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Neurophysiological and brain structure markers of cognitive fraility differ from alzheimer's disease
Authors:
Kocagoncu, E., Nesbitt, D., EMERY, T., HUIGHES, L., HENSON, R.N., Cam-CAN., ROWE, J.
Reference:
Journal of Neuroscience
Year of publication:
In Press
CBU number:
8761
Abstract:
With increasing life span, there is growing importance of understanding the mechanisms of successful cognitive ageing. In contrast, cognitive frailty has been proposed to be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. Here we test the hypothesis that cognitively frail adults represent a branch of healthy ageing, distinct from latent dementia. We used electro-magnetoencephalography and magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the structural and neurophysiological features of cognitive frailty in relation to healthy aging, and clinical presentations of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Cognitive performance of the cognitively frail group was similar to those with mild cognitive impairment. We used a novel cross-modal oddball task to induce mismatch responses to unexpected stimuli. Both controls and cognitively frail showed stronger mismatch responses and larger temporal grey matter volume, compared to people with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Our results suggest that cognitively frail represents a spectrum of normal ageing rather than incipient or undiagnosed Alzheimer’s disease. Lower cognitive reserve, hearing impairment and medical comorbidity might contribute to the aetiology of cognitive impairment.
Spatial and feature-selective attention have distinct, interacting, effects on population level tuning
Authors:
Goddard, E., Carlson, T.A., WOOLGAR, A.
Reference:
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Year of publication:
In Press
CBU number:
8760
Abstract:
ttention can be deployed in different ways: when searching for a taxi in New York city we can decide where to attend (e.g. to the street) and what to attend to (e.g., yellow cars). Although we use the same word to describe both processes, non-human primate data suggests that these produce qualitatively differentdistinct effects on neural tuning. This has been challenging to assess in humans, but here we used an opportunity afforded by multivariate decoding of MEG data. We found that attending to an object at a particular location and attending to a particular object feature, produced effects that interacted multiplicatively. The two types of attention induced qualitatively differentdistinct patterns of enhancement in occipital cortex, with feature-selective attention producing relatively more enhancement of small feature differences, and spatial attention producing relatively larger effects for larger feature differences. An information flow analysis further showed that stimulus representations in occipital cortex were Granger-caused by coding in frontal cortices earlier in time, and that the timing of this feedback matched the onset of attention effects. The data suggest that spatial and feature-selective attention rely on qualitatively differentdistinct neural mechanisms that arise from frontal-occipital information exchange, interacting multiplicatively to selectively enhance task-relevant information.
Individual variations in ‘brain age’ relate to early-life factors more than to longitudinal brain change
Authors:
Vidal-Pineiro,D., Wang, Y., Krogsrud, S.K., Amlien, I.K., Baaré, W.F.C., Bartres-Faz, D., Bertram, L., Brandmaier, A.M., Drevon, C.A., Düze, S., Ebmeier, K., HENSON, R.N., Junqué, C., Kievit, R.A., Kühn, S., Leonardsen, E., Lindenberger, U., Madsen, K.S., Magnussen, F., Mowinckel, A.M., Nyberg, L., Roe, J.M., Segura, B., Smith, S.M., Sørensen, S., Suri, S., Westerhausen, R., Zalesky, A., Zsoldos, E., Walhovd, K.B., Fjell1, A.
Reference:
eLife, 01 Jan 2021, 10
Year of publication:
2021
CBU number:
8759
Abstract:
Brain age is a widely used index for quantifying individuals’ brain health as deviation from a normative brain aging trajectory. Higher-than-expected brain age is thought partially to reflect above-average rate of brain aging. Here, we explicitly tested this assumption in two independent large test datasets (UK Biobank [main] and Lifebrain [replication]; longitudinal observations ≈ 2750 and 4200) by assessing the relationship between cross-sectional and longitudinal estimates of brain age. Brain age models were estimated in two different training datasets (n ≈ 38,000 [main] and 1800 individuals [replication]) based on brain structural features. The results showed no association between cross-sectional brain age and the rate of brain change measured longitudinally. Rather, brain age in adulthood was associated with the congenital factors of birth weight and polygenic scores of brain age, assumed to reflect a constant, lifelong influence on brain structure from early life. The results call for nuanced interpretations of cross-sectional indices of the aging brain and question their validity as markers of ongoing within-person changes of the aging brain. Longitudinal imaging data should be preferred whenever the goal is to understand individual change trajectories of brain and cognition in aging. eLife digest Scientists who study the brain and aging are keen to find an effective way to measure brain health, which could help identify people at risk for dementia or memory problems. One popular marker is ‘brain age’. This measurement uses a brain scan to estimate a person’s chronological age, then compares the estimated brain age to the person’s actual age to determine whether their brain is aging faster or slower than expected for their age. However, since brain age relies on one brain scan taken at one point in time, it is not clear whether it really measures brain aging or if it might capture brain differences that have been present throughout the individual’s life. Studies comparing individual brain scans over several years would be necessary to know for sure. Now, Vidal-Piñeiro et al. show that the brain-age measurement does not reflect faster brain aging. In the experiments, the researchers compared repeated brain scans of thousands of individuals over 40 years of age. The experiments showed that deviations from normative brain age detected in a single scan reflected early life differences more than changes in the brain over time. For example, people with older-looking brains were more likely to have had a low birth weight or to have a combination of genes associated with having an older looking brain. Vidal-Piñeiro et al. show that brain age mostly reflects a pre-existing brain condition rather than brain aging. The experiments also suggest that genetics and early brain development likely have a strong impact on brain health throughout life. Future studies trying to test or develop brain-aging measurements should use serial measurements to track brain changes over time.
URL:
Evidence for a deep, distributed and dynamic code for animacy in human ventral anterior temporal cortex.
Authors:
Rogers, T., Cox, C., Lu, Q., Shimotake, A., Kikuchi, T., Kunieda, T., Miyamoto, S., Takahashi, R., Ikeda, A., Matsumoto, R., Lambon Ralph, M.
Reference:
eLife,
Year of publication:
2021
CBU number:
8758
Abstract:
How does the human brain encode semantic information about objects? This paper reconciles two seemingly contradictory views. The first proposes that local neural populations independently encode semantic features; the second, that semantic representations arise as a dynamic distributed code that changes radically with stimulus processing. Combining simulations with a well-known neural network model of semantic memory, multivariate pattern classification, and human electrocorticography, we find that both views are partially correct: information about the animacy of a depicted stimulus is distributed across ventral temporal cortex in a dynamic code possessing feature-like elements posteriorly but with elements that change rapidly and nonlinearly in anterior regions. This pattern is consistent with the view that anterior temporal lobes serve as a deep cross-modal “hub” in an interactive semantic network, and more generally suggests that tertiary association cortices may adopt dynamic distributed codes difficult to detect with common brain imaging methods.
URL:
Fluid intelligence and naturalistic task impairments after focal brain lesions
Authors:
DUNCAN, J.D., Smith, V., Pinasco, C., ACHTERBERG, J., MITCHELL, D., Das, T., Roca, M.
Reference:
Cortex
Year of publication:
In Press
CBU number:
8757
Abstract:
Classical executive tasks, such as Wisconsin card-sorting and verbal fluency, are widely used as tests of frontal lobe control functions. Since the pioneering work of Shallice and Burgess (1991), it has been known that complex, naturalistic tasks can capture deficits that are missed in these classical tests. Matching this finding, deficits in several classical tasks are predicted by loss of fluid intelligence, linked to damage in a specific cortical “multiple-demand” (MD) network, while deficits in a more naturalistic task are not. To expand on these previous results, we examined the effect of focal brain lesions on three new tests – a modification of the previously-used Hotel task, a new test of task switching after extended delays, and a test of decision-making in imagined real-life scenarios. As potential predictors of impairment we measured volume of damage to a priori MD and default mode (DMN) networks, as well as cortical damage outside these networks. Deficits in the three new tasks were substantial, but were not explained by loss of fluid intelligence, or by volume of damage to either MD or DMN networks. Instead, deficits were associated with diverse lesions, and not strongly correlated with one another. The results confirm that naturalistic tasks capture cognitive deficits beyond those measured by fluid intelligence. We suggest, however, that these deficits may not arise from specific control operations required by complex behaviour. Instead, like everyday activities, complex tasks combine a rich variety of interacting cognitive components, bringing many opportunities for processing to be disturbed.
Dominance Norms and Data for Spoken Ambiguous Words in British English
Authors:
GILBERT, R.A.., Rodd, J.M.
Reference:
Journal of Cognition
Year of publication:
In Press
CBU number:
8756
Abstract:
Words with multiple meanings (e.g. bark of the tree/dog) have provided important insights into several key topics within psycholinguistics. Experiments that use ambiguous words require stimuli to be carefully controlled for the relative frequency (dominance) of their different meanings, as this property has pervasive effects on numerous tasks. Dominance scores are often calculated from word association responses: by measuring the proportion of participants who respond to the word ‘bark’ with dog-related (e.g. “woof”) or tree-related (e.g. “branch”) responses, researchers can estimate people’s relative preferences for these meanings. We collated data from a number of recent experiments and pre-tests to construct a dataset of 29,542 valid responses for 243 spoken ambiguous words from participants from the United Kingdom. We provide summary dominance data for the 182 ambiguous words that have a minimum of 100 responses, and a tool for automatically coding new word association responses based on responses in our coded set, which allows additional data to be more easily scored and added to this database. All files can be found at: https://osf.io/uy47w/.
Transcranial direct current stimulation with functional magnetic resonance imaging: a detailed validation and operational guide
Authors:
NARDO, D., Creasey, M., Negus, C., Pappa, K., Reid, A., Josephs, O., Callaghan, M.F., Crinion, J.T.
Reference:
Wellcome Open Research
Year of publication:
In Press
CBU number:
8755
Abstract:
Introduction: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique used to modulate human brain and behavioural function in both research and clinical interventions. The combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with tDCS enables researchers to directly test causal contributions of stimulated brain regions, answering questions about the physiology and neural mechanisms underlying behaviour. Despite the promise of the technique, advances have been hampered by technical challenges and methodological variability between studies, confounding comparability/replicability. Methods: Here tDCS-fMRI at 3T was developed for a series of experiments investigating language recovery after stroke. To validate the method, one healthy volunteer completed an fMRI paradigm with three conditions: (i) No-tDCS, (ii) Sham-tDCS, (iii) 2mA Anodal-tDCS. MR data were analysed in SPM12 with region-of-interest (ROI) analyses of the two electrodes and reference sites. Results: Quality assessment indicated no visible signal dropouts or distortions introduced by the tDCS equipment. After modelling scanner drift, motion-related variance, and temporal autocorrelation, we found no field inhomogeneity in functional sensitivity metrics across conditions in grey matter and in the three ROIs. Discussion: Key safety factors and risk mitigation strategies that must be taken into consideration when integrating tDCS into an fMRI environment are outlined. To obtain reliable results, we provide practical solutions to technical challenges and complications of the method. It is hoped that sharing these data and SOP will promote methodological replication in future studies, enhancing the quality of tDCS-fMRI application, and improve the reliability of scientific results in this field. Conclusions : The method and data provided here provide a technically safe, reliable tDCS-fMRI procedure to obtain high quality MR data. The detailed framework of the Standard Operation Procedure SOP ( https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4606564 ) systematically reports the technical and procedural elements of our tDCS-fMRI approach, which we hope can be adopted and prove useful in future studies.
URL:
The one-shot shift from explore to exploit in monkey prefrontal cortex
Authors:
DUNCAN, J.D., ACHTERBERG, J., KADOSHINA, M., Watanabe, K., Buckley, M.
Reference:
The Journal of Neuroscience
Year of publication:
In Press
CBU number:
8754
Abstract:
Much animal learning is slow, with cumulative changes in behavior driven by reward prediction errors. When the abstract structure of a problem is known, however, both animals and formal learning models can rapidly attach new items to their roles within this structure, sometimes in a single trial. Frontal cortex is likely to play a key role in this process. To examine information seeking and use in a known problem structure, we trained monkeys in an explore/exploit task, requiring the animal first to test objects for their association with reward, then, once rewarded objects were found, to re-select them on further trials for further rewards. Many cells in the frontal cortex showed an explore/exploit preference aligned with the one-shot learning in the monkeys’ behavior: the population switched from an explore state to an exploit state after a single trial of learning, but partially maintained the explore state if an error indicated that learning had failed. Binary switch from explore to exploit was not explained by continuous changes linked to expectancy or prediction error. Explore/exploit preferences were independent for two stages of the trial, object selection and receipt of feedback. Within an established task structure, frontal activity may control the separate processes of explore and exploit, switching in one trial between the two.
A Transdiagnostic Data-driven Study of Children’s Behaviour and the Functional Connectome
Authors:
Jones, J,S., CALM Team, The, ASTLE, D.
Reference:
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 22 Oct 2021, 52
Year of publication:
2021
CBU number:
8753
Abstract:
Behavioural difficulties are seen as hallmarks of many neurodevelopmental conditions. Differences in functional brain organisation have been observed in these conditions, but little is known about how they are related to a child’s profile of behavioural difficulties. We investigated whether behavioural difficulties are associated with how the brain is functionally organised in an intentionally heterogeneous and transdiagnostic sample of 957 children aged 5-15. We used consensus community detection to derive data-driven profiles of behavioural difficulties and constructed functional connectomes from a subset of 238 children with resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data. We identified three distinct profiles of behaviour that were characterised by principal difficulties with hot executive function, cool executive function, and learning. Global organisation of the functional connectome did not differ between the groups, but multivariate patterns of connectivity at the level of Intrinsic Connectivity Networks (ICNs), nodes, and hubs significantly predicted group membership in held-out data. Fronto-parietal connector hubs were under-connected in all groups relative to a comparison sample and children with hot vs cool executive function difficulties were distinguished by connectivity in ICNs associated with cognitive control, emotion processing, and social cognition. This demonstrates both general and specific neurodevelopmental risk factors in the functional connectome.
URL:
What is digital parenting? A systematic review of past measurement and blueprint for the future
Authors:
Modecki, K.L., Goldberg, R., Wisniewski, P., ORBEN, A.
Reference:
Perspectives on Psychological Science
Year of publication:
In Press
CBU number:
8752
Abstract:
Concerns about parenting adolescents are not new, but the rapid diffusion of digital technologies has heightened anxieties over digital parenting. Findings are decidedly mixed regarding the impact of digital technologies on adolescent wellbeing, and parents are left to navigate their concerns without an empirically based road map. A missing link for understanding the state of the science is a clear characterization of how digital parenting is measured, including an evaluation of which areas demand an outsized share of scientific attention, and which have been overlooked. To address this gap, we undertook two interdisciplinary systematic reviews of the digital parenting literature and characterized measurement across a) quantitative surveys (n = 145 studies) and b) qualitative focus groups and interviews (n = 49 studies). We describe previously popular areas of survey measurement that are of decreasing relevance to parenting of digital spaces (e.g., co-use, hovering). We likewise highlight areas that have been overlooked, including consideration of positive uses of digital technologies, acknowledgement of bi-directional influence, and attention to heterogeneity among families and to extra-parental social ecologies of support and monitoring. We provide recommendations for the future of digital parenting research, proposing a more comprehensive approach to measuring how we parent modern adolescents.


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