Luis F H Basile
Full Text Available In this study we analyzed the topography of induced cortical oscillations in 20 healthy individuals performing simple attention tasks. We were interested in qualitatively replicating our recent findings on the localization of attention-induced beta bands during a visual task , and verifying whether significant topographic changes would follow the change of attention to the auditory modality. We computed corrected latency averaging of each induced frequency bands, and modeled their generators by current density reconstruction with Lp-norm minimization. We quantified topographic similarity between conditions by an analysis of correlations, whereas the inter-modality significant differences in attention correlates were illustrated in each individual case. We replicated the qualitative result of highly idiosyncratic topography of attention-related activity to individuals, manifested both in the beta bands, and previously studied slow potential distributions . Visual inspection of both scalp potentials and distribution of cortical currents showed minor changes in attention-related bands with respect to modality, as compared to the theta and delta bands, known to be major contributors to the sensory-related potentials. Quantitative results agreed with visual inspection, supporting to the conclusion that attention-related activity does not change much between modalities, and whatever individual changes do occur, they are not systematic in cortical localization across subjects. We discuss our results, combined with results from other studies that present individual data, with respect to the function of cortical association areas.
This review provides clinicians with an overview of recent findings relevant to understanding why listeners with normal hearing thresholds (NHTs) sometimes suffer from communication difficulties in noisy settings. The results from neuroscience and psychoacoustics are reviewed. In noisy settings, listeners focus their attention by engaging cortical brain networks to suppress unimportant sounds; they then can analyze and understand an important sound, such as speech, amidst competing sounds. Differences in the efficacy of top-down control of attention can affect communication abilities. In addition, subclinical deficits in sensory fidelity can disrupt the ability to perceptually segregate sound sources, interfering with selective attention, even in listeners with NHTs. Studies of variability in control of attention and in sensory coding fidelity may help to isolate and identify some of the causes of communication disorders in individuals presenting at the clinic with "normal hearing." How well an individual with NHTs can understand speech amidst competing sounds depends not only on the sound being audible but also on the integrity of cortical control networks and the fidelity of the representation of suprathreshold sound. Understanding the root cause of difficulties experienced by listeners with NHTs ultimately can lead to new, targeted interventions that address specific deficits affecting communication in noise. http://cred.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=2601617.
Green, Jessica J; Boehler, Carsten N; Roberts, Kenneth C; Chen, Ling-Chia; Krebs, Ruth M; Song, Allen W; Woldorff, Marty G
Visual spatial attention has been studied in humans with both electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) individually. However, due to the intrinsic limitations of each of these methods used alone, our understanding of the systems-level mechanisms underlying attentional control remains limited. Here, we examined trial-to-trial covariations of concurrently recorded EEG and fMRI in a cued visual spatial attention task in humans, which allowed delineation of both the generators and modulators of the cue-triggered event-related oscillatory brain activity underlying attentional control function. The fMRI activity in visual cortical regions contralateral to the cued direction of attention covaried positively with occipital gamma-band EEG, consistent with activation of cortical regions representing attended locations in space. In contrast, fMRI activity in ipsilateral visual cortical regions covaried inversely with occipital alpha-band oscillations, consistent with attention-related suppression of the irrelevant hemispace. Moreover, the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus covaried with both of these spatially specific, attention-related, oscillatory EEG modulations. Because the pulvinar's neuroanatomical geometry makes it unlikely to be a direct generator of the scalp-recorded EEG, these covariational patterns appear to reflect the pulvinar's role as a regulatory control structure, sending spatially specific signals to modulate visual cortex excitability proactively. Together, these combined EEG/fMRI results illuminate the dynamically interacting cortical and subcortical processes underlying spatial attention, providing important insight not realizable using either method alone. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Noninvasive recordings of changes in the brain's blood flow using functional magnetic resonance imaging and electrical activity using electroencephalography in humans have individually shown that shifting attention to a location in space
Furey, Maura L; Tanskanen, Topi; Beauchamp, Michael S; Avikainen, Sari; Uutela, Kimmo; Hari, Riitta; Haxby, James V
We studied attentional modulation of cortical processing of faces and houses with functional MRI and magnetoencephalography (MEG). MEG detected an early, transient face-selective response. Directing attention to houses in "double-exposure" pictures of superimposed faces and houses strongly suppressed the characteristic, face-selective functional MRI response in the fusiform gyrus. By contrast, attention had no effect on the M170, the early, face-selective response detected with MEG. Late (>190 ms) category-related MEG responses elicited by faces and houses, however, were strongly modulated by attention. These results indicate that hemodynamic and electrophysiological measures of face-selective cortical processing complement each other. The hemodynamic signals reflect primarily late responses that can be modulated by feedback connections. By contrast, the early, face-specific M170 that was not modulated by attention likely reflects a rapid, feed-forward phase of face-selective processing.
Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kostic, Vladimir; Pavlovic, Aleksandra
Objective In this study, we analyzed the influence of artificially imposed attention variations using the auditory oddball paradigm on the cortical activity associated to motor preparation/execution. Methods EEG signals from Cz and its surrounding channels were recorded during three sets of ankle...... and accuracy deteriorated with attention diversion. Conclusion Attention diversion has a significant influence on MRCP features and detection parameters, although these changes were counteracted by the application of the laplacian method. Significance Brain–computer interfaces for neuromodulation that use...... the MRCP as the control signal are robust to changes in attention. However, attention must be monitored since it plays a key role in plasticity induction. Here we demonstrate that this can be achieved using the single channel Cz....
Finke, Kathrin; Neitzel, Julia; Bäuml, Josef G; Redel, Petra; Müller, Hermann J; Meng, Chun; Jaekel, Julia; Daamen, Marcel; Scheef, Lukas; Busch, Barbara; Baumann, Nicole; Boecker, Henning; Bartmann, Peter; Habekost, Thomas; Wolke, Dieter; Wohlschläger, Afra; Sorg, Christian
Although pronounced and lasting deficits in selective attention have been observed for preterm born individuals it is unknown which specific attentional sub-mechanisms are affected and how they relate to brain networks. We used the computationally specified 'Theory of Visual Attention' together with whole- and partial-report paradigms to compare attentional sub-mechanisms of pre- (n=33) and full-term (n=32) born adults. Resting-state fMRI was used to evaluate both between-group differences and inter-individual variance in changed functional connectivity of intrinsic brain networks relevant for visual attention. In preterm born adults, we found specific impairments of visual short-term memory (vSTM) storage capacity while other sub-mechanisms such as processing speed or attentional weighting were unchanged. Furthermore, changed functional connectivity was found in unimodal visual and supramodal attention-related intrinsic networks. Among preterm born adults, the individual pattern of changed connectivity in occipital and parietal cortices was systematically associated with vSTM in such a way that the more distinct the connectivity differences, the better the preterm adults' storage capacity. These findings provide first evidence for selectively changed attentional sub-mechanisms in preterm born adults and their relation to altered intrinsic brain networks. In particular, data suggest that cortical changes in intrinsic functional connectivity may compensate adverse developmental consequences of prematurity on visual short-term storage capacity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dai, Lengshi; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G
Listeners with normal hearing thresholds (NHTs) differ in their ability to steer attention to whatever sound source is important. This ability depends on top-down executive control, which modulates the sensory representation of sound in the cortex. Yet, this sensory representation also depends on the coding fidelity of the peripheral auditory system. Both of these factors may thus contribute to the individual differences in performance. We designed a selective auditory attention paradigm in which we could simultaneously measure envelope following responses (EFRs, reflecting peripheral coding), onset event-related potentials (ERPs) from the scalp (reflecting cortical responses to sound) and behavioral scores. We performed two experiments that varied stimulus conditions to alter the degree to which performance might be limited due to fine stimulus details vs. due to control of attentional focus. Consistent with past work, in both experiments we find that attention strongly modulates cortical ERPs. Importantly, in Experiment I, where coding fidelity limits the task, individual behavioral performance correlates with subcortical coding strength (derived by computing how the EFR is degraded for fully masked tones compared to partially masked tones); however, in this experiment, the effects of attention on cortical ERPs were unrelated to individual subject performance. In contrast, in Experiment II, where sensory cues for segregation are robust (and thus less of a limiting factor on task performance), inter-subject behavioral differences correlate with subcortical coding strength. In addition, after factoring out the influence of subcortical coding strength, behavioral differences are also correlated with the strength of attentional modulation of ERPs. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral abilities amongst listeners with NHTs can arise due to both subcortical coding differences and differences in attentional control, depending on stimulus characteristics
Full Text Available Listeners with normal hearing thresholds differ in their ability to steer attention to whatever sound source is important. This ability depends on top-down executive control, which modulates the sensory representation of sound in cortex. Yet, this sensory representation also depends on the coding fidelity of the peripheral auditory system. Both of these factors may thus contribute to the individual differences in performance. We designed a selective auditory attention paradigm in which we could simultaneously measure envelope following responses (EFRs, reflecting peripheral coding, onset event-related potentials from the scalp (ERPs, reflecting cortical responses to sound, and behavioral scores. We performed two experiments that varied stimulus conditions to alter the degree to which performance might be limited due to fine stimulus details vs. due to control of attentional focus. Consistent with past work, in both experiments we find that attention strongly modulates cortical ERPs. Importantly, in Experiment I, where coding fidelity limits the task, individual behavioral performance correlates with subcortical coding strength (derived by computing how the EFR is degraded for fully masked tones compared to partially masked tones; however, in this experiment, the effects of attention on cortical ERPs were unrelated to individual subject performance. In contrast, in Experiment II, where sensory cues for segregation are robust (and thus less of a limiting factor on task performance, inter-subject behavioral differences correlate with subcortical coding strength. In addition, after factoring out the influence of subcortical coding strength, behavioral differences are also correlated with the strength of attentional modulation of ERPs. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral abilities amongst listeners with normal hearing thresholds can arise due to both subcortical coding differences and differences in attentional control, depending on
Liu, Tian; Chen, Yanni; Li, Chenxi; Li, Youjun; Wang, Jue
This study investigated the cortical thickness and topological features of human brain anatomical networks related to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Data were collected from 40 attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder children and 40 normal control children. Interregional correlation matrices were established by calculating the correlations of cortical thickness between all pairs of cortical regions (68 regions) of the whole brain. Further thresholds were applied to create binary matrices to construct a series of undirected and unweighted graphs, and global, local, and nodal efficiencies were computed as a function of the network cost. These experimental results revealed abnormal cortical thickness and correlations in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and showed that the brain structural networks of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder subjects had inefficient small-world topological features. Furthermore, their topological properties were altered abnormally. In particular, decreased global efficiency combined with increased local efficiency in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder children led to a disorder-related shift of the network topological structure toward regular networks. In addition, nodal efficiency, cortical thickness, and correlation analyses revealed that several brain regions were altered in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients. These findings are in accordance with a hypothesis of dysfunctional integration and segregation of the brain in patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and provide further evidence of brain dysfunction in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients by observing cortical thickness on magnetic resonance imaging.
Wiegand, Iris; Töllner, Thomas; Dyrholm, Mads
The ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ quantifies an individual’s capacity of attentional resources in parameters visual processing speed C and vSTM storage capacity K. By combining TVA-based assessment with neurophysiology, we showed that distinct ERP components index inter-individual differences......-related changes in attentional capacities, these ERP markers of individual differences in processing speed and storage capacity were validated in an older group. Furthermore, additional components were related to performance exclusively in older inidividuals: Anterior N1 amplitudes were reduced for slower older...... that reorganization of attentional brain networks, including age-specific decline and compensation mechanisms, determines older individuals’ attention capacity. Furthermore, we show that the distinctiveness of the two functions, as defined in TVA, is preserved (or even increased) in older age....
Gao, Yayue; Wang, Qian; Ding, Yu; Wang, Changming; Li, Haifeng; Wu, Xihong; Qu, Tianshu; Li, Liang
Human listeners are able to selectively attend to target speech in a noisy environment with multiple-people talking. Using recordings of scalp electroencephalogram (EEG), this study investigated how selective attention facilitates the cortical representation of target speech under a simulated "cocktail-party" listening condition with speech-on-speech masking. The result shows that the cortical representation of target-speech signals under the multiple-people talking condition was specifically improved by selective attention relative to the non-selective-attention listening condition, and the beta-band activity was most strongly modulated by selective attention. Moreover, measured with the Granger Causality value, selective attention to the single target speech in the mixed-speech complex enhanced the following four causal connectivities for the beta-band oscillation: the ones (1) from site FT7 to the right motor area, (2) from the left frontal area to the right motor area, (3) from the central frontal area to the right motor area, and (4) from the central frontal area to the right frontal area. However, the selective-attention-induced change in beta-band causal connectivity from the central frontal area to the right motor area, but not other beta-band causal connectivities, was significantly correlated with the selective-attention-induced change in the cortical beta-band representation of target speech. These findings suggest that under the "cocktail-party" listening condition, the beta-band oscillation in EEGs to target speech is specifically facilitated by selective attention to the target speech that is embedded in the mixed-speech complex. The selective attention-induced unmasking of target speech may be associated with the improved beta-band functional connectivity from the central frontal area to the right motor area, suggesting a top-down attentional modulation of the speech-motor process.
Kong, Ru; Li, Jingwei; Orban, Csaba; Sabuncu, Mert R; Liu, Hesheng; Schaefer, Alexander; Sun, Nanbo; Zuo, Xi-Nian; Holmes, Avram J; Eickhoff, Simon B; Yeo, B T Thomas
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) offers the opportunity to delineate individual-specific brain networks. A major question is whether individual-specific network topography (i.e., location and spatial arrangement) is behaviorally relevant. Here, we propose a multi-session hierarchical Bayesian model (MS-HBM) for estimating individual-specific cortical networks and investigate whether individual-specific network topography can predict human behavior. The multiple layers of the MS-HBM explicitly differentiate intra-subject (within-subject) from inter-subject (between-subject) network variability. By ignoring intra-subject variability, previous network mappings might confuse intra-subject variability for inter-subject differences. Compared with other approaches, MS-HBM parcellations generalized better to new rs-fMRI and task-fMRI data from the same subjects. More specifically, MS-HBM parcellations estimated from a single rs-fMRI session (10 min) showed comparable generalizability as parcellations estimated by 2 state-of-the-art methods using 5 sessions (50 min). We also showed that behavioral phenotypes across cognition, personality, and emotion could be predicted by individual-specific network topography with modest accuracy, comparable to previous reports predicting phenotypes based on connectivity strength. Network topography estimated by MS-HBM was more effective for behavioral prediction than network size, as well as network topography estimated by other parcellation approaches. Thus, similar to connectivity strength, individual-specific network topography might also serve as a fingerprint of human behavior.
Paulina A. Kulesz
Full Text Available This study investigated the relations of tectal volume and superior parietal cortex, as well as alterations in tectocortical white matter connectivity, with the orienting and executive control attention networks in individuals with spina bifida myelomeningocele (SBM. Probabilistic diffusion tractography and quantification of tectal and superior parietal cortical volume were performed on 74 individuals aged 8–29 with SBM and a history of hydrocephalus. Behavioral assessments measured posterior (covert orienting and anterior (conflict resolution, attentional control attention network functions. Reduced tectal volume was associated with slower covert orienting; reduced superior parietal cortical volume was associated with slower conflict resolution; and increased axial diffusivity and radial diffusivity along both frontal and parietal tectocortical pathways were associated with reduced attentional control. Results suggest that components of both the orienting and executive control attention networks are impaired in SBM. Neuroanatomical disruption to the orienting network appears more robust and a direct consequence of characteristic midbrain dysmorphology; whereas, executive control difficulties may emerge from parietal cortical anomalies and reduced frontal and parietal cortical–subcortical white matter pathways susceptible to the pathophysiological effects of congenital hydrocephalus.
Boksem, M.A.S.; Kostermans, E.; Tops, M.; de Cremer, D.
Recent research has demonstrated that individual differences in approach motivation modulate attentional scope. In turn, approach and inhibition have been related to different neural systems that are associated with asymmetries in relative frontal activity (RFA). Here, we investigated whether such
Gao, Yayue; Wang, Qian; Ding, Yu; Wang, Changming; Li, Haifeng; Wu, Xihong; Qu, Tianshu; Li, Liang
Human listeners are able to selectively attend to target speech in a noisy environment with multiple-people talking. Using recordings of scalp electroencephalogram (EEG), this study investigated how selective attention facilitates the cortical representation of target speech under a simulated “cocktail-party” listening condition with speech-on-speech masking. The result shows that the cortical representation of target-speech signals under the multiple-people talking condition was specifically improved by selective attention relative to the non-selective-attention listening condition, and the beta-band activity was most strongly modulated by selective attention. Moreover, measured with the Granger Causality value, selective attention to the single target speech in the mixed-speech complex enhanced the following four causal connectivities for the beta-band oscillation: the ones (1) from site FT7 to the right motor area, (2) from the left frontal area to the right motor area, (3) from the central frontal area to the right motor area, and (4) from the central frontal area to the right frontal area. However, the selective-attention-induced change in beta-band causal connectivity from the central frontal area to the right motor area, but not other beta-band causal connectivities, was significantly correlated with the selective-attention-induced change in the cortical beta-band representation of target speech. These findings suggest that under the “cocktail-party” listening condition, the beta-band oscillation in EEGs to target speech is specifically facilitated by selective attention to the target speech that is embedded in the mixed-speech complex. The selective attention-induced unmasking of target speech may be associated with the improved beta-band functional connectivity from the central frontal area to the right motor area, suggesting a top-down attentional modulation of the speech-motor process. PMID:28239344
Human communication emerges from cortical processing, known to be implemented on a regular repetitive neuronal substratum. The supposed genericity of cortical processing has elicited a series of modeling works in computational neuroscience that underline the information flows driven by the cortical circuitry. In the minimalist framework underlying the current theories for the embodiment of cognition, such a generic cortical processing is exploited for the coordination of poles of representation, as is reported in this paper for the case of visual attention. Interestingly, this case emphasizes how abstract internal referents are built to conform to memory requirements. This paper proposes that these referents are the basis for communication in humans, which is firstly a coordination and an attentional procedure with regard to their congeners.
Yurgil, Kate A; Golob, Edward J
This study determined whether auditory cortical responses associated with mechanisms of attention vary with individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) and perceptual load. The operation span test defined subjects with low versus high WMC, who then discriminated target/nontarget tones while EEG was recorded. Infrequent white noise distracters were presented at midline or ±90° locations, and perceptual load was manipulated by varying nontarget frequency. Amplitude of the N100 to distracters was negatively correlated with WMC. Relative to targets, only high WMC subjects showed attenuated N100 amplitudes to nontargets. In the higher WMC group, increased perceptual load was associated with decreased P3a amplitudes to distracters and longer-lasting negative slow wave to nontargets. Results show that auditory cortical processing is associated with multiple facets of attention related to WMC and possibly higher-level cognition. Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Klein, Barrie P; Fracasso, Alessio; van Dijk, Jelle A; Paffen, Chris L E; Te Pas, Susan F; Dumoulin, Serge O
Visual spatial attention concentrates neural resources at the attended location. Recently, we demonstrated that voluntary spatial attention attracts population receptive fields (pRFs) toward its location throughout the visual hierarchy. Theoretically, both a feed forward or feedback mechanism could underlie pRF attraction in a given cortical area. Here, we use sub-millimeter ultra-high field functional MRI to measure pRF attraction across cortical depth and assess the contribution of feed forward and feedback signals to pRF attraction. In line with previous findings, we find consistent attraction of pRFs with voluntary spatial attention in V1. When assessed as a function of cortical depth, we find pRF attraction in every cortical portion (deep, center and superficial), although the attraction is strongest in deep cortical portions (near the gray-white matter boundary). Following the organization of feed forward and feedback processing across V1, we speculate that a mixture of feed forward and feedback processing underlies pRF attraction in V1. Specifically, we propose that feedback processing contributes to the pRF attraction in deep cortical portions. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Sabatino, M; Di Nuovo, S; Sardo, P; Abbate, C S; La Grutta, V
Informed volunteers were asked to perform different neuropsychological tests involving selective attention under control conditions and during transcranial magnetic cortical stimulation. The tests chosen involved the recognition of a specific letter among different letters (verbal test) and the search for three different spatial orientations of an appendage to a square (visuo-spatial test). For each test the total time taken and the error rate were calculated. Results showed that cortical stimulation did not cause a worsening in performance. Moreover, magnetic stimulation of the temporal lobe neither modified completion time in both verbal and visuo-spatial tests nor changed error rate. In contrast, magnetic stimulation of the pre-frontal area induced a significant reduction in the performance time of both the verbal and visuo-spatial tests always without an increase in the number of errors. The experimental findings underline the importance of the pre-frontal area in performing tasks requiring a high level of controlled attention and suggest the need to adopt an interdisciplinary approach towards the study of neurone/mind interface mechanisms.
Kelley, Nicholas J; Eastwick, Paul W; Harmon-Jones, Eddie; Schmeichel, Brandon J
Asymmetric frontal cortical activity may be one key to the process linking social exclusion to jealous feelings. The current research examined the causal role of asymmetric frontal brain activity in modulating jealousy in response to social exclusion. Transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) over the frontal cortex to manipulate asymmetric frontal cortical activity was combined with a modified version of the Cyberball paradigm designed to induce jealousy. After receiving 15 min of tDCS, participants were excluded by a desired partner and reported how jealous they felt. Among individuals who were excluded, tDCS to increase relative left frontal cortical activity caused greater levels of self-reported jealousy compared to tDCS to increase relative right frontal cortical activity or sham stimulation. Limitations concerning the specificity of this effect and implications for the role of the asymmetric prefrontal cortical activity in motivated behaviors are discussed. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Is empathy necessary to comprehend the emotional faces? The empathic effect on attentional mechanisms (eye movements), cortical correlates (N200 event-related potentials) and facial behaviour (electromyography) in face processing.
Balconi, Michela; Canavesio, Ylenia
The present research explored the effect of social empathy on processing emotional facial expressions. Previous evidence suggested a close relationship between emotional empathy and both the ability to detect facial emotions and the attentional mechanisms involved. A multi-measure approach was adopted: we investigated the association between trait empathy (Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale) and individuals' performance (response times; RTs), attentional mechanisms (eye movements; number and duration of fixations), correlates of cortical activation (event-related potential (ERP) N200 component), and facial responsiveness (facial zygomatic and corrugator activity). Trait empathy was found to affect face detection performance (reduced RTs), attentional processes (more scanning eye movements in specific areas of interest), ERP salience effect (increased N200 amplitude), and electromyographic activity (more facial responses). A second important result was the demonstration of strong, direct correlations among these measures. We suggest that empathy may function as a social facilitator of the processes underlying the detection of facial emotion, and a general "facial response effect" is proposed to explain these results. We assumed that empathy influences cognitive and the facial responsiveness, such that empathic individuals are more skilful in processing facial emotion.
Parks, Emily L.
Abstract Emerging hypotheses suggest that efficient cognitive functioning requires the integration of separate, but interconnected cortical networks in the brain. Although task-related measures of brain activity suggest that a frontoparietal network is associated with the control of attention, little is known regarding how components within this distributed network act together or with other networks to achieve various attentional functions. This review considers both functional and structural studies of brain connectivity, as complemented by behavioral and task-related neuroimaging data. These studies show converging results: The frontal and parietal cortical regions are active together, over time, and identifiable frontoparietal networks are active in relation to specific task demands. However, the spontaneous, low-frequency fluctuations of brain activity that occur in the resting state, without specific task demands, also exhibit patterns of connectivity that closely resemble the task-related, frontoparietal attention networks. Both task-related and resting-state networks exhibit consistent relations to behavioral measures of attention. Further, anatomical structure, particularly white matter pathways as defined by diffusion tensor imaging, places constraints on intrinsic functional connectivity. Lastly, connectivity analyses applied to investigate cognitive differences across individuals in both healthy and diseased states suggest that disconnection of attentional networks is linked to deficits in cognitive functioning, and in extreme cases, to disorders of attention. Thus, comprehensive theories of visual attention and their clinical translation depend on the continued integration of behavioral, task-related neuroimaging, and brain connectivity measures. PMID:23597177
Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kamavuako, Ernest Nlandu; Jiang, Ning; Farina, Dario; Mrachacz-Kersting, Natalie
Dual tasking is defined as performing two tasks concurrently and has been shown to have a significant effect on attention directed to the performance of the main task. In this study, an attention diversion task with two different levels was administered while participants had to complete a cue-based motor task consisting of foot dorsiflexion. An auditory oddball task with two levels of complexity was implemented to divert the user's attention. Electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings were made from nine single channels. Event-related potentials (ERPs) confirmed that the oddball task of counting a sequence of two tones decreased the auditory P300 amplitude more than the oddball task of counting one target tone among three different tones. Pre-movement features quantified from the movement-related cortical potential (MRCP) were changed significantly between single and dual-task conditions in motor and fronto-central channels. There was a significant delay in movement detection for the case of single tone counting in two motor channels only (237.1-247.4ms). For the task of sequence counting, motor cortex and frontal channels showed a significant delay in MRCP detection (232.1-250.5ms). This study investigated the effect of attention diversion in dual-task conditions by analysing both ERPs and MRCPs in single channels. The higher attention diversion lead to a significant reduction in specific MRCP features of the motor task. These results suggest that attention division in dual-tasking situations plays an important role in movement execution and detection. This has important implications in designing real-time brain-computer interface systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Cohen, Marlene R.
Visual attention, which improves perception of attended locations or objects, has long been known to affect many aspects of the responses of neuronal populations in visual cortex. There are two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses concerning the neuronal mechanisms that underlie these perceptual improvements. The first hypothesis, that attention improves the information encoded by a population of neurons in a particular cortical area, has considerable physiological support. The second hypothesis is that attention improves perception by selectively communicating relevant visual information. This idea has been tested primarily by measuring interactions between neurons on very short timescales, which are mathematically nearly independent of neuronal interactions on longer timescales. We tested the hypothesis that attention changes the way visual information is communicated between cortical areas on longer timescales by recording simultaneously from neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and the middle temporal area (MT) in rhesus monkeys. We used two independent and complementary approaches. Our correlative experiment showed that attention increases the trial-to-trial response variability that is shared between the two areas. In our causal experiment, we electrically microstimulated V1 and found that attention increased the effect of stimulation on MT responses. Together, our results suggest that attention affects both the way visual stimuli are encoded within a cortical area and the extent to which visual information is communicated between areas on behaviorally relevant timescales. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual attention dramatically improves the perception of attended stimuli. Attention has long been thought to act by selecting relevant visual information for further processing. It has been hypothesized that this selection is accomplished by increasing communication between neurons that encode attended information in different cortical areas. We recorded simultaneously
Ruff, Douglas A; Cohen, Marlene R
Visual attention, which improves perception of attended locations or objects, has long been known to affect many aspects of the responses of neuronal populations in visual cortex. There are two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses concerning the neuronal mechanisms that underlie these perceptual improvements. The first hypothesis, that attention improves the information encoded by a population of neurons in a particular cortical area, has considerable physiological support. The second hypothesis is that attention improves perception by selectively communicating relevant visual information. This idea has been tested primarily by measuring interactions between neurons on very short timescales, which are mathematically nearly independent of neuronal interactions on longer timescales. We tested the hypothesis that attention changes the way visual information is communicated between cortical areas on longer timescales by recording simultaneously from neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and the middle temporal area (MT) in rhesus monkeys. We used two independent and complementary approaches. Our correlative experiment showed that attention increases the trial-to-trial response variability that is shared between the two areas. In our causal experiment, we electrically microstimulated V1 and found that attention increased the effect of stimulation on MT responses. Together, our results suggest that attention affects both the way visual stimuli are encoded within a cortical area and the extent to which visual information is communicated between areas on behaviorally relevant timescales. Visual attention dramatically improves the perception of attended stimuli. Attention has long been thought to act by selecting relevant visual information for further processing. It has been hypothesized that this selection is accomplished by increasing communication between neurons that encode attended information in different cortical areas. We recorded simultaneously from neurons in primary
Full Text Available Although Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD was initially regarded as a disorder exclusive to childhood, nowadays its prevalence in adulthood is well established. The development of novel techniques for quantifying the thickness of the cerebral mantle allows the further exploration of the neuroanatomical profiles underlying the child and adult form of the disorder. To examine the cortical mantle in children and adults with ADHD, we applied a vertex-wise analysis of cortical thickness to anatomical brain MRI scans acquired from children with (n = 43 and without ADHD (n = 41, as well as a group of adult neurotypical individuals (n = 31, adult patients with a history of stimulant treatment (n = 31 and medication-naïve adults with ADHD (n = 24. We observed several clusters of reduced laminar cortical thickness in ADHD patients in comparison to neurotypical individuals. These differences were primarily located in the dorsal attention network, including the bilateral inferior and superior parietal cortex and a section of the frontal cortex (centered on the superior frontal and precentral gyrus bilaterally. Further laminar thickness deficits were observed in the bilateral orbitofrontal cortex and medial occipital cortex. The deficits in the cortical surface were especially pronounced in the child sample, while adult patients showed a more typical laminar thickness across the cerebral mantle. These findings show that the neuroanatomical profile of ADHD, especially the childhood form of the disorder, involves robust alterations in the cortical mantle, which are most prominent in brain regions subserving attentional processing.
Hou, Ruihua; Moss-Morris, Rona; Risdale, Anna; Lynch, Jeannette; Jeevaratnam, Preshan; Bradley, Brendan P; Mogg, Karin
Cognitive behavioural models of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) propose that attention processes, specifically, enhanced selective attention to health-threat related cues, may play an important role in symptom maintenance. The current study investigated attentional bias towards health-threat stimuli in CFS. It also examined whether individuals with CFS have impaired executive attention, and whether this was related to attentional bias. 27 participants with CFS and 35 healthy controls completed a Visual Probe Task measuring attentional bias, and an Attention Network Test measuring executive attention, alerting and orienting. Participants also completed self-report measures of CFS and mood symptoms. Compared to the control group, the CFS group showed greater attentional bias for health-threat words than pictures; and the CFS group was significantly impaired in executive attention. Furthermore, CFS individuals with poor executive attention showed greater attentional bias to health-threat related words, compared not only to controls but also to CFS individuals with good executive attention. Thus, this study revealed a significant relationship between attentional bias and executive attention in CFS: attentional bias to threat was primarily evident in those with impaired executive attention control. Taking account of individual differences in executive attention control in current intervention models may be beneficial for CFS. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bengson, Jesse J.; Mangun, George R.
A growing literature suggests that working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Both involve the selection of task-relevant information, and both are characterized by capacity limits. Furthermore, studies using a variety of methodological approaches have demonstrated convergent working memory and attention-related processing at the individual, neural and behavioral level. Given the varieties of both constructs, the specific kinds of attention and WM must be considered. We find...
Shaw, Philip; Lalonde, Francois; Lepage, Claude; Rabin, Cara; Eckstrand, Kristen; Sharp, Wendy; Greenstein, Deanna; Evans, Alan; Giedd, J N; Rapoport, Judith
Just as typical development of anatomical asymmetries in the human brain has been linked with normal lateralization of motor and cognitive functions, disruption of asymmetry has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). No study has examined the development of cortical asymmetry using longitudinal neuroanatomical data. To delineate the development of cortical asymmetry in children with and without ADHD. Longitudinal study. Government Clinical Research Institute. A total of 218 children with ADHD and 358 typically developing children, from whom 1133 neuroanatomical magnetic resonance images were acquired prospectively. Cortical thickness was estimated at 40 962 homologous points in the left and right hemispheres, and the trajectory of change in asymmetry was defined using mixed-model regression. In right-handed typically developing individuals, a mean (SE) increase in the relative thickness of the right orbitofrontal and inferior frontal cortex with age of 0.011 (0.0018) mm per year (t(337) = 6.2, P left-hemispheric increase in the occipital cortical regions of 0.013 (0.0015) mm per year (t(337) = 8.1, P right-handed typically developing individuals was less extensive and was localized to different cortical regions. In ADHD, the posterior component of this evolving asymmetry was intact, but the prefrontal component was lost. These findings explain the way that, in typical development, the increased dimensions of the right frontal and left occipital cortical regions emerge in adulthood from the reversed pattern of childhood cortical asymmetries. Loss of the prefrontal component of this evolving asymmetry in ADHD is compatible with disruption of prefrontal function in the disorder and demonstrates the way that disruption of typical processes of asymmetry can inform our understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders.
P. Dennis Rodriguez
Full Text Available Previous research investigating attention and impulse control in individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD has largely ignored the symptomatic differences among the three subtypes of ADHD: ADHD-Inattentive Type, ADHD-Hyperactive/Impulsive Type, and ADHD-Combined Type. The present study examined attention and impulse control by focusing on these subtypes. Based on their self-reported symptoms of ADHD, participants belonged to one of four groups: ADHD-Inattentive, ADHD-Hyperactive/Impulsive, ADHD-Combined, and control. Cortical activity was recorded from participants during performance of a Go/NoGo task. The event-related potentials (ERP measured at frontal and posterior sites discriminated between the control group and participants with symptoms of ADHD. The control group consistently exhibited a higher P3 amplitude than all the ADHD groups. The main difference occurred at the frontal site, indicating that individuals with ADHD symptoms have deficits in the anterior attentional system, which mediates signal detection. Behavioral measures of signal sensitivity revealed that the ADHD-Inattentive and the ADHD-Hyperactive/Impulsive groups had more difficulty with the attention-demanding Go/NoGo respond-to-target task, while behavioral measures of response bias indicated that the ADHD-Hyperactive/Impulsive and the ADHD-Combined groups responded more liberally in the inhibition-demanding Go/NoGo suppress-to-target task.
Vossel, Simone; Mathys, Christoph; Stephan, Klaas E; Friston, Karl J
The deployment of visuospatial attention and the programming of saccades are governed by the inferred likelihood of events. In the present study, we combined computational modeling of psychophysical data with fMRI to characterize the computational and neural mechanisms underlying this flexible attentional control. Sixteen healthy human subjects performed a modified version of Posner's location-cueing paradigm in which the percentage of cue validity varied in time and the targets required saccadic responses. Trialwise estimates of the certainty (precision) of the prediction that the target would appear at the cued location were derived from a hierarchical Bayesian model fitted to individual trialwise saccadic response speeds. Trial-specific model parameters then entered analyses of fMRI data as parametric regressors. Moreover, dynamic causal modeling (DCM) was performed to identify the most likely functional architecture of the attentional reorienting network and its modulation by (Bayes-optimal) precision-dependent attention. While the frontal eye fields (FEFs), intraparietal sulcus, and temporoparietal junction (TPJ) of both hemispheres showed higher activity on invalid relative to valid trials, reorienting responses in right FEF, TPJ, and the putamen were significantly modulated by precision-dependent attention. Our DCM results suggested that the precision of predictability underlies the attentional modulation of the coupling of TPJ with FEF and the putamen. Our results shed new light on the computational architecture and neuronal network dynamics underlying the context-sensitive deployment of visuospatial attention. Spatial attention and its neural correlates in the human brain have been studied extensively with the help of fMRI and cueing paradigms in which the location of targets is pre-cued on a trial-by-trial basis. One aspect that has so far been neglected concerns the question of how the brain forms attentional expectancies when no a priori probability
Berner, Laura A; Stefan, Mihaela; Lee, Seonjoo; Wang, Zhishun; Terranova, Kate; Attia, Evelyn; Marsh, Rachel
Frontostriatal and frontoparietal abnormalities likely contribute to deficits in control and attentional processes in individuals with bulimia nervosa and to the persistence of dysregulated eating across development. This study assessed these processes and cortical thickness in a large sample of adolescent girls and women with bulimia nervosa compared with healthy controls. We collected anatomical MRI data from adolescent girls and women (ages 12-38 yr) with full or subthreshold bulimia nervosa and age-matched healthy controls who also completed the Conners Continuous Performance Test-II (CPT-II). Groups were compared on task performance and cortical thickness. Mediation analyses explored associations among cortical thickness, CPT-II variables, bulimia nervosa symptoms and age. We included 60 girls and women with bulimia nervosa and 54 controls in the analyses. Compared with healthy participants, those with bulimia nervosa showed increased impulsivity and inattention on the CPT-II, along with reduced thickness of the right pars triangularis, right superior parietal and left dorsal posterior cingulate cortices. In the bulimia nervosa group, exploratory analyses revealed that binge eating frequency correlated inversely with cortical thickness of frontoparietal and insular regions and that reduced frontoparietal thickness mediated the association between age and increased symptom severity and inattention. Binge eating frequency also mediated the association between age and lower prefrontal cortical thickness. These findings are applicable to only girls and women with bulimia nervosa, and our cross-sectional design precludes understanding of whether cortical thickness alterations precede or result from bulimia nervosa symptoms. Structural abnormalities in the frontoparietal and posterior cingulate regions comprising circuits that support control and attentional processes should be investigated as potential contributors to the maintenance of bulimia nervosa and useful
Berner, Laura A; Stefan, Mihaela; Lee, Seonjoo; Wang, Zhishun; Terranova, Kate; Attia, Evelyn; Marsh, Rachel
Frontostriatal and frontoparietal abnormalities likely contribute to deficits in control and attentional processes in individuals with bulimia nervosa and to the persistence of dysregulated eating across development. This study assessed these processes and cortical thickness in a large sample of adolescent girls and women with bulimia nervosa compared with healthy controls. We collected anatomical MRI data from adolescent girls and women (ages 12-38 yr) with full or subthreshold bulimia nervosa and age-matched healthy controls who also completed the Conners Continuous Performance Test-II (CPT-II). Groups were compared on task performance and cortical thickness. Mediation analyses explored associations among cortical thickness, CPT-II variables, bulimia nervosa symptoms and age. We included 60 girls and women with bulimia nervosa and 54 controls in the analyses. Compared with healthy participants, those with bulimia nervosa showed increased impulsivity and inattention on the CPT-II, along with reduced thickness of the right pars triangularis, right superior parietal and left dorsal posterior cingulate cortices. In the bulimia nervosa group, exploratory analyses revealed that binge eating frequency correlated inversely with cortical thickness of frontoparietal and insular regions and that reduced frontoparietal thickness mediated the association between age and increased symptom severity and inattention. Binge eating frequency also mediated the association between age and lower prefrontal cortical thickness. These findings are applicable to only girls and women with bulimia nervosa, and our cross-sectional design precludes understanding of whether cortical thickness alterations precede or result from bulimia nervosa symptoms. Structural abnormalities in the frontoparietal and posterior cingulate regions comprising circuits that support control and attentional processes should be investigated as potential contributors to the maintenance of bulimia nervosa and useful
Dick, Frederic K; Lehet, Matt I; Callaghan, Martina F; Keller, Tim A; Sereno, Martin I; Holt, Lori L
diverse pathologies reduce quality of life by impacting such spectrally directed auditory attention, its neurobiological bases are unclear. We demonstrate that human primary and nonprimary auditory cortical activation is modulated by spectrally directed attention in a manner that recapitulates its tonotopic sensory organization. Further, the graded activation profiles evoked by single-frequency bands are correlated with attentionally driven activation when these bands are presented in complex soundscapes. Finally, we observe a strong concordance in the degree of cortical myelination and the strength of tonotopic activation across several auditory cortical regions. Copyright © 2017 Dick et al.
Zahn, Roland; Garrido, Griselda; Moll, Jorge; Grafman, Jordan
Proneness to specific moral sentiments (e.g. pride, gratitude, guilt, indignation) has been linked with individual variations in functional MRI (fMRI) response within anterior brain regions whose lesion leads to inappropriate behaviour. However, the role of structural anatomical differences in rendering individuals prone to particular moral sentiments relative to others is unknown. Here, we investigated grey matter volumes (VBM8) and proneness to specific moral sentiments on a well-controlled experimental task in healthy individuals. Individuals with smaller cuneus, and precuneus volumes were more pride-prone, whereas those with larger right inferior temporal volumes experienced gratitude more readily. Although the primary analysis detected no associations with guilt- or indignation-proneness, subgenual cingulate fMRI responses to guilt were negatively correlated with grey matter volumes in the left superior temporal sulcus and anterior dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (right >left). This shows that individual variations in functional activations within critical areas for moral sentiments were not due to grey matter volume differences in the same areas. Grey matter volume differences between healthy individuals may nevertheless play an important role by affecting posterior cortical brain systems that are non-critical but supportive for the experience of specific moral sentiments. This may be of particular relevance when their experience depends on visuo-spatial elaboration. Published by Oxford University Press 2013. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.
Stefan, Mihaela; Lee, Seonjoo; Wang, Zhishun; Terranova, Kate; Attia, Evelyn; Marsh, Rachel
Background Frontostriatal and frontoparietal abnormalities likely contribute to deficits in control and attentional processes in individuals with bulimia nervosa and to the persistence of dysregulated eating across development. This study assessed these processes and cortical thickness in a large sample of adolescent girls and women with bulimia nervosa compared with healthy controls. Methods We collected anatomical MRI data from adolescent girls and women (ages 12–38 yr) with full or subthreshold bulimia nervosa and age-matched healthy controls who also completed the Conners Continuous Performance Test-II (CPT-II). Groups were compared on task performance and cortical thickness. Mediation analyses explored associations among cortical thickness, CPT-II variables, bulimia nervosa symptoms and age. Results We included 60 girls and women with bulimia nervosa and 54 controls in the analyses. Compared with healthy participants, those with bulimia nervosa showed increased impulsivity and inattention on the CPT-II, along with reduced thickness of the right pars triangularis, right superior parietal and left dorsal posterior cingulate cortices. In the bulimia nervosa group, exploratory analyses revealed that binge eating frequency correlated inversely with cortical thickness of frontoparietal and insular regions and that reduced frontoparietal thickness mediated the association between age and increased symptom severity and inattention. Binge eating frequency also mediated the association between age and lower prefrontal cortical thickness. Limitations These findings are applicable to only girls and women with bulimia nervosa, and our cross-sectional design precludes understanding of whether cortical thickness alterations precede or result from bulimia nervosa symptoms. Conclusion Structural abnormalities in the frontoparietal and posterior cingulate regions comprising circuits that support control and attentional processes should be investigated as potential
Haar, Shlomi; Donchin, Opher; Dinstein, Ilan
Humans exhibit considerable motor variability even across trivial reaching movements. This variability can be separated into specific kinematic components such as extent and direction that are thought to be governed by distinct neural processes. Here, we report that individual subjects (males and females) exhibit different magnitudes of kinematic variability, which are consistent (within individual) across movements to different targets and regardless of which arm (right or left) was used to perform the movements. Simultaneous fMRI recordings revealed that the same subjects also exhibited different magnitudes of fMRI variability across movements in a variety of motor system areas. These fMRI variability magnitudes were also consistent across movements to different targets when performed with either arm. Cortical fMRI variability in the posterior-parietal cortex of individual subjects explained their movement-extent variability. This relationship was apparent only in posterior-parietal cortex and not in other motor system areas, thereby suggesting that individuals with more variable movement preparation exhibit larger kinematic variability. We therefore propose that neural and kinematic variability are reliable and interrelated individual characteristics that may predispose individual subjects to exhibit distinct motor capabilities. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neural activity and movement kinematics are remarkably variable. Although intertrial variability is rarely studied, here, we demonstrate that individual human subjects exhibit distinct magnitudes of neural and kinematic variability that are reproducible across movements to different targets and when performing these movements with either arm. Furthermore, when examining the relationship between cortical variability and movement variability, we find that cortical fMRI variability in parietal cortex of individual subjects explained their movement extent variability. This enabled us to explain why some subjects
Sanchez-Lopez, Javier; Fernandez, Thalia; Silva-Pereyra, Juan; Martinez Mesa, Juan A; Di Russo, Francesco
Cognitive and motor processes are essential for optimal athletic performance. Individuals trained in different skills and sports may have specialized cognitive abilities and motor strategies related to the characteristics of the activity and the effects of training and expertise. Most studies have investigated differences in motor-related cortical potential (MRCP) during self-paced tasks in athletes but not in stimulus-related tasks. The aim of the present study was to identify the differences in performance and MRCP between skilled and novice martial arts athletes during two different types of tasks: a sustained attention task and a transient attention task. Behavioral and electrophysiological data from twenty-two martial arts athletes were obtained while they performed a continuous performance task (CPT) to measure sustained attention and a cued continuous performance task (c-CPT) to measure transient attention. MRCP components were analyzed and compared between groups. Electrophysiological data in the CPT task indicated larger prefrontal positive activity and greater posterior negativity distribution prior to a motor response in the skilled athletes, while novices showed a significantly larger response-related P3 after a motor response in centro-parietal areas. A different effect occurred in the c-CPT task in which the novice athletes showed strong prefrontal positive activity before a motor response and a large response-related P3, while in skilled athletes, the prefrontal activity was absent. We propose that during the CPT, skilled athletes were able to allocate two different but related processes simultaneously according to CPT demand, which requires controlled attention and controlled motor responses. On the other hand, in the c-CPT, skilled athletes showed better cue facilitation, which permitted a major economy of resources and "automatic" or less controlled responses to relevant stimuli. In conclusion, the present data suggest that motor expertise
detailed level, decreased flow from right inferior frontal gyrus to anterior cingulate cortex for theta, and low and high alpha oscillations, and increased feedback (bidirectional flow between left superior temporal gyrus and left inferior frontal gyrus, were observed during the arithmetic task. Conclusions: Task related medial prefrontal increase in theta oscillations possibly corresponds to frontal midline theta, while parietal decreased alpha1 activity indicates the active role of this region in the numerical task. Task related decrease of intracortical right hemispheric connectivity support the notion that these nodes need to disengage from one another in order to not interfere with the ongoing numerical processing. The bidirectional feedback between left frontal-temporal-parietal regions in the arithmetic task is very likely to be related to attention network working memory function. Significance: The methods of analysis and the results presented here will hopefully contribute to clarify the roles of the different EEG oscillations during sustained attention, both in terms of their functional localization and in terms of how they integrate brain function by supporting information flow between different cortical regions. The methodology presented here might be clinically relevant in evaluating abnormal attention function. Keywords: Quantitative EEG, sLORETA, iCoh, Directional connectivity, Frontal midline theta, Attention network, Mental arithmetic, Fronto-parietal network, Directional flow, Attention task, Granger causality
Fukuda, Keisuke; Vogel, Edward K.
Working memory capacity reflects a core ability of the individual that affects performance on many cognitive tasks. Recent work has suggested that an important covariate of memory capacity is attentional control, and specifically that low-capacity individuals are more susceptible to attentional capture by distractors than high-capacity individuals are, with the latter being able to resist capture. Here, we tested an alternative account according to which all individuals are equally susceptible to attentional capture, but high-capacity individuals recover more quickly than low-capacity individuals. Using psychophysical and electrophysiological methods, we measured recovery time from attentional capture. In two experiments, we found that high- and low-capacity individuals showed equivalent attentional capture effects in the initial moments following capture, but that low-capacity individuals took much longer to recover than high-capacity individuals did. These results suggest that the poor attentional control associated with low capacity is due to slow disengagement from distractors. PMID:21310945
Boksem, Maarten A. S.; Kostermans, Evelien; Tops, Mattie; De Cremer, David
Recent research has demonstrated that individual differences in approach motivation modulate attentional scope. In turn, approach and inhibition have been related to different neural systems that are associated with asymmetries in relative frontal activity (RFA). Here, we investigated whether such
Jacobsen, Leslie K; Slotkin, Theodore A; Mencl, W Einar; Frost, Stephen J; Pugh, Kenneth R
Prenatal exposure to active maternal tobacco smoking elevates risk of cognitive and auditory processing deficits, and of smoking in offspring. Recent preclinical work has demonstrated a sex-specific pattern of reduction in cortical cholinergic markers following prenatal, adolescent, or combined prenatal and adolescent exposure to nicotine, the primary psychoactive component of tobacco smoke. Given the importance of cortical cholinergic neurotransmission to attentional function, we examined auditory and visual selective and divided attention in 181 male and female adolescent smokers and nonsmokers with and without prenatal exposure to maternal smoking. Groups did not differ in age, educational attainment, symptoms of inattention, or years of parent education. A subset of 63 subjects also underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing an auditory and visual selective and divided attention task. Among females, exposure to tobacco smoke during prenatal or adolescent development was associated with reductions in auditory and visual attention performance accuracy that were greatest in female smokers with prenatal exposure (combined exposure). Among males, combined exposure was associated with marked deficits in auditory attention, suggesting greater vulnerability of neurocircuitry supporting auditory attention to insult stemming from developmental exposure to tobacco smoke in males. Activation of brain regions that support auditory attention was greater in adolescents with prenatal or adolescent exposure to tobacco smoke relative to adolescents with neither prenatal nor adolescent exposure to tobacco smoke. These findings extend earlier preclinical work and suggest that, in humans, prenatal and adolescent exposure to nicotine exerts gender-specific deleterious effects on auditory and visual attention, with concomitant alterations in the efficiency of neurocircuitry supporting auditory attention.
Hou, Chuan; Kim, Yee-Joon; Lai, Xin Jie; Verghese, Preeti
Behavioral studies have reported reduced spatial attention in amblyopia, a developmental disorder of spatial vision. However, the neural populations in the visual cortex linked with these behavioral spatial attention deficits have not been identified. Here, we use functional MRI-informed electroencephalography source imaging to measure the effect of attention on neural population activity in the visual cortex of human adult strabismic amblyopes who were stereoblind. We show that compared with controls, the modulatory effects of selective visual attention on the input from the amblyopic eye are substantially reduced in the primary visual cortex (V1) as well as in extrastriate visual areas hV4 and hMT+. Degraded attentional modulation is also found in the normal-acuity fellow eye in areas hV4 and hMT+ but not in V1. These results provide electrophysiological evidence that abnormal binocular input during a developmental critical period may impact cortical connections between the visual cortex and higher level cortices beyond the known amblyopic losses in V1 and V2, suggesting that a deficit of attentional modulation in the visual cortex is an important component of the functional impairment in amblyopia. Furthermore, we find that degraded attentional modulation in V1 is correlated with the magnitude of interocular suppression and the depth of amblyopia. These results support the view that the visual suppression often seen in strabismic amblyopia might be a form of attentional neglect of the visual input to the amblyopic eye.
Marchetti, Igor; Everaert, Jonas; Dainer-Best, Justin; Loeys, Tom; Beevers, Christopher G; Koster, Ernst H W
Attentional and memory biases are viewed as crucial cognitive processes underlying symptoms of depression. However, it is still unclear whether these two biases are uniquely related to depression or whether they show substantial overlap. We investigated the degree of specificity and overlap of attentional and memory biases for depressotypic stimuli in relation to depression and anxiety by means of meta-analytic commonality analysis. By including four published studies, we considered a pool of 463 healthy and subclinically depressed individuals, different experimental paradigms, and different psychological measures. Memory bias is reliably and strongly related to depression and, specifically, to symptoms of negative mood, worthlessness, feelings of failure, and pessimism. Memory bias for negative information was minimally related to anxiety. Moreover, neither attentional bias nor the overlap between attentional and memory biases were significantly related to depression. Limitations include cross-sectional nature of the study. Our study showed that, across different paradigms and psychological measures, memory bias (and not attentional bias) represents a primary mechanism in depression. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Formal musical training is known to have positive effects on attentional and executive functioning, processing speed, and working memory. Consequently, one may expect to find differences in the dynamics of temporal attention between musicians and non-musicians. Here we address the question whether that is indeed the case, and whether any beneficial effects of musical training on temporal attention are modality specific or generalize across sensory modalities.When two targets are presented in close temporal succession, most people fail to report the second target, a phenomenon known as the attentional blink (AB. We measured and compared AB magnitude for musicians and non-musicians using auditory or visually presented letters and digits. Relative to non-musicians, the auditory AB was both attenuated and delayed in musicians, whereas the visual AB was larger. Non-musicians with a large auditory AB tended to show a large visual AB. However, neither a positive nor negative correlation was found in musicians, suggesting that at least in musicians, attentional restrictions within each modality are completely separate.AB magnitude within one modality can generalize to another modality, but this turns out not to be the case for every individual. Formal musical training seems to have a domain-general, but modality-specific beneficial effect on selective attention. The results fit with the idea that a major source of attentional restriction as reflected in the AB lies in modality-specific, independent sensory systems rather than a central amodal system. The findings demonstrate that individual differences in AB magnitude can provide important information about the modular structure of human cognition.
Martens, Sander; Wierda, Stefan M; Dun, Mathijs; de Vries, Michal; Smid, Henderikus G O M
Formal musical training is known to have positive effects on attentional and executive functioning, processing speed, and working memory. Consequently, one may expect to find differences in the dynamics of temporal attention between musicians and non-musicians. Here we address the question whether that is indeed the case, and whether any beneficial effects of musical training on temporal attention are modality specific or generalize across sensory modalities. When two targets are presented in close temporal succession, most people fail to report the second target, a phenomenon known as the attentional blink (AB). We measured and compared AB magnitude for musicians and non-musicians using auditory or visually presented letters and digits. Relative to non-musicians, the auditory AB was both attenuated and delayed in musicians, whereas the visual AB was larger. Non-musicians with a large auditory AB tended to show a large visual AB. However, neither a positive nor negative correlation was found in musicians, suggesting that at least in musicians, attentional restrictions within each modality are completely separate. AB magnitude within one modality can generalize to another modality, but this turns out not to be the case for every individual. Formal musical training seems to have a domain-general, but modality-specific beneficial effect on selective attention. The results fit with the idea that a major source of attentional restriction as reflected in the AB lies in modality-specific, independent sensory systems rather than a central amodal system. The findings demonstrate that individual differences in AB magnitude can provide important information about the modular structure of human cognition.
Bieszczad, Kasia M.; Miasnikov, Alexandre A.; Weinberger, Norman M.
Neural mechanisms underlying the capacity of memory to be rich with sensory detail are largely unknown. A candidate mechanism is learning-induced plasticity that remodels adult sensory cortex. Here, expansion in the primary auditory cortical (A1) tonotopic map of rats was induced by pairing a 3.66 kHz tone with activation of the nucleus basalis, mimicking the effects of natural associative learning. Remodeling of A1 produced de novo specific behavioral memory, but neither memory nor plasticity were consistently at the frequency of the paired tone, which typically decreased in A1 representation. Rather, there was a specific match between individual subjects’ area of expansion and the tone that was strongest in each animal’s memory, as determined by post-training frequency generalization gradients. These findings provide the first demonstration of a match between the artificial induction of specific neural representational plasticity and artificial induction of behavioral memory. As such, together with prior and present findings for detection, correlation and mimicry of plasticity with the acquisition of memory, they satisfy a key criterion for neural substrates of memory. This demonstrates that directly remodeling sensory cortical maps is sufficient for the specificity of memory formation. PMID:23639876
Bruner, E; Román, F J; de la Cuétara, J M; Martin-Loeches, M; Colom, R
The precuneus has received considerable attention in the last decade, because of its cognitive functions, its role as a central node of the brain networks, and its involvement in neurodegenerative processes. Paleoneurological studies suggested that form changes in the deep parietal areas represent a major character associated with the origin of the modern human brain morphology. A recent neuroanatomical survey based on shape analysis suggests that the proportions of the precuneus are also a determinant source of overall brain geometrical differences among adult individuals, influencing the brain spatial organization. Here, we evaluate the variation of cortical thickness and cortical surface area of the precuneus in a sample of adult humans, and their relation with geometry and cognition. Precuneal thickness and surface area are not correlated. There is a marked individual variation. The right precuneus is thinner and larger than the left one, but there are relevant fluctuating asymmetries, with only a modest correlation between the hemispheres. Males have a thicker cortex but differences in cortical area are not significant between sexes. The surface area of the precuneus shows a positive allometry with the brain surface area, although the correlation is modest. The dilation/contraction of the precuneus, described as a major factor of variability within adult humans, is associated with absolute increase/decrease of its surface, but not with variation in thickness. Precuneal thickness, precuneal surface area and precuneal morphology are not correlated with psychological factors such as intelligence, working memory, attention control, and processing speed, stressing further possible roles of this area in supporting default mode functions. Beyond gross morphology, the processes underlying the large phenotypic variation of the precuneus must be further investigated through specific cellular analyses, aimed at considering differences in cellular size, density
Full Text Available Previous neuroimaging studies demonstrated sex and also sexual orientation related structural and functional differences in the human brain. Genetic information and effects of sex hormones are assumed to contribute to the male/female differentiation of the brain, and similar effects could play a role in processes influencing human's sexual orientation. However, questions about the origin and development of a person's sexual orientation remain unanswered, and research on sexual orientation related neurobiological characteristics is still very limited. To contribute to a better understanding of the neurobiology of sexual orientation, we used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI in order to compare regional cortical thickness (Cth and subcortical volumes of homosexual men (hoM, heterosexual men (heM and heterosexual women (heW. hoM (and heW had thinner cortices primarily in visual areas and smaller thalamus volumes than heM, in which hoM and heW did not differ. Our results support previous studies, which suggest cerebral differences between hoM and heM in regions, where sex differences have been reported, which are frequently proposed to underlie biological mechanisms. Thus, our results contribute to a better understanding of the neurobiology of sexual orientation.
Abé, Christoph; Johansson, Emilia; Allzén, Elin; Savic, Ivanka
Previous neuroimaging studies demonstrated sex and also sexual orientation related structural and functional differences in the human brain. Genetic information and effects of sex hormones are assumed to contribute to the male/female differentiation of the brain, and similar effects could play a role in processes influencing human's sexual orientation. However, questions about the origin and development of a person's sexual orientation remain unanswered, and research on sexual orientation related neurobiological characteristics is still very limited. To contribute to a better understanding of the neurobiology of sexual orientation, we used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in order to compare regional cortical thickness (Cth) and subcortical volumes of homosexual men (hoM), heterosexual men (heM) and heterosexual women (heW). hoM (and heW) had thinner cortices primarily in visual areas and smaller thalamus volumes than heM, in which hoM and heW did not differ. Our results support previous studies, which suggest cerebral differences between hoM and heM in regions, where sex differences have been reported, which are frequently proposed to underlie biological mechanisms. Thus, our results contribute to a better understanding of the neurobiology of sexual orientation.
Luis F H Basile
Full Text Available Based on previous evidence for individual-specific sets of cortical areas active during simple attention tasks, in this work we intended to perform within individual comparisons of task-induced beta oscillations between visual attention and a reasoning task. Since beta induced oscillations are not time-locked to task events and were first observed by Fourier transforms, in order to analyze the cortical topography of attention induced beta activity, we have previously computed corrected-latency averages based on spontaneous peaks of band-pass filtered epochs. We then used Independent Component Analysis (ICA only to single out the significant portion of averaged data, above noise levels. In the present work ICA served as the main, exhaustive means for decomposing beta activity in both tasks, using 128-channel EEG data from 24 subjects. Given the previous observed similarity between tasks by visual inspection and by simple descriptive statistics, we now intended another approach: to quantify how much each ICA component obtained in one task could be explained by a linear combination of the topographic patterns from the other task in each individual. Our hypothesis was that the major psychological difference between tasks would not be reflected as important topographic differences within individuals. Results confirmed the high topographic similarity between attention and reasoning beta correlates in that few components in each individual were not satisfactorily explained by the complementary task, and if those could be considered "task-specific", their scalp distribution and estimated cortical sources were not common across subjects. These findings, along with those from fMRI studies preserving individual data and conventional neuropsychological and neurosurgical observations, are discussed in support of a new functional localization hypothesis: individuals use largely different sets of cortical association areas to perform a given task, but those
Larson, Eric; Lee, Adrian K C
Switching attention between different stimuli of interest based on particular task demands is important in many everyday settings. In audition in particular, switching attention between different speakers of interest that are talking concurrently is often necessary for effective communication. Recently, it has been shown by multiple studies that auditory selective attention suppresses the representation of unwanted streams in auditory cortical areas in favor of the target stream of interest. However, the neural processing that guides this selective attention process is not well understood. Here we investigated the cortical mechanisms involved in switching attention based on two different types of auditory features. By combining magneto- and electro-encephalography (M-EEG) with an anatomical MRI constraint, we examined the cortical dynamics involved in switching auditory attention based on either spatial or pitch features. We designed a paradigm where listeners were cued in the beginning of each trial to switch or maintain attention halfway through the presentation of concurrent target and masker streams. By allowing listeners time to switch during a gap in the continuous target and masker stimuli, we were able to isolate the mechanisms involved in endogenous, top-down attention switching. Our results show a double dissociation between the involvement of right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ) and the left inferior parietal supramarginal part (LIPSP) in tasks requiring listeners to switch attention based on space and pitch features, respectively, suggesting that switching attention based on these features involves at least partially separate processes or behavioral strategies. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Chechlacz, Magdalena; Gillebert, Celine R; Vangkilde, Signe A; Petersen, Anders; Humphreys, Glyn W
Visuospatial attention allows us to select and act upon a subset of behaviorally relevant visual stimuli while ignoring distraction. Bundesen's theory of visual attention (TVA) (Bundesen, 1990) offers a quantitative analysis of the different facets of attention within a unitary model and provides a powerful analytic framework for understanding individual differences in attentional functions. Visuospatial attention is contingent upon large networks, distributed across both hemispheres, consisting of several cortical areas interconnected by long-association frontoparietal pathways, including three branches of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF I-III) and the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF). Here we examine whether structural variability within human frontoparietal networks mediates differences in attention abilities as assessed by the TVA. Structural measures were based on spherical deconvolution and tractography-derived indices of tract volume and hindrance-modulated orientational anisotropy (HMOA). Individual differences in visual short-term memory (VSTM) were linked to variability in the microstructure (HMOA) of SLF II, SLF III, and IFOF within the right hemisphere. Moreover, VSTM and speed of information processing were linked to hemispheric lateralization within the IFOF. Differences in spatial bias were mediated by both variability in microstructure and volume of the right SLF II. Our data indicate that the microstructural and macrostrucutral organization of white matter pathways differentially contributes to both the anatomical lateralization of frontoparietal attentional networks and to individual differences in attentional functions. We conclude that individual differences in VSTM capacity, processing speed, and spatial bias, as assessed by TVA, link to variability in structural organization within frontoparietal pathways. Copyright © 2015 Chechlacz et al.
Ren, Xuezhu; Goldhammer, Frank; Moosbrugger, Helfried; Schweizer, Karl
The aim of the present study was to clarify the nature of the ability-specific and position-specific components of Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM) by relating them to a number of types of attention. The ability-specific component represents the constant part of cognitive performance whereas the position-specific component reflects the…
Bieszczad, K M; Miasnikov, A A; Weinberger, N M
Neural mechanisms underlying the capacity of memory to be rich in sensory detail are largely unknown. A candidate mechanism is learning-induced plasticity that remodels the adult sensory cortex. Here, expansion in the primary auditory cortical (A1) tonotopic map of rats was induced by pairing a 3.66-kHz tone with activation of the nucleus basalis, mimicking the effects of natural associative learning. Remodeling of A1 produced de novo specific behavioral memory, but neither memory nor plasticity was consistently at the frequency of the paired tone, which typically decreased in A1 representation. Rather, there was a specific match between individual subjects' area of expansion and the tone that was strongest in each animal's memory, as determined by post-training frequency generalization gradients. These findings provide the first demonstration of a match between the artificial induction of specific neural representational plasticity and artificial induction of behavioral memory. As such, together with prior and present findings for detection, correlation and mimicry of plasticity with the acquisition of memory, they satisfy a key criterion for neural substrates of memory. This demonstrates that directly remodeling sensory cortical maps is sufficient for the specificity of memory formation. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Sadeh, Naomi; Bredemeier, Keith
Attentional control theory (Eysenck et al., 2007) posits that taxing attentional resources impairs performance efficiency in anxious individuals. This theory, however, does not explicitly address if or how the relation between anxiety and attentional control depends upon the perceptual demands of the task at hand. Consequently, the present study examined the relation between trait anxiety and task performance using a perceptual load task (Maylor & Lavie, 1998). Sixty-eight male college students completed a visual search task that indexed processing of irrelevant distractors systematically across four levels of perceptual load. Results indicated that anxiety was related to difficulty suppressing the behavioural effects of irrelevant distractors (i.e., decreased reaction time efficiency) under high, but not low, perceptual loads. In contrast, anxiety was not associated with error rates on the task. These findings are consistent with the prediction that anxiety is associated with impairments in performance efficiency under conditions that tax attentional resources.
Kujala, Teija; Shtyrov, Yury; Winkler, Istvan; Saher, Marieke; Tervaniemi, Mari; Sallinen, Mikael; Teder-Sälejärvi, Wolfgang; Alho, Kimmo; Reinikainen, Kalevi; Näätänen, Risto
Long-term exposure to noise impairs human health, causing pathological changes in the inner ear as well as other anatomical and physiological deficits. Numerous individuals are daily exposed to excessive noise. However, there is a lack of systematic research on the effects of noise on cortical function. Here we report data showing that long-term exposure to noise has a persistent effect on central auditory processing and leads to concurrent behavioral deficits. We found that speech-sound discrimination was impaired in noise-exposed individuals, as indicated by behavioral responses and the mismatch negativity brain response. Furthermore, irrelevant sounds increased the distractibility of the noise-exposed subjects, which was shown by increased interference in task performance and aberrant brain responses. These results demonstrate that long-term exposure to noise has long-lasting detrimental effects on central auditory processing and attention control.
Passamonti, Luca; Luijten, M; Ziauddeen, H; Coyle-Gilchrist, I T S; Rittman, T; Brain, S A E; Regenthal, R; Franken, I H A; Sahakian, B J; Bullmore, E T; Robbins, T W; Ersche, K D
Biased attention towards drug-related cues and reduced inhibitory control over the regulation of drug-intake characterize drug addiction. The noradrenaline system has been critically implicated in both attentional and response inhibitory processes and is directly affected by drugs such as cocaine. We examined the potentially beneficial effects of the noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine in improving cognitive control during two tasks that used cocaine- and non-cocaine-related stimuli. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, and cross-over psycho-pharmacological design was employed. A single oral dose of atomoxetine (40 mg) was administered to 28 cocaine-dependent individuals (CDIs) and 28 healthy controls. All participants performed a pictorial attentional bias task involving both cocaine- and non-cocaine-related pictures as well as a verbal go/no-go task composed of cocaine- and food-related words. As expected, CDIs showed attentional bias to cocaine-related cues whilst controls did not. More importantly, however, atomoxetine, relative to placebo, significantly attenuated attentional bias in CDIs (F 26 = 6.73, P = 0.01). During the go/no-go task, there was a treatment × trial × group interaction, although this finding only showed a trend towards statistical significance (F 26 = 3.38, P = 0.07). Our findings suggest that atomoxetine reduces attentional bias to drug-related cues in CDIs. This may result from atomoxetine's modulation of the balance between tonic/phasic activity in the locus coeruleus and the possibly parallel enhancement of noradrenergic neurotransmission within the prefrontal cortex. Studying how cognitive enhancers such as atomoxetine influence key neurocognitive indices in cocaine addiction may help to develop reliable biomarkers for patient stratification in future clinical trials.
Strait, Dana L; Slater, Jessica; O'Connell, Samantha; Kraus, Nina
Selective attention decreases trial-to-trial variability in cortical auditory-evoked activity. This effect increases over the course of maturation, potentially reflecting the gradual development of selective attention and inhibitory control. Work in adults indicates that music training may alter the development of this neural response characteristic, especially over brain regions associated with executive control: in adult musicians, attention decreases variability in auditory-evoked responses recorded over prefrontal cortex to a greater extent than in nonmusicians. We aimed to determine whether this musician-associated effect emerges during childhood, when selective attention and inhibitory control are under development. We compared cortical auditory-evoked variability to attended and ignored speech streams in musicians and nonmusicians across three age groups: preschoolers, school-aged children and young adults. Results reveal that childhood music training is associated with reduced auditory-evoked response variability recorded over prefrontal cortex during selective auditory attention in school-aged child and adult musicians. Preschoolers, on the other hand, demonstrate no impact of selective attention on cortical response variability and no musician distinctions. This finding is consistent with the gradual emergence of attention during this period and may suggest no pre-existing differences in this attention-related cortical metric between children who undergo music training and those who do not. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Skogsberg, KatieAnn; Grabowecky, Marcia; Wilt, Joshua; Revelle, William; Iordanescu, Lucica; Suzuki, Satoru
Many studies have examined attention mechanisms involved in specific behavioral tasks (e.g., search, tracking, distractor inhibition). However, relatively little is known about the relationships among those attention mechanisms. Is there a fundamental attention faculty that makes a person superior or inferior at most types of attention tasks, or do relatively independent processes mediate different attention skills? We focused on individual differences in voluntary visual-attention abilities using a battery of eleven representative tasks. An application of parallel analysis, hierarchical-cluster analysis, and multidimensional scaling to the inter-task correlation matrix revealed four functional clusters, representing spatiotemporal attention, global attention, transient attention, and sustained attention, organized along two dimensions, one contrasting spatiotemporal and global attention and the other contrasting transient and sustained attention. Comparison with the neuroscience literature suggests that the spatiotemporal-global dimension corresponds to the dorsal frontoparietal circuit and the transient-sustained dimension corresponds to the ventral frontoparietal circuit, with distinct sub-regions mediating the separate clusters within each dimension. We also obtained highly specific patterns of gender difference, and of deficits for college students with elevated ADHD traits. These group differences suggest that different mechanisms of voluntary visual attention can be selectively strengthened or weakened based on genetic, experiential, and/or pathological factors. PMID:25867505
Full Text Available Repeated failures in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease (AD have raised a strong interest for the prodromal phase of the disease. A better understanding of the brain alterations during this early phase is crucial to diagnose patients sooner, to estimate an accurate disease stage, and to give a reliable prognosis. According to recent evidence, structural alterations in the brain are likely to be sensitive markers of the disease progression. Neuronal loss translates in specific spatiotemporal patterns of cortical atrophy, starting in the enthorinal cortex and spreading over other cortical regions according to specific propagation pathways. We developed a digital model of the cortical atrophy in the left hemisphere from prodromal to diseased phases, which is built on the temporal alignment and combination of several short-term observation data to reconstruct the long-term history of the disease. The model not only provides a description of the spatiotemporal patterns of cortical atrophy at the group level but also shows the variability of these patterns at the individual level in terms of difference in propagation pathways, speed of propagation, and age at propagation onset. Longitudinal MRI datasets of patients with mild cognitive impairments who converted to AD are used to reconstruct the cortical atrophy propagation across all disease stages. Each observation is considered as a signal spatially distributed on a network, such as the cortical mesh, each cortex location being associated to a node. We consider how the temporal profile of the signal varies across the network nodes. We introduce a statistical mixed-effect model to describe the evolution of the cortex alterations. To ensure a spatiotemporal smooth propagation of the alterations, we introduce a constrain on the propagation signal in the model such that neighboring nodes have similar profiles of the signal changes. Our generative model enables the reconstruction of personalized
Unsworth, Nash; Robison, Matthew K
Studies examining individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) have suggested that low WMC individuals have particular deficits in attention control processes compared to high WMC individuals. In the current article we suggest that part of the WMC-attention control relation is due to variation in the functioning of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system (LC-NE). Specifically, we suggest that because of dysregulation of LC-NE functioning, the fronto-parietal control network for low WMC individuals is only weakly activated, resulting in greater default-mode network activity (and greater mind-wandering) for low WMC individuals compared to high WMC individuals. This results in disrupted attention control and overall more erratic performance (more lapses of attention) for low WMC individuals than for high WMC individuals. This framework is used to examine previous studies of individual differences in WMC and attention control, and new evidence is examined on the basis of predictions of the framework to pupillary responses as an indirect marker of LC-NE functioning.
Chiara F. Sambo
Full Text Available Sustained attention to a body location results in enhanced processing of tactile stimuli presented at that location compared to another unattended location. In this paper, we review studies investigating the neural correlates of sustained spatial attention in touch. These studies consistently show that activity within modality-specific somatosensory areas (SI and SII is modulated by sustained tactile-spatial attention. Recent evidence suggests that these somatosensory areas may be recruited as part of a larger cortical network,also including higher-level multimodal regions involved in spatial selection across modalities. We discuss, in turn, the following multimodal effects in sustained tactile-spatial attention tasks. First, cross-modal attentional links between touch and vision, reflected in enhanced processing of task-irrelevant visual stimuli at tactuallyattended locations, are mediated by common (multimodal representations of external space. Second, vision of the body modulates activity underlying sustained tactile-spatial attention, facilitating attentional modulation of tactile processing in between-hand (when hands are sufficiently far apart and impairing attentional modulation in within-hand selection tasks. Finally, body posture influences mechanisms of sustained tactile-spatial attention, relying, at least partly, on remapping of tactile stimuli in external, visuallydefined, spatial coordinates. Taken together, the findings reviewed in this paper indicate that sustained spatial attention in touch is subserved by both modality-specific and multimodal mechanisms. The interplay between these mechanisms allows flexible and efficient spatial selection within and across sensory modalities.
Xiao, Dongsheng; Vanni, Matthieu P; Mitelut, Catalin C; Chan, Allen W; LeDue, Jeffrey M; Xie, Yicheng; Chen, Andrew Cn; Swindale, Nicholas V; Murphy, Timothy H
Understanding the basis of brain function requires knowledge of cortical operations over wide-spatial scales, but also within the context of single neurons. In vivo, wide-field GCaMP imaging and sub-cortical/cortical cellular electrophysiology were used in mice to investigate relationships between spontaneous single neuron spiking and mesoscopic cortical activity. We make use of a rich set of cortical activity motifs that are present in spontaneous activity in anesthetized and awake animals. A mesoscale spike-triggered averaging procedure allowed the identification of motifs that are preferentially linked to individual spiking neurons by employing genetically targeted indicators of neuronal activity. Thalamic neurons predicted and reported specific cycles of wide-scale cortical inhibition/excitation. In contrast, spike-triggered maps derived from single cortical neurons yielded spatio-temporal maps expected for regional cortical consensus function. This approach can define network relationships between any point source of neuronal spiking and mesoscale cortical maps.
Lee, Jin San; Kim, Changsoo; Shin, Jeong-Hyeon; Cho, Hanna; Shin, Dae-Seock; Kim, Nakyoung; Kim, Hee Jin; Kim, Yeshin; Lockhart, Samuel N; Na, Duk L; Seo, Sang Won; Seong, Joon-Kyung
To develop a new method for measuring Alzheimer's disease (AD)-specific similarity of cortical atrophy patterns at the individual-level, we employed an individual-level machine learning algorithm. A total of 869 cognitively normal (CN) individuals and 473 patients with probable AD dementia who underwent high-resolution 3T brain MRI were included. We propose a machine learning-based method for measuring the similarity of an individual subject's cortical atrophy pattern with that of a representative AD patient cohort. In addition, we validated this similarity measure in two longitudinal cohorts consisting of 79 patients with amnestic-mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and 27 patients with probable AD dementia. Surface-based morphometry classifier for discriminating AD from CN showed sensitivity and specificity values of 87.1% and 93.3%, respectively. In the longitudinal validation study, aMCI-converts had higher atrophy similarity at both baseline (p < 0.001) and first year visits (p < 0.001) relative to non-converters. Similarly, AD patients with faster decline had higher atrophy similarity than slower decliners at baseline (p = 0.042), first year (p = 0.028), and third year visits (p = 0.027). The AD-specific atrophy similarity measure is a novel approach for the prediction of dementia risk and for the evaluation of AD trajectories on an individual subject level.
Lavagnino, Luca; Mwangi, Benson; Cao, Bo; Shott, Megan E; Soares, Jair C; Frank, Guido K W
Only few studies have investigated cortical thickness in anorexia nervosa (AN), and it is unclear whether patterns of altered cortical thickness can be identified as biomarkers for AN. Cortical thickness was measured in 19 adult women with restricting-type AN, 24 individuals recovered from restricting-type AN (REC-AN) and 24 healthy controls. Those individuals with current or recovered from AN had previously shown altered regional cortical volumes across orbitofrontal cortex and insula. A linear relevance vector machine-learning algorithm estimated patterns of regional thickness across 24 subdivisions of those regions. Region-based analysis showed higher cortical thickness in AN and REC-AN, compared to controls, in the right medial orbital (olfactory) sulcus, and greater cortical thickness for short insular gyri in REC-AN versus controls bilaterally. The machine-learning algorithm identified a pattern of relatively higher right orbital, right insular and left middle frontal cortical thickness, but lower left orbital, right middle and inferior frontal, and bilateral superior frontal cortical thickness specific to AN versus controls (74% specificity and 74% sensitivity, χ 2 p < .004); predicted probabilities differed significantly between AN and controls (p < .023). No pattern significantly distinguished the REC-AN group from controls. Higher cortical thickness in medial orbitofrontal cortex and insula probably contributes to higher gray matter volume in AN in those regions. The machine-learning algorithm identified a mixed pattern of mostly higher orbital and insular, but relatively lower superior frontal cortical thickness in individuals with current AN. These novel results suggest that regional cortical thickness patterns could be state markers for AN. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Yao, Tao; Treue, Stefan; Krishna, B Suresh
While making saccadic eye-movements to scan a visual scene, humans and monkeys are able to keep track of relevant visual stimuli by maintaining spatial attention on them. This ability requires a shift of attentional modulation from the neuronal population representing the relevant stimulus pre-saccadically to the one representing it post-saccadically. For optimal performance, this trans-saccadic attention shift should be rapid and saccade-synchronized. Whether this is so is not known. We trained two rhesus monkeys to make saccades while maintaining covert attention at a fixed spatial location. We show that the trans-saccadic attention shift in cortical visual medial temporal (MT) area is well synchronized to saccades. Attentional modulation crosses over from the pre-saccadic to the post-saccadic neuronal representation by about 50 ms after a saccade. Taking response latency into account, the trans-saccadic attention shift is well timed to maintain spatial attention on relevant stimuli, so that they can be optimally tracked and processed across saccades.
HINES, Lindsay J.; MILLER, Eric N.; HINKIN, Charles H.; ALGER, Jeffery R.; BARKER, Peter; GOODKIN, Karl; MARTIN, Eileen M.; MARUCA, Victoria; RAGIN, Ann; SACKTOR, Ned; SANDERS, Joanne; SELNES, Ola; BECKER, James T.
Objective To characterize the relationship between dispersion-based intra-individual variability (IIVd) in neuropsychological test performance and brain volume among HIV seropositive and seronegative men and to determine the effects of cardiovascular risk and HIV infection on this relationship. Methods Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was used to acquire high-resolution neuroanatomic data from 147 men age 50 and over, including 80 HIV seropositive (HIV+) and 67 seronegative controls (HIV−) in this cross-sectional cohort study. Voxel Based Morphometry was used to derive volumetric measurements at the level of the individual voxel. These brain structure maps were analyzed using Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM2). IIVd was measured by computing intra-individual standard deviations (ISD’s) from the standardized performance scores of five neuropsychological tests: Wechsler Memory Scale-III Visual Reproduction I and II, Logical Memory I and II, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III Letter Number Sequencing. Results Total gray matter (GM) volume was inversely associated with IIVd. Among all subjects, IIVd -related GM atrophy was observed primarily in: 1) the inferior frontal gyrus bilaterally, the left inferior temporal gyrus extending to the supramarginal gyrus, spanning the lateral sulcus; 2) the right superior parietal lobule and intraparietal sulcus; and, 3) dorsal/ventral regions of the posterior section of the transverse temporal gyrus. HIV status, biological, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) variables were not linked to IIVd -related GM atrophy. Conclusions IIVd in neuropsychological test performance may be a sensitive marker of cortical integrity in older adults, regardless of HIV infection status or CVD risk factors, and degree of intra-individual variability links with volume loss in specific cortical regions; independent of mean-level performance on neuropsychological tests. PMID:26303224
Strait, Dana L.; Slater, Jessica; Abecassis, Victor; Kraus, Nina
Attention induces synchronicity in neuronal firing for the encoding of a given stimulus at the exclusion of others. Recently, we reported decreased variability in scalp-recorded cortical evoked potentials to attended compared with ignored speech in adults. Here we aimed to determine the developmental time course for this neural index of auditory…
Castellanos, F.X.; Sonuga-Barke, E.J.S.; Scheres, A.P.J.; Martino, A. Di; Hyde, C.; Walters, J.R.
Intra-individual variability in behavior and functioning is ubiquitous among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but it has not been systematically examined or integrated within causal models. This article seeks to provide a conceptual, methodologic, and analytic framework
Ibáñez, Agustin; Petroni, Agustin; Urquina, Hugo; Torrente, Fernando; Torralva, Teresa; Hurtado, Esteban; Guex, Raphael; Blenkmann, Alejandro; Beltrachini, Leandro; Muravchik, Carlos; Baez, Sandra; Cetkovich, Marcelo; Sigman, Mariano; Lischinsky, Alicia; Manes, Facundo
Although it has been shown that adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have impaired social cognition, no previous study has reported the brain correlates of face valence processing. This study looked for behavioral, neuropsychological, and electrophysiological markers of emotion processing for faces (N170) in adult ADHD compared to controls matched by age, gender, educational level, and handedness. We designed an event-related potential (ERP) study based on a dual valence task (DVT), in which faces and words were presented to test the effects of stimulus type (faces, words, or face-word stimuli) and valence (positive versus negative). Individual signatures of cognitive functioning in participants with ADHD and controls were assessed with a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation, including executive functioning (EF) and theory of mind (ToM). Compared to controls, the adult ADHD group showed deficits in N170 emotion modulation for facial stimuli. These N170 impairments were observed in the absence of any deficit in facial structural processing, suggesting a specific ADHD impairment in early facial emotion modulation. The cortical current density mapping of N170 yielded a main neural source of N170 at posterior section of fusiform gyrus (maximum at left hemisphere for words and right hemisphere for faces and simultaneous stimuli). Neural generators of N170 (fusiform gyrus) were reduced in ADHD. In those patients, N170 emotion processing was associated with performance on an emotional inference ToM task, and N170 from simultaneous stimuli was associated with EF, especially working memory. This is the first report to reveal an adult ADHD-specific impairment in the cortical modulation of emotion for faces and an association between N170 cortical measures and ToM and EF.
Full Text Available Neurofeedback (NF is being successfully applied, among others, in children with ADHD and as a peak performance training in healthy subjects. However, the neuronal mechanisms mediating a successful NF training have not yet been sufficiently uncovered for both theta/beta (T/B, and slow cortical potential (SCP training, two protocols established in NF in ADHD. In the present randomized controlled investigation in adults without a clinical diagnosis (n = 59, the specificity of the effects of these two NF protocols on attentional processes, and motor system excitability were to be examined, focusing on the underlying neuronal mechanisms. NF training consisted of 10 double sessions, and self-regulation skills were analyzed. Pre- and post-training assessments encompassed performance and event-related potential measures during an attention task, and motor system excitability assessed by transcranial magnetic stimulation. Some NF protocol specific effects have been obtained. However, due to the limited sample size medium effects didn’t reach the level of significance. Self-regulation abilities during negativity trials of the SCP training were associated with increased contingent negative variation amplitudes, indicating improved resource allocation during cognitive preparation. Theta/beta training was associated with increased response speed and decreased target-P3 amplitudes after successful theta/beta regulation suggested reduced attentional resources necessary for stimulus evaluation. Motor system excitability effects after theta/beta training paralleled the effects of methylphenidate. Overall, our results are limited by the non-sufficiently acquired self-regulation skills, but some specific effects between good and poor learners could be described. Future studies with larger sample sizes and sufficient acquisition of self-regulation skills are needed to further evaluate the protocol specific effects on attention and motor system excitability
Eduardo Mercado III
Full Text Available Electrical waves propagate across sensory and motor cortices in stereotypical patterns. These waves have been described as potentially facilitating sensory processing when they travel through sensory cortex, as guiding movement preparation and performance when they travel across motor cortex, and as possibly promoting synaptic plasticity and the consolidation of memory traces, especially during sleep. Here, an alternative theoretical framework is suggested that integrates Pavlovian hypotheses about learning and cortical function with concepts from contemporary proceduralist theories of memory. The proposed framework postulates that sensory-evoked cortical waves are gradually modified across repeated experiences such that the waves more effectively differentiate sensory events, and so that the waves are more likely to reverberate. It is argued that the qualities of cortical waves—their origins, form, intensity, speed, periodicity, extent, and trajectories —are a function of both the structural organization of neural circuits and ongoing reverberations resulting from previously experienced events. It is hypothesized that experience-dependent cortical plasticity, both in the short- and long-term, modulates the qualities of cortical waves, thereby enabling individuals to make progressively more precise distinctions between complex sensory events, and to reconstruct components of previously experienced events. Unlike most current neurobiological theories of learning and memory mechanisms, this hypothesis does not assume that synaptic plasticity, or any other form of neural plasticity, serves to store physical records of previously experienced events for later reactivation. Rather, the reorganization of cortical circuits may alter the potential for certain wave patterns to arise and persist. Understanding what factors determine the spatiotemporal dynamics of cortical waves, how structural changes affect their qualities, and how wave dynamics
Full Text Available The limited capacity of visual working memory necessitates attentional mechanisms that selectively update and maintain only the most task-relevant content. Psychophysical experiments have shown that the retroactive selection of memory content can be based on visual properties such as location or shape, but the neural basis for such differential selection is unknown. For example, it is not known if there are different cortical modules specialized for spatial versus feature-based mnemonic attention, in the same way that has been demonstrated for attention to perceptual input. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS to identify areas in human parietal and occipital cortex involved in the selection of objects from memory based on cues to their location (spatial information or their shape (featural information. We found that TMS over the supramarginal gyrus (SMG selectively facilitated spatial selection, whereas TMS over the lateral occipital cortex selectively enhanced feature-based selection for remembered objects in the contralateral visual field. Thus, different cortical regions are responsible for spatial vs. feature-based selection of working memory representations. Since the same regions are involved in attention to external events, these new findings indicate overlapping mechanisms for attentional control over perceptual input and mnemonic representations.
Fujii, Hiroshi; Kanamaru, Takashi; Aihara, Kazuyuki; Tsuda, Ichiro
Although the role of corticopetal acetylcholine (ACh) in higher cognitive functions is increasingly recognized, the questions as (1) how ACh works in attention(s), memory dynamics and cortical state transitions, and also (2) why and how loss of ACh is involved in dysfunctions such as visual hallucinations in dementia with Lewy bodies and deficit of attention(s), are not well understood. From the perspective of a dynamical systems viewpoint, we hypothesize that transient ACh released under top-down attention serves to temporarily invoke attractor-like memories, while a background level of ACh reverses this process returning the dynamical nature of the memory structure back to attractor ruins (quasi-attractors). In fact, transient ACh loosens inhibitions of py ramidal neurons (PYRs) by P V+ fas t spiking (FS) i nterneurons, while a baseline ACh recovers inhibitory actions of P V+ FS. Attentional A Ch thus dynamically modifies brain's connectivity. Th e core of this process is in the depression of GABAergic inhibitory currents in PYRs due to muscarinic (probably M2 subtype) presyn aptic effects on GABAergic synapses of PV+ FS neurons
Cohen-Maitre, Stacey Ann; Haerich, Paul
This study investigated the ability of color and motion to elicit and maintain visual attention in a sample of children with cortical visual impairment (CVI). It found that colorful and moving objects may be used to engage children with CVI, increase their motivation to use their residual vision, and promote visual learning.
Hawkins, Robert P.; Pingree, Suzanne; Hitchon, Jacqueline; Radler, Barry; Gorham, Bradley W.; Kahlor, Leeann; Gilligan, Eileen; Serlin, Ronald C.; Schmidt, Toni; Kannaovakun, Prathana; Kolbeins, Gudbjorg Hildur
Individual looks at television vary enormously in length, and this has previously indicated differences in ongoing cognitive processes. Furthermore, the relative frequency of looks of different lengths may indicate styles of attention to television. This article compares visual attention of 152 subjects across a variety of genres and examines…
Anderson, Jeffrey S; Treiman, Scott M; Ferguson, Michael A; Nielsen, Jared A; Edgin, Jamie O; Dai, Li; Gerig, Guido; Korenberg, Julie R
The ability to recognize and respond appropriately to threat is critical to survival, and the neural substrates subserving attention to threat may be probed using depictions of media violence. Whether neural responses to potential threat differ in Down syndrome is not known. We performed functional MRI scans of 15 adolescent and adult Down syndrome and 14 typically developing individuals, group matched by age and gender, during 50 min of passive cartoon viewing. Brain activation to auditory and visual features, violence, and presence of the protagonist and antagonist were compared across cartoon segments. fMRI signal from the brain's dorsal attention network was compared to thematic and violent events within the cartoons between Down syndrome and control samples. We found that in typical development, the brain's dorsal attention network was most active during violent scenes in the cartoons and that this was significantly and specifically reduced in Down syndrome. When the antagonist was on screen, there was significantly less activation in the left medial temporal lobe of individuals with Down syndrome. As scenes represented greater relative threat, the disparity between attentional brain activation in Down syndrome and control individuals increased. There was a reduction in the temporal autocorrelation of the dorsal attention network, consistent with a shortened attention span in Down syndrome. Individuals with Down syndrome exhibited significantly reduced activation in primary sensory cortices, and such perceptual impairments may constrain their ability to respond to more complex social cues such as violence. These findings may indicate a relative deficit in emotive perception of violence in Down syndrome, possibly mediated by impaired sensory perception and hypoactivation of medial temporal structures in response to threats, with relative preservation of activity in pro-social brain regions. These findings indicate that specific genetic differences associated
Narr, Katherine L.; Woods, Roger P.; Lin, James; Kim, John; Phillips, Owen R.; Del'Homme, Melissa; Caplan, Rochelle; Toga, Arthur W.; McCracken, James T.; Levitt, Jennifer G.
Objective: This cross-sectional study sought to confirm the presence and regional profile of previously reported changes in laminar cortical thickness in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared with typically developing control subjects. Method: High-resolution magnetic resonance images were obtained…
Webb, Taylor W; Igelström, Kajsa M; Schurger, Aaron; Graziano, Michael S A
It is now well established that visual attention, as measured with standard spatial attention tasks, and visual awareness, as measured by report, can be dissociated. It is possible to attend to a stimulus with no reported awareness of the stimulus. We used a behavioral paradigm in which people were aware of a stimulus in one condition and unaware of it in another condition, but the stimulus drew a similar amount of spatial attention in both conditions. The paradigm allowed us to test for brain regions active in association with awareness independent of level of attention. Participants performed the task in an MRI scanner. We looked for brain regions that were more active in the aware than the unaware trials. The largest cluster of activity was obtained in the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) bilaterally. Local independent component analysis (ICA) revealed that this activity contained three distinct, but overlapping, components: a bilateral, anterior component; a left dorsal component; and a right dorsal component. These components had brain-wide functional connectivity that partially overlapped the ventral attention network and the frontoparietal control network. In contrast, no significant activity in association with awareness was found in the banks of the intraparietal sulcus, a region connected to the dorsal attention network and traditionally associated with attention control. These results show the importance of separating awareness and attention when testing for cortical substrates. They are also consistent with a recent proposal that awareness is associated with ventral attention areas, especially in the TPJ.
Janata, Petr; Tillmann, Barbara; Bharucha, Jamshed J
Polyphonic music combines multiple auditory streams to create complex auditory scenes, thus providing a tool for investigating the neural mechanisms that orient attention in natural auditory contexts. Across two fMRI experiments, we varied stimuli and task demands in order to identify the cortical areas that are activated during attentive listening to real music. In individual experiments and in a conjunction analysis of the two experiments, we found bilateral blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal increases in temporal (the superior temporal gyrus), parietal (the intraparietal sulcus), and frontal (the precentral sulcus, the inferior frontal sulcus and gyrus, and the frontal operculum) areas during selective and global listening, as compared with passive rest without musical stimulation. Direct comparisons of the listening conditions showed significant differences between attending to single timbres (instruments) and attending across multiple instruments, although the patterns that were observed depended on the relative demands of the tasks being compared. The overall pattern of BOLD signal increases indicated that attentive listening to music recruits neural circuits underlying multiple forms of working memory, attention, semantic processing, target detection, and motor imagery. Thus, attentive listening to music appears to be enabled by areas that serve general functions, rather than by music-specific cortical modules.
Mirdamadi, J L; Suzuki, L Y; Meehan, S K
Skilled performance and acquisition is dependent upon afferent input to motor cortex. The present study used short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) to probe how manipulation of sensory afference by attention affects different circuits projecting to pyramidal tract neurons in motor cortex. SAI was assessed in the first dorsal interosseous muscle while participants performed a low or high attention-demanding visual detection task. SAI was evoked by preceding a suprathreshold transcranial magnetic stimulus with electrical stimulation of the median nerve at the wrist. To isolate different afferent intracortical circuits in motor cortex SAI was evoked using either posterior-anterior (PA) or anterior-posterior (PA) monophasic current. In an independent sample, somatosensory processing during the same attention-demanding visual detection tasks was assessed using somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEP) elicited by median nerve stimulation. SAI elicited by AP TMS was reduced under high compared to low visual attention demands. SAI elicited by PA TMS was not affected by visual attention demands. SEPs revealed that the high visual attention load reduced the fronto-central P20-N30 but not the contralateral parietal N20-P25 SEP component. P20-N30 reduction confirmed that the visual attention task altered sensory afference. The current results offer further support that PA and AP TMS recruit different neuronal circuits. AP circuits may be one substrate by which cognitive strategies shape sensorimotor processing during skilled movement by altering sensory processing in premotor areas. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wang, Wuyi; Viswanathan, Shivakumar; Lee, Taraz; Grafton, Scott T
Cortical theta band oscillations (4-8 Hz) in EEG signals have been shown to be important for a variety of different cognitive control operations in visual attention paradigms. However the synchronization source of these signals as defined by fMRI BOLD activity and the extent to which theta oscillations play a role in multimodal attention remains unknown. Here we investigated the extent to which cross-modal visual and auditory attention impacts theta oscillations. Using a simultaneous EEG-fMRI paradigm, healthy human participants performed an attentional vigilance task with six cross-modal conditions using naturalistic stimuli. To assess supramodal mechanisms, modulation of theta oscillation amplitude for attention to either visual or auditory stimuli was correlated with BOLD activity by conjunction analysis. Negative correlation was localized to cortical regions associated with the default mode network and positively with ventral premotor areas. Modality-associated attention to visual stimuli was marked by a positive correlation of theta and BOLD activity in fronto-parietal area that was not observed in the auditory condition. A positive correlation of theta and BOLD activity was observed in auditory cortex, while a negative correlation of theta and BOLD activity was observed in visual cortex during auditory attention. The data support a supramodal interaction of theta activity with of DMN function, and modality-associated processes within fronto-parietal networks related to top-down theta related cognitive control in cross-modal visual attention. On the other hand, in sensory cortices there are opposing effects of theta activity during cross-modal auditory attention.
Dramsdahl, Margaretha; Ersland, Lars; Plessen, Kerstin J
Background: Impaired cognitive control in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be related to a prefrontal cortical glutamatergic deficit. We assessed the glutamate level in the left and the right midfrontal region including the anterior cingulate cortex in adults...
Piette, Caitlin E; Baez-Santiago, Madelyn A; Reid, Emily E; Katz, Donald B; Moran, Anan
Evidence indirectly implicates the amygdala as the primary processor of emotional information used by cortex to drive appropriate behavioral responses to stimuli. Taste provides an ideal system with which to test this hypothesis directly, as neurons in both basolateral amygdala (BLA) and gustatory cortex (GC)-anatomically interconnected nodes of the gustatory system-code the emotional valence of taste stimuli (i.e., palatability), in firing rate responses that progress similarly through "epochs." The fact that palatability-related firing appears one epoch earlier in BLA than GC is broadly consistent with the hypothesis that such information may propagate from the former to the latter. Here, we provide evidence supporting this hypothesis, assaying taste responses in small GC single-neuron ensembles before, during, and after temporarily inactivating BLA in awake rats. BLA inactivation (BLAx) changed responses in 98% of taste-responsive GC neurons, altering the entirety of every taste response in many neurons. Most changes involved reductions in firing rate, but regardless of the direction of change, the effect of BLAx was epoch-specific: while firing rates were changed, the taste specificity of responses remained stable; information about taste palatability, however, which normally resides in the "Late" epoch, was reduced in magnitude across the entire GC sample and outright eliminated in most neurons. Only in the specific minority of neurons for which BLAx enhanced responses did palatability specificity survive undiminished. Our data therefore provide direct evidence that BLA is a necessary component of GC gustatory processing, and that cortical palatability processing in particular is, in part, a function of BLA activity.
Full Text Available Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, but diagnosed by subjective clinical and rating measures. The study's aim was to apply Gaussian process classification (GPC to grey matter (GM volumetric data, to assess whether individual ADHD adolescents can be accurately differentiated from healthy controls based on objective, brain structure measures and whether this is disorder-specific relative to autism spectrum disorder (ASD.Twenty-nine adolescent ADHD boys and 29 age-matched healthy and 19 boys with ASD were scanned. GPC was applied to make disorder-specific predictions of ADHD diagnostic status based on individual brain structure patterns. In addition, voxel-based morphometry (VBM analysis tested for traditional univariate group level differences in GM.The pattern of GM correctly classified 75.9% of patients and 82.8% of controls, achieving an overall classification accuracy of 79.3%. Furthermore, classification was disorder-specific relative to ASD. The discriminating GM patterns showed higher classification weights for ADHD in earlier developing ventrolateral/premotor fronto-temporo-limbic and stronger classification weights for healthy controls in later developing dorsolateral fronto-striato-parieto-cerebellar networks. Several regions were also decreased in GM in ADHD relative to healthy controls in the univariate VBM analysis, suggesting they are GM deficit areas.The study provides evidence that pattern recognition analysis can provide significant individual diagnostic classification of ADHD patients and healthy controls based on distributed GM patterns with 79.3% accuracy and that this is disorder-specific relative to ASD. Findings are a promising first step towards finding an objective differential diagnostic tool based on brain imaging measures to aid with the subjective clinical diagnosis of ADHD.
Werthmann, Jessica; Jansen, Anita; Roefs, Anne
Living in an 'obesogenic' environment poses a serious challenge for weight maintenance. However, many people are able to maintain a healthy weight indicating that not everybody is equally susceptible to the temptations of this food environment. The way in which someone perceives and reacts to food cues, that is, cognitive processes, could underlie differences in susceptibility. An attention bias for food could be such a cognitive factor that contributes to overeating. However, an attention bias for food has also been implicated with restrained eating and eating-disorder symptomatology. The primary aim of the present review was to determine whether an attention bias for food is specifically related to obesity while also reviewing evidence for attention biases in eating-disorder patients, restrained eaters and healthy-weight individuals. Another aim was to systematically examine how selective attention for food relates (causally) to eating behaviour. Current empirical evidence on attention bias for food within obese samples, eating-disorder patients, and, even though to a lesser extent, in restrained eaters is contradictory. However, present experimental studies provide relatively consistent evidence that an attention bias for food contributes to subsequent food intake. This review highlights the need to distinguish not only between different (temporal) attention bias components, but also to take different motivations (craving v. worry) and their impact on attentional processing into account. Overall, the current state of research suggests that biased attention could be one important cognitive mechanism by which the food environment tempts us into overeating.
Li, Qiaojun; Song, Ming; Xu, Jiayuan; Qin, Wen; Yu, Chunshui; Jiang, Tianzi
Blindness primarily induces structural alteration in the primary visual cortex (V1). Some studies have found that the early blind subjects had a thicker V1 compared to sighted controls, whereas late blind subjects showed no significant differences in the V1. This implies that the age of blindness onset may exert significant effects on the development of cortical thickness of the V1. However, no previous research used a trajectory of the age of blindness onset-related changes to investigate these effects. Here we explored this issue by mapping the cortical thickness trajectory of the V1 against the age of blindness onset using data from 99 blind individuals whose age of blindness onset ranged from birth to 34 years. We found that the cortical thickness of the V1 could be fitted well with a quadratic curve in both the left (F = 11.59, P = 3 × 10 -5 ) and right hemispheres (F = 6.54, P = 2 × 10 -3 ). Specifically, the cortical thickness of the V1 thinned rapidly during childhood and adolescence and did not change significantly thereafter. This trend was not observed in the primary auditory cortex (A1), primary motor cortex (M1), or primary somatosensory cortex (S1). These results provide evidence that an onset of blindness before adulthood significantly affects the cortical thickness of the V1 and suggest a critical period for cortical development of the human V1.
Full Text Available Attention is restricted for the second of two targets when it is presented within 200-500 ms of the first target. This attentional blink (AB phenomenon allows one to study the dynamics of temporal selective attention by varying the interval between the two targets (T1 and T2. Whereas the AB has long been considered as a robust and universal cognitive limitation, several studies have demonstrated that AB task performance greatly differs between individuals, with some individuals showing no AB whatsoever.Here, we studied these individual differences in AB task performance in relation to differences in attentional timing. Furthermore, we investigated whether AB magnitude is predictive for the amount of attention allocated to T1. For both these purposes pupil dilation was measured, and analyzed with our recently developed deconvolution method. We found that the dynamics of temporal attention in small versus large blinkers differ in a number of ways. Individuals with a relatively small AB magnitude seem better able to preserve temporal order information. In addition, they are quicker to allocate attention to both T1 and T2 than large blinkers. Although a popular explanation of the AB is that it is caused by an unnecessary overinvestment of attention allocated to T1, a more complex picture emerged from our data, suggesting that this may depend on whether one is a small or a large blinker.The use of pupil dilation deconvolution seems to be a powerful approach to study the temporal dynamics of attention, bringing us a step closer to understanding the elusive nature of the AB. We conclude that the timing of attention to targets may be more important than the amount of allocated attention in accounting for individual differences.
Willems, Charlotte; Herdzin, Johannes; Martens, Sander
Attention is restricted for the second of two targets when it is presented within 200-500 ms of the first target. This attentional blink (AB) phenomenon allows one to study the dynamics of temporal selective attention by varying the interval between the two targets (T1 and T2). Whereas the AB has long been considered as a robust and universal cognitive limitation, several studies have demonstrated that AB task performance greatly differs between individuals, with some individuals showing no AB whatsoever. Here, we studied these individual differences in AB task performance in relation to differences in attentional timing. Furthermore, we investigated whether AB magnitude is predictive for the amount of attention allocated to T1. For both these purposes pupil dilation was measured, and analyzed with our recently developed deconvolution method. We found that the dynamics of temporal attention in small versus large blinkers differ in a number of ways. Individuals with a relatively small AB magnitude seem better able to preserve temporal order information. In addition, they are quicker to allocate attention to both T1 and T2 than large blinkers. Although a popular explanation of the AB is that it is caused by an unnecessary overinvestment of attention allocated to T1, a more complex picture emerged from our data, suggesting that this may depend on whether one is a small or a large blinker. The use of pupil dilation deconvolution seems to be a powerful approach to study the temporal dynamics of attention, bringing us a step closer to understanding the elusive nature of the AB. We conclude that the timing of attention to targets may be more important than the amount of allocated attention in accounting for individual differences.
Sussman, Dafna; Leung, Rachel C; Chakravarty, M Mallar; Lerch, Jason P; Taylor, Margot J
This study is the first to characterize normal development and sex differences across neuroanatomical structures in cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar brain regions in a single large cohort. One hundred and ninety-two magnetic resonance images were examined from 96 typically developing females and 96 age-matched typically developing males from 4 to 18 years of age. Image segmentation of the cortex was conducted with CIVET, while that of the cerebellum, hippocampi, thalamus, and basal ganglia were conducted using the MAGeT algorithm. Cortical thickness analysis revealed that most cortical regions decrease linearly, while surface area increases linearly with age. Volume relative to total cerebrum followed a quadratic trend with age, with only the left supramarginal gyrus showing sexual dimorphism. Hippocampal relative volume increased linearly, while the thalamus, caudate, and putamen decreased linearly, and the cerebellum did not change with age. The relative volumes of several subcortical subregions followed inverted U-shaped trends that peaked at ~12 years of age. Many subcortical structures were found to be larger in females than in males, independently of age, while others showed a sex-by-age interaction. This study provides a comprehensive assessment of cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar growth patterns during normal development, and draws attention to the role of sex on neuroanatomical maturation throughout childhood and adolescence.
Full Text Available Background/Aims: Atrophy in both grey and white matter is found in normal aging. The prefrontal cortex and the frontal lobe white matter are thought to be the most affected regions. Our aim was to examine the effects of normal aging on cortical grey matter using a 3D quantitative cortical mapping method. Methods: We analyzed 1.5-tesla brain magnetic resonance imaging data from 44 cognitively normal elderly subjects using cortical pattern matching and cortical thickness analyses. Linear regression analysis was used to study the effect of age on cortical thickness. 3D map-wide correction for multiple comparisons was conducted with permutation analyses using a threshold of p Results: We found a significant negative association between age and cortical thickness in the right hemisphere (pcorrected = 0.009 and a trend level association in the left hemisphere (pcorrected = 0.081. Age-related changes were greatest in the sensorimotor, bilateral dorsal anterior cingulate and supplementary motor cortices, and the right posterior middle and inferior frontal gyri. Age effects greater in the medial than lateral visual association cortices were also seen bilaterally. Conclusion: Our novel method further validates that normal aging results in diffuse cortical thinning that is most pronounced in the frontal and visual association cortices.
Esterman, Michael; Thai, Michelle; Okabe, Hidefusa; DeGutis, Joseph; Saad, Elyana; Laganiere, Simon E.; Halko, Mark A.
Developing non-invasive brain stimulation interventions to improve attentional control is extremely relevant to a variety of neurologic and psychiatric populations, yet few studies have identified reliable biomarkers that can be readily modified to improve attentional control. One potential biomarker of attention is functional connectivity in the core cortical network supporting attention - the dorsal attention network (DAN). We used a network-targeted cerebellar transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) procedure, intended to enhance cortical functional connectivity in the DAN. Specifically, in healthy young adults we administered intermittent theta burst TMS (iTBS) to the midline cerebellar node of the DAN and, as a control, the right cerebellar node of the default mode network (DMN). These cerebellar targets were localized using individual resting-state fMRI scans. Participants completed assessments of both sustained (gradual onset continuous performance task, gradCPT) and transient attentional control (attentional blink) immediately before and after stimulation, in two sessions (cerebellar DAN and DMN). Following cerebellar DAN stimulation, participants had significantly fewer attentional lapses (lower commission error rates) on the gradCPT. In contrast, stimulation to the cerebellar DMN did not affect gradCPT performance. Further, in the DAN condition, individuals with worse baseline gradCPT performance showed the greatest enhancement in gradCPT performance. These results suggest that temporarily increasing functional connectivity in the DAN via network-targeted cerebellar stimulation can enhance sustained attention, particularly in those with poor baseline performance. With regard to transient attention, TMS stimulation improved attentional blink performance across both stimulation sites, suggesting increasing functional connectivity in both networks can enhance this aspect of attention. These findings have important implications for intervention applications
attention as hypothesized by Mesulam stating that the parietal cortex is polymodal, receiving input from the primary cortices of all sensory modalities. Thus, the parietal attention site is not only involved in visual spatial selective attention as claimed by some research groups. My data also indicate that the parietal attention site is organized in a 'homunculus-like' fashion, similar to the cortical connections in the Macaque monkey. In the Alzheimer patients, the primary sensory stimulations elicited an altered pattern with activation of medial frontal structures in additional to the expected activations of the primary sensory cortices. During sustained attention the patients had a tendency to activate the same attention sites as the healthy elderly, but in addition significant deactivations were noted in the left and right medial and left superior frontal gyri (Brodmann Area 10), and the right posterior cingulate gyrus (Brodmann Area 23/31). During divided attention the activation pattern in the patients was very different from that of the healthy elderly. The right medial frontal gyrus (Broadmann Area 32) was activated but not the right-sided parietal or the frontal attention sites. Deactivations were seen in the right cuneus and putamen. The different activation patterns elicited by sustained and divided attention in the Alzheimer patients provide evidence of differential deficits in two attention sbutypes in Alzheimer's disease, as reported in neuropsychological studies. The resting rCBF deficits and the altered cortical activation patterns during attention in the Alzheimer patients indicate that Alzheimer's disease is the result of a specific pathophysiological process with distinct and localized lesions indicating that the disease is not a diffuse and global brain disease. The results further support the disconnection hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease wich consider the disorder as a neocortical isolationsyndrome created by a disease process that spreads along
Foley, Nicholas C; Grossberg, Stephen; Mingolla, Ennio
How are spatial and object attention coordinated to achieve rapid object learning and recognition during eye movement search? How do prefrontal priming and parietal spatial mechanisms interact to determine the reaction time costs of intra-object attention shifts, inter-object attention shifts, and shifts between visible objects and covertly cued locations? What factors underlie individual differences in the timing and frequency of such attentional shifts? How do transient and sustained spatial attentional mechanisms work and interact? How can volition, mediated via the basal ganglia, influence the span of spatial attention? A neural model is developed of how spatial attention in the where cortical stream coordinates view-invariant object category learning in the what cortical stream under free viewing conditions. The model simulates psychological data about the dynamics of covert attention priming and switching requiring multifocal attention without eye movements. The model predicts how "attentional shrouds" are formed when surface representations in cortical area V4 resonate with spatial attention in posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC), while shrouds compete among themselves for dominance. Winning shrouds support invariant object category learning, and active surface-shroud resonances support conscious surface perception and recognition. Attentive competition between multiple objects and cues simulates reaction-time data from the two-object cueing paradigm. The relative strength of sustained surface-driven and fast-transient motion-driven spatial attention controls individual differences in reaction time for invalid cues. Competition between surface-driven attentional shrouds controls individual differences in detection rate of peripheral targets in useful-field-of-view tasks. The model proposes how the strength of competition can be mediated, though learning or momentary changes in volition, by the basal ganglia. A new explanation of
Ginting, H.; Näring, G.W.B.; Becker, E.S.
This study examined whether in an emotional Stroop task, individuals with coronary heart disease (CHD) would show greater attention towards the threatening words related to their disease than healthy persons, and if such an attentional bias is associated with anxiety. An emotional Stroop task with
Woolgar, Alexandra; Williams, Mark A; Rich, Anina N
Selective attention is fundamental for human activity, but the details of its neural implementation remain elusive. One influential theory, the adaptive coding hypothesis (Duncan, 2001, An adaptive coding model of neural function in prefrontal cortex, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2:820-829), proposes that single neurons in certain frontal and parietal regions dynamically adjust their responses to selectively encode relevant information. This selective representation may in turn support selective processing in more specialized brain regions such as the visual cortices. Here, we use multi-voxel decoding of functional magnetic resonance images to demonstrate selective representation of attended--and not distractor--objects in frontal, parietal, and visual cortices. In addition, we highlight a critical role for task demands in determining which brain regions exhibit selective coding. Strikingly, representation of attended objects in frontoparietal cortex was highest under conditions of high perceptual demand, when stimuli were hard to perceive and coding in early visual cortex was weak. Coding in early visual cortex varied as a function of attention and perceptual demand, while coding in higher visual areas was sensitive to the allocation of attention but robust to changes in perceptual difficulty. Consistent with high-profile reports, peripherally presented objects could also be decoded from activity at the occipital pole, a region which corresponds to the fovea. Our results emphasize the flexibility of frontoparietal and visual systems. They support the hypothesis that attention enhances the multi-voxel representation of information in the brain, and suggest that the engagement of this attentional mechanism depends critically on current task demands. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Suárez-Pellicioni, Macarena; Núñez-Peña, Maria Isabel; Colomé, Àngels
Attentional bias toward threatening or emotional information is considered a cognitive marker of anxiety, and it has been described in various clinical and subclinical populations. This study used an emotional Stroop task to investigate whether math anxiety is characterized by an attentional bias toward math-related words. Two previous studies failed to observe such an effect in math-anxious individuals, although the authors acknowledged certain methodological limitations that the present study seeks to avoid. Twenty high math-anxious (HMA) and 20 low math-anxious (LMA) individuals were presented with an emotional Stroop task including math-related and neutral words. Participants in the two groups did not differ in trait anxiety or depression. We found that the HMA group showed slower response times to math-related words than to neutral words, as well as a greater attentional bias (math-related – neutral difference score) than the LMA one, which constitutes the first demonstration of an attentional bias toward math-related words in HMA individuals. PMID:26539137
MACARENA eSUÁREZ PELLICIONI
Full Text Available Attentional bias towards threatening or emotional information is considered a cognitive marker of anxiety, and it has been described in various clinical and subclinical populations. This study used an emotional Stroop task to investigate whether math anxiety is characterized by an attentional bias towards math-related words. Two previous studies failed to observe such an effect in math-anxious individuals, although the authors acknowledged certain methodological limitations that the present study seeks to avoid. Twenty high math-anxious (HMA and 20 low math-anxious (LMA individuals were presented with an emotional Stroop task including math-related and neutral words. Participants in the two groups did not differ in trait anxiety or depression. We found that the HMA group showed slower response times to math-related words than to neutral words, as well as a greater attentional bias (math-related – neutral difference score than the LMA one, which constitutes the first demonstration of an attentional bias towards math-related words in HMA individuals.
Tervaniemi, M; Schröger, E; Näätänen, R
Neuronal mechanisms involved in the processing of complex sounds with asynchronous onsets were studied in reading subjects. The sound onset asynchrony (SOA) between the leading partial and the remaining complex tone was varied between 0 and 360 ms. Infrequently occurring deviant sounds (in which one out of 10 harmonics was different in pitch relative to the frequently occurring standard sound) elicited the mismatch negativity (MMN), a change-specific cortical event-related potential (ERP) component. This indicates that the pitch of standard stimuli had been pre-attentively coded by sensory-memory traces. Moreover, when the complex-tone onset fell within temporal integration window initiated by the leading-partial onset, the deviants elicited the N2b component. This indexes that involuntary attention switch towards the sound change occurred. In summary, the present results support the existence of pre-perceptual integration mechanism of 100-200 ms duration and emphasize its importance in switching attention towards the stimulus change.
Grundey, Jessica; Amu, Rosa; Ambrus, Géza Gergely; Batsikadze, Georgi; Paulus, Walter; Nitsche, Michael A
Nicotine has been shown to affect cortical excitability measured using transcranial magnetic stimulation in smoking and non-smoking subjects in different ways. In tobacco-deprived smokers, administration of nicotine restores compromised cortical facilitation while in non-smokers, it enhances cortical inhibition. As cortical excitability and activity are closely linked to cognitive processes, we aimed to explore whether nicotine-induced physiological alterations in non-smokers and smokers are associated with cognitive changes. Specifically, we assessed the impact of nicotine on working memory performance (n-back letter task) and on attentional processes (Stroop interference test) in healthy smokers and non-smokers. Both tasks have been shown to rely on prefrontal areas, and nicotinic receptors are relevantly involved in prefrontal function. Sixteen smoking and 16 non-smoking subjects participated in the 3-back letter task and 21 smoking and 21 non-smoking subjects in the Stroop test after the respective application of placebo or nicotine patches. The results show that working memory and attentional processes are compromised in nicotine-deprived smokers compared to non-smoking individuals. After administration of nicotine, working memory performance in smokers improved, while non-smoking subjects displayed decreased accuracy with increased number of errors. The effects have been shown to be more apparent for working memory performance than attentional processes. In summary, cognitive functions can be restored by nicotine in deprived smokers, whereas non-smokers do not gain additional benefit. The respective changes are in accordance with related effects of nicotine on cortical excitability in both groups.
Grocholewski, Anja; Kliem, Sören; Heinrichs, Nina
Cognitive-behavioral models postulate that biases in selective attention are key factors contributing to susceptibility to and maintenance of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Visual attention in particular toward the imagined defect in appearance may be a crucial element. The present study therefore examined whether individuals with BDD showed increased visual attention to flaws in their own and in unfamiliar faces. Twenty individuals with BDD, 20 individuals with social phobia, and 20 mentally healthy individuals participated in an eye-tracking experiment. Participants were instructed to gaze at the photographs of 15 pictures of themselves and several unfamiliar faces. Only patients with BDD showed heightened selective visual attention to the imagined defect in their own face, as well to corresponding regions in other, unfamiliar faces. The results support the assumption that there is a specific attentional bias in BDD. Copyright Â© 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
attention as hypothesized by Mesulam stating that the parietal cortex is polymodal, receiving input from the primary cortices of all sensory modalities. Thus, the parietal attention site is not only involved in visual spatial selective attention as claimed by some research groups. My data also indicate that the parietal attention site is organized in a `homunculus-like` fashion, similar to the cortical connections in the Macaque monkey. In the Alzheimer patients, the primary sensory stimulations elicited an altered pattern with activation of medial frontal structures in additional to the expected activations of the primary sensory cortices. During sustained attention the patients had a tendency to activate the same attention sites as the healthy elderly, but in addition significant deactivations were noted in the left and right medial and left superior frontal gyri (Brodmann Area 10), and the right posterior cingulate gyrus (Brodmann Area 23/31). During divided attention the activation pattern in the patients was very different from that of the healthy elderly. The right medial frontal gyrus (Broadmann Area 32) was activated but not the right-sided parietal or the frontal attention sites. Deactivations were seen in the right cuneus and putamen. The different activation patterns elicited by sustained and divided attention in the Alzheimer patients provide evidence of differential deficits in two attention sbutypes in Alzheimer`s disease, as reported in neuropsychological studies. The resting rCBF deficits and the altered cortical activation patterns during attention in the Alzheimer patients indicate that Alzheimer`s disease is the result of a specific pathophysiological process with distinct and localized lesions indicating that the disease is not a diffuse and global brain disease. The results further support the disconnection hypothesis of Alzheimer`s disease wich consider the disorder as a neocortical isolationsyndrome created by a disease process that spreads along
Ruiz-Rizzo, Adriana L; Neitzel, Julia; Müller, Hermann J; Sorg, Christian; Finke, Kathrin
Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's "theory of visual attention" (TVA) allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity) and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality). However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower) visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less) efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable visual attention
David A Bridwell
Full Text Available Cortical responses to complex natural stimuli can be isolated by examining the relationship between neural measures obtained while multiple individuals view the same stimuli. These inter-subject correlation's (ISC's emerge from similarities in individual's cortical response to the shared audiovisual inputs, which may be related to their emergent cognitive and perceptual experience. Within the present study, our goal is to examine the utility of using ISC's for predicting which audiovisual clips individuals viewed, and to examine the relationship between neural responses to natural stimuli and subjective reports. The ability to predict which clips individuals viewed depends on the relationship of the EEG response across subjects and the nature in which this information is aggregated. We conceived of three approaches for aggregating responses, i.e. three assignment algorithms, which we evaluated in Experiment 1A. The aggregate correlations algorithm generated the highest assignment accuracy (70.83% chance = 33.33% and was selected as the assignment algorithm for the larger sample of individuals and clips within Experiment 1B. The overall assignment accuracy was 33.46% within Experiment 1B (chance = 06.25%, with accuracies ranging from 52.9% (Silver Linings Playbook to 11.75% (Seinfeld within individual clips. ISC's were significantly greater than zero for 15 out of 16 clips, and fluctuations within the delta frequency band (i.e. 0-4 Hz primarily contributed to response similarities across subjects. Interestingly, there was insufficient evidence to indicate that individuals with greater similarities in clip preference demonstrate greater similarities in cortical responses, suggesting a lack of association between ISC and clip preference. Overall these results demonstrate the utility of using ISC's for prediction, and further characterize the relationship between ISC magnitudes and subjective reports.
Bridwell, David A; Roth, Cullen; Gupta, Cota Navin; Calhoun, Vince D
Cortical responses to complex natural stimuli can be isolated by examining the relationship between neural measures obtained while multiple individuals view the same stimuli. These inter-subject correlation's (ISC's) emerge from similarities in individual's cortical response to the shared audiovisual inputs, which may be related to their emergent cognitive and perceptual experience. Within the present study, our goal is to examine the utility of using ISC's for predicting which audiovisual clips individuals viewed, and to examine the relationship between neural responses to natural stimuli and subjective reports. The ability to predict which clips individuals viewed depends on the relationship of the EEG response across subjects and the nature in which this information is aggregated. We conceived of three approaches for aggregating responses, i.e. three assignment algorithms, which we evaluated in Experiment 1A. The aggregate correlations algorithm generated the highest assignment accuracy (70.83% chance = 33.33%) and was selected as the assignment algorithm for the larger sample of individuals and clips within Experiment 1B. The overall assignment accuracy was 33.46% within Experiment 1B (chance = 06.25%), with accuracies ranging from 52.9% (Silver Linings Playbook) to 11.75% (Seinfeld) within individual clips. ISC's were significantly greater than zero for 15 out of 16 clips, and fluctuations within the delta frequency band (i.e. 0-4 Hz) primarily contributed to response similarities across subjects. Interestingly, there was insufficient evidence to indicate that individuals with greater similarities in clip preference demonstrate greater similarities in cortical responses, suggesting a lack of association between ISC and clip preference. Overall these results demonstrate the utility of using ISC's for prediction, and further characterize the relationship between ISC magnitudes and subjective reports.
Jaworski, Jessica L Bean; Eigsti, Inge-Marie
Visual attention is integral to social interaction and is a critical building block for development in other domains (e.g., language). Furthermore, atypical attention (especially joint attention) is one of the earliest markers of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current study assesses low-level visual attention and its relation to social attentional processing in youth with ASD and typically developing (TD) youth, aged 7 to 18 years. The findings indicate difficulty overriding incorrect attentional cues in ASD, particularly with non-social (arrow) cues relative to social (face) cues. The findings also show reduced competition in ASD from cues that remain on-screen. Furthermore, social attention, autism severity, and age were all predictors of competing cue processing. The results suggest that individuals with ASD may be biased towards speeded rather than accurate responding, and further, that reduced engagement with visual information may impede responses to visual attentional cues. Once attention is engaged, individuals with ASD appear to interpret directional cues as meaningful. These findings from a controlled, experimental paradigm were mirrored in results from an ecologically valid measure of social attention. Attentional difficulties may be exacerbated during the complex and dynamic experience of actual social interaction. Implications for intervention are discussed.
Natalie J. Forde
Full Text Available Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI studies have highlighted subcortical, cortical, and structural connectivity abnormalities associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Gyrification investigations of the cortex have been inconsistent and largely negative, potentially due to a lack of sensitivity of the previously used morphological parameters. The innovative approach of applying intrinsic curvature analysis, which is predictive of gyrification pattern, to the cortical surface applied herein allowed us greater sensitivity to determine whether the structural connectivity abnormalities thus far identified at a centimeter scale also occur at a millimeter scale within the cortical surface. This could help identify neurodevelopmental processes that contribute to ADHD. Structural MRI datasets from the NeuroIMAGE project were used [n = 306 ADHD, n = 164 controls, and n = 148 healthy siblings of individuals with ADHD (age in years, mean(sd; 17.2 (3.4, 16.8 (3.2, and 17.7 (3.8, respectively]. Reconstructions of the cortical surfaces were computed with FreeSurfer. Intrinsic curvature (taken as a marker of millimeter-scale surface connectivity and local gyrification index were calculated for each point on the surface (vertex with Caret and FreeSurfer, respectively. Intrinsic curvature skew and mean local gyrification index were extracted per region; frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, cingulate, and insula. A generalized additive model was used to compare the trajectory of these measures between groups over age, with sex, scanner site, total surface area of hemisphere, and familiality accounted for. After correcting for sex, scanner site, and total surface area no group differences were found in the developmental trajectory of intrinsic curvature or local gyrification index. Despite the increased sensitivity of intrinsic curvature, compared to gyrification measures, to subtle morphological abnormalities of the cortical surface we found
Burgess, Gregory C; Depue, Brendan E; Ruzic, Luka; Willcutt, Erik G; Du, Yiping P; Banich, Marie T
Attentional control difficulties in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might reflect poor working memory (WM) ability, especially because WM ability and attentional control rely on similar brain regions. The current study examined whether WM ability might explain group differences in brain activation between adults with ADHD and normal control subjects during attentional demand. Participants were 20 adults with ADHD combined subtype with no comorbid psychiatric or learning disorders and 23 control subjects similar in age, IQ, and gender. The WM measures were obtained from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III and Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised. Brain activation was assessed with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing a Color-Word Stroop task. Group differences in WM ability explained a portion of the activation in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which has been related to the creation and maintenance of an attentional set for task-relevant information. In addition, greater WM ability predicted increased activation of brain regions related to stimulus-driven attention and response selection processes in the ADHD group but not in the control group. The inability to maintain an appropriate task set in young adults with combined type ADHD, associated with decreased activity in left DLPFC, might in part be due to poor WM ability. Furthermore, in individuals with ADHD, higher WM ability might relate to increased recruitment of stimulus-driven attention and response selection processes, perhaps as a compensatory strategy. Copyright 2010 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
van Hooff, Johanna C; van Buuringen, Melanie; El M'rabet, Ihsane; de Gier, Margot; van Zalingen, Lilian
Although threatening images are known to attract and keep our attention, little is known about the existence of emotion-specific attention effects. In this study (N=46), characteristics of an anticipated, disgust-specific effect were investigated by means of a covert orienting paradigm incorporating pictures that were either disgust-evoking, fear-evoking, happiness-evoking or neutral. Attention adhesion to these pictures was measured by the time necessary to identify a peripheral target, presented 100, 200, 500, or 800 ms after picture onset. Main results showed that reaction times were delayed for targets following the disgust-evoking pictures by 100 and 200 ms, suggesting that only these pictures temporarily grabbed hold of participants' attention. These delays were similar for ignore- and attend-instructions, and they were not affected by the participants' anxiety levels or disgust sensitivity. The disgust-specific influence on early attention processes thus appeared very robust, occurring in the majority of participants and without contribution of voluntary- and strategic-attention processes. In contrast, a smaller and less reliable effect of all emotional (arousing) pictures was present in the form of delayed responding in the 100 ms cue-target interval. This effect was more transitory and apparent only in participants with relatively high state-anxiety scores. Practical and theoretical consequences of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ruiz-Rizzo, Adriana L.; Neitzel, Julia; Müller, Hermann J.; Sorg, Christian; Finke, Kathrin
Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's “theory of visual attention” (TVA) allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity) and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality). However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower) visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less) efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable visual attention
Adriana L. Ruiz-Rizzo
Full Text Available Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's “theory of visual attention” (TVA allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality. However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI. Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable
White, Michael G; Mathur, Brian N
The claustrum is a telencephalic gray matter nucleus that is richly interconnected with the neocortex. This structure subserves top-down executive functions that require frontal cortical control of posterior cortical regions. However, functional anatomical support for the claustrum allowing for long-range intercortical communication is lacking. To test this, we performed a channelrhodopsin-assisted long-circuit mapping strategy in mouse brain slices. We find that anterior cingulate cortex input to the claustrum is transiently amplified by claustrum neurons that, in turn, project to parietal association cortex or to primary and secondary visual cortices. Additionally, we observe that claustrum drive of cortical neurons in parietal association cortex is layer-specific, eliciting action potential generation briefly in layers II/III, IV, and VI but not V. These data are the first to provide a functional anatomical substrate through claustrum that may underlie top-down functions, such as executive attention or working memory, providing critical insight to this most interconnected and enigmatic nucleus.
Daniel S McGrath
Full Text Available A growing body of research indicates that gamblers develop an attentional bias for gambling-related stimuli. Compared to research on substance use, however, few studies have examined attentional biases in gamblers using eye-gaze tracking, which has many advantages over other measures of attention. In addition, previous studies of attentional biases in gamblers have not directly matched type of gambler with personally-relevant gambling cues. The present study investigated the specificity of attentional biases for individual types of gambling using an eye-gaze tracking paradigm. Three groups of participants (poker players, video lottery terminal/slot machine players, and non-gambling controls took part in one test session in which they viewed 25 sets of four images (poker, VLTs/slot machines, bingo, and board games. Participants' eye fixations were recorded throughout each 8-second presentation of the four images. The results indicated that, as predicted, the two gambling groups preferentially attended to their primary form of gambling, whereas control participants attended to board games more than gambling images. The findings have clinical implications for the treatment of individuals with gambling disorder. Understanding the importance of personally-salient gambling cues will inform the development of effective attentional bias modification treatments for problem gamblers.
McGrath, Daniel S; Meitner, Amadeus; Sears, Christopher R
A growing body of research indicates that gamblers develop an attentional bias for gambling-related stimuli. Compared to research on substance use, however, few studies have examined attentional biases in gamblers using eye-gaze tracking, which has many advantages over other measures of attention. In addition, previous studies of attentional biases in gamblers have not directly matched type of gambler with personally-relevant gambling cues. The present study investigated the specificity of attentional biases for individual types of gambling using an eye-gaze tracking paradigm. Three groups of participants (poker players, video lottery terminal/slot machine players, and non-gambling controls) took part in one test session in which they viewed 25 sets of four images (poker, VLTs/slot machines, bingo, and board games). Participants' eye fixations were recorded throughout each 8-second presentation of the four images. The results indicated that, as predicted, the two gambling groups preferentially attended to their primary form of gambling, whereas control participants attended to board games more than gambling images. The findings have clinical implications for the treatment of individuals with gambling disorder. Understanding the importance of personally-salient gambling cues will inform the development of effective attentional bias modification treatments for problem gamblers.
Beresheim, Amy C; Pfeiffer, Susan K; Grynpas, Marc D; Alblas, Amanda
The purpose of this study was to provide bone histomorphometric reference data for South Africans of the Western Cape who likely dealt with health issues under the apartheid regime. The 206 adult individuals ( n female = 75, n male = 131, mean = 47.9 ± 15.8 years) from the Kirsten Skeletal Collection, U. Stellenbosch, lived in the Cape Town metropole from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s. To study age-related changes in cortical and trabecular bone microstructure, photomontages of mid-thoracic rib cross-sections were quantitatively examined. Variables include relative cortical area (Rt.Ct.Ar), osteon population density (OPD), osteon area (On.Ar), bone volume fraction (BV/TV), trabecular number (Tb.N), trabecular thickness (Tb.Th), and trabecular spacing (Tb.Sp). All cortical variables demonstrated significant relationships with age in both sexes, with women showing stronger overall age associations. Peak bone mass was compromised in some men, possibly reflecting poor nutritional quality and/or substance abuse issues throughout adolescence and early adulthood. In women, greater predicted decrements in On.Ar and Rt.Ct.Ar suggest a structural disadvantage with age, consistent with postmenopausal bone loss. Age-related patterns in trabecular bone microarchitecture are variable and difficult to explain. Except for Tb.Th, there are no statistically significant relationships with age in women. Men demonstrate significant negative correlations between BV/TV, Tb.N, and age, and a significant positive correlation between Tb.Sp and age. This research highlights sex-specific differences in patterns of age-related bone loss, and provides context for discussion of contemporary South African bone health. While the study sample demonstrates indicators of poor bone quality, osteoporosis research continues to be under-prioritized in South Africa. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Full Text Available When viewing social scenes, humans and nonhuman primates focus on particular features, such as the models' eyes, mouth, and action targets. Previous studies reported that such viewing patterns vary significantly across individuals in humans, and also across closely-related primate species. However, the nature of these individual and species differences remains unclear, particularly among nonhuman primates. In large samples of human and nonhuman primates, we examined species differences and the effects of experience on patterns of gaze toward social movies. Experiment 1 examined the species differences across rhesus macaques, nonhuman apes (bonobos, chimpanzees, and orangutans, and humans while they viewed movies of various animals' species-typical behaviors. We found that each species had distinct viewing patterns of the models' faces, eyes, mouths, and action targets. Experiment 2 tested the effect of individuals' experience on chimpanzee and human viewing patterns. We presented movies depicting natural behaviors of chimpanzees to three groups of chimpanzees (individuals from a zoo, a sanctuary, and a research institute differing in their early social and physical experiences. We also presented the same movies to human adults and children differing in their expertise with chimpanzees (experts vs. novices or movie-viewing generally (adults vs. preschoolers. Individuals varied within each species in their patterns of gaze toward models' faces, eyes, mouths, and action targets depending on their unique individual experiences. We thus found that the viewing patterns for social stimuli are both individual- and species-specific in these closely-related primates. Such individual/species-specificities are likely related to both individual experience and species-typical temperament, suggesting that primate individuals acquire their unique attentional biases through both ontogeny and evolution. Such unique attentional biases may help them learn
Kano, Fumihiro; Shepherd, Stephen V; Hirata, Satoshi; Call, Josep
When viewing social scenes, humans and nonhuman primates focus on particular features, such as the models' eyes, mouth, and action targets. Previous studies reported that such viewing patterns vary significantly across individuals in humans, and also across closely-related primate species. However, the nature of these individual and species differences remains unclear, particularly among nonhuman primates. In large samples of human and nonhuman primates, we examined species differences and the effects of experience on patterns of gaze toward social movies. Experiment 1 examined the species differences across rhesus macaques, nonhuman apes (bonobos, chimpanzees, and orangutans), and humans while they viewed movies of various animals' species-typical behaviors. We found that each species had distinct viewing patterns of the models' faces, eyes, mouths, and action targets. Experiment 2 tested the effect of individuals' experience on chimpanzee and human viewing patterns. We presented movies depicting natural behaviors of chimpanzees to three groups of chimpanzees (individuals from a zoo, a sanctuary, and a research institute) differing in their early social and physical experiences. We also presented the same movies to human adults and children differing in their expertise with chimpanzees (experts vs. novices) or movie-viewing generally (adults vs. preschoolers). Individuals varied within each species in their patterns of gaze toward models' faces, eyes, mouths, and action targets depending on their unique individual experiences. We thus found that the viewing patterns for social stimuli are both individual- and species-specific in these closely-related primates. Such individual/species-specificities are likely related to both individual experience and species-typical temperament, suggesting that primate individuals acquire their unique attentional biases through both ontogeny and evolution. Such unique attentional biases may help them learn efficiently about their
Pergamin-Hight, Lee; Naim, Reut; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H; Bar-Haim, Yair
Despite the established evidence for threat-related attention bias in anxiety, the mechanisms underlying this bias remain unclear. One important unresolved question is whether disorder-congruent threats capture attention to a greater extent than do more general or disorder-incongruent threat stimuli. Evidence for attention bias specificity in anxiety would implicate involvement of previous learning and memory processes in threat-related attention bias, whereas lack of content specificity would point to perturbations in more generic attention processes. Enhanced clarity of mechanism could have clinical implications for the stimuli types used in Attention Bias Modification Treatments (ABMT). Content specificity of threat-related attention bias in anxiety and potential moderators of this effect were investigated. A systematic search identified 37 samples from 29 articles (N=866). Relevant data were extracted based on specific coding rules, and Cohen's d effect size was used to estimate bias specificity effects. The results indicate greater attention bias toward disorder-congruent relative to disorder-incongruent threat stimuli (d=0.28, pattention tasks, or type of disorder-incongruent stimuli. No evidence of publication bias was observed. Implications for threat bias in anxiety and ABMT are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Abstract Background To segregate luminance-related, face-related and non-specific components involved in spatio-temporal dynamics of cortical activations to a face stimulus, we recorded cortical responses to face appearance (Onset, disappearance (Offset, and change (Change using magnetoencephalography. Results Activity in and around the primary visual cortex (V1/V2 showed luminance-dependent behavior. Any of the three events evoked activity in the middle occipital gyrus (MOG at 150 ms and temporo-parietal junction (TPJ at 250 ms after the onset of each event. Onset and Change activated the fusiform gyrus (FG, while Offset did not. This FG activation showed a triphasic waveform, consistent with results of intracranial recordings in humans. Conclusion Analysis employed in this study successfully segregated four different elements involved in the spatio-temporal dynamics of cortical activations in response to a face stimulus. The results show the responses of MOG and TPJ to be associated with non-specific processes, such as the detection of abrupt changes or exogenous attention. Activity in FG corresponds to a face-specific response recorded by intracranial studies, and that in V1/V2 is related to a change in luminance.
Mock, Jeffrey R; Foundas, Anne L; Golob, Edward J
Developmental stuttering is characterized by fluent speech punctuated by stuttering events, the frequency of which varies among individuals and contexts. Most stuttering events occur at the beginning of an utterance, suggesting neural dynamics associated with stuttering may be evident during speech preparation. This study used EEG to measure cortical activity during speech preparation in men who stutter, and compared the EEG measures to individual differences in stuttering rate as well as to a fluent control group. Each trial contained a cue followed by an acoustic probe at one of two onset times (early or late), and then a picture. There were two conditions: a speech condition where cues induced speech preparation of the picture's name and a control condition that minimized speech preparation. Across conditions stuttering frequency correlated to cue-related EEG beta power and auditory ERP slow waves from early onset acoustic probes. The findings reveal two new cortical markers of stuttering frequency that were present in both conditions, manifest at different times, are elicited by different stimuli (visual cue, auditory probe), and have different EEG responses (beta power, ERP slow wave). The cue-target paradigm evoked brain responses that correlated to pre-experimental stuttering rate. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Valuch, Christian; Pflüger, Lena S; Wallner, Bernard; Laeng, Bruno; Ansorge, Ulrich
We assessed individual differences in visual attention toward faces in relation to their attractiveness via saccadic reaction times. Motivated by the aim to understand individual differences in attention to faces, we tested three hypotheses: (a) Attractive faces hold or capture attention more effectively than less attractive faces; (b) men show a stronger bias toward attractive opposite-sex faces than women; and (c) blue-eyed men show a stronger bias toward blue-eyed than brown-eyed feminine faces. The latter test was included because prior research suggested a high effect size. Our data supported hypotheses (a) and (b) but not (c). By conducting separate tests for disengagement of attention and attention capture, we found that individual differences exist at distinct stages of attentional processing but these differences are of varying robustness and importance. In our conclusion, we also advocate the use of linear mixed effects models as the most appropriate statistical approach for studying inter-individual differences in visual attention with naturalistic stimuli.
Full Text Available We assessed individual differences in visual attention toward faces in relation to their attractiveness via saccadic reaction times (SRTs. Motivated by the aim to understand individual differences in attention to faces, we tested three hypotheses: (a Attractive faces hold or capture attention more effectively than less attractive faces; (b men show a stronger bias toward attractive opposite-sex faces than women; and (c blue-eyed men show a stronger bias toward blue-eyed than brown-eyed feminine faces. The latter test was included because prior research suggested a high effect size. Our data supported hypotheses (a and (b but not (c. By conducting separate tests for disengagement of attention and attention capture, we found that individual differences exist at distinct stages of attentional processing but these differences are of varying robustness and importance. In our conclusion, we also advocate the use of linear mixed effects models as the most appropriate statistical approach toward studying inter-individual differences in visual attention with naturalistic stimuli.
Giuliano, Ryan J; Karns, Christina M; Neville, Helen J; Hillyard, Steven A
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and early attentional gating across sensory domains, hypothesizing that measures of visual WM capacity should predict an individual's capacity to allocate auditory selective attention. To address this question, auditory ERPs were recorded in a linguistic dichotic listening task, and individual differences in ERP modulations by attention were correlated with estimates of WM capacity obtained in a separate visual change detection task. Auditory selective attention enhanced ERP amplitudes at an early latency (ca. 70-90 msec), with larger P1 components elicited by linguistic probes embedded in an attended narrative. Moreover, this effect was associated with greater individual estimates of visual WM capacity. These findings support the view that domain-general attentional control mechanisms underlie the wide variation of WM capacity across individuals.
Chen, Tina H; Wu, Steve W; Welge, Jeffrey A; Dixon, Stephan G; Shahana, Nasrin; Huddleston, David A; Sarvis, Adam R; Sallee, Floyd R; Gilbert, Donald L
Clinical trials in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show variability in behavioral responses to the selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine. The objective of this study was to determine whether transcranial magnetic stimulation-evoked short interval cortical inhibition might be a biomarker predicting, or correlating with, clinical atomoxetine response. At baseline and after 4 weeks of atomoxetine treatment in 7- to 12-year-old children with ADHD, transcranial magnetic stimulation short interval cortical inhibition was measured, blinded to clinical improvement. Primary analysis was by multivariate analysis of covariance. Baseline short interval cortical inhibition did not predict clinical responses. However, paradoxically, after 4 weeks of atomoxetine, mean short interval cortical inhibition was reduced 31.9% in responders and increased 6.1% in nonresponders (analysis of covariance t 41 = 2.88; P = .0063). Percentage reductions in short interval cortical inhibition correlated with reductions in the ADHD Rating Scale (r = 0.50; P = .0005). In children ages 7 to 12 years with ADHD treated with atomoxetine, improvements in clinical symptoms are correlated with reductions in motor cortex short interval cortical inhibition. © The Author(s) 2014.
Wig, Gagan S; Laumann, Timothy O; Cohen, Alexander L; Power, Jonathan D; Nelson, Steven M; Glasser, Matthew F; Miezin, Francis M; Snyder, Abraham Z; Schlaggar, Bradley L; Petersen, Steven E
We describe methods for parcellating an individual subject's cortical and subcortical brain structures using resting-state functional correlations (RSFCs). Inspired by approaches from social network analysis, we first describe the application of snowball sampling on RSFC data (RSFC-Snowballing) to identify the centers of cortical areas, subdivisions of subcortical nuclei, and the cerebellum. RSFC-Snowballing parcellation is then compared with parcellation derived from identifying locations where RSFC maps exhibit abrupt transitions (RSFC-Boundary Mapping). RSFC-Snowballing and RSFC-Boundary Mapping largely complement one another, but also provide unique parcellation information; together, the methods identify independent entities with distinct functional correlations across many cortical and subcortical locations in the brain. RSFC parcellation is relatively reliable within a subject scanned across multiple days, and while the locations of many area centers and boundaries appear to exhibit considerable overlap across subjects, there is also cross-subject variability-reinforcing the motivation to parcellate brains at the level of individuals. Finally, examination of a large meta-analysis of task-evoked functional magnetic resonance imaging data reveals that area centers defined by task-evoked activity exhibit correspondence with area centers defined by RSFC-Snowballing. This observation provides important evidence for the ability of RSFC to parcellate broad expanses of an individual's brain into functionally meaningful units. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press.
Aggarwal, Manisha; Nauen, David W; Troncoso, Juan C; Mori, Susumu
Regional heterogeneity in cortical cyto- and myeloarchitecture forms the structural basis of mapping of cortical areas in the human brain. In this study, we investigate the potential of diffusion MRI to probe the microstructure of cortical gray matter and its region-specific heterogeneity across cortical areas in the fixed human brain. High angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) data at an isotropic resolution of 92-μm and 30 diffusion-encoding directions were acquired using a 3D diffusion-weighted gradient-and-spin-echo sequence, from prefrontal (Brodmann area 9), primary motor (area 4), primary somatosensory (area 3b), and primary visual (area 17) cortical specimens (n=3 each) from three human subjects. Further, the diffusion MR findings in these cortical areas were compared with histological silver impregnation of the same specimens, in order to investigate the underlying architectonic features that constitute the microstructural basis of diffusion-driven contrasts in cortical gray matter. Our data reveal distinct and region-specific diffusion MR contrasts across the studied areas, allowing delineation of intracortical bands of tangential fibers in specific layers-layer I, layer VI, and the inner and outer bands of Baillarger. The findings of this work demonstrate unique sensitivity of diffusion MRI to differentiate region-specific cortical microstructure in the human brain, and will be useful for myeloarchitectonic mapping of cortical areas as well as to achieve an understanding of the basis of diffusion NMR contrasts in cortical gray matter. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Li, Wan; Yang, Chunlan; Shi, Feng; Wang, Qun; Wu, Shuicai; Lu, Wangsheng; Li, Shaowu; Nie, Yingnan; Zhang, Xin
Normal aging has been linked with the decline of cognitive functions, such as memory and executive skills. One of the prominent approaches to investigate the age-related alterations in the brain is by examining the cortical brain connectome. IBASPM is a toolkit to realize individual atlas-based volume measurement. Hence, this study seeks to determine what further alterations can be revealed by cortical brain networks formed by IBASPM-extracted regional gray matter volumes. We found the reduced strength of connections between the superior temporal pole and middle temporal pole in the right hemisphere, global hubs as the left fusiform gyrus and right Rolandic operculum in the young and aging groups, respectively, and significantly reduced inter-module connection of one module in the aging group. These new findings are consistent with the phenomenon of normal aging mentioned in previous studies and suggest that brain network built with the IBASPM could provide supplementary information to some extent. The individualization of morphometric features extraction deserved to be given more attention in future cortical brain network research.
Davidson, Graeme R; Giesbrecht, Timo; Thomas, Anna M; Kirkham, Tim C
Implicit attentional processes are biased toward food-related stimuli, with the extent of that bias reflecting relative motivation to eat. These interactions have typically been investigated by comparisons between fasted and sated individuals. In this study, temporal changes in implicit attention to food were assessed in relation to natural, spontaneous changes in appetite occurring before and after an anticipated midday meal. Non-fasted adults performed an emotional blink of attention (EBA) task at intervals, before and after consuming preferred, pre-selected sandwiches to satiety. Participants were required to detect targets within a rapid visual stream, presented after task-irrelevant food (preferred or non-preferred sandwiches, or desserts) or non-food distractor images. All categories of food distractor preferentially captured attention even when appetite levels were low, but became more distracting as appetite increased preprandially, reducing task accuracy maximally as hunger peaked before lunch. Postprandially, attentional capture was markedly reduced for images of the specific sandwich type consumed and, to a lesser extent, for images of other sandwich types that had not been eaten. Attentional capture by images of desserts was unaffected by satiation. These findings support an important role of selective visual attention in the guidance of motivated behaviour. Naturalistic, meal-related changes in appetite are accompanied by changes in implicit attention to visual food stimuli that are easily detected using the EBA paradigm. Preprandial enhancement of attention capture by food cues likely reflects increases in the incentive motivational value of all food stimuli, perhaps providing an implicit index of wanting. Postprandial EBA responses confirm that satiation on a particular food results in relative inattention to that food, supporting an important attentional component in the operation of sensory-specific satiety. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published
Full Text Available A better knowledge of the flow and pressure distribution in realistic microvascular networks is needed for improving our understanding of neurovascular coupling mechanisms and the related measurement techniques. Here, numerical simulations with discrete tracking of red blood cells (RBCs are performed in three realistic microvascular networks from the mouse cerebral cortex. Our analysis is based on trajectories of individual RBCs and focuses on layer-specific flow phenomena until a cortical depth of 1 mm. The individual RBC trajectories reveal that in the capillary bed RBCs preferentially move in plane. Hence, the capillary flow field shows laminar patterns and a layer-specific analysis is valid. We demonstrate that for RBCs entering the capillary bed close to the cortical surface (< 400 μm the largest pressure drop takes place in the capillaries (37%, while for deeper regions arterioles are responsible for 61% of the total pressure drop. Further flow characteristics, such as capillary transit time or RBC velocity, also vary significantly over cortical depth. Comparison of purely topological characteristics with flow-based ones shows that a combined interpretation of topology and flow is indispensable. Our results provide evidence that it is crucial to consider layer-specific differences for all investigations related to the flow and pressure distribution in the cortical vasculature. These findings support the hypothesis that for an efficient oxygen up-regulation at least two regulation mechanisms must be playing hand in hand, namely cerebral blood flow increase and microvascular flow homogenization. However, the contribution of both regulation mechanisms to oxygen up-regulation likely varies over depth.
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Targeting Primary Motor Versus Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortices: Proof-of-Concept Study Investigating Functional Connectivity of Thalamocortical Networks Specific to Sensory-Affective Information Processing.
Sankarasubramanian, Vishwanath; Cunningham, David A; Potter-Baker, Kelsey A; Beall, Erik B; Roelle, Sarah M; Varnerin, Nicole M; Machado, Andre G; Jones, Stephen E; Lowe, Mark J; Plow, Ela B
The pain matrix is comprised of an extensive network of brain structures involved in sensory and/or affective information processing. The thalamus is a key structure constituting the pain matrix. The thalamus serves as a relay center receiving information from multiple ascending pathways and relating information to and from multiple cortical areas. However, it is unknown how thalamocortical networks specific to sensory-affective information processing are functionally integrated. Here, in a proof-of-concept study in healthy humans, we aimed to understand this connectivity using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) targeting primary motor (M1) or dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (DLPFC). We compared changes in functional connectivity (FC) with DLPFC tDCS to changes in FC with M1 tDCS. FC changes were also compared to further investigate its relation with individual's baseline experience of pain. We hypothesized that resting-state FC would change based on tDCS location and would represent known thalamocortical networks. Ten right-handed individuals received a single application of anodal tDCS (1 mA, 20 min) to right M1 and DLPFC in a single-blind, sham-controlled crossover study. FC changes were studied between ventroposterolateral (VPL), the sensory nucleus of thalamus, and cortical areas involved in sensory information processing and between medial dorsal (MD), the affective nucleus, and cortical areas involved in affective information processing. Individual's perception of pain at baseline was assessed using cutaneous heat pain stimuli. We found that anodal M1 tDCS and anodal DLPFC tDCS both increased FC between VPL and sensorimotor cortices, although FC effects were greater with M1 tDCS. Similarly, anodal M1 tDCS and anodal DLPFC tDCS both increased FC between MD and motor cortices, but only DLPFC tDCS modulated FC between MD and affective cortices, like DLPFC. Our findings suggest that M1 stimulation primarily modulates FC of sensory networks
Stewart, Hannah J; Amitay, Sygal
To establish the modality specificity and generality of selective attention networks. Forty-eight young adults completed a battery of four auditory and visual selective attention tests based upon the Attention Network framework: the visual and auditory Attention Network Tests (vANT, aANT), the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA), and the Test of Attention in Listening (TAiL). These provided independent measures for auditory and visual alerting, orienting, and conflict resolution networks. The measures were subjected to an exploratory factor analysis to assess underlying attention constructs. The analysis yielded a four-component solution. The first component comprised of a range of measures from the TEA and was labeled "general attention." The third component was labeled "auditory attention," as it only contained measures from the TAiL using pitch as the attended stimulus feature. The second and fourth components were labeled as "spatial orienting" and "spatial conflict," respectively-they were comprised of orienting and conflict resolution measures from the vANT, aANT, and TAiL attend-location task-all tasks based upon spatial judgments (e.g., the direction of a target arrow or sound location). These results do not support our a-priori hypothesis that attention networks are either modality specific or supramodal. Auditory attention separated into selectively attending to spatial and non-spatial features, with the auditory spatial attention loading onto the same factor as visual spatial attention, suggesting spatial attention is supramodal. However, since our study did not include a non-spatial measure of visual attention, further research will be required to ascertain whether non-spatial attention is modality-specific.
Headley, Drew B; Kanta, Vasiliki; Paré, Denis
The hippocampus generates population events termed sharp-wave ripples (SWRs) and dentate spikes (DSs). While little is known about DSs, SWR-related hippocampal discharges during sleep are thought to replay prior waking activity, reactivating the cortical networks that encoded the initial experience. During slow-wave sleep, such reactivations likely occur during up-states, when most cortical neurons are depolarized. However, most studies have examined the relationship between SWRs and up-states measured in single neocortical regions. As a result, it is currently unclear whether SWRs are associated with particular patterns of widely distributed cortical activity. Additionally, no such investigation has been carried out for DSs. The present study addressed these questions by recording SWRs and DSs from the dorsal hippocampus simultaneously with prefrontal, sensory (visual and auditory), perirhinal, and entorhinal cortices in naturally sleeping rats. We found that SWRs and DSs were associated with up-states in all cortical regions. Up-states coinciding with DSs and SWRs exhibited increased unit activity, power in the gamma band, and intraregional gamma coherence. Unexpectedly, interregional gamma coherence rose much more strongly in relation to DSs than to SWRs. Whereas the increase in gamma coherence was time locked to DSs, that seen in relation to SWRs was not. These observations suggest that SWRs are related to the strength of up-state activation within individual regions throughout the neocortex but not so much to gamma coherence between different regions. Perhaps more importantly, DSs coincided with stronger periods of interregional gamma coherence, suggesting that they play a more important role than previously assumed. Off-line cortico-hippocampal interactions are thought to support memory consolidation. We surveyed the relationship between hippocampal sharp-wave ripples (SWRs) and dentate spikes (DSs) with up-states across multiple cortical regions. SWRs and
Hecker, Elizabeth A.; Serences, John T.; Srinivasan, Ramesh
Interacting with the environment requires the ability to flexibly direct attention to relevant features. We examined the degree to which individuals attend to visual features within and across Detection, Fine Discrimination, and Coarse Discrimination tasks. Electroencephalographic (EEG) responses were measured to an unattended peripheral flickering (4 or 6 Hz) grating while individuals (n = 33) attended to orientations that were offset by 0°, 10°, 20°, 30°, 40°, and 90° from the orientation of the unattended flicker. These unattended responses may be sensitive to attentional gain at the attended spatial location, since attention to features enhances early visual responses throughout the visual field. We found no significant differences in tuning curves across the three tasks in part due to individual differences in strategies. We sought to characterize individual attention strategies using hierarchical Bayesian modeling, which grouped individuals into families of curves that reflect attention to the physical target orientation (“on-channel”) or away from the target orientation (“off-channel”) or a uniform distribution of attention. The different curves were related to behavioral performance; individuals with “on-channel” curves had lower thresholds than individuals with uniform curves. Individuals with “off-channel” curves during Fine Discrimination additionally had lower thresholds than those assigned to uniform curves, highlighting the perceptual benefits of attending away from the physical target orientation during fine discriminations. Finally, we showed that a subset of individuals with optimal curves (“on-channel”) during Detection also demonstrated optimal curves (“off-channel”) during Fine Discrimination, indicating that a subset of individuals can modulate tuning optimally for detection and discrimination. PMID:23678013
Abé, Christoph; Rahman, Qazi; Långström, Niklas; Rydén, Eleonore; Ingvar, Martin; Landén, Mikael
Nonheterosexual individuals have higher risk of psychiatric morbidity. Together with growing evidence for sexual orientation-related brain differences, this raises the concern that sexual orientation may be an important factor to control for in neuroimaging studies of neuropsychiatric disorders. We studied sexual orientation in adult psychiatric patients with bipolar disorder (BD) or ADHD in a large clinical cohort (N = 154). We compared cortical brain structure in exclusively heterosexual women (HEW, n = 29) with that of nonexclusively heterosexual women (nHEW, n = 37) using surface-based reconstruction techniques provided by FreeSurfer. The prevalence of nonheterosexual sexual orientation was tentatively higher than reported in general population samples. Consistent with previously reported cross-sex shifted brain patterns among homosexual individuals, nHEW patients showed significantly larger cortical volumes than HEW in medial occipital brain regions. We found evidence for a sex-reversed difference in cortical volume among nonheterosexual female patients, which provides insights into the neurobiology of sexual orientation, and may provide the first clues toward a better neurobiological understanding of the association between sexual orientation and mental health. We also suggest that sexual orientation is an important factor to consider in future neuroimaging studies of populations with certain mental health disorders. © 2018 The Authors. Brain and Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Meehan, Sean K.; Randhawa, Bubblepreet; Wessel, Brenda; Boyd, Lara A.
Implicit motor learning is preserved after stroke, but how the brain compensates for damage to facilitate learning is unclear. We used a random effects analysis to determine how stroke alters patterns of brain activity during implicit sequence-specific motor learning as compared to general improvements in motor control. Nine healthy participants and 9 individuals with chronic, right focal sub-cortical stroke performed a continuous joystick-based tracking task during an initial fMRI session, over 5 days of practice, and a retention test during a separate fMRI session. Sequence-specific implicit motor learning was differentiated from general improvements in motor control by comparing tracking performance on a novel, repeated tracking sequences during early practice and again at the retention test. Both groups demonstrated implicit sequence-specific motor learning at the retention test, yet substantial differences were apparent. At retention, healthy control participants demonstrated increased BOLD response in left dorsal premotor cortex (BA 6) but decreased BOLD response left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC; BA 9) during repeated sequence tracking. In contrast, at retention individuals with stroke did not show this reduction in DLPFC during repeated tracking. Instead implicit sequence-specific motor learning and general improvements in motor control were associated with increased BOLD response in the left middle frontal gyrus BA 8, regardless of sequence type after stroke. These data emphasize the potential importance of a prefrontal-based attentional network for implicit motor learning after stroke. The present study is the first to highlight the importance of the prefrontal cortex for implicit sequence-specific motor learning after stroke. PMID:20725908
Salo, Emma; Salmela, Viljami; Salmi, Juha; Numminen, Jussi; Alho, Kimmo
Top-down controlled selective or divided attention to sounds and visual objects, as well as bottom-up triggered attention to auditory and visual distractors, has been widely investigated. However, no study has systematically compared brain activations related to all these types of attention. To this end, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activity in participants performing a tone pitch or a foveal grating orientation discrimination task, or both, distracted by novel sounds not sharing frequencies with the tones or by extrafoveal visual textures. To force focusing of attention to tones or gratings, or both, task difficulty was kept constantly high with an adaptive staircase method. A whole brain analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed fronto-parietal attention networks for both selective auditory and visual attention. A subsequent conjunction analysis indicated partial overlaps of these networks. However, like some previous studies, the present results also suggest segregation of prefrontal areas involved in the control of auditory and visual attention. The ANOVA also suggested, and another conjunction analysis confirmed, an additional activity enhancement in the left middle frontal gyrus related to divided attention supporting the role of this area in top-down integration of dual task performance. Distractors expectedly disrupted task performance. However, contrary to our expectations, activations specifically related to the distractors were found only in the auditory and visual cortices. This suggests gating of the distractors from further processing perhaps due to strictly focused attention in the current demanding discrimination tasks. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
McIntyre, Miranda M; Graziano, William G
Individuals differ in how they deploy attention to their physical and social environments. These differences have been recognized in various forms as orientations, interests, and preferences, but empirical work examining these differences at a cognitive level is scarce. To address this gap, we conducted two studies to explore the links among attentional processes and interests in people and things. The first study measured selective visual attention toward person- and thing-related image content. In the second study, participants were randomly assigned to describe visually presented scenes using either an observational or narrative story format. Linguistic analyses were conducted to assess attentional bias toward interest-congruent content. Outcomes from both studies suggest that attention and motivational processes are linked to differential interests in physical and social environments. © 2016 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
Granek, Joshua A; Gorbet, Diana J; Sergio, Lauren E
Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined the effect of video-game experience on the neural control of increasingly complex visuomotor tasks. Previously, skilled individuals have demonstrated the use of a more efficient movement control brain network, including the prefrontal, premotor, primary sensorimotor and parietal cortices. Our results extend and generalize this finding by documenting additional prefrontal cortex activity in experienced video gamers planning for complex eye-hand coordination tasks that are distinct from actual video-game play. These changes in activation between non-gamers and extensive gamers are putatively related to the increased online control and spatial attention required for complex visually guided reaching. These data suggest that the basic cortical network for processing complex visually guided reaching is altered by extensive video-game play. Crown Copyright © 2009. Published by Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.
Unsworth, Nash; McMillan, Brittany D.; Brewer, Gene A.; Spillers, Gregory J.
The present study examined individual differences in everyday attention failures. Undergraduate students completed various cognitive ability measures in the laboratory and recorded everyday attention failures in a diary over the course of a week. The majority of attention failures were failures of distraction or mind wandering in educational…
He, Ye; Xu, Ting; Zhang, Wei
Abstract The amygdala plays a pivotal role in processing anxiety and connects to large‐scale brain networks. However, intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) between amygdala and these networks has rarely been examined in relation to anxiety, especially across the lifespan. We employed resting‐state functional MRI data from 280 healthy adults (18–83.5 yrs) to elucidate the relationship between anxiety and amygdala iFC with common cortical networks including the visual network, somatomotor network, dorsal attention network, ventral attention network, limbic network, frontoparietal network, and default network. Global and network‐specific iFC were separately computed as mean iFC of amygdala with the entire cerebral cortex and each cortical network. We detected negative correlation between global positive amygdala iFC and trait anxiety. Network‐specific associations between amygdala iFC and anxiety were also detectable. Specifically, the higher iFC strength between the left amygdala and the limbic network predicted lower state anxiety. For the trait anxiety, left amygdala anxiety–connectivity correlation was observed in both somatomotor and dorsal attention networks, whereas the right amygdala anxiety–connectivity correlation was primarily distributed in the frontoparietal and ventral attention networks. Ventral attention network exhibited significant anxiety–gender interactions on its iFC with amygdala. Together with findings from additional vertex‐wise analysis, these data clearly indicated that both low‐level sensory networks and high‐level associative networks could contribute to detectable predictions of anxiety behaviors by their iFC profiles with the amygdala. This set of systems neuroscience findings could lead to novel functional network models on neural correlates of human anxiety and provide targets for novel treatment strategies on anxiety disorders. Hum Brain Mapp 37:1178–1193, 2016. © 2015 The Authors Human Brain Mapping
Passamonti, L. (Luca); M. Luijten (Maartje); Ziauddeen, H.; I. Coyle-Gilchrist (Ian); Rittman, T.; Brain, S.A.E.; Regenthal, R.; I.H.A. Franken (Ingmar); Sahakian, B.J.; Bullmore, E.T.; Robbins, T.W.; Ersche, K.D.
textabstractRationale: Biased attention towards drug-related cues and reduced inhibitory control over the regulation of drug-intake characterize drug addiction. The noradrenaline system has been critically implicated in both attentional and response inhibitory processes and is directly affected by
Chemtob, C M; Roitblat, H L; Hamada, R S; Muraoka, M Y; Carlson, J G; Bauer, G B
We examined the ability of Vietnam veterans with PTSD to focus attention on a primary digit detection task while concurrently viewing neutral or Vietnam-related picture and word distractors. Controlling for combat exposure, military service, and psychopathology, veterans with PTSD took longer to detect the target when Vietnam-related pictures were distractors. There were no reaction time differences when word stimuli were distractors. The latency effect was specific to trials with trauma-related pictures and did not spread to neutral trials interleaved within a mixed block of trauma and neutral pictures. Individuals with PTSD recalled proportionally more Vietnam-related words than other groups, implying differential attention to Vietnam-related words. Attending to trauma-related pictures interferes with performance of a concurrent task by individuals with PTSD.
Kemps, Eva; Tiggemann, Marika
In this study, we investigated attentional biases for craving-related food cues. A pictorial dot probe task was used to assess selective attentional processing of one particular highly desired food, namely chocolate, relative to that of other highly desired foods. In Experiment 1, we examined biased processing of chocolate cues in habitual (trait) chocolate cravers, whereas in Experiment 2 we investigated the effect of experimentally induced (state) chocolate cravings on such processing. As predicted, habitual chocolate cravers (Experiment 1) and individuals in whom a craving for chocolate was temporarily induced (Experiment 2) showed speeded detection of probes replacing chocolate-related pictures, demonstrating an attentional bias for chocolate cues. Subsequent examination indicated that in both experiments the observed attentional biases stemmed from difficulty in disengaging attention from chocolate cues rather than from a shift of attention toward such cues. The findings have important theoretical and practical implications.
Giuliano, Ryan J.; Karns, Christina M.; Neville, Helen J.; Hillyard, Steven A.
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and early attentional gating across sensory domains, hypothesizing that measures of visual WM capacity should predict an individual’s capacity to allocate auditory selective attention. To address this question, auditory ERPs were recorded in a linguistic dichotic listening task, and individual differences in ERP modulations by attention were correlated with estimates of WM capacity obtained in a separate visual change detection task. Auditory selective attention enhanced ERP amplitudes at an early latency (ca. 70–90 msec), with larger P1 components elicited by linguistic probes embedded in an attended narrative. Moreover, this effect was associated with greater individual estimates of visual WM capacity. These findings support the view that domain-general attentional control mechanisms underlie the wide variation of WM capacity across individuals. PMID:25000526
Bonino, D; Ricciardi, E; Sani, L; Gentili, C; Vanello, N; Guazzelli, M; Vecchi, T; Pietrini, P
In sighted individuals, both the visual and tactile version of the same spatial working memory task elicited neural responses in the dorsal "where" cortical pathway (Ricciardi et al., 2006). Whether the neural response during the tactile working memory task is due to visually-based spatial imagery or rather reflects a more abstract, supramodal organization of the dorsal cortical pathway remains to be determined. To understand the role of visual experience on the functional organization of the dorsal cortical stream, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) here we examined brain response in four individuals with congenital or early blindness and no visual recollection, while they performed the same tactile spatial working memory task, a one-back recognition of 2D and 3D matrices. The blind subjects showed a significant activation in bilateral posterior parietal cortex, dorsolateral and inferior prefrontal areas, precuneus, lateral occipital cortex, and cerebellum. Thus, dorsal occipito-parietal areas are involved in mental imagery dealing with spatial components in subjects without prior visual experience and in response to a non-visual task. These data indicate that recruitment of the dorsal cortical pathway in response to the tactile spatial working memory task is not mediated by visually-based imagery and that visual experience is not a prerequisite for the development of a more abstract functional organization of the dorsal stream. These findings, along with previous data indicating a similar supramodal functional organization within the ventral cortical pathway and the motion processing brain regions, may contribute to explain how individuals who are born deprived of sight are able to interact effectively with the surrounding world.
Deiber, Marie-Pierre; Meziane, Hadj Boumediene; Hasler, Roland; Rodriguez, Cristelle; Toma, Simona; Ackermann, Marine; Herrmann, François; Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon
Future treatments of Alzheimer's disease need the identification of cases at high risk at the preclinical stage of the disease before the development of irreversible structural damage. We investigated here whether subtle cognitive deterioration in a population of healthy elderly individuals could be predicted by EEG signals at baseline under cognitive activation. Continuous EEG was recorded in 97 elderly control subjects and 45 age-matched mild cognitive impairment (MCI) cases during a simple attentional and a 2-back working memory task. Upon 18-month neuropsychological follow-up, the final sample included 55 stable (sCON) and 42 deteriorated (dCON) controls. We examined the P1, N1, P3, and PNwm event-related components as well as the oscillatory activities in the theta (4-7 Hz), alpha (8-13 Hz), and beta (14-25 Hz) frequency ranges (ERD/ERS: event-related desynchronization/synchronization, and ITC: inter-trial coherence). Behavioral performance, P1, and N1 components were comparable in all groups. The P3, PNwm, and all oscillatory activity indices were altered in MCI cases compared to controls. Only three EEG indices distinguished the two control groups: alpha and beta ERD (dCON > sCON) and beta ITC (dCON memory processes but mostly affects attention, resulting in an enhanced recruitment of attentional resources. In addition, cognitive decline alters neural firing synchronization at high frequencies (14-25 Hz) at early stages, and possibly affects lower frequencies (4-13 Hz) only at more severe stages.
Meule, Adrian; de Zwaan, Martina; Müller, Astrid
Impulsivity is a multifaceted construct and constitutes a common risk factor for a range of behaviors associated with poor self-control (e.g., substance use or binge eating). The short form of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-15) measures impulsive behaviors related to attentional (inability to focus attention or concentrate), motor (acting without thinking), and non-planning (lack of future orientation or forethought) impulsivity. Eating-related measures appear to be particularly related to attentional and motor impulsivity and recent findings suggest that interactive effects between these two facets may play a role in eating- and weight-regulation. One-hundred thirty-three obese individuals presenting for bariatric surgery (77.4% female) completed the BIS-15 and the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) 2.0, which measures addiction-like eating based on the eleven symptoms of substance use disorder outlined in the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Sixty-three participants (47.4%) were classified as being 'food addicted'. Scores on attentional and motor impulsivity interactively predicted 'food addiction' status: higher attentional impulsivity was associated with a higher likelihood of receiving a YFAS 2.0 diagnosis only at high (+1 SD), but not at low (-1 SD) levels of motor impulsivity. Results support previous findings showing that non-planning impulsivity does not appear to play a role in eating-related self-regulation. Furthermore, this is the first study that shows interactive effects between different impulsivity facets when predicting 'food addiction' in obese individuals. Self-regulatory failure in eating-regulation (e.g., addiction-like overeating) may particularly emerge when both attentional and motor impulsivity levels are elevated. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hannah Jamieson Stewart
Full Text Available Objective: To establish the modality specificity and generality of selective attention networks. Method: Forty-eight young adults completed a battery of four auditory and visual selective attention tests based upon the Attention Network framework: the visual and auditory Attention Network Tests (vANT, aANT, the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA, and the Test of Attention in Listening (TAiL. These provided independent measures for auditory and visual alerting, orienting, and conflict resolution networks. The measures were subjected to an exploratory factor analysis to assess underlying attention constructs. Results: The analysis yielded a four-component solution. The first component comprised of a range of measures from the TEA and was labeled ‘general attention’. The third component was labeled ‘auditory attention’, as it only contained measures from the TAiL using pitch as the attended stimulus feature. The second and fourth components were labeled as ‘spatial orienting’ and ‘spatial conflict’, respectively – they were comprised of orienting and conflict resolution measures from the vANT, aANT and TAiL attend-location task – all tasks based upon spatial judgments (e.g., the direction of a target arrow or sound location. Conclusions: These results do not support our a-priori hypothesis that attention networks are either modality specific or supramodal. Auditory attention separated into selectively attending to spatial and non-spatial features, with the auditory spatial attention loading onto the same factor as visual spatial attention, suggesting spatial attention is supramodal. However, since our study did not include a non-spatial measure of visual attention, further research will be required to ascertain whether non-spatial attention is modality-specific.
Full Text Available Although there is extensive literature about the effects of stimulants on sustained attention tasks in attentional deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, little is known about the effect of these drugs on other attentional tasks involving different neural systems. In this study we measured the effect of stimulants on ADHD children, both in the electroencephalographic (EEG activity during sustained attentional tasks and in psychometric performance during selective attentional tasks. These tasks are known to rely on different cortical networks. Our results in children medicated with 10 mg of d-amphetamine administered 60 min before the study indicate (i a significant increase in amplitude but not latency of the P300 component of the event-related potential (ERP during the sustained attentional task and (ii a significant improvement in the reaction times and correct responses in the selective attentional task. In addition to supporting the use of stimulants in children with attentional deficit/hyperactivity disorder, these results show a multifocal activity improvement of cortical structures linked to dopamine, and interestingly, to attention. All these analyses are framed in a wider study of diverse attentional functions in this syndrome.
Guo, Feng; Sun, Yong-Jun; Zhang, Ri-Hui
The aim of this study was to explore the mechanism on perceived exertion during muscle fatigue. A total of 15 individuals in the fatigue group and 13 individuals in the nonfatigue group were recruited into this study, performing 200 intermittent handgrip contractions with 30% maximal voluntary contraction. The force, surface electromyography (sEMG), movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs), and rating perception of effort (RPE) were combined to evaluate the perceived exertion during muscle fatigue. The maximal handgrip force significantly decreased (Pfatigue. The RPE scores reported by the individuals and the motor potential amplitude of MRCPs in the fatigue group significantly increased (Pfatigue but could also reflect the peripheral local muscle fatigue.
Stewart, Hannah J.; Amitay, Sygal
Objective: To establish the modality specificity and generality of selective attention networks. Method: Forty-eight young adults completed a battery of four auditory and visual selective attention tests based upon the Attention Network framework: the visual and auditory Attention Network Tests (vANT, aANT), the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA), and the Test of Attention in Listening (TAiL). These provided independent measures for auditory and visual alerting, orienting, and conflict resoluti...
Giel, Katrin E; Friederich, Hans-Christoph; Teufel, Martin; Hautzinger, Martin; Enck, Paul; Zipfel, Stephan
Etiologic models of anorexia nervosa (AN) suggest that cognitive factors play a crucial role in the disorder's psychopathology. Attentional aspects of food processing in AN remain largely unknown. Both an early attentional bias (vigilance) and inattentiveness (avoidance) to food pictures have been reported in patients with eating disorders. The study's aim was to examine the vigilance-avoidance hypothesis concerning food information processing by unraveling the time course of attention deployment in individuals with AN. We used eye-tracking to examine continuous attention deployment in 19 individuals with AN during free visual exploration of food pictures versus nonfood pictures compared with 18 fasted and 20 nonfasted healthy control subjects. Compared with healthy control subjects, AN patients allocated overall less attention to food pictures but showed no early attentional bias toward food pictures. Attentional engagement for food pictures was most pronounced in fasted healthy control subjects. The extent of attention deployment in AN patients was associated with indicators of the disorder's severity. Gaze data suggest that individuals with AN show no early vigilance but later avoidance when confronted with food information. This suggests that initially, AN patients perceive incentive salience from food information because they process food pictures in the same way healthy control subjects do. The time course of attention deployment suggests that it is only after a first phase of stimulus encoding and labeling as food that individuals with AN avoid food pictures. This pattern of attention deployment is probably mediated by disorder-specific dysfunctional cognitions. Copyright © 2011 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Walter, Sabrina; Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M
Visual attention can be focused concurrently on two stimuli at noncontiguous locations while intermediate stimuli remain ignored. Nevertheless, behavioral performance in multifocal attention tasks falters when attended stimuli fall within one visual hemifield as opposed to when they are distributed across left and right hemifields. This "different-hemifield advantage" has been ascribed to largely independent processing capacities of each cerebral hemisphere in early visual cortices. Here, we investigated how this advantage influences the sustained division of spatial attention. We presented six isoeccentric light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the lower visual field, each flickering at a different frequency. Participants attended to two LEDs that were spatially separated by an intermediate LED and responded to synchronous events at to-be-attended LEDs. Task-relevant pairs of LEDs were either located in the same hemifield ("within-hemifield" conditions) or separated by the vertical meridian ("across-hemifield" conditions). Flicker-driven brain oscillations, steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs), indexed the allocation of attention to individual LEDs. Both behavioral performance and SSVEPs indicated enhanced processing of attended LED pairs during "across-hemifield" relative to "within-hemifield" conditions. Moreover, SSVEPs demonstrated effective filtering of intermediate stimuli in "across-hemifield" condition only. Thus, despite identical physical distances between LEDs of attended pairs, the spatial profiles of gain effects differed profoundly between "across-hemifield" and "within-hemifield" conditions. These findings corroborate that early cortical visual processing stages rely on hemisphere-specific processing capacities and highlight their limiting role in the concurrent allocation of visual attention to multiple locations.
Chiu, Yu-Chin; Esterman, Michael; Han, Yuefeng; Rosen, Heather; Yantis, Steven
Attention is a neurocognitive mechanism that selects task-relevant sensory or mnemonic information to achieve current behavioral goals. Attentional modulation of cortical activity has been observed when attention is directed to specific locations, features, or objects. However, little is known about how high-level categorization task set modulates perceptual representations. In the current study, observers categorized faces by gender (male vs. female) or race (Asian vs. White). Each face was perceptually ambiguous in both dimensions, such that categorization of one dimension demanded selective attention to task-relevant information within the face. We used multivoxel pattern classification to show that task-specific modulations evoke reliably distinct spatial patterns of activity within three face-selective cortical regions (right fusiform face area and bilateral occipital face areas). This result suggests that patterns of activity in these regions reflect not only stimulus-specific (i.e., faces vs. houses) responses but also task-specific (i.e., race vs. gender) attentional modulation. Furthermore, exploratory whole-brain multivoxel pattern classification (using a searchlight procedure) revealed a network of dorsal fronto-parietal regions (left middle frontal gyrus and left inferior and superior parietal lobule) that also exhibit distinct patterns for the two task sets, suggesting that these regions may represent abstract goals during high-level categorization tasks.
Hege, Maike A; Stingl, Krunoslav T; Veit, Ralf; Preissl, Hubert
The risk of weight gain is especially related to disinhibition, which indicates the responsiveness to external food stimuli with associated disruptions in eating control. We adapted a food-related version of the attention network task and used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the effects of disinhibition on attentional networks in 19 normal-weight participants. High disinhibition scores were associated with a rapid reorienting response to food pictures after invalid cueing and with an enhanced alerting effect of a warning cue signalizing the upcoming appearance of a food picture. Imaging data revealed activation of a right-lateralized ventral attention network during reorienting. The faster the reorienting and the higher the disinhibition score, the less activation of this network was observed. The alerting contrast showed activation in visual, temporo-parietal and anterior sites. These modulations of attentional networks by food-related disinhibition might be related to an attentional bias to energy dense and palatable food and increased intake of food in disinhibited individuals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Padmala, Srikanth; Pessoa, Luiz
How does motivation interact with cognitive control during challenging behavioral conditions? Here, we investigated the interactions between motivation and cognition during a response conflict task and tested a specific model of the effect of reward on cognitive processing. Behaviorally, participants exhibited reduced conflict during the reward versus no-reward condition. Brain imaging results revealed that a group of subcortical and fronto-parietal regions was robustly influenced by reward at cue processing and, importantly, that cue-related responses in fronto-parietal attentional regions were predictive of reduced conflict-related signals in the medial pFC (MPFC)/ACC during the upcoming target phase. Path analysis revealed that the relationship between cue responses in the right intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and interference-related responses in the MPFC during the subsequent target phase was mediated via signals in the left fusiform gyrus, which we linked to distractor-related processing. Finally, reward increased functional connectivity between the right IPS and both bilateral putamen and bilateral nucleus accumbens during the cue phase, a relationship that covaried with across-individual sensitivity to reward in the case of the right nucleus accumbens. Taken together, our findings are consistent with a model in which motivationally salient cues are employed to upregulate top-down control processes that bias the selection of visual information, thereby leading to more efficient stimulus processing during conflict conditions.
Full Text Available Neural representation in the auditory cortex is rapidly modulated by both top-down attention and bottom-up stimulus properties, in order to improve perception in a given context. Learning-induced, pre-attentive, map plasticity has been also studied in the anesthetized cortex; however, little attention has been paid to rapid, context-dependent modulation. We hypothesize that context-specific learning leads to pre-attentively modulated, multiplex representation in the auditory cortex. Here, we investigate map plasticity in the auditory cortices of anesthetized rats conditioned in a context-dependent manner, such that a conditioned stimulus (CS of a 20-kHz tone and an unconditioned stimulus (US of a mild electrical shock were associated only under a noisy auditory context, but not in silence. After the conditioning, although no distinct plasticity was found in the tonotopic map, tone-evoked responses were more noise-resistive than pre-conditioning. Yet, the conditioned group showed a reduced spread of activation to each tone with noise, but not with silence, associated with a sharpening of frequency tuning. The encoding accuracy index of neurons showed that conditioning deteriorated the accuracy of tone-frequency representations in noisy condition at off-CS regions, but not at CS regions, suggesting that arbitrary tones around the frequency of the CS were more likely perceived as the CS in a specific context, where CS was associated with US. These results together demonstrate that learning-induced plasticity in the auditory cortex occurs in a context-dependent manner.
Funamizu, Akihiro; Kanzaki, Ryohei; Takahashi, Hirokazu
Neural representation in the auditory cortex is rapidly modulated by both top-down attention and bottom-up stimulus properties, in order to improve perception in a given context. Learning-induced, pre-attentive, map plasticity has been also studied in the anesthetized cortex; however, little attention has been paid to rapid, context-dependent modulation. We hypothesize that context-specific learning leads to pre-attentively modulated, multiplex representation in the auditory cortex. Here, we investigate map plasticity in the auditory cortices of anesthetized rats conditioned in a context-dependent manner, such that a conditioned stimulus (CS) of a 20-kHz tone and an unconditioned stimulus (US) of a mild electrical shock were associated only under a noisy auditory context, but not in silence. After the conditioning, although no distinct plasticity was found in the tonotopic map, tone-evoked responses were more noise-resistive than pre-conditioning. Yet, the conditioned group showed a reduced spread of activation to each tone with noise, but not with silence, associated with a sharpening of frequency tuning. The encoding accuracy index of neurons showed that conditioning deteriorated the accuracy of tone-frequency representations in noisy condition at off-CS regions, but not at CS regions, suggesting that arbitrary tones around the frequency of the CS were more likely perceived as the CS in a specific context, where CS was associated with US. These results together demonstrate that learning-induced plasticity in the auditory cortex occurs in a context-dependent manner.
Narendran, Rajesh; Mason, Neale Scott; Paris, Jennifer; Himes, Michael L; Douaihy, Antoine B; Frankle, W Gordon
Basic studies have demonstrated that optimal levels of prefrontal cortical dopamine are critical to various executive functions such as working memory, attention, inhibitory control, and risk/reward decisions, all of which are impaired in addictive disorders such as alcoholism. Based on this and imaging studies of alcoholism that have demonstrated less dopamine in the striatum, the authors hypothesized decreased dopamine transmission in the prefrontal cortex in persons with alcohol dependence. To test this hypothesis, amphetamine and [11C]FLB 457 positron emission tomography were used to measure cortical dopamine transmission in 21 recently abstinent persons with alcohol dependence and 21 matched healthy comparison subjects. [11C]FLB 457 binding potential, specific compared to nondisplaceable uptake (BPND), was measured in subjects with kinetic analysis using the arterial input function both before and after 0.5 mg kg-1 of d-amphetamine. Amphetamine-induced displacement of [11C]FLB 457 binding potential (ΔBPND) was significantly smaller in the cortical regions in the alcohol-dependent group compared with the healthy comparison group. Cortical regions that demonstrated lower dopamine transmission in the alcohol-dependent group included the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, orbital frontal cortex, temporal cortex, and medial temporal lobe. The results of this study, for the first time, unambiguously demonstrate decreased dopamine transmission in the cortex in alcoholism. Further research is necessary to understand the clinical relevance of decreased cortical dopamine as to whether it is related to impaired executive function, relapse, and outcome in alcoholism.
Silton, Rebecca Levin; Heller, Wendy; Engels, Anna S; Towers, David N; Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Edgar, J Christopher; Sass, Sarah M; Stewart, Jennifer L; Sutton, Bradley P; Banich, Marie T; Miller, Gregory A
A network consisting of left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (LDLPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) has been implicated in top-down attentional control. Few studies have systematically investigated how this network is altered in psychopathology, despite evidence that depression and anxiety are associated with attentional control impairments. Functional MRI and dense-array event-related brain potential (ERP) data were collected in separate sessions from 100 participants during a color-word Stroop task. Functional MRI results guided ERP source modeling to characterize the time course of activity in LDLPFC (300-440 ms) and dACC (520-680 ms). At low levels of depression, LDLPFC activity was indirectly related to Stroop interference and only via dACC activity. In contrast, at high levels of depression, dACC did not play an intervening role, and increased LDLPFC activity was directly related to decreased Stroop interference. Specific to high levels of anxious apprehension, higher dACC activity was related to more Stroop interference. Results indicate that depression and anxious apprehension modulate temporally and functionally distinct aspects of the frontocingulate network involved in top-down attention control.
Webb, Taylor W.; Igelström, Kajsa M.; Schurger, Aaron; Graziano, Michael S. A.
Do specific areas of the brain participate in subjective visual experience? We measured brain activity in humans using fMRI. Participants were aware of a visual stimulus in one condition and unaware of it in another condition. The two conditions were balanced for their effect on visual attention. Specific brain areas were more active in the aware than in the unaware condition, suggesting they were involved in subjective awareness independent of attention. The largest cluster of activity was f...
Pantazatos, Spiro P.; Talati, Ardesheer; Pavlidis, Paul; Hirsch, Joy
It is currently unclear to what extent cortical structures are required for and engaged during subconscious processing of biologically salient affective stimuli (i.e. the ‘low-road’ vs. ‘many-roads’ hypotheses). Here we show that cortical-cortical and cortical-subcortical functional connectivity (FC) contain substantially more information, relative to subcortical-subcortical FC (i.e. ‘subcortical alarm’ and other limbic regions), that predicts subliminal fearful face processing within individ...
Liu, Ying; Ding, Yi; Lu, Luluzi; Chen, Xu
How attachment style affects emotion processing is tightly connected with individuals' attention bias. This experiment explored avoidant individuals' attentional engagement and attentional disengagement using a cue-target paradigm in fMRI. The experimental group consisted of 17 avoidant participants, while the control group consisted of 16 secure participants; these were identified by the Experiences in Close Relationships inventory and the Relationship Questionnaire. Each reacted to pictures of positive parent-child attachment, negative parent-child attachment, positive romantic attachment, negative romantic attachment, and neutral non-attachment. Behaviorally, avoidant individuals were slower than secure individuals in responding to emotions and their attentional disengagement effect for negative parent-child emotions was stronger than positive ones. fMRI results showed that avoidant compared to secure individuals activated more strongly in the right superior temporal gyrus, middle occipital gyrus, and the left medial frontal gyrus, middle occipital gyrus, supplementary motor area, and cingulate gyrus. They also showed stronger activation in disengaging from positive than negative emotions in the bilateral fusiform and middle occipital gyri. In conclusion, avoidant individuals could detect emotions as effective as secure individuals in attentioal engaging stages. They can disengage from positive emotions with effective cognitive resources and were harder to get rid of negative emotions with insufficient resource.
Stevenson, Ryan A; Sun, Sol Z; Hazlett, Naomi; Cant, Jonathan S; Barense, Morgan D; Ferber, Susanne
Atypical sensory perception is one of the most ubiquitous symptoms of autism, including a tendency towards a local-processing bias. We investigated whether local-processing biases were associated with global-processing impairments on a global/local attentional-scope paradigm in conjunction with a composite-face task. Behavioural results were related to individuals' levels of autistic traits, specifically the Attention to Detail subscale of the Autism Quotient, and the Sensory Profile Questionnaire. Individuals showing high rates of Attention to Detail were more susceptible to global attentional-scope manipulations, suggesting that local-processing biases associated with Attention to Detail do not come at the cost of a global-processing deficit, but reflect a difference in default global versus local bias. This relationship operated at the attentional/perceptual level, but not response criterion.
Degerman, Alexander; Rinne, Teemu; Salmi, Juha; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo
We used 3-T functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare the brain mechanisms underlying selective attention to sound location and pitch. In different tasks, the subjects (N = 10) attended to a designated sound location or pitch or to pictures presented on the screen. In the Attend Location conditions, the sound location varied randomly (left or right), while the pitch was kept constant (high or low). In the Attend Pitch conditions, sounds of randomly varying pitch (high or low) were presented at a constant location (left or right). Both attention to location and attention to pitch produced enhanced activity (in comparison with activation caused by the same sounds when attention was focused on the pictures) in widespread areas of the superior temporal cortex. Attention to either sound feature also activated prefrontal and inferior parietal cortical regions. These activations were stronger during attention to location than during attention to pitch. Attention to location but not to pitch produced a significant increase of activation in the premotor/supplementary motor cortices of both hemispheres and in the right prefrontal cortex, while no area showed activity specifically related to attention to pitch. The present results suggest some differences in the attentional selection of sounds on the basis of their location and pitch consistent with the suggested auditory "what" and "where" processing streams.
Correani, Alessia; Humphreys, Glyn W
The attentional blink, a measure of the temporal dynamics of visual processing, has been documented to be more pronounced following brain lesions that are associated with visual neglect. This suggests that, in addition to their spatial bias in attention, neglect patients may have a prolonged dwell time for attention. Here the attentional dwell time was examined in patients with damage focused on either posterior parietal or frontal cortices. In three experiments, we show that there is an abnormally pronounced attentional dwell time, which does not differ in patients with posterior parietal and with frontal lobe lesions, and this is associated with a measure of selective attention but not with measures of spatial bias in selection. These data occurred both when we attempted to match patients and controls for overall differences in performance and when a single set stimulus exposure was used across participants. In Experiments 1 and 2, requiring report of colour-form conjunctions, there was evidence that the patients were also impaired at temporal binding, showing errors in feature combination across stimuli and in reporting in the correct temporal order. In Experiment 3, requiring only the report of features but introducing task switching led to similar results. The data suggest that damage to a frontoparietal network can compromise temporal selection of visual stimuli; however, this is not necessarily related to a deficit in hemispatial visual attention but it is to impaired target selection. We discuss the implications for understanding visual selection.
van Hooff, J.C.; van Buuringen, M.; El M’rabet, L.; de Gier, M.; van Zalingen, L.
Although threatening images are known to attract and keep our attention, little is known about the existence of emotion-specific attention effects. In this study (N. = 46), characteristics of an anticipated, disgust-specific effect were investigated by means of a covert orienting paradigm
Clerkin, Suzanne M; Schulz, Kurt P; Berwid, Olga G; Fan, Jin; Newcorn, Jeffrey H; Tang, Cheuk Y; Halperin, Jeffrey M
The neural correlates of stimulus-driven processes, such as response preparation, have been posited to be associated with the onset of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) while being distinct from the neural mechanisms associated with recovery. The authors tested this hypothesis in adults with remitted and persistent ADHD. Thirty-eight young adults who were diagnosed with combined-type ADHD in childhood (probands) and 32 carefully matched comparison subjects were followed longitudinally and scanned with functional MRI while performing an event-related cued reaction time task. Probands were characterized as individuals with persistent or remitted ADHD. Differences in thalamo-cortical activation and functional connectivity during response preparation between comparison subjects and probands and between individuals with persistent ADHD and those with remitted ADHD were assessed by contrasting neural activation and functional connectivity during cue or noncue events. Probands exhibited less cue-related activation than comparison subjects in the thalamus, anterior cingulate cortex, supplementary motor area, inferior parietal lobe, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex despite similar overall patterns of activation. There were no differences in activation between individuals in the remitted ADHD group and those in the persistent ADHD group in any hypothesized regions. However, cue-related functional connectivity between the right thalamus and brainstem was greater in comparison subjects relative to probands, and cue-related connectivity was greater between the right thalamus and prefrontal regions in individuals with remitted ADHD relative to those with persistent ADHD. Decreased thalamo-cortical activation during response preparation was present in adults diagnosed with ADHD in childhood regardless of symptom remission in adulthood, and may be partly driven by less functional coordination between the brainstem and thalamus. Greater functional integration of the
Adam, Kirsten C. S.; Mance, Irida; Fukuda, Keisuke; Vogel, Edward K.
Attentional control and working memory capacity are important cognitive abilities that substantially vary between individuals. Although much is known about how attentional control and working memory capacity relate to each other and to constructs like fluid intelligence, little is known about how trial-by-trial fluctuations in attentional engagement impact trial-by-trial working memory performance. Here, we employ a novel whole-report memory task that allowed us to distinguish between varying...
Clauwaert, Amanda; Torta, Diana M; Danneels, Lieven; Van Damme, Stefaan
Attending to pain-relevant information is crucial to protect us from physical harm. Behavioral studies have already suggested that during anticipation of pain somatosensory input at the body location under threat is prioritized. However, research using daily life cues for pain, especially movements, is lacking. Furthermore, to our knowledge, no studies have investigated cortical processing associated with somatosensory processing during threatened movements. The current study aims to investigate whether movements accompanying pain automatically steer attention toward somatosensory input at the threatened location, affecting somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). Healthy volunteers were cued to perform movements with the left or the right hand, and one of these movements could be accompanied by pain on the moving hand. During movement anticipation, a task-irrelevant tactile stimulus was presented to the threatened or pain-free hand to evoke SEPs. During anticipation of movements accompanying pain, the N120 component was increased for tactile stimuli at the threatened relative to the hand without pain. Moreover, the P200 SEP was enhanced during anticipation of movements accompanying pain relative to movements without pain, irrespective of which hand was stimulated. These findings show that the anticipation of pain-accompanying movements may affect the processing of somatosensory input, and that this is likely to be driven by attentional processes. This study shows that the anticipation of pain-related movements automatically biases attention toward stimuli at a pain-related location, measured according to SEPs. The present study provides important new insights in the interplay between pain and attention, and its consequences at the cortical level. Copyright © 2017 The American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Camalier, Corrie R; McHugo, Maureen; Zald, David H; Neimat, Joseph S
In addition to motor symptoms, Parkinson's disease (PD) involves significant non-motor sequelae, including disruptions in cognitive and emotional processing. Fear recognition appears to be affected both by the course of the disease and by a common interventional therapy, deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS). Here, we examined if these effects extend to other aspects of emotional processing, such as attentional capture by negative emotional stimuli. Performance on an emotional attentional blink (EAB) paradigm, a common paradigm used to study emotional capture of attention, was examined in a cohort of individuals with PD, both on and off STN-DBS therapy (n=20). To contrast effects of healthy aging and other movement disorder and DBS targets, we also examined performance in a healthy elderly (n=20) and young (n=18) sample on the same task, and a sample diagnosed with Essential Tremor (ET) undergoing therapeutic deep brain stimulation of the ventral-intermediate nucleus (VIM-DBS, n=18). All four groups showed a robust attentional capture of emotional stimuli, irrespective of aging processes, movement disorder diagnosis, or stimulation. PD patients on average had overall worse performance, but this decrement in performance was not related to the emotional capture of attention. PD patients exhibited a robust EAB, indicating that the ability of emotion to direct attention remains intact in PD. Congruent with other recent data, these findings suggest that fear recognition deficits in PD may instead reflect a highly specific problem in recognition, rather than a general deficit in emotional processing of fearful stimuli.
Wang, Chun-Hao; Tu, Kuo-Cheng
The present study aimed to investigate the neural correlates associated with sports expertise during a domain-specific task in badminton players. We compared event-related potentials activity from collegiate male badminton players and a set of matched athletic controls when they performed a badminton-specific attentional cueing task in which the uncertainty and validity were manipulated. The data showed that, regardless of cue type, the badminton players had faster responses along with greater P3 amplitudes than the athletic controls on the task. Specifically, the contingent negative variation amplitude was smaller for the players than for the controls in the condition involving higher uncertainty. Such an effect, however, was absent in the condition with lower uncertainty. We conclude that expertise in sports is associated with proficient modulation of brain activity during cognitive and motor preparation, as well as response execution, when performing a task related to an individual's specific sport domain.
Archibald, Lisa M D; Levee, Tyler; Olino, Thomas
Attention allocation, updating working memory, and language processing are interdependent cognitive tasks related to the focused direction of limited resources, refreshing and substituting information in the current focus of attention, and receiving/sending verbal communication, respectively. The current study systematically examined the relationship among executive attention, working memory executive skills, and language abilities while adjusting for individual differences in short-term memory. School-age children completed a selective attention task requiring them to recall whether a presented shape was in the same place as a previous target shape shown in an array imposing a low or high working memory load. Results revealed a selective attention cost when working above but not within memory span capacity. Measures of general working memory were positively related to overall task performance, whereas language abilities were related to response time. In particular, higher language skills were associated with faster responses under low load conditions. These findings suggest that attentional control and storage demands have an additive impact on working memory resources but provide only limited evidence for a domain-general mechanism in language learning. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mundy, Peter; Newell, Lisa
Before social cognition there is joint processing of information about the attention of self and others. This joint attention requires the integrated activation of a distributed cortical network involving the anterior and posterior attention systems. In infancy, practice with the integrated activation of this distributed attention network is a major contributor to the development of social cognition. Thus, the functional neuroanatomies of social cognition and the anterior–posterior attention ...
Laraway, Lee Ann
To examine differences between auditory selective attention abilities of normal and cerebral-palsied individuals, 23 cerebral-palsied and 23 normal subjects (5-21) were asked to repeat a series of 30 items in presence of intermittent white noise. Results indicated that cerebral-palsied individuals perform significantly more poorly when the…
Lin, Szu-Hung; Yeh, Yei-Yu
Previous research has shown that loading information on working memory affects selective attention. However, whether the load effect on selective attention is domain-general or domain-specific remains unresolved. The domain-general effect refers to the findings that load in one content (e.g. phonological) domain in working memory influences processing in another content (e.g., visuospatial) domain. Attentional control supervises selection regardless of information domain. The domain-specific effect refers to the constraint of influence only when maintenance and processing operate in the same domain. Selective attention operates in a specific content domain. This study is designed to resolve this controversy. Across three experiments, we manipulated the type of representation maintained in working memory and the type of representation upon which the participants must exert control to resolve conflict and select a target into the focus of attention. In Experiments 1a and 1b, participants maintained digits and nonverbalized objects, respectively, in working memory while selecting a target in a letter array. In Experiment 2, we presented auditory digits with a letter flanker task to exclude the involvement of resource competition within the same input modality. In Experiments 3a and 3b, we replaced the letter flanker task with an object flanker task while manipulating the memory load on object and digit representation, respectively. The results consistently showed that memory load modulated distractibility only when the stimuli of the two tasks were represented in the same domain. The magnitude of distractor interference was larger under high load than under low load, reflecting a lower efficacy of information prioritization. When the stimuli of the two tasks were represented in different domains, memory load did not modulate distractibility. Control of processing priority in selective attention demands domain-specific resources. PMID:24866977
Langeslag, Sandra J E; Olivier, Jamie R; Köhlen, Martine E; Nijs, Ilse M; Van Strien, Jan W
Emotionally salient information is well attended and remembered. It has been shown that infatuated individuals have increased attention for their beloved. It is unknown whether this attention bias generalizes to information related to the beloved. Moreover, infatuated individuals report to remember trivial things about their beloved, but this has not yet been tested empirically. In two studies, we tested whether infatuated individuals have increased attention and memory for beloved-related information. In a passive viewing task (Study 1), the late positive potential, an event-related potential (ERP) component reflecting motivated attention, was enhanced for beloved-related vs friend-related words/phrases. In a recognition task (Study 2), memory performance and the frontal and parietal ERP old/new effects, reflecting familiarity and recollection, respectively, were not enhanced for beloved-related compared with friend-related words/phrases. In free recall tasks in both studies, memory was better for beloved-related than friend-related words/phrases. This research reveals that attention and memory are enhanced for beloved-related information. These attention and memory biases for beloved-related information were not due to valence, semantic relatedness, or experience, but to arousal. To conclude, romantic love has profound effects on cognition that play a clear role in daily life. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Mirdamadi, J L; Suzuki, L Y; Meehan, S K
Differences in cortical control across the different muscles of the upper limb may mitigate the efficacy of TMS interventions targeting a specific muscle. The current study sought to determine whether weak concurrent contraction during TMS could enhance the efficacy of intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) in the forearm flexors. Motor evoked potentials (MEP) were elicited from the flexor (FCR) and extensor carpi radialis (ECR) motor cortical hotspots before and after iTBS over the FCR cortical hotspot. During iTBS the FCR was either relaxed (iTBS-Relax) or tonically contracted to 10% of maximum voluntary force (iTBS-Contract). iTBS-Relax failed to produce consistent potentiation of MEPFCR amplitude. Individuals with a relatively lower RMTFCR compared RMTECR demonstrated MEPFCR facilitation post-iTBS-Relax. Individuals with relatively higher RMTFCR demonstrated less facilitation and even suppression of MEPFCR amplitude. iTBS-Contract facilitated MEPFCR amplitude but only for MEPFCR evoked from the ECR hotspot. Interactions between overlapping cortical representations determine the efficacy of iTBS. Tonic contraction increases the efficacy of iTBS by enhancing the volume of the cortical representation. However, metaplastic effects may attenuate the enhancement of MEP gain at the motor cortical hotspot. The use of TMS as an adjunct to physical therapy should account for inter-muscle interactions when targeting muscles of the forearm. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bleckley, M Kathryn; Durso, Francis T; Crutchfield, Jerry M; Engle, Randall W; Khanna, Maya M
To the extent that individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) reflect differences in attention (Baddeley, 1993; Engle, Kane, & Tuholski, 1999), differences in WMC should predict performance on visual attention tasks. Individuals who scored in the upper and lower quartiles on the OSPAN working memory test performed a modification of Egly and Homa's (1984) selective attention task. In this task, the participants identified a central letter and localized a displaced letter flashed somewhere on one of three concentric rings. When the displaced letter occurred closer to fixation than the cue implied, high-WMC, but not low-WMC, individuals showed a cost in the letter localization task. This suggests that low-WMC participants allocated attention as a spotlight, whereas those with high WMC showed flexible allocation.
This article focuses on the structures of humor and joke telling that require particular kinds of attentiveness and particular relationships between speaker and audience, or more specifically, between classmates. First, I will analyze the pedagogical and relational preconditions that are necessary for humor to work. If humor is to work well, the…
Park, Min Tae M; Raznahan, Armin; Shaw, Philip; Gogtay, Nitin; Lerch, Jason P; Chakravarty, M Mallar
There is evidence suggesting neuropsychiatric disorders share genomic, cognitive and clinical features. Here, we ask if autism-spectrum disorders (ASD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia share neuroanatomical variations. First, we used measures of cortical anatomy to estimate spatial overlap of neuroanatomical variation using univariate methods. Next, we developed a novel methodology to determine whether cortical deficits specifically target or are "enriched" within functional resting-state networks. We found cortical anomalies were preferentially enriched across functional networks rather than clustering spatially. Specifically, cortical thickness showed significant enrichment between patients with ASD and those with ADHD in the default mode network, between patients with ASD and those with schizophrenia in the frontoparietal and limbic networks, and between patients with ADHD and those with schizophrenia in the ventral attention network. Networks enriched in cortical thickness anomalies were also strongly represented in functional MRI results (Neurosynth; r = 0.64, p = 0.032). We did not account for variable symptom dimensions and severity in patient populations, and our cross-sectional design prevented longitudinal analyses of developmental trajectories. These findings suggest that common deficits across neuropsychiatric disorders cannot simply be characterized as arising out of local changes in cortical grey matter, but rather as entities of both local and systemic alterations targeting brain networks.
Thoern, Hanna A; Grueschow, Marcus; Ehlert, Ulrike; Ruff, Christian C; Kleim, Birgit
There is extensive evidence for an association between an attentional bias towards emotionally negative stimuli and vulnerability to stress-related psychopathology. Less is known about whether selective attention towards emotionally positive stimuli relates to mental health and stress resilience. The current study used a modified Dot Probe task to investigate if individual differences in attentional biases towards either happy or angry emotional stimuli, or an interaction between these biases, are related to self-reported trait stress resilience. In a nonclinical sample (N = 43), we indexed attentional biases as individual differences in reaction time for stimuli preceded by either happy or angry (compared to neutral) face stimuli. Participants with greater attentional bias towards happy faces (but not angry faces) reported higher trait resilience. However, an attentional bias towards angry stimuli moderated this effect: The attentional bias towards happy faces was only predictive for resilience in those individuals who also endorsed an attentional bias towards angry stimuli. An attentional bias towards positive emotional stimuli may thus be a protective factor contributing to stress resilience, specifically in those individuals who also endorse an attentional bias towards negative emotional stimuli. Our findings therefore suggest a novel target for prevention and treatment interventions addressing stress-related psychopathology.
Schupp, Harald T; Flaisch, Tobias; Stockburger, Jessica; Junghöfer, Markus
Emotional pictures guide selective visual attention. A series of event-related brain potential (ERP) studies is reviewed demonstrating the consistent and robust modulation of specific ERP components by emotional images. Specifically, pictures depicting natural pleasant and unpleasant scenes are associated with an increased early posterior negativity, late positive potential, and sustained positive slow wave compared with neutral contents. These modulations are considered to index different stages of stimulus processing including perceptual encoding, stimulus representation in working memory, and elaborate stimulus evaluation. Furthermore, the review includes a discussion of studies exploring the interaction of motivated attention with passive and active forms of attentional control. Recent research is reviewed exploring the selective processing of emotional cues as a function of stimulus novelty, emotional prime pictures, learned stimulus significance, and in the context of explicit attention tasks. It is concluded that ERP measures are useful to assess the emotion-attention interface at the level of distinct processing stages. Results are discussed within the context of two-stage models of stimulus perception brought out by studies of attention, orienting, and learning.
Wiegand, Iris; Töllner, Thomas; Dyrholm, Mads
-individual differences in K. Moreover, both parameters were selectively related to two further ERP waves in older age: The anterior N1 was reduced for older participants with lower processing speed, indicating that age-related loss of attentional resources slows encoding. An enhanced right-central positivity (RCP......We identified neural correlates of declined and preserved basic visual attention functions in aging individuals based on Bundesen’s ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ (TVA). In an inter-individual difference approach, we contrasted electrophysiology of higher- and lower-performing younger and older......) was found only for older participants with high storage capacity, suggesting compensatory recruitment for retaining vSTM performance. Together, our results demonstrate that attentional capacity in older age depends on both preservation and successful reorganization of the underlying brain circuits...
Rickard, Rachel E; Young, Andrew M J; Gerdjikov, Todor V
There is growing evidence that ongoing brain oscillations may represent a key regulator of attentional processes and as such may contribute to behavioral performance in psychophysical tasks. OFC appears to be involved in the top-down modulation of sensory processing; however, the specific contribution of ongoing OFC oscillations to perception has not been characterized. Here we used the rat whiskers as a model system to further characterize the relationship between cortical state and tactile detection. Head-fixed rats were trained to report the presence of a vibrotactile stimulus (frequency = 60 Hz, duration = 2 sec, deflection amplitude = 0.01-0.5 mm) applied to a single vibrissa. We calculated power spectra of local field potentials preceding the onset of near-threshold stimuli from microelectrodes chronically implanted in OFC and somatosensory cortex. We found a dissociation between slow oscillation power in the two regions in relation to detection probability: Higher OFC but not somatosensory delta power was associated with increased detection probability. Furthermore, coherence between OFC and barrel cortex was reduced preceding successful detection. Consistent with the role of OFC in attention, our results identify a cortical network whose activity is differentially modulated before successful tactile detection.
Charlotte Elisabeth Wittekind
Full Text Available Using variants of the emotional Stroop task (EST, a large number of studies demonstrated attentional biases in individuals with PTSD across different types of trauma. However, the specificity and robustness of the emotional Stroop effect in PTSD were questioned recently. In particular, the paradigm cannot disentangle underlying cognitive mechanisms. Transgenerational studies provide evidence that consequences of trauma are not limited to the traumatized people, but extend to close relatives, especially the children. To further investigate attentional biases in PTSD and to shed light on the underlying cognitive mechanism(s, a spatial-cueing paradigm with pictures of different emotional valence (neutral, anxiety, depression, trauma was administered to individuals displaced as children during World War II with (n = 22 and without PTSD (n = 26 as well as to nontraumatized controls (n = 22. To assess whether parental PTSD is associated with biased information processing in children, each one adult offspring was also included in the study. PTSD was not associated with attentional biases for trauma-related stimuli. There was no evidence for a transgenerational transmission of biased information processing. However, when samples were regrouped based on current depression, a reduced inhibition of return (IOR effect emerged for depression-related cues. IOR refers to the phenomenon that with longer intervals between cue and target the validity effect is reversed: uncued locations are associated with shorter and cued locations with longer RTs. The results diverge from EST studies and demonstrate that findings on attentional biases yield equivocal results across different paradigms. Attentional biases for trauma-related material may only appear for verbal but not for visual stimuli in an elderly population with childhood trauma with PTSD. Future studies should more closely investigate whether findings from younger trauma populations also manifest in older
Schwartz, Odelia; Coen-Cagli, Ruben
Attention to a spatial location or feature in a visual scene can modulate the responses of cortical neurons and affect perceptual biases in illusions. We add attention to a cortical model of spatial context based on a well-founded account of natural scene statistics. The cortical model amounts to a generalized form of divisive normalization, in which the surround is in the normalization pool of the center target only if they are considered statistically dependent. Here we propose that attention influences this computation by accentuating the neural unit activations at the attended location, and that the amount of attentional influence of the surround on the center thus depends on whether center and surround are deemed in the same normalization pool. The resulting form of model extends a recent divisive normalization model of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009). We simulate cortical surround orientation experiments with attention and show that the flexible model is suitable for capturing additional data and makes nontrivial testable predictions. PMID:23345413
Spataro, Pietro; Mulligan, Neil W; Bechi Gabrielli, Giulia; Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia
The Attentional Boost Effect (ABE) refers to the counterintuitive finding that words encoded with to-be-responded targets in a divided-attention condition are remembered better than words encoded with distractors. Previous studies suggested that the ABE-related enhancement of verbal memory depends upon the activation of abstract lexical representations. In the present study, we extend this hypothesis by embedding it in the context of a broader perspective, which proposes that divided attention in the ABE paradigm affects item-specific, but not relational, processing. To this purpose, we examined the ABE in the matched tasks of category-cued recall (CCRT: explicit memory) and category exemplar generation (CEGT: implicit memory). In addition, study time was varied (500, 1500 or 4000 ms), to further determine whether the attentional boost manipulation could influence late-phase elaborative processing. In agreement with the predictions of the item-specific account, the results showed that exemplars encoded with targets were recalled better than exemplars encoded with distractors in the CCRT, but not in the CEGT. Moreover, performance in the CCRT increased with study time, whereas the size of the ABE-related enhancement tended to decrease, further confirming that this effect hinges upon early phase encoding processes.
Kolasinski, James; Logan, John P; Hinson, Emily L; Manners, Daniel; Divanbeighi Zand, Amir P; Makin, Tamar R; Emir, Uzay E; Stagg, Charlotte J
Understanding both the organization of the human cortex and its relation to the performance of distinct functions is fundamental in neuroscience. The primary sensory cortices display topographic organization, whereby receptive fields follow a characteristic pattern, from tonotopy to retinotopy to somatotopy . GABAergic signaling is vital to the maintenance of cortical receptive fields ; however, it is unclear how this fine-grain inhibition relates to measurable patterns of perception [3, 4]. Based on perceptual changes following perturbation of the GABAergic system, it is conceivable that the resting level of cortical GABAergic tone directly relates to the spatial specificity of activation in response to a given input [5-7]. The specificity of cortical activation can be considered in terms of cortical tuning: greater cortical tuning yields more localized recruitment of cortical territory in response to a given input. We applied a combination of fMRI, MR spectroscopy, and psychophysics to substantiate the link between the cortical neurochemical milieu, the tuning of cortical activity, and variability in perceptual acuity, using human somatosensory cortex as a model. We provide data that explain human perceptual acuity in terms of both the underlying cellular and metabolic processes. Specifically, higher concentrations of sensorimotor GABA are associated with more selective cortical tuning, which in turn is associated with enhanced perception. These results show anatomical and neurochemical specificity and are replicated in an independent cohort. The mechanistic link from neurochemistry to perception provides a vital step in understanding population variability in sensory behavior, informing metabolic therapeutic interventions to restore perceptual abilities clinically. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Jongman, Suzanne R; Roelofs, Ardi; Meyer, Antje S
Whereas it has long been assumed that most linguistic processes underlying language production happen automatically, accumulating evidence suggests that these processes do require some form of attention. Here we investigated the contribution of sustained attention: the ability to maintain alertness over time. In Experiment 1, participants' sustained attention ability was measured using auditory and visual continuous performance tasks. Subsequently, employing a dual-task procedure, participants described pictures using simple noun phrases and performed an arrow-discrimination task while their vocal and manual response times (RTs) and the durations of their gazes to the pictures were measured. Earlier research has demonstrated that gaze duration reflects language planning processes up to and including phonological encoding. The speakers' sustained attention ability correlated with the magnitude of the tail of the vocal RT distribution, reflecting the proportion of very slow responses, but not with individual differences in gaze duration. This suggests that sustained attention was most important after phonological encoding. Experiment 2 showed that the involvement of sustained attention was significantly stronger in a dual-task situation (picture naming and arrow discrimination) than in simple naming. Thus, individual differences in maintaining attention on the production processes become especially apparent when a simultaneous second task also requires attentional resources.
When performing sensory tasks, knowing the potentially occurring goal-relevant and irrelevant stimulus events allows the establishment of selective attention sets, which result in enhanced sensory processing of goal-relevant events. In the auditory modality, such enhancements are reflected in the increased amplitude of the N1 ERP elicited by the onsets of task-relevant sounds. It has been recently suggested that ERPs to task-relevant sound offsets are similarly enhanced in a tone-focused state in comparison to a distracted one. The goal of the present study was to explore the influence of attention on ERPs elicited by sound offsets. ERPs elicited by tones in a duration-discrimination task were compared to ERPs elicited by the same tones in not-tone-focused attentional setting. Tone offsets elicited a consistent, attention-dependent biphasic (positive-negative--P1-N1) ERP waveform for tone durations ranging from 150 to 450 ms. The evidence, however, did not support the notion that the offset-related ERPs reflected an offset-specific attention set: The offset-related ERPs elicited in a duration-discrimination condition (in which offsets were task relevant) did not significantly differ from those elicited in a pitch-discrimination condition (in which the offsets were task irrelevant). Although an N2 reflecting the processing of offsets in task-related terms contributed to the observed waveform, this contribution was separable from the offset-related P1 and N1. The results demonstrate that when tones are attended, offset-related ERPs may substantially overlap endogenous ERP activity in the postoffset interval irrespective of tone duration, and attention differences may cause ERP differences in such postoffset intervals. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Parsons, Owen E; Bayliss, Andrew P; Remington, Anna
Autistic individuals commonly show circumscribed or "special" interests: areas of obsessive interest in a specific category. The present study investigated what impact these interests have on attention, an aspect of autistic cognition often reported as altered. In neurotypical individuals, interest and expertise have been shown to result in an automatic attentional priority for related items. Here, we examine whether this change in salience is also seen in autism. Adolescents and young adults with and without autism performed a personalized selective attention task assessing the level of attentional priority afforded to images related to the participant's specific interests. In addition, participants performed a similar task with generic images in order to isolate any effects of interest and expertise. Crucially, all autistic and non-autistic individuals recruited for this study held a strong passion or interest. As such, any differences in attention could not be solely attributed to differing prevalence of interests in the two groups. In both tasks, participants were asked to perform a central target-detection task while ignoring irrelevant distractors (related or unrelated to their interests). The level of distractor interference under various task conditions was taken as an indication of attentional priority. Neurotypical individuals showed the predicted attentional priority for the circumscribed interest images but not generic items, reflecting the impact of their interest and expertise. Contrary to predictions, autistic individuals did not show this priority: processing the interest-related stimuli only when task demands were low. Attention to images unrelated to circumscribed interests was equivalent in the two groups. These results suggest that despite autistic individuals holding an intense interest in a particular class of stimuli, there may be a reduced impact of this prior experience and expertise on attentional processing. The implications of this
Lucia P. Pavlova
Full Text Available This paper analyzes the opponent dynamics of human motivational and affective processes, as conceptualized by RS Solomon, from the position of AA Ukhtomsky’s neurophysiological principle of the dominant and its applications in the field of human electroencephalographic analysis. As an experimental model, we investigate the dynamics of cortical activity in students submitting university final course oral examinations in naturalistic settings, and show that successful performance in these settings depends on the presence of specific types of cortical activation patterns, involving high indices of left-hemispheric and frontal cortical dominance, whereas the lack thereof predicts poor performance on the task, and seems to be associated with difficulties in the executive regulation of cognitive (intellectual and motivational processes in these highly demanding and stressful conditions. Based on such knowledge, improved educational and therapeutic interventions can be suggested which take into account individual variability in the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying adaptation to motivationally and intellectually challenging, stressful tasks, such as oral university exams. Some implications of this research for opponent-process theory and its closer integration into current neuroscience research on acquired motivations are discussed.
Sylvina M Raver
Full Text Available The basal forebrain (BF contains major projections to the cerebral cortex, and plays a well-documented role in arousal, attention, decision-making, and in modulating cortical activity. BF neuronal degeneration is an early event in Alzheimer’s disease and dementias, and occurs in normal cognitive aging. While the BF is best known for its population of cortically projecting cholinergic neurons, the region is anatomically and neurochemically diverse, and also contains prominent populations of non-cholinergic projection neurons. In recent years, increasing attention has been dedicated to these non-cholinergic BF neurons in order to better understand how non-cholinergic BF circuits control cortical processing and behavioral performance. In this review, we focus on a unique population of putative non-cholinergic BF neurons that encodes the motivational salience of stimuli with a robust ensemble bursting response. We review recent studies that describe the specific physiological and functional characteristics of these BF salience-encoding neurons in behaving animals. These studies support the unifying hypothesis whereby BF salience-encoding neurons act as a gain modulation mechanism of the decision-making process to enhance cortical processing of behaviorally relevant stimuli, and thereby facilitate faster and more precise behavioral responses. This function of BF salience-encoding neurons represents a critical component in determining which incoming stimuli warrant an animal’s attention, and is therefore a fundamental and early requirement of behavioral flexibility.
Dehghani, Mohsen; Mohammadi, Somayyeh; Sharpe, Louise; Khatibi, Ali
Expecting pain can be perceived as a threat may involve recruitment of cognitive strategies (such as attentional avoidance) which might help the person to reduce distress. The ecological validity of the paradigms aiming to study the attentional biases toward or away from threatening stimuli by manipulating the perception of threat in experimental settings has been questioned. Therefore, the current study aims to investigate the attentional bias toward or away from the threat when a confrontation with a real threatening and painful condition would be expected (i.e., dental treatment). One hundred and twenty-seven patients referred to three dentistry clinics for a dental treatment (experiment participants) and 30 individuals with no dental complaints (control participants) completed this study. Patients were randomly allocated to a high pain expectancy (HPE: n = 65) or a low pain expectancy (LPE: n = 62) expectancy condition. All participants completed questionnaires of distress, fear of pain, and fear of dental pain. Furthermore, they participated in a dot-probe task that assessed their attention to painful faces, dental pictures, and happy faces. In addition, before the treatment, participants reported their anticipated pain intensity and after the treatment, they reported the pain intensity that they perceived during the treatment using two separate visual analog scales. Patients in the HPE group showed a bias away from dental pictures compared to LPE and control group participants. HPE group patients also reported greater pain intensity during the treatment compared to LPE patients. Greater attentional bias away from dental pictures among HPE patients was associated with higher levels of fear of pain, fear of dental pain, and stress. Avoidance of highly salient threatening images can be seen as an unhelpful emotion-regulation strategy that individuals use to manage their fears. However, in this study, avoidance was associated with poorer outcomes.
Full Text Available Expecting pain can be perceived as a threat may involve recruitment of cognitive strategies (such as attentional avoidance which might help the person to reduce distress. The ecological validity of the paradigms aiming to study the attentional biases toward or away from threatening stimuli by manipulating the perception of threat in experimental settings has been questioned. Therefore, the current study aims to investigate the attentional bias toward or away from the threat when a confrontation with a real threatening and painful condition would be expected (i.e., dental treatment. One hundred and twenty-seven patients referred to three dentistry clinics for a dental treatment (experiment participants and 30 individuals with no dental complaints (control participants completed this study. Patients were randomly allocated to a high pain expectancy (HPE: n = 65 or a low pain expectancy (LPE: n = 62 expectancy condition. All participants completed questionnaires of distress, fear of pain, and fear of dental pain. Furthermore, they participated in a dot-probe task that assessed their attention to painful faces, dental pictures, and happy faces. In addition, before the treatment, participants reported their anticipated pain intensity and after the treatment, they reported the pain intensity that they perceived during the treatment using two separate visual analog scales. Patients in the HPE group showed a bias away from dental pictures compared to LPE and control group participants. HPE group patients also reported greater pain intensity during the treatment compared to LPE patients. Greater attentional bias away from dental pictures among HPE patients was associated with higher levels of fear of pain, fear of dental pain, and stress. Avoidance of highly salient threatening images can be seen as an unhelpful emotion-regulation strategy that individuals use to manage their fears. However, in this study, avoidance was associated with poorer outcomes.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD is a prevalent, complex disorder which is characterized by symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Convergent evidence from neurobiological studies of ADHD identifies dysfunction in fronto-striatal-cerebellar circuitry as the source of behavioural deficits. Recent studies have shown that regions governing basic sensory processing, such as the somatosensory cortex, show abnormalities in those with ADHD suggesting that these processes may also be compromised. Methods We used event-related magnetoencephalography (MEG to examine patterns of cortical rhythms in the primary (SI and secondary (SII somatosensory cortices in response to median nerve stimulation, in 9 adults with ADHD and 10 healthy controls. Stimuli were brief (0.2 ms non-painful electrical pulses presented to the median nerve in two counterbalanced conditions: unpredictable and predictable stimulus presentation. We measured changes in strength, synchronicity, and frequency of cortical rhythms. Results Healthy comparison group showed strong event-related desynchrony and synchrony in SI and SII. By contrast, those with ADHD showed significantly weaker event-related desynchrony and event-related synchrony in the alpha (8–12 Hz and beta (15–30 Hz bands, respectively. This was most striking during random presentation of median nerve stimulation. Adults with ADHD showed significantly shorter duration of beta rebound in both SI and SII except for when the onset of the stimulus event could be predicted. In this case, the rhythmicity of SI (but not SII in the ADHD group did not differ from that of controls. Conclusion Our findings suggest that somatosensory processing is altered in individuals with ADHD. MEG constitutes a promising approach to profiling patterns of neural activity during the processing of sensory input (e.g., detection of a tactile stimulus, stimulus predictability and facilitating our
Kim, So-Yeon; Giovanello, Kelly S.
Healthy aging is often accompanied by episodic memory decline. Prior studies have consistently demonstrated that older adults show disproportionate deficits in relational memory (RM) relative to item memory (IM). Despite rich evidence of an age-related RM deficit, the source of this deficit remains unspecified. One of the most widely investigated factors of age-related RM impairment is a reduction in attentional resources. However, no prior studies have demonstrated that reduced attentional resources are the critical source of age-related RM deficits. Here, we utilized qualitatively different attention tasks, and tested whether reduced attention for relational processing underlies the RM deficit observed in aging. In Experiment 1, we imposed either item-detection or relation-detection attention tasks on young adults during episodic memory encoding, and found that only the concurrent attention task involving relational processing disproportionately impaired RM performance in young adults. Moreover, by ruling out the possible confound of task-difficulty on the disproportionate RM impairment, we further demonstrated that reduced relational attention is a key factor for the age-related RM deficit. In Experiment 2, we replicated the results from Experiment 1 using different materials of stimuli and found that the effect of relational attention on RM is material-general. The results of Experiment 2 also showed that reducing attentional resources for relational processing in young adults strikingly equated their RM performance to that of older adults. Thus, the current study documents the first evidence that reduced attentional resources for relational processing are a critical factor for the relational memory impairment observed in aging. PMID:21707178
Polly V Peers
Full Text Available Attentional control refers to the regulatory processes that ensure that our actions are in accordance with our goals. Dual-system accounts view temperament as consisting of both individual variation in emotionality (e.g. trait anxiety and variation in regulatory attentional mechanisms that act to modulate emotionality. Increasing evidence links trait variation in attentional control to clinical mood and anxiety disorder symptoms, independent of trait emotionality. Attentional biases to threat have been robustly linked to mood and anxiety disorders. However, the role of variation in attentional control in influencing such biases, and the neural underpinnings of trait variation in attentional control, are unknown. Here, we show, that individual differences in trait attentional control, even when accounting for trait and state anxiety, are related to the magnitude of an attentional blink following threat-related targets. Moreover, we demonstrate that activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, is observed specifically in relation to control of attention over threatening stimuli, in line with neural theories of attentional control, such as guided activation theory. These results have key implications for neurocognitive theories of attentional bias and emotional resilience.
Sahin, Yasar Guneri; Cimen, Fatih Mehmet
This paper presents a tool named "Interactive Attention Board" (IAB) and an associated software named "Interactive Attention Boards Software" (IABS) for individuals with Mental Retardation and Autism. The proposed system is based on several theories such as perception and learning theories, and it is intended to improve hand-eye coordination and…
Su?rez-Pellicioni, Macarena; N??ez-Pe?a, Maria Isabel; Colom?, ?ngels
Attentional bias towards threatening or emotional information is considered a cognitive marker of anxiety, and it has been described in various clinical and subclinical populations. This study used an emotional Stroop task to investigate whether math anxiety is characterized by an attentional bias towards math-related words. Two previous studies failed to observe such an effect in math-anxious individuals, although the authors acknowledged certain methodological limitations that the present s...
Elena V Orekhova
Full Text Available The extended phenotype of autism spectrum disorders (ASD includes a combination of arousal regulation problems, sensory modulation difficulties, and attention re-orienting deficit. A slow and inefficient re-orienting to stimuli that appear outside of the attended sensory stream is thought to be especially detrimental for social functioning. Event-related potentials (ERPs and magnetic fields (ERFs may help to reveal which processing stages underlying brain response to unattended but salient sensory event are affected in individuals with ASD. Previous research focusing on two sequential stages of the brain response - automatic detection of physical changes in auditory stream, indexed by mismatch negativity (MMN, and evaluation of stimulus novelty, indexed by P3a component, - found in individuals with ASD either increased, decreased or normal processing of deviance and novelty. The review examines these apparently conflicting results, notes gaps in previous findings, and suggests a potentially unifying hypothesis relating the dampened responses to unattended sensory events to the deficit in rapid arousal process. Specifically, ‘sensory gating’ studies focused on pre-attentive arousal consistently demonstrated that brain response to unattended and temporally novel sound in ASD is already affected at around 100 ms after stimulus onset. We hypothesize that abnormalities in nicotinic cholinergic arousal pathways, previously reported in individuals with ASD, may contribute to these ERP/ERF aberrations and result in attention re-orienting deficit. Such cholinergic dysfunction may be present in individuals with ASD early in life and can influence both sensory processing and attention re-orienting behavior. Identification of early neurophysiological biomarkers for cholinergic deficit would help to detect infants at risk who can potentially benefit from particular types of therapies or interventions.
Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Resting state (RS functional MRI recently identified default network abnormalities related to cognitive impairment in MS. fMRI can also be used to map functional connectivity (FC while the brain is at rest and not adhered to a specific task. Given the importance of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC for higher executive functioning in MS, we here used the ACC as seed-point to test for differences and similarities in RS-FC related to sustained attention between MS patients and controls. DESIGN: Block-design rest phases of 3 Tesla fMRI data were analyzed to assess RS-FC in 31 patients (10 clinically isolated syndromes, 16 relapsing-remitting, 5 secondary progressive MS and 31 age- and gender matched healthy controls (HC. Participants underwent extensive cognitive testing. OBSERVATIONS: In both groups, signal changes in several brain areas demonstrated significant correlation with RS-activity in the ACC. These comprised the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC, insular cortices, the right caudate, right middle temporal gyrus, angular gyri, the right hippocampus, and the cerebellum. Compared to HC, patients showed increased FC between the ACC and the left angular gyrus, left PCC, and right postcentral gyrus. Better cognitive performance in the patients was associated with increased FC to the cerebellum, middle temporal gyrus, occipital pole, and the angular gyrus. CONCLUSION: We provide evidence for adaptive changes in RS-FC in MS patients compared to HC in a sustained attention network. These results extend and partly mirror findings of task-related fMRI, suggesting FC may increase our understanding of cognitive dysfunction in MS.
Gulbinaite, Rasa; van Viegen, Tara; Wieling, Martijn; Cohen, Michael X; VanRullen, Rufin
Rhythmic visual stimulation ("flicker") is primarily used to "tag" processing of low-level visual and high-level cognitive phenomena. However, preliminary evidence suggests that flicker may also entrain endogenous brain oscillations, thereby modulating cognitive processes supported by those brain rhythms. Here we tested the interaction between 10 Hz flicker and endogenous alpha-band (∼10 Hz) oscillations during a selective visuospatial attention task. We recorded EEG from human participants (both genders) while they performed a modified Eriksen flanker task in which distractors and targets flickered within (10 Hz) or outside (7.5 or 15 Hz) the alpha band. By using a combination of EEG source separation, time-frequency, and single-trial linear mixed-effects modeling, we demonstrate that 10 Hz flicker interfered with stimulus processing more on incongruent than congruent trials (high vs low selective attention demands). Crucially, the effect of 10 Hz flicker on task performance was predicted by the distance between 10 Hz and individual alpha peak frequency (estimated during the task). Finally, the flicker effect on task performance was more strongly predicted by EEG flicker responses during stimulus processing than during preparation for the upcoming stimulus, suggesting that 10 Hz flicker interfered more with reactive than proactive selective attention. These findings are consistent with our hypothesis that visual flicker entrained endogenous alpha-band networks, which in turn impaired task performance. Our findings also provide novel evidence for frequency-dependent exogenous modulation of cognition that is determined by the correspondence between the exogenous flicker frequency and the endogenous brain rhythms. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Here we provide novel evidence that the interaction between exogenous rhythmic visual stimulation and endogenous brain rhythms can have frequency-specific behavioral effects. We show that alpha-band (10 Hz) flicker impairs stimulus
Sarter, Martin; Albin, Roger L; Kucinski, Aaron; Lustig, Cindy
Falls are a major source of hospitalization, long-term institutionalization, and death in older adults and patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Limited attentional resources are a major risk factor for falls. In this review, we specify cognitive-behavioral mechanisms that produce falls and map these mechanisms onto a model of multi-system degeneration. Results from PET studies in PD fallers and findings from a recently developed animal model support the hypothesis that falls result from interactions between loss of basal forebrain cholinergic projections to the cortex and striatal dopamine loss. Striatal dopamine loss produces inefficient, low-vigor gait, posture control, and movement. Cortical cholinergic deafferentation impairs a wide range of attentional processes, including monitoring of gait, posture and complex movements. Cholinergic cell loss reveals the full impact of striatal dopamine loss on motor performance, reflecting loss of compensatory attentional supervision of movement. Dysregulation of dorsomedial striatal circuitry is an essential, albeit not exclusive, mediator of falls in this dual-system model. Because cholinergic neuromodulatory activity influences cortical circuitry primarily via stimulation of α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, and because agonists at these receptors are known to benefit attentional processes in animals and humans, treating PD fallers with such agonists, as an adjunct to dopaminergic treatment, is predicted to reduce falls. Falls are an informative behavioral endpoint to study attentional-motor integration by striatal circuitry. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Udupa, Kaviraja; Bahl, Nina; Ni, Zhen; Gunraj, Carolyn; Mazzella, Filomena; Moro, Elena; Hodaie, Mojgan; Lozano, Andres M; Lang, Anthony E; Chen, Robert
Noninvasive brain stimulation studies have shown abnormal motor cortical plasticity in Parkinson's disease (PD). These studies used peripheral nerve stimulation paired with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to primary motor cortex (M1) at specific intervals to induce plasticity. Induction of cortical plasticity through stimulation of the basal ganglia (BG)-M1 connections has not been studied. In the present study, we used a novel technique of plasticity induction by repeated pairing of deep-brain stimulation (DBS) of the BG with M1 stimulation using TMS. We hypothesize that repeated pairing of subthalamic nucleus (STN)-DBS and M1-TMS at specific time intervals will lead to plasticity in the M1. Ten PD human patients with STN-DBS were studied in the on-medication state with DBS set to 3 Hz. The interstimulus intervals (ISIs) between STN-DBS and TMS that produced cortical facilitation were determined individually for each patient. Three plasticity induction conditions with repeated pairings (180 times) at specific ISIs (∼ 3 and ∼ 23 ms) that produced cortical facilitation and a control ISI of 167 ms were tested in random order. Repeated pairing of STN-DBS and M1-TMS at short (∼ 3 ms) and medium (∼ 23 ms) latencies increased M1 excitability that lasted for at least 45 min, whereas the control condition (fixed ISI of 167 ms) had no effect. There were no specific changes in motor thresholds, intracortical circuits, or recruitment curves. Our results indicate that paired-associative cortical plasticity can be induced by repeated STN and M1 stimulation at specific intervals. These results show that STN-DBS can modulate cortical plasticity. We introduced a new experimental paradigm to test the hypothesis that pairing subthalamic nucleus deep-brain stimulation (STN-DBS) with motor cortical transcranial magnetic stimulation (M1-TMS) at specific times can induce cortical plasticity in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). We found that repeated pairing of STN
Full Text Available Segmentation of brain MR images plays an important role in longitudinal investigation of developmental, aging, disease progression changes in the cerebral cortex. However, most existing brain segmentation methods consider multiple time-point images individually and thus cannot achieve longitudinal consistency. For example, cortical thickness measured from the segmented image will contain unnecessary temporal variations, which will affect the time related change pattern and eventually reduce the statistical power of analysis. In this paper, we propose a 4D segmentation framework for the adult brain MR images with the constraint of cortical thickness variations. Specifically, we utilize local intensity information to address the intensity inhomogeneity, spatial cortical thickness constraint to maintain the cortical thickness being within a reasonable range, and temporal cortical thickness variation constraint in neighboring time-points to suppress the artificial variations. The proposed method has been tested on BLSA dataset and ADNI dataset with promising results. Both qualitative and quantitative experimental results demonstrate the advantage of the proposed method, in comparison to other state-of-the-art 4D segmentation methods.
Davidesco, Ido; Harel, Michal; Ramot, Michal; Kramer, Uri; Kipervasser, Svetlana; Andelman, Fani; Neufeld, Miri Y; Goelman, Gadi; Fried, Itzhak; Malach, Rafael
One of the puzzling aspects in the visual attention literature is the discrepancy between electrophysiological and fMRI findings: whereas fMRI studies reveal strong attentional modulation in the earliest visual areas, single-unit and local field potential studies yielded mixed results. In addition, it is not clear to what extent spatial attention effects extend from early to high-order visual areas. Here we addressed these issues using electrocorticography recordings in epileptic patients. The patients performed a task that allowed simultaneous manipulation of both spatial and object-based attention. They were presented with composite stimuli, consisting of a small object (face or house) superimposed on a large one, and in separate blocks, were instructed to attend one of the objects. We found a consistent increase in broadband high-frequency (30-90 Hz) power, but not in visual evoked potentials, associated with spatial attention starting with V1/V2 and continuing throughout the visual hierarchy. The magnitude of the attentional modulation was correlated with the spatial selectivity of each electrode and its distance from the occipital pole. Interestingly, the latency of the attentional modulation showed a significant decrease along the visual hierarchy. In addition, electrodes placed over high-order visual areas (e.g., fusiform gyrus) showed both effects of spatial and object-based attention. Overall, our results help to reconcile previous observations of discrepancy between fMRI and electrophysiology. They also imply that spatial attention effects can be found both in early and high-order visual cortical areas, in parallel with their stimulus tuning properties.
Full Text Available The muscles that control the pupil are richly innervated by the autonomic nervous system. While there are central pathways that drive pupil dilations in relation to arousal, there is no anatomical evidence that cortical centers involved with visual selective attention innervate the pupil. In this study, we show that such connections must exist. Specifically, we demonstrate a novel Pupil Frequency Tagging (PFT method, where oscillatory changes in stimulus brightness over time are mirrored by pupil constrictions and dilations. We find that the luminance induced pupil oscillations are enhanced when covert attention is directed to the flicker stimulus and when targets are correctly detected in an attentional tracking task. These results suggest that the amplitudes of pupil responses closely follow the allocation of focal visual attention and the encoding of stimuli. PFT provides a new opportunity to study top down visual attention itself as well as identifying the pathways and mechanisms that support this unexpected phenomenon.
Giuliano, Ryan J.; Karns, Christina M.; Neville, Helen J.; Hillyard, Steven A.
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and...
Warren, Stacie L; Crocker, Laura D; Spielberg, Jeffery M; Engels, Anna S; Banich, Marie T; Sutton, Bradley P; Miller, Gregory A; Heller, Wendy
Individual differences in inhibition-related functions have been implicated as risk factors for a broad range of psychopathology, including anxiety and depression. Delineating neural mechanisms of distinct inhibition-related functions may clarify their role in the development and maintenance of psychopathology. The present study tested the hypothesis that activity in common and distinct brain regions would be associated with an ecologically sensitive, self-report measure of inhibition and a laboratory performance measure of prepotent response inhibition. Results indicated that sub-regions of DLPFC distinguished measures of inhibition, whereas left inferior frontal gyrus and bilateral inferior parietal cortex were associated with both types of inhibition. Additionally, co-occurring anxiety and depression modulated neural activity in select brain regions associated with response inhibition. Results imply that specific combinations of anxiety and depression dimensions are associated with failure to implement top-down attentional control as reflected in inefficient recruitment of posterior DLPFC and increased activation in regions associated with threat (MTG) and worry (BA10). Present findings elucidate possible neural mechanisms of interference that could help explain executive control deficits in psychopathology.
Stacie L. Warren
Full Text Available Individual differences in inhibition-related functions have been implicated as risk factors for a broad range of psychopathology, including anxiety and depression. Delineating neural mechanisms of distinct inhibition-related functions may clarify their role in the development and maintenance of psychopathology. The present study tested the hypothesis that activity in common and distinct brain regions would be associated with an ecologically sensitive, self-report measure of inhibition and a laboratory performance measure of prepotent response inhibition. Results indicated that sub-regions of DLPFC distinguished measures of inhibition, whereas left inferior frontal gyrus and bilateral inferior parietal cortex were associated with both types of inhibition. Additionally, co-occurring anxiety and depression modulated neural activity in select brain regions associated with response inhibition. Results imply that specific combinations of anxiety and depression dimensions are associated with failure to implement top-down attentional control as reflected in inefficient recruitment of posterior DLPFC and increased activation in regions associated with threat (MTG and worry (BA10. Present findings elucidate possible neural mechanisms of interference that could help explain executive control deficits in psychopathology.
Pauletti, Caterina; Mannarelli, Daniela; De Lucia, Maria Caterina; Locuratolo, Nicoletta; Currà, Antonio; Missori, Paolo; Marinelli, Lucio; Fattapposta, Francesco
The traditional view of essential tremor (ET) as a monosymptomatic and benign disorder has been reconsidered after patients with ET have been shown to experience cognitive deficits that are also related to attention. The Attention Network Test (ANT) is a rapid, widely used test to measure the efficiency of three attentional networks, i.e. alerting, orienting and executive, by evaluating reaction times (RTs) in response to visual stimuli. The aim of this study was to investigate attentional functioning in ET patients by means of the ANT. 21 non-demented patients with ET and 21 age- and sex-matched healthy controls performed the ANT. RT was significantly longer in ET patients than in controls (p attention in ET patients, probably owing to a dysfunction in the cerebello-thalamo-cortical loop. These selective attentional deficits are not related to clinical motor symptoms, contributing to shed further light on the clinical picture of ET. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Rolls, Edmund T
Cognition can influence emotion by biasing neural activity in the first cortical region in which the reward value and subjective pleasantness of stimuli is made explicit in the representation, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). The same effect occurs in a second cortical tier for emotion, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Similar effects are found for selective attention, to for example the pleasantness vs. the intensity of stimuli, which modulates representations of reward value and affect in the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. The mechanisms for the effects of cognition and attention on emotion are top-down biased competition and top-down biased activation. Affective and mood states can in turn influence memory and perception, by backprojected biasing influences. Emotion-related decision systems operate to choose between gene-specified rewards such as taste, touch, and beauty. Reasoning processes capable of planning ahead with multiple steps held in working memory in the explicit system can allow the gene-specified rewards not to be selected, or to be deferred. The stochastic, noisy, dynamics of decision-making systems in the brain may influence whether decisions are made by the selfish-gene-specified reward emotion system, or by the cognitive reasoning system that explicitly calculates reward values that are in the interests of the individual, the phenotype.
Full Text Available Cognition can influence emotion by biasing neural activity in the first cortical region in which the reward value and subjective pleasantness of stimuli is made explicit in the representation, the orbitofrontal cortex. The same effect occurs in a second cortical tier for emotion, the anterior cingulate cortex. Similar effects are found for selective attention, to for example the pleasantness vs the intensity of stimuli, which modulates representations of reward value and affect in the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. The mechanisms for the effects of cognition and attention on emotion are top-down biased competition and top-down biased activation. Affective and mood states can in turn influence memory and perception, by backprojected biasing influences. Emotion-related decision systems operate to choose between gene-specified rewards such as taste, touch, and beauty. Reasoning processes capable of planning ahead with multiple steps held in working memory in the explicit system can allow the gene-specified rewards not to be selected, or to be deferred. The stochastic, noisy, dynamics of decision-making systems in the brain may influence whether decisions are made by the selfish-gene-specified reward emotion system, or by the cognitive reasoning system that explicitly calculates reward values that are in the interests of the individual, the phenotype.
Legerstee, Jeroen S; Tulen, Joke H M; Kallen, Victor L; Dieleman, Gwen C; Treffers, Philip D A; Verhulst, Frank C; Utens, Elisabeth M W J
The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders and nonresponders. Participants consisted of 131 children with anxiety disorders (aged 8-16 years), who received standardized cognitive-behavioral therapy. At pretreatment, a pictorial dot-probe task was administered to assess selective attention. Both at pretreatment and posttreatment, diagnostic status of the children was evaluated with a semistructured clinical interview (the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children). Selective attention for severely threatening pictures at pretreatment assessment was predictive of treatment success. Examination of the specific components of selective attention revealed that nonresponders showed difficulties to disengage their attention away from severe threat. Treatment responders showed a tendency not to engage their attention toward severe threat. Age was not associated with selective attention and treatment success. Threat-related selective attention is a significant predictor of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders. Clinically anxious children with difficulties disengaging their attention away from severe threat profit less from cognitive-behavioral therapy. For these children, additional training focused on learning to disengage attention away from anxiety-arousing stimuli may be beneficial.
Pauli, Wolfgang M; O'Reilly, Randall C
How does attention interact with learning? Kruschke [Kruschke, J.K. (2001). Toward a unified Model of Attention in Associative Learning. J. Math. Psychol. 45, 812-863.] proposed a model (EXIT) that captures Mackintosh's [Mackintosh, N.J. (1975). A theory of attention: Variations in the associability of stimuli with reinforcement. Psychological Review, 82(4), 276-298.] framework for attentional modulation of associative learning. We developed a computational model that showed analogous interactions between selective attention and associative learning, but is significantly simplified and, in contrast to EXIT, is motivated by neurophysiological findings. Competition among input representations in the internal representation layer, which increases the contrast between stimuli, is critical for simulating these interactions in human behavior. Furthermore, this competition is modulated in a way that might be consistent with the phasic activation of the central cholinergic system, which modulates activity in sensory cortices. Specifically, phasic increases in acetylcholine can cause increased excitability of both pyramidal excitatory neurons in cortical layers II/III and cortical GABAergic inhibitory interneurons targeting the same pyramidal neurons. These effects result in increased attentional contrast in our model. This model thus represents an initial attempt to link human attentional learning data with underlying neural substrates.
Sarter, Martin; Albin, Roger L.; Kucinski, Aaron; Lustig, Cindy
Falls are a major source of hospitalization, long-term institutionalization, and death in older adults and patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Limited attentional resources are a major risk factor for falls. In this review, we specify cognitive–behavioral mechanisms that produce falls and map these mechanisms onto a model of multi-system degeneration. Results from PET studies in PD fallers and findings from a recently developed animal model support the hypothesis that falls result from interactions between loss of basal forebrain cholinergic projections to the cortex and striatal dopamine loss. Striatal dopamine loss produces inefficient, low-vigor gait, posture control, and movement. Cortical cholinergic deafferentation impairs a wide range of attentional processes, including monitoring of gait, posture and complex movements. Cholinergic cell loss reveals the full impact of striatal dopamine loss on motor performance, reflecting loss of compensatory attentional supervision of movement. Dysregulation of dorsomedial striatal circuitry is an essential, albeit not exclusive, mediator of falls in this dual-system model. Because cholinergic neuromodulatory activity influences cortical circuitry primarily via stimulation of α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, and because agonists at these receptors are known to benefit attentional processes in animals and humans, treating PD fallers with such agonists, as an adjunct to dopaminergic treatment, is predicted to reduce falls. Falls are an informative behavioral endpoint to study attentional–motor integration by striatal circuitry. PMID:24805070
Haring, L; Müürsepp, A; Mõttus, R; Ilves, P; Koch, K; Uppin, K; Tarnovskaja, J; Maron, E; Zharkovsky, A; Vasar, E; Vasar, V
In studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), some have reported specific brain structure-function relationships among first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients, but findings are inconsistent. We aimed to localize the brain regions where cortical thickness (CTh) and surface area (cortical area; CA) relate to neurocognition, by performing an MRI on participants and measuring their neurocognitive performance using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), in order to investigate any significant differences between FEP patients and control subjects (CS). Exploration of potential correlations between specific cognitive functions and brain structure was performed using CANTAB computer-based neurocognitive testing and a vertex-by-vertex whole-brain MRI analysis of 63 FEP patients and 30 CS. Significant correlations were found between cortical parameters in the frontal, temporal, cingular and occipital brain regions and performance in set-shifting, working memory manipulation, strategy usage and sustained attention tests. These correlations were significantly dissimilar between FEP patients and CS. Significant correlations between CTh and CA with neurocognitive performance were localized in brain areas known to be involved in cognition. The results also suggested a disrupted structure-function relationship in FEP patients compared with CS.
Yuan, Kai; Cheng, Ping; Dong, Tao; Bi, Yanzhi; Xing, Lihong; Yu, Dahua; Zhao, Limei; Dong, Minghao; von Deneen, Karen M; Liu, Yijun; Qin, Wei; Tian, Jie
Online gaming addiction, as the most popular subtype of Internet addiction, had gained more and more attention from the whole world. However, the structural differences in cortical thickness of the brain between adolescents with online gaming addiction and healthy controls are not well unknown; neither was its association with the impaired cognitive control ability. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging scans from late adolescence with online gaming addiction (n = 18) and age-, education- and gender-matched controls (n = 18) were acquired. The cortical thickness measurement method was employed to investigate alterations of cortical thickness in individuals with online gaming addiction. The color-word Stroop task was employed to investigate the functional implications of the cortical thickness abnormalities. Imaging data revealed increased cortical thickness in the left precentral cortex, precuneus, middle frontal cortex, inferior temporal and middle temporal cortices in late adolescence with online gaming addiction; meanwhile, the cortical thicknesses of the left lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), insula, lingual gyrus, the right postcentral gyrus, entorhinal cortex and inferior parietal cortex were decreased. Correlation analysis demonstrated that the cortical thicknesses of the left precentral cortex, precuneus and lingual gyrus correlated with duration of online gaming addiction and the cortical thickness of the OFC correlated with the impaired task performance during the color-word Stroop task in adolescents with online gaming addiction. The findings in the current study suggested that the cortical thickness abnormalities of these regions may be implicated in the underlying pathophysiology of online gaming addiction.
Studer, Petra; Kratz, Oliver; Gevensleben, Holger; Rothenberger, Aribert; Moll, Gunther H.; Hautzinger, Martin; Heinrich, Hartmut
Neurofeedback (NF) is being successfully applied, among others, in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and as a peak performance training in healthy subjects. However, the neuronal mechanisms mediating a successful NF training have not yet been sufficiently uncovered for both theta/beta (T/B), and slow cortical potential (SCP) training, two protocols established in NF in ADHD. In the present, randomized, controlled investigation in adults without a clinical diagnosis...
McGrath, Daniel S.; Meitner, Amadeus; Sears, Christopher R.
A growing body of research indicates that gamblers develop an attentional bias for gambling-related stimuli. Compared to research on substance use, however, few studies have examined attentional biases in gamblers using eye-gaze tracking, which has many advantages over other measures of attention. In addition, previous studies of attentional biases in gamblers have not directly matched type of gambler with personally-relevant gambling cues. The present study investigated the specificity of at...
Full Text Available Structural brain imaging studies have shown that obesity is associated with widespread reductions in gray matter (GM volume. Although the body mass index (BMI is an easily accessible anthropometric measure, substantial health problems are more related to specific body fat compartments, like visceral adipose tissue (VAT. We investigated cortical thickness measures in a group of 72 healthy subjects (BMI range 20–35 kg/m2, age range 19–50 years. Multiple regression analyses were performed using VAT and BMI as predictors and age, gender, total surface area and education as confounds. BMI and VAT were independently associated with reductions in cortical thickness in clusters comprising the left lateral occipital area, the left inferior temporal cortex, and the left precentral and inferior parietal area, while the right insula, the left fusiform gyrus and the right inferior temporal area showed a negative correlation with VAT only. In addition, we could show significant reductions in cortical thickness with increasing VAT adjusted for BMI in the left temporal cortex. We were able to detect widespread cortical thinning in a young to middle-aged population related to BMI and VAT; these findings show close resemblance to studies focusing on GM volume differences in diabetic patients. This may point to the influence of VAT related adverse effects, like low-grade inflammation, as a potentially harmful factor on brain integrity already in individuals at risk of developing diabetes, metabolic syndromes and arteriosclerosis.
Nakagawa, Julia M; Donkels, Catharina; Fauser, Susanne; Schulze-Bonhage, Andreas; Prinz, Marco; Zentner, Josef; Haas, Carola A
Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is a major cause of pharmacoresistant focal epilepsy. Little is known about the pathomechanisms underlying the characteristic cytoarchitectural abnormalities associated with FCD. In the present study, a broad panel of markers identifying layer-specific neuron subpopulations was applied to characterize dyslamination and structural alterations in FCD with balloon cells (FCD 2b). Pan-neuronal neuronal nuclei (NeuN) and layer-specific protein expression (Reelin, Calbindin, Calretinin, SMI32 (nonphosphorylated neurofilament H), Parvalbumin, transducin-like enhancer protein 4 (TLE4), and Vimentin) was studied by immunohistochemistry on paraffin sections of FCD2b cases (n = 22) and was compared to two control groups with (n = 7) or without epilepsy (n = 4 postmortem cases). Total and layer-specific neuron densities were systematically quantified by cell counting considering age at surgery and brain region. We show that in FCD2b total neuron densities across all six cortical layers were not significantly different from controls. In addition, we present evidence that a basic laminar arrangement of layer-specific neuron subtypes was preserved despite the severe disturbance of cortical structure. SMI32-positive pyramidal neurons showed no significant difference in total numbers, but a reduction in layers III and V. The densities of supragranular Calbindin- and Calretinin-positive interneurons in layers II and III were not different from controls, whereas Parvalbumin-expressing interneurons, primarily located in layer IV, were significantly reduced in numbers when compared to control cases without epilepsy. In layer VI, the density of TLE4-positive projection neurons was significantly increased. Altogether, these data show that changes in cellular composition mainly affect deep cortical layers in FCD2b. The application of a broad panel of markers defining layer-specific neuronal subpopulations revealed that in FCD2b neuronal diversity and a basic
Adam, Kirsten C S; Mance, Irida; Fukuda, Keisuke; Vogel, Edward K
Attentional control and working memory capacity are important cognitive abilities that substantially vary between individuals. Although much is known about how attentional control and working memory capacity relate to each other and to constructs like fluid intelligence, little is known about how trial-by-trial fluctuations in attentional engagement impact trial-by-trial working memory performance. Here, we employ a novel whole-report memory task that allowed us to distinguish between varying levels of attentional engagement in humans performing a working memory task. By characterizing low-performance trials, we can distinguish between models in which working memory performance failures are caused by either (1) complete lapses of attention or (2) variations in attentional control. We found that performance failures increase with set-size and strongly predict working memory capacity. Performance variability was best modeled by an attentional control model of attention, not a lapse model. We examined neural signatures of performance failures by measuring EEG activity while participants performed the whole-report task. The number of items correctly recalled in the memory task was predicted by frontal theta power, with decreased frontal theta power associated with poor performance on the task. In addition, we found that poor performance was not explained by failures of sensory encoding; the P1/N1 response and ocular artifact rates were equivalent for high- and low-performance trials. In all, we propose that attentional lapses alone cannot explain individual differences in working memory performance. Instead, we find that graded fluctuations in attentional control better explain the trial-by-trial differences in working memory that we observe.
Full Text Available Attentional difficulties, both at home and in the classroom, are reported across a number of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, exactly how attention influences early socio-cognitive learning remains unclear. We addressed this question both concurrently and longitudinally in a cross-syndrome design, with respect to the communicative domain of vocabulary and to the cognitive domain of early literacy, and then extended the analysis to social behavior. Participants were young children (aged 4 to 9 years at Time 1 with either Williams syndrome (WS, N=26 or Down syndrome (DS, N=26 and typically developing controls (N=103. Children with WS displayed significantly greater attentional deficits (as indexed by teacher report of behavior typical of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD than children with DS, but both groups had greater attentional problems than the controls. Despite their attention differences, children with DS and those with WS were equivalent in their cognitive abilities of reading single words, both at Time 1 and 12 months later, at Time 2, although they differed in their early communicative abilities in terms of vocabulary. Greater ADHD-like behaviors predicted poorer subsequent literacy for children with DS, but not for children with WS, pointing to syndrome-specific attentional constraints on specific aspects of early development. Overall, our findings highlight the need to investigate more precisely whether and, if so, how, syndrome-specific profiles of behavioral difficulties constrain learning and socio-cognitive outcomes across different domains.
Full Text Available We show, for the first time, that in cortical areas, for example the insular, orbitofrontal, and lateral prefrontal cortex, there is signal-dependent noise in the fMRI blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD time series, with the variance of the noise increasing approximately linearly with the square of the signal. Classical Granger causal models are based on autoregressive models with time invariant covariance structure, and thus do not take this signal-dependent noise into account. To address this limitation, here we describe a Granger causal model with signal-dependent noise, and a novel, likelihood ratio test for causal inferences. We apply this approach to the data from an fMRI study to investigate the source of the top-down attentional control of taste intensity and taste pleasantness processing. The Granger causality with signal-dependent noise analysis reveals effects not identified by classical Granger causal analysis. In particular, there is a top-down effect from the posterior lateral prefrontal cortex to the insular taste cortex during attention to intensity but not to pleasantness, and there is a top-down effect from the anterior and posterior lateral prefrontal cortex to the orbitofrontal cortex during attention to pleasantness but not to intensity. In addition, there is stronger forward effective connectivity from the insular taste cortex to the orbitofrontal cortex during attention to pleasantness than during attention to intensity. These findings indicate the importance of explicitly modeling signal-dependent noise in functional neuroimaging, and reveal some of the processes involved in a biased activation theory of selective attention.
Luke J. Norman
Full Text Available Patients with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and obsessive/compulsive disorder (OCD share problems with sustained attention, and are proposed to share deficits in switching between default mode and task positive networks. The aim of this study was to investigate shared and disorder-specific brain activation abnormalities during sustained attention in the two disorders. Twenty boys with ADHD, 20 boys with OCD and 20 age-matched healthy controls aged between 12 and 18 years completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI version of a parametrically modulated sustained attention task with a progressively increasing sustained attention load. Performance and brain activation were compared between groups. Only ADHD patients were impaired in performance. Group by sustained attention load interaction effects showed that OCD patients had disorder-specific middle anterior cingulate underactivation relative to controls and ADHD patients, while ADHD patients showed disorder-specific underactivation in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex/dorsal inferior frontal gyrus (IFG. ADHD and OCD patients shared left insula/ventral IFG underactivation and increased activation in posterior default mode network relative to controls, but had disorder-specific overactivation in anterior default mode regions, in dorsal anterior cingulate for ADHD and in anterior ventromedial prefrontal cortex for OCD. In sum, ADHD and OCD patients showed mostly disorder-specific patterns of brain abnormalities in both task positive salience/ventral attention networks with lateral frontal deficits in ADHD and middle ACC deficits in OCD, as well as in their deactivation patterns in medial frontal DMN regions. The findings suggest that attention performance in the two disorders is underpinned by disorder-specific activation patterns.
Wingenfeld, Katja; Bullig, Renate; Mensebach, Christoph; Hartje, Wolfgang; Driessen, Martin; Beblo, Thomas
The emotional Stroop task is a widely used method for investigating attentional bias towards stimuli due to mood or affect. In general, standardized stimuli are used, which might not be appropriate when investigating individual contextual frameworks. It was investigated whether words chosen to be related to individuals' personal life events would produce more pronounced Stroop interference (as an indicator of attentional bias) than stimuli without any personal relevance. Twenty-six nonclinical subjects, 20 female and 6 male, participated in the study. Mean age was 36.1 yr. (SD = 18.1). All were recruited by means of local advertising. Stimulus material consisted of four word types: personal words related to negative life events with and without current personal relevance, and negative and neutral words without any personal relevance. Words were presented in three blocks. Analysis of variance showed main effects for word type and blocks, with slower reactions in the personally relevant conditions than in the negative, or neutral conditions, and in response to the first blocks as opposed to the last. These findings indicate that regardless of the word valence, personally relevant stimuli evoke more pronounced Stroop interference than do stimuli without personal relevance.
From genes to brain development to phenotypic behavior: "dorsal-stream vulnerability" in relation to spatial cognition, attention, and planning of actions in Williams syndrome (WS) and other developmental disorders.
Atkinson, Janette; Braddick, Oliver
Visual information is believed to be processed through two distinct, yet interacting cortical streams. The ventral stream performs the computations needed for recognition of objects and faces ("what" and "who"?) and the dorsal stream the computations for registering spatial relationships and for controlling visually guided actions ("where" and "how"?). We initially proposed a model of spatial deficits in Williams syndrome (WS) in which visual abilities subserved by the ventral stream, such as face recognition, are relatively well developed (although not necessarily in exactly the same way as in typical development), whereas dorsal-stream functions, such as visuospatial actions, are markedly impaired. Since these initial findings in WS, deficits of motion coherence sensitivity, a dorsal-stream function has been found in other genetic disorders such as Fragile X and autism, and as a consequence of perinatal events (in hemiplegia, perinatal brain anomalies following very premature birth), leading to the proposal of a general "dorsal-stream vulnerability" in many different conditions of abnormal human development. In addition, dorsal-stream systems provide information used in tasks of visuospatial memory and locomotor planning, and these systems are closely coupled to networks for attentional control. We and several other research groups have previously shown deficits of frontal and parietal lobe function in WS individuals for specific attention tasks [e.g., Atkinson, J., Braddick, O., Anker, S., Curran, W., & Andrew, R. (2003). Neurobiological models of visuospatial cognition in children with Williams Syndrome: Measures of dorsal-stream and frontal function. Developmental Neuropsychology, 23(1/2), 141-174.]. We have used the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch) which aims to attempt to separate components of attention with distinct brain networks (selective attention, sustained attention, and attention control-executive function) testing a group of older
Marshall, T.R.; O'Shea, J.; Jensen, O.; Bergmann, T.O.
Covertly directing visuospatial attention produces a frequency-specific modulation of neuronal oscillations in occipital and parietal cortices: anticipatory alpha (8-12 Hz) power decreases contralateral and increases ipsilateral to attention, whereas stimulus-induced gamma (>40 Hz) power is boosted
J.S. Legerstee (Jeroen); J.H.M. Tulen (Joke); V.L. Kallen (Victor); G.C. Dieleman (Gwen); P.D.A. Treffers (Philip); F.C. Verhulst (Frank); E.M.W.J. Utens (Elisabeth)
textabstractAbstract OBJECTIVE: The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders
Legerstee, Jeroen S.; Tulen, Joke H. M.; Kallen, Victor L.; Dieleman, Gwen C.; Treffers, Philip D. A.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Utens, Elisabeth M. W. J.
The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders and nonresponders. Participants
Wolf, Erika J; Miller, Danielle R; Logue, Mark W; Sumner, Jennifer; Stoop, Tawni B; Leritz, Elizabeth C; Hayes, Jasmeet P; Stone, Annjanette; Schichman, Steven A; McGlinchey, Regina E; Milberg, William P; Miller, Mark W
Research suggests that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) and that PTSD-associated MetS is related to decreased cortical thickness. However, the role of genetic factors in these associations is unclear. This study evaluated contributions of polygenic obesity risk and PTSD to MetS and of MetS and polygenic obesity risk to cortical thickness. 196 white, non-Hispanic veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan underwent clinical diagnostic interviews, physiological assessments, and genome-wide genotyping; 168 also completed magnetic resonance imaging scans. Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) for obesity were calculated from results of a prior genome-wide association study (Speliotes et al., 2010) and PTSD and MetS severity factor scores were obtained. Obesity PRS (β=0.15, p=0.009) and PTSD (β=0.17, p=0.005) predicted MetS and interacted such that the association between PTSD and MetS was stronger in individuals with greater polygenic obesity risk (β=0.13, p=0.02). Whole-brain vertex-wise analyses suggested that obesity PRS interacted with MetS to predict decreased cortical thickness in left rostral middle frontal gyrus (β=-0.40, pobesity genetic risk increases stress-related metabolic pathology, and compounds the ill health effects of MetS on the brain. Genetic proclivity towards MetS should be considered in PTSD patients when prescribing psychotropic medications with adverse metabolic profiles. Results are consistent with a growing literature suggestive of PTSD-related accelerated aging. Published by Elsevier Inc.
San Martín, René; Appelbaum, Lawrence G; Huettel, Scott A; Woldorff, Marty G
Adaptive choice behavior depends critically on identifying and learning from outcome-predicting cues. We hypothesized that attention may be preferentially directed toward certain outcome-predicting cues. We studied this possibility by analyzing event-related potential (ERP) responses in humans during a probabilistic decision-making task. Participants viewed pairs of outcome-predicting visual cues and then chose to wager either a small (i.e., loss-minimizing) or large (i.e., gain-maximizing) amount of money. The cues were bilaterally presented, which allowed us to extract the relative neural responses to each cue by using a contralateral-versus-ipsilateral ERP contrast. We found an early lateralized ERP response, whose features matched the attention-shift-related N2pc component and whose amplitude scaled with the learned reward-predicting value of the cues as predicted by an attention-for-reward model. Consistently, we found a double dissociation involving the N2pc. Across participants, gain-maximization positively correlated with the N2pc amplitude to the most reliable gain-predicting cue, suggesting an attentional bias toward such cues. Conversely, loss-minimization was negatively correlated with the N2pc amplitude to the most reliable loss-predicting cue, suggesting an attentional avoidance toward such stimuli. These results indicate that learned stimulus-reward associations can influence rapid attention allocation, and that differences in this process are associated with individual differences in economic decision-making performance. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full Text Available Given the critical risks to public health and safety that can involve lapses in attention (e.g., through implication in workplace accidents, researchers have sought to develop cognitive-state tracking technologies, capable of alerting individuals engaged in cognitively demanding tasks of potentially dangerous decrements in their levels of attention. The purpose of the present study was to address this issue through an investigation of the reliability of optical measures of cortical correlates of attention in conjunction with machine learning techniques to distinguish between states of full attention and states characterized by reduced attention capacity during a sustained attention task. Seven subjects engaged in a 30 minutes duration sustained attention reaction time task with near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS monitoring over the prefrontal and the right parietal areas. NIRS signals from the first 10 minutes of the task were considered as characterizing the 'full attention' class, while the NIRS signals from the last 10 minutes of the task were considered as characterizing the 'attention decrement' class. A two-class support vector machine algorithm was exploited to distinguish between the two levels of attention using appropriate NIRS-derived signal features. Attention decrement occurred during the task as revealed by the significant increase in reaction time in the last 10 compared to the first 10 minutes of the task (p<.05. The results demonstrate relatively good classification accuracy, ranging from 65 to 90%. The highest classification accuracy results were obtained when exploiting the oxyhemoglobin signals (i.e., from 77 to 89%, depending on the cortical area considered rather than the deoxyhemoglobin signals (i.e., from 65 to 66%. Moreover, the classification accuracy increased to 90% when using signals from the right parietal area rather than from the prefrontal cortex. The results support the feasibility of developing cognitive tracking
Full Text Available BackgroundIn the present study, we explored the possibility of the stability of attention bias and memory bias in currently remitted individuals with unipolar depression compared to currently depressed individuals with unipolar depression and never-depressed individuals. MethodsThe Emotional Stroop and autobiographical memory task were administered on 10 participants, who were currently depressed, currently remitted with unipolar depression, or never-depressed. In the emotional Stroop task (EST, the respondent’s task was to indicate the color of the ink of the positive, negative, and neutral words by selecting one of a series of colored blocks. In the autobiographical memory task (AMT, participants were presented with positive, negative, and neutral cue words. For each word, they were asked to report specific events from their life. ResultsBoth the attention bias and memory bias exist in both the clinical groups. In EST, both currently depressed and currently remitted groups were slower to respond to negative words compared to neutral words. Unlike EST, in AMT both currently depressed and currently remitted groups were slower to respond to positive words compared to neutral words. Interestingly, the capacity to generate specific events for negative events was higher in both currently depressed and currently remitted groups. They were over-general in their memories of positive events. Importantly, the never-depressed group was specific in their memories of both positive and negative events of their life. ConclusionsOur findings provide evidence for the stable existence of attention and memory bias in currently remitted individuals. This study has implications for the cognitive behavior therapy for depression to include modules to resolve the attention and memory bias toward negative thought and content, and to build strategies to overcome such biases.
Alfimova, M V; Uvarova, L G
To search for EEG-correlates of emotional processing that might be indicators of genetic predisposition to schizophrenia, changes in EEG spectral power during perception of neutral and emotionally salient words were examined in 36 schizophrenic patients, 50 of their unaffected first-degree relatives, and 47 healthy individuals without any family history of psychoses. In healthy persons, passive listening to neutral words induced minimum changes in cortical rhythmical activity, predominantly in the form of synchronization of slow and fast waves, whereas perception of emotional words was followed by a generalized depression of the alpha and beta1 activity and a locally specific decrease in the power of theta and beta2 frequency bands. The patients and their relatives showed a decrease in the alpha and beta1 activity simultaneously with an increase in the power of delta activity in response to both groups of words. Thus, in the patients and their relatives, reactions to neutral and emotional words were ulterior as a result of augmented reactions to the neutral words. These findings suggest that the EEG changes reflect familial and possibly hereditable abnormal involuntary attention. No prominent decrease in reactivity to emotional stimuli was revealed in schizophrenic families.
Squire, Ryan F; Noudoost, Behrad; Schafer, Robert J; Moore, Tirin
The faculty of attention endows us with the capacity to process important sensory information selectively while disregarding information that is potentially distracting. Much of our understanding of the neural circuitry underlying this fundamental cognitive function comes from neurophysiological studies within the visual modality. Past evidence suggests that a principal function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is selective attention and that this function involves the modulation of sensory signals within posterior cortices. In this review, we discuss recent progress in identifying the specific prefrontal circuits controlling visual attention and its neural correlates within the primate visual system. In addition, we examine the persisting challenge of precisely defining how behavior should be affected when attentional function is lost.
Chiang, Huey-Ling; Chen, Yu-Jen; Lo, Yu-Chun; Tseng, Wen-Yih I; Gau, Susan S
The neural substrate for clinical symptoms and neuropsychological performance in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has rarely been studied and has yielded inconsistent results. We sought to compare the microstructural property of fibre tracts associated with the prefrontal cortex and its association with ADHD symptoms and a wide range of attention performance in youth with ADHD and healthy controls. We assessed youths with ADHD and age-, sex-, handedness-, coil- and intelligence-matched controls using the Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CCPT) for attention performance and MRI. The 10 target tracts, including the bilateral frontostriatal tracts (caudate to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex), superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and cingulum bundle were reconstructed using diffusion spectrum imaging tractography. We computed generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA) values to indicate tract-specific microstructural property. We included 50 youths with ADHD and 50 healthy controls in our study. Youths with ADHD had lower GFA in the left frontostriatal tracts, bilateral SLF and right cingulum bundle and performed worse in the CCPT than controls. Furthermore, alteration of the right SLF GFA was most significantly associated with the clinical symptom of inattention in youths with ADHD. Finally, youths with ADHD had differential association patterns of the 10 fibre tract GFA values with attention performance compared with controls. Ten of the youths with ADHD were treated with methylphenidate, which may have long-term effects on microstructural property. Our study highlights the importance of the SLF, cingulum bundle and frontostriatal tracts for clinical symptoms and attention performance in youths with ADHD and demonstrates the involvement of different fibre tracts in attention performance in these individuals.
Marti, Sébastien; Sigman, Mariano; Dehaene, Stanislas
Doing two things at once is difficult. When two tasks have to be performed within a short interval, the second is sharply delayed, an effect called the Psychological Refractory Period (PRP). Similarly, when two successive visual targets are briefly flashed, people may fail to detect the second target (Attentional Blink or AB). Although AB and PRP are typically studied in very different paradigms, a recent detailed neuromimetic model suggests that both might arise from the same serial stage during which stimuli gain access to consciousness and, as a result, can be arbitrarily routed to any other appropriate processor. Here, in agreement with this model, we demonstrate that AB and PRP can be obtained on alternate trials of the same cross-modal paradigm and result from limitations in the same brain mechanisms. We asked participants to respond as fast as possible to an auditory target T1 and then to a visual target T2 embedded in a series of distractors, while brain activity was recorded with magneto-encephalography (MEG). For identical stimuli, we observed a mixture of blinked trials, where T2 was entirely missed, and PRP trials, where T2 processing was delayed. MEG recordings showed that PRP and blinked trials underwent identical sensory processing in visual occipito-temporal cortices, even including the non-conscious separation of targets from distractors. However, late activations in frontal cortex (>350 ms), strongly influenced by the speed of task-1 execution, were delayed in PRP trials and absent in blinked trials. Our findings suggest that PRP and AB arise from similar cortical stages, can occur with the same exact stimuli, and are merely distinguished by trial-by-trial fluctuations in task processing. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mattfeld, Aaron T; Gabrieli, John D E; Biederman, Joseph; Spencer, Thomas; Brown, Ariel; Kotte, Amelia; Kagan, Elana; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan
Previous resting state studies examining the brain basis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have not distinguished between patients who persist versus those who remit from the diagnosis as adults. To characterize the neurobiological differences and similarities of persistence and remittance, we performed resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging in individuals who had been longitudinally and uniformly characterized as having or not having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in childhood and again in adulthood (16 years after baseline assessment). Intrinsic functional brain organization was measured in patients who had a persistent diagnosis in childhood and adulthood (n = 13), in patients who met diagnosis in childhood but not in adulthood (n = 22), and in control participants who never had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (n = 17). A positive functional correlation between posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortices, major components of the default-mode network, was reduced only in patients whose diagnosis persisted into adulthood. A negative functional correlation between medial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices was reduced in both persistent and remitted patients. The neurobiological dissociation between the persistence and remittance of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may provide a framework for the relation between the clinical diagnosis, which indicates the need for treatment, and additional deficits that are common, such as executive dysfunctions. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Schupp, Harald Thomas; Flaisch, Tobias; Stockburger, Jessica; Junghöfer, Markus
Emotional pictures guide selective visual attention. A series of event-related brain potential (ERP) studies is reviewed demonstrating the consistent and robust modulation of specific ERP components by emotional images. Specifically, pictures depicting natural pleasant and unpleasant scenes are associated with an increased early posterior negativity, late positive potential, and sustained positive slow wave compared with neutral contents. These modulations are considered to index different st...
Wada, Atsushi; Sakano, Yuichi; Ando, Hiroshi
Glossiness is the visual appearance of an object's surface as defined by its surface reflectance properties. Despite its ecological importance, little is known about the neural substrates underlying its perception. In this study, we performed the first human neuroimaging experiments that directly investigated where the processing of glossiness resides in the visual cortex. First, we investigated the cortical regions that were more activated by observing high glossiness compared with low glossiness, where the effects of simple luminance and luminance contrast were dissociated by controlling the illumination conditions (Experiment 1). As cortical regions that may be related to the processing of glossiness, V2, V3, hV4, VO-1, VO-2, collateral sulcus (CoS), LO-1, and V3A/B were identified, which also showed significant correlation with the perceived level of glossiness. This result is consistent with the recent monkey studies that identified selective neural response to glossiness in the ventral visual pathway, except for V3A/B in the dorsal visual pathway, whose involvement in the processing of glossiness could be specific to the human visual system. Second, we investigated the cortical regions that were modulated by selective attention to glossiness (Experiment 2). The visual areas that showed higher activation to attention to glossiness than that to either form or orientation were identified as right hV4, right VO-2, and right V3A/B, which were commonly identified in Experiment 1. The results indicate that these commonly identified visual areas in the human visual cortex may play important roles in glossiness perception. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
O'Sullivan, James A.; Power, Alan J.; Mesgarani, Nima; Rajaram, Siddharth; Foxe, John J.; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G.; Slaney, Malcolm; Shamma, Shihab A.; Lalor, Edmund C.
How humans solve the cocktail party problem remains unknown. However, progress has been made recently thanks to the realization that cortical activity tracks the amplitude envelope of speech. This has led to the development of regression methods for studying the neurophysiology of continuous speech. One such method, known as stimulus-reconstruction, has been successfully utilized with cortical surface recordings and magnetoencephalography (MEG). However, the former is invasive and gives a relatively restricted view of processing along the auditory hierarchy, whereas the latter is expensive and rare. Thus it would be extremely useful for research in many populations if stimulus-reconstruction was effective using electroencephalography (EEG), a widely available and inexpensive technology. Here we show that single-trial (≈60 s) unaveraged EEG data can be decoded to determine attentional selection in a naturalistic multispeaker environment. Furthermore, we show a significant correlation between our EEG-based measure of attention and performance on a high-level attention task. In addition, by attempting to decode attention at individual latencies, we identify neural processing at ∼200 ms as being critical for solving the cocktail party problem. These findings open up new avenues for studying the ongoing dynamics of cognition using EEG and for developing effective and natural brain–computer interfaces. PMID:24429136
Berger, Anna M; Davelaar, Eddy J
Two competing views about alpha oscillations suggest that cortical alpha reflect either cortical inactivity or cortical processing efficiency. We investigated the role of alpha oscillations in attentional control, as measured with a Stroop task. We used neurofeedback to train 22 participants to increase their level of alpha amplitude. Based on the conflict/control loop theory, we selected to train prefrontal alpha and focus on the Gratton effect as an index of deployment of attentional control. We expected an increase or a decrease in the Gratton effect with increase in neural learning depending on whether frontal alpha oscillations reflect cortical idling or enhanced processing efficiency, respectively. In order to induce variability in neural learning beyond natural occurring individual differences, we provided half of the participants with feedback on alpha amplitude in a 3-dimensional (3D) virtual reality environment and the other half received feedback in a 2D environment. Our results showed variable neural learning rates, with larger rates in the 3D compared to the 2D group, corroborating prior evidence of individual differences in EEG-based learning and the influence of a virtual environment. Regression analyses revealed a significant association between the learning rate and changes on deployment of attentional control, with larger learning rates being associated with larger decreases in the Gratton effect. This association was not modulated by feedback medium. The study supports the view of frontal alpha oscillations being associated with efficient neurocognitive processing and demonstrates the utility of neurofeedback training in addressing theoretical questions in the non-neurofeedback literature. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Ahveninen, Jyrki; Andermann, Mark L; Belliveau, John W; Raij, Tommi; Sams, Mikko
Based on behavioral studies, several relatively distinct perceptual and cognitive functions have been defined in cognitive psychology such as sensory memory, short-term memory, and selective attention. Here, we review evidence suggesting that some of these functions may be supported by shared underlying neuronal mechanisms. Specifically, we present, based on an integrative review of the literature, a hypothetical model wherein short-term plasticity, in the form of transient center-excitatory and surround-inhibitory modulations, constitutes a generic processing principle that supports sensory memory, short-term memory, involuntary attention, selective attention, and perceptual learning. In our model, the size and complexity of receptive fields/level of abstraction of neural representations, as well as the length of temporal receptive windows, increases as one steps up the cortical hierarchy. Consequently, the type of input (bottom-up vs. top down) and the level of cortical hierarchy that the inputs target, determine whether short-term plasticity supports purely sensory vs. semantic short-term memory or attentional functions. Furthermore, we suggest that rather than discrete memory systems, there are continuums of memory representations from short-lived sensory ones to more abstract longer-duration representations, such as those tapped by behavioral studies of short-term memory. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Willems, Charlotte; Herdzin, Johannes; Martens, Sander
Background Attention is restricted for the second of two targets when it is presented within 200-500 ms of the first target. This attentional blink (AB) phenomenon allows one to study the dynamics of temporal selective attention by varying the interval between the two targets (T1 and T2). Whereas the AB has long been considered as a robust and universal cognitive limitation, several studies have demonstrated that AB task performance greatly differs between individuals, with some individuals s...
Zinchenko, A; Al-Amin, M M; Alam, M M; Mahmud, W; Kabir, N; Reza, H M; Burne, T H J
Attentional bias to affective information and reduced cognitive control may maintain the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and impair cognitive functioning. However, the role of content specificity of affective stimuli (e.g., trauma-related, emotional trauma-unrelated) in the observed attentional bias and cognitive control is less clear, as this has not been tested simultaneously before. Therefore, we examined the content specificity of attentional bias to threat in PTSD. PTSD participants (survivors of a multistory factory collapse, n=30) and matched controls (n=30) performed an Eriksen Flanker task. They identified the direction of a centrally presented target arrow, which was flanked by several task-irrelevant distractor arrows pointed to the same (congruent) or opposite direction (incongruent). Additionally, participants were presented with a picture of a face (neutral, emotional) or building (neutral=normal, emotional=collapsed multistory factory) as a task-irrelevant background image. We found that PTSD participants produced overall larger conflict effects and longer reaction times (RT) to emotional than to neutral stimuli relative to their healthy counterparts. Moreover, PTSD, but not healthy participants showed a stimulus specific dissociation in processing emotional stimuli. Emotional faces elicited longer RTs compared to neutral faces, while emotional buildings elicited faster responses, compared to neutral buildings. PTSD patients show a content-sensitive attentional bias to emotional information and impaired cognitive control. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hashimoto, Takanori; Matsubara, Takuro; Lewis, David A
Individuals with schizophrenia show disturbances in a number of brain functions that regulate cognitive, affective, motor, and sensory processing. The cognitive deficits associated with dysfunction of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex result, at least in part, from abnormalities in GABA neurotransmission, as reflected in a specific pattern of altered expression of GABA-related molecules. First, mRNA levels for the 67-kilodalton isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67), an enzyme principally responsible for GABA synthesis, and the GABA membrane transporter GAT1, which regulates the reuptake of synaptically released GABA, are decreased in a subset of GABA neurons. Second, affected GABA neurons include those that express the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin (PV), because PV mRNA levels are decreased in the prefrontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia and GAD67 mRNA is undetectable in almost half of PV-containing neurons. These changes are accompanied by decreased GAT1 expression in the presynaptic terminals of PV-containing neurons and by increased postsynaptic GABA-A receptor alpha2 subunit expression at the axon initial segments of pyramidal neurons. These findings indicate decreased GABA synthesis/release by PV-containing GABA neurons and compensatory changes at synapses formed by these neurons. Third, another subset of GABA neurons that express the neuropeptide somatostatin (SST) also appear to be affected because their specific markers, SST and neuropeptide Y mRNAs, are decreased in a manner highly correlated with the decreases in GAD67 mRNA. Finally, mRNA levels for GABA-A receptor subunits for synaptic (alpha1 and gamma2) and extra-synaptic (delta) receptors are decreased, indicating alterations in both synaptic and extra-synaptic GABA neurotransmission. Together, this pattern of changes indicates that the altered GABA neurotransmission is specific to PV-containing and SST-containing GABA neuron subsets and involves both synaptic and extra
Full Text Available Online gaming addiction, as the most popular subtype of Internet addiction, had gained more and more attention from the whole world. However, the structural differences in cortical thickness of the brain between adolescents with online gaming addiction and healthy controls are not well unknown; neither was its association with the impaired cognitive control ability. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging scans from late adolescence with online gaming addiction (n = 18 and age-, education- and gender-matched controls (n = 18 were acquired. The cortical thickness measurement method was employed to investigate alterations of cortical thickness in individuals with online gaming addiction. The color-word Stroop task was employed to investigate the functional implications of the cortical thickness abnormalities. Imaging data revealed increased cortical thickness in the left precentral cortex, precuneus, middle frontal cortex, inferior temporal and middle temporal cortices in late adolescence with online gaming addiction; meanwhile, the cortical thicknesses of the left lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC, insula, lingual gyrus, the right postcentral gyrus, entorhinal cortex and inferior parietal cortex were decreased. Correlation analysis demonstrated that the cortical thicknesses of the left precentral cortex, precuneus and lingual gyrus correlated with duration of online gaming addiction and the cortical thickness of the OFC correlated with the impaired task performance during the color-word Stroop task in adolescents with online gaming addiction. The findings in the current study suggested that the cortical thickness abnormalities of these regions may be implicated in the underlying pathophysiology of online gaming addiction.
Walsh-Messinger, Julie; Ramirez, Paul Michael; Wong, Philip; Antonius, Daniel; Aujero, Nicole; McMahon, Kevin; Opler, Lewis A; Malaspina, Dolores
Emotion plays a critical role in cognition and goal-directed behavior via complex interconnections between the emotional and motivational systems. It has been hypothesized that the impairment in goal-directed behavior widely noted in schizophrenia may result from defects in the interaction between the neural (ventral) emotional system and (rostral) cortical processes. The present study examined the impact of emotion on attention and memory in schizophrenia. Twenty-five individuals with schizophrenia related psychosis and 25 healthy control subjects were administered a computerized task in which they were asked to search for target images during a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation of pictures. Target stimuli were either positive or negative, or neutral images presented at either 200ms or 700ms lag. Additionally, a visual hedonic task was used to assess differences between the schizophrenia group and controls on ratings of valence and arousal from the picture stimuli. Compared to controls, individuals with schizophrenia detected fewer emotional images under both the 200ms and 700ms lag conditions. Multivariate analyses showed that the schizophrenia group also detected fewer positive images under the 700ms lag condition and fewer negative images under the 200ms lag condition. Individuals with schizophrenia reported higher pleasantness and unpleasantness ratings than controls in response to neutral stimuli, while controls reported higher arousal ratings for neutral and positive stimuli compared to the schizophrenia group. These results highlight dysfunction in the neural modulation of emotion, attention, and cortical processing in schizophrenia, adding to the growing but mixed body of literature on emotion processing in the disorder. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Distinct domains of the prefrontal cortex in primates have a set of connections suggesting that they have different roles in cognition, memory, and emotion. Caudal lateral prefrontal areas (areas 8 and 46) receive projections from cortices representing early stages in visual or auditory processing, and from intraparietal and posterior cingulate areas associated with oculomotor guidance and attentional processes. Cortical input to areas 46 and 8 is complemented by projections from the thalamic multiform and parvicellular sectors of the mediodorsal nucleus associated with oculomotor functions and working memory. In contrast, caudal orbitofrontal areas receive diverse input from cortices representing late stages of processing within every unimodal sensory cortical system. In addition, orbitofrontal and caudal medial (limbic) prefrontal cortices receive robust projections from the amygdala, associated with emotional memory, and from medial temporal and thalamic structures associated with long-term memory. Prefrontal cortices are linked with motor control structures related to their specific roles in central executive functions. Caudal lateral prefrontal areas project to brainstem oculomotor structures, and are connected with premotor cortices effecting head, limb and body movements. In contrast, medial prefrontal and orbitofrontal limbic cortices project to hypothalamic visceromotor centers for the expression of emotions. Lateral, orbitofrontal, and medial prefrontal cortices are robustly interconnected, suggesting that they participate in concert in central executive functions. Prefrontal limbic cortices issue widespread projections through their deep layers and terminate in the upper layers of lateral (eulaminate) cortices, suggesting a predominant role in feedback communication. In contrast, when lateral prefrontal cortices communicate with limbic areas they issue projections from their upper layers and their axons terminate in the deep layers, suggesting a role in
Chen, Huayue; Zhou, Xiangrong; Fujita, Hiroshi; Onozuka, Minoru; Kubo, Kin-Ya
The elderly population has substantially increased worldwide. Aging is a complex process, and the effects of aging are myriad and insidious, leading to progressive deterioration of various organs, including the skeleton. Age-related bone loss and resultant osteoporosis in the elderly population increase the risk for fractures and morbidity. Osteoporosis is one of the most common conditions associated with aging, and age is an independent risk factor for osteoporotic fractures. With the development of noninvasive imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT), micro-CT, and high resolution peripheral quantitative CT (HR-pQCT), imaging of the bone architecture provides important information about age-related changes in bone microstructure and estimates of bone strength. In the past two decades, studies of human specimens using imaging techniques have revealed decreased bone strength in older adults compared with younger adults. The present paper addresses recently studied age-related changes in trabecular and cortical bone microstructure based primarily on HR-pQCT and micro-CT. We specifically focus on the three-dimensional microstructure of the vertebrae, femoral neck, and distal radius, which are common osteoporotic fracture sites.
Van Den Boer, Madelon; Van Bergen, Elsje; de Jong, Peter F.
Visual attention span, the number of orthographic units that can be processed at a glance, has been shown to predict reading performance in orthographically opaque languages (i.e., French and English), independent from phonological awareness. Whether this relation is also found in Dutch, a more
Herring, Jim D; Thut, Gregor; Jensen, Ole; Bergmann, Til O
Cortical oscillations, such as 8-12 Hz alpha-band activity, are thought to subserve gating of information processing in the human brain. While most of the supporting evidence is correlational, causal evidence comes from attempts to externally drive ("entrain") these oscillations by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Indeed, the frequency profile of TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) closely resembles that of oscillations spontaneously emerging in the same brain region. However, it is unclear whether TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are produced by the same neuronal mechanisms. If so, they should react in a similar manner to top-down modulation by endogenous attention. To test this prediction, we assessed the alpha-like EEG response to TMS of the visual cortex during periods of high and low visual attention while participants attended to either the visual or auditory modality in a cross-modal attention task. We observed a TMS-locked local oscillatory alpha response lasting several cycles after TMS (but not after sham stimulation). Importantly, TMS-locked alpha power was suppressed during deployment of visual relative to auditory attention, mirroring spontaneous alpha amplitudes. In addition, the early N40 TEP component, located at the stimulation site, was amplified by visual attention. The extent of attentional modulation for both TMS-locked alpha power and N40 amplitude did depend, with opposite sign, on the individual ability to modulate spontaneous alpha power at the stimulation site. We therefore argue that TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are of common neurophysiological origin, whereas the N40 TEP component may serve as an index of current cortical excitability at the time of stimulation. Copyright © 2015 Herring et al.
Full Text Available Background. The study of the attentional system remains a challenge for current neuroscience. The Attention Network Test (ANT was designed to study simultaneously three different attentional networks (alerting, orienting and executive based in subtraction of different experimental conditions. However, some studies recommend caution with these calculations due to the interactions between the attentional networks. In particular, it is highly relevant that several interpretations about attentional impairment have arisen from these calculations in diverse pathologies. Event Related Potentials (ERPs and neural source analysis can be applied to disentangle the relationships between these attentional networks not specifically shown by behavioural measures. Results. This study shows that there is a basic level of alerting (tonic alerting in the no cue condition, represented by a slow negative trend in the ERP trace prior to the onset of the target stimuli. A progressive increase in the CNV amplitude related to the amount of information provided by the cue conditions is also shown. Neural source analysis reveals specific modulations of the CNV related to a task-related expectancy presented in the no cue condition; a late modulation triggered by the central cue condition and probably representing a generic motor preparation; and an early and late modulation for spatial cue condition suggesting specific motor and sensory preactivation. Finally, the first component in the information processing of the target stimuli modulated by the interaction between orienting network and the executive system can be represented by N1. Conclusions. The ANT is useful as a paradigm to study specific attentional mechanisms and their interactions. However, calculation of network effects is based in subtractions with non-comparable experimental conditions, as evidenced by the present data, which can induce misinterpretations in the study of the attentional capacity in human
Robison, Matthew K; Unsworth, Nash
Although individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) typically predict susceptibility to attentional capture in various paradigms (e.g., Stroop, antisaccade, flankers), it sometimes fails to correlate with the magnitude of attentional capture effects in visual search (e.g., Stokes, 2016), which is 1 of the most frequently studied tasks to study capture (Theeuwes, 2010). But some studies have shown that search modes can mitigate the effects of attentional capture (Leber & Egeth, 2006). Therefore, the present study examined whether or not the relationship between WMC and attentional capture changes as a function of the search modes available. In Experiment 1, WMC was unrelated to attentional capture, but only 1 search mode (singleton-detection) could be employed. In Experiment 2, greater WMC predicted smaller attentional capture effects, but only when multiple search modes (feature-search and singleton-detection) could be employed. Importantly this relationship was entirely independent of variation in attention control, which suggests that this effect is driven by WMC-related long-term memory differences (Cosman & Vecera, 2013a, 2013b). The present set of findings help to further our understanding of the nuanced ways in which memory and attention interact. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Du, Feng; Jiao, Jun
The present study used a spatial blink task and a cuing task to examine the boundary between feature-based capture and relation-based capture. Feature-based capture occurs when distractors match the target feature such as target color. The occurrence of relation-based capture is contingent upon the feature relation between target and distractor (e.g., color relation). The results show that color distractors that match the target-nontarget color relation do not consistently capture attention when they appear outside of the attentional window, but distractors appearing outside the attentional window that match the target color consistently capture attention. In contrast, color distractors that best match the target-nontarget color relation but not the target color, are more likely to capture attention when they appear within the attentional window. Consistently, color cues that match the target-nontarget color relation produce a cuing effect when they appear within the attentional window, while target-color matched cues do not. Such a double dissociation between color-based capture and color-relation-based capture indicates functionally distinct mechanisms for these 2 types of attentional selection. This also indicates that the spatial blink task and the uninformative cuing task are measuring distinctive aspects of involuntary attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Martínez-Cerdeño, Verónica; Camacho, Jasmin; Fox, Elizabeth; Miller, Elaine; Ariza, Jeanelle; Kienzle, Devon; Plank, Kaela; Noctor, Stephen C; Van de Water, Judy
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) affect up to 1 in 68 children. Autism-specific autoantibodies directed against fetal brain proteins have been found exclusively in a subpopulation of mothers whose children were diagnosed with ASD or maternal autoantibody-related autism. We tested the impact of autoantibodies on brain development in mice by transferring human antigen-specific IgG directly into the cerebral ventricles of embryonic mice during cortical neurogenesis. We show that autoantibodies recognize radial glial cells during development. We also show that prenatal exposure to autism-specific maternal autoantibodies increased stem cell proliferation in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the embryonic neocortex, increased adult brain size and weight, and increased the size of adult cortical neurons. We propose that prenatal exposure to autism-specific maternal autoantibodies directly affects radial glial cell development and presents a viable pathologic mechanism for the maternal autoantibody-related prenatal ASD risk factor. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lukito, Steve; Jones, Catherine R G; Pickles, Andrew; Baird, Gillian; Happé, Francesca; Charman, Tony; Simonoff, Emily
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently demonstrate symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Previous findings in children with ASD have suggested that these symptoms are associated with an impairment in executive function (EF) abilities. However, studies rarely considered this association within a single framework that controls for other related factors such as Theory of Mind (ToM) abilities and ASD symptoms. We used structural equation modeling to explore the relations among EF, ToM, and symptoms of ASD and ADHD, using data from a population-based sample of 100 adolescents with ASD and full-scale IQ ≥ 50 (the Special Needs and Autism Project (SNAP) cohort). The study used a multi-measure and multi-informant approach, where performance of inhibition, planning, switching, and working memory tasks indexed EF and performance on tasks involving mentalizing indexed ToM. Measures of ASD and ADHD symptoms included parent and teacher reports and direct observation of the children. Shared source of symptom reporting was accounted for with a parental rating latent factor indexed by symptom measures reported by parents. Impairments in EF abilities were specifically associated with ADHD symptoms while impaired ToM was specifically associated with ASD symptoms, when accounting for the associations of each cognitive domain with the other factors. ASD and ADHD symptom latent factors were also correlated, but this association became nonsignificant once the shared source of reporting from parents was accounted for and within a model that also controlled for the correlated pathway between EF and ToM factors. The specific relations between the cognitive domains and behavioral symptoms remained even after controlling for IQ. In this ASD sample, symptoms of ADHD and ASD are underpinned by separate cognitive domains. The association between EF and ToM impairments is a likely partial explanation for the co-occurrence of ADHD symptoms in ASD
Niermann, Hannah C M; Scheres, Anouk
Procrastination is defined as the tendency to delay activities that have to be completed before a deadline. It is often part of psychotherapies for adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, procrastination is officially not acknowledged as an ADHD-related symptom. Therefore, little is known about the role of procrastination in ADHD. We investigated the relation between procrastination and ADHD-related symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in 54 students with varying levels of self-reported ADHD-related behaviours. Various measures of procrastination were used, including questionnaires of academic, general procrastination and susceptibility to temptation as well as direct observation of academic procrastination while solving math problems. We expected a positive relation between severity of ADHD-related behaviours and procrastination, specifically for impulsivity. However, partial correlations (corrected for the other symptom domain of ADHD) indicated that only inattention was correlated with general procrastination. This specific and preliminary finding can stimulate future research in individuals diagnosed with ADHD. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Taís Pasquotto Andreoli
Full Text Available The most of exposure of individuals to brand ads happens on mere exposure condition, when the stimuli are available in the context, but aren´t necessarily actively processed, but yet unconsiously, at the preattentive level. Despite the lack of individual intention and conscious, it emphasizes the ability of preattentive processing on influencing memory and judgement on stimuli receiving. In the light of the above, the study has with aim to analize the influency diferences in the individual receiver according with the level of attention used on the brand ad processing. To that, the study adopted a concepctual base with the attention process under a complex perspective, subdivided into preattention and attention, and the influency of attention in the memory of individual receiver. Using a hipothteical-dedutivo method, the explicit and implicit memory and the brand valuation were analysed and compared between three different attention levels (preattention, divided attention and drived attention. As contribution, the study support three of the four traced hypotheses: implicit memory independent of the level of attention; explicit memory in larger levels of attention; brand valuation on preattetinve processing higher than those expected by chance, but without diferences between the three attention levels.
Gilbert, Charles D; Li, Wu; Piech, Valentin
The visual cortex retains the capacity for experience-dependent changes, or plasticity, of cortical function and cortical circuitry, throughout life. These changes constitute the mechanism of perceptual learning in normal visual experience and in recovery of function after CNS damage. Such plasticity can be seen at multiple stages in the visual pathway, including primary visual cortex. The manifestation of the functional changes associated with perceptual learning involve both long term modification of cortical circuits during the course of learning, and short term dynamics in the functional properties of cortical neurons. These dynamics are subject to top-down influences of attention, expectation and perceptual task. As a consequence, each cortical area is an adaptive processor, altering its function in accordance to immediate perceptual demands.
Yao, Lin; Chen, Mei Lin; Sheng, Xinjun
We have recently developed an associative Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) for neuromodulation in chronic and acute stroke patients that leads to functional improvements. The control signal is the movement related cortical potential (MRCP) that develops prior to movement execution. The MRCP increases...
Schmeichel, Brandon J; Crowell, Adrienne; Harmon-Jones, Eddie
Self-control refers to the capacity to override or alter a predominant response tendency. The current experiment tested the hypothesis that exercising self-control temporarily increases approach motivation, as revealed by patterns of electrical activity in the prefrontal cortex. Participants completed a writing task that did vs did not require them to exercise self-control. Then they viewed pictures known to evoke positive, negative or neutral affect. We assessed electroencephalographic (EEG) activity while participants viewed the pictures, and participants reported their trait levels of behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and behavioral activation system (BAS) sensitivity at the end of the study. We found that exercising (vs not exercising) self-control increased relative left frontal cortical activity during picture viewing, particularly among individuals with relatively higher BAS than BIS, and particularly during positive picture viewing. A similar but weaker pattern emerged during negative picture viewing. The results suggest that exercising self-control temporarily increases approach motivation, which may help to explain the aftereffects of self-control (i.e. ego depletion). © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Szpak, Ancret; Loetscher, Tobias; Churches, Owen; Thomas, Nicole A; Spence, Charles J; Nicholls, Michael E R
Being in close social proximity to a stranger is generally perceived to be an uncomfortable experience, which most people seek to avoid. In circumstances where crowding is unavoidable, however, people may seek to withdraw their attention from the other person. This study examined whether social discomfort, as indexed by electrodermal activity, is related to a withdrawal of attention in 28 (m=8, f=20) university students. Students performed a radial line bisection task while alone or together with a stranger facing them. Physiological arousal was indexed by a wrist monitor, which recorded electrodermal activity. Correlational analyses showed that individuals who displayed physiological discomfort when together showed a withdrawal of the perceived midpoint of the line towards them (and away from the stranger). Conversely, individuals who showed no discomfort exhibited an expansion of the perceived midpoint away from them. We propose that participants shift their attention away from the stranger to increase interpersonal distance and reduce anxiety/arousal. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fritz, Jonathan B; Elhilali, Mounya; David, Stephen V; Shamma, Shihab A
Acoustic filter properties of A1 neurons can dynamically adapt to stimulus statistics, classical conditioning, instrumental learning and the changing auditory attentional focus. We have recently developed an experimental paradigm that allows us to view cortical receptive field plasticity on-line as the animal meets different behavioral challenges by attending to salient acoustic cues and changing its cortical filters to enhance performance. We propose that attention is the key trigger that initiates a cascade of events leading to the dynamic receptive field changes that we observe. In our paradigm, ferrets were initially trained, using conditioned avoidance training techniques, to discriminate between background noise stimuli (temporally orthogonal ripple combinations) and foreground tonal target stimuli. They learned to generalize the task for a wide variety of distinct background and foreground target stimuli. We recorded cortical activity in the awake behaving animal and computed on-line spectrotemporal receptive fields (STRFs) of single neurons in A1. We observed clear, predictable task-related changes in STRF shape while the animal performed spectral tasks (including single tone and multi-tone detection, and two-tone discrimination) with different tonal targets. A different set of task-related changes occurred when the animal performed temporal tasks (including gap detection and click-rate discrimination). Distinctive cortical STRF changes may constitute a "task-specific signature". These spectral and temporal changes in cortical filters occur quite rapidly, within 2min of task onset, and fade just as quickly after task completion, or in some cases, persisted for hours. The same cell could multiplex by differentially changing its receptive field in different task conditions. On-line dynamic task-related changes, as well as persistent plastic changes, were observed at a single-unit, multi-unit and population level. Auditory attention is likely to be pivotal in
Fernandez-Mendoza, Julio; Li, Yun; Vgontzas, Alexandros N.; Fang, Jidong; Gaines, Jordan; Calhoun, Susan L.; Liao, Duanping; Bixler, Edward O.
Study Objectives: To examine whether insomnia is associated with spectral electroencephalographic (EEG) dynamics in the beta (15–35Hz) range during sleep in an adolescent general population sample. Methods: A case-control sample of 44 adolescents from the Penn State Child Cohort underwent a 9-h polysomnography, clinical history and physical examination. We examined low-beta (15–25 Hz) and high-beta (25–35 Hz) relative power at central EEG derivations during sleep onset latency (SOL), sleep onset (SO), non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, and wake after sleep onset (WASO). Results: Compared to controls (n = 21), individuals with insomnia (n = 23) showed increased SOL and WASO and decreased sleep duration and efficiency, while no differences in sleep architecture were found. Insomniacs showed increased low-beta and high-beta relative power during SOL, SO, and NREM sleep as compared to controls. High-beta relative power was greater during all sleep and wake states in insomniacs with short sleep duration as compared to individuals with insomnia with normal sleep duration. Conclusions: Adolescent insomnia is associated with increased beta EEG power during sleep, which suggests that cortical hyperarousal is present in individuals with insomnia as early as adolescence. Interestingly, cortical hyperarousal is greatest in individuals with insomnia with short sleep duration and may explain the sleep complaints of those with normal sleep duration. Disturbed cortical networks may be a shared mechanism putting individuals with insomnia at risk of psychiatric disorders. Citation: Fernandez-Mendoza J, Li Y, Vgontzas AN, Fang J, Gaines J, Calhoun SL, Liao D, Bixler EO. Insomnia is associated with cortical hyperarousal as early as adolescence. SLEEP 2016;39(5):1029–1036. PMID:26951400
Chen, Zuyue; Parkkonen, Lauri; Wei, Jingkuan; Dong, Jin-Run; Ma, Yuanye; Carlson, Synnöve
Prepulse inhibition (PPI) refers to a decreased response to a startling stimulus when another weaker stimulus precedes it. Most PPI studies have focused on the physiological startle reflex and fewer have reported the PPI of cortical responses. We recorded local field potentials (LFPs) in four monkeys and investigated whether the PPI of auditory cortical responses (alpha, beta, and gamma oscillations and evoked potentials) can be demonstrated in the caudolateral belt of the superior temporal gyrus (STGcb). We also investigated whether the presence of a conspecific, which draws attention away from the auditory stimuli, affects the PPI of auditory cortical responses. The PPI paradigm consisted of Pulse-only and Prepulse + Pulse trials that were presented randomly while the monkey was alone (ALONE) and while another monkey was present in the same room (ACCOMP). The LFPs to the Pulse were significantly suppressed by the Prepulse thus, demonstrating PPI of cortical responses in the STGcb. The PPI-related inhibition of the N1 amplitude of the evoked responses and cortical oscillations to the Pulse were not affected by the presence of a conspecific. In contrast, gamma oscillations and the amplitude of the N1 response to Pulse-only were suppressed in the ACCOMP condition compared to the ALONE condition. These findings demonstrate PPI in the monkey STGcb and suggest that the PPI of auditory cortical responses in the monkey STGcb is a pre-attentive inhibitory process that is independent of attentional modulation.
Michael Dawson Nunez
Full Text Available Sequential sampling decision-making models have been successful in accounting for reactiontime (RT and accuracy data in two-alternative forced choice tasks. These models have beenused to describe the behavior of populations of participants, and explanatory structures havebeen proposed to account for between individual variability in model parameters. In this studywe show that individual differences in behavior from a novel perceptual decision making taskcan be attributed to 1 differences in evidence accumulation rates, 2 differences in variability ofevidence accumulation within trials, and 3 differences in non-decision times across individuals.Using electroencephalography (EEG, we demonstrate that these differences in cognitivevariables, in turn, can be explained by attentional differences as measured by phase-lockingof steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP responses to the signal and noise componentsof the visual stimulus. Parameters of a cognitive model (a diffusion model were obtained fromaccuracy and RT distributions and related to phase-locking indices (PLIs of SSVEPs with asingle step in a hierarchical Bayesian framework. Participants who were able to suppress theSSVEP response to visual noise in high frequency bands were able to accumulate correctevidence faster and had shorter non-decision times (preprocessing or motor response times,leading to more accurate responses and faster response times. We show that the combinationof cognitive modeling and neural data in a hierarchical Bayesian framework relates physiologicalprocesses to the cognitive processes of participants, and that a model with a new (out-of-sample participant’s neural data can predict that participant’s behavior more accurately thanmodels without physiological data.
Full Text Available The elderly population has substantially increased worldwide. Aging is a complex process, and the effects of aging are myriad and insidious, leading to progressive deterioration of various organs, including the skeleton. Age-related bone loss and resultant osteoporosis in the elderly population increase the risk for fractures and morbidity. Osteoporosis is one of the most common conditions associated with aging, and age is an independent risk factor for osteoporotic fractures. With the development of noninvasive imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT, micro-CT, and high resolution peripheral quantitative CT (HR-pQCT, imaging of the bone architecture provides important information about age-related changes in bone microstructure and estimates of bone strength. In the past two decades, studies of human specimens using imaging techniques have revealed decreased bone strength in older adults compared with younger adults. The present paper addresses recently studied age-related changes in trabecular and cortical bone microstructure based primarily on HR-pQCT and micro-CT. We specifically focus on the three-dimensional microstructure of the vertebrae, femoral neck, and distal radius, which are common osteoporotic fracture sites.
Bunce, Jamie G; Zikopoulos, Basilis; Feinberg, Marcia; Barbas, Helen
To investigate how prefrontal cortices impinge on medial temporal cortices we labeled pathways from the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and posterior orbitofrontal cortex (pOFC) in rhesus monkeys to compare their relationship with excitatory and inhibitory systems in rhinal cortices. The ACC pathway terminated mostly in areas 28 and 35 with a high proportion of large terminals, whereas the pOFC pathway terminated mostly through small terminals in area 36 and sparsely in areas 28 and 35. Both pathways terminated in all layers. Simultaneous labeling of pathways and distinct neurochemical classes of inhibitory neurons, followed by analyses of appositions of presynaptic and postsynaptic fluorescent signal, or synapses, showed overall predominant association with spines of putative excitatory neurons, but also significant interactions with presumed inhibitory neurons labeled for calretinin, calbindin, or parvalbumin. In the upper layers of areas 28 and 35 the ACC pathway was associated with dendrites of neurons labeled with calretinin, which are thought to disinhibit neighboring excitatory neurons, suggesting facilitated hippocampal access. In contrast, in area 36 pOFC axons were associated with dendrites of calbindin neurons, which are poised to reduce noise and enhance signal. In the deep layers, both pathways innervated mostly dendrites of parvalbumin neurons, which strongly inhibit neighboring excitatory neurons, suggesting gating of hippocampal output to other cortices. These findings suggest that the ACC, associated with attention and context, and the pOFC, associated with emotional valuation, have distinct contributions to memory in rhinal cortices, in processes that are disrupted in psychiatric diseases. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Verghese, Ashika; Kolbe, Scott C; Anderson, Andrew J; Egan, Gary F; Vidyasagar, Trichur R
Heavy demands are placed on the brain's attentional capacity when selecting a target item in a cluttered visual scene, or when reading. It is widely accepted that such attentional selection is mediated by top-down signals from higher cortical areas to early visual areas such as the primary visual cortex (V1). Further, it has also been reported that there is considerable variation in the surface area of V1. This variation may impact on either the number or specificity of attentional feedback signals and, thereby, the efficiency of attentional mechanisms. In this study, we investigated whether individual differences between humans performing attention-demanding tasks can be related to the functional area of V1. We found that those with a larger representation in V1 of the central 12° of the visual field as measured using BOLD signals from fMRI were able to perform a serial search task at a faster rate. In line with recent suggestions of the vital role of visuo-spatial attention in reading, the speed of reading showed a strong positive correlation with the speed of visual search, although it showed little correlation with the size of V1. The results support the idea that the functional size of the primary visual cortex is an important determinant of the efficiency of selective spatial attention for simple tasks, and that the attentional processing required for complex tasks like reading are to a large extent determined by other brain areas and inter-areal connections. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Maunsell, John H. R.
cued blocks of trials. Behavioral performance and neuronal responses during neutral cueing were intermediate to those of the cued and uncued conditions. We found no signatures of a single mechanism of attention that switches between stimulus locations. Thus, attention-related changes in neuronal activity are largely hemisphere-specific and graded according to task demands. PMID:27170131
Mayo, J Patrick; Maunsell, John H R
performance and neuronal responses during neutral cueing were intermediate to those of the cued and uncued conditions. We found no signatures of a single mechanism of attention that switches between stimulus locations. Thus, attention-related changes in neuronal activity are largely hemisphere-specific and graded according to task demands. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/365353-09$15.00/0.
Chaves-Coira, Irene; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Rodrigo-Angulo, Margarita; Núñez, Ángel
Neocortical cholinergic activity plays a fundamental role in sensory processing and cognitive functions. Previous results have suggested a refined anatomical and functional topographical organization of basal forebrain (BF) projections that may control cortical sensory processing in a specific manner. We have used retrograde anatomical procedures to demonstrate the existence of specific neuronal groups in the BF involved in the control of specific sensory cortices. Fluoro-Gold (FlGo) and Fast Blue (FB) fluorescent retrograde tracers were deposited into the primary somatosensory (S1) and primary auditory (A1) cortices in mice. Our results revealed that the BF is a heterogeneous area in which neurons projecting to different cortical areas are segregated into different neuronal groups. Most of the neurons located in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB) projected to the S1 cortex, indicating that this area is specialized in the sensory processing of tactile stimuli. However, the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (B) nucleus shows a similar number of cells projecting to the S1 as to the A1 cortices. In addition, we analyzed the cholinergic effects on the S1 and A1 cortical sensory responses by optogenetic stimulation of the BF neurons in urethane-anesthetized transgenic mice. We used transgenic mice expressing the light-activated cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2, tagged with a fluorescent protein (ChR2-YFP) under the control of the choline-acetyl transferase promoter (ChAT). Cortical evoked potentials were induced by whisker deflections or by auditory clicks. According to the anatomical results, optogenetic HDB stimulation induced more extensive facilitation of tactile evoked potentials in S1 than auditory evoked potentials in A1, while optogenetic stimulation of the B nucleus facilitated either tactile or auditory evoked potentials equally. Consequently, our results suggest that cholinergic projections to the cortex are organized into segregated
Aguado, Jaume; Baez, Sandra; Huepe, David; Lopez, Vladimir; Ortega, Rodrigo; Sigman, Mariano; Mikulan, Ezequiel; Lischinsky, Alicia; Torrente, Fernando; Cetkovich, Marcelo; Torralva, Teresa; Bekinschtein, Tristan; Manes, Facundo
It is commonly assumed that early emotional signals provide relevant information for social cognition tasks. The goal of this study was to test the association between (a) cortical markers of face emotional processing and (b) social-cognitive measures, and also to build a model which can predict this association (a and b) in healthy volunteers as well as in different groups of psychiatric patients. Thus, we investigated the early cortical processing of emotional stimuli (N170, using a face and word valence task) and their relationship with the social-cognitive profiles (SCPs, indexed by measures of theory of mind, fluid intelligence, speed processing and executive functions). Group comparisons and individual differences were assessed among schizophrenia (SCZ) patients and their relatives, individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), individuals with euthymic bipolar disorder (BD) and healthy participants (educational level, handedness, age and gender matched). Our results provide evidence of emotional N170 impairments in the affected groups (SCZ and relatives, ADHD and BD) as well as subtle group differences. Importantly, cortical processing of emotional stimuli predicted the SCP, as evidenced by a structural equation model analysis. This is the first study to report an association model of brain markers of emotional processing and SCP. PMID:23685775
Krusemark, Elizabeth A; Kiehl, Kent A; Newman, Joseph P
Psychopathic individuals are prone to act on urges without adequate consideration of future consequences or the rights of other individuals. One interpretation of this behavior is that it reflects abnormal selective attention (i.e., a failure to process information that is incongruent with their primary focus of attention; Hiatt, Schmitt, & Newman, Neuropsychology, 18, 50-59, 2004). Unfortunately, it is unclear whether this selective attention abnormality reflects top-down endogenous influences, such as the strength or specificity of attention focus (i.e., top-down set) apart from other, more exogenous (bottom-up), effects on attention. To explore this question, we used an early visual event-related potential (N2pc) in combination with a modified visual search task designed to assess the effect of early endogenous (i.e., top-down) attention on the processing of set-congruent information. The task was administered to a sample of 70 incarcerated adult males, who were assigned to high, intermediate, and low psychopathy groups using Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (Hare, 2003). Based on the assumption that their failure to process set-incongruent information reflects the exaggerated effects of endogenous attention, we predicted that participants with high psychopathy scores would show an exaggerated N2pc response to set-congruent information. The results supported the hypothesis and provide novel electrophysiological evidence that psychopathy is associated with exaggerated endogenous attention effects during early stages of processing. Further research is needed to examine the implications of this finding for the well-established failure of psychopathic individuals to process set-incongruent information and inhibit inappropriate responses.
Martens, Marilee A; Reutens, David C; Wilson, Sarah J
Individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) have been shown to have atypical morphology in the auditory cortex, an area associated with aspects of musicality. Some individuals with WS have demonstrated specific musical abilities, despite intellectual delays. Primary auditory cortex and planum temporale volumes were manually segmented in 25 individuals with WS and 25 control participants, and the participants also underwent testing of musical abilities. Left and right planum temporale volumes were significantly larger in the participants with WS than in controls, with no significant difference noted between groups in planum temporale asymmetry or primary auditory cortical volumes. Left planum temporale volume was significantly increased in a subgroup of the participants with WS who demonstrated specific musical strengths, as compared to the remaining WS participants, and was highly correlated with scores on a musical task. These findings suggest that differences in musical ability within WS may be in part associated with variability in the left auditory cortical region, providing further evidence of cognitive and neuroanatomical heterogeneity within this syndrome. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Cortical excitability may be subject to changes through training and learning. Motor training can increase cortical excitability in motor cortex, and facilitation of motor cortical excitability has been shown to be positively correlated with improvements in performance in simple motor tasks. Thus cortical excitability may tentatively be considered as a marker of learning and use-dependent plasticity. Previous studies focused on changes in cortical excitability brought about by learning processes, however, the relation between native levels of cortical excitability on the one hand and brain activation and behavioral parameters on the other is as yet unknown. In the present study we investigated the role of differential native motor cortical excitability for learning a motor sequencing task with regard to post-training changes in excitability, behavioral performance and involvement of brain regions. Our motor task required our participants to reproduce and improvise over a pre-learned motor sequence. Over both task conditions, participants with low cortical excitability (CElo showed significantly higher BOLD activation in task-relevant brain regions than participants with high cortical excitability (CEhi. In contrast, CElo and CEhi groups did not exhibit differences in percentage of correct responses and improvisation level. Moreover, cortical excitability did not change significantly after learning and training in either group, with the exception of a significant decrease in facilitatory excitability in the CEhi group. The present data suggest that the native, unmanipulated level of cortical excitability is related to brain activation intensity, but not to performance quality. The higher BOLD mean signal intensity during the motor task might reflect a compensatory mechanism in CElo participants.
Petersen, Anders; Vangkilde, Signe; Fabricius, Charlotte
that reduced visual speed and span may explain pure alexia. Eight patients with unilateral PCA strokes (four left hemisphere, four right hemisphere) were selected on the basis of lesion location, rather than the presence of any visual symptoms. Visual attention was characterized by a whole report paradigm......Impaired visual attention is common following strokes in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, particularly in the right hemisphere, while attentional effects of more posterior lesions are less clear. Commonly, such deficits are investigated in relation to specific syndromes like visual...... agnosia or pure alexia. The aim of this study was to characterize visual processing speed and apprehension span following posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. In addition, the relationship between these attentional parameters and single word reading is investigated, as previous studies have suggested...
Li, Xiaoming; Tao, Qian; Fang, Ya; Cheng, Chen; Hao, Yangyang; Qi, Jianjun; Li, Yu; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Xiaochu
The cognitive mechanism underlying the association between individual differences in reward sensitivity and food craving is unknown. The present study explored the mechanism by examining the role of reward sensitivity in attentional bias toward ice cream cues. Forty-nine college students who displayed high level of ice cream craving (HICs) and 46 who displayed low level of ice cream craving (LICs) performed an inattentional blindness (IB) task which was used to assess attentional bias for ice cream. In addition, reward sensitivity and coping style were assessed by the Behavior Inhibition System/Behavior Activation System Scales and Simplified Coping Style Questionnaire. Results showed significant higher identification rate of the critical stimulus in the HICs than LICs, suggesting greater attentional bias for ice cream in the HICs. It was indicated that attentional bias for food cues persisted even under inattentional condition. Furthermore, a significant correlation was found between the attentional bias and reward sensitivity after controlling for coping style, and reward sensitivity predicted attentional bias for food cues. The mediation analyses showed that attentional bias mediated the relationship between reward sensitivity and food craving. Those findings suggest that the association between individual differences in reward sensitivity and food craving may be attributed to attentional bias for food-related cues. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Jiang, Zhaocai; Zhao, Xiuxin; Li, Cancan
The aim of this study was to examine the relationships of personality types (i.e., self-control, BAS/BIS) and online shopping addiction (OSA) behavior and to investigate whether high-OSA tendency individuals display attentional biases toward online shopping-related (OS-related) stimuli as well as the links between attentional bias and personality types. The study included 98 college students divided into three groups (i.e., high-, medium- and low-OSA) according to their OSA behavior. The personality types (i.e., self-control, BAS/BIS) and OSA behavior were investigated by questionnaires. The attentional bias was evaluated by the OS-related Stroop and dot-probe task (DPT) paradigms. OSA was positively predicted by time spent on online shopping per day and average consumption for online shopping monthly, and negatively by self-control. High-OSA individuals displayed significant attentional biases toward OS-related stimuli in the Stroop, but not DPT paradigm. Moreover, the attentional bias toward OSA-related stimuli in high-OSA individuals was negatively correlated with self-control. These findings demonstrated the critical role of self-control in OSA behavior and attentional bias to OS-related stimuli in high-OSA individuals, indicating that more importance should be attached to self-control for the clinical intervention of online shopping addiction in future studies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Sleep is thought to be involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity in two ways: by enhancing local plastic processes underlying the consolidation of specific memories and by supporting global synaptic homeostasis. Here, we briefly summarize recent structural and functional studies examining sleep-associated changes in synaptic morphology and neural excitability. These studies point to a global down-scaling of synaptic strength across sleep while a subset of synapses increases in strength. Similarly, neuronal excitability on average decreases across sleep, whereas subsets of neurons increase firing rates across sleep. Whether synapse formation and excitability is down or upregulated across sleep appears to partly depend on the cell’s activity level during wakefulness. Processes of memory-specific upregulation of synapse formation and excitability are observed during slow wave sleep (SWS, whereas global downregulation resulting in elimination of synapses and decreased neural firing is linked to rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep. Studies of the excitation/inhibition balance in cortical circuits suggest that both processes are connected to a specific inhibitory regulation of cortical principal neurons, characterized by an enhanced perisomatic inhibition via parvalbumin positive (PV+ cells, together with a release from dendritic inhibition by somatostatin positive (SOM+ cells. Such shift towards increased perisomatic inhibition of principal cells appears to be a general motif which underlies the plastic synaptic changes observed during sleep, regardless of whether towards up or downregulation.
Alfimova, M V; Golimbet, V E; Lebedeva, I S; Korovaĭtseva, G I; Lezheĭko, T V
We studied influence of the anxiety-related trait Harm Avoidance and the COMT gene, which is an important modulator of prefrontal functioning, on event-related potentials in oddball paradigm and performance effectiveness of selective attention. For 50 individuals accuracy and time of searching words among letters at any desired rate and then under an instruction to perform the task as quickly and accurate as possible were measured. Scores on the Harm Avoidance scale from Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory, N100 and P300 parameters, and COMTVa1158Met genotypes were obtained for them as well. Searching accuracy and time were mainly related to N100 amplitude. The COMT genotype and Harm Avoidance did not affect N100 amplitude; however, the N100 amplitude modulated their effects on accuracy and time dynamics. Harm Avoidance was positively correlated with P300 latency. The results suggest that anxiety and the COMT gene effects on performance effectiveness of selective attention depend on cognitive processes reflected in N100 parameters.
Full Text Available Previous studies have suggested that individuals from East Asian cultures are more likely to show holistic attention—a pattern of attention that incorporates contextual information into focal stimuli—than individuals from North American cultures. Holistic attention is also prevalent in communities that require close cooperation. However, it is not yet known how cooperation is related to holistic attention. We theorized that holistic attention increases when people experience negative affect (e.g., worry, sadness, and frustration during collective tasks (but not during individual tasks because negative affect in social contexts signals the existence of potential threats to social harmony, thus indicating a need to restore social harmony. To examine this hypothesis, an experiment was conducted in which participants performed a musical duet either with another participant (a collective task requiring cooperation, or individually with a computer (an individual task. After the musical task, the Framed Line Task (FLT was administered to examine their holistic attention. Participants also reported their emotional states both before and after the music task. Results suggested that negative affect in the collective task—but not the individual task—was positively correlated with a holistic pattern of attention. The function of negative affect in social contexts as motivation to restore relationships and how this enhances holistic attention is discussed. The moderating effect of social context on the link between negative affect and cognition is also discussed.
Bajaj, Sahil; Dailey, Natalie S; Rosso, Isabelle M; Rauch, Scott L; Killgore, William D S
There is currently a critical need to establish an improved understanding of time-dependent differences in brain structure following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). We compared differences in brain structure, specifically cortical thickness (CT), cortical volume (CV), and cortical surface area (CSA) in 54 individuals who sustained a recent mTBI and 33 healthy controls (HCs). Individuals with mTBI were split into three groups, depending on their time since injury. By comparing structural measures between mTBI and HC groups, differences in CT reflected cortical thickening within several areas following 0-3 (time-point, TP1) and 3-6 months (TP2) post-mTBI. Compared with the HC group, the mTBI group at TP2 showed lower CSA within several areas. Compared with the mTBI group at TP2, the mTBI group during the most chronic stage (TP3: 6-18 months post-mTBI) showed significantly higher CSA in several areas. All the above reported differences in CT and CSA were significant at a cluster-forming p < .01 (corrected for multiple comparisons). We also found that in the mTBI group at TP2, CT within two clusters (i.e., the left rostral middle frontal gyrus (L. RMFG) and the right postcentral gyrus (R. PostCG)) was negatively correlated with basic attention abilities (L. RMFG: r = -.41, p = .05 and R. PostCG: r = -.44, p = .03). Our findings suggest that alterations in CT and associated neuropsychological assessments may be more prominent during the early stages of mTBI. However, alterations in CSA may reflect compensatory structural recovery during the chronic stages of mTBI. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Bentley, Paul; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Thiel, Christiane M; Driver, Jon; Dolan, Raymond J
Neocortical cholinergic afferents are proposed to influence both selective attention and emotional processing. In a study of healthy adults we used event-related fMRI while orthogonally manipulating attention and emotionality to examine regions showing effects of cholinergic modulation by the anticholinesterase physostigmine. Either face or house pictures appeared at task-relevant locations, with the alternative picture type at irrelevant locations. Faces had either neutral or fearful expressions. Physostigmine increased relative activity within the anterior fusiform gyrus for faces at attended, versus unattended, locations, but decreased relative activity within the posterolateral occipital cortex for houses in attended, versus unattended, locations. A similar pattern of regional differences in the effect of physostigmine on cue-evoked responses was also present in the absence of stimuli. Cholinergic enhancement augmented the relative neuronal response within the middle fusiform gyrus to fearful faces, whether at attended or unattended locations. By contrast, physostigmine influenced responses in the orbitofrontal, intraparietal and cingulate cortices to fearful faces when faces occupied task-irrelevant locations. These findings suggest that acetylcholine may modulate both selective attention and emotional processes through independent, region-specific effects within the extrastriate cortex. Furthermore, cholinergic inputs to the frontoparietal cortex may influence the allocation of attention to emotional information.
Flávia Schechtman Belham
Full Text Available Emotion, importantly displayed by facial expressions, is one of the most significant memory modulators. The interaction between memory and the different emotional valences change across lifespan, while young adults (YA are expected to better recall negative events (Negativity Bias Hypothesis, older adults (OA tend to focus on positive stimuli (Positivity Effect Hypothesis. This research work aims at verifying whether cortical electrical activity of these two age groups would also be differently influenced by emotional valences in a visuo-spatial working memory task. 27 YA (13 males and 25 OA (14 males, all healthy volunteers, underwent electroencephalographic recordings (21 scalp electrodes montage, while performing the Spatial Delayed Recognition Span Task using a touch screen with different stimuli categories: neutral, positive and negative faces and geometric pictures. YA obtained higher scores than OA, and showed higher activation of theta and alpha bands in the frontal and midline regions, besides a more evident right-hemispheric asymmetry on alpha band when compared to OA. For both age groups, performance in the task was worse for positive faces than to negative and to neutral faces. Facial stimuli induced a better performance and higher alpha activation on the pre-frontal region for YA, and on the midline, occipital and left temporal regions for OA when compared to geometric figures. The superior performance of YA was expected due to the natural cognitive deficits connected to ageing, as was a better performance with facial stimuli due to the evolutionary importance of faces. These results were related to cortical activity on areas of importance for action-planning, decision making and sustained attention. Taken together, they are in accordance with the Negativity Bias but do not support the Positivity Effect. The methodology used was able to identify age-related differences in cortical activity during emotional mnemonic processing and
Larson, Christine L; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Stout, Daniel M; Balderston, Nicholas L; Curtin, John J; Schultz, Douglas H; Kiehl, Kent A; Newman, Joseph P
Psychopathic behavior has long been attributed to a fundamental deficit in fear that arises from impaired amygdala function. Growing evidence has demonstrated that fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and other psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by focus of attention, but to date, no work on adult psychopathy has examined attentional modulation of the amygdala or concomitant recruitment of relevant attention-related circuitry. Consistent with previous FPS findings, here we report that psychopathy-related differences in amygdala activation appear and disappear as a function of goal-directed attention. Specifically, decreased amygdala activity was observed in psychopathic offenders only when attention was engaged in an alternative goal-relevant task prior to presenting threat-relevant information. Under this condition, psychopaths also exhibited greater activation in selective-attention regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) than did nonpsychopaths, and this increased LPFC activation mediated psychopathy's association with decreased amygdala activation. In contrast, when explicitly attending to threat, amygdala activation did not differ in psychopaths and nonpsychopaths. This pattern of amygdala activation highlights the potential role of LPFC in mediating the failure of psychopathic individuals to process fear and other important information when it is peripheral to the primary focus of goal-directed attention.
Nunez, Michael D; Srinivasan, Ramesh; Vandekerckhove, Joachim
Sequential sampling decision-making models have been successful in accounting for reaction time (RT) and accuracy data in two-alternative forced choice tasks. These models have been used to describe the behavior of populations of participants, and explanatory structures have been proposed to account for between individual variability in model parameters. In this study we show that individual differences in behavior from a novel perceptual decision making task can be attributed to (1) differences in evidence accumulation rates, (2) differences in variability of evidence accumulation within trials, and (3) differences in non-decision times across individuals. Using electroencephalography (EEG), we demonstrate that these differences in cognitive variables, in turn, can be explained by attentional differences as measured by phase-locking of steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) responses to the signal and noise components of the visual stimulus. Parameters of a cognitive model (a diffusion model) were obtained from accuracy and RT distributions and related to phase-locking indices (PLIs) of SSVEPs with a single step in a hierarchical Bayesian framework. Participants who were able to suppress the SSVEP response to visual noise in high frequency bands were able to accumulate correct evidence faster and had shorter non-decision times (preprocessing or motor response times), leading to more accurate responses and faster response times. We show that the combination of cognitive modeling and neural data in a hierarchical Bayesian framework relates physiological processes to the cognitive processes of participants, and that a model with a new (out-of-sample) participant's neural data can predict that participant's behavior more accurately than models without physiological data.
Collerton, Daniel; Perry, Elaine; McKeith, Ian
As many as two million people in the United Kingdom repeatedly see people, animals, and objects that have no objective reality. Hallucinations on the border of sleep, dementing illnesses, delirium, eye disease, and schizophrenia account for 90% of these. The remainder have rarer disorders. We review existing models of recurrent complex visual hallucinations (RCVH) in the awake person, including cortical irritation, cortical hyperexcitability and cortical release, top-down activation, misperception, dream intrusion, and interactive models. We provide evidence that these can neither fully account for the phenomenology of RCVH, nor for variations in the frequency of RCVH in different disorders. We propose a novel Perception and Attention Deficit (PAD) model for RCVH. A combination of impaired attentional binding and poor sensory activation of a correct proto-object, in conjunction with a relatively intact scene representation, bias perception to allow the intrusion of a hallucinatory proto-object into a scene perception. Incorporation of this image into a context-specific hallucinatory scene representation accounts for repetitive hallucinations. We suggest that these impairments are underpinned by disturbances in a lateral frontal cortex-ventral visual stream system. We show how the frequency of RCVH in different diseases is related to the coexistence of attentional and visual perceptual impairments; how attentional and perceptual processes can account for their phenomenology; and that diseases and other states with high rates of RCVH have cholinergic dysfunction in both frontal cortex and the ventral visual stream. Several tests of the model are indicated, together with a number of treatment options that it generates.
Li, Ting; Yan, Xu; Li, Yuan; Wang, Junjie; Li, Qiang; Li, Hong; Li, Junfeng
There have been many neuroimaging studies of human personality traits, and it have already provided glimpse into the neurobiology of complex traits. And most of previous studies adopt voxel-based morphology (VBM) analysis to explore the brain-personality mechanism from two levels (vertex and regional based), the findings are mixed with great inconsistencies and the brain-personality relations are far from a full understanding. Here, we used a new method of surface-based morphology (SBM) analysis, which provides better alignment of cortical landmarks to generate about the associations between cortical morphology and the personality traits across 120 healthy individuals at both vertex and regional levels. While to further reveal local functional correlates of the morphology-personality relationships, we related surface-based functional homogeneity measures to the regions identified in the regional-based SBM correlation. Vertex-wise analysis revealed that people with high agreeableness exhibited larger areas in the left superior temporal gyrus. Based on regional parcellation we found that extroversion was negatively related with the volume of the left lateral occipito-temporal gyrus and agreeableness was negatively associated with the sulcus depth of the left superior parietal lobule. Moreover, increased regional homogeneity in the left lateral occipito-temporal gyrus is related to the scores of extroversion, and increased regional homogeneity in the left superior parietal lobule is related to the scores of agreeableness. These findings provide supporting evidence of a link between personality and brain structural mysteries with a method of SBM, and further suggest that local functional homogeneity of personality traits has neurobiological relevance that is likely based on anatomical substrates.
Full Text Available Goal-directed behavior requires the flexible transformation of sensory evidence about our environment into motor actions. Studies of perceptual decision-making have shown that this transformation is distributed across several widely separated brain regions. Yet, little is known about how decision-making emerges from the dynamic interactions among these regions. Here, we review a series of studies, in which we characterized the cortical network interactions underlying a perceptual decision process in the human brain. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG to measure the large-scale cortical population dynamics underlying each of the sub-processes involved in this decision: the encoding of sensory evidence and action plan, the mapping between the two, and the attentional selection of task-relevant evidence. We found that these sub-processes are mediated by neuronal oscillations within specific frequency ranges. Localized gamma-band oscillations in sensory and motor cortices reflect the encoding of the sensory evidence and motor plan. Large-scale oscillations across widespread cortical networks mediate the integrative processes connecting these local networks: Gamma- and beta-band oscillations across frontal, parietal and sensory cortices serve the selection of relevant sensory evidence and its flexible mapping onto action plans. In sum, our results suggest that perceptual decisions are mediated by oscillatory interactions within overlapping local and large-scale cortical networks.
Miller, Hilary E; Simmering, Vanessa R
Children's spatial language reliably predicts their spatial skills, but the nature of this relation is a source of debate. This investigation examined whether the mechanisms accounting for such relations are specific to language use or reflect a domain-general mechanism of selective attention. Experiment 1 examined whether 4-year-olds' spatial skills were predicted by their selective attention or their adaptive language use. Children completed (a) an attention task assessing attention to task-relevant color, size, and location cues; (b) a description task assessing adaptive language use to describe scenes varying in color, size, and location; and (c) three spatial tasks. There was correspondence between the cue types that children attended to and produced across description and attention tasks. Adaptive language use was predicted by both children's attention and task-related language production, suggesting that selective attention underlies skills in using language adaptively. After controlling for age, gender, receptive vocabulary, and adaptive language use, spatial skills were predicted by children's selective attention. The attention score predicted variance in spatial performance previously accounted for by adaptive language use. Experiment 2 followed up on the attention task (Experiment 2a) and description task (Experiment 2b) from Experiment 1 to assess whether performance in the tasks related to selective attention or task-specific demands. Performance in Experiments 2a and 2b paralleled that in Experiment 1, suggesting that the effects in Experiment 1 reflected children's selective attention skills. These findings show that selective attention is a central factor supporting spatial skill development that could account for many effects previously attributed to children's language use. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Fernandez-Mendoza, Julio; Li, Yun; Vgontzas, Alexandros N; Fang, Jidong; Gaines, Jordan; Calhoun, Susan L; Liao, Duanping; Bixler, Edward O
To examine whether insomnia is associated with spectral electroencephalographic (EEG) dynamics in the beta (15-35Hz) range during sleep in an adolescent general population sample. A case-control sample of 44 adolescents from the Penn State Child Cohort underwent a 9-h polysomnography, clinical history and physical examination. We examined low-beta (15-25 Hz) and high-beta (25-35 Hz) relative power at central EEG derivations during sleep onset latency (SOL), sleep onset (SO), non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, and wake after sleep onset (WASO). Compared to controls (n = 21), individuals with insomnia (n = 23) showed increased SOL and WASO and decreased sleep duration and efficiency, while no differences in sleep architecture were found. Insomniacs showed increased low-beta and high-beta relative power during SOL, SO, and NREM sleep as compared to controls. High-beta relative power was greater during all sleep and wake states in insomniacs with short sleep duration as compared to individuals with insomnia with normal sleep duration. Adolescent insomnia is associated with increased beta EEG power during sleep, which suggests that cortical hyperarousal is present in individuals with insomnia as early as adolescence. Interestingly, cortical hyperarousal is greatest in individuals with insomnia with short sleep duration and may explain the sleep complaints of those with normal sleep duration. Disturbed cortical networks may be a shared mechanism putting individuals with insomnia at risk of psychiatric disorders. © 2016 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.
Daisuke N Saito
Full Text Available Eye contact provides a communicative link between humans, prompting joint attention. As spontaneous brain activity may have an important role in coordination of neuronal processing within the brain, their inter-subject synchronization may occur during eye contact. To test this, we conducted simultaneous functional MRI in pairs of adults. Eye contact was maintained at baseline while the subjects engaged in real-time gaze exchange in a joint attention task. Averted gaze activated the bilateral occipital pole extending to the right posterior superior temporal sulcus, the dorso-medial prefrontal cortex, and bilateral inferior frontal gyrus. Following a partner’s gaze towards an object activated the left intraparietal sulcus. After all task-related effects were modeled out, inter-individual correlation analysis of residual time-courses was performed. Paired subjects showed more prominent correlations than non-paired subjects in the right inferior frontal gyrus, suggesting that this region is involved in sharing intention during eye contact that provides the context for joint attention.
Dhanjal, Novraj S; Warren, Jane E; Patel, Maneesh C; Wise, Richard J S
Episodic memory encoding of a verbal message depends upon initial registration, which requires sustained auditory attention followed by deep semantic processing of the message. Motivated by previous data demonstrating modulation of auditory cortical activity during sustained attention to auditory stimuli, we investigated the response of the human auditory cortex during encoding of sentences to episodic memory. Subsequently, we investigated this response in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and probable Alzheimer's disease (pAD). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, 31 healthy participants were studied. The response in 18 MCI and 18 pAD patients was then determined, and compared to 18 matched healthy controls. Subjects heard factual sentences, and subsequent retrieval performance indicated successful registration and episodic encoding. The healthy subjects demonstrated that suppression of auditory cortical responses was related to greater success in encoding heard sentences; and that this was also associated with greater activity in the semantic system. In contrast, there was reduced auditory cortical suppression in patients with MCI, and absence of suppression in pAD. Administration of a central cholinesterase inhibitor (ChI) partially restored the suppression in patients with pAD, and this was associated with an improvement in verbal memory. Verbal episodic memory impairment in AD is associated with altered auditory cortical function, reversible with a ChI. Although these results may indicate the direct influence of pathology in auditory cortex, they are also likely to indicate a partially reversible impairment of feedback from neocortical systems responsible for sustained attention and semantic processing. Copyright © 2012 American Neurological Association.
Gerfen, C R
The basal ganglia, of which the striatum is the major component, process inputs from virtually all cerebral cortical areas to affect motor, emotional, and cognitive behaviors. Insights into how these seemingly disparate functions may be integrated have emerged from studies that have demonstrated that the mammalian striatum is composed of two compartments arranged as a mosaic, the patches and the matrix, which differ in their neurochemical and neuroanatomical properties. In this study, projections from prefrontal, cingulate, and motor cortical areas to the striatal compartments were examined with the Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin (PHA-L) anterograde axonal tracer in rats. Each cortical area projects to both the patches and the matrix of the striatum; however, deep layer V and layer VI corticostriatal neurons project principally to the patches, whereas superficial layer V and layer III and II corticostriatal neurons project principally to the matrix. The relative contribution of patch and matrix corticostriatal projections varies among the cortical areas examined such that allocortical areas provide a greater number of inputs to the patches than to the matrix, whereas the reverse obtains for neocortical areas. These results demonstrate that the compartmental organization of corticostriatal inputs is related to their laminar origin and secondarily to the cytoarchitectonic area of origin.
Rinaldo D. D’Souza
Full Text Available The neocortex is central to mammalian cognitive ability, playing critical roles in sensory perception, motor skills and executive function. This thin, layered structure comprises distinct, functionally specialized areas that communicate with each other through the axons of pyramidal neurons. For the hundreds of such cortico-cortical pathways to underlie diverse functions, their cellular and synaptic architectures must differ so that they result in distinct computations at the target projection neurons. In what ways do these pathways differ? By originating and terminating in different laminae, and by selectively targeting specific populations of excitatory and inhibitory neurons, these “interareal” pathways can differentially control the timing and strength of synaptic inputs onto individual neurons, resulting in layer-specific computations. Due to the rapid development in transgenic techniques, the mouse has emerged as a powerful mammalian model for understanding the rules by which cortical circuits organize and function. Here we review our understanding of how cortical lamination constrains long-range communication in the mammalian brain, with an emphasis on the mouse visual cortical network. We discuss the laminar architecture underlying interareal communication, the role of neocortical layers in organizing the balance of excitatory and inhibitory actions, and highlight the structure and function of layer 1 in mouse visual cortex.
Doolan, K J; Breslin, G; Hanna, D; Gallagher, A M
The incentive sensitisation model of obesity suggests that modification of the dopaminergic associated reward systems in the brain may result in increased awareness of food-related visual cues present in the current food environment. Having a heightened awareness of these visual food cues may impact on food choices and eating behaviours with those being most aware of or demonstrating greater attention to food-related stimuli potentially being at greater risk of overeating and subsequent weight gain. To date, research related to attentional responses to visual food cues has been both limited and conflicting. Such inconsistent findings may in part be explained by the use of different methodological approaches to measure attentional bias and the impact of other factors such as hunger levels, energy density of visual food cues and individual eating style traits that may influence visual attention to food-related cues outside of weight status alone. This review examines the various methodologies employed to measure attentional bias with a particular focus on the role that attentional processing of food-related visual cues may have in obesity. Based on the findings of this review, it appears that it may be too early to clarify the role visual attention to food-related cues may have in obesity. Results however highlight the importance of considering the most appropriate methodology to use when measuring attentional bias and the characteristics of the study populations targeted while interpreting results to date and in designing future studies.
Jääskeläinen, Iiro P.; Ahveninen, Jyrki
The ability to concentrate on relevant sounds in the acoustic environment is crucial for everyday function and communication. Converging lines of evidence suggests that transient functional changes in auditory-cortex neurons, “short-term plasticity”, might explain this fundamental function. Under conditions of strongly focused attention, enhanced processing of attended sounds can take place at very early latencies (~50 ms from sound onset) in primary auditory cortex and possibly even at earlier latencies in subcortical structures. More robust selective-attention short-term plasticity is manifested as modulation of responses peaking at ~100 ms from sound onset in functionally specialized nonprimary auditory-cortical areas by way of stimulus-specific reshaping of neuronal receptive fields that supports filtering of selectively attended sound features from task-irrelevant ones. Such effects have been shown to take effect in ~seconds following shifting of attentional focus. There are findings suggesting that the reshaping of neuronal receptive fields is even stronger at longer auditory-cortex response latencies (~300 ms from sound onset). These longer-latency short-term plasticity effects seem to build up more gradually, within tens of seconds after shifting the focus of attention. Importantly, some of the auditory-cortical short-term plasticity effects observed during selective attention predict enhancements in behaviorally measured sound discrimination performance. PMID:24551458
Legerstee, Jeroen; Tulen, Joke; Kallen, Victor; Dieleman, Gwen; Treffers, Philip; Verhulst, Frank; Utens, Elisabeth
textabstractAbstract OBJECTIVE: The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders and nonresponders. METHOD: Participants consisted of 131 children with anxiety disorders (aged 8-16 years), who received standardized cognitive-behavioral therapy. At pretreatment, a pictorial dot-pr...
Monge, Zachary A.; Greenwood, Pamela M.; Parasuraman, Raja; Strenziok, Maren
Objective Although reasoning and attention are two cognitive processes necessary for ensuring the efficiency of many everyday activities in older adults, the role of white matter integrity in these processes has been little studied. This is an important question due to the role of white matter integrity as a neural substrate of cognitive aging. Here, we sought to examine the white matter tracts subserving reasoning and visuospatial attention in healthy older adults. Method Sixty-one adults aged 60 and older completed a battery of cognitive tests to assess reasoning and visuospatial attention. In addition, diffusion tensor images were collected to assess Fractional Anisotropy (FA) – a measure of white matter integrity. A principle component analysis of the test scores yielded two components: reasoning and visuospatial attention. Whole-brain correlations between FA and the cognitive components were submitted to probabilistic tractography analyses for visualization of cortical targets of tracts. Results For reasoning, bilateral thalamo-anterior prefrontal, anterior corpus callosum, and corpus callosum body tracts interconnecting the superior frontal cortices and right cingulum bundle were found. For visuospatial attention, a right inferior fronto-parietal tract, and bilateral parietal and temporal connections were found. Conclusions We conclude that in older adults, prefrontal cortex white matter tracts and interhemispheric communication are important in higher order cognitive functioning. On the other hand, right-sided fronto-parietal tracts appear to be critical for supporting control of cognitive processes, such as redirecting attention. Researchers may use our results to develop neuroscience-based interventions for older adults targeting brain mechanisms involved in cognitive plasticity. PMID:26986750
Schäfer, Judith; Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich; Höfler, Michael; Heinrich, Anke; Zimmermann, Peter; Siegel, Stefan; Schönfeld, Sabine
Attentional processes have been suggested to play a crucial role in resilience defined as positive adaptation facing adversity. However, research is lacking on associations between attentional biases to positive and threat-related stimuli, attentional control and trait resilience. Data stem from the follow-up assessment of a longitudinal study investigating mental health and related factors among German soldiers. Trait resilience was assessed with the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and attentional control with the Attentional Control Scale. A subset of n = 198 soldiers also completed a dot probe task with happy, neutral and threatening faces. Attentional control was positively related to trait resilience. Results revealed no associations between both attentional biases and trait resilience. However, there was a negative association between attentional bias to threat and trait resilience when attentional control was low and a positive association between attentional bias to threat and trait resilience when attentional control was high. No such associations were found for attentional bias to positive stimuli. Generalizability to other populations may be limited since we exclusively focused on male soldiers. Also, the cross-sectional design does not allow for causal conclusions. Findings suggest that attentional processing may promote trait resilience. Future research on preventive interventions should consider these findings. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Dai, Lengshi; Best, Virginia; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G.
Listeners with sensorineural hearing loss often have trouble understanding speech amid other voices. While poor spatial hearing is often implicated, direct evidence is weak; moreover, studies suggest that reduced audibility and degraded spectrotemporal coding may explain such problems. We hypothesized that poor spatial acuity leads to difficulty deploying selective attention, which normally filters out distracting sounds. In listeners with normal hearing, selective attention causes changes in the neural responses evoked by competing sounds, which can be used to quantify the effectiveness of attentional control. Here, we used behavior and electroencephalography to explore whether control of selective auditory attention is degraded in hearing-impaired (HI) listeners. Normal-hearing (NH) and HI listeners identified a simple melody presented simultaneously with two competing melodies, each simulated from different lateral angles. We quantified performance and attentional modulation of cortical responses evoked by these competing streams. Compared with NH listeners, HI listeners had poorer sensitivity to spatial cues, performed more poorly on the selective attention task, and showed less robust attentional modulation of cortical responses. Moreover, across NH and HI individuals, these measures were correlated. While both groups showed cortical suppression of distracting streams, this modulation was weaker in HI listeners, especially when attending to a target at midline, surrounded by competing streams. These findings suggest that hearing loss interferes with the ability to filter out sound sources based on location, contributing to communication difficulties in social situations. These findings also have implications for technologies aiming to use neural signals to guide hearing aid processing. PMID:29555752
Full Text Available Background: Attentional bias refers to a preference for (e.g., vigilance or a shifting away (e.g., avoidance of one’s focus with respect to specific stimuli. Accumulating evidence suggests that an attentional bias toward death/threat-related stimuli exists in bereaved individuals experiencing prolonged grief (PG. Measuring for different processing may reflect different cognitive characteristics. Therefore, this study sought to compare information-processing biases in Chinese individuals with high versus low levels of PG symptomatology at supraliminal and subliminal levels, respectively.Method: A 2 (grief level × 2 (consciousness level × 2 (word type three-factor mixed design with supraliminal and subliminal tasks was utilized in the current study. Based on their Prolonged Grief Questionnaire-13 (PG-13 scores, 38 participants were included in the low-PG group, and 34 individuals were included in the high-PG group. All the participants completed a dot-probe task in which they were primed with death-related and life-related words paired with neutral stimuli.Results: High-PG individuals were slower in reacting to the death-related information in both supraliminal and subliminal tasks. After controlling for other symptoms in the backward deletion regression, PG-13 scores significantly predicted the avoidance tendency to death-related words in the supraliminal task, while anxiety was the best predictor of turning one’s vision away from death-related stimuli in the subliminal trials.Conclusion: The results suggested that high PG is associated with a tendency to avoid death-related words. Future research is needed to explore interventions that address the avoidance of death-related stimuli among individuals with elevated, or diagnosable, levels of PG.
Itthipuripat, Sirawaj; Cha, Kexin; Byers, Anna; Serences, John T
Selective attention supports the prioritized processing of relevant sensory information to facilitate goal-directed behavior. Studies in human subjects demonstrate that attentional gain of cortical responses can sufficiently account for attention-related improvements in behavior. On the other hand, studies using highly trained nonhuman primates suggest that reductions in neural noise can better explain attentional facilitation of behavior. Given the importance of selective information processing in nearly all domains of cognition, we sought to reconcile these competing accounts by testing the hypothesis that extensive behavioral training alters the neural mechanisms that support selective attention. We tested this hypothesis using electroencephalography (EEG) to measure stimulus-evoked visual responses from human subjects while they performed a selective spatial attention task over the course of ~1 month. Early in training, spatial attention led to an increase in the gain of stimulus-evoked visual responses. Gain was apparent within ~100 ms of stimulus onset, and a quantitative model based on signal detection theory (SDT) successfully linked the magnitude of this gain modulation to attention-related improvements in behavior. However, after extensive training, this early attentional gain was eliminated even though there were still substantial attention-related improvements in behavior. Accordingly, the SDT-based model required noise reduction to account for the link between the stimulus-evoked visual responses and attentional modulations of behavior. These findings suggest that training can lead to fundamental changes in the way attention alters the early cortical responses that support selective information processing. Moreover, these data facilitate the translation of results across different species and across experimental procedures that employ different behavioral training regimes.
Cha, Kexin; Byers, Anna; Serences, John T.
Selective attention supports the prioritized processing of relevant sensory information to facilitate goal-directed behavior. Studies in human subjects demonstrate that attentional gain of cortical responses can sufficiently account for attention-related improvements in behavior. On the other hand, studies using highly trained nonhuman primates suggest that reductions in neural noise can better explain attentional facilitation of behavior. Given the importance of selective information processing in nearly all domains of cognition, we sought to reconcile these competing accounts by testing the hypothesis that extensive behavioral training alters the neural mechanisms that support selective attention. We tested this hypothesis using electroencephalography (EEG) to measure stimulus-evoked visual responses from human subjects while they performed a selective spatial attention task over the course of ~1 month. Early in training, spatial attention led to an increase in the gain of stimulus-evoked visual responses. Gain was apparent within ~100 ms of stimulus onset, and a quantitative model based on signal detection theory (SDT) successfully linked the magnitude of this gain modulation to attention-related improvements in behavior. However, after extensive training, this early attentional gain was eliminated even though there were still substantial attention-related improvements in behavior. Accordingly, the SDT-based model required noise reduction to account for the link between the stimulus-evoked visual responses and attentional modulations of behavior. These findings suggest that training can lead to fundamental changes in the way attention alters the early cortical responses that support selective information processing. Moreover, these data facilitate the translation of results across different species and across experimental procedures that employ different behavioral training regimes. PMID:28654635
Hack, Johannes; Memmert, Daniel; Rup, Andre
In this study, we examined attention processes in complex, sport-specific decision-making tasks without interdependencies from anticipation. Psychophysiological and performance data recorded from advanced and intermediate level basketball referees were compared. Event-related potentials obtained while judging game situations in foul recognition…
Bekisz, Marek; Bogdan, Wojciech; Ghazaryan, Anaida; Waleszczyk, Wioletta J.; Kublik, Ewa; Wróbel, Andrzej
Selective attention can be focused either volitionally, by top-down signals derived from task demands, or automatically, by bottom-up signals from salient stimuli. Because the brain mechanisms that underlie these two attention processes are poorly understood, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs) from primary visual cortical areas of cats as they performed stimulus-driven and anticipatory discrimination tasks. Consistent with our previous observations, in both tasks, we found enhanced beta activity, which we have postulated may serve as an attention carrier. We characterized the functional organization of task-related beta activity by (i) cortical responses (EPs) evoked by electrical stimulation of the optic chiasm and (ii) intracortical LFP correlations. During the anticipatory task, peripheral stimulation that was preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations evoked large-amplitude EPs compared with EPs that followed low-amplitude beta. In contrast, during the stimulus-driven task, cortical EPs preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations were, on average, smaller than those preceded by low-amplitude beta. Analysis of the correlations between the different recording sites revealed that beta activation maps were heterogeneous during the bottom-up task and homogeneous for the top-down task. We conclude that bottom-up attention activates cortical visual areas in a mosaic-like pattern, whereas top-down attentional modulation results in spatially homogeneous excitation. PMID:26730705
Rettie, Hannah C; Hogan, Lee M; Cox, W Miles
This study assessed relationships between clients' attentional bias (AB) for different types of stimuli and their treatment outcomes. Alcohol AB during detoxification has previously been shown to predict relapse, but further research was needed to clarify this relationship. The current study determined whether AB for recovery-related words would also predict treatment outcome. Participants were 45 clients undergoing alcohol detoxification, and a control group of 36 staff members. They rated words for personal relevance in four categories (alcohol-related, neutral, positive change-related, and negative change-related). Participants completed an individualized Stroop task containing their chosen words. They were also assessed on readiness-to-change, difficulties with emotion regulation, drinking problems, anxiety, and depression. Clients were interviewed at a three-month follow-up to determine their treatment outcome. As predicted, questionnaire measures did not predict clients' treatment outcome (p > .05). A logistic regression model indicated that the best predictor of treatment outcome was AB for positive change-related words (p = .048), with successful individuals having less AB for these words than for the other word categories. Although this finding was unexpected, it was supported by significant relationships between positive change-related interference scores and continuous measures of drinking at follow-up [i.e. number of units drunk (p = .039) and number of drinking days (p = .018)]. The results suggest that positive change-related words are a better predictor of treatment outcome than are either alcohol-related words or negative change-related words. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bonner-Jackson, Aaron; Csernansky, John G; Barch, Deanna M
First-degree relatives of individuals with schizophrenia show cognitive impairments that are similar to but less severe than their ill relatives. We have shown that memory impairments can be improved and prefrontal cortical (PFC) activity increased in individuals with schizophrenia by providing beneficial encoding strategies. The current study used a similar paradigm to determine whether siblings of individuals with schizophrenia (SIBs) also show increases in brain activity when presented with beneficial encoding strategies. Twenty-one SIBs and 38 siblings of healthy comparison subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scans while engaged in deep (abstract/concrete judgments) and shallow (orthographic judgments) encoding. Subjects were then given a recognition memory test. The groups did not differ on encoding or recognition accuracy, and the SIBs benefited from deep encoding to a similar degree as control subjects. The SIBs showed deep encoding-related activity in a number of PFC regions typically activated during semantic processing. However, SIBs showed more activity than control subjects in three subregions of PFC (left BA 44 & BA 47 bilaterally). Siblings of individuals with schizophrenia benefit from supportive verbal encoding conditions. Like individuals with schizophrenia, SIBs also show increased task-related activity in a larger number of PFC subregions than control subjects during deep verbal encoding.
Riecke, Lars; Peters, Judith C; Valente, Giancarlo; Poser, Benedikt A; Kemper, Valentin G; Formisano, Elia; Sorger, Bettina
Paying selective attention to an audio frequency selectively enhances activity within primary auditory cortex (PAC) at the tonotopic site (frequency channel) representing that frequency. Animal PAC neurons achieve this 'frequency-specific attentional spotlight' by adapting their frequency tuning, yet comparable evidence in humans is scarce. Moreover, whether the spotlight operates in human midbrain is unknown. To address these issues, we studied the spectral tuning of frequency channels in human PAC and inferior colliculus (IC), using 7-T functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) and frequency mapping, while participants focused on different frequency-specific sounds. We found that shifts in frequency-specific attention alter the response gain, but not tuning profile, of PAC frequency channels. The gain modulation was strongest in low-frequency channels and varied near-monotonically across the tonotopic axis, giving rise to the attentional spotlight. We observed less prominent, non-tonotopic spatial patterns of attentional modulation in IC. These results indicate that the frequency-specific attentional spotlight in human PAC as measured with FMRI arises primarily from tonotopic gain modulation, rather than adapted frequency tuning. Moreover, frequency-specific attentional modulation of afferent sound processing in human IC seems to be considerably weaker, suggesting that the spotlight diminishes toward this lower-order processing stage. Our study sheds light on how the human auditory pathway adapts to the different demands of selective hearing. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ramanathan, Dhakshin S.; Conner, James M.; Anilkumar, Arjun A.
Previous studies reported that early postnatal cholinergic lesions severely perturb early cortical development, impairing neuronal cortical migration and the formation of cortical dendrites and synapses. These severe effects of early postnatal cholinergic lesions preclude our ability to understand the contribution of cholinergic systems to the later-stage maturation of topographic cortical representations. To study cholinergic mechanisms contributing to the later maturation of motor cortical circuits, we first characterized the temporal course of cortical motor map development and maturation in rats. In this study, we focused our attention on the maturation of cortical motor representations after postnatal day 25 (PND 25), a time after neuronal migration has been accomplished and cortical volume has reached adult size. We found significant maturation of cortical motor representations after this time, including both an expansion of forelimb representations in motor cortex and a shift from proximal to distal forelimb representations to an extent unexplainable by simple volume enlargement of the neocortex. Specific cholinergic lesions placed at PND 24 impaired enlargement of distal forelimb representations in particular and markedly reduced the ability to learn skilled motor tasks as adults. These results identify a novel and essential role for cholinergic systems in the late refinement and maturation of cortical circuits. Dysfunctions in this system may constitute a mechanism of late-onset neurodevelopmental disorders such as Rett syndrome and schizophrenia. PMID:25505106
Bolton, David A E; Staines, W Richard
Normal aging has been linked to impairments in gating of irrelevant sensory information and neural markers of diminished cognitive processing. Whilst much of the research in this area has focussed on visual and auditory modalities it is unclear to what degree these findings apply to somatosensation. Therefore we investigated how age impacts early event-related potentials (ERPs) arising from relevant or irrelevant vibrotactile stimuli to the fingertips. Specifically, we hypothesised that older adults would demonstrate reduced attention-based modulation of tactile ERPs generated at early stages of cortical somatosensory processing. In accord with previous research we also expected to observe diminished P300 responses to attended targets and behavioural deficits. Participants received vibrotactile stimulation to the second and fifth digit on the left hand and reported target stimuli on one digit only (as instructed) with comparisons between two age groups: (1) Young adults (age range 20-39) and (2) Older adults (age range 62-89). ERP amplitudes for the P50, N70, P100, N140 and long latency positivity (LLP) were quantified for attended and non-attended trials at several electrodes (C4, CP4, CP3 and FC4). The P300 in response to attended target stimuli was measured at CPZ. There was no effect of attention on the P50 and N70 however the P100, N140 and LLP were modulated with attention. In both age groups the P100 and LLP were more positive during trials where the stimuli were attended to, whilst the N140 was enhanced for non-attended stimuli. Comparisons between groups revealed a reduction in P100 attention-based modulation for the older adults versus the young adults. This effect was due to a loss of suppression of the non-attended stimuli in older subjects. Moreover, the P300 was both slower and reduced in peak amplitude for older subjects in response to attended targets. Finally, older adults demonstrated impaired performance in terms of both reduced target detection
Luo, Xijia; Ikani, Nessa; Barth, Anja; Rengers, Lea; Becker, Eni; Rinck, Mike
Attention Bias Modification (ABM) is used to manipulate attention biases in anxiety disorders. It has been successful in reducing attention biases and anxious symptoms in social anxiety and generalized anxiety, but not yet in specific fears and phobias. We designed a new version of the dot-probe training task, aiming to train fearful participants' attention away from or towards pictures of threatening stimuli. Moreover, we studied whether the training also affected participants' avoidance behavior and their physical arousal upon being confronted with a real threat object. In Experiment 1, students with fear of spiders were trained. We found that the attention manipulation was successful, but the training failed to affect behavior or arousal. In Experiment 2, the same procedure was used on snake-fearful students. Again, attention was trained in the expected directions. Moreover, participants whose attention had been trained away from snakes showed lower physiological arousal upon being confronted with a real snake. The study involved healthy students with normal distribution of the fear of spider/snake. Future research with clinical sample could help with determining the generalizability of the current findings. The effect of ABM on specific phobia is still in question. The finding in the present study suggested the possibility to alter attentional bias with a dot-probe task with general positive stimuli and this training could even affect the behavior while encountering a real threat. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
van Lutterveld, Remko; Oranje, Bob; Abramovic, Lucija
with an auditory oddball paradigm in 18 non-psychotic individuals with AVH and 18 controls. RESULTS: P300 amplitude was increased in the AVH group as compared to controls, reflecting superior effortful attention. A trend in the same direction was found for processing negativity. No significant differences were...... found for mismatch negativity. CONCLUSION: Contrary to our expectations, non-psychotic individuals with AVH show increased rather than decreased psychophysiological measures of effortful attention compared to healthy controls, refuting a pivotal role of decreased effortful attention...
Alnæs, Dag; Sneve, Markus Handal; Espeseth, Thomas; Endestad, Tor; van de Pavert, Steven Harry Pieter; Laeng, Bruno
Attentional effort relates to the allocation of limited-capacity attentional resources to meet current task demands and involves the activation of top-down attentional systems in the brain. Pupillometry is a sensitive measure of this intensity aspect of top-down attentional control. Studies relate pupillary changes in response to cognitive processing to activity in the locus coeruleus (LC), which is the main hub of the brain's noradrenergic system and it is thought to modulate the operations of the brain's attentional systems. In the present study, participants performed a visual divided attention task known as multiple object tracking (MOT) while their pupil sizes were recorded by use of an infrared eye tracker and then were tested again with the same paradigm while brain activity was recorded using fMRI. We hypothesized that the individual pupil dilations, as an index of individual differences in mental effort, as originally proposed by Kahneman (1973), would be a better predictor of LC activity than the number of tracked objects during MOT. The current results support our hypothesis, since we observed pupil-related activity in the LC. Moreover, the changes in the pupil correlated with activity in the superior colliculus and the right thalamus, as well as cortical activity in the dorsal attention network, which previous studies have shown to be strongly activated during visual tracking of multiple targets. Follow-up pupillometric analyses of the MOT task in the same individuals also revealed that individual differences to cognitive load can be remarkably stable over a lag of several years. To our knowledge this is the first study using pupil dilations as an index of attentional effort in the MOT task and also relating these to functional changes in the brain that directly implicate the LC-NE system in the allocation of processing resources.
Kliegl, Reinhold; Wei, Ping; Dambacher, Michael; Yan, Ming; Zhou, Xiaolin
Linear mixed models (LMMs) provide a still underused methodological perspective on combining experimental and individual-differences research. Here we illustrate this approach with two-rectangle cueing in visual attention (Egly et al., 1994). We replicated previous experimental cue-validity effects relating to a spatial shift of attention within an object (spatial effect), to attention switch between objects (object effect), and to the attraction of attention toward the display centroid (attraction effect), also taking into account the design-inherent imbalance of valid and other trials. We simultaneously estimated variance/covariance components of subject-related random effects for these spatial, object, and attraction effects in addition to their mean reaction times (RTs). The spatial effect showed a strong positive correlation with mean RT and a strong negative correlation with the attraction effect. The analysis of individual differences suggests that slow subjects engage attention more strongly at the cued location than fast subjects. We compare this joint LMM analysis of experimental effects and associated subject-related variances and correlations with two frequently used alternative statistical procedures. PMID:21833292
Köster, Moritz; Finger, Holger; Kater, Maren-Jo; Schenk, Christoph; Gruber, Thomas
Sleep promotes the consolidation of newly acquired associative memories. Here we used neuronal oscillations in the human EEG to investigate sleep-dependent changes in the cortical memory trace. The retrieval activity for object-color associations was assessed immediately after encoding and after 3 hr of sleep or wakefulness. Sleep had beneficial effects on memory performance and led to reduced event-related theta and gamma power during the retrieval of associative memories. Furthermore, event-related alpha suppression was attenuated in the wake group for memorized and novel stimuli. There were no sleep-dependent changes in retrieval activity for missed items or items retrieved without color. Thus, the sleep-dependent reduction in theta and gamma oscillations was specific for the retrieval of associative memories. In line with theoretical accounts on sleep-dependent memory consolidation, decreased theta may indicate reduced mediotemporal activity because of a transfer of information into neocortical networks during sleep, whereas reduced parietal gamma may reflect effects of synaptic downscaling. Changes in alpha suppression in the wake group possibly index reduced attentional resources that may also contribute to a lower memory performance in this group. These findings indicate that the consolidation of associative memories during sleep is associated with profound changes in the cortical memory trace and relies on multiple neuronal processes working in concert.
Ibáñez, Agustín; Aguado, Jaume; Baez, Sandra; Huepe, David; Lopez, Vladimir; Ortega, Rodrigo; Sigman, Mariano; Mikulan, Ezequiel; Lischinsky, Alicia; Torrente, Fernando; Cetkovich, Marcelo; Torralva, Teresa; Bekinschtein, Tristan; Manes, Facundo
It is commonly assumed that early emotional signals provide relevant information for social cognition tasks. The goal of this study was to test the association between (a) cortical markers of face emotional processing and (b) social-cognitive measures, and also to build a model which can predict this association (a and b) in healthy volunteers as well as in different groups of psychiatric patients. Thus, we investigated the early cortical processing of emotional stimuli (N170, using a face and word valence task) and their relationship with the social-cognitive profiles (SCPs, indexed by measures of theory of mind, fluid intelligence, speed processing and executive functions). Group comparisons and individual differences were assessed among schizophrenia (SCZ) patients and their relatives, individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), individuals with euthymic bipolar disorder (BD) and healthy participants (educational level, handedness, age and gender matched). Our results provide evidence of emotional N170 impairments in the affected groups (SCZ and relatives, ADHD and BD) as well as subtle group differences. Importantly, cortical processing of emotional stimuli predicted the SCP, as evidenced by a structural equation model analysis. This is the first study to report an association model of brain markers of emotional processing and SCP. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spratling, M W; Johnson, M H
Feedback connections are a prominent feature of cortical anatomy and are likely to have a significant functional role in neural information processing. We present a neural network model of cortical feedback that successfully simulates neurophysiological data associated with attention. In this domain, our model can be considered a more detailed, and biologically plausible, implementation of the biased competition model of attention. However, our model is more general as it can also explain a variety of other top-down processes in vision, such as figure/ground segmentation and contextual cueing. This model thus suggests that a common mechanism, involving cortical feedback pathways, is responsible for a range of phenomena and provides a unified account of currently disparate areas of research.
Fels, Meike; Bauer, Robert; Gharabaghi, Alireza
Objective. Novel rehabilitation strategies apply robot-assisted exercises and neurofeedback tasks to facilitate intensive motor training. We aimed to disentangle task-specific and subject-related contributions to the perceived workload of these interventions and the related cortical activation patterns. Approach. We assessed the perceived workload with the NASA Task Load Index in twenty-one subjects who were exposed to two different feedback tasks in a cross-over design: (i) brain-robot interface (BRI) with haptic/proprioceptive feedback of sensorimotor oscillations related to motor imagery, and (ii) control of neuromuscular activity with feedback of the electromyography (EMG) of the same hand. We also used electroencephalography to examine the cortical activation patterns beforehand in resting state and during the training session of each task. Main results. The workload profile of BRI feedback differed from EMG feedback and was particularly characterized by the experience of frustration. The frustration level was highly correlated across tasks, suggesting subject-related relevance of this workload component. Those subjects who were specifically challenged by the respective tasks could be detected by an interhemispheric alpha-band network in resting state before the training and by their sensorimotor theta-band activation pattern during the exercise. Significance. Neurophysiological profiles in resting state and during the exercise may provide task-independent workload markers for monitoring and matching participants’ ability and task difficulty of neurofeedback interventions.
Due to the increased interest in ethanol blends as an alternative fuel source, there is a need to assess their possible health risks to sensitive populations. Specifically, ethanol is known to alter cortical functions such as attention, processing speed, movement, working memory,...
Degenhart, Alan D.; Hiremath, Shivayogi V.; Yang, Ying; Foldes, Stephen; Collinger, Jennifer L.; Boninger, Michael; Tyler-Kabara, Elizabeth C.; Wang, Wei
Objective. Brain-computer interface (BCI) technology aims to provide individuals with paralysis a means to restore function. Electrocorticography (ECoG) uses disc electrodes placed on either the surface of the dura or the cortex to record field potential activity. ECoG has been proposed as a viable neural recording modality for BCI systems, potentially providing stable, long-term recordings of cortical activity with high spatial and temporal resolution. Previously we have demonstrated that a subject with spinal cord injury (SCI) could control an ECoG-based BCI system with up to three degrees of freedom (Wang et al 2013 PLoS One). Here, we expand upon these findings by including brain-control results from two additional subjects with upper-limb paralysis due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and brachial plexus injury, and investigate the potential of motor and somatosensory cortical areas to enable BCI control. Approach. Individuals were implanted with high-density ECoG electrode grids over sensorimotor cortical areas for less than 30 d. Subjects were trained to control a BCI by employing a somatotopic control strategy where high-gamma activity from attempted arm and hand movements drove the velocity of a cursor. Main results. Participants were capable of generating robust cortical modulation that was differentiable across attempted arm and hand movements of their paralyzed limb. Furthermore, all subjects were capable of voluntarily modulating this activity to control movement of a computer cursor with up to three degrees of freedom using the somatotopic control strategy. Additionally, for those subjects with electrode coverage of somatosensory cortex, we found that somatosensory cortex was capable of supporting ECoG-based BCI control. Significance. These results demonstrate the feasibility of ECoG-based BCI systems for individuals with paralysis as well as highlight some of the key challenges that must be overcome before such systems are translated to the clinical
Jung H Lee
Full Text Available Cortical rhythms have been thought to play crucial roles in our cognitive abilities. Rhythmic activity in the beta frequency band, around 20 Hz, has been reported in recent studies that focused on neural correlates of attention, indicating that top-down beta rhythms, generated in higher cognitive areas and delivered to earlier sensory areas, can support attentional gain modulation. To elucidate functional roles of beta rhythms and underlying mechanisms, we built a computational model of sensory cortical areas. Our simulation results show that top-down beta rhythms can activate ascending synaptic projections from L5 to L4 and L2/3, responsible for biased competition in superficial layers. In the simulation, slow-inhibitory interneurons are shown to resonate to the 20 Hz input and modulate the activity in superficial layers in an attention-related manner. The predicted critical roles of these cells in attentional gain provide a potential mechanism by which cholinergic drive can support selective attention.
Maia da Silva, Mari N.; Millington, Rebecca S.; Bridge, Holly; James-Galton, Merle; Plant, Gordon T.
Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is a syndromic diagnosis. It is characterized by progressive impairment of higher (cortical) visual function with imaging evidence of degeneration affecting the occipital, parietal, and posterior temporal lobes bilaterally. Most cases will prove to have Alzheimer pathology. The aim of this review is to summarize the development of the concept of this disorder since it was first introduced. A critical discussion of the evolving diagnostic criteria is presented and the differential diagnosis with regard to the underlying pathology is reviewed. Emphasis is given to the visual dysfunction that defines the disorder, and the classical deficits, such as simultanagnosia and visual agnosia, as well as the more recently recognized visual field defects, are reviewed, along with the evidence on their neural correlates. The latest developments on the imaging of PCA are summarized, with special attention to its role on the differential diagnosis with related conditions. PMID:28861031
Mari N. Maia da Silva
Full Text Available Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA is a syndromic diagnosis. It is characterized by progressive impairment of higher (cortical visual function with imaging evidence of degeneration affecting the occipital, parietal, and posterior temporal lobes bilaterally. Most cases will prove to have Alzheimer pathology. The aim of this review is to summarize the development of the concept of this disorder since it was first introduced. A critical discussion of the evolving diagnostic criteria is presented and the differential diagnosis with regard to the underlying pathology is reviewed. Emphasis is given to the visual dysfunction that defines the disorder, and the classical deficits, such as simultanagnosia and visual agnosia, as well as the more recently recognized visual field defects, are reviewed, along with the evidence on their neural correlates. The latest developments on the imaging of PCA are summarized, with special attention to its role on the differential diagnosis with related conditions.
Full Text Available There have been many neuroimaging studies of human personality traits, and it have already provided glimpse into the neurobiology of complex traits. And most of previous studies adopt voxel-based morphology (VBM analysis to explore the brain-personality mechanism from two levels (vertex and regional based, the findings are mixed with great inconsistencies and the brain-personality relations are far from a full understanding. Here, we used a new method of surface-based morphology (SBM analysis, which provides better alignment of cortical landmarks to generate about the associations between cortical morphology and the personality traits across 120 healthy individuals at both vertex and regional levels. While to further reveal local functional correlates of the morphology-personality relationships, we related surface-based functional homogeneity measures to the regions identified in the regional-based SBM correlation. Vertex-wise analysis revealed that people with high agreeableness exhibited larger areas in the left superior temporal gyrus. Based on regional parcellation we found that extroversion was negatively related with the volume of the left lateral occipito-temporal gyrus and agreeableness was negatively associated with the sulcus depth of the left superior parietal lobule. Moreover, increased regional homogeneity in the left lateral occipito-temporal gyrus is related to the scores of extroversion, and increased regional homogeneity in the left superior parietal lobule is related to the scores of agreeableness. These findings provide supporting evidence of a link between personality and brain structural mysteries with a method of SBM, and further suggest that local functional homogeneity of personality traits has neurobiological relevance that is likely based on anatomical substrates.
Conclusion: Whole-brain-averaged cortical extrinsic curvature appears to be a specific and quantitative marker for a WMV–cortex disproportionality and allows us to assess “pure” WMA without being confounded by intracranial volume. WMA seems to be a characteristic symptom in early MS and can already occur in patients with CIS and should thus be considered in future MS research and clinical studies.
McDermott, Timothy J; Wiesman, Alex I; Proskovec, Amy L; Heinrichs-Graham, Elizabeth; Wilson, Tony W
The flanker task is a test of visual selective attention that has been widely used to probe error monitoring, response conflict, and related constructs. However, to date, few studies have focused on the selective attention component of this task and imaged the underlying oscillatory dynamics serving task performance. In this study, 21 healthy adults successfully completed an arrow-based version of the Eriksen flanker task during magnetoencephalography (MEG). All MEG data were pre-processed and transformed into the time-frequency domain. Significant oscillatory brain responses were imaged using a beamforming approach, and voxel time series were extracted from the peak responses to identify the temporal dynamics. Across both congruent and incongruent flanker conditions, our results indicated robust decreases in alpha (9-12Hz) activity in medial and lateral occipital regions, bilateral parietal cortices, and cerebellar areas during task performance. In parallel, increases in theta (3-7Hz) oscillatory activity were detected in dorsal and ventral frontal regions, and the anterior cingulate. As per conditional effects, stronger alpha responses (i.e., greater desynchronization) were observed in parietal, occipital, and cerebellar cortices during incongruent relative to congruent trials, whereas the opposite pattern emerged for theta responses (i.e., synchronization) in the anterior cingulate, left dorsolateral prefrontal, and ventral prefrontal cortices. Interestingly, the peak latency of theta responses in these latter brain regions was significantly correlated with reaction time, and may partially explain the amplitude difference observed between congruent and incongruent trials. Lastly, whole-brain exploratory analyses implicated the frontal eye fields, right temporoparietal junction, and premotor cortices. These findings suggest that regions of both the dorsal and ventral attention networks contribute to visual selective attention processes during incongruent trials
Jepsen, Karl J; Bigelow, Erin M R; Schlecht, Stephen H
The twofold greater lifetime risk of fracturing a bone for white women compared with white men and black women has been attributed in part to differences in how the skeletal system accumulates bone mass during growth. On average, women build more slender long bones with less cortical area compared with men. Although slender bones are known to have a naturally lower cortical area compared with wider bones, it remains unclear whether the relatively lower cortical area of women is consistent with their increased slenderness or is reduced beyond that expected for the sex-specific differences in bone size and body size. Whether this sexual dimorphism is consistent with ethnic background and is recapitulated in the widely used mouse model also remains unclear. We asked (1) do black women build bones with reduced cortical area compared with black men; (2) do white women build bones with reduced cortical area compared with white men; and (3) do female mice build bones with reduced cortical area compared with male mice? Bone strength and cross-sectional morphology of adult human and mouse bone were calculated from quantitative CT images of the femoral midshaft. The data were tested for normality and regression analyses were used to test for differences in cortical area between men and women after adjusting for body size and bone size by general linear model (GLM). Linear regression analysis showed that the femurs of black women had 11% lower cortical area compared with those of black men after adjusting for body size and bone size (women: mean=357.7 mm2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 347.9-367.5 mm2; men: mean=400.1 mm2; 95% CI, 391.5-408.7 mm2; effect size=1.2; pbone size (women: mean=350.1 mm2; 95% CI, 340.4-359.8 mm2; men: mean=394.3 mm2; 95% CI, 386.5-402.1 mm2; effect size=1.3; pbone size (female: mean=0.73 mm2; 95% CI, 0.71-0.74 mm2; male: mean=0.70 mm2; 95% CI, 0.68-0.71 mm2; effect size=0.74; p=0.04, GLM). Female femurs are not simply a more slender version of male
Shakespeare, Timothy J; Kaski, Diego; Yong, Keir X X; Paterson, Ross W; Slattery, Catherine F; Ryan, Natalie S; Schott, Jonathan M; Crutch, Sebastian J
whose frequency correlated significantly with generalized reductions in cortical thickness. Patients with both posterior cortical atrophy and typical Alzheimer's disease showed lower gain in smooth pursuit compared to controls. The current study establishes that eye movement abnormalities are near-ubiquitous in posterior cortical atrophy, and highlights multiple aspects of saccadic performance which distinguish posterior cortical atrophy from typical Alzheimer's disease. We suggest the posterior cortical atrophy oculomotor profile (e.g. exacerbation of the saccadic gap/overlap effect, preserved saccadic velocity) reflects weak input from degraded occipito-parietal spatial representations of stimulus location into a superior collicular spatial map for eye movement regulation. This may indicate greater impairment of identification of oculomotor targets rather than generation of oculomotor movements. The results highlight the critical role of spatial attention and object identification but also precise stimulus localization in explaining the complex real world perception deficits observed in posterior cortical atrophy and many other patients with dementia-related visual impairment. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain.
Lee, Homan; Causgrove Dunn, Janice; Holt, Nicholas L
The purpose of this study was to explore youth sport experiences of individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Participants were 6 males (mean age=22.7 yr) with ADHD who had played 3 or more seasons in team sports during adolescence. Following interpretive phenomenological analysis methodology, each participant completed 2 semistructured interviews. Findings showed that symptoms of ADHD hampered participants' experiences and led to negative interpersonal and performance-related consequences. On the other hand, participants reported social and stress/energy-release benefits arising from their experiences in sport. Their experiences were therefore complex, and some findings relating to social interactions appeared contradictory (e.g., negative interpersonal experiences vs. social benefits). Supportive coaches, understanding teammates, and personal coping strategies were key factors that enabled participants to realize benefits and, to some degree, mitigate negative consequences associated with their participation in sport.
Full Text Available Acetylcholine (ACh signaling underlies specific aspects of cognitive functions and behaviors, including attention, learning, memory and motivation. Alterations in ACh signaling are involved in the pathophysiology of multiple neuropsychiatric disorders. In the central nervous system, ACh transmission is mainly guaranteed by dense innervation of select cortical and subcortical regions from disperse groups of cholinergic neurons within the basal forebrain (e.g. diagonal band, medial septal, nucleus basalis and the pontine-mesencephalic nuclei, respectively. Despite the fundamental role of cholinergic signaling in the CNS and the long standing knowledge of the organization of cholinergic circuitry, remarkably little is known about precisely how ACh release modulates cortical and subcortical neural activity and the behaviors these circuits subserve. Growing interest in cholinergic signaling in the CNS focuses on the mechanism(s of action by which endogenously released ACh regulates cognitive functions, acting as a neuromodulator and /or as a direct transmitter via nicotinic and muscarinic receptors. The development of optogenetic techniques has provided a valuable toolbox with which we can address these questions, as it allows the selective manipulation of the excitability of cholinergic inputs to the diverse array of cholinergic target fields within cortical and subcortical domains. Here, we review recent papers that use the light-sensitive opsins in the cholinergic system to elucidate the role of ACh in circuits related to attention and emotionally salient behaviors. In particular, we highlight recent optogenetic studies which have tried to disentangle the precise role of ACh in the modulation of cortical-, hippocampal- and striatal-dependent functions.
Uncapher, Melina R; Rugg, Michael D
Not all of what is experienced is remembered later. Behavioral evidence suggests that the manner in which an event is processed influences which aspects of the event will later be remembered. The present experiment investigated the neural correlates of "selective encoding," or the mechanisms that support the encoding of some elements of an event in preference to others. Event-related MRI data were acquired while volunteers selectively attended to one of two different contextual features of study items (color or location). A surprise memory test for the items and both contextual features was subsequently administered to determine the influence of selective attention on the neural correlates of contextual encoding. Activity in several cortical regions indexed later memory success selectively for color or location information, and this encoding-related activity was enhanced by selective attention to the relevant feature. Critically, a region in the hippocampus responded selectively to attended source information (whether color or location), demonstrating encoding-related activity for attended but not for nonattended source features. Together, the findings suggest that selective attention modulates the magnitude of activity in cortical regions engaged by different aspects of an event, and hippocampal encoding mechanisms seem to be sensitive to this modulation. Thus, the information that is encoded into a memory representation is biased by selective attention, and this bias is mediated by cortical-hippocampal interactions.
Tsunematsu, Hiroto; Uyeda, Akiko; Yamamoto, Nobuhiko; Sugo, Noriyuki
CRISPR/Cas9 system is a powerful method to investigate the role of genes by introducing a mutation selectively and efficiently to specific genome positions in cell and animal lines. However, in primary neuron cultures, this method is affected by the issue that the effectiveness of CRISPR/Cas9 is different in each neuron. Here, we report an easy, quick and reliable method to identify mutants induced by the CRISPR/Cas9 system at a single neuron level, using immunocytochemistry (ICC) and fluorescence imaging. Dissociated cortical cells were transfected with CRISPR/Cas9 plasmids targeting the transcription factor cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB). Fluorescence ICC with CREB antibody and quantitative analysis of fluorescence intensity demonstrated that CREB expression disappeared in a fraction of the transfected neurons. The downstream FOS expression was also decreased in accordance with suppressed CREB expression. Moreover, dendritic arborization was decreased in the transfected neurons which lacked CREB immunoreactivity. Detection of protein expression is efficient to identify individual postmitotic neurons with CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene disruption in primary cortical cultures. The present method composed of CRISPR/Cas9 system, ICC and fluorescence imaging is applicable to study the function of various genes at a single-neuron level.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Prepulse inhibition (PPI of the startle response is an important tool to investigate the biology of schizophrenia. PPI is usually observed by use of a startle reflex such as blinking following an intense sound. A similar phenomenon has not been reported for cortical responses. Results In 12 healthy subjects, change-related cortical activity in response to an abrupt increase of sound pressure by 5 dB above the background of 65 dB SPL (test stimulus was measured using magnetoencephalography. The test stimulus evoked a clear cortical response peaking at around 130 ms (Change-N1m. In Experiment 1, effects of the intensity of a prepulse (0.5 ~ 5 dB on the test response were examined using a paired stimulation paradigm. In Experiment 2, effects of the interval between the prepulse and test stimulus were examined using interstimulus intervals (ISIs of 50 ~ 350 ms. When the test stimulus was preceded by the prepulse, the Change-N1m was more strongly inhibited by a stronger prepulse (Experiment 1 and a shorter ISI prepulse (Experiment 2. In addition, the amplitude of the test Change-N1m correlated positively with both the amplitude of the prepulse-evoked response and the degree of inhibition, suggesting that subjects who are more sensitive to the auditory change are more strongly inhibited by the prepulse. Conclusions Since Change-N1m is easy to measure and control, it would be a valuable tool to investigate mechanisms of sensory gating or the biology of certain mental diseases such as schizophrenia.
Oberfeld, Daniel; Klöckner-Nowotny, Felicitas
Listeners with normal hearing show considerable individual differences in speech understanding when competing speakers are present, as in a crowded restaurant. Here, we show that one source of this variance are individual differences in the ability to focus selective attention on a target stimulus in the presence of distractors. In 50 young normal-hearing listeners, the performance in tasks measuring auditory and visual selective attention was associated with sentence identification in the presence of spatially separated competing speakers. Together, the measures of selective attention explained a similar proportion of variance as the binaural sensitivity for the acoustic temporal fine structure. Working memory span, age, and audiometric thresholds showed no significant association with speech understanding. These results suggest that a reduced ability to focus attention on a target is one reason why some listeners with normal hearing sensitivity have difficulty communicating in situations with background noise.
Full Text Available This case study demonstrates the change of sensory cortical representations of the residual parts of the arm in an individual who underwent a trans-humeral amputation and subsequent targeted reinnervation (TR. As a relatively new surgical technique, TR restores a direct neural connection from amputated sensorimotor nerves to specific target muscles. This method has been successfully applied to upper-limb and lower-limb amputees, and has shown effectiveness in regaining control signals via the newly re-innervated muscles. Correspondingly, recent study results have shown that motor representations for the missing limb move closer to their original locations following TR. Besides regaining motor control signals, TR also restores the sensation in the re-innervated skin areas. We therefore hypothesize that TR causes analogous cortical sensory remapping that may return closer to their original locations. In order to test this hypothesis, cortical activity in response to sensory-level electrical stimulation in different parts of the arm was studied longitudinally in one amputated individual before and up to 2 years after TR. Our results showed that 1 before TR, the cortical response to sensory electrical stimulation in the residual limb showed a diffuse bilateral pattern without a clear focus in either the time or spatial domain; and 2 2 years after TR, the sensory map of the reinnervated median nerve reorganized, showing predominant activity over the contralateral S1 hand area as well as moderate activity over the ipsilateral S1. Therefore, this work provides new evidence for long-term sensory cortical plasticity in the human brain after TR.
Yao, Jun; Chen, Albert; Kuiken, Todd; Carmona, Carolina; Dewald, Julius
This case study demonstrates the change of sensory cortical representations of the residual parts of the arm in an individual who underwent a trans-humeral amputation and subsequent targeted reinnervation (TR). As a relatively new surgical technique, TR restores a direct neural connection from amputated sensorimotor nerves to specific target muscles. This method has been successfully applied to upper-limb and lower-limb amputees, and has shown effectiveness in regaining control signals via the newly re-innervated muscles. Correspondingly, recent study results have shown that motor representations for the missing limb move closer to their original locations following TR. Besides regaining motor control signals, TR also restores the sensation in the re-innervated skin areas. We therefore hypothesize that TR causes analogous cortical sensory remapping that may return closer to their original locations. In order to test this hypothesis, cortical activity in response to sensory-level electrical stimulation in different parts of the arm was studied longitudinally in one amputated individual before and up to 2 years after TR. Our results showed that 1) before TR, the cortical response to sensory electrical stimulation in the residual limb showed a diffuse bilateral pattern without a clear focus in either the time or spatial domain; and 2) 2 years after TR, the sensory map of the reinnervated median nerve reorganized, showing predominant activity over the contralateral S1 hand area as well as moderate activity over the ipsilateral S1. Therefore, this work provides new evidence for long-term sensory cortical plasticity in the human brain after TR.
Varella, André A B; de Souza, Deisy G
Empirical studies have demonstrated that class-specific contingencies may engender stimulus-reinforcer relations. In these studies, crossmodal relations emerged when crossmodal relations comprised the baseline, and intramodal relations emerged when intramodal relations were taught during baseline. This study investigated whether auditory-visual relations (crossmodal) would emerge after participants learned a visual-visual baseline (intramodal) with auditory stimuli presented as specific consequences. Four individuals with autism learned AB and CD relations with class-specific reinforcers. When A1 and C1 were presented as samples, the selections of B1 and D1, respectively, were followed by an edible (R1) and a sound (S1). Selections of B2 and D2 under the control of A2 and C2, respectively, were followed by R2 and S2. Probe trials tested for visual-visual AC, CA, AD, DA, BC, CB, BD, and DB emergent relations and auditory-visual SA, SB, SC, and SD emergent relations. All of the participants demonstrated the emergence of all auditory-visual relations, and three of four participants showed emergence of all visual-visual relations. Thus, the emergence of auditory-visual relations from specific auditory consequences suggests that these relations do not depend on crossmodal baseline training. The procedure has great potential for applied technology to generate auditory-visual discriminations and stimulus classes in the context of behavior-analytic interventions for autism. © Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.
Full Text Available Whereas at the beginning of the XIXth century, Gall’s description of “heads” received little scientific attention, by the end of the century, the cortical maps produced by the “cerebral cartography” of Ferrier were considered a true reproduction of the actual positions of the cortical functions. Gall conceived the brain as a mass of “organs”, each constituting a specific instrument of an equally specific “faculty” of the soul. Ferrier, by contrast, considered the brain as a unitary organ made up of specific sensory and/or motor functional centres and of “associative” areas responsible for the more complex and integrated aspects of animal and human behaviour. Building on the clinical work of Broca and Jackson, the localizationistic model, supported by Ferrier’s experimental evidences and clinical data, made it possible to replace the old neurological model with a new model for understanding the relation between the nervous system and behavior. Gall had wanted to put forward a new idea about the brain and mind, but he could only proffer a “speculative” theory devoid of clinical and experimental support in support of this idea. By the end of the century, however, the cognitive neurosciences had found their new paradigm: every mental function was considered to arise from motion and sensation, and from the integrative action of the nervous system.
Wakusawa, Keisuke; Nara, Chieko; Kubota, Yuki; Tomizawa, Yayoi; Taki, Yasuyuki; Sassa, Yuko; Kobayashi, Satoru; Suzuki-Muromoto, Sato; Hirose, Mieko; Yokoyama, Hiroyuki; Nara, Takahiro; Kure, Shigeo; Mori, Norio; Takei, Noriyoshi; Kawashima, Ryuta
Several studies have suggested that objective deficits in the processing of abstract information in conjunction with an enhanced ability to process concrete information is a definitive characteristic of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, this cognitive imbalance is not necessarily clear in high-functioning autistic individuals who do not display absolute differences relative to typically developing (TD) populations. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify this cognitive tendency in high-functioning autistic individuals using intra-individual cognitive comparisons. The reaction times (RTs) of TD children, children with ASD, and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) (n=17 in each group, mean age=11.9years, age range=9.8-15.8years) were compared using the Which/How-to-Apply Tools (W/HAT) test, which consists of tasks requiring the adaptive use of novel tools and familiar tools in atypical and typical situations. Differences in RTs between the atypical and typical trials ([A-T]) were used to assess intra-individual cognitive imbalances. As predicted, the [A-T] scores of the ASD group were significantly higher than those of the TD group even though the RTs in the atypical and typical trials did not differ. Additionally, the [A-T] values were significantly higher in the ASD group than in the AD/HD group, which indicates that the cognitive imbalance was specific to ASD individuals. No significant interaction was detected between the trial and subject group. The findings of this study demonstrate that a cognitive imbalance in ASD individuals may enhance the current understanding of the pathophysiology of this disorder, which is found in a range of individuals, including those with obvious cortical dysfunction to those with only intra-individual imbalances. Copyright © 2017 The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Hari M Bharadwaj
Full Text Available Frequency tagging of sensory inputs (presenting stimuli that fluctuate periodically at rates to which the cortex can phase lock has been used to study attentional modulation of neural responses to inputs in different sensory modalities. For visual inputs, the visual steady-state response (VSSR at the frequency modulating an attended object is enhanced, while the VSSR to a distracting object is suppressed. In contrast, the effect of attention on the auditory steady-state response (ASSR is inconsistent across studies. However, most auditory studies analyzed results at the sensor level or used only a small number of equivalent current dipoles to fit cortical responses. In addition, most studies of auditory spatial attention used dichotic stimuli (independent signals at the ears rather than more natural, binaural stimuli. Here, we asked whether these methodological choices help explain discrepant results. Listeners attended to one of two competing speech streams, one simulated from the left and one from the right, that were modulated at different frequencies. Using distributed source modeling of magnetoencephalography results, we estimate how spatially directed attention modulates the ASSR in neural regions across the whole brain. Attention enhances the ASSR power at the frequency of the attended stream in the contralateral auditory cortex. The attended-stream modulation frequency also drives phase-locked responses in the left (but not right precentral sulcus (lPCS, a region implicated in control of eye gaze and visual spatial attention. Importantly, this region shows no phase locking to the distracting stream suggesting that the lPCS in engaged in an attention-specific manner. Modeling results that take account of the geometry and phases of the cortical sources phase locked to the two streams (including hemispheric asymmetry of lPCS activity help partly explain why past ASSR studies of auditory spatial attention yield seemingly contradictory
Greenham, Stephanie L; Stelmack, Robert M; van der Vlugt, Harry
The role of attention in the processing of pictures and words was investigated for a group of normally achieving children and for groups of learning disability sub-types that were defined by deficient performance on tests of reading and spelling (Group RS) and of arithmetic (Group A). An event-related potential (ERP) recording paradigm was employed in which the children were required to attend to and name either pictures or words that were presented individually or in superimposed picture-word arrays that varied in degree of semantic relation. For Group RS, the ERP waves to words, both presented individually or attended in the superimposed array, exhibited reduced N450 amplitude relative to controls, whereas their ERP waves to pictures were normal. This suggests that the word-naming deficiency for Group RS is not a selective attention deficit but rather a specific linguistic deficit that develops at a later stage of processing. In contrast to Group RS and controls, Group A did not exhibit reliable early frontal negative waves (N280) to the super-imposed pictures and words, an effect that may reflect a selective attention deficit for these children that develops at an early stage of visuo-spatial processing. These early processing differences were also evident in smaller amplitude N450 waves for Group A when naming either pictures or words in the superimposed arrays.
Oberfeld, Daniel; Klöckner-Nowotny, Felicitas
Listeners with normal hearing show considerable individual differences in speech understanding when competing speakers are present, as in a crowded restaurant. Here, we show that one source of this variance are individual differences in the ability to focus selective attention on a target stimulus in the presence of distractors. In 50 young normal-hearing listeners, the performance in tasks measuring auditory and visual selective attention was associated with sentence identification in the presence of spatially separated competing speakers. Together, the measures of selective attention explained a similar proportion of variance as the binaural sensitivity for the acoustic temporal fine structure. Working memory span, age, and audiometric thresholds showed no significant association with speech understanding. These results suggest that a reduced ability to focus attention on a target is one reason why some listeners with normal hearing sensitivity have difficulty communicating in situations with background noise. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16747.001 PMID:27580272
Effects of a structured 20-session slow-cortical-potential-based neurofeedback program on attentional performance in children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: retrospective analysis of an open-label pilot-approach and 6-month follow-up.
Albrecht, Johanna S; Bubenzer-Busch, Sarah; Gallien, Anne; Knospe, Eva Lotte; Gaber, Tilman J; Zepf, Florian D
The aim of this approach was to conduct a structured electroencephalography-based neurofeedback training program for children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using slow cortical potentials with an intensive first (almost daily sessions) and second phase of training (two sessions per week) and to assess aspects of attentional performance. A total of 24 young patients with ADHD participated in the 20-session training program. During phase I of training (2 weeks, 10 sessions), participants were trained on weekdays. During phase II, neurofeedback training occurred twice per week (5 weeks). The patients' inattention problems were measured at three assessment time points before (pre, T0) and after (post, T1) the training and at a 6-month follow-up (T2); the assessments included neuropsychological tests (Alertness and Divided Attention subtests of the Test for Attentional Performance; Sustained Attention Dots and Shifting Attentional Set subtests of the Amsterdam Neuropsychological Test) and questionnaire data (inattention subscales of the so-called Fremdbeurteilungsbogen für Hyperkinetische Störungen and Child Behavior Checklist/4-18 [CBCL/4-18]). All data were analyzed retrospectively. The mean auditive reaction time in a Divided Attention task decreased significantly from T0 to T1 (medium effect), which was persistent over time and also found for a T0-T2 comparison (larger effects). In the Sustained Attention Dots task, the mean reaction time was reduced from T0-T1 and T1-T2 (small effects), whereas in the Shifting Attentional Set task, patients were able to increase the number of trials from T1-T2 and significantly diminished the number of errors (T1-T2 & T0-T2, large effects). First positive but very small effects and preliminary results regarding different parameters of attentional performance were detected in young individuals with ADHD. The limitations of the obtained preliminary data are the rather small sample size, the
Falcone, Brian; Wada, Atsushi; Parasuraman, Raja
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been shown to enhance cognitive performance on a variety of tasks. It is hypothesized that tDCS enhances performance by affecting task related cortical excitability changes in networks underlying or connected to the site of stimulation facilitating long term potentiation. However, many recent studies have called into question the reliability and efficacy of tDCS to induce modulatory changes in brain activity. In this study, our goal is to investigate the individual differences in tDCS induced modulatory effects on brain activity related to the degree of enhancement in performance, providing insight into this lack of reliability. In accomplishing this goal, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) concurrently with tDCS stimulation (1 mA, 30 minutes duration) using a visual search task simulating real world conditions. The experiment consisted of three fMRI sessions: pre-training (no performance feedback), training (performance feedback which included response accuracy and target location and either real tDCS or sham stimulation given), and post-training (no performance feedback). The right posterior parietal cortex was selected as the site of anodal tDCS based on its known role in visual search and spatial attention processing. Our results identified a region in the right precentral gyrus, known to be involved with visual spatial attention and orienting, that showed tDCS induced task related changes in cortical excitability that were associated with individual differences in improved performance. This same region showed greater activity during the training session for target feedback of incorrect (target-error feedback) over correct trials for the tDCS stim over sham group indicating greater attention to target features during training feedback when trials were incorrect. These results give important insight into the nature of neural excitability induced by tDCS as it relates to variability in
Functional and structural neuroimaging have identified abnormalities of the brain that are likely to contribute to the neuropathophysiology of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In particular, hypofunction of the brain regions comprising the cingulo-frontal-parietal (CFP) cognitive-attention network have been consistently observed across studies. These are major components of neural systems that are relevant to ADHD, including cognitive/attention networks, motor systems and reward/feedback-based processing systems. Moreover, these areas interact with other brain circuits that have been implicated in ADHD, such as the “default mode” resting state network. ADHD imaging data related to CFP network dysfunction will be selectively highlighted here to help facilitate its integration with the other information presented in this special issue. Together, these reviews will help shed light on the neurobiology of ADHD. PMID:21489409
Vrijsen, Janna N; Fleurkens, Pascal; Nieuwboer, Wieteke; Rinck, Mike
We investigated if an attentional bias for spiders in spider fearful individuals (SFs) can also be found for moving spiders, rather than static images. In Study 1, 28 SFs and 33 non-anxious controls (NACs) participated in a modified version of the dot probe paradigm: they had to react to a probe that appeared either in the next, previous, or side position of a spider's or a wheel's path. 24 SFs and 29 NACs participated in Study 2, in which a fourth, highly predictable, probe position was added. We expected that moving spiders would capture the attention of SFs. In addition, we tested whether SFs try to predict the movement of the spider to make it less threatening. As expected, SFs showed an attentional bias towards moving spiders. However, both groups reacted fastest to unpredictable movements, indicating that SFs and NACs alike anticipate unpredictable spider movements.
Petersen, A; Vangkilde, S; Fabricius, C; Iversen, H K; Delfi, T S; Starrfelt, R
Impaired visual attention is common following strokes in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, particularly in the right hemisphere, while attentional effects of more posterior lesions are less clear. Commonly, such deficits are investigated in relation to specific syndromes like visual agnosia or pure alexia. The aim of this study was to characterize visual processing speed and apprehension span following posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. In addition, the relationship between these attentional parameters and single word reading is investigated, as previous studies have suggested that reduced visual speed and span may explain pure alexia. Eight patients with unilateral PCA strokes (four left hemisphere, four right hemisphere) were selected on the basis of lesion location, rather than the presence of any visual symptoms. Visual attention was characterized by a whole report paradigm allowing for hemifield-specific measurements of processing speed and apprehension span. All patients showed reductions in visual span contralateral to the lesion site, and four patients showed bilateral reductions in visual span despite unilateral lesions (2L; 2R). Six patients showed selective deficits in visual span, though processing speed was unaffected in the same field (ipsi- or contralesionally). Only patients with right hemifield reductions in visual span were impaired in reading, and this could follow either right or left lateralized stroke and was irrespective of visual field impairments. In conclusion, visual span may be affected bilaterally by unilateral PCA-lesions. Reductions in visual span may also be confined to one hemifield, and may be affected in spite of preserved visual processing speed. Furthermore, reduced span in the right visual field seems to be related to reading impairment in this group, regardless of lesion lateralization. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Amir, Nader; Beard, Courtney; Taylor, Charles T.; Klumpp, Heide; Elias, Jason; Burns, Michelle; Chen, Xi
The authors conducted a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial to examine the efficacy of an attention training procedure in reducing symptoms of social anxiety in 44 individuals diagnosed with generalized social phobia (GSP). Attention training comprised a probe detection task in which pictures of faces with either a threatening or…
Andrew C. Talk
Full Text Available Loss of function of the hippocampus or frontal cortex is associated with reduced performance on memory tasks, in which subjects are incidentally exposed to cues at specific places in the environment and are subsequently asked to recollect the location at which the cue was experienced. Here, we examined the roles of the rodent hippocampus and frontal cortex in cue-directed attention during encoding of memory for the location of a single incidentally experienced cue. During a spatial sensory preconditioning task, rats explored an elevated platform while an auditory cue was incidentally presented at one corner. The opposite corner acted as an unpaired control location. The rats demonstrated recollection of location by avoiding the paired corner after the auditory cue was in turn paired with shock. Damage to either the dorsal hippocampus or the frontal cortex impaired this memory ability. However, we also found that hippocampal lesions enhanced attention directed towards the cue during the encoding phase, while frontal cortical lesions reduced cue-directed attention. These results suggest that the deficit in spatial sensory preconditioning caused by frontal cortical damage may be mediated by inattention to the location of cues during the latent encoding phase, while deficits following hippocampal damage must be related to other mechanisms such as generation of neural plasticity.
Talk, Andrew C.; Grasby, Katrina L.; Rawson, Tim; Ebejer, Jane L.
Loss of function of the hippocampus or frontal cortex is associated with reduced performance on memory tasks, in which subjects are incidentally exposed to cues at specific places in the environment and are subsequently asked to recollect the location at which the cue was experienced. Here, we examined the roles of the rodent hippocampus and frontal cortex in cue-directed attention during encoding of memory for the location of a single incidentally experienced cue. During a spatial sensory preconditioning task, rats explored an elevated platform while an auditory cue was incidentally presented at one corner. The opposite corner acted as an unpaired control location. The rats demonstrated recollection of location by avoiding the paired corner after the auditory cue was in turn paired with shock. Damage to either the dorsal hippocampus or the frontal cortex impaired this memory ability. However, we also found that hippocampal lesions enhanced attention directed towards the cue during the encoding phase, while frontal cortical lesions reduced cue-directed attention. These results suggest that the deficit in spatial sensory preconditioning caused by frontal cortical damage may be mediated by inattention to the location of cues during the latent encoding phase, while deficits following hippocampal damage must be related to other mechanisms such as generation of neural plasticity. PMID:27999366
MacMahon, Kenneth M A; Broomfield, Niall M; Espie, Colin A
Cognitive models of primary insomnia (PI) suggest attention bias as a maintaining process. This study used a hallmark measure of attention bias, the dot-probe task, to determine whether attention bias to sleep-related stimuli is present in individuals with PI. Control groups of good sleepers (GS) and individuals with delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), a sleep disorder with no presumed cognitive pathway and, hence, no predicted association with attention bias, were included. A between-groups (PI, DSPS, GS) design was employed. Participants completed a dot-probe task with stimuli comprising sleep-related and neutral words, balanced for length and frequency of usage. It was predicted a priori that PI would show greater attention bias to sleep stimuli compared with GS and DSPS groups. No difference between GS and DSPS was predicted. Sixty-three individuals completed the study (PI = 21; DSPS = 22; GS = 20), with those in PI and DSPS classified by International Classification of Sleep Disorders criteria according to self-report sleep diaries and actigraphy. GS scored Sleep Quality Index, reported being good sleepers, and met no criteria for a current or previous sleep disorder. N/A. As predicted, PI showed increased vigilance for sleep-related stimuli relative to GS and DSPS. No differences between GS and those with DSPS were found. The PI group showed shorter response latencies relative to the GS and DSPS groups. Results support an association between attention bias and PI. Further work must determine whether or not attention bias is a causal factor. Speeded responses in the PI group suggest heightened arousal, indicating that physiologic factors may play a related role.
Bayer, Mareike; Sommer, Werner; Schacht, Annekathrin
For emotional pictures with fear-, disgust-, or sex-related contents, stimulus size has been shown to increase emotion effects in attention-related event-related potentials (ERPs), presumably reflecting the enhanced biological impact of larger emotion-inducing pictures. If this is true, size should not enhance emotion effects for written words with symbolic and acquired meaning. Here, we investigated ERP effects of font size for emotional and neutral words. While P1 and N1 amplitudes were not affected by emotion, the early posterior negativity started earlier and lasted longer for large relative to small words. These results suggest that emotion-driven facilitation of attention is not necessarily based on biological relevance, but might generalize to stimuli with arbitrary perceptual features. This finding points to the high relevance of written language in today's society as an important source of emotional meaning.
Full Text Available Acetylcholine (ACh signaling shapes neuronal circuit development and underlies specific aspects of cognitive functions and behaviors, including attention, learning, memory and motivation. During behavior, activation of muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs and nAChRs by ACh alters the activation state of neurons, and neuronal circuits most likely process information differently with elevated levels of ACh. In several brain regions, ACh has been shown to alter synaptic strength as well. By changing the rules for synaptic plasticity, ACh can have prolonged effects on and rearrange connectivity between neurons that outlasts its presence. From recent discoveries in the mouse, rat, monkey and human brain, a picture emerges in which the basal forebrain (BF cholinergic system targets the neocortex with much more spatial and temporal detail than previously considered. Fast cholinergic synapses acting on a millisecond time scale are abundant in the mammalian cerebral cortex, and provide BF cholinergic neurons with the possibility to rapidly alter information flow in cortical microcircuits. Finally, recent studies have outlined novel mechanisms of how cholinergic projections from the BF affect synaptic strength in several brain areas of the rodent brain, with behavioral consequences. This review highlights these exciting developments and discusses how these findings translate to human brain circuitries.
Sáez, Leilani; Folsom, Jessica Sidler; Al Otaiba, Stephanie; Schatschneider, Christopher
The role of student attention for predicting kindergarten word reading was investigated among 432 students. Using Strengths and Weaknesses of ADHD Symptoms and Normal Behavior Rating Scale behavior rating scores, the authors conducted an exploratory factor analysis, which yielded three distinct factors that reflected selective attention. In this study, the authors focused on the role of one of these factors, which they labeled attention-memory, for predicting reading performance. Teacher ratings of attention-memory predicted word reading above and beyond the contribution of phonological awareness and vocabulary knowledge. In addition, the relations between four teacher practices and attention ratings for predicting reading performance were examined. Using hierarchical linear modeling, the authors found significant interactions between student attention and teacher practices observed during literacy instruction. In general, as ratings of attention improved, better kindergarten word reading performance was associated with high levels of classroom behavior management. However, better word reading performance was not associated with high levels of teacher task orienting. A significant three-way interaction was also found among attention, individualized instruction, and teacher task redirections. The role of regulating kindergarten student attention to support beginning word reading skill development is discussed.
Diana B. Geissler
Full Text Available Activation of the auditory cortex (AC by a given sound pattern is plastic, depending, in largely unknown ways, on the physiological state and the behavioral context of the receiving animal and on the receiver's experience with the sounds. Such plasticity can be inferred when house mouse mothers respond maternally to pup ultrasounds right after parturition and naïve females have to learn to respond. Here we use c-FOS immunocytochemistry to quantify highly activated neurons in the AC fields and layers of seven groups of mothers and naïve females who have different knowledge about and are differently motivated to respond to acoustic models of pup ultrasounds of different behavioral significance. Profiles of FOS-positive cells in the AC primary fields (AI, AAF, the ultrasonic field (UF, the secondary field (AII, and the dorsoposterior field (DP suggest that activation reflects in AI, AAF, and UF the integration of sound properties with animal state-dependent factors, in the higher-order field AII the news value of a given sound in the behavioral context, and in the higher-order field DP the level of maternal motivation and, by left-hemisphere activation advantage, the recognition of the meaning of sounds in the given context. Anesthesia reduced activation in all fields, especially in cortical layers 2/3. Thus, plasticity in the AC is field-specific preparing different output of AC fields in the process of perception, recognition and responding to communication sounds. Further, the activation profiles of the auditory cortical fields suggest the differentiation between brains hormonally primed to know (mothers and brains which acquired knowledge via implicit learning (naïve females. In this way, auditory cortical activation discriminates between instinctive (mothers and learned (naïve females cognition.
López, S Guerra; Fuster, J Iglesias; Reyes, M Martín; Collazo, T M Bravo; Quiñones, R Mendoza; Berazain, A Reyes; Rodríguez, M A Pedroso; Días de Villarvilla, T; Bobés, M Antonieta; Valdés-Sosa, M
In recent years, reports of attentional deficits in schizophrenic patients and in their biological relatives have rapidly increased, including an important effort to search for the endophenotypes in order to link specific genes to this illness. Posner et al. developed a test, the Attention Network Test (ANT), to study the neural networks. This test provides a separate measure for each one of the three anatomically-defined attention networks (alerting, orienting and executive control). In this paper, we investigate the attentional performance in 32 schizophrenic patients, 29 unaffected first degree relatives and 29 healthy controls using the ANT through a study of family association. We have studied the efficiency of the segregated executive control, alerting and orienting networks by measuring how response latencies (reaction time) were modified by the cue position and the flanking stimuli. We also studied the familial association of these attentional alterations. The ANOVA revealed main effects of flanker and cue condition and a significant interaction effect between flanker and groups studied. The schizophrenic patients and their relatives had a longer median reaction time than the control group. The probands and their relatives significantly differed from the healthy controls in terms of their conflict resolution; however, the alerting network appeared to be conserved. Our results support the thesis of a specific attentional deficit in schizophrenia and show the segregation of the three attentional networks. The family association of these reported alterations supports the idea of a potential endophenotype in schizophrenia.
The double cortical line is a radiographic sign of osteopenia which results from intracortical resorption of bone. This sign is frequently seen in humans with osteopenia but has received minimal attention in the veterinary literature. This report describes the double cortical line in cases of senile osteopenia, nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism, suspected renal secondary hyperparathyroidism and in the acetabulum following triple pelvic osteotomy for hip dysplasia
Barclay, Nicola L; Ellis, Jason G
Contradictory evidence exists relating to the presence of an attention bias to sleep-related stimuli in poor sleepers/insomnia using the emotional Stroop task (EST). These inconsistencies may be due to methodological issues related to the affective valence of the sleep-related stimuli. Thus, individuals may attend differentially to sleep-related stimuli not because of their 'sleep' properties, but their negativity. The current study addresses this by controlling the affective valence of sleep-related words. A total of 107 participants [mean age = 33.22 years, standard deviation (SD) = 12.31 years; 61.7% female] were recruited during an evening event at the Newcastle Science Festival. Participants completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and a computerized EST containing 20 non-affective sleep-related, 20 neutral and 20 negatively valenced threat words. Good and poor sleepers were categorized using the PSQI. There were no significant differences between groups on response latency to sleep-related words (t(105) = -0.30, P = 0.76). However, the interaction between good versus poor sleepers and word-type on response latency was significant (F(2,210) = 3.06, P sleep-related words (mean = 723.35, SD = 172.55) compared to threat words (mean = 694.63, SD = 162.17) than good sleepers (mean = 713.20, SD = 166.32; and mean = 716.65, SD = 181.14). The results demonstrate the presence of an attention bias towards sleep-related stimuli compared to threat stimuli in poor sleepers. Accordingly, poor sleepers may be consumed by stimuli relevant to their specific difficulties, as well as being more highly attuned to negative cues that signal anxious states. Thus, the present research suggests that there are two opposing forces at play: one which facilitates performance (non-specific threats) and one which hinders performance (personally relevant threats). © 2013 European Sleep Research Society.
Taguchi, Yoshio; Sato, Jun; Makita, Tadatoshi; Hayashi, Shigetoshi; Nakamura, Norio.
In the CT findings of chronic subdural hematoma, brain enhancement adjacent to a subdural hematoma was seen occasionally after the injection of a contrast material. The authors called this finding ''cortical enhancement'', and 35 cases of chronic subdural hematoma were studied concerning cortical enhancement in relation to age, clinical signs and symptoms, hematoma density, and volume of the hematoma. Eight cases out of the 35 were subjected to measurements of the regional cerebral blood flow preoperatively by the method of the carotid injection of Xe-133. Cortical enhancement was apt to be seen in the cases which revealed intracranial hypertension or disturbance of consciousness, in isodensity or mixed-density hematomas, and in huge subdural hematomas. There was no specific correlation with age distribution. The pathogenesis of cortical enhancement seemed to be the result of cerebral compression with an increase in the contrast material per unit of volume and a prolonged venous outflow from the hemisphere, but no characteristic feature was detected in the average regional cerebral blood flow in our cases. (author)
Lean, Rachel E; Melzer, Tracy R; Bora, Samudragupta; Watts, Richard; Woodward, Lianne J
This study examines the selective, sustained, and executive attention abilities of very preterm (VPT) born children in relation to concurrent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of regional gray matter development at age 12 years. A regional cohort of 110 VPT (≤32 weeks gestation) and 113 full term (FT) born children were assessed at corrected age 12 years on the Test of Everyday Attention-Children. They also had a structural MRI scan that was subsequently analyzed using voxel-based morphometry to quantify regional between-group differences in cerebral gray matter development, which were then related to attention measures using multivariate methods. VPT children obtained similar selective (p=.85), but poorer sustained (p=.02) and executive attention (p=.01) scores than FT children. VPT children were also characterized by reduced gray matter in the bilateral parietal, temporal, prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortices, bilateral thalami, and left hippocampus; and increased gray matter in the occipital and anterior cingulate cortices (family-wise error-corrected pregional gray matter development appear to contribute, at least in part, to the poorer attentional performance of VPT children at school age. (JINS, 2017, 23, 539-550).
Full Text Available We propose electrocorticographic temporal alteration mapping (ETAM for motor cortex mapping by utilizing movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs within the low-frequency band [0.05-3] Hz. This MRCP waveform-based temporal domain approach was compared with the state-of-the-art electrocorticographic frequency alteration mapping (EFAM, which is based on frequency spectrum dynamics. Five patients (two epilepsy cases and three tumor cases were enrolled in the study. Each patient underwent intraoperative direct electrocortical stimulation (DECS procedure for motor cortex localization. Moreover, the patients were required to perform simple brisk wrist extension task during awake craniotomy surgery. Cross-validation results showed that the proposed ETAM method had high sensitivity (81.8% and specificity (94.3% in identifying sites which exhibited positive DECS motor responses. Moreover, although the sensitivity of the ETAM and EFAM approaches was not significantly different, ETAM had greater specificity compared with EFAM (94.3 vs. 86.1%. These results indicate that for the intraoperative functional brain mapping, ETAM is a promising novel approach for motor cortex localization with the potential to reduce the need for cortical electrical stimulation.
Zhang, Qiuli; Maner, Jon K; Xu, Yin; Zheng, Yong
In heterosexual individuals, attention is automatically captured by physically attractive members of the opposite sex. Although helpful for selecting new mates, attention to attractive relationship alternatives can threaten satisfaction with and commitment to an existing romantic relationship. The current study tested the hypothesis that although a mating prime would increase selective attention to attractive opposite-sex targets (relative to less attractive targets) among single participants, this effect would be reduced among people already committed to a long-term romantic partner. Consistent with hypotheses, whereas single participants responded to a mating prime with greater attentional adhesion to physically attractive opposite-sex targets (relative to less attractive targets), participants in a committed romantic relationship showed no such effect. These findings extend previous research suggesting the presence of relationship maintenance mechanisms that operate at early stages of social cognition.
Larsen, Lisbeth H.; Zibrandtsen, Ivan C.; Wienecke, Troels
The functional relevance of cortical reorganization post-stroke is still not well understood. In this study, we investigated task-specific modulation of cortical connectivity between neural oscillations in key motor regions during the early phase after stroke. EEG and EMG recordings were examined...... from 15 patients and 18 controls during a precision grip task using the affected hand. Each patient attended two sessions in the acute and subacute phase (median of 3 and 34 days) post-stroke. Dynamic causal modelling (DCM) for induced responses was used to investigate task-specific modulations...... of oscillatory couplings in a bilateral network comprising supplementary motor area (SMA), dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) and primary motor cortex (M1). Fourteen models were constructed for each subject, and the input induced by the experimental manipulation (task) was set to inferior parietal lobule (IPL...
Mall, Jonathan T; Morey, Candice C; Wolff, Michael J; Lehnert, Franziska
Selective attention and working memory capacity (WMC) are related constructs, but debate about the manner in which they are related remains active. One elegant explanation of variance in WMC is that the efficiency of filtering irrelevant information is the crucial determining factor, rather than differences in capacity per se. We examined this hypothesis by relating WMC (as measured by complex span tasks) to accuracy and eye movements during visual change detection tasks with different degrees of attentional filtering and allocation requirements. Our results did not indicate strong filtering differences between high- and low-WMC groups, and where differences were observed, they were counter to those predicted by the strongest attentional filtering hypothesis. Bayes factors indicated evidence favoring positive or null relationships between WMC and correct responses to unemphasized information, as well as between WMC and the time spent looking at unemphasized information. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that individual differences in storage capacity, not only filtering efficiency, underlie individual differences in working memory.
Fosco, Whitney D; Hawk, Larry W
A child's ability to sustain attention over time (AOT) is critical in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), yet no prior work has examined the extent to which a child's decrement in AOT on laboratory tasks relates to clinically-relevant behavior. The goal of this study is to provide initial evidence for the criterion validity of laboratory assessments of AOT. A total of 20 children with ADHD (7-12 years of age) who were enrolled in a summer treatment program completed two lab attention tasks (a continuous performance task and a self-paced choice discrimination task) and math seatwork. Analyses focused on relations between attention task parameters and math productivity. Individual differences in overall attention (OA) measures (averaged across time) accounted for 23% of the variance in math productivity, supporting the criterion validity of lab measures of attention. The criterion validity was enhanced by consideration of changes in AOT. Performance on all laboratory attention measures deteriorated as time-on-task increased, and individual differences in the decrement in AOT accounted for 40% of the variance in math productivity. The only variable to uniquely predict math productivity was from the self-paced choice discrimination task. This study suggests that attention tasks in the lab do predict a clinically-relevant target behavior in children with ADHD, supporting their use as a means to study attention processes in a controlled environment. Furthermore, this prediction is improved when attention is examined as a function of time-on-task and when the attentional demands are consistent between lab and life contexts.
Harmon-Jones, Eddie; Gable, Philip A; Peterson, Carly K
Conceptual and empirical approaches to the study of the role of asymmetric frontal cortical activity in emotional processes are reviewed. Although early research suggested that greater left than right frontal cortical activity was associated with positive affect, more recent research, primarily on anger, suggests that greater left than right frontal cortical activity is associated with approach motivation, which can be positive (e.g., enthusiasm) or negative in valence (e.g., anger). In addition to reviewing this research on anger, research on guilt, bipolar disorder, and various types of positive affect is reviewed with relation to their association with asymmetric frontal cortical activity. The reviewed research not only contributes to a more complete understanding of the emotive functions of asymmetric frontal cortical activity, but it also points to the importance of considering motivational direction as separate from affective valence in psychological models of emotional space. Copyright © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Jacobus, Joanna; Castro, Norma; Squeglia, Lindsay M; Meloy, M J; Brumback, Ty; Huestis, Marilyn A; Tapert, Susan F
Cortical thickness abnormalities have been identified in youth using both alcohol and marijuana. However, limited studies have followed individuals pre- and post initiation of alcohol and marijuana use to help identify to what extent discrepancies in structural brain integrity are pre-existing or substance-related. Adolescents (N=69) were followed from ages 13 (pre-initiation of substance use, baseline) to ages 19 (post-initiation, follow-up). Three subgroups were identified, participants that initiated alcohol use (ALC, n=23, >20 alcohol use episodes), those that initiated both alcohol and marijuana use (ALC+MJ, n=23, >50 marijuana use episodes) and individuals that did not initiate either substance regularly by follow-up (CON, n=23, marijuana use episodes). All adolescents underwent neurocognitive testing, neuroimaging, and substance use and mental health interviews. Significant group by time interactions and main effects on cortical thickness estimates were identified for 18 cortical regions spanning the left and right hemisphere (pseffect, in cortical thickness by follow-up for individuals who have not initiated regular substance use or alcohol use only by age 19; modest between-group differences were identified at baseline in several cortical regions (ALC and CON>ALC+MJ). Minimal neurocognitive differences were observed in this sample. Findings suggest pre-existing neural differences prior to marijuana use may contribute to initiation of use and observed neural outcomes. Marijuana use may also interfere with thinning trajectories that contribute to morphological differences in young adulthood that are often observed in cross-sectional studies of heavy marijuana users. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Petersen, Martin Lund
The primary concern of this thesis is to explore the relations between contemporary compensation systems based on individualization and individuality, the constitution of the fair claim, the causality of blame and the causality of rewarding, and the need to belong and it relation with human...... motivation. More specifically, the primary research question on which this thesis is based is: How is the fair claim constituted in, respec-tively, a compensation system based on individualization and individuality, a social relational perspective; and in which ways might potential differences influence...
Astle, D.E.; Nobre, A.C.; Scerif, G.
The mechanisms by which attentional control biases mnemonic representations have attracted much interest but remain poorly understood. As attention and memory develop gradually over childhood and variably across individuals, assessing how participants of different ages and ability attend to mnemonic contents can elucidate their interplay. In Experiment 1, 7-, 10-year-olds and adults were asked to report whether a probe item had been part of a previously presented four-item array. The initial array could either be uncued, preceded (“pre-cued”) or followed (“retro-cued”) by a spatial cue orienting attention to one of the potential item locations. Performance across groups was significantly improved by both cue types and individual differences in children’s retrospective attentional control predicted their visual short-term and working memory span, whereas their basic ability to remember in the absence of cues did not. Experiment 2 imposed a variable delay between the array and the subsequent orienting cue. Cueing benefits were greater in adults compared to 10-year-olds, but they persisted even when cues followed the array by nearly 3 seconds, suggesting that orienting operated on durable short-term representations for both age groups. The findings indicate that there are substantial developmental and individual differences in the ability to control attention to memory and that in turn these differences constrain visual short-term memory capacity. PMID:20680889
Full Text Available A cardinal symptom of Attenion Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD is a general distractibility where children and adults shift their attentional focus to stimuli that are irrelevant to the ongoing behavior. This has been attributed to a deficit in dopaminergic signaling in cortico-striatal networks that regulate goal-directed behavior. Furthermore, recent imaging evidence points to an impairment of large scale, antagonistic brain networks that normally contribute to attentional engagement and disengagement, such as the task-positive networks and the Default Mode Network (DMN. Related networks are the ventral attentional network (VAN involved in attentional shifting, and the salience network (SN related to task expectancy. Here we discuss the tonic-phasic dynamics of catecholaminergic signaling in the brain, and attempt to provide a link between this and the activities of the large-scale cortical networks that regulate behavior. More specifically, we propose that a disbalance of tonic catecholamine levels during task performance produce an emphasis of phasic signaling and increased excitability of the VAN, yielding distractibility symptoms. Likewise, immaturity of the SN may relate to abnormal tonic signaling and an incapacity to build up a proper executive system during task performance. We discuss different lines of evidence including pharmacology, brain imaging and electrophysiology, that are consistent with our proposal. Finally, restoring the pharmacodynamics of catecholaminergic signaling seems crucial to alleviate ADHD symptoms; however, the possibility is open to explore cognitive rehabilitation strategies to top-down modulate network dynamics compensating the pharmacological deficits.
Coppola, Jennifer J; Disney, Anita A
Acetylcholine (ACh) is believed to act as a neuromodulator in cortical circuits that support cognition, specifically in processes including learning, memory consolidation, vigilance, arousal and attention. The cholinergic modulation of cortical processes is studied in many model systems including rodents, cats and primates. Further, these studies are performed in cortical areas ranging from the primary visual cortex to the prefrontal cortex and using diverse methodologies. The results of these studies have been combined into singular models of function-a practice based on an implicit assumption that the various model systems are equivalent and interchangeable. However, comparative anatomy both within and across species reveals important differences in the structure of the cholinergic system. Here, we will review anatomical data including innervation patterns, receptor expression, synthesis and release compared across species and cortical area with a focus on rodents and primates. We argue that these data suggest no canonical cortical model system exists for the cholinergic system. Further, we will argue that as a result, care must be taken both in combining data from studies across cortical areas and species, and in choosing the best model systems to improve our understanding and support of human health.
Jennifer J. Coppola
Full Text Available Acetylcholine (ACh is believed to act as a neuromodulator in cortical circuits that support cognition, specifically in processes including learning, memory consolidation, vigilance, arousal and attention. The cholinergic modulation of cortical processes is studied in many model systems including rodents, cats and primates. Further, these studies are performed in cortical areas ranging from the primary visual cortex to the prefrontal cortex and using diverse methodologies. The results of these studies have been combined into singular models of function—a practice based on an implicit assumption that the various model systems are equivalent and interchangeable. However, comparative anatomy both within and across species reveals important differences in the structure of the cholinergic system. Here, we will review anatomical data including innervation patterns, receptor expression, synthesis and release compared across species and cortical area with a focus on rodents and primates. We argue that these data suggest no canonical cortical model system exists for the cholinergic system. Further, we will argue that as a result, care must be taken both in combining data from studies across cortical areas and species, and in choosing the best model systems to improve our understanding and support of human health.
Menary, Kyle; Collins, Paul F.; Porter, James N.; Muetzel, Ryan; Olson, Elizabeth A.; Kumar, Vipin; Steinbach, Michael; Lim, Kelvin O.; Luciana, Monica
Neuroimaging research indicates that human intellectual ability is related to brain structure including the thickness of the cerebral cortex. Most studies indicate that general intelligence is positively associated with cortical thickness in areas of association cortex distributed throughout both brain hemispheres. In this study, we performed a cortical thickness mapping analysis on data from 182 healthy typically developing males and females ages 9 to 24 years to identify correlates of general intelligence (g) scores. To determine if these correlates also mediate associations of specific cognitive abilities with cortical thickness, we regressed specific cognitive test scores on g scores and analyzed the residuals with respect to cortical thickness. The effect of age on the association between cortical thickness and intelligence was examined. We found a widely distributed pattern of positive associations between cortical thickness and g scores, as derived from the first unrotated principal factor of a factor analysis of Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) subtest scores. After WASI specific cognitive subtest scores were regressed on g factor scores, the residual score variances did not correlate significantly with cortical thickness in the full sample with age covaried. When participants were grouped at the age median, significant positive associations of cortical thickness were obtained in the older group for g-residualized scores on Block Design (a measure of visual-motor integrative processing) while significant negative associations of cortical thickness were observed in the younger group for g-residualized Vocabulary scores. These results regarding correlates of general intelligence are concordant with the existing literature, while the findings from younger versus older subgroups have implications for future research on brain structural correlates of specific cognitive abilities, as well as the cognitive domain specificity of behavioral
Musso, Francesco; Konrad, Andreas; Vucurevic, Goran; Schäffner, Cornelius; Friedrich, Britta; Frech, Peter; Stoeter, Peter; Winterer, Georg
Human cortical information processing is thought to be dominated by distributed activity in vector state space (Churchland, P.S., Sejnowski, T.J., 1992. The Computational Brain. MIT Press, Cambridge.). In principle, it should be possible to quantify distributed brain activation with independent component analysis (ICA) through vector-based decomposition, i.e., through a separation of a mixture of sources. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a selective attention-requiring task (visual oddball), we explored how the number of independent components within activated cortical areas is related to reaction time. Prior to ICA, the activated cortical areas were determined on the basis of a General linear model (GLM) voxel-by-voxel analysis of the target stimuli (checkerboard reversal). Two activated cortical areas (temporoparietal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex) were further investigated as these cortical regions are known to be the sites of simultaneously active electromagnetic generators which give rise to the compound event-related potential P300 during oddball task conditions. We found that the number of independent components more strongly predicted reaction time than the overall level of "activation" (GLM BOLD-response) in the left temporoparietal area whereas in the medial prefrontal cortex both ICA and GLM predicted reaction time equally well. Comparable correlations were not seen when principle components were used instead of independent components. These results indicate that the number of independently activated components, i.e., a high level of cortical activation complexity in cortical vector state space, may index particularly efficient information processing during selective attention-requiring tasks. To our best knowledge, this is the first report describing a potential relationship between neuronal generators of cognitive processes, the associated electrophysiological evidence for the existence of distributed networks
Lawo, Vera; Koch, Iring
Using a novel task-switching variant of dichotic selective listening, we examined age-related differences in the ability to intentionally switch auditory attention between 2 speakers defined by their sex. In our task, young (M age = 23.2 years) and older adults (M age = 66.6 years) performed a numerical size categorization on spoken number words. The task-relevant speaker was indicated by a cue prior to auditory stimulus onset. The cuing interval was either short or long and varied randomly trial by trial. We found clear performance costs with instructed attention switches. These auditory attention switch costs decreased with prolonged cue-stimulus interval. Older adults were generally much slower (but not more error prone) than young adults, but switching-related effects did not differ across age groups. These data suggest that the ability to intentionally switch auditory attention in a selective listening task is not compromised in healthy aging. We discuss the role of modality-specific factors in age-related differences.
Grol, Maud; De Raedt, Rudi
The broaden-and-build theory relates positive emotions to resilience and cognitive broadening. The theory proposes that the broadening effects underly the relation between positive emotions and resilience, suggesting that resilient people can benefit more from positive emotions at the level of cognitive functioning. Research has investigated the influence of positive emotions on attentional broadening, but the stimulus in the target of attention may also influence attentional breadth, depending on affective stimulus evaluation. Surprised faces are particularly interesting as they are valence ambiguous, therefore, we investigated the relation between affective evaluation--using an affective priming task--and attentional breadth for surprised faces, and how this relation is influenced by resilience. Results show that more positive evaluations are related to more attentional broadening at high levels of resilience, while this relation is reversed at low levels. This indicates that resilient individuals can benefit more from attending to positively evaluated stimuli at the level of attentional broadening.
Hulme, Oliver J; Whiteley, Louise Emma; Shipp, Stewart
/central-intralaminar (oculomotor thalamus), caudal intralaminar/parafascicular, suprageniculate/limitans, and medial pulvinar/lateral posterior. Hence, the cortical network generating a top-down control signal for relocating attention acts in concert with a spatially selective thalamic apparatus-the set of active nuclei mirroring...... the thalamic territory of cortical "eye-field" areas, thus supporting theories which propose the visuomotor origins of covert attentional selection.......Spatial attention modulates signal processing within visual nuclei of the thalamus--but do other nuclei govern the locus of attention in top-down mode? We examined functional MRI (fMRI) data from three subjects performing a task requiring covert attention to 1 of 16 positions in a circular array...
Sandu, Anca-Larisa; Izard, Edouard; Specht, Karsten; Beneventi, Harald; Lundervold, Arvid; Ystad, Martin
Post-adolescence is known to be a period of general maturation and development in the human brain. In brain imaging, volumetric and morphologic cortical grey-matter changes can easily be assessed, but the analysis of cortical complexity seems to have been broadly neglected for this age interval. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to acquire structural brain images. The study involved 17 adolescents (mean age 14.1 ± 0.27, 11 girls) who were compared with 14 young adults (mean age 24.24 ± 2.76, 7 women) for measures of brain complexity (fractal dimension--FD), grey matter (GM) volume and surface-area of cortical ribbon. FD was calculated using box-counting and Minkowski-Bouligand methods; FD and GM volume were measured for the whole brain, each hemisphere and lobes: frontal, occipital, parietal and temporal. The results show that the adults have a lower cortical complexity than the adolescents, which was significant for whole brain, left and right hemisphere, frontal and parietal lobes for both genders; and only for males in left temporal lobe. The GM volume was smaller in men than in boys for almost all measurements, and smaller in women than in girls just for right parietal lobe. A significant Pearson correlation was found between FD and GM volume for whole brain and each hemisphere in both genders. The decrease of the GM surface-area was significant in post-adolescence for males, not for females. During post-adolescence there are common changes in cortical complexity in the same regions for both genders, but there are also gender specific changes in some cortical areas. The sex differences from different cortical measurements (FD, GM volume and surface-area of cortical ribbon) could suggest a maturation delay in specific brain regions for each gender in relation to the other and might be explained through the functional role of the corresponding regions reflected in gender difference of developed abilities.
Conclusions: Current study showed no sex differences in the mean values of cognition, whereas higher intra-individual variability of short-term memory and attention switching was identified in women, indicating that their performance was lower on these cognitive abilities.
Jongman, Suzanne R; Meyer, Antje S; Roelofs, Ardi
It has previously been shown that language production, performed simultaneously with a nonlinguistic task, involves sustained attention. Sustained attention concerns the ability to maintain alertness over time. Here, we aimed to replicate the previous finding by showing that individuals call upon sustained attention when they plan single noun phrases (e.g., "the carrot") and perform a manual arrow categorization task. In addition, we investigated whether speakers also recruit sustained attention when they produce conjoined noun phrases (e.g., "the carrot and the bucket") describing two pictures, that is, when both the first and second task are linguistic. We found that sustained attention correlated with the proportion of abnormally slow phrase-production responses. Individuals with poor sustained attention displayed a greater number of very slow responses than individuals with better sustained attention. Importantly, this relationship was obtained both for the production of single phrases while performing a nonlinguistic manual task, and the production of noun phrase conjunctions in referring to two spatially separated objects. Inhibition and updating abilities were also measured. These scores did not correlate with our measure of sustained attention, suggesting that sustained attention and executive control are distinct. Overall, the results suggest that planning conjoined noun phrases involves sustained attention, and that language production happens less automatically than has often been assumed.
Full Text Available Vertebral fractures and trabecular bone loss have dominated thinking and research into the pathogenesis and the structural basis of bone fragility during the last 70 years. However, 80% of all fractures are non-vertebral and occur at regions assembled using large amounts of cortical bone; only 20% of fractures are vertebral. Moreover, ~80% of the skeleton is cortical and ~70% of all bone loss is cortical even though trabecular bone is lost more rapidly than cortical bone. Bone is lost because remodelling becomes unbalanced after midlife. Most cortical bone loss occurs by intracortical, not endocortical remodelling. Each remodelling event removes more bone than deposited enlarging existing canals which eventually coalesce eroding and thinning the cortex from 'within.' Thus, there is a need to study the decay of cortical as well as trabecular bone, and to develop drugs that restore the strength of both types of bone. It is now possible to accurately quantify cortical porosity and trabecular decay in vivo. The challenges still to be met are to determine whether measurement of porosity identifies persons at risk for fracture, whether this approach is compliments information obtained using bone densitometry, and whether changes in cortical porosity and other microstructural traits have the sensitivity to serve as surrogates of treatment success or failure.
Jared Brent Smith
Full Text Available The claustrum has a role in the interhemispheric transfer of certain types of sensorimotor information. Whereas the whisker region in rat motor (M1 cortex sends dense projections to the contralateral claustrum, the M1 forelimb representation does not. The claustrum sends strong ipsilateral projections to the whisker regions in M1 and somatosensory (S1 cortex, but its projections to the forelimb cortical areas are weak. These distinctions suggest that one function of the M1 projections to the contralateral claustrum is to coordinate the cortical areas that regulate peripheral sensor movements during behaviors that depend on bilateral sensory acquisition. If this hypothesis is true, then similar interhemispheric circuits should interconnect the frontal eye fields (FEF with the contralateral claustrum and its network of projections to vision-related cortical areas. To test this hypothesis, anterograde and retrograde tracers were placed in physiologically-defined parts of the FEF and primary visual cortex (V1 in rats. We observed dense FEF projections to the contralateral claustrum that terminated in the midst of claustral neurons that project to both FEF and V1. While the FEF inputs to the claustrum come predominantly from the contralateral hemisphere, the claustral projections to FEF and V1 are primarily ipsilateral. Detailed comparison of the present results with our previous studies on somatomotor claustral circuitry revealed a well-defined functional topography in which the ventral claustrum is connected with visuomotor cortical areas and the dorsal regions are connected with somatomotor areas. These results suggest that subregions within the claustrum play a critical role in coordinating the cortical areas that regulate the acquisition of modality-specific sensory information during exploration and other behaviors that require sensory attention.
Full Text Available We postulated that during ontogenesis cortical surface area and cerebral volume are related by a scaling law whose exponent gives a quantitative measure of cortical development. We used this approach to investigate the hypothesis that premature termination of the intrauterine environment by preterm birth reduces cortical development in a dose-dependent manner, providing a neural substrate for functional impairment.We analyzed 274 magnetic resonance images that recorded brain growth from 23 to 48 wk of gestation in 113 extremely preterm infants born at 22 to 29 wk of gestation, 63 of whom underwent neurodevelopmental assessment at a median age of 2 y. Cortical surface area was related to cerebral volume by a scaling law with an exponent of 1.29 (95% confidence interval, 1.25-1.33, which was proportional to later neurodevelopmental impairment. Increasing prematurity and male gender were associated with a lower scaling exponent (p < 0.0001 independent of intrauterine or postnatal somatic growth.Human brain growth obeys an allometric scaling relation that is disrupted by preterm birth in a dose-dependent, sexually dimorphic fashion that directly parallels the incidence of neurodevelopmental impairments in preterm infants. This result focuses attention on brain growth and cortical development during the weeks following preterm delivery as a neural substrate for neurodevelopmental impairment after premature delivery.
He, Xun; Sebanz, N.; Sui, J.; Humphreys, G. W.
Recently it has been shown that the allocation of attention by a participant in a visual search task can be affected by memory items that have to be maintained by a co-actor, when similar tasks are jointly engaged by dyads (He, Lever, & Humphreys, 2011). In the present study we examined the contribution of individualism-collectivism to this ‘interpersonal memory guidance’ effect. Actors performed visual search while a preview image was either held by the critical participant, held by a co-act...
Ikeda, A; Kakigi, R; Funai, N; Neshige, R; Kuroda, Y; Shibasaki, H
Two patients with action tremor that was thought to originate in the cerebral cortex showed fine shivering-like finger twitching provoked mainly by action and posture. Surface EMG showed relatively rhythmic discharge at a rate of about 9 Hz, which resembled essential tremor. However, electrophysiologic studies revealed giant somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) with enhanced long-loop reflex and premovement cortical spike by the jerk-locked averaging method. Treatment with beta-blocker showed no effect, but anticonvulsants such as clonazepam, valproate, and primidone were effective to suppress the tremor and the amplitude of SEPs. We call this involuntary movement "cortical tremor," which is in fact a variant of cortical reflex myoclonus.
Kucyi, Aaron; Hove, Michael J; Biederman, Joseph; Van Dijk, Koene R A; Valera, Eve M
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is increasingly understood as a disorder of spontaneous brain-network interactions. The default mode network (DMN), implicated in ADHD-linked behaviors including mind-wandering and attentional fluctuations, has been shown to exhibit abnormal spontaneous functional connectivity (FC) within-network and with other networks (salience, dorsal attention and frontoparietal) in ADHD. Although the cerebellum has been implicated in the pathophysiology of ADHD, it remains unknown whether cerebellar areas of the DMN (CerDMN) exhibit altered FC with cortical networks in ADHD. Here, 23 adults with ADHD and 23 age-, IQ-, and sex-matched controls underwent resting state fMRI. The mean time series of CerDMN areas was extracted, and FC with the whole brain was calculated. Whole-brain between-group differences in FC were assessed. Additionally, relationships between inattention and individual differences in FC were assessed for between-group interactions. In ADHD, CerDMN areas showed positive FC (in contrast to average FC in the negative direction in controls) with widespread regions of salience, dorsal attention and sensorimotor networks. ADHD individuals also exhibited higher FC (more positive correlation) of CerDMN areas with frontoparietal and visual network regions. Within the control group, but not in ADHD, participants with higher inattention had higher FC between CerDMN and regions in the visual and dorsal attention networks. This work provides novel evidence of impaired CerDMN coupling with cortical networks in ADHD and highlights a role of cerebro-cerebellar interactions in cognitive function. These data provide support for the potential targeting of CerDMN areas for therapeutic interventions in ADHD. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Kucyi, Aaron; Hove, Michael J.; Biederman, Joseph; Van Dijk, Koene R.A.; Valera, Eve M.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is increasingly understood as a disorder of spontaneous brain-network interactions. The default mode network (DMN), implicated in ADHD-linked behaviors including mind-wandering and attentional fluctuations, has been shown to exhibit abnormal spontaneous functional connectivity (FC) within-network and with other networks (salience, dorsal attention and frontoparietal) in ADHD. Although the cerebellum has been implicated in the pathophysiology of ADHD, it remains unknown whether cerebellar areas of the DMN (CerDMN) exhibit altered FC with cortical networks in ADHD. Here, 23 adults with ADHD and 23 age-, IQ-, and sex-matched controls underwent resting state fMRI. The mean time series of CerDMN areas was extracted, and FC with the whole brain was calculated. Whole-brain between-group differences in FC were assessed. Additionally, relationships between inattention and individual differences in FC were assessed for between-group interactions. In ADHD, CerDMN areas showed positive FC (in contrast to average FC in the negative direction in controls) with widespread regions of salience, dorsal attention and sensorimotor networks. ADHD individuals also exhibited higher FC (more positive correlation) of CerDMN areas with frontoparietal and visual network regions. Within the control group, but not in ADHD, participants with higher inattention had higher FC between CerDMN and regions in the visual and dorsal attention networks. This work provides novel evidence of impaired CerDMN coupling with cortical networks in ADHD and highlights a role of the cerebro-cerebellar interactions in cognitive function. These data provide support for the potential targeting of CerDMN areas for therapeutic interventions in ADHD. PMID:26109476
Brandt, Christian; Dasilva, Miguel; Gotthardt, Sascha; Chicharro, Daniel; Panzeri, Stefano; Distler, Claudia
Top-down attention increases coding abilities by altering firing rates and rate variability. In the frontal eye field (FEF), a key area enabling top-down attention, attention induced firing rate changes are profound, but its effect on different cell types is unknown. Moreover, FEF is the only cortical area investigated in which attention does not affect rate variability, as assessed by the Fano factor, suggesting that task engagement affects cortical state nonuniformly. We show that putative interneurons in FEF of Macaca mulatta show stronger attentional rate modulation than putative pyramidal cells. Partitioning rate variability reveals that both cell types reduce rate variability with attention, but more strongly so in narrow-spiking cells. The effects are captured by a model in which attention stabilizes neuronal excitability, thereby reducing the expansive nonlinearity that links firing rate and variance. These results show that the effect of attention on different cell classes and different coding properties are consistent across the cortical hierarchy, acting through increased and stabilized neuronal excitability. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Cortical processing is critically modulated by attention. A key feature of this influence is a modulation of “cortical state,” resulting in increased neuronal excitability and resilience of the network against perturbations, lower rate variability, and an increased signal-to-noise ratio. In the frontal eye field (FEF), an area assumed to control spatial attention in human and nonhuman primates, firing rate changes with attention occur, but rate variability, quantified by the Fano factor, appears to be unaffected by attention. Using recently developed analysis tools and models to quantify attention effects on narrow- and broad-spiking cell activity, we show that attention alters cortical state strongly in the FEF, demonstrating that its effect on the neuronal network is consistent across the cortical hierarchy. PMID
Bieszczad, Kasia M; Bechay, Kiro; Rusche, James R; Jacques, Vincent; Kudugunti, Shashi; Miao, Wenyan; Weinberger, Norman M; McGaugh, James L; Wood, Marcelo A
enabling more acoustic information to become encoded into memory. Moreover, RGFP966 appears to affect cortical plasticity: the primary auditory cortex reorganized in a manner that was unusually "tuned-in" to the specific sound cues and acoustic features that were related to reward and subsequently remembered. We propose that HDACs control "informational capture" at a systems level for what and how much information is encoded by gating sensory cortical plasticity that underlies the sensory richness of newly formed memories. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3513125-09$15.00/0.
Bechay, Kiro; Rusche, James R.; Jacques, Vincent; Kudugunti, Shashi; Miao, Wenyan; Weinberger, Norman M.; McGaugh, James L.
enabling more acoustic information to become encoded into memory. Moreover, RGFP966 appears to affect cortical plasticity: the primary auditory cortex reorganized in a manner that was unusually “tuned-in” to the specific sound cues and acoustic features that were related to reward and subsequently remembered. We propose that HDACs control “informational capture” at a systems level for what and how much information is encoded by gating sensory cortical plasticity that underlies the sensory richness of newly formed memories. PMID:26400942
Ruijter, J; de Ruiter, M B; Snel, J; Lorist, M M
Following the indications of previous studies that caffeine might have a specific effect on the processing of spatial information compared with other types of information, the present study investigated the influence of caffeine on an often used spatial-selective attention task. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 11 participants under conditions of caffeine (250 mg) and placebo. Spatial-selective attention effects were reflected in the ERPs as more positive going occipital P1 and broadly distributed P2 components, and more negative going occipital-temporal N1 and broadly distributed N2 components. A treatment effect was found as a more positive going frontal P2 component in the caffeine condition, whereas interactions between treatment and attention were observed for P2 and N2 components, but not for P1 and N1 components. This pattern of results suggests that caffeine has no specific influence on spatial-selective attention, but rather, has a more general facilitating effect on perceptual processing, as well as a possible effect on the frontal control mechanisms, i.e. focusing attention and increasing selectivity.
Ni, Amy M.; Ray, Supratim; Maunsell, John H. R.
SUMMARY The effect of attention on firing rates varies considerably within a single cortical area. The firing rate of some neurons is greatly modulated by attention while others are hardly affected. The reason for this variability across neurons is unknown. We found that the variability in attention modulation across neurons in area MT of macaques can be well explained by variability in the strength of tuned normalization across neurons. The presence of tuned normalization also explains a striking asymmetry in attention effects within neurons: when two stimuli are in a neuron’s receptive field, directing attention to the preferred stimulus modulates firing rates more than directing attention to the non-preferred stimulus. These findings show that much of the neuron-to-neuron variability in modulation of responses by attention depends on variability in the way the neurons process multiple stimuli, rather than differences in the influence of top-down signals related to attention. PMID:22365552
Ni, Amy M; Ray, Supratim; Maunsell, John H R
The effect of attention on firing rates varies considerably within a single cortical area. The firing rate of some neurons is greatly modulated by attention while others are hardly affected. The reason for this variability across neurons is unknown. We found that the variability in attention modulation across neurons in area MT of macaques can be well explained by variability in the strength of tuned normalization across neurons. The presence of tuned normalization also explains a striking asymmetry in attention effects within neurons: when two stimuli are in a neuron's receptive field, directing attention to the preferred stimulus modulates firing rates more than directing attention to the nonpreferred stimulus. These findings show that much of the neuron-to-neuron variability in modulation of responses by attention depends on variability in the way the neurons process multiple stimuli, rather than differences in the influence of top-down signals related to attention. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hyun, Gi Jung; Shin, Yong Wook; Kim, Bung-Nyun; Cheong, Jae Hoon; Jin, Seong Nam
Objective The bulk of recent studies have tested whether video games change the brain in terms of activity and cortical volume. However, such studies are limited by several factors including cross-sectional comparisons, co-morbidity, and short-term follow-up periods. In the present study, we hypothesized that cognitive flexibility and the volume of brain cortex would be correlated with the career length of on-line pro-gamers. Methods High-resolution magnetic resonance scans were acquired in twenty-three pro-gamers recruited from StarCraft pro-game teams. We measured cortical thickness in each individual using FreeSurfer and the cortical thickness was correlated with the career length and the performance of the pro-gamers. Results Career length was positively correlated with cortical thickness in three brain regions: right superior frontal gyrus, right superior parietal gyrus, and right precentral gyrus. Additionally, increased cortical thickness in the prefrontal cortex was correlated with winning rates of the pro-game league. Increased cortical thickness in the prefrontal and parietal cortices was also associated with higher performance of Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Conclusion Our results suggest that in individuals without pathologic conditions, regular, long-term playing of on-line games is associated with volume changes in the prefrontal and parietal cortices, which are associated with cognitive flexibility. PMID:24474988
Tullett, Alexa M; Wildschut, Tim; Sedikides, Constantine; Inzlicht, Michael
Nostalgia is often triggered by feelings-such as sadness, loneliness, or meaninglessness-that are typically associated with withdrawal motivation. Here, we examined whether a trait tendency to experience withdrawal motivation is associated with nostalgia proneness. Past work indicates that baseline right-frontal cortical asymmetry is a neural correlate of withdrawal-related motivation. We therefore hypothesized that higher baseline levels of right-frontal asymmetry would predict increased proneness to nostalgia. We assessed participants' baseline levels of frontal cortical activity using EEG. Results supported the hypothesis and demonstrated that the association between relative right-frontal asymmetry and increased nostalgia remained significant when controlling for the Big Five personality traits. Overall, these findings indicate that individuals with a stronger dispositional tendency to experience withdrawal-related motivation are more prone to nostalgia. © 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Asinof, Samuel K; Paine, Tracie A
Attention deficits are a core cognitive symptom of schizophrenia; the neuropathology underlying these deficits is not known. Attention is regulated, at least in part, by the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a brain area in which pathology of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons has been consistently observed in post-mortem analysis of the brains of people with schizophrenia. Specifically, expression of the 67-kD isoform of the GABA synthesis enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) is reduced in parvalbumin-containing fast-spiking GABA interneurons. Thus it is hypothesized that reduced cortical GABA synthesis and release may contribute to the attention deficits in schizophrenia. Here the effect of reducing cortical GABA synthesis with l-allylglycine (LAG) on attention was tested using three different versions of the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT). Because 5CSRTT performance can be affected by locomotor activity, we also measured this behavior in an open field. Finally, the expression of Fos protein was used as an indirect measure of reduced GABA synthesis. Intra-cortical LAG (10 μg/0.5 μl/side) infusions increased Fos expression and resulted in hyperactivity in the open field. Intra-cortical LAG infusions did not affect attention in any version of the 5CSRTT. These results suggest that a general decrease in GABA synthesis is not sufficient to cause attention deficits. It remains to be tested whether a selective decrease in GABA synthesis in parvalbumin-containing GABA neurons could cause attention deficits. Decreased cortical GABA synthesis did increase locomotor activity; this may reflect the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Isbell, Elif; Calkins, Susan D; Swingler, Margaret M; Leerkes, Esther M
Attentional control fluctuates in the presence of internal and external distractors, wandering on and off a given task. The current study investigated individual differences in attentional fluctuations in 250 preschoolers. Attentional fluctuations were assessed via intra-individual variability in response time in a Go/No-Go task. Greater fluctuations in attentional control were linked to lower task accuracy. In addition, greater attentional fluctuations predicted lower performance in a task of cognitive flexibility, the Dimensional Change Card Sort task. Attentional fluctuations were also associated with laboratory measures of academic readiness in preschool, as assessed by the Applied Problems and Letter-Word Identification subscales of the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement, which in turn predicted teacher reports of academic performance in first grade. Attentional fluctuations also had indirect associations with emergent math skills in preschool, via cognitive flexibility, as well as indirect associations with first-grade teacher reports of academic performance, via the relations between cognitive flexibility and emergent math skills in preschool. These results suggest that consistency is an important aspect of attentional control during early childhood. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ju, Xiang-Chun; Hou, Qiong-Qiong; Sheng, Ai-Li; Wu, Kong-Yan; Zhou, Yang; Jin, Ying; Wen, Tieqiao; Yang, Zhengang; Wang, Xiaoqun; Luo, Zhen-Ge
Cortical expansion and folding are often linked to the evolution of higher intelligence, but molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying cortical folding remain poorly understood. The hominoid-specific gene TBC1D3 undergoes segmental duplications during hominoid evolution, but its role in brain development has not been explored. Here, we found that expression of TBC1D3 in ventricular cortical progenitors of mice via in utero electroporation caused delamination of ventricular radial glia cells (vRGs) and promoted generation of self-renewing basal progenitors with typical morphology of outer radial glia (oRG), which are most abundant in primates. Furthermore, down-regulation of TBC1D3 in cultured human brain slices decreased generation of oRGs. Interestingly, localized oRG proliferation resulting from either in utero electroporation or transgenic expression of TBC1D3, was often found to underlie cortical regions exhibiting folding. Thus, we have identified a hominoid gene that is required for oRG generation in regulating the cortical expansion and folding. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18197.001 PMID:27504805
Schubert, Ruth; Ritter, Petra; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Preuschhof, Claudia; Curio, Gabriel; Sommer, Werner; Villringer, Arno
Recent studies investigating the influence of spatial-selective attention on primary somatosensory processing have produced inconsistent results. The aim of this study was to explore the influence of tactile spatial-selective attention on spatiotemporal aspects of evoked neuronal activity in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1). We employed simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG)-functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 14 right-handed subjects during bilateral index finger Braille stimulation to investigate the relationship between attentional effects on somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) components and the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal. The 1st reliable EEG response following left tactile stimulation (P50) was significantly enhanced by spatial-selective attention, which has not been reported before. FMRI analysis revealed increased activity in contralateral S1. Remarkably, the effect of attention on the P50 component as well as long-latency SEP components starting at 190 ms for left stimuli correlated with attentional effects on the BOLD signal in contralateral S1. The implications are 2-fold: First, the correlation between early and long-latency SEP components and the BOLD effect suggest that spatial-selective attention enhances processing in S1 at 2 time points: During an early passage of the signal and during a later passage, probably via re-entrant feedback from higher cortical areas. Second, attentional modulations of the fast electrophysiological signals and the slow hemodynamic response are linearly related in S1.
Ascenzi, Maria-Grazia; Kawas, Neal P.; Lutz, Andre; Kardas, Dieter; Nackenhorst, Udo; Keyak, Joyce H.
We present an innovative method to perform multi-scale finite element analyses of the cortical component of the femur using the individual’s (1) computed tomography scan; and (2) a bone specimen obtained in conjunction with orthopedic surgery. The method enables study of micro-structural characteristics regulating strains and stresses under physiological loading conditions. The analysis of the micro-structural scenarios that cause variation of strain and stress is the first step in understanding the elevated strains and stresses in bone tissue, which are indicative of higher likelihood of micro-crack formation in bone, implicated in consequent remodeling or macroscopic bone fracture. Evidence that micro-structure varies with clinical history and contributes in significant, but poorly understood, ways to bone function, motivates the method’s development, as does need for software tools to investigate relationships between macroscopic loading and micro-structure. Three applications – varying region of interest, bone mineral density, and orientation of collagen type I, illustrate the method. We show, in comparison between physiological loading and simple compression of a patient’s femur, that strains computed at the multi-scale model’s micro-level: (i) differ; and (ii) depend on local collagen-apatite orientation and degree of calcification. Our findings confirm the strain concentration role of osteocyte lacunae, important for mechano-transduction. We hypothesize occurrence of micro-crack formation, leading either to remodeling or macroscopic fracture, when the computed strains exceed the elastic range observed in micro-structural testing
Ascenzi, Maria-Grazia, E-mail: email@example.com [UCLA/Orthopaedic Hospital, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rehabilitation Bldg, Room 22-69, 1000 Veteran Avenue, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Kawas, Neal P., E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [UCLA/Orthopaedic Hospital, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rehabilitation Bldg, Room 22-69, 1000 Veteran Avenue, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Lutz, Andre, E-mail: email@example.com [Institute of Biomechanics and Numerical Mechanics, Leibniz University Hannover, 30167 Hannover (Germany); Kardas, Dieter, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [ContiTech Vibration Control, Jaedekamp 30 None, 30419 Hannover (Germany); Nackenhorst, Udo, E-mail: email@example.com [Institute of Biomechanics and Numerical Mechanics, Leibniz University Hannover, 30167 Hannover (Germany); Keyak, Joyce H., E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Department of Radiological Sciences, Medical Sciences I, Bldg 811, Room B140, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-5000 (United States)
We present an innovative method to perform multi-scale finite element analyses of the cortical component of the femur using the individual’s (1) computed tomography scan; and (2) a bone specimen obtained in conjunction with orthopedic surgery. The method enables study of micro-structural characteristics regulating strains and stresses under physiological loading conditions. The analysis of the micro-structural scenarios that cause variation of strain and stress is the first step in understanding the elevated strains and stresses in bone tissue, which are indicative of higher likelihood of micro-crack formation in bone, implicated in consequent remodeling or macroscopic bone fracture. Evidence that micro-structure varies with clinical history and contributes in significant, but poorly understood, ways to bone function, motivates the method’s development, as does need for software tools to investigate relationships between macroscopic loading and micro-structure. Three applications – varying region of interest, bone mineral density, and orientation of collagen type I, illustrate the method. We show, in comparison between physiological loading and simple compression of a patient’s femur, that strains computed at the multi-scale model’s micro-level: (i) differ; and (ii) depend on local collagen-apatite orientation and degree of calcification. Our findings confirm the strain concentration role of osteocyte lacunae, important for mechano-transduction. We hypothesize occurrence of micro-crack formation, leading either to remodeling or macroscopic fracture, when the computed strains exceed the elastic range observed in micro-structural testing.
Riecke, Lars; Peters, Judith C; Valente, Giancarlo; Poser, Benedikt A; Kemper, Valentin G; Formisano, Elia; Sorger, Bettina
Paying selective attention to an audio frequency selectively enhances activity within primary auditory cortex (PAC) at the tonotopic site (frequency channel) representing that frequency. Animal PAC neurons achieve this 'frequency-specific attentional spotlight' by adapting their frequency tuning,
Ruff, Douglas A; Alberts, Joshua J; Cohen, Marlene R
Normalization, which divisively scales neuronal responses to multiple stimuli, is thought to underlie many sensory, motor, and cognitive processes. In every study where it has been investigated, neurons measured in the same brain area under identical conditions exhibit a range of normalization, ranging from suppression by nonpreferred stimuli (strong normalization) to additive responses to combinations of stimuli (no normalization). Normalization has been hypothesized to arise from interactions between neuronal populations, either in the same or different brain areas, but current models of normalization are not mechanistic and focus on trial-averaged responses. To gain insight into the mechanisms underlying normalization, we examined interactions between neurons that exhibit different degrees of normalization. We recorded from multiple neurons in three cortical areas while rhesus monkeys viewed superimposed drifting gratings. We found that neurons showing strong normalization shared less trial-to-trial variability with other neurons in the same cortical area and more variability with neurons in other cortical areas than did units with weak normalization. Furthermore, the cortical organization of normalization was not random: neurons recorded on nearby electrodes tended to exhibit similar amounts of normalization. Together, our results suggest that normalization reflects a neuron's role in its local network and that modulatory factors like normalization share the topographic organization typical of sensory tuning properties. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.
Samantha J Dawson
Full Text Available Research across groups and methods consistently finds a gender difference in patterns of specificity of genital response; however, empirically supported mechanisms to explain this difference are lacking. The information-processing model of sexual arousal posits that automatic and controlled cognitive processes are requisite for the generation of sexual responses. Androphilic women's gender-nonspecific response patterns may be the result of sexually-relevant cues that are common to both preferred and nonpreferred genders capturing attention and initiating an automatic sexual response, whereas men's attentional system may be biased towards the detection and response to sexually-preferred cues only. In the present study, we used eye tracking to assess visual attention to sexually-preferred and nonpreferred cues in a sample of androphilic women and gynephilic men. Results support predictions from the information-processing model regarding gendered processing of sexual stimuli in men and women. Men's initial attention patterns were gender-specific, whereas women's were nonspecific. In contrast, both men and women exhibited gender-specific patterns of controlled attention, although this effect was stronger among men. Finally, measures of attention and self-reported attraction were positively related in both men and women. These findings are discussed in the context of the information-processing model and evolutionary mechanisms that may have evolved to promote gendered attentional systems.
Dawson, Samantha J.; Chivers, Meredith L.
Research across groups and methods consistently finds a gender difference in patterns of specificity of genital response; however, empirically supported mechanisms to explain this difference are lacking. The information-processing model of sexual arousal posits that automatic and controlled cognitive processes are requisite for the generation of sexual responses. Androphilic women’s gender-nonspecific response patterns may be the result of sexually-relevant cues that are common to both preferred and nonpreferred genders capturing attention and initiating an automatic sexual response, whereas men’s attentional system may be biased towards the detection and response to sexually-preferred cues only. In the present study, we used eye tracking to assess visual attention to sexually-preferred and nonpreferred cues in a sample of androphilic women and gynephilic men. Results support predictions from the information-processing model regarding gendered processing of sexual stimuli in men and women. Men’s initial attention patterns were gender-specific, whereas women’s were nonspecific. In contrast, both men and women exhibited gender-specific patterns of controlled attention, although this effect was stronger among men. Finally, measures of attention and self-reported attraction were positively related in both men and women. These findings are discussed in the context of the information-processing model and evolutionary mechanisms that may have evolved to promote gendered attentional systems. PMID:27088358
Reinders, A A T S; Chalavi, S; Schlumpf, Y R; Vissia, E M; Nijenhuis, E R S; Jäncke, L; Veltman, D J; Ecker, C
To examine the two constitutes of cortical volume (CV), that is, cortical thickness (CT) and surface area (SA), in individuals with dissociative identity disorder (DID) with the view of gaining important novel insights into the underlying neurobiological mechanisms mediating DID. This study included 32 female patients with DID and 43 matched healthy controls. Between-group differences in CV, thickness, and SA, the degree of spatial overlap between differences in CT and SA, and their relative contribution to differences in regional CV were assessed using a novel spatially unbiased vertex-wise approach. Whole-brain correlation analyses were performed between measures of cortical anatomy and dissociative symptoms and traumatization. Individuals with DID differed from controls in CV, CT, and SA, with significantly decreased CT in the insula, anterior cingulate, and parietal regions and reduced cortical SA in temporal and orbitofrontal cortices. Abnormalities in CT and SA shared only about 3% of all significantly different cerebral surface locations and involved distinct contributions to the abnormality of CV in DID. Significant negative associations between abnormal brain morphology (SA and CV) and dissociative symptoms and early childhood traumatization (0 and 3 years of age) were found. In DID, neuroanatomical areas with decreased CT and SA are in different locations in the brain. As CT and SA have distinct genetic and developmental origins, our findings may indicate that different neurobiological mechanisms and environmental factors impact on cortical morphology in DID, such as early childhood traumatization. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available Several cortical regions are reported to vary in meditation practitioners. However, since prior analyses were focused on examining gray matter or cortical thickness, additional effects with respect to other cortical features might have remained undetected. Gyrification (the pattern and degree of cortical folding is an important cerebral characteristic related to the geometry of the brain’s surface. Cortical folding occurs early in development and might be linked to behavioral traits. Thus, exploring cortical gyrification in long-term meditators may provide additional clues with respect to the underlying anatomical correlates of meditation. This study examined cortical gyrification in a large sample (n=100 of meditators and controls, carefully matched for sex and age. Cortical gyrification was established via calculating mean curvature across thousands of vertices on individual cortical surface models. Pronounced group differences indicating larger gyrification in meditators were evident within the left precentral gyrus, right fusiform gyrus, right cuneus, as well as left and right anterior dorsal insula (the latter representing the global significance maximum. Although the exact functional implications of larger cortical gyrification remain to be established, these findings suggest the insula to be a key structure involved in aspects of meditation. For example, variations in insular complexity could affect the regulation of well-known distractions in the process of meditation, such as daydreaming, mind-wandering, and projections into past or future. Moreover, given that meditators are masters in introspection, awareness, and emotional control, increased insular gyrification may reflect an ideal integration of autonomic, affective, and cognitive processes. Due to the cross-sectional nature of this study, further research is necessary determine the relative contribution of nature and nurture to links between cortical gyrification and meditation.
Wang, W; Degenhart, A D; Collinger, J L; Vinjamuri, R; Sudre, G P; Adelson, P D; Holder, D L; Leuthardt, E C; Moran, D W; Boninger, M L; Schwartz, A B; Crammond, D J; Tyler-Kabara, E C; Weber, D J
In this study human motor cortical activity was recorded with a customized micro-ECoG grid during individual finger movements. The quality of the recorded neural signals was characterized in the frequency domain from three different perspectives: (1) coherence between neural signals recorded from different electrodes, (2) modulation of neural signals by finger movement, and (3) accuracy of finger movement decoding. It was found that, for the high frequency band (60-120 Hz), coherence between neighboring micro-ECoG electrodes was 0.3. In addition, the high frequency band showed significant modulation by finger movement both temporally and spatially, and a classification accuracy of 73% (chance level: 20%) was achieved for individual finger movement using neural signals recorded from the micro-ECoG grid. These results suggest that the micro-ECoG grid presented here offers sufficient spatial and temporal resolution for the development of minimally-invasive brain-computer interface applications.
Rahko, Jukka S; Vuontela, Virve A; Carlson, Synnöve; Nikkinen, Juha; Hurtig, Tuula M; Kuusikko-Gauffin, Sanna; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Jussila, Katja K; Remes, Jukka J; Jansson-Verkasalo, Eira M; Aronen, Eeva T; Pauls, David L; Ebeling, Hanna E; Tervonen, Osmo; Moilanen, Irma K; Kiviniemi, Vesa J
The present study examined attention and memory load-dependent differences in the brain activation and deactivation patterns between adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and typically developing (TD) controls using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Attentional (0-back) and working memory (WM; 2-back) processing and load differences (0 vs. 2-back) were analysed. WM-related areas activated and default mode network deactivated normally in ASDs as a function of task load. ASDs performed the attentional 0-back task similarly to TD controls but showed increased deactivation in cerebellum and right temporal cortical areas and weaker activation in other cerebellar areas. Increasing task load resulted in multiple responses in ASDs compared to TD and in inadequate modulation of brain activity in right insula, primary somatosensory, motor and auditory cortices. The changes during attentional task may reflect compensatory mechanisms enabling normal behavioral performance. The inadequate memory load-dependent modulation of activity suggests diminished compensatory potential in ASD.
Raine, Adrian; Laufer, William S.; Yang, Yaling; Narr, Katherine L.; Thompson, Paul; Toga, Arthur W.
Very little is known on white collar crime and how it differs to other forms of offending. This study tests the hypothesis that white collar criminals have better executive functioning, enhanced information processing, and structural brain superiorities compared to offender controls. Using a case-control design, executive functioning, orienting, and cortical thickness was assessed in 21 white collar criminals matched with 21 controls on age, gender, ethnicity, and general level of criminal offending. White collar criminals had significantly better executive functioning, increased electrodermal orienting, increased arousal, and increased cortical gray matter thickness in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, somatosensory cortex, and the temporal-parietal junction compared to controls. Results, while initial, constitute the first findings on neurobiological characteristics of white-collar criminals It is hypothesized that white collar criminals have information-processing and brain superiorities that give them an advantage in perpetrating criminal offenses in occupational settings. PMID:22002326
Braz, Sandra Oliveira; Cruz, Andrea; Lobo, Andrea; Bravo, Joana; Moreira-Ribeiro, Joana; Pereira-Castro, Isabel; Freitas, Jaime; Relvas, Joao B; Summavielle, Teresa; Moreira, Alexandra
The differential expression of mRNAs containing tandem alternative 3' UTRs, achieved by mechanisms of alternative polyadenylation and post-transcriptional regulation, has been correlated with a variety of cellular states. In differentiated cells and brain tissues there is a general use of distal polyadenylation signals, originating mRNAs with longer 3' UTRs, in contrast with proliferating cells and other tissues such as testis, where most mRNAs contain shorter 3' UTRs. Although cell type and state are relevant in many biological processes, how these mechanisms occur in specific brain cell types is still poorly understood. Rac1 is a member of the Rho family of small GTPases with essential roles in multiple cellular processes, including cell differentiation and axonal growth. Here we used different brain cell types and tissues, including oligodendrocytes, microglia, astrocytes, cortical and hippocampal neurons, and optical nerve, to show that classical Rho GTPases express mRNAs with alternative 3' UTRs differently, by gene- and cell- specific mechanisms. In particular, we show that Rac1 originate mRNA isoforms with longer 3' UTRs specifically during neurite growth of cortical, but not hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the longest Rac1 3' UTR is necessary for driving the mRNA to the neurites, and also for neurite outgrowth in cortical neurons. Our results indicate that the expression of Rac1 longer 3' UTR is a gene and cell-type specific mechanism in the brain, with a new physiological function in cortical neuron differentiation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Otani, Tomoki; Marchetto, Maria C; Gage, Fred H; Simons, Benjamin D; Livesey, Frederick J
Variation in cerebral cortex size and complexity is thought to contribute to differences in cognitive ability between humans and other animals. Here we compare cortical progenitor cell output in humans and three nonhuman primates using directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) in adherent two-dimensional (2D) and organoid three-dimensional (3D) culture systems. Clonal lineage analysis showed that primate cortical progenitors proliferate for a protracted period of time, during which they generate early-born neurons, in contrast to rodents, where this expansion phase largely ceases before neurogenesis begins. The extent of this additional cortical progenitor expansion differs among primates, leading to differences in the number of neurons generated by each progenitor cell. We found that this mechanism for controlling cortical size is regulated cell autonomously in culture, suggesting that primate cerebral cortex size is regulated at least in part at the level of individual cortical progenitor cell clonal output. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.