic regions exhibited different temporal trajectories with regard to the stress effect; whereas amygdalas reactivity before stress predicted the increase in stress symptoms, the hippocampal change in activation over time correlated with the increase in such symptoms. Hippocampal plasticity was also reflected by a modification over time of its functional coupling with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and this coupling magnitude was again predicted by predated amygdala reactivity. Together, these findings suggest that variations in humans likelihood to develop symptomatic phenomena following stressful life events may depend on a balanced interplay between their amygdalas predisposing reactivity and hippocampal posteriori intra- and interregional plasticity. Accordingly, an individually tailored therapeutic approach for trauma survivors should target these 2 neural probes while considering their unique temporal prints.
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Eyes wide shut: amygdala mediates eyes-closed effect on emotional experience with music.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 06-10-2009
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The perceived emotional value of stimuli and, as a consequence the subjective emotional experience with them, can be affected by context-dependent styles of processing. Therefore, the investigation of the neural correlates of emotional experience requires accounting for such a variable, a matter of an experimental challenge. Closing the eyes affects the style of attending to auditory stimuli by modifying the perceptual relationship with the environment without changing the stimulus itself. In the current study, we used fMRI to characterize the neural mediators of such modification on the experience of emotionality in music. We assumed that closed eyes position will reveal interplay between different levels of neural processing of emotions. More specifically, we focused on the amygdala as a central node of the limbic system and on its co-activation with the Locus Ceruleus (LC) and Ventral Prefrontal Cortex (VPFC); regions involved in processing of, respectively, low, visceral-, and high, cognitive-related, values of emotional stimuli. Fifteen healthy subjects listened to negative and neutral music excerpts with eyes closed or open. As expected, behavioral results showed that closing the eyes while listening to emotional music resulted in enhanced rating of emotionality, specifically of negative music. In correspondence, fMRI results showed greater activation in the amygdala when subjects listened to the emotional music with eyes closed relative to eyes open. More so, by using voxel-based correlation and a dynamic causal model analyses we demonstrated that increased amygdala activation to negative music with eyes closed led to increased activations in the LC and VPFC. This finding supports a system-based model of perceived emotionality in which the amygdala has a central role in mediating the effect of context-based processing style by recruiting neural operations involved in both visceral (i.e. low) and cognitive (i.e. high) related processes of emotions.
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Prefrontal compensatory mechanism may enable normal semantic memory performance in mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
J Neuroimaging
PUBLISHED: 05-20-2009
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Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered as a potential transitional state between normal aging and dementia. Studies addressing semantic memory in patients with incipient dementia and MCI show inconsistent results. In the current report we focused on MCI and examined memory performance (semantic, episodic, and working memory) in addition to structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measurements. We studied 6 MCI, 6 normal controls, and 4 Alzheimer disease (AD) patients. MCI participants demonstrated normal semantic memory performance while fMRI examination revealed distinct patterns of activations between MCI and normal aged subjects. According to our previous study, time courses were taken from parietal, dorsolateral-prefrontal-cortex (DLPFC), hippocampal formation, and fusiform gyri. A small number of activated voxels in parietal regions were depicted in MCI participants and were correlated with structural changes in this region. In contrast, significantly higher activation (intensity and number of voxels) was observed in DLPFC of MCI subjects. The overactivity seen in DLPFC of MCI may represent a compensatory mechanism that enables them to perform normally. These preliminary results suggest that functional imaging may be useful for early diagnosis of dementia and call to develop reliable tests and criteria that will enable using such methods clinically.
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Neurofunctional view of psychiatry: clinical brain imaging revisited.
Curr Opin Psychiatry
PUBLISHED: 04-07-2009
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Despite an exponential increase in the use of brain imaging in neuroscience, it has as yet hardly been integrated into clinical psychiatry. Our aim is to examine the potentials and perspectives of functional brain imaging in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.
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Anatomical brain connectivity and positive symptoms of schizophrenia: a diffusion tensor imaging study.
Psychiatry Res
PUBLISHED: 03-06-2009
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Structural brain changes in schizophrenia are well documented in the neuroimaging literature. The classical morphometric analyses of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data have recently been supplemented by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which mainly assesses changes in white matter (WM). DTI increasingly provides evidence for abnormal anatomical connectivity in schizophrenia, most often using fractional anisotropy (FA) as an indicator of the integrity of WM tracts. To better understand the clinical significance of such anatomical changes, we studied FA values in a whole-brain analysis comparing paranoid schizophrenic patients with a history of auditory hallucinations and matched healthy controls. The relationship of WM changes to psychopathology was assessed by correlating FA values with PANSS scores (positive symptoms and severity of auditory hallucinations) and with illness duration. Schizophrenic patients showed FA reductions indicating WM integrity disturbance in the prefrontal regions, external capsule, pyramidal tract, occipitofrontal fasciculus, superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi, and corpus callosum. The arcuate fasciculus was the only tract which showed increased FA values in patients. Increased FA values in this region correlated with increased severity of auditory hallucinations and length of illness. Our results suggest that local changes in anatomical integrity of WM tracts in schizophrenia may be related to patients clinical presentation.
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Reduced language lateralization in first-episode schizophrenia: an fMRI index of functional asymmetry.
Psychiatry Res
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2009
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Patients with schizophrenia exhibit a decrease or loss of normal anatomical brain asymmetry that also extends to functional levels. We applied functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate language lateralization in patients with schizophrenia during their first episode of illness, thus excluding effects of chronic illness and treatment. Brain regions activated during language tasks of verb generation and passive music listening were explored in 12 first-episode patients with schizophrenia and 17 healthy controls. Regions of interest corresponded to Brocas area in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and Wernickes area in the superior temporal sulcus (STS). Patients with schizophrenia had significantly smaller lateralization indices in language-related regions than controls. A similar effect was observed in their IFG and STS regions. There was no difference between the groups in the auditory cortex for the music task. Patients with schizophrenia demonstrated greater activation than the controls in temporal regions: the difference was larger in patients with more severe positive symptom subscores. In conclusion, patients with schizophrenia demonstrated loss of normal functional brain asymmetry, as reflected in diminished lateralization of language-related activation in frontal and temporal regions. This phenomenon was already present during their first episode of psychosis, possibly reflecting developmental brain abnormalities of the illness.
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Diminished neural sensitivity to irregular facial expression in first-episode schizophrenia.
Hum Brain Mapp
PUBLISHED: 01-28-2009
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Blunted, inappropriate affective-social behavior is a hallmark of early schizophrenia, possibly corresponding to reduced ability to recognize and express emotions. It is yet unknown if this affective deficiency relates to disturbed neural sensitivity to facial expressions or to overall face processing. In a previous imaging study, healthy subjects showed less suppression of the fusiform gyrus (FG) to repeated presentation of the same transfigured-bizarre face relative to regular face. We assumed that the FG in schizophrenia will show reduced repetition related sensitivity to transfigured-bizarre faces, while having overall normal response to faces.
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Cerebral pathological and compensatory mechanisms in the premotor phase of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 parkinsonism.
Brain
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Compensatory cerebral mechanisms can delay motor symptom onset in Parkinsons disease. We aim to characterize these compensatory mechanisms and early disease-related changes by quantifying movement-related cerebral function in subjects at significantly increased risk of developing Parkinsons disease, namely carriers of a leucine-rich repeat kinase 2-G2019S mutation associated with dominantly inherited parkinsonism. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to examine cerebral activity evoked during internal selection of motor representations, a core motor deficit in clinically overt Parkinsons disease. Thirty-nine healthy first-degree relatives of Ashkenazi Jewish patients with Parkinsons disease, who carry the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2-G2019S mutation, participated in this study. Twenty-one carriers of the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2-G2019S mutation and 18 non-carriers of this mutation were engaged in a motor imagery task (laterality judgements of left or right hands) known to be sensitive to motor control parameters. Behavioural performance of both groups was matched. Mutation carriers and non-carriers were equally sensitive to the extent and biomechanical constraints of the imagined movements in relation to the current posture of the participants hands. Cerebral activity differed between groups, such that leucine-rich repeat kinase 2-G2019S carriers had reduced imagery-related activity in the right caudate nucleus and increased activity in the right dorsal premotor cortex. More severe striatal impairment was associated with stronger effective connectivity between the right dorsal premotor cortex and the right extrastriate body area. These findings suggest that altered movement-related activity in the caudate nuclei of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2-G2019S carriers might remain behaviourally latent by virtue of cortical compensatory mechanisms involving long-range connectivity between the dorsal premotor cortex and posterior sensory regions. These functional cerebral changes open the possibility to use a prospective study to test their relevance as early markers of Parkinsons disease.
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The dark side of the alpha rhythm: fMRI evidence for induced alpha modulation during complete darkness.
Eur. J. Neurosci.
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The unique role of the EEG alpha rhythm in different states of cortical activity is still debated. The main theories regarding alpha function posit either sensory processing or attention allocation as the main processes governing its modulation. Closing and opening eyes, a well-known manipulation of the alpha rhythm, could be regarded as attention allocation from inward to outward focus though during light is also accompanied by visual change. To disentangle the effects of attention allocation and sensory visual input on alpha modulation, 14 healthy subjects were asked to open and close their eyes during conditions of light and of complete darkness while simultaneous recordings of EEG and fMRI were acquired. Thus, during complete darkness the eyes-open condition is not related to visual input but only to attention allocation, allowing direct examination of its role in alpha modulation. A data-driven ridge regression classifier was applied to the EEG data in order to ascertain the contribution of the alpha rhythm to eyes-open/eyes-closed inference in both lighting conditions. Classifier results revealed significant alpha contribution during both light and dark conditions, suggesting that alpha rhythm modulation is closely linked to the change in the direction of attention regardless of the presence of visual sensory input. Furthermore, fMRI activation maps derived from an alpha modulation time-course during the complete darkness condition exhibited a right frontal cortical network associated with attention allocation. These findings support the importance of top-down processes such as attention allocation to alpha rhythm modulation, possibly as a prerequisite to its known bottom-up processing of sensory input.
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Cortex-based inter-subject analysis of iEEG and fMRI data sets: Application to sustained task-related BOLD and gamma responses.
Neuroimage
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Linking regional metabolic changes with fluctuations in the local electromagnetic fields directly on the surface of the human cerebral cortex is of tremendous importance for a better understanding of detailed brain processes. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and intra-cranial electro-encephalography (iEEG) measure two technically unrelated but spatially and temporally complementary sets of functional descriptions of human brain activity. In order to allow fine-grained spatio-temporal human brain mapping at the population-level, an effective comparative framework for the cortex-based inter-subject analysis of iEEG and fMRI data sets is needed. We combined fMRI and iEEG recordings of the same patients with epilepsy during alternated intervals of passive movie viewing and music listening to explore the degree of local spatial correspondence and temporal coupling between blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) fMRI changes and iEEG spectral power modulations across the cortical surface after cortex-based inter-subject alignment. To this purpose, we applied a simple model of the iEEG activity spread around each electrode location and the cortex-based inter-subject alignment procedure to transform discrete iEEG measurements into cortically distributed group patterns by establishing a fine anatomic correspondence of many iEEG cortical sites across multiple subjects. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of a multi-modal inter-subject cortex-based distributed analysis for combining iEEG and fMRI data sets acquired from multiple subjects with the same experimental paradigm but with different iEEG electrode coverage. The proposed iEEG-fMRI framework allows for improved group statistics in a common anatomical space and preserves the dynamic link between the temporal features of the two modalities.
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Functional and structural neural indices of risk aversion in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Psychiatry Res
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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients suffer from risk aversion, which may be mediated by their exaggerated response to threat and diminished response to reward. In this study, 13 OCD patients and 13 healthy matched controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while playing an interactive risky choice game encompassing distinct intervals of threat and reward; as well as anatomical diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Compared to healthy controls OCD patients were reluctant to make risky choices during the game. Furthermore, they displayed higher amygdala activation to threat; lower nucleus accumbens (Nacc) activation to reward and reduced functional connectivity of the amygdala and Nacc to two frontal regions, the orbito-frontal cortex (OFC) and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), respectively. OCD patients also displayed reduced structural integrity in clusters within the uncinate and cingulum fiber tracts. Finally, these deficits in limbic-frontal connectivity pathways, both at the functional and structural level, were associated with severity of OCD symptoms, as well as with each other. Our results thus suggest that risk aversion in OCD is mediated by abnormal limbic responses to threatening and rewarding stimuli, as well as by deficient functional and structural limbic-frontal connectivity. Such deficiency characterization may aid in identifying neural predictors for treatment response and localizing individual targets for direct neural intervention treatments.
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Synchrony and specificity in the maternal and the paternal brain: relations to oxytocin and vasopressin.
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry
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Research on the neurobiology of parenting has defined biobehavioral synchrony, the coordination of biological and behavioral responses between parent and child, as a central process underpinning mammalian bond formation. Bi-parental rearing, typically observed in monogamous species, is similarly thought to draw on mechanisms of mother-father synchrony.
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Never resting region--mPFC in schizophrenia.
Schizophr. Res.
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Reduced functional connectivity (FC) in schizophrenia has been demonstrated either in task related or default network areas, but not between these networks, which interact meaningfully. We examined the role of FC between the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in determining language-lateralization during a language task, and its association with structural integrity of the corpus-callosum. Only schizophrenia patients presented increased mPFC-IFG FC during task, which additionally corresponded to decreased white-matter organization of the corpus-callosum. These findings suggest that inability to suppress irrelevant internally-generated information while processing external stimuli might be the basis of functional psychopathology in schizophrenia.
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Stress-induced reduction in hippocampal volume and connectivity with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex are related to maladaptive responses to stressful military service.
Hum Brain Mapp
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Previous studies have shown that people who develop psychopathology such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following stress exposure are characterized by reduced hippocampal (HC) volume and impaired HC functional connectivity with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Nevertheless, the exact interrelationship between reduced HC volume and HC-vmPFC connectivity deficits in the context of stress has yet to be established. Furthermore, it is still not clear whether such neural abnormalities are stress induced or precursors for vulnerability. In this study, we combined measurements of MRI, functional MRI (fMRI), and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to prospectively study 33 a priori healthy Israeli soldiers both pre- and post-exposure to stress during their military service. Thus, we were able to assess the contributions of structural and functional features of the HC and its connectivity to the onset and progression of maladaptive response to stress (i.e., increased PTSD symptoms post-exposure). We found that soldiers with decreased HC volume following military service (i.e., post-exposure) displayed more PTSD-related symptoms post-exposure as well as reduced HC-vmPFC functional and structural connectivity post-exposure, compared to soldiers with increased HC volume following military service. In contrast, initial smaller HC volume pre-exposure did not have an effect on any of these factors. Our results therefore suggest that reduction in HC volume and connectivity with the vmPFC together mark a maladaptive response to stressful military service. As stress-induced HC volume reductions were previously shown to be reversible, these localized biological markers may carry valuable therapeutic potential.
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Inside out: a neuro-behavioral signature of free recall dynamics.
Neuropsychologia
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Free recall (FR) is a ubiquitous internally-driven retrieval operation that crucially affects our day-to-day life. The neural correlates of FR, however, are not sufficiently understood, partly due to the methodological challenges presented by its emerging property and endogenic nature. Using fMRI and performance measures, the neuro-behavioral correlates of FR were studied in 33 healthy participants who repeatedly encoded and retrieved word-lists. Retrieval was determined either overtly via verbal output (Experiment 1) or covertly via motor responses (Experiment 2). Brain activation during FR was characterized by two types of performance-based parametric analyses of retrieval changes over time. First was the elongation in inter response time (IRT) assumed to represent the prolongation of memory search over time, as increased effort was needed. Using a derivative of this parameter in whole brain analysis revealed the default mode network (DMN): longer IRT within FR blocks correlated with less deactivation of the DMN, representing its greater recruitment. Second was the increased number of words retrieved in repeated encoding-recall cycles, assumed to represent the learning process. Using this parameter in whole brain analysis revealed increased deactivation in the DMN (i.e., less recruitment). Together our results demonstrate the naturally occurring dynamics in the recruitment of the DMN during utilization of internally generated processes during FR. The contrasting effects of increased and decreased recruitment of the DMN following dynamics in memory search and learning, respectively, supports the idea that with learning FR is less dependent on neural operations of internally-generated processes such as those initially needed for memory search.
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From animal model to human brain networking: dynamic causal modeling of motivational systems.
J. Neurosci.
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An organisms behavior is sensitive to different reinforcements in the environment. Based on extensive animal literature, the reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST) proposes three separate neurobehavioral systems to account for such context-sensitive behavior, affecting the tendency to react to punishment, reward, or goal-conflict stimuli. The translation of animal findings to complex human behavior, however, is far from obvious. To examine whether the neural networks underlying humans motivational processes are similar to those proposed by the RST model, we conducted a functional MRI study, in which 24 healthy subjects performed an interactive game that engaged the different motivational systems using distinct time periods (states) of punishment, reward, and conflict. Crucially, we found that the different motivational states elicited activations in brain regions that corresponded exactly to the brain systems underlying RST. Moreover, dynamic causal modeling of each motivational system confirmed that the coupling strengths between the key brain regions of each system were enabled selectively by the appropriate motivational state. These results may shed light on the impairments that underlie psychopathologies associated with dysfunctional motivational processes and provide a translational validity for the RST.
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Enhanced functional synchronization of medial and lateral PFC underlies internally-guided action planning.
Front Hum Neurosci
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Actions are often internally guided, reflecting our covert will and intentions. The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, including the pre-Supplementary Motor Area (pre-SMA), has been implicated in the internally generated aspects of action planning, such as choice and intention. Yet, the mechanism by which this area interacts with other cognitive brain regions such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a central node in decision-making, is still unclear. To shed light on this mechanism, brain activity was measured via fMRI and intracranial EEG in two studies during the performance of visually cued repeated finger tapping in which the choice of finger was guided by either a presented number (external) or self-choice (internal). A functional-MRI (fMRI) study in 15 healthy participants demonstrated that the pre-SMA, compared to the SMA proper, was more active and also more functionally correlated with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during internally compared to externally guided action planning (p < 0.05, random effect). In a similar manner, an intracranial-EEG study in five epilepsy patients showed greater inter-regional gamma-related connectivity between electrodes situated in medial and lateral aspects of the prefrontal cortex for internally compared to externally guided actions. Although this finding was observed for groups of electrodes situated both in the pre-SMA and SMA-proper, increased intra-cluster gamma-related connectivity was only observed for the pre-SMA (sign-test, p < 0.0001). Overall our findings provide multi-scale indications for the involvement of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, and especially the pre-SMA, in generating internally guided motor planning. Our intracranial-EEG results further point to enhanced functional connectivity between decision-making- and motor planning aspects of the PFC, as a possible neural mechanism for internally generated action planning.
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Through the eyes of anxiety: Dissecting threat bias via emotional-binocular rivalry.
Emotion
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An extensive body of research has demonstrated that anxious individuals abnormally process threat-related content. Yet, the manner in which clinical anxiety affects the selection of threatening signals and their maintenance within consciousness is yet to be explored. The present study used an emotional binocular rivalry (e-BR) procedure, in which pictures of faces depicting either fearful or neutral expressions competed with pictures of a house for conscious perception. We assumed that first- or cumulative-preferred perception of faces with fearful over neutral expression (i.e., initial or sustained threat bias, respectively) stand for preferential selection or maintenance of fear content in awareness, correspondingly. Unmedicated patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) and panic disorder (PAD) were compared to healthy controls for threat-related perceptual biases in the e-BR. At first perception of face, both SAD and PAD patients showed a greater initial threat bias than healthy controls. In contrast, at cumulative dwell-time of face, patient groups demonstrated a diminished sustained threat bias relative to healthy controls, yet in a different manner. SAD patients showed a sustained threat bias, though it was smaller than in healthy controls. Furthermore, increased levels of reported anxiety among SAD patients were associated with enhanced sustained perception of neutral faces. PAD patients, on the other hand, showed no sustained threat bias and a diminished cumulative perception of fearful faces with increased levels of anxiety traits. These findings indicate that anxiety disorders commonly involve an initially enhanced selection of threat signals into awareness, followed by disorder-specific manifestation of diminished preferred maintenance of threat in awareness.
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Emotional brain rhythms and their impairment in post-traumatic patients.
Hum Brain Mapp
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Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) suffer from a failure of cognitive control over emotional distracters. The physiological substrates of cognitive-emotional interactions and their breakdown in disease are, however, unknown. Here, we studied brain activity in PTSD patients and healthy controls in response to emotion-provoking pictures using electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We demonstrate that in healthy individuals, emotion-induced frontal theta rhythm modulates activity in the beta rhythm mainly in sensory-motor regions. In contrast, in PTSD patients, beta activity is elevated irrespective of emotion, and is not modulated by frontal theta activity in response to negative emotion. EEG source localization and fMRI findings suggest that theta activity is localized to the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices while beta activity is localized to sensory-motor regions. We further found that beta activity in sensory-motor regions is related to the emotion-induced slowing of the motor response in healthy controls while the excess frontal theta activity in PTSD is related to the intensity of negative emotional experience. These findings reveal for the first time the importance of brain electrical oscillations and coherence in emotional top-down modulation and point to specific failure of these mechanisms in PTSD.
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Imbalanced neural responsivity to risk and reward indicates stress vulnerability in humans.
Cereb. Cortex
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Trauma-related psychopathology has been associated with an intense emotional reaction to stressful event. Emotional responses have evolved to signal the presence of risks to be avoided or of rewards to be approached in the environment. Thus, individuals sensitivity to signals of risk and reward may affect the level of stress vulnerability. Stress, however, can modify these sensitivities as well. In the current functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we prospectively probed the neural correlates of such sensitivities in 24 healthy soldiers by using an interactive game that encompasses risky and rewarding intervals both pre-exposure and post-exposure to stressful military service. As expected, risky and rewarding intervals elicited selective responses in the amygdala and nucleus accumbens (Nacc), respectively. Furthermore, increased post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms post-exposure (i.e., stress vulnerability) corresponded to greater amygdalas response to risk both pre-exposure and post-exposure and to decreased NAcc response to reward only post-exposure. By combining these regional responsivities post-exposure, we accurately identified all the most vulnerable soldiers. Imbalanced neural responsivity to risk and reward following exposure to stress may therefore constitute a marker for stress vulnerability. Such identification of vulnerability biomarkers can aid future diagnostic and therapeutic efforts by allowing early detection of vulnerability as well as follow up on patients treatment progression.
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Portraying emotions at their unfolding: a multilayered approach for probing dynamics of neural networks.
Neuroimage
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Dynamic functional integration of distinct neural systems plays a pivotal role in emotional experience. We introduce a novel approach for studying emotion-related changes in the interactions within and between networks using fMRI. It is based on continuous computation of a network cohesion index (NCI), which is sensitive to both strength and variability of signal correlations between pre-defined regions. The regions encompass three clusters (namely limbic, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and cognitive), each previously was shown to be involved in emotional processing. Two sadness-inducing film excerpts were viewed passively, and comparisons between viewers rated sadness, parasympathetic, and inter-NCI and intra-NCI were obtained. Limbic intra-NCI was associated with reported sadness in both movies. However, the correlation between the parasympathetic-index, the rated sadness and the limbic-NCI occurred in only one movie, possibly related to a "deactivated" pattern of sadness. In this film, rated sadness intensity also correlated with the mPFC intra-NCI, possibly reflecting temporal correspondence between sadness and sympathy. Further, only for this movie, we found an association between sadness rating and the mPFC-limbic inter-NCI time courses. To the contrary, in the other film in which sadness was reported to commingle with horror and anger, dramatic events coincided with disintegration of these networks. Together, this may point to a difference between the cinematic experiences with regard to inter-network dynamics related to emotional regulation. These findings demonstrate the advantage of a multi-layered dynamic analysis for elucidating the uniqueness of emotional experiences with regard to an unguided processing of continuous and complex stimulation.
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What is Visualize?

JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

How does it work?

We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.

Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...

In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.