Results in Journal Cerebral Cortex: 7,223

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Martina Brofiga, Marietta Pisano, Mariateresa Tedesco, Anna Boccaccio, Paolo Massobrio
Published: 17 September 2021
Abstract:
The brain is a complex organ composed of billions of neurons connected through excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Its structure reveals a modular topological organization, where neurons are arranged in interconnected assemblies. The generated patterns of electrophysiological activity are shaped by two main factors: network heterogeneity and the topological properties of the underlying connectivity that strongly push the dynamics toward different brain-states. In this work, we exploited an innovative polymeric structure coupled to Micro-Electrode Arrays (MEAs) to recreate in vitro heterogeneous interconnected (modular) neuronal networks made up of cortical and hippocampal neurons. We investigated the propagation of spike sequences between the two interconnected subpopulations during the networks’ development, correlating functional and structural connectivity to dynamics. The simultaneous presence of two neuronal types shaped the features of the functional connections (excitation vs. inhibition), orchestrating the emerging patterns of electrophysiological activity. In particular, we found that hippocampal neurons mostly project inhibitory connections toward the cortical counterpart modulating the temporal scale of the population events (network bursts). In contrast, cortical neurons establish a larger amount of intrapopulation connections. Moreover, we proved topological properties such as small-worldness, degree distribution, and modularity of neuronal assemblies were favored by the physical environment where networks developed and matured.
, , Emily Butler, , Adriana Roca-Fernandez, Azhaar Almozel, , Carmen Lage-Martinez, , , et al.
Published: 17 September 2021
Abstract:
A central debate in the systems neuroscience of memory concerns whether different medial temporal lobe (MTL) structures support different processes in recognition memory. Using two recognition memory paradigms, we tested a rare patient (MH) with a perirhinal lesion that appeared to spare the hippocampus. Consistent with a similar previous case, MH showed impaired familiarity and preserved recollection. When compared with patients with hippocampal lesions appearing to spare perirhinal cortex, MH showed greater impairment on familiarity and less on recollection. Nevertheless, the hippocampal patients also showed impaired familiarity compared with healthy controls. However, when replacing this traditional categorization of patients with analyses relating memory performance to continuous measures of damage across patients, hippocampal volume uniquely predicted recollection, whereas parahippocampal, rather than perirhinal, volume uniquely predicted familiarity. We consider whether the familiarity impairment in MH and our patients with hippocampal lesions arises from “subthreshold” damage to parahippocampal cortex (PHC). Our data provide the most compelling neuropsychological support yet for dual-process models of recognition memory, whereby recollection and familiarity depend on different MTL structures, and may support a role for PHC in familiarity. Our study highlights the value of supplementing single-case studies with examinations of continuous brain–behavior relationships across larger patient groups.
Heather Brooks, Mina Mirjalili, Wei Wang, Sanjeev Kumar, Michelle S Goodman, Reza Zomorrodi, Daniel M Blumberger, Christopher R Bowie, Zafiris J Daskalakis, Corinne E Fischer, et al.
Published: 14 September 2021
Abstract:
Theta-gamma coupling (TGC) is a neurophysiologic mechanism that supports working memory (WM). TGC is associated with N-back performance, a WM task. Similar to TGC, theta and alpha event-related synchronization (ERS) and desynchronization (ERD) are also associated with WM. Few studies have examined the longitudinal relationship between WM performance and TGC, ERS, or ERD. This study aimed to determine if changes in WM performance are associated with changes in TGC (primary aim), as well as theta and alpha ERS or ERD over 6 to 12 weeks. Participants included 62 individuals aged 60 and older with no neuropsychiatric conditions or with remitted Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and no cognitive disorders. TGC, ERS, and ERD were assessed using electroencephalography (EEG) during the N-back task (3-back condition). There was an association between changes in 3-back performance and changes in TGC, alpha ERD and ERS, and theta ERS in the control group. In contrast, there was only a significant association between changes in 3-back performance and changes in TGC in the subgroup with remitted MDD. Our results suggest that the relationship between WM performance and TGC is stable over time, while this is not the case for changes in theta and alpha ERS and ERD.
Kaho Tsumura, Keita Kosugi, Yoshiki Hattori, Ryuta Aoki, Masaki Takeda, Junichi Chikazoe, Kiyoshi Nakahara,
Published: 14 September 2021
Abstract:
Adaptation to changing environments involves the appropriate extraction of environmental information to achieve a behavioral goal. It remains unclear how behavioral flexibility is guided under situations where the relevant behavior is ambiguous. Using functional brain mapping of machine learning decoders and directional functional connectivity, we show that brain-wide reversible neural signaling underpins task encoding and behavioral flexibility in ambiguously changing environments. When relevant behavior is cued ambiguously during behavioral shifting, neural coding is attenuated in distributed cortical regions, but top-down signals from the prefrontal cortex complement the coding. When behavioral shifting is cued more explicitly, modality-specialized occipitotemporal regions implement distinct neural coding about relevant behavior, and bottom-up signals from the occipitotemporal region to the prefrontal cortex supplement the behavioral shift. These results suggest that our adaptation to an ever-changing world is orchestrated by the alternation of top-down and bottom-up signaling in the fronto-occipitotemporal circuit depending on the availability of environmental information.
Yuki Hori, Justine C Cléry, David J Schaeffer, Ravi S Menon, Stefan Everling
Published: 13 September 2021
Abstract:
Frontoparietal networks contribute to complex cognitive functions in humans and macaques, such as working memory, attention, task-switching, response suppression, grasping, reaching, and eye movement control. However, there has been no comprehensive examination of the functional organization of frontoparietal networks using functional magnetic resonance imaging in the New World common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus), which is now widely recognized as a powerful nonhuman primate experimental animal. In this study, we employed hierarchical clustering of interareal blood oxygen level–dependent signals to investigate the hypothesis that the organization of the frontoparietal cortex in the marmoset follows the organizational principles of the macaque frontoparietal system. We found that the posterior part of the lateral frontal cortex (premotor regions) was functionally connected to the anterior parietal areas, while more anterior frontal regions (frontal eye field [FEF]) were connected to more posterior parietal areas (the region around the lateral intraparietal area [LIP]). These overarching patterns of interareal organization are consistent with a recent macaque study. These findings demonstrate parallel frontoparietal processing streams in marmosets and support the functional similarities of FEF–LIP and premotor–anterior parietal pathways between marmoset and macaque.
Efrain A Cepeda-Prado, Babak Khodaie, Gloria D Quiceno, Swantje Beythien, Elke Edelmann, Volkmar Lessmann
Published: 9 September 2021
Abstract:
High-frequency stimulation induced long-term potentiation (LTP) and low-frequency stimulation induced LTD are considered as cellular models of memory formation. Interestingly, spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) can induce equally robust timing-dependent LTP (t-LTP) and t-LTD in response to low frequency repeats of coincident action potential (AP) firing in presynaptic and postsynaptic cells. Commonly, STDP paradigms relying on 25–100 repeats of coincident AP firing are used to elicit t-LTP or t-LTD, but the minimum number of repeats required for successful STDP is barely explored. However, systematic investigation of physiologically relevant low repeat STDP paradigms is of utmost importance to explain learning mechanisms in vivo. Here, we examined low repeat STDP at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses by pairing one presynaptic AP with either one postsynaptic AP (1:1 t-LTP), or a burst of 4 APs (1:4 t-LTP) and found 3–6 repeats to be sufficient to elicit t-LTP. 6× 1:1 t-LTP required postsynaptic Ca2+ influx via NMDARs and L-type VGCCs and was mediated by increased presynaptic glutamate release. In contrast, 1:4 t-LTP depended on postsynaptic metabotropic GluRs and ryanodine receptor signaling and was mediated by postsynaptic insertion of AMPA receptors. Unexpectedly, both 6× t-LTP variants were strictly dependent on activation of postsynaptic Ca2+-permeable AMPARs but were differentially regulated by dopamine receptor signaling. Our data show that synaptic changes induced by only 3–6 repeats of mild STDP stimulation occurring in ≤10 s can take place on time scales observed also during single trial learning.
Zuzanna M Stawicka, Roohollah Massoudi, Lydia Oikonomidis, Lauren McIver, Kevin Mulvihill, Shaun K L Quah, Gemma J Cockcroft, , Nicole K Horst, , et al.
Published: 8 September 2021
Abstract:
Structural and functional abnormalities of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) have been implicated in affective disorders that manifest anxiety-related symptoms. However, research into the functions of primate OFC has predominantly focused on reward-oriented rather than threat-oriented responses. To redress this imbalance, the present study performed a comprehensive analysis of the independent role of 2 distinct subregions of the central OFC (anterior area 11; aOFC and posterior area 13; pOFC) in the processing of distal and proximal threat. Temporary inactivation of both aOFC and pOFC heightened responses to distal threat in the form of an unknown human, but not to proximal threat assessed in a discriminative Pavlovian conditioning task. Inactivation of the aOFC, however, did unexpectedly blunt conditioned threat responses, although the effect was not valence-specific, as conditioned appetitive responses were similarly blunted and appeared restricted to a discriminative version of the task (when both CS− and CS+ are present within a session). Inactivation of the pOFC did not affect conditioned responses to either proximal threat or reward and basal cardiovascular activity was unaffected by manipulations of activity in either subregion. The results highlight the contribution of aOFC and pOFC to regulation of responses to more distal uncertain but not proximal, certain threat and reveal their opposing contribution to that of the immediately adjacent medial OFC, area 14.
, Christian O’Reilly, Elizabeth Bock, Rebecca J Theilmann, Jeanne Townsend
Published: 8 September 2021
Abstract:
There is substantial evidence of age-related declines in anatomical connectivity during adulthood, with associated alterations in functional connectivity. But the relation of those functional alterations to the structural reductions is unclear. The complexities of both the structural and the functional connectomes make it difficult to determine such relationships. We pursue this question with methods, based on animal research, that specifically target the interhemispheric connections between the visual cortices. We collect t1- and diffusion-weighted imaging data from which we assess the integrity of the white matter interconnecting the bilateral visual cortices. Functional connectivity between the visual cortices is measured with electroencephalography during the presentation of drifting sinusoidal gratings that agree or conflict across hemifields. Our results show age-related reductions in the integrity of the white matter interconnecting the visual cortices, and age-related increases in the difference in functional interhemispheric lagged coherence between agreeing versus disagreeing visual stimuli. We show that integrity of the white matter in the splenium of the corpus callosum predicts the differences in lagged coherence for the agreeing versus disagreeing stimuli; and that this relationship is mediated by age. These results give new insight into the causal relationship between age and functional connectivity.
, Lindsey M Brier, Annie R Bice, Matthew D Reisman, , Joseph P Culver
Published: 8 September 2021
Abstract:
Cross-sectional studies have established a variety of structural, synaptic, and cell physiological changes corresponding to critical periods in cortical development. However, the emergence of functional connectivity (FC) in development has not been fully characterized, and hemodynamic-based measures are vulnerable to any neurovascular coupling changes occurring in parallel. We therefore used optical fluorescence imaging to trace longitudinal calcium FC in the awake, resting-state mouse cortex at 5 developmental timepoints beginning at postnatal day 15 (P15) and ending in early adulthood at P60. Calcium FC displayed coherent functional maps as early as P15, and FC significantly varied in connections between many regions across development, with the developmental trajectory’s shape specific to the functional region. Evaluating 325 seed–seed connections, we found that there was a significant increase in FC between P15 and P22 over the majority of the cortex as well as bilateral connectivity and node degree differences in frontal, motor, and retrosplenial cortices after P22. A rebalancing of inter- and intrahemispheric FC and local-distal FC dominance was also observed during development. This longitudinal developmental calcium FC study therefore provides a resource dataset to the field and identifies periods of dynamic change which cross-sectional studies may target for examination of disease states.
Rebeca Sifuentes-Ortega, Tomas Lenc, Sylvie Nozaradan, Philippe Peigneux
Published: 7 September 2021
Abstract:
The extent of high-level perceptual processing during sleep remains controversial. In wakefulness, perception of periodicities supports the emergence of high-order representations such as the pulse-like meter perceived while listening to music. Electroencephalography (EEG) frequency-tagged responses elicited at envelope frequencies of musical rhythms have been shown to provide a neural representation of rhythm processing. Specifically, responses at frequencies corresponding to the perceived meter are enhanced over responses at meter-unrelated frequencies. This selective enhancement must rely on higher-level perceptual processes, as it occurs even in irregular (i.e., syncopated) rhythms where meter frequencies are not prominent input features, thus ruling out acoustic confounds. We recorded EEG while presenting a regular (unsyncopated) and an irregular (syncopated) rhythm across sleep stages and wakefulness. Our results show that frequency-tagged responses at meter-related frequencies of the rhythms were selectively enhanced during wakefulness but attenuated across sleep states. Most importantly, this selective attenuation occurred even in response to the irregular rhythm, where meter-related frequencies were not prominent in the stimulus, thus suggesting that neural processes selectively enhancing meter-related frequencies during wakefulness are weakened during rapid eye movement (REM) and further suppressed in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. These results indicate preserved processing of low-level acoustic properties but limited higher-order processing of auditory rhythms during sleep.
Laura Giglio, , Kirsten Weber, Peter Hagoort
Published: 7 September 2021
Abstract:
The neurobiology of sentence production has been largely understudied compared to the neurobiology of sentence comprehension, due to difficulties with experimental control and motion-related artifacts in neuroimaging. We studied the neural response to constituents of increasing size and specifically focused on the similarities and differences in the production and comprehension of the same stimuli. Participants had to either produce or listen to stimuli in a gradient of constituent size based on a visual prompt. Larger constituent sizes engaged the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) and middle temporal gyrus (LMTG) extending to inferior parietal areas in both production and comprehension, confirming that the neural resources for syntactic encoding and decoding are largely overlapping. An ROI analysis in LIFG and LMTG also showed that production elicited larger responses to constituent size than comprehension and that the LMTG was more engaged in comprehension than production, while the LIFG was more engaged in production than comprehension. Finally, increasing constituent size was characterized by later BOLD peaks in comprehension but earlier peaks in production. These results show that syntactic encoding and parsing engage overlapping areas, but there are asymmetries in the engagement of the language network due to the specific requirements of production and comprehension.
Héloïse Hamelin, Ghislaine Poizat, Cédrick Florian, Miron Bartosz Kursa, Elsa Pittaras, Jacques Callebert, Claire Rampon, Mohammed Taouis, Adam Hamed, Sylvie Granon
Published: 7 September 2021
Abstract:
We investigated the detrimental effects of chronic consumption of sweet or sweetened beverages in mice. We report that consumption of beverages containing small amounts of sucrose during several weeks impaired reward systems. This is evidenced by robust changes in the activation pattern of prefrontal brain regions associated with abnormal risk-taking and delayed establishment of decision-making strategy. Supporting these findings, we find that chronic consumption of low doses of artificial sweeteners such as saccharin disrupts brain regions’ activity engaged in decision-making and reward processes. Consequently, this leads to the rapid development of inflexible decisions, particularly in a subset of vulnerable individuals. Our data also reveal that regular consumption, even at low doses, of sweet or sweeteners dramatically alters brain neurochemistry, i.e., dopamine content and turnover, and high cognitive functions, while sparing metabolic regulations. Our findings suggest that it would be relevant to focus on long-term consequences on the brain of sweet or sweetened beverages in humans, especially as they may go metabolically unnoticed.
Yi-Jie Zhao, Kendrick N Kay, Yonghong Tian,
Published: 2 September 2021
Abstract:
The “sensory recruitment hypothesis” posits an essential role of sensory cortices in working memory, beyond the well-accepted frontoparietal areas. Yet, this hypothesis has recently been challenged. In the present study, participants performed a delayed orientation recall task while high-spatial-resolution 3 T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals were measured in posterior cortices. A multivariate inverted encoding model approach was used to decode remembered orientations based on blood oxygen level-dependent fMRI signals from visual cortices during the delay period. We found that not only did activity in the contralateral primary visual cortex (V1) retain high-fidelity representations of the visual stimuli, but activity in the ipsilateral V1 also contained such orientation tuning. Moreover, although the encoded tuning was faded in the contralateral V1 during the late delay period, tuning information in the ipsilateral V1 remained sustained. Furthermore, the ipsilateral representation was presented in secondary visual cortex (V2) as well, but not in other higher-level visual areas. These results thus supported the sensory recruitment hypothesis and extended it to the ipsilateral sensory areas, which indicated the distributed involvement of visual areas in visual working memory.
, Peter Vuust, Giosuè Baggio
Published: 2 September 2021
Abstract:
Compositionality is a hallmark of human language and other symbolic systems: a finite set of meaningful elements can be systematically combined to convey an open-ended array of ideas. Compositionality is not uniformly distributed over expressions in a language or over individuals’ communicative behavior: at both levels, variation is observed. Here, we investigate the neural bases of interindividual variability by probing the relationship between intrinsic characteristics of brain networks and compositional behavior. We first collected functional resting-state and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging data from a large participant sample (N = 51). Subsequently, participants took part in two signaling games. They were instructed to learn and reproduce an auditory symbolic system of signals (tone sequences) associated with affective meanings (human faces expressing emotions). Signal-meaning mappings were artificial and had to be learned via repeated signaling interactions. We identified a temporoparietal network in which connection length was related to the degree of compositionality introduced in a signaling system by each player. Graph-theoretic analysis of resting-state functional connectivity revealed that, within that network, compositional behavior was associated with integration measures in 2 semantic hubs: the left posterior cingulate cortex and the left angular gyrus. Our findings link individual variability in compositional biases to variation in the anatomy of semantic networks and in the functional topology of their constituent units.
Xiaoyun Ma, Harish Vuyyuru, Thomas Munsch, Thomas Endres, Volkmar Lessmann,
Published: 1 September 2021
Abstract:
Neurotrophins are secreted proteins that control survival, differentiation, and synaptic plasticity. While mature neurotrophins regulate these functions via tyrosine kinase signaling (Trk), uncleaved pro-neurotrophins bind preferentially to the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) and often exert opposite effects to those of mature neurotrophins. In the amygdala, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) enables long-term potentiation as well as fear and fear extinction learning. In the present study, we focused on the impact of mature BDNF and proBDNF signaling on long-term depression (LTD) in the lateral amygdala (LA). Hence, we conducted extracellular field potential recordings in an in vitro slice preparation and recorded LTD in cortical and thalamic afferents to the LA. LTD was unchanged by acute block of BDNF/TrkB signaling. In contrast, LTD was inhibited by blocking p75NTR signaling, by disinhibition of the proteolytic cleavage of proBDNF into mature BDNF, and by preincubation with a function-blocking anti-proBDNF antibody. Since LTD-like processes in the amygdala are supposed to be related to fear extinction learning, we locally inhibited p75NTR signaling in the amygdala during or after fear extinction training, resulting in impaired fear extinction memory. Overall, these results suggest that in the amygdala proBDNF/p75NTR signaling plays a pivotal role in LTD and fear extinction learning.
Tsz-Fung Woo, Chun-Kit Law, Kin-Hung Ting, Chetwyn C H Chan, Nils Kolling, Kei Watanabe,
Published: 1 September 2021
Abstract:
Our knowledge about neural mechanisms underlying decision making is largely based on experiments that involved few options. However, it is more common in daily life to choose between many options, in which processing choice information selectively is particularly important. The current study examined whether the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC) are of particular importance to multiple-option decision making. Sixty-eight participants received anodal high definition-transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) to focally enhance dlPFC or PPC in a double-blind sham-controlled design. Participants then performed a multiple-option decision making task. We found longer fixations on poorer options were related to less optimal decisions. Interestingly, this negative impact was attenuated after applying anodal HD-tDCS over dlPFC, especially in choices with many options. This suggests that dlPFC has a causal role in filtering choice-irrelevant information. In contrast, these effects were absent after participants received anodal HD-tDCS over PPC. Instead, the choices made by these participants were more biased towards the best options presented on the side contralateral to the stimulation. This suggests PPC has a causal role in value-based spatial selection. To conclude, the dlPFC has a role in filtering undesirable options, whereas the PPC emphasizes the desirable contralateral options.
C Dastolfo-Hromack, A Bush, A Chrabaszcz, A Alhourani, W Lipski, D Wang, D J Crammond, S Shaiman, M W Dickey, L L Holt, et al.
Published: 1 September 2021
Abstract:
Speaking precisely is important for effective verbal communication, and articulatory gain is one component of speech motor control that contributes to achieving this goal. Given that the basal ganglia have been proposed to regulate the speed and size of limb movement, that is, movement gain, we explored the basal ganglia contribution to articulatory gain, through local field potentials (LFP) recorded simultaneously from the subthalamic nucleus (STN), precentral gyrus, and postcentral gyrus. During STN deep brain stimulation implantation for Parkinson’s disease, participants read aloud consonant-vowel-consonant syllables. Articulatory gain was indirectly assessed using the F2 Ratio, an acoustic measurement of the second formant frequency of/i/vowels divided by/u/vowels. Mixed effects models demonstrated that the F2 Ratio correlated with alpha and theta activity in the precentral gyrus and STN. No correlations were observed for the postcentral gyrus. Functional connectivity analysis revealed that higher phase locking values for beta activity between the STN and precentral gyrus were correlated with lower F2 Ratios, suggesting that higher beta synchrony impairs articulatory precision. Effects were not related to disease severity. These data suggest that articulatory gain is encoded within the basal ganglia-cortical loop.
Xiaokuang Ma, Jing Wei, Yuehua Cui, Baomei Xia, Le Zhang, Antoine Nehme, Yi Zuo, Deveroux Ferguson, Pat Levitt,
Published: 1 September 2021
Abstract:
The molecular regulation of the temporal dynamics of circuit maturation is a key contributor to the emergence of normal structure–function relations. Developmental control of cortical MET receptor tyrosine kinase, expressed early postnatally in subpopulations of excitatory neurons, has a pronounced impact on the timing of glutamatergic synapse maturation and critical period plasticity. Here, we show that using a controllable overexpression (cto-Met) transgenic mouse, extending the duration of MET signaling after endogenous Met is switched off leads to altered molecular constitution of synaptic proteins, persistent activation of small GTPases Cdc42 and Rac1, and sustained inhibitory phosphorylation of cofilin. These molecular changes are accompanied by an increase in the density of immature dendritic spines, impaired cortical circuit maturation of prefrontal cortex layer 5 projection neurons, and altered laminar excitatory connectivity. Two photon in vivo imaging of dendritic spines reveals that cto-Met enhances de novo spine formation while inhibiting spine elimination. Extending MET signaling for two weeks in developing cortical circuits leads to pronounced repetitive activity and impaired social interactions in adult mice. Collectively, our data revealed that temporally controlled MET signaling as a critical mechanism for controlling cortical circuit development and emergence of normal behavior.
Tarik Jamoulle, Qian Ran, Karen Meersmans, Jolien Schaeverbeke, Patrick Dupont, Rik Vandenberghe
Published: 31 August 2021
Abstract:
Visual consciousness is shaped by the interplay between endogenous selection and exogenous capture. If stimulus saliency is aligned with a subject’s attentional priorities, endogenous selection will be facilitated. In case of a misalignment, endogenous selection may be compromised as attentional capture is a strong and automatic process. We manipulated task-congruent versus -incongruent saliency in a functional magnetic resonance imaging change-detection task and analyzed brain activity patterns in the cortex surrounding the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) within the Julich-Brain probabilistic cytoarchitectonic mapping reference frame. We predicted that exogenous effects would be seen mainly in the posterior regions of the IPS (hIP4–hIP7–hIP8), whereas a conflict between endogenous and exogenous orienting would elicit activity from more anterior cytoarchitectonic areas (hIP1–hIP2–hIP3). Contrary to our hypothesis, a conflict between endogenous and exogenous orienting had an effect early in the IPS (mainly in hIP7 and hIP8). This is strong evidence for an endogenous component in hIP7/8 responses to salient stimuli beyond effects of attentional bottom-up sweep. Our results suggest that hIP7 and hIP8 are implicated in the individuation of attended locations based on saliency as well as endogenous instructions.
Abigail L Noyce, Ray W Lefco, James A Brissenden, Sean M Tobyne, Barbara G Shinn-Cunningham, David C Somers
Published: 31 August 2021
Abstract:
Working memory (WM) supports the persistent representation of transient sensory information. Visual and auditory stimuli place different demands on WM and recruit different brain networks. Separate auditory- and visual-biased WM networks extend into the frontal lobes, but several challenges confront attempts to parcellate human frontal cortex, including fine-grained organization and between-subject variability. Here, we use differential intrinsic functional connectivity from 2 visual-biased and 2 auditory-biased frontal structures to identify additional candidate sensory-biased regions in frontal cortex. We then examine direct contrasts of task functional magnetic resonance imaging during visual versus auditory 2-back WM to validate those candidate regions. Three visual-biased and 5 auditory-biased regions are robustly activated bilaterally in the frontal lobes of individual subjects (N = 14, 7 women). These regions exhibit a sensory preference during passive exposure to task stimuli, and that preference is stronger during WM. Hierarchical clustering analysis of intrinsic connectivity among novel and previously identified bilateral sensory-biased regions confirms that they functionally segregate into visual and auditory networks, even though the networks are anatomically interdigitated. We also observe that the frontotemporal auditory WM network is highly selective and exhibits strong functional connectivity to structures serving non-WM functions, while the frontoparietal visual WM network hierarchically merges into the multiple-demand cognitive system.
Iva Salamon, Geeta Palsule, Xiaobing Luo, Alfonso Roque, Shawn Tucai, Ishan Khosla, Nicole Volk, Wendy Liu, Huijuan Cui, Valentina Dal Pozzo, et al.
Published: 31 August 2021
Abstract:
Homozygous mutations in the gene encoding the scavenger mRNA-decapping enzyme, DcpS, have been shown to underlie developmental delay and intellectual disability. Intellectual disability is associated with both abnormal neocortical development and mRNA metabolism. However, the role of DcpS and its scavenger decapping activity in neuronal development is unknown. Here, we show that human neurons derived from patients with a DcpS mutation have compromised differentiation and neurite outgrowth. Moreover, in the developing mouse neocortex, DcpS is required for the radial migration, polarity, neurite outgrowth, and identity of developing glutamatergic neurons. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that the scavenger mRNA decapping activity contributes to multiple pivotal roles in neural development and further corroborate that mRNA metabolism and neocortical pathologies are associated with intellectual disability.
Kristine B Walhovd, Anders M Fjell, Yunpeng Wang, Inge K Amlien, Athanasia M Mowinckel, Ulman Lindenberger, Sandra Düzel, David Bartrés-Faz, Klaus P Ebmeier, Christian A Drevon, et al.
Published: 31 August 2021
Abstract:
Higher socio-economic status (SES) has been proposed to have facilitating and protective effects on brain and cognition. We ask whether relationships between SES, brain volumes and cognitive ability differ across cohorts, by age and national origin. European and US cohorts covering the lifespan were studied (4–97 years, N = 500 000; 54 000 w/brain imaging). There was substantial heterogeneity across cohorts for all associations. Education was positively related to intracranial (ICV) and total gray matter (GM) volume. Income was related to ICV, but not GM. We did not observe reliable differences in associations as a function of age. SES was more strongly related to brain and cognition in US than European cohorts. Sample representativity varies, and this study cannot identify mechanisms underlying differences in associations across cohorts. Differences in neuroanatomical volumes partially explained SES–cognition relationships. SES was more strongly related to ICV than to GM, implying that SES–cognition relations in adulthood are less likely grounded in neuroprotective effects on GM volume in aging. The relatively stronger SES–ICV associations rather are compatible with SES–brain volume relationships being established early in life, as ICV stabilizes in childhood. The findings underscore that SES has no uniform association with, or impact on, brain and cognition.
Camarin E Rolle, , Noriah Johnson, Ken-Ichi Amemori, Maria Ironside, Ann M Graybiel, ,
Published: 31 August 2021
Abstract:
Approach–Avoidance conflict (AAC) arises from decisions with embedded positive and negative outcomes, such that approaching leads to reward and punishment and avoiding to neither. Despite its importance, the field lacks a mechanistic understanding of which regions are driving avoidance behavior during conflict. In the current task, we utilized transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and drift-diffusion modeling to investigate the role of one of the most prominent regions relevant to AAC—the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). The first experiment uses in-task disruption to examine the right dlPFC’s (r-dlPFC) causal role in avoidance behavior. The second uses single TMS pulses to probe the excitability of the r-dlPFC, and downstream cortical activations, during avoidance behavior. Disrupting r-dlPFC during conflict decision-making reduced reward sensitivity. Further, r-dlPFC was engaged with a network of regions within the lateral and medial prefrontal, cingulate, and temporal cortices that associate with behavior during conflict. Together, these studies use TMS to demonstrate a role for the dlPFC in reward sensitivity during conflict and elucidate the r-dlPFC’s network of cortical regions associated with avoidance behavior. By identifying r-dlPFC’s mechanistic role in AAC behavior, contextualized within its conflict-specific downstream neural connectivity, we advance dlPFC as a potential neural target for psychiatric therapeutics.
, Alpen Ortug, Jose Luis Alatorre Warren, Briana Valli, Jacob Levman, Susan K Faja, Keita Tsujimura, Alika K Maunakea, Emi Takahashi
Published: 28 August 2021
Abstract:
Early interventions for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are increasingly available, while only 42–50% of ASD children are diagnosed before 3 years old (YO). To identify neuroimaging biomarkers for early ASD diagnosis, we evaluated surface- and voxel-based brain morphometry in participants under 3YO who were later diagnosed with ASD. Magnetic resonance imaging data were retrospectively obtained from patients later diagnosed with ASD at Boston Children’s Hospital. The ASD participants with comorbidities such as congenital disorder, epilepsy, and global developmental delay/intellectual disability were excluded from statistical analyses. Eighty-five structural brain magnetic resonance imaging images were collected from 81 participants under 3YO and compared with 45 images from 45 gender- and age-matched nonautistic controls (non-ASD). Using an Infant FreeSurfer pipeline, 236 regionally distributed measurements were extracted from each scan. By t-tests and linear mixed models, the smaller nucleus accumbens and larger bilateral lateral, third, and fourth ventricles were identified in the ASD group. Vertex-wise t-statistical maps showed decreased thickness in the caudal anterior cingulate cortex and increased thickness in the right medial orbitofrontal cortex in ASD. The smaller bilateral accumbens nuclei and larger cerebral ventricles were independent of age, gender, or gestational age at birth, suggesting that there are MRI-based biomarkers in prospective ASD patients before they receive the diagnosis and that the volume of the nucleus accumbens and cerebral ventricles can be key MRI-based early biomarkers to predict the emergence of ASD.
Chuqi Liu, Zhifang Ye, Chuansheng Chen, Nikolai Axmacher,
Published: 28 August 2021
Abstract:
The hippocampus plays an important role in representing spatial locations and sequences and in transforming representations. How these representational structures and operations support memory for the temporal order of random items is still poorly understood. We addressed this question by leveraging the method of loci, a powerful mnemonic strategy for temporal order memory that particularly recruits hippocampus-dependent computations of spatial locations and associations. Applying representational similarity analysis to functional magnetic resonance imaging activation patterns revealed that hippocampal subfields contained representations of multiple features of sequence structure, including spatial locations, location distance, and sequence boundaries, as well as episodic-like temporal context. Critically, the hippocampal CA1 exhibited spatial transformation of representational patterns, showing lower pattern similarity for items in same locations than closely matched different locations during retrieval, whereas the CA23DG exhibited sequential transformation of representational patterns, showing lower pattern similarity for items in near locations than in far locations during encoding. These transformations enabled the encoding of multiple items in the same location and disambiguation of adjacent items. Our results suggest that the hippocampus can flexibly reconfigure multiplexed event structure representations to support accurate temporal order memory.
Mark B Vestergaard, Hashmat Ghanizada, Ulrich Lindberg, Nanna Arngrim, Olaf B Paulson, Albert Gjedde, Messoud Ashina, Henrik B W Larsson
Published: 27 August 2021
Abstract:
Exposure to moderate hypoxia in humans leads to cerebral lactate production, which occurs even when the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) is unaffected. We searched for the mechanism of this lactate production by testing the hypothesis of upregulation of cerebral glycolysis mediated by hypoxic sensing. Describing the pathways counteracting brain hypoxia could help us understand brain diseases associated with hypoxia. A total of 65 subjects participated in this study: 30 subjects were exposed to poikilocapnic hypoxia, 14 were exposed to isocapnic hypoxia, and 21 were exposed to carbon monoxide (CO). Using this setup, we examined whether lactate production reacts to an overall reduction in arterial oxygen concentration or solely to reduced arterial oxygen partial pressure. We measured cerebral blood flow (CBF), CMRO2, and lactate concentrations by magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy. CBF increased (P < 10−4), whereas the CMRO2 remained unaffected (P > 0.076) in all groups, as expected. Lactate increased in groups inhaling hypoxic air (poikilocapnic hypoxia: $0.0136\ \frac{\mathrm{mmol}/\mathrm{L}}{\Delta{\mathrm{S}}_{\mathrm{a}}{\mathrm{O}}_2}$, P < 10−6; isocapnic hypoxia: $0.0142\ \frac{\mathrm{mmol}/\mathrm{L}}{\Delta{\mathrm{S}}_{\mathrm{a}}{\mathrm{O}}_2}$, P = 0.003) but was unaffected by CO (P = 0.36). Lactate production was not associated with reduced CMRO2. These results point toward a mechanism of lactate production by upregulation of glycolysis mediated by sensing a reduced arterial oxygen pressure. The released lactate may act as a signaling molecule engaged in vasodilation.
Ryan T Philips, Salvatore J Torrisi, Adam X Gorka, Christian Grillon, Monique Ernst
Published: 27 August 2021
Abstract:
Functional connectivity (FC) is determined by similarity between functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals from distinct brain regions. However, traditional FC analyses ignore temporal phase differences. Here, we addressed this limitation, using dynamic time warping (DTW) within a machine-learning framework, to study cortical FC patterns of 2 spatially adjacent but functionally distinct subcortical regions, namely Substantia Nigra Pars Compacta (SNc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). We evaluate: 1) the influence of pair of brain regions considered, 2) the influence of warping window sizes, 3) the classification efficacy of DTW, and 4) the uniqueness of features identified. Whole brain 7 Tesla resting state fMRI scans from 81 healthy participants were used. FC between 2 subcortical regions of interests (ROIs) and 360 cortical parcels were computed using: 1) Pearson correlations (PCs), 2) dynamic time-warped PCs (DTW-PC). The separability of SNc-cortical and VTA-cortical network was validated on 40 participants and tested on the remaining 41, using a support vector machine (SVM). The SVM separated the SNc-cortical versus VTA-cortical network with 74.39 and 97.56% test accuracy using PC and DTW-PC, respectively. SVM–recursive feature elimination yielded 20 DTW-PC features that most strongly contributed to the separation of the networks and revealed novel VTA versus SNc preferential connections (P < 0.05, Bonferroni–Holm corrected).
Stefano Varani, Dania Vecchia, Stefano Zucca, Angelo Forli, Tommaso Fellin
Published: 27 August 2021
Abstract:
In the barrel field of the rodent primary somatosensory cortex (S1bf), excitatory cells in layer 2/3 (L2/3) display sparse firing but reliable subthreshold response during whisker stimulation. Subthreshold responses encode specific features of the sensory stimulus, for example, the direction of whisker deflection. According to the canonical model for the flow of sensory information across cortical layers, activity in L2/3 is driven by layer 4 (L4). However, L2/3 cells receive excitatory inputs from other regions, raising the possibility that L4 partially drives L2/3 during whisker stimulation. To test this hypothesis, we combined patch-clamp recordings from L2/3 pyramidal neurons in S1bf with selective optogenetic inhibition of L4 during passive whisker stimulation in both anesthetized and awake head-restrained mice. We found that L4 optogenetic inhibition did not abolish the subthreshold whisker-evoked response nor it affected spontaneous membrane potential fluctuations of L2/3 neurons. However, L4 optogenetic inhibition decreased L2/3 subthreshold responses to whisker deflections in the preferred direction, and it increased L2/3 responses to stimuli in the nonpreferred direction, leading to a change in the direction tuning. Our results contribute to reveal the circuit mechanisms underlying the processing of sensory information in the rodent S1bf.
C’Iana P Cooper, , Nicole M Armstrong, Sharyn L Rossi, Jennifer Young, Christa Herold, Hong Gu, Yihong Yang, , Susan M Resnick, et al.
Published: 27 August 2021
Abstract:
Cognitive aging varies tremendously across individuals and is often accompanied by regionally specific reductions in gray matter (GM) volume, even in the absence of disease. Rhesus monkeys provide a primate model unconfounded by advanced neurodegenerative disease, and the current study used a recognition memory test (delayed non-matching to sample; DNMS) in conjunction with structural imaging and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to characterize age-related differences in GM volume and brain-behavior relationships. Consistent with expectations from a long history of neuropsychological research, DNMS performance in young animals prominently correlated with the volume of multiple structures in the medial temporal lobe memory system. Less anticipated correlations were also observed in the cingulate and cerebellum. In aged monkeys, significant volumetric correlations with DNMS performance were largely restricted to the prefrontal cortex and striatum. Importantly, interaction effects in an omnibus analysis directly confirmed that the associations between volume and task performance in the MTL and prefrontal cortex are age-dependent. These results demonstrate that the regional distribution of GM volumes coupled with DNMS performance changes across the lifespan, consistent with the perspective that the aged primate brain retains a substantial capacity for structural reorganization.
, Yin Wang, Ingrid R Olson
Published: 25 August 2021
Abstract:
The cerebellum has been traditionally disregarded in relation to nonmotor functions, but recent findings indicate it may be involved in language, affective processing, and social functions. Mentalizing, or Theory of Mind (ToM), is the ability to infer mental states of others and this skill relies on a distributed network of brain regions. Here, we leveraged large-scale multimodal neuroimaging data to elucidate the structural and functional role of the cerebellum in mentalizing. We used functional activations to determine whether the cerebellum has a domain-general or domain-specific functional role, and effective connectivity and probabilistic tractography to map the cerebello-cerebral mentalizing network. We found that the cerebellum is organized in a domain-specific way and that there is a left cerebellar effective and structural lateralization, with more and stronger effective connections from the left cerebellar hemisphere to the right cerebral mentalizing areas, and greater cerebello-thalamo-cortical and cortico-ponto-cerebellar streamline counts from and to the left cerebellum. Our study provides novel insights to the network organization of the cerebellum, an overlooked brain structure, and mentalizing, one of humans’ most essential abilities to navigate the social world.
Lorenzo Ferrucci, , Rossella Falcone, Rossella Cirillo, Francesco Ceccarelli,
Published: 25 August 2021
Abstract:
Social neurophysiology has increasingly addressed how several aspects of self and other are distinctly represented in the brain. In social interactions, the self–other distinction is fundamental for discriminating one’s own actions, intentions, and outcomes from those that originate in the external world. In this paper, we review neurophysiological experiments using nonhuman primates that shed light on the importance of the self–other distinction, focusing mainly on the frontal cortex. We start by examining how the findings are impacted by the experimental paradigms that are used, such as the type of social partner or whether a passive or active interaction is required. Next, we describe the 2 sociocognitive systems: mirror and mentalizing. Finally, we discuss how the self–other distinction can occur in different domains to process different aspects of social information: the observation and prediction of others’ actions and the monitoring of others’ rewards.
G Di Cesare, V Cuccio, M Marchi, A Sciutti, G Rizzolatti
Published: 25 August 2021
Abstract:
In previous studies on auditory vitality forms, we found that listening to action verbs pronounced gently or rudely, produced, relative to a neutral robotic voice, activation of the dorso-central insula. One might wonder whether this insular activation depends on the conjunction of action verbs and auditory vitality forms, or whether auditory vitality forms are sufficient per se to activate the insula. To solve this issue, we presented words not related to actions such as concrete nouns (e.g.,“ball”), pronounced gently or rudely. No activation of the dorso-central insula was found. As a further step, we examined whether interjections, i.e., speech stimuli conveying communicative intention (e.g., “hello”), pronounced with different vitality forms, would be able to activate, relative to control, the insula. The results showed that stimuli conveying a communicative intention, pronounced with different auditory vitality forms activate the dorsal-central insula. These data deepen our understanding of the vitality forms processing, showing that insular activation is not specific to action verbs, but can be also activated by speech acts conveying communicative intention such as interjections. These findings also show the intrinsic social nature of vitality forms because activation of the insula was not observed in the absence of a communicative intention.
, , Joshua J Foster, Thomas C Sprague, Edward Awh, John T Serences
Published: 25 August 2021
Abstract:
Current theories propose that the short-term retention of information in working memory (WM) and the recall of information from long-term memory (LTM) are supported by overlapping neural mechanisms in occipital and parietal cortex. However, the extent of the shared representations between WM and LTM is unclear. We designed a spatial memory task that allowed us to directly compare the representations of remembered spatial information in WM and LTM with carefully matched behavioral response precision between tasks. Using multivariate pattern analyses on functional magnetic resonance imaging data, we show that visual memories were represented in a sensory-like code in both memory tasks across retinotopic regions in occipital and parietal cortex. Regions in lateral parietal cortex also encoded remembered locations in both tasks, but in a format that differed from sensory-evoked activity. These results suggest a striking correspondence in the format of representations maintained in WM and retrieved from LTM across occipital and parietal cortex. On the other hand, we also show that activity patterns in nearly all parietal regions, but not occipital regions, contained information that could discriminate between WM and LTM trials. Our data provide new evidence for theories of memory systems and the representation of mnemonic content.
Cheng-Wei Huang, Chin-Hsien Lin, Yi-Hsuan Lin, Hsin-Yun Tsai,
Published: 24 August 2021
Abstract:
While detecting somatic stimuli from the external environment, an accurate determination of their spatial and temporal properties is essential for human behavior. Whether and how detection relates to human capacity for somatosensory spatial discrimination (SD) and temporal discrimination (TD) remains unclear. Here, participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning when simply detecting vibrotactile stimuli of the leg, judging their location (SD), or deciding their number in time (TD). By conceptualizing tactile discrimination as consisting of detection and determination processes, we found that tactile detection elicited activation specifically involved in SD within the right inferior and superior parietal lobules, 2 regions previously implicated in the control of spatial attention. These 2 regions remained activated in the determination process, during which functional connectivity between these 2 regions predicted individual SD ability. In contrast, tactile detection produced little activation specifically related to TD. Participants’ TD ability was implemented in brain regions implicated in coding temporal structures of somatic stimuli (primary somatosensory cortex) and time estimation (anterior cingulate, pre-supplementary motor area, and putamen). Together, our findings indicate a close link between somatosensory detection and SD (but not TD) at the neural level, which aids in explaining why we can promptly respond toward detected somatic stimuli.
Yudai Kimoto, Masato Hirano,
Published: 24 August 2021
Abstract:
Independent control of movements between the fingers plays a role in hand dexterity characterizing skilled individuals. However, it remains unknown whether and in what manner neuromuscular and biomechanical constraints on the movement independence of the fingers depend on motor expertise. Here, we compared motor dexterity, corticospinal excitability of multiple muscles, muscular activation, and anatomical features of the fingers between the pianists and nonpianists. When the ring finger was passively moved by a robot, passive motions produced at the adjacent fingers were smaller for the pianists than the nonpianists, indicating reduced biomechanical constraint of fingers in the pianists. In contrast, when the ring finger moved actively, we found no group difference in passive motions produced at the adjacent fingers; however, reduced inhibition of corticospinal excitability of the adjacent fingers in the pianists compared with the nonpianists. This suggests strengthened neuromuscular coupling between the fingers of the pianists, enhancing the production of coordinated finger movements. These group differences were not evident during the index and little finger movements. Together, pianists show expertise-dependent biomechanical and neurophysiological adaptations, specifically at the finger with innately low movement independence. Such contrasting adaptations of pianists may subserve dexterous control of both the individuated and coordinated finger movements.
Max Rolison, Cheryl Lacadie, Katarzyna Chawarska, Marisa Spann,
Published: 23 August 2021
Abstract:
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by atypical connectivity lateralization of functional networks. However, previous studies have not directly investigated if differences in specialization between ASD and typically developing (TD) peers are present in infancy, leaving the timing of onset of these differences relatively unknown. We studied the hemispheric asymmetries of connectivity in children with ASD and infants later meeting the diagnostic criteria for ASD. Analyses were performed in 733 children with ASD and TD peers and in 71 infants at high risk (HR) or normal risk (NR) for ASD, with data collected at 1 month and 9 months of age. Comparing children with ASD (n = 301) to TDs (n = 432), four regions demonstrated group differences in connectivity: posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), posterior superior temporal gyrus, extrastriate cortex, and anterior prefrontal cortex. At 1 month, none of these regions exhibited group differences between ASD (n = 10), HR-nonASD (n = 15), or NR (n = 18) infants. However, by 9 months, the PCC and extrastriate exhibited atypical connectivity in ASD (n = 11) and HR-nonASD infants (n = 24) compared to NR infants (n = 22). Connectivity did not correlate with symptoms in either sample. Our results demonstrate that differences in network asymmetries associated with ASD risk are observable prior to the age of a reliable clinical diagnosis.
Jasmine L Mirdamadi, Courtney R Seigel, Stephen D Husch,
Published: 23 August 2021
Abstract:
When visual and proprioceptive estimates of hand position disagree (e.g., viewing the hand underwater), the brain realigns them to reduce mismatch. This perceptual change is reflected in primary motor cortex (M1) excitability, suggesting potential relevance for hand movement. Here, we asked whether fingertip visuo-proprioceptive misalignment affects only the brain’s representation of that finger (somatotopically focal), or extends to other parts of the limb that would be needed to move the misaligned finger (somatotopically broad). In Experiments 1 and 2, before and after misaligned or veridical visuo-proprioceptive training at the index finger, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation to assess M1 representation of five hand and arm muscles. The index finger representation showed an association between M1 excitability and visuo-proprioceptive realignment, as did the pinkie finger representation to a lesser extent. Forearm flexors, forearm extensors, and biceps did not show any such relationship. In Experiment 3, participants indicated their proprioceptive estimate of the fingertip, knuckle, wrist, and elbow, before and after misalignment at the fingertip. Proprioceptive realignment at the knuckle, but not the wrist or elbow, was correlated with realignment at the fingertip. These results suggest the effects of visuo-proprioceptive mismatch are somatotopically focal in both sensory and motor domains.
Guangting Mai, Peter Howell
Published: 23 August 2021
Abstract:
Speech-evoked envelope-following response (EFR) reflects brain encoding of speech periodicity that serves as a biomarker for pitch and speech perception and various auditory and language disorders. Although EFR is thought to originate from the subcortex, recent research illustrated a right-hemispheric cortical contribution to EFR. However, it is unclear whether this contribution is causal. This study aimed to establish this causality by combining transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and measurement of EFR (pre- and post-tDCS) via scalp-recorded electroencephalography. We applied tDCS over the left and right auditory cortices in right-handed normal-hearing participants and examined whether altering cortical excitability via tDCS causes changes in EFR during monaural listening to speech syllables. We showed significant changes in EFR magnitude when tDCS was applied over the right auditory cortex compared with sham stimulation for the listening ear contralateral to the stimulation site. No such effect was found when tDCS was applied over the left auditory cortex. Crucially, we further observed a hemispheric laterality where aftereffect was significantly greater for tDCS applied over the right than the left auditory cortex in the contralateral ear condition. Our finding thus provides the first evidence that validates the causal relationship between the right auditory cortex and EFR.
, H R McGregor, V Koppelmans, N E Beltran, I S Kofman, Y E De Dios, R F Riascos, P A Reuter-Lorenz, S J Wood, J J Bloomberg, et al.
Published: 20 August 2021
Abstract:
Microgravity alters vestibular signaling. In-flight adaptation to altered vestibular afferents is reflected in post-spaceflight aftereffects, evidenced by declines in vestibularly mediated behaviors (e.g., walking/standing balance), until readaptation to Earth’s 1G environment occurs. Here we examine how spaceflight affects neural processing of applied vestibular stimulation. We used fMRI to measure brain activity in response to vestibular stimulation in 15 astronauts pre- and post-spaceflight. We also measured vestibularly-mediated behaviors, including balance, mobility, and rod-and-frame test performance. Data were collected twice preflight and four times postflight. As expected, vestibular stimulation at the preflight sessions elicited activation of the parietal opercular area (“vestibular cortex”) and deactivation of somatosensory and visual cortices. Pre- to postflight, we found widespread reductions in this somatosensory and visual cortical deactivation, supporting sensory compensation and reweighting with spaceflight. These pre- to postflight changes in brain activity correlated with changes in eyes closed standing balance, and greater pre- to postflight reductions in deactivation of the visual cortices associated with less postflight balance decline. The observed brain changes recovered to baseline values by 3 months postflight. Together, these findings provide evidence for sensory reweighting and adaptive cortical neuroplasticity with spaceflight. These results have implications for better understanding compensation and adaptation to vestibular functional disruption.
Michael P Trevarrow, Brandon J Lew, , Brittany K Taylor, ,
Published: 20 August 2021
Abstract:
Somatosensory cortical activity is altered in individuals with cerebral palsy (CP). However, previous studies have focused on the lower extremities in children with CP and have given less attention to structural changes that may contribute to these alterations. We used a multimodal neuroimaging approach to investigate the relationship between somatosensory cortical activity and cortical thickness in 17 adults with CP (age = 32.8 ± 9.3 years) and 18 healthy adult controls (age = 30.7 ± 9.8 years). Participants performed a median nerve paired-pulse stimulation paradigm while undergoing magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate somatosensory cortical activity and sensory gating. Participants also underwent magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate cortical thickness within the area of the somatosensory cortex that generated the MEG response. We found that the somatosensory responses were attenuated in the adults with CP (P = 0.004). The adults with CP also hypergated the second stimulation (P = 0.030) and had decreased cortical thickness in the somatosensory cortex (P = 0.015). Finally, the strength of the somatosensory response was significantly correlated with the cortical thickness (P = 0.023). These findings demonstrate that the aberrant somatosensory cortical activity in adults with CP extends to the upper extremities and appears to be related to cortical thickness.
Heng Chen, Fengmei Lu, Xiaonan Guo, Yajing Pang, Changchun He, Shaoqiang Han, Xujun Duan, Huafu Chen
Published: 20 August 2021
Abstract:
Literatures have reported considerable heterogeneity with atypical functional connectivity (FC) pattern of psychiatric disorders. However, traditional statistical methods are hard to explore this heterogeneity pattern. We proposed a “brain dimension” method to describe the atypical FC patterns of major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder (BD). The approach was firstly applied to a simulation dataset. It was then utilized to a real resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging dataset of 47 individuals with major depressive disorder, 32 individuals with BD, and 52 well matched health controls. Our method showed a better ability to extract the FC dimensions than traditional methods. The results of the real dataset revealed atypical FC dimensions for major depressive disorder and BD. Especially, an atypical FC dimension which exhibited decreased FC strength of thalamus and basal ganglia was found with higher severity level of individuals with BD than the ones with major depressive disorder. This study provided a novel “brain dimension” method to view the atypical FC patterns of major depressive disorder and BD and revealed shared and specific atypical FC patterns between major depressive disorder and BD.
Gwen van der Wijk, Jacqueline K Harris, Stefanie Hassel, Andrew D Davis, Mojdeh Zamyadi, Stephen R Arnott, Roumen Milev, Raymond W Lam, Benicio N Frey, Geoffrey B Hall, et al.
Published: 20 August 2021
Abstract:
Understanding the neural underpinnings of major depressive disorder (MDD) and its treatment could improve treatment outcomes. So far, findings are variable and large sample replications scarce. We aimed to replicate and extend altered functional connectivity associated with MDD and pharmacotherapy outcomes in a large, multisite sample. Resting-state fMRI data were collected from 129 patients and 99 controls through the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression. Symptoms were assessed with the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Connectivity was measured as correlations between four seeds (anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and all other brain voxels. Partial least squares was used to compare connectivity prior to treatment between patients and controls, and between patients reaching remission (MADRS ≤ 10) early (within 8 weeks), late (within 16 weeks), or not at all. We replicated previous findings of altered connectivity in patients. In addition, baseline connectivity of the anterior/posterior cingulate and insula seeds differentiated patients with different treatment outcomes. The stability of these differences was established in the largest single-site subsample. Our replication and extension of altered connectivity highlighted previously reported and new differences between patients and controls, and revealed features that might predict remission prior to pharmacotherapy. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01655706.
, Aldana Lizarraga, Isabelle Ripp, Paul Cumming, Igor Yakushev
Published: 19 August 2021
Abstract:
Recently, Jamadar et al. (2021, Metabolic and hemodynamic resting-state connectivity of the human brain: a high-temporal resolution simultaneous BOLD-fMRI and FDG-fPET multimodality study. Cereb Cortex. 31(6), 2855–2867) compared the patterns of brain connectivity or covariance as obtained from 3 neuroimaging measures: 1) functional connectivity estimated from temporal correlations in the functional magnetic resonance imaging blood oxygen level-dependent signal, metabolic connectivity estimated, 2) from temporal correlations in 16-s frames of dynamic [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), which they designate as functional FDG-PET (fPET), and 3) from intersubject correlations in static FDG-PET images (sPET). Here, we discuss a number of fundamental issues raised by the Jamadar study. These include the choice of terminology, the interpretation of cross-modal findings, the issue of group- to single-subject level inferences, and the meaning of metabolic connectivity as a biomarker. We applaud the methodological approach taken by the authors, but wish to present an alternative perspective on their findings. In particular, we argue that sPET and fPET can both provide valuable information about brain connectivity. Certainly, resolving this conundrum calls for further experimental and theoretical efforts to advance the developing framework of PET-based brain connectivity indices.
Natascha Ihbe, Florie Le Prieult, Qi Wang, Ute Distler, Malte Sielaff, Stefan Tenzer, Serge C Thal,
Published: 19 August 2021
Abstract:
Unilateral traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes cortical dysfunctions spreading to the primarily undamaged hemisphere. This phenomenon, called transhemispheric diaschisis, is mediated by an imbalance of glutamatergic versus GABAergic neurotransmission. This study investigated the role of GABAergic, somatostatin-positive (SST) interneurons in the contralateral hemisphere 72 h after unilateral TBI. The brain injury was induced to the primary motor/somatosensory cortex of glutamate decarboxylase 67–green fluorescent protein (GAD67-GFP) knock-in mice at postnatal days 19–21 under anesthesia in vivo. Single GFP+ interneurons of the undamaged, contralateral cortex were isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and analyzed by mass spectrometry. TBI caused a switch of 2 α subunits of pore-forming L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC) in GABAergic interneurons, an increased expression of CaV1.3, and simultaneous ablation of CaV1.2. This switch was associated with 1) increased excitability of single SST interneurons in patch-clamp recordings and (2) a recovery from early network hyperactivity in the contralateral hemisphere in microelectrode array recordings of acute slices. The electrophysiological changes were sensitive to pharmacological blockade of CaV1.3 (isradipine, 100 nM). These data identify a switch of 2 α subunits of VGCCs in SST interneurons early after TBI as a mechanism to counterbalance post-traumatic hyperexcitability.
Jared T Shapiro, Nicole M Michaud, Jillian L King, Nathan A Crowder
Published: 19 August 2021
Abstract:
Interneurons are critical for information processing in the cortex. In vitro optogenetic studies in mouse primary visual cortex (V1) have sketched the connectivity of a local neural circuit comprising excitatory pyramidal neurons and distinct interneuron subtypes that express parvalbumin (Pvalb+), somatostatin (SOM+), or vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP+). However, in vivo studies focusing on V1 orientation tuning have ascribed discrepant computational roles to specific interneuron subtypes. Here, we sought to clarify the differences between interneuron subtypes by examining the effects of optogenetic activation of Pvalb+, SOM+, or VIP+ interneurons on contrast tuning of V1 neurons while also accounting for cortical depth and photostimulation intensity. We found that illumination of the cortical surface produced a similar spectrum of saturating additive photostimulation effects in all 3 interneuron subtypes, which varied with cortical depth rather than light intensity in Pvalb+ and SOM+ cells. Pyramidal cell modulation was well explained by a conductance-based model that incorporated these interneuron photostimulation effects.
, Ying Fan, Huan Luo
Published: 19 August 2021
Abstract:
Recent studies reveal that attention operates in a rhythmic manner, that is, sampling each location or feature alternatively over time. However, most evidence derives from top-down tasks, and it remains elusive whether bottom-up processing also entails dynamic coordination. Here, we developed a novel feature processing paradigm and combined time-resolved behavioral measurements and electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings to address the question. Specifically, a salient color in a multicolor display serves as a noninformative cue to capture attention and presumably reset the oscillations of feature processing. We then measured the behavioral performance of a probe stimulus associated with either high- or low-salient color at varied temporal lags after the cue. First, the behavioral results (i.e., reaction time) display an alpha-band (~8 Hz) profile with a consistent phase lag between high- and low-salient conditions. Second, simultaneous EEG recordings show that behavioral performance is modulated by the phase of alpha-band neural oscillation at the onset of the probes. Finally, high- and low-salient probes are associated with distinct preferred phases of alpha-band neural oscillations. Taken together, our behavioral and neural results convergingly support a central function of alpha-band rhythms in feature processing, that is, features with varied saliency levels are processed at different phases of alpha neural oscillations.
Shuhua Mu, Huijun Wu, Jian Zhang, Chunqi Chang
Published: 18 August 2021
Abstract:
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is presumed to be heterogeneous, but the best way to characterize this heterogeneity remains unclear. Although considerable evidence suggests that the 2 different types of ADHD, inattention and combined, have different cognitive and behavioral profiles, and underlying neurobiologies, we currently lack information on whether these subtypes reflect separated brain structure changes. Structural magnetic resonance imaging scans (N = 234), diagnostic, and demographic information were obtained from the ADHD-200 database. Of this sample, 138 were Typically Developing people, 37 were ADHD-Combined, and 59 were ADHD-Inattentive patients. Freesurfer segmentation methods were used to measure cortical thickness, area, and volume, subcortical volume and hipposubfield volume. ADHD-Inattentive patients showed milder clinical symptoms but more serious cognitive injury than ADHD-Combined patients. In addition, dissociable structural brain changes were found in different subtypes of ADHD, particularly in terms of decreased subcortical volume in ADHD-Combined patients compared with Typically Developing people. Clinical symptoms were predominantly related to smaller rh_caudalanteriorcingulate thickness and left-Pallidum volume, whereas verbal IQ injury was correlated strongly with smaller rh_insula area. These findings indicate that there are significant differences in clinical symptoms and gray matter damage between ADHD-Combined and -Inattentive patients. This supports the growing evidence of heterogeneity in the ADHD-Inattentive subtype and the evidence of brain structure differences.
, Sarah Pugliese, Hyeyoung Shin, Danielle D Sliva, Shane Lee, Samuel Neymotin, Christopher Moore, Stephanie R Jones
Published: 16 August 2021
Abstract:
Transient neocortical events with high spectral power in the 15–29 Hz beta band are among the most reliable predictors of sensory perception. Prestimulus beta event rates in primary somatosensory cortex correlate with sensory suppression, most effectively 100–300 ms before stimulus onset. However, the neural mechanisms underlying this perceptual association are unknown. We combined human magnetoencephalography (MEG) measurements with biophysical neural modeling to test potential cellular and circuit mechanisms that underlie observed correlations between prestimulus beta events and tactile detection. Extending prior studies, we found that simulated bursts from higher-order, nonlemniscal thalamus were sufficient to drive beta event generation and to recruit slow supragranular inhibition acting on a 300 ms timescale to suppress sensory information. Further analysis showed that the same beta-generating mechanism can lead to facilitated perception for a brief period when beta events occur simultaneously with tactile stimulation before inhibition is recruited. These findings were supported by close agreement between model-derived predictions and empirical MEG data. The postevent suppressive mechanism explains an array of studies that associate beta with decreased processing, whereas the during-event facilitatory mechanism may demand a reinterpretation of the role of beta events in the context of coincident timing.
, Yingjie Shi, James N Cousins, Nils Kohn, Guillén Fernández
Published: 14 August 2021
Abstract:
How do we encode our continuous life experiences for later retrieval? Theories of event segmentation and integration suggest that the hippocampus binds separately represented events into an ordered narrative. Using a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) movie watching-recall dataset, we quantified two types of neural similarities (i.e., “activation pattern” similarity and within-region voxel-based “connectivity pattern” similarity) between separate events during movie watching and related them to subsequent retrieval of events as well as retrieval of sequential order. We demonstrated that compared with forgotten events, successfully remembered events were associated with distinct “activation patterns” in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex. In contrast, similar “connectivity pattern” between events were associated with memory formation and were also relevant for retaining events in the correct order. We applied the same approaches to an independent movie watching fMRI dataset as validation and highlighted again the role of hippocampal activation pattern and connectivity pattern in memory formation. We propose that distinct activation patterns represent neural segmentation of events, while similar connectivity patterns encode context information and, therefore, integrate events into a narrative. Our results provide novel evidence for the role of hippocampal-medial prefrontal event segmentation and integration in episodic memory formation of real-life experience.
Liang-Liang Wang, Dan Xu, Yujian Luo, Xiaofang Li, Yan Gu, Lang Wang
Published: 14 August 2021
Abstract:
During postnatal development, sensory experience shapes the organization and function of cortical circuits. Previous studies focusing on experience-dependent plasticity of neurons have revealed a variety of mechanisms underlying cortical circuit rewiring. Emerging evidence shows that astrocytes play important roles in shaping cortical circuits through extensive interactions with different types of neurons and other glia cells. However, it remains unclear how astrocytes respond to sensory experience during postnatal development. In the present study, we profiled the maturation of astrocytes in the primary visual cortex (V1) at different postnatal stages. We then investigated the anatomical and physiological changes of astrocytes in V1 induced by multiple types of visual experience within 4 postnatal weeks. Compared with monocular deprivation during the critical period, binocular deprivation showed stronger impact on reactive astrocytes in V1. Moreover, long-term binocular deprivation significantly reduced the density of reactive astrocytes in layer 2/3 of V1 while strengthening gap junction couplings between astrocytes at the same time. Therefore, our data demonstrated that cortical astrocytes could undergo homeostatic plasticity in response to long-term changes of sensory inputs. The plasticity of astrocytes may interact with the plasticity of neurons to cooperatively shape cortical circuit refinement during postnatal development.
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