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A primary challenge facing the development of interventions for dyslexia is identifying effective predictors of intervention response. While behavioral literature has identified core cognitive characteristics of response, the distinction of reading versus executive cognitive contributions to response profiles remains unclear, due in part to the difficulty of segregating these constructs using behavioral outputs. In the current study we used functional neuroimaging to piece apart the mechanisms of how/whether executive and reading network relationships are predictive of intervention response. We found that readers who are responsive to intervention have more typical pre-intervention functional interactions between executive and reading systems compared to nonresponsive readers. These findings suggest that intervention response in dyslexia is influenced not only by domain-specific reading regions, but also by contributions from intervening domain-general networks. Our results make a significant gain in identifying predictive bio-markers of outcomes in dyslexia, and have important implications for the development of personalized clinical interventions.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
During the past two decades, mindfulness meditation has gone from being a fringe topic of scientific investigation to being an occasional replacement for psychotherapy, tool of corporate well-being, widely implemented educational practice, and "key to building more resilient soldiers." Yet the mindfulness movement and empirical evidence supporting it have not gone without criticism. Misinformation and poor methodology associated with past studies of mindfulness may lead public consumers to be harmed, misled, and disappointed. Addressing such concerns, the present article discusses the difficulties of defining mindfulness, delineates the proper scope of research into mindfulness practices, and explicates crucial methodological issues for interpreting results from investigations of mindfulness. For doing so, the authors draw on their diverse areas of expertise to review the present state of mindfulness research, comprehensively summarizing what we do and do not know, while providing a prescriptive agenda for contemplative science, with a particular focus on assessment, mindfulness training, possible adverse effects, and intersection with brain imaging. Our goals are to inform interested scientists, the news media, and the public, to minimize harm, curb poor research practices, and staunch the flow of misinformation about the benefits, costs, and future prospects of mindfulness meditation.
The most salient clinical symptom of semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a profound and pervasive anomia. These patients' naming impairments have been shown to reflect in large part a domain-general deterioration of conceptual knowledge that impacts both linguistic and non-linguistic processing. However, it is possible that post-semantic stages of lexical access may also contribute to naming deficits. To clarify the stages at which lexical access breaks down in semantic variant PPA, eleven French-speaking patients were asked to name objects, and were then queried for semantic, lexical-syntactic, and word form information pertaining to the items they could not name. Specifically, our goal was to determine whether patients can access intermediate representations known as lemmas, which mediate the arbitrary mapping between semantic representations and word forms (phonological and orthographic forms). The French language was chosen for this study because nouns in French are marked for grammatical gender, a prototypical type of lexical-syntactic information, represented at the level of the lemma. Access to word form information is also dependent on lemma access under some theoretical views. We found that six of the eleven patients showed partial access to either lexical-syntactic properties of unnamed items (grammatical gender), word form information (initial letter), or both. Access to these types of information suggests that a lemma has been retrieved, implying a breakdown at the post-semantic stage of word form retrieval. Our results suggest that although degraded conceptual knowledge is the main cause of naming deficits in semantic variant PPA, in some patients, a post-semantic component also contributes to the impairment.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Syntactic processing deficits are highly variable in individuals with primary progressive aphasia. Damage to left inferior frontal cortex has been associated with syntactic deficits in primary progressive aphasia in a number of structural and functional neuroimaging studies. However, a contrasting picture of a broader syntactic network has emerged from neuropsychological studies in other aphasic cohorts, and functional imaging studies in healthy controls. To reconcile these findings, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the functional neuroanatomy of syntactic comprehension in 51 individuals with primary progressive aphasia, composed of all clinical variants and a range of degrees of syntactic processing impairment. We used trial-by-trial reaction time as a proxy for syntactic processing load, to determine which regions were modulated by syntactic processing in each patient, and how the set of regions recruited was related to whether syntactic processing was ultimately successful or unsuccessful. Relationships between functional abnormalities and patterns of cortical atrophy were also investigated. We found that the individual degree of syntactic comprehension impairment was predicted by left frontal atrophy, but also by functional disruption of a broader syntactic processing network, comprising left posterior frontal cortex, left posterior temporal cortex, and the left intraparietal sulcus and adjacent regions. These regions were modulated by syntactic processing in healthy controls and in patients with primary progressive aphasia with relatively spared syntax, but they were modulated to a lesser extent or not at all in primary progressive aphasia patients whose syntax was relatively impaired. Our findings suggest that syntactic comprehension deficits in primary progressive aphasia reflect not only structural and functional changes in left frontal cortex, but also disruption of a wider syntactic processing network.
© The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
The Quality Data Model (QDM) is an information model developed by the National Quality Forum for representing electronic health record (EHR)-based electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs). In conjunction with the HL7 Health Quality Measures Format (HQMF), QDM contains core elements that make it a promising model for representing EHR-driven phenotype algorithms for clinical research. However, the current QDM specification is available only as descriptive documents suitable for human readability and interpretation, but not for machine consumption. The objective of the present study is to develop and evaluate a data element repository (DER) for providing machine-readable QDM data element service APIs to support phenotype algorithm authoring and execution. We used the ISO/IEC 11179 metadata standard to capture the structure for each data element, and leverage Semantic Web technologies to facilitate semantic representation of these metadata. We observed there are a number of underspecified areas in the QDM, including the lack of model constraints and pre-defined value sets. We propose a harmonization with the models developed in HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and Clinical Information Modeling Initiatives (CIMI) to enhance the QDM specification and enable the extensibility and better coverage of the DER. We also compared the DER with the existing QDM implementation utilized within the Measure Authoring Tool (MAT) to demonstrate the scalability and extensibility of our DER-based approach.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Specific reading comprehension deficit (SRCD) affects up to 10 % of all children. SRCD is distinct from dyslexia (DYS) in that individuals with SRCD show poor comprehension despite adequate decoding skills. Despite its prevalence and considerable behavioral research, there is not yet a unified cognitive profile of SRCD. While its neuroanatomical basis is unknown, SRCD could be anomalous in regions subserving their commonly reported cognitive weaknesses in semantic processing or executive function. Here we investigated, for the first time, patterns of gray matter volume difference in SRCD as compared to DYS and typical developing (TD) adolescent readers (N = 41). A linear support vector machine algorithm was applied to whole brain gray matter volumes generated through voxel-based morphometry. As expected, DYS differed significantly from TD in a pattern that included features from left fusiform and supramarginal gyri (DYS vs. TD: 80.0 %, p < 0.01). SRCD was well differentiated not only from TD (92.5 %, p < 0.001) but also from DYS (88.0 %, p < 0.001). Of particular interest were findings of reduced gray matter volume in right frontal areas that were also supported by univariate analysis. These areas are thought to subserve executive processes relevant for reading, such as monitoring and manipulating mental representations. Thus, preliminary analyses suggest that SRCD readers possess a distinct neural profile compared to both TD and DYS readers and that these differences might be linked to domain-general abilities. This work provides a foundation for further investigation into variants of reading disability beyond DYS.
Skilled reading depends on recognizing words efficiently in isolation (word-level processing; WL) and extracting meaning from text (discourse-level processing; DL); deficiencies in either result in poor reading. FMRI has revealed consistent overlapping networks in word and passage reading, as well as unique regions for DL processing; however, less is known about how WL and DL processes interact. Here we examined functional connectivity from seed regions derived from where BOLD signal overlapped during word and passage reading in 38 adolescents ranging in reading ability, hypothesizing that even though certain regions support word- and higher-level language, connectivity patterns from overlapping regions would be task modulated. Results indeed revealed that the left-lateralized semantic and working memory (WM) seed regions showed task-dependent functional connectivity patterns: during DL processes, semantic and WM nodes all correlated with the left angular gyrus, a region implicated in semantic memory/coherence building. In contrast, during WL, these nodes coordinated with a traditional WL area (left occipitotemporal region). In addition, these WL and DL findings were modulated by decoding and comprehension abilities, respectively, with poorer abilities correlating with decreased connectivity. Findings indicate that key regions may uniquely contribute to multiple levels of reading; we speculate that these connectivity patterns may be especially salient for reading outcomes and intervention response.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
How much do people differ in their abilities to recognize objects, and what is the source of these differences? To address the first question, psychologists have created visual learning tests including the Cambridge Face Memory Test (Duchaine & Nakayama, 2006) and the Vanderbilt Expertise Test (VET; McGugin et al., 2012). The second question requires consideration of the influences of both innate potential and experience, but experience is difficult to measure. One solution is to measure the products of experience beyond perceptual knowledge-specifically, nonvisual semantic knowledge. For instance, the relation between semantic and perceptual knowledge can help clarify the nature of object recognition deficits in brain-damaged patients (Barton, Hanif, & Ashraf, Brain, 132, 3456-3466, 2009). We present a reliable measure of nonperceptual knowledge in a format applicable across categories. The Semantic Vanderbilt Expertise Test (SVET) measures knowledge of relevant category-specific nomenclature. We present SVETs for eight categories: cars, planes, Transformers, dinosaurs, shoes, birds, leaves, and mushrooms. The SVET demonstrated good reliability and domain-specific validity. We found partial support for the idea that the only source of domain-specific shared variance between the VET and SVET is experience with a category. We also demonstrated the utility of the SVET-Bird in experts. The SVET can facilitate the study of individual differences in visual recognition.
This study describes our efforts in developing a standards-based semantic metadata repository for supporting electronic health record (EHR)-driven phenotype authoring and execution. Our system comprises three layers: 1) a semantic data element repository layer; 2) a semantic services layer; and 3) a phenotype application layer. In a prototype implementation, we developed the repository and services through integrating the data elements from both Quality Data Model (QDM) and HL7 Fast Healthcare Inteoroperability Resources (FHIR) models. We discuss the modeling challenges and the potential of our system to support EHR phenotype authoring and execution applications.
In clinical notes, physicians commonly describe reasons why certain treatments are given. However, this information is not typically available in a computable form. We describe a supervised learning system that is able to predict whether or not a treatment relation exists between any two medical concepts mentioned in clinical notes. To train our prediction model, we manually annotated 958 treatment relations in sentences selected from 6,864 discharge summaries. The features used to indicate the existence of a treatment relation between two medical concepts consisted of lexical and semantic information associated with the two concepts as well as information derived from the MEDication Indication (MEDI) resource and SemRep. The best F1-measure results of our supervised learning system (84.90) were significantly better than the F1-measure results achieved by SemRep (72.34).