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Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) is a neurological disorder in which patients suffer from frequent consciousness-impairing seizures, broad neurocognitive deficits, and diminished quality of life. Although seizures in mTLE originate focally in the hippocampus or amygdala, mTLE patients demonstrate cognitive deficits that extend beyond temporal lobe function-such as decline in executive function, cognitive processing speed, and attention-as well as diffuse decreases in neocortical metabolism and functional connectivity. Given prior observations that mTLE patients exhibit impairments in vigilance, and that seizures may disrupt the activity and long-range connectivity of subcortical brain structures involved in vigilance regulation, we propose that subcortical activating networks underlying vigilance play a critical role in mediating the widespread neural and cognitive effects of focal mTLE. Here, we review evidence for impaired vigilance in mTLE, examine clinical implications and potential network underpinnings, and suggest neuroimaging strategies for determining the relationship between vigilance, brain connectivity, and neurocognition in patients and healthy controls.
Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2020 International League Against Epilepsy.
Behavioral studies have shown discrepant results regarding the role of phonology in predicting math gains. The objective of this study was to use fMRI to study the role of activation during a rhyming judgment task in predicting behavioral gains on math fluency, multiplication, and subtraction skill. We focused within the left middle/superior temporal gyrus and left inferior frontal gyrus, brain areas associated with the storage of phonological representations and with their access, respectively. We ran multiple regression analyses to determine whether activation predicted gains in the three math measures, separately for younger (i.e. 10 years old) and older (i.e 12 years old) children. Results showed that activation in both temporal and frontal cortex only predicted gains in fluency and multiplication skill, and only for younger children. This study suggests that both temporal and frontal cortex activation during phonological processing are important in predicting gains in math tasks that involve the retrieval of facts that are stored as phonological codes in memory. Moreover, these results were specific to younger children, suggesting that phonology is most important in the early stages of math development. When the math task involved subtractions, which relies on quantity representations, phonological processes were not important in driving gains.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Functional MRI (fMRI) signals are robustly detectable in white matter (WM) but they have been largely ignored in the fMRI literature. Their nature, interpretation, and relevance as potential indicators of brain function remain under explored and even controversial. Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) contrast has for over 25 years been exploited for detecting localized neural activity in the cortex using fMRI. While BOLD signals have been reliably detected in grey matter (GM) in a very large number of studies, such signals have rarely been reported from WM. However, it is clear from our own and other studies that although BOLD effects are weaker in WM, using appropriate detection and analysis methods they are robustly detectable both in response to stimuli and in a resting state. BOLD fluctuations in a resting state exhibit similar temporal and spectral profiles in both GM and WM, and their relative low frequency (0.01-0.1 Hz) signal powers are comparable. They also vary with baseline neural activity e.g. as induced by different levels of anesthesia, and alter in response to a stimulus. In previous work we reported that BOLD signals in WM in a resting state exhibit anisotropic temporal correlations with neighboring voxels. On the basis of these findings, we derived functional correlation tensors that quantify the correlational anisotropy in WM BOLD signals. We found that, along many WM tracts, the directional preferences of these functional correlation tensors in a resting state are grossly consistent with those revealed by diffusion tensors, and that external stimuli tend to enhance visualization of specific and relevant fiber pathways. These findings support the proposition that variations in WM BOLD signals represent tract-specific responses to neural activity. We have more recently shown that sensory stimulations induce explicit BOLD responses along parts of the projection fiber pathways, and that task-related BOLD changes in WM occur synchronously with the temporal pattern of stimuli. WM tracts also show a transient signal response following short stimuli analogous to but different from the hemodynamic response function (HRF) characteristic of GM. Thus there is converging and compelling evidence that WM exhibits both resting state fluctuations and stimulus-evoked BOLD signals very similar (albeit weaker) to those in GM. A number of studies from other laboratories have also reported reliable observations of WM activations. Detection of BOLD signals in WM has been enhanced by using specialized tasks or modified data analysis methods. In this mini-review we report summaries of some of our recent studies that provide evidence that BOLD signals in WM are related to brain functional activity and deserve greater attention by the neuroimaging community.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW - Aphasia is often characterized in terms of subtype and severity, yet these constructs have limited explanatory power, because aphasia is inherently multifactorial both in its neural substrates and in its symptomatology. The purpose of this review is to survey current and emerging multivariate approaches to understanding aphasia.
RECENT FINDINGS - Techniques such as factor analysis and principal component analysis have been used to define latent underlying factors that can account for performance on batteries of speech and language tests, and for characteristics of spontaneous speech production. Multivariate lesion-symptom mapping has been shown to outperform univariate approaches to lesion-symptom mapping for identifying brain regions where damage is associated with specific speech and language deficits. It is increasingly clear that structural damage results in functional changes in wider neural networks, which mediate speech and language outcomes. Multivariate statistical approaches are essential for understanding the complex relationships between the neural substrates of aphasia, and resultant profiles of speech and language function.
Working memory (WM) is impaired in psychotic disorders and linked to functional outcome. Most neurobiological models emphasize prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction in the etiology of WM impairment. However, WM is composed of multiple processes, including encoding and maintenance, and the delineation of the neurobiology of these sub-processes has not been well characterized in schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder. Functional MRI was obtained during an event-related spatial delayed match-to-sample task from 58 healthy individuals, 72 individuals with schizophrenia and 41 people with bipolar I disorder with psychotic features in order to: 1) characterize neural responses during encoding, maintenance and retrieval stages of WM using complementary region-of-interest and whole brain approaches; 2) determine whether schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder exhibit similar abnormalities in WM-related brain function; and 3) elucidate the associations between WM-related brain function, task performance, and neuropsychological functioning. Both schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder groups showed encoding- and maintenance-related impairments in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and frontal eye fields (FEF). BOLD response in the PPC and FEF, during encoding and maintenance respectively, was associated with task performance independent of group. Additionally, encoding-related activation in the PPC correlated with general neuropsychological functioning independent of group. Only encoding-related activation in the right ventral striatum differed between schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder; individuals with schizophrenia showed significantly lower activation than both psychotic bipolar disorder and healthy groups. Our results are consistent with emerging evidence implicating PPC dysfunction in WM impairment and suggest interventions targeting neural activation in PPC may improve WM and neuropsychological functioning across psychotic disorders.
BACKGROUND - The human brain remains highly plastic for a protracted developmental period. Thus, although early caregiving adversities that alter amygdala development can result in enduring emotion regulation difficulties, these trajectories should respond to subsequent enriched caregiving. Exposure to high-quality parenting can regulate (i.e., decrease) children's amygdala reactivity, a process that, over the long term, is hypothesized to enhance emotion regulation. We tested the hypothesis that even following adversity, the parent-child relationship would be associated with decreases in amygdala reactivity to parent cues, which would in turn predict lower future anxiety.
METHODS - Participants were 102 children (6-10 years of age) and adolescents (11-17 years of age), for whom data were collected at one or two time points and who either had experienced institutional care before adoption (n = 45) or had lived always with their biological parents (comparison; n = 57). We examined how amygdala reactivity to visual cues of the parent at time 1 predicted longitudinal change (from time 1 to time 2) in parent-reported child anxiety across 3 years.
RESULTS - At time 1, on average, amygdala reactivity decrements to parent cues were not seen in children who had received institutional care but were seen in children in the comparison group. However, some children who previously experienced institutional care did show decreased amygdala reactivity to parent cues (∼40%), which was associated with greater child-reported feelings of security with their parent. Amygdala decreases at time 1 were followed by steeper anxiety reductions from time 1 to time 2 (i.e., 3 years).
CONCLUSIONS - These data provide a neurobiological mechanism by which the parent-child relationship can increase resilience, even in children at significant risk for anxiety symptoms.
Copyright © 2019 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an important tool for analysis of deep brain grey matter structures. However, analysis of these structures is limited due to low intensity contrast typically found in whole brain imaging protocols. Herein, we propose a big data registration-enhancement (BDRE) technique to augment the contrast of deep brain structures using an efficient large-scale non-rigid registration strategy. Direct validation is problematic given a lack of ground truth data. Rather, we validate the usefulness and impact of BDRE for multi-atlas (MA) segmentation on two sets of structures of clinical interest: the thalamic nuclei and hippocampal subfields. The experimental design compares algorithms using T1-weighted 3 T MRI for both structures (and additional 7 T MRI for the thalamic nuclei) with an algorithm using BDRE. As baseline comparisons, a recent denoising (DN) technique and a super-resolution (SR) method are used to preprocess the original 3 T MRI. The performance of each MA segmentation is evaluated by the Dice similarity coefficient (DSC). BDRE significantly improves mean segmentation accuracy over all methods tested for both thalamic nuclei (3 T imaging: 9.1%; 7 T imaging: 15.6%; DN: 6.9%; SR: 16.2%) and hippocampal subfields (3 T T1 only: 8.7%; DN: 8.4%; SR: 8.6%). We also present DSC performance for each thalamic nucleus and hippocampal subfield and show that BDRE can help MA segmentation for individual thalamic nuclei and hippocampal subfields. This work will enable large-scale analysis of clinically relevant deep brain structures from commonly acquired T1 images.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Phonological encoding depends on left-lateralized regions in the supramarginal gyrus and the ventral precentral gyrus. Localization of these phonological regions in individual participants-including individuals with language impairments-is important in several research and clinical contexts. To localize these regions, we developed two paradigms that load on phonological encoding: a rhyme judgment task and a syllable counting task. Both paradigms relied on an adaptive staircase design to ensure that each individual performed each task at a similarly challenging level. The goal of this study was to assess the validity and reliability of the two paradigms, in terms of their ability to consistently produce left-lateralized activations of the supramarginal gyrus and ventral precentral gyrus in neurologically normal individuals with presumptively normal language localization. Sixteen participants were scanned with fMRI as they performed the rhyme judgment paradigm, the syllable counting paradigm, and an adaptive semantic paradigm that we have described previously. We found that the rhyme and syllable paradigms both yielded left-lateralized supramarginal and ventral precentral activations in the majority of participants. The rhyme paradigm produced more lateralized and more reliable activations, and so should be favored in future applications. In contrast, the semantic paradigm did not reveal supramarginal or precentral activations in most participants, suggesting that the recruitment of these regions is indeed driven by phonological encoding, not language processing in general. In sum, the adaptive rhyme judgment paradigm was effective in localizing left-lateralized phonological encoding regions in individual participants, and, in conjunction with the adaptive semantic paradigm, can be used to map individual language networks.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The medial frontal cortex enables performance monitoring, indexed by the error-related negativity (ERN) and manifested by performance adaptations. We recorded electroencephalogram over and neural spiking across all layers of the supplementary eye field, an agranular cortical area, in monkeys performing a saccade-countermanding (stop signal) task. Neurons signaling error production, feedback predicting reward gain or loss, and delivery of fluid reward had different spike widths and were concentrated differently across layers. Neurons signaling error or loss of reward were more common in layers 2 and 3 (L2/3), whereas neurons signaling gain of reward were more common in layers 5 and 6 (L5/6). Variation of error- and reinforcement-related spike rates in L2/3 but not L5/6 predicted response time adaptation. Variation in error-related spike rate in L2/3 but not L5/6 predicted ERN magnitude. These findings reveal novel features of cortical microcircuitry supporting performance monitoring and confirm one cortical source of the ERN.
Some people are more willing to make immediate, risky, or costly reward-focused choices than others, which has been hypothesized to be associated with individual differences in dopamine (DA) function. In two studies using PET imaging, one empirical (Study 1: = 144 males and females across 3 samples) and one meta-analytic (Study 2: = 307 across 12 samples), we sought to characterize associations between individual differences in DA and time, probability, and physical effort discounting in human adults. Study 1 demonstrated that individual differences in DA D2-like receptors were not associated with time or probability discounting of monetary rewards in healthy humans, and associations with physical effort discounting were inconsistent across adults of different ages. Meta-analytic results for temporal discounting corroborated our empirical finding for minimal effect of DA measures on discounting in healthy individuals but suggested that associations between individual differences in DA and reward discounting depend on clinical features. Addictions were characterized by negative correlations between DA and discounting, but other clinical conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, obesity, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, were characterized by positive correlations between DA and discounting. Together, the results suggest that trait differences in discounting in healthy adults do not appear to be strongly associated with individual differences in D2-like receptors. The difference in meta-analytic correlation effects between healthy controls and individuals with psychopathology suggests that individual difference findings related to DA and reward discounting in clinical samples may not be reliably generalized to healthy controls, and vice versa. Decisions to forgo large rewards for smaller ones due to increasing time delays, uncertainty, or physical effort have been linked to differences in dopamine (DA) function, which is disrupted in some forms of psychopathology. It remains unclear whether alterations in DA function associated with psychopathology also extend to explaining associations between DA function and decision making in healthy individuals. We show that individual differences in DA D2 receptor availability are not consistently related to monetary discounting of time, probability, or physical effort in healthy individuals across a broad age range. By contrast, we suggest that psychopathology accounts for observed inconsistencies in the relationship between measures of DA function and reward discounting behavior.
Copyright © 2019 Castrellon et al.