Rasmus Aamand; Thomas Dalsgaard; Yi-Ching Lynn Ho; Arne Møller; Andreas Roepstorff; Torben E Lund
In: NeuroImage, 83 , pp. 397–407, 2013.
Neurovascular coupling links neuronal activity to vasodilation. Nitric oxide (NO) is a potent vasodilator, and in neurovascular coupling NO production from NO synthases plays an important role. However, another pathway for NO production also exists, namely the nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway. On this basis, we hypothesized that dietary nitrate (NO3-) could influence the brain's hemodynamic response to neuronal stimulation. In the present study, 20 healthy male participants were given either sodium nitrate (NaNO3) or sodium chloride (NaCl) (saline placebo) in a crossover study and were shown visual stimuli based on the retinotopic characteristics of the visual cortex. Our primary measure of the hemodynamic response was the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response measured with high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (0.64×0.64×1.8mm) in the visual cortex. From this response, we made a direct estimate of key parameters characterizing the shape of the BOLD response (i.e. lag and amplitude). During elevated nitrate intake, corresponding to the nitrate content of a large plate of salad, both the hemodynamic lag and the BOLD amplitude decreased significantly (7.0±2% and 7.9±4%, respectively), and the variation across activated voxels of both measures decreased (12.3±4% and 15.3±7%, respectively). The baseline cerebral blood flow was not affected by nitrate. Ourexperiments demonstrate, for the first time, that dietary nitrate may modulate the local cerebral hemodynamic response to stimuli. A faster and smaller BOLD response, with less variation across local cortex, is consistent with an enhanced hemodynamic coupling during elevated nitrate intake. These findings suggest that dietary patterns, via the nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway, may be a potential way to affect key properties of neurovascular coupling. This could have major clinical implications, which remain to be explored.
Rasmus Aamand; Yi-Ching Lynn Ho; Thomas Dalsgaard; Andreas Roepstorff; Torben E Lund
In: Journal of Applied Physiology, 116 (3), pp. 267–273, 2014.
The carbonic anhydrase (CA) inhibitor acetazolamide (AZ) is used routinely to estimate cerebrovascular reserve capacity in patients, as it reliably increases cerebral blood flow (CBF). However, the mechanism by which AZ accomplishes this CBF increase is not entirely understood. We recently discovered that CA can produce nitric oxide (NO) from nitrite, and that AZ enhances this NO production in vitro. In fact, this interaction between AZ and CA accounted for a large part of AZ's vasodilatory action, which fits well with the known vasodilatory potency of NO. The present study aimed to assess whether AZ acts similarly in vivo in the human cerebrovascular system. Hence, we increased or minimized the dietary intake of nitrate in 20 healthy male participants, showed them a full-field flickering dartboard, and measured their CBF response to this visual stimulus with arterial spin labeling. Doing so, we found a significant positive interaction between the dietary intake of nitrate and the CBF modulation afforded by AZ during visual stimulation. In addition, but contrary to studies conducted in elderly participants, we report no effect of nitrate intake on resting CBF in healthy human participants. The present study provides in vivo support for an enhancing effect of AZ on the NO production from nitrite catalyzed by CA in the cerebrovascular system. Furthermore, our results, in combination with the results of other groups, indicate that nitrate may have significant importance to vascular function when the cerebrovascular system is challenged by age or disease.
Rick A Adams; Markus Bauer; Dimitris Pinotsis; Karl J Friston
In: Neuroimage, 132 , pp. 175–189, 2016.
This paper shows that it is possible to estimate the subjective precision (inverse variance) of Bayesian beliefs during oculomotor pursuit. Subjects viewed a sinusoidal target, with or without random fluctuations in its motion. Eye trajectories and magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data were recorded concurrently. The target was periodically occluded, such that its reappearance caused a visual evoked response field (ERF). Dynamic causal modelling (DCM) was used to fit models of eye trajectories and the ERFs. The DCM for pursuit was based on predictive coding and active inference, and predicts subjects' eye movements based on their (subjective) Bayesian beliefs about target (and eye) motion. The precisions of these hierarchical beliefs can be inferred from behavioural (pursuit) data. The DCM for MEG data used an established biophysical model of neuronal activity that includes parameters for the gain of superficial pyramidal cells, which is thought to encode precision at the neuronal level. Previous studies (using DCM of pursuit data) suggest that noisy target motion increases subjective precision at the sensory level: i.e., subjects attend more to the target's sensory attributes. We compared (noisy motion-induced) changes in the synaptic gain based on the modelling of MEG data to changes in subjective precision estimated using the pursuit data. We demonstrate that imprecise target motion increases the gain of superficial pyramidal cells in V1 (across subjects). Furthermore, increases in sensory precision – inferred by our behavioural DCM – correlate with the increase in gain in V1, across subjects. This is a step towards a fully integrated model of brain computations, cortical responses and behaviour that may provide a useful clinical tool in conditions like schizophrenia.
Ioannis Agtzidis; Inga Meyhöfer; Michael Dorr; Rebekka Lencer
In: NeuroImage, 216 , pp. 1–11, 2020.
Most fMRI studies investigating smooth pursuit (SP) related brain activity have used simple synthetic stimuli such as a sinusoidally moving dot. However, real-life situations are much more complex and SP does not occur in isolation but within sequences of saccades and fixations. This raises the question whether the same brain networks for SP that have been identified under laboratory conditions are activated when following moving objects in a movie. Here, we used the publicly available studyforrest data set that provides eye movement recordings along with 3 T fMRI recordings from 15 subjects while watching the Hollywood movie “Forrest Gump”. All three major eye movement events, namely fixations, saccades, and smooth pursuit, were detected with a state-of-the-art algorithm. In our analysis, smooth pursuit (SP) was the eye movement of interest, while saccades were acting as the steady state of viewing behaviour due to their lower variability. For the fMRI analysis we used an event-related design modelling saccades and SP as regressors initially. Because of the interdependency of SP and content motion, we then added a new low-level content motion regressor to separate brain activations from these two sources. We identified higher BOLD-responses during SP than saccades bilaterally in MT+/V5, in middle cingulate extending to precuneus, and in the right temporoparietal junction. When the motion regressor was added, SP showed higher BOLD-response relative to saccades bilaterally in the cortex lining the superior temporal sulcus, precuneus, and supplementary eye field, presumably due to a confounding effect of background motion. Only parts of V2 showed higher activation during saccades in comparison to SP. Taken together, our approach should be regarded as proof of principle for deciphering brain activity related to SP, which is one of the most prominent eye movements besides saccades, in complex dynamic naturalistic situations.
C J Aine; H J Bockholt; J R Bustillo; J M Cañive; A Caprihan; C Gasparovic; F M Hanlon; J M Houck; R E Jung; J Lauriello; J Liu; A R Mayer; N I Perrone-Bizzozero; S Posse; Julia M Stephen; J A Turner; V P Clark; Vince D Calhoun
In: Neuroinformatics, 15 (4), pp. 343–364, 2017.
In this paper we describe an open-access collection ofmultimodal neuroimaging data in schizophrenia for release to the community. Data were acquired from approximately 100 patients with schizophrenia and 100 age-matched controls during rest as well as several task activation paradigms targeting a hierarchy of cognitive constructs. Neuroimaging data include structural MRI, functional MRI, diffusion MRI, MR spectroscopic imaging, and magnetoencephalography. For three of the hypothesis-driven projects, task activation paradigms were acquired on subsets of~200 volunteers which examined a range of sensory and cognitive processes (e.g., auditory sensory gating, auditory/visual multisensory integration, visual transverse patterning). Neuropsychological data were also acquired and genetic material via saliva samples were collected from most of the participants and have been typed for both genome-wide polymorphism data as well as genome-wide methylation data. Some results are also present- ed from the individual studies as well as from our data-driven multimodal analyses (e.g., multimodal examinations of network structure and network dynamics and multitask fMRI data analysis across projects). All data will be released through the Mind Research Network's collaborative informatics and neuroimaging suite (COINS).
Sara Ajina; Christopher Kennard; Geraint Rees; Holly Bridge
In: Brain, 138 (1), pp. 164–178, 2015.
Motion area V5/MT+ shows a variety of characteristic visual responses, often linked to perception, which are heavily influenced by its rich connectivity with the primary visual cortex (V1). This human motion area also receives a number of inputs from other visual regions, including direct subcortical connections and callosal connections with the contralateral hemisphere. Little is currently known about such alternative inputs to V5/MT+ and how they may drive and influence its activity. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the response of human V5/MT+ to increasing the proportion of coherent motion was measured in seven patients with unilateral V1 damage acquired during adulthood, and a group of healthy age-matched controls. When V1 was damaged, the typical V5/MT+ response to increasing coherence was lost. Rather, V5/MT+ in patients showed a negative trend with coherence that was similar to coherence-related activity in V1 of healthy control subjects. This shift to a response-pattern more typical of early visual cortex suggests that in the absence of V1, V5/MT+ activity may be shaped by similar direct subcortical input. This is likely to reflect intact residual pathways rather than a change in connectivity, and has important implications for blindsight function. It also confirms predictions that V1 is critically involved in normal V5/MT+ global motion processing, consistent with a convergent model of V1 input to V5/MT+. Historically, most attempts to model cortical visual responses do not consider the contribution of direct subcortical inputs that may bypass striate cortex, such as input to V5/MT+. We have shown that the signal change driven by these non-striate pathways can be measured, and suggest that models of the intact visual system may benefit from considering their contribution.
Sara Ajina; Geraint Rees; Christopher Kennard; Holly Bridge
In: Journal of Neuroscience, 35 (21), pp. 8201–8213, 2015.
When the human primary visual cortex (V1) is damaged, the dominant geniculo-striate pathway can no longer convey visual information to the occipital cortex. However, many patients with such damage retain some residual visual function that must rely on an alternative pathway directly to extrastriate occipital regions. This residual vision is most robust for moving stimuli, suggesting a role for motion area hMT+. However, residual vision also requires high-contrast stimuli, which is inconsistent with hMT+ sensitivity to contrast in which even low-contrast levels elicit near-maximal neural activation. We sought to investigate this discrepancy by measuring behavioral and neural responses to increasing contrast in patients with V1 damage. Eight patients underwent behavioral testing and functional magnetic resonance imaging to record contrast sensitivity in hMT+ of their damaged hemisphere, using Gabor stimuli with a spatial frequency of 1 cycle/degrees. The responses from hMT+ of the blind hemisphere were compared with hMT+ and V1 responses in the sighted hemisphere of patients and a group of age-matched controls. Unlike hMT+, neural responses in V1 tend to increase linearly with increasing contrast, likely reflecting a dominant parvocellular channel input. Across all patients, the responses in hMT+ of the blind hemisphere no longer showed early saturation but increased linearly with contrast. Given the spatiotemporal parameters used in this study and the known direct subcortical projections from the koniocellular layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus to hMT+, we propose that this altered contrast sensitivity in hMT+ could be consistent with input from the koniocellular pathway.
Sara Ajina; Miriam Pollard; Holly Bridge
In: Frontiers in Neurology, 11 , pp. 1–18, 2020.
Humans can respond rapidly to viewed expressions of fear, even in the absence of conscious awareness. This is demonstrated using visual masking paradigms in healthy individuals and in patients with cortical blindness due to damage to the primary visual cortex (V1) - so called affective blindsight. Humans have also been shown to implicitly process facial expressions representing important social dimensions. Two major axes, dominance and trustworthiness, are proposed to characterize the social dimensions of face evaluation. The processing of both types of implicit stimuli is believed to occur via similar subcortical pathways involving the amygdala. However, we do not know whether unconscious processing of more subtle expressions of facial traits can occur in blindsight, and if so, how. To test this, we studied 13 patients with unilateral V1 damage and visual field loss. We assessed their ability to detect and discriminate faces that had been manipulated along two orthogonal axes of trustworthiness and dominance to generate five trait levels inside the blind visual field: dominant, submissive, trustworthy, untrustworthy, and neutral. We compared neural activity and functional connectivity in patients classified as blindsight positive or negative for these stimuli. We found that dominant faces were most likely to be detected above chance, with individuals demonstrating unique interactions between performance and face trait. Only patients with blindsight (n = 8) showed significant preference in the superior colliculus and amygdala for face traits in the blind visual field, and a critical functional connection between the amygdala and superior colliculus in the damaged hemisphere. We also found a significant correlation between behavioral performance and fMRI activity in the amygdala and lateral geniculate nucleus across all participants. Our findings confirm that affective blindsight involving the superior colliculus and amygdala extends to the processing of socially salient but emotionally neutral facial expressions when V1 is damaged. This pathway is distinct from that which supports motion blindsight, as both types of blindsight can exist in the absence of the other with corresponding patterns of residual connectivity.
Noor Z Al Dahhan; John R Kirby; Ying Chen; Donald C Brien; Douglas P Munoz
In: European Journal of Neuroscience, 51 (11), pp. 2277–2298, 2020.
We combined fMRI with eye tracking and speech recording to examine the neural and cognitive mechanisms that underlie reading. To simplify the study of the complex processes involved during reading, we used naming speed (NS) tasks (also known as rapid automatized naming or RAN) as a focus for this study, in which average reading right-handed adults named sets of stimuli (letters or objects) as quickly and accurately as possible. Due to the possibility of spoken output during fMRI studies creating motion artifacts, we employed both an overt session and a covert session. When comparing the two sessions, there were no significant differences in behavioral performance, sensorimotor activation (except for regions involved in the motor aspects of speech production) or activation in regions within the left-hemisphere-dominant neural reading network. This established that differences found between the tasks within the reading network were not attributed to speech production motion artifacts or sensorimotor processes. Both behavioral and neuroimaging measures showed that letter naming was a more automatic and efficient task than object naming. Furthermore, specific manipulations to the NS tasks to make the stimuli more visually and/or phonologically similar differentially activated the reading network in the left hemisphere associated with phonological, orthographic and orthographic-to-phonological processing, but not articulatory/motor processing related to speech production. These findings further our understanding of the underlying neural processes that support reading by examining how activation within the reading network differs with both task performance and task characteristics.
E A Allen; E Damaraju; T Eichele; L Wu; V D Calhoun
EEG signatures of dynamic functional network connectivity states Journal Article
In: Brain Topography, 31 (1), pp. 101–116, 2018.
The human brain operates by dynamically mod- ulating different neural populations to enable goal directed behavior. The synchrony or lack thereof between different brain regions is thought to correspond to observed functional connectivity dynamics in resting state brain imaging data. In a large sample of healthy human adult subjects and utilizing a sliding windowed correlation method on functional imaging data, earlier we demonstrated the presence of seven distinct functional connectivity states/patterns between different brain networks that reliably occur across time and subjects. Whether these connectivity states correspond to meaningful electrophysiological signatures was not clear. In this study, using a dataset with concurrent EEG and resting state functional imaging data acquired during eyes open and eyes closed states, we demonstrate the replicability of previous findings in an independent sample, and identify EEG spectral signatures associated with these functional network connectivity changes. Eyes open and eyes closed conditions show common and different connectivity patterns that are associated with distinct EEG spectral signatures. Certain connectivity states are more prevalent in the eyes open case and some occur only in eyes closed state. Both conditions exhibit a state of increased thalamo-cortical anticorrelation associated with reduced EEG spec- tral alpha power and increased delta and theta power possi- bly reflecting drowsiness. This state occurs more frequently in the eyes closed state. In summary, we find a link between dynamic connectivity in fMRI data and concurrently collected EEG data, including a large effect of vigilance on functional connectivity. As demonstrated with EEG and fMRI, the stationarity of connectivity cannot be assumed, even for relatively short periods.
Elaine J Anderson; Marc S Tibber; Samuel D Schwarzkopf; Sukhwinder S Shergill; Emilio Fernandez-Egea; Geraint Rees; Steven C Dakin
In: Journal of Neuroscience, 37 (6), pp. 1546–1556, 2017.
People with schizophrenia (SZ) experience abnormal visual perception on a range of visual tasks, which have been linked to abnormal synaptic transmission and an imbalance between cortical excitation and inhibition. However, differences in the underlying architecture of visual cortex neurons, which might explain these visual anomalies, have yet to be reportedin vivoHere, we probed the neural basis of these deficits using fMRI and population receptive field (pRF) mapping to infer properties of visually responsive neurons in people with SZ. We employed a difference-of-Gaussian model to capture the center-surround configuration of the pRF, providing critical information about the spatial scale of the pRFs inhibitory surround. Our analysis reveals that SZ is associated with reduced pRF size in early retinotopic visual cortex, as well as a reduction in size and depth of the inhibitory surround in V1, V2, and V4. We consider how reduced inhibition might explain the diverse range of visual deficits reported in SZ.
Jamila Andoh; Reiko Matsushita; Robert J Zatorre
In: Journal of Neuroscience, 43 (43), pp. 14602–14611, 2015.
Hemispheric asymmetries in human auditory cortical function and structure are still highly debated. Brain stimulation approaches can complement correlational techniques by uncovering causal influences. Previous studies have shown asymmetrical effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on task performance, but it is unclear whether these effects are task-specific or reflect intrinsic network properties. To test how modulation of auditory cortex (AC) influences functional networks and whether this influence is asymmetrical, the present study measured resting-state fMRI connectivity networks in 17 healthy volunteers before and immediately after TMS (continuous theta burst stimulation) to the left or right AC, and the vertex as a control. We also examined the relationship between TMS-induced interhemispheric signal propagation and anatomical properties of callosal auditory fibers as measured with diffusion-weighted MRI. We found that TMS to the right AC, but not the left, resulted in widespread connectivity decreases in auditory- and motor-related networks in the resting state. Individual differences in the degree of change in functional connectivity between auditory cortices after TMS applied over the right AC were negatively related to the volume of callosal auditory fibers. The findings show that TMS-induced network modulation occurs, even in the absence of an explicit task, and that the magnitude of the effect differs across individuals as a function of callosal structure, supporting a role for the corpus callosum in mediating functional asymmetry. The findings support theoretical models emphasizing hemispheric differences in network organization and are of practical significance in showing that brain stimulation studies need to take network-level effects into account.
J Andoh; M Ferreira; I R Leppert; Reiko Matsushita; B Pike; R J Zatorre
In: NeuroImage, 147 , pp. 726–735, 2017.
Resting-state fMRI studies have become very important in cognitive neuroscience because they are able to identify BOLD fluctuations in brain circuits involved in motor, cognitive, or perceptual processes without the use of an explicit task. Such approaches have been fruitful when applied to various disordered populations, or to children or the elderly. However, insufficient attention has been paid to the consequences of the loud acoustic scanner noise associated with conventional fMRI acquisition, which could be an important confounding factor affecting auditory and/or cognitive networks in resting-state fMRI. Several approaches have been developed to mitigate the effects of acoustic noise on fMRI signals, including sparse sampling protocols and interleaved silent steady state (ISSS) acquisition methods, the latter being used only for task-based fMRI. Here, we developed an ISSS protocol for resting-state fMRI (rs-ISSS) consisting of rapid acquisition of a set of echo planar imaging volumes following each silent period, during which the steady state longitudinal magnetization was maintained with a train of relatively silent slice-selective excitation pulses. We evaluated the test-retest reliability of intensity and spatial extent of connectivity networks of fMRI BOLD signal across three different days for rs-ISSS and compared it with a standard resting-state fMRI (rs-STD). We also compared the strength and distribution of connectivity networks between rs-ISSS and rs-STD. We found that both rs-ISSS and rs-STD showed high reproducibility of fMRI signal across days. In addition, rs-ISSS showed a more robust pattern of functional connectivity within the somatosensory and motor networks, as well as an auditory network compared with rs-STD. An increased connectivity between the default mode network and the language network and with the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) network was also found for rs-ISSS compared with rs-STD. Finally, region of interest analysis showed higher interhemispheric connectivity in Heschl's gyri in rs-ISSS compared with rs-STD, with lower variability across days. The present findings suggest that rs-ISSS may be advantageous for detecting network connectivity in a less noisy environment, and that resting-state studies carried out with standard scanning protocols should consider the potential effects of loud noise on the measured networks.
Serguei V Astafiev; Kristina L Zinn; Gordon L Shulman; Maurizio Corbetta
In: NeuroImage: Clinical, 11 , pp. 10–19, 2016.
We report on the results of a multimodal imaging study involving behavioral assessments, evoked and resting-state BOLD fMRI, and DTI in chronic mTBI subjects. We found that larger task-evoked BOLD activity in the MT+/LO region in extra-striate visual cortex correlated with mTBI and PTSD symptoms, especially light sensitivity. Moreover, higher FA values near the left optic radiation (OR) were associated with both light sensitivity and higher BOLD activity in the MT+/LO region. The MT+/LO region was localized as a region of abnormal functional connectivity with central white matter regions previously found to have abnormal physiological signals during visual eye movement tracking (Astafiev et al., 2015). We conclude that mTBI symptoms and light sensitivity may be related to excessive responsiveness of visual cortex to sensory stimuli. This abnormal sensitivity may be related to chronic remodeling of white matter visual pathways acutely injured.
Ryszard Auksztulewicz; Karl J Friston
In: Cerebral Cortex, 25 (11), pp. 4273–4283, 2015.
Despite similar behavioral effects, attention and expectation influence evoked responses differently: Attention typically enhances event-related responses, whereas expectation reduces them. This dissociation has been reconciled under predictive coding, where prediction errors are weighted by precision associated with attentional modulation. Here, we tested the predictive coding account of attention and expectation using magnetoencephalography and modeling. Temporal attention and sensory expectation were orthogonally manipulated in an auditory mismatch paradigm, revealing opposing effects on evoked response amplitude. Mismatch negativity (MMN) was enhanced by attention, speaking against its supposedly pre-attentive nature. This interaction effect was modeled in a canonical microcircuit using dynamic causal modeling, comparing models with modulation of extrinsic and intrinsic connectivity at different levels of the auditory hierarchy. While MMN was explained by recursive interplay of sensory predictions and prediction errors, attention was linked to the gain of inhibitory interneurons, consistent with its modulation of sensory precision.
Mariana Babo-Rebelo; Craig G Richter; Catherine Tallon-Baudry
In: Journal of Neuroscience, 36 (30), pp. 7829–7840, 2016.
The default network (DN) has been consistently associated with self-related cognition, but also to bodily state monitoring and autonomic regulation. We hypothesized that these two seemingly disparate functional roles of the DN are functionally coupled, in line with theories proposing that selfhood is grounded in the neural monitoring of internal organs, such as the heart. We measured with magnetoencephalograhy neural responses evoked by heartbeats while human participants freely mind-wandered. When interrupted by a visual stimulus at random intervals, participants scored the self-relatedness of the interrupted thought. They evaluated their involvement as the first-person perspective subject or agent in the thought ("I"), and on another scale to what degree they were thinking about themselves ("Me"). During the interrupted thought, neural responses to heartbeats in two regions of the DN, the ventral precuneus and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, covaried, respectively, with the "I" and the "Me" dimensions of the self, even at the single-trial level. No covariation between self-relatedness and peripheral autonomic measures (heart rate, heart rate variability, pupil diameter, electrodermal activity, respiration rate, and phase) or alpha power was observed. Our results reveal a direct link between selfhood and neural responses to heartbeats in the DN and thus directly support theories grounding selfhood in the neural monitoring of visceral inputs. More generally, the tight functional coupling between self-related processing and cardiac monitoring observed here implies that, even in the absence of measured changes in peripheral bodily measures, physiological and cognitive functions have to be considered jointly in the DN.
Dominik R Bach; Nicholas FWIBBLE; Gareth Barnes; Raymond J Dolan
In: PLoS ONE, 10 (7), pp. e0134060, 2015.
Rising sound intensity often signals an approaching sound source and can serve as a powerful warning cue, eliciting phasic attention, perception biases and emotional responses. How the evaluation of approaching sounds unfolds over time remains elusive. Here, we capitalised on the temporal resolution of magnetoencephalograpy (MEG) to investigate in humans a dynamic encoding of perceiving approaching and receding sounds. We compared magnetic responses to intensity envelopes of complex sounds to those of white noise sounds, in which intensity change is not perceived as approaching. Sustained magnetic fields over temporal sensors tracked intensity change in complex sounds in an approximately linear fashion, an effect not seen for intensity change in white noise sounds, or for overall intensity. Hence, these fields are likely to track approach/recession, but not the apparent (instantaneous) distance of the sound source, or its intensity as such. As a likely source of this activity, the bilateral inferior temporal gyrus and right temporo-parietal junction emerged. Our results indicate that discrete temporal cortical areas parametrically encode behavioural significance in moving sound sources where the signal unfolded in a manner reminiscent of evidence accumulation. This may help an understanding of how acoustic percepts are evaluated as behaviourally relevant, where our results highlight a crucial role of cortical areas.
Mareike Bacha-Trams; Enrico Glerean; Robin Dunbar; Juha M Lahnakoski; Elisa Ryyppö; Mikko Sams; Iiro P Jääskeläinen
In: Scientific Reports, 7 , pp. 14244, 2017.
Previous behavioural studies have shown that humans act more altruistically towards kin. Whether and how knowledge of genetic relatedness translates into differential neurocognitive evaluation of observed social interactions has remained an open question. Here, we investigated how the human brain is engaged when viewing a moral dilemma between genetic vs. non-genetic sisters. During functional magnetic resonance imaging, a movie was shown, depicting refusal of organ donation between two sisters, with subjects guided to believe the sisters were related either genetically or by adoption. Although 90% of the subjects self-reported that genetic relationship was not relevant, their brain activity told a different story. Comparing correlations of brain activity across all subject pairs between the two viewing conditions, we found significantly stronger inter-subject correlations in insula, cingulate, medial and lateral prefrontal, superior temporal, and superior parietal cortices, when the subjects believed that the sisters were genetically related. Cognitive functions previously associated with these areas include moral and emotional conflict regulation, decision making, and mentalizing, suggesting more similar engagement of such functions when observing refusal of altruism from a genetic sister. Our results show that mere knowledge of a genetic relationship between interacting persons robustly modulates social cognition of the perceiver.
Mareike Bacha-Trams; Elisa Ryyppo; Enrico Glerean; Mikko Sams; Iiro P Jaaskelainen
In: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 15 (2), pp. 175–191, 2020.
Putting oneself into the shoes of others is an important aspect of social cognition.We measured brain hemodynamic activity and eye-gaze patterns while participants were viewing a shortened version of the movie 'My Sister's Keeper' from two perspectives: That of a potential organ donor, who violates moral norms by refusing to donate her kidney, and that of a potential organ recipient, who suffers in pain. Inter-subject correlation (ISC) of brain activity was significantly higher during the potential organ donor's perspective in dorsolateral and inferior prefrontal, lateral and inferior occipital, and inferior-anterior temporal areas. In the reverse contrast, stronger ISC was observed in superior temporal, posterior frontal and anterior parietal areas. Eye-gaze analysis showed higher proportion of fixations on the potential organ recipient during both perspectives. Taken together, these results suggest that during social perspective-taking different brain areas can be flexibly recruited depending on the nature of the perspective that is taken.
Yasaman Bagherzadeh; Daniel Baldauf; Dimitrios Pantazis; Robert Desimone
In: Neuron, 105 , pp. 1–11, 2020.
Decreases in alpha synchronization are correlated with enhanced attention, whereas alpha increases are correlated with inattention. However, correlation is not causality, and synchronization may be a byproduct of attention rather than a cause. To test for a causal role of alpha synchrony in attention, we used MEG neurofeedback to train subjects to manipulate the ratio of alpha power over the left versus right parietal cortex. We found that a comparable alpha asymmetry developed over the visual cortex. The alpha training led to corresponding asymmetrical changes in visually evoked responses to probes presented in the two hemifields during training. Thus, reduced alpha was associated with enhanced sensory processing. Testing after training showed a persistent bias in attention in the expected directions. The results support the proposal that alpha synchrony plays a causal role in modulating attention and visual processing, and alpha training could be used for testing hypotheses about synchrony.
Iske Bakker-Marshall; Atsuko Takashima; Jan-Mathijs Schoffelen; Janet G van Hell; Gabriele Janzen; James M McQueen
In: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 30 (5), pp. 621–633, 2018.
Like many other types of memory formation, novel word learning benefits from an offline consolidation period after the initial encoding phase. A previous EEG study has shown that retrieval of novel words elicited more word-like-induced electrophysiological brain activity in the theta band after consolidation [Bakker, I., Takashima, A., van Hell, J. G., Janzen, G., & McQueen, J. M. Changes in theta and beta oscillations as signatures of novel word consolidation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27, 1286–1297, 2015]. This suggests that theta-band oscillations play a role in lexicalization, but it has not been demonstrated that this effect is directly caused by the formation of lexical representations. This study used magnetoencephalography to localize the theta consolidation effect to the left posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG), a region known to be involved in lexical storage. Both untrained novel words and words learned immediately before test elicited lower theta power during retrieval than existing words in this region. After a 24-hr consolidation period, the difference between novel and existing words decreased significantly, most strongly in the left pMTG. The magnitude of the decrease after consolidation correlated with an increase in behavioral competition effects between novel words and existing words with similar spelling, reflecting functional integration into the mental lexicon. These results thus provide new evidence that consolidation aids the development of lexical representations mediated by the left pMTG. Theta synchronizationmay enable lexical access by facilitating the simultaneous activation of distributed semantic, phonological, and orthographic representations that are bound together in the pMTG.
Daniel Baldauf; Robert Desimone
Neural mechanisms of object-based attention Journal Article
In: Science, 344 (6182), pp. 424–427, 2014.
How we attend to objects and their features that cannot be separated by location is not understood. We presented two temporally and spatially overlapping streams of objects, faces versus houses, and used magnetoencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging to separate neuronal responses to attended and unattended objects. Attention to faces versus houses enhanced the sensory responses in the fusiform face area (FFA) and parahippocampal place area (PPA), respectively. The increases in sensory responses were accompanied by induced gamma synchrony between the inferior frontal junction, IFJ, and either FFA or PPA, depending on which object was attended. The IFJ appeared to be the driver of the synchrony, as gamma phases were advanced by 20 ms in IFJ compared to FFA or PPA. Thus, the IFJ may direct the flow of visual processing during object-based attention, at least in part through coupled oscillations with specialized areas such as FFA and PPA. W
Pinglei Bao; Christopher J Purington; Bosco S Tjan
In: eLife, 4 (NOVEMBER2015), pp. 1–21, 2015.
Achiasma in humans causes gross mis-wiring of the retinal-fugal projection, resulting in overlapped cortical representations of left and right visual hemifields. We show that in areas V1-V3 this overlap is due to two co-located but non-interacting populations of neurons, each with a receptive field serving only one hemifield. Importantly, the two populations share the same local vascular control, resulting in a unique organization useful for quantifying the relationship between neural and fMRI BOLD responses without direct measurement of neural activity. Specifically, we can non-invasively double local neural responses by stimulating both neuronal populations with identical stimuli presented symmetrically across the vertical meridian to both visual hemifields, versus one population by stimulating in one hemifield. Measurements from a series of such doubling experiments show that the amplitude of BOLD response is proportional to approximately 0.5 power of the underlying neural response. Reanalyzing published data shows that this inferred relationship is general.
D A Barany; V Della-Maggiore; Shivakumar Viswanathan; M Cieslak; Scott T Grafton
In: Journal of Neuroscience, 34 (20), pp. 6860–6873, 2014.
Neurophysiology and neuroimaging evidence shows that the brain represents multiple environmental and body-related features to compute transformations from sensory input to motor output. However, it is unclear how these features interact during goal-directed movement. To investigate this issue, we examined the representations of sensory and motor features of human hand movements within the left-hemisphere motor network. In a rapid event-related fMRI design, we measured cortical activity as participants performed right-handed movements at the wrist, with either of two postures and two amplitudes, to move a cursor to targets at different locations. Using a multivoxel analysis technique with rigorous generalization tests, we reliably distinguished representations of task-related features (primarily target location, movement direction, and posture) in multiple regions. In particular, we identified an interaction between target location and movement direction in the superior parietal lobule, which may underlie a transformation from the location of the target in space to a movement vector. In addition, we found an influence of posture on primary motor, premotor, and parietal regions. Together, these results reveal the complex interactions between different sensory and motor features that drive the computation of sensorimotor transformations.
Valerie M Beck; Timothy J Vickery
In: Cortex, 122 , pp. 159–169, 2020.
Evidence from attentional and oculomotor capture, contingent capture, and other paradigms suggests that mechanisms supporting human visual working memory (VWM) and visual attention are intertwined. Features held in VWM bias guidance toward matching items even when those features are task irrelevant. However, the neural basis of this interaction is underspecified. Prior examinations using fMRI have primarily relied on coarse comparisons across experimental conditions that produce varying amounts of capture. To examine the neural dynamics of attentional capture on a trial-by-trial basis, we applied an oculomotor paradigm that produced discrete measures of capture. On each trial, subjects were shown a memory item, followed by a blank retention interval, then a saccade target that appeared to the left or right. On some trials, an irrelevant distractor appeared above or below fixation. Once the saccade target was fixated, subjects completed a forced-choice memory test. Critically, either the target or distractor could match the feature held in VWM. Although task irrelevant, this manipulation produced differences in behavior: participants were more likely to saccade first to an irrelevant VWM-matching distractor compared with a non-matching distractor – providing a discrete measure of capture. We replicated this finding while recording eye movements and scanning participants' brains using fMRI. To examine the neural basis of oculomotor capture, we separately modeled the retention interval for capture and non-capture trials within the distractor-match condition. We found that frontal activity, including anterior cingulate cortex and superior frontal gyrus regions, differentially predicted subsequent oculomotor capture by a memory-matching distractor. Other regions previously implicated as involved in attentional capture by VWM-matching items showed no differential activity across capture and non-capture trials, even at a liberal threshold. Our findings demonstrate the power of trial-by-trial analyses of oculomotor capture as a means to examine the underlying relationship between VWM and attentional guidance systems.
Sonya Bells; Jérémie Lefebvre; Giulia Longoni; Sridar Narayanan; Douglas L Arnold; Eleun Ann Yeh; Donald J Mabbott
White matter plasticity and maturation in human cognition Journal Article
In: Glia, 67 (11), pp. 2020–2037, 2019.
White matter plasticity likely plays a critical role in supporting cognitive development. However, few studies have used the imaging methods specific to white matter tissue structure or experimental designs sensitive to change in white matter necessary to elucidate these relations. Here we briefly review novel imaging approaches that provide more specific information regarding white matter microstructure. Furthermore, we highlight recent studies that provide greater clarity regarding the relations between changes in white matter and cognition maturation in both healthy children and adolescents and those with white matter insult. Finally, we examine the hypothesis that white matter is linked to cognitive function via its impact on neural synchro- nization. We test this hypothesis in a population of children and adolescents with recurrent demyelinating syndromes. Specifically, we evaluate group differences in white matter microstructure within the optic radiation; and neural phase synchrony in visual cortex during a visual task between 25 patients and 28 typically developing age-matched controls. Children and adolescents with demyelinating syndromes show evidence of myelin and axonal compromise and this compromise predicts reduced phase synchrony during a visual task compared to typically developing controls. We investigate one plausible mechanism at play in this relationship using a computational model of gamma generation in early visual cortical areas. Overall, our findings show a fundamental connection between white matter microstructure and neural synchronization that may be critical for cognitive processing. In the future, longitudinal or interventional studies can build upon our knowledge of these exciting relations between white matter, neural communication, and cognition.
Julia Bender; Kyeong Jin Tark; Benedikt Reuter; Norbert Kathmann; Clayton E Curtis
In: Brain and Cognition, 83 (1), pp. 1–9, 2013.
Although externally as well as internally-guided eye movements allow us to flexibly explore the visual environment, their differential neural mechanisms remain elusive. A better understanding of these neural mechanisms will help us to understand the control of action and to elucidate the nature of cognitive deficits in certain psychiatric populations (e.g. schizophrenia) that show increased latencies in volitional but not visually-guided saccades. Both the superior precentral sulcus (sPCS) and the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) are implicated in the control of eye movements. However, it remains unknown what differential contributions the two areas make to the programming of visually-guided and internally-guided saccades. In this study we tested the hypotheses that sPCS and IPS distinctly encode internally-guided saccades and visually-guided saccades. We scanned subjects with fMRI while they generated visually-guided and internally-guided delayed saccades. We used multi-voxel pattern analysis to test whether patterns of cue related, preparatory and saccade related activation could be used to predict the direction of the planned eye movement. Results indicate that patterns in the human sPCS predicted internally-guided saccades but not visually-guided saccades in all trial periods and patterns in the IPS predicted internally-guided saccades and visually-guided saccades equally well. The results support the hypothesis that the human sPCS and IPS make distinct contributions to the control of volitional eye movements.
Noah C Benson; Keith W Jamison; Michael J Arcaro; An T Vu; Matthew F Glasser; Timothy S Coalson; David C Van Essen; Essa Yacoub; Kamil Ugurbil; Jonathan Winawer; Kendrick N Kay
In: Journal of Vision, 18 (13), pp. 1–22, 2018.
About a quarter of human cerebral cortex is dedicated mainly to visual processing. The large-scale spatial organization of visual cortex can be measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while subjects view spatially modulated visual stimuli, also known as ‘‘retinotopic mapping.'' One of the datasets collected by the Human Connectome Project involved ultra high-field (7 Tesla) fMRI retinotopic mapping in 181 healthy young adults (1.6-mm resolution), yielding the largest freely available collection of retinotopy data. Here, we describe the experimental paradigm and the results of model-based analysis of the fMRI data. These results provide estimates of population receptive field position and size. Our analyses include both results from individual subjects as well as results obtained by averaging fMRI time series across subjects at each cortical and subcortical location and then fitting models. Both the group-average and individual-subject results reveal robust signals across much of the brain, including occipital, temporal, parietal, and frontal cortex as well as subcortical areas. The group-average results agree well with previously published parcellations of visual areas. In addition, split-half analyses show strong within-subject reliability, further demonstrating the high quality of the data. We make publicly available the analysis results for individual subjects and the group avera ge, as well as associated stimuli and analysis code. These resources provide an opportunity for studying fine-scale individual variability in cortical and subcortical organization and the properties of high-resolution fMRI. In addition, they provide a set of observations that can be compared with other Human Connectome Project measures acquired in these same participants.
Richard F Betzel; Lisa Byrge; Farnaz Zamani Esfahlani; Daniel P Kennedy
In: NeuroImage, 213 , pp. 1–14, 2020.
Brain networks are flexible and reconfigure over time to support ongoing cognitive processes. However, tracking statistically meaningful reconfigurations across time has proven difficult. This has to do largely with issues related to sampling variability, making instantaneous estimation of network organization difficult, along with increased reliance on task-free (cognitively unconstrained) experimental paradigms, limiting the ability to interpret the origin of changes in network structure over time. Here, we address these challenges using time-varying network analysis in conjunction with a naturalistic viewing paradigm. Specifically, we developed a measure of inter-subject network similarity and used this measure as a coincidence filter to identify synchronous fluctuations in network organization across individuals. Applied to movie-watching data, we found that periods of high inter-subject similarity coincided with reductions in network modularity and increased connectivity between cognitive systems. In contrast, low inter-subject similarity was associated with increased system segregation and more rest-like architectures. We then used a data-driven approach to uncover clusters of functional connections that follow similar trajectories over time and are more strongly correlated during movie-watching than at rest. Finally, we show that synchronous fluctuations in network architecture over time can be linked to a subset of features in the movie. Our findings link dynamic fluctuations in network integration and segregation to patterns of inter-subject similarity, and suggest that moment-to-moment fluctuations in functional connectivity reflect shared cognitive processing across individuals.
Rasmus M Birn; Alexander K Converse; Abigail Z Rajala; Andrew L Alexander; Walter F Block; Alan B McMillan; Bradley T Christian; Caitlynn N Filla; Dhanabalan Murali; Samuel A HWIBBLEey; Rick L Jenison; Luis C Populin
In: Journal of Neuroscience, 39 (8), pp. 1436–1444, 2019.
Dopamine (DA) levels in the striatum are increased by many therapeutic drugs, such as methylphenidate (MPH), which also alters behavioral and cognitive functions thought to be controlled by the PFC dose-dependently. We linked DA changes and functional connectivity (FC) using simultaneous [18F]fallypride PET and resting-state fMRI in awake male rhesus monkeys after oral administration of various doses of MPH. We found a negative correlation between [18F]fallypride nondisplaceable binding potential (BPND) and MPH dose in the head of the caudate (hCd), demonstrating increased extracellular DA resulting from MPH administration. The decreased BPND was negatively correlated with FC between the hCd and the PFC. Subsequent voxelwise analyses revealed negative correlations with FC between the hCd and the dorsolateral PFC, hippocampus, and precuneus. These results, showing that MPH-induced changes in DA levels in the hCd predict resting-state FC, shed light on a mechanism by which changes in striatal DA could influence function in the PFC.
Daniel K Bjornn; Bonnie Brinton Anderson; Anthony Vance; Jeffrey L Jenkins; Brock C Kirwan
In: MIS Quarterly, 42 (2), pp. 355–380, 2018.
Research in the fields of information systems and human-computer interaction has shown that habituation— decreased response to repeated stimulation—is a serious threat to the effectiveness of security warnings. Although habituation is a neurobiological phenomenon that develops over time, past studies have only examined this problem cross-sectionally. Further, past studies have not examined how habituation influences actual security warning adherence in the field. For these reasons, the full extent of the problem of habituation is unknown. We address these gaps by conducting two complementary longitudinal experiments. First, we performed an experiment collecting fMRI and eye-tracking data simultaneously to directly measure habituation to security warnings as it develops in the brain over a five-day workweek. Our results show not only a general decline of participants' attention to warnings over time but also that attention recovers at least partially between workdays without exposure to the warnings. Further, we found that updating the appearance of a warning— that is, a polymorphic design—substantially reduced habituation of attention. Second, we performed a three-week field experiment in which users were naturally exposed to privacy permis-sion warnings as they installed apps on their mobile devices. Consistent with our fMRI results, users' warning adherence substantially decreased over the three weeks. However, for users who received polymorphic permis-sion warnings, adherence dropped at a substantially lower rate and remained high after three weeks, compared to users who received standard warnings. Together, these findings provide the most complete view yet of the problem of habituation to security warnings and demonstrate that polymorphic warnings can substantially improve adherence.
Johannes Bloechle; Stefan Huber; Elise Klein; Julia Bahnmueller; Korbinian Moeller; Johannes Rennig
In: NeuroImage, 181 , pp. 359–369, 2018.
Recent neuroimaging studies identified posterior regions in the temporal and parietal lobes as neuro-functional correlates of subitizing and global Gestalt perception. Beyond notable overlap on a neuronal level both mechanisms are remarkably similar on a behavioral level representing both a specific form of visual top-down processing where single elements are integrated into a superordinate entity. In the present study, we investigated whether subitizing draws on principles of global Gestalt perception enabling rapid top-down processes of visual quantification. We designed two functional neuroimaging experiments: a task identifying voxels responding to global Gestalt stimuli in posterior temporo-parietal brain regions and a visual quantification task on dot patterns with magnitudes within and outside the subitizing range. We hypothesized that voxels activated in global Gestalt perception should respond stronger to dot patterns within than those outside the subitizing range. The results confirmed this prediction for left-hemispheric posterior temporo-parietal brain areas. Additionally, we trained a classifier with response patterns from global Gestalt perception to predict neural responses of visual quantification. With this approach we were able to classify from TPJ Gestalt ROIs of both hemispheres whether a trial requiring subitizing was processed. The present study demonstrates that mechanisms of subitizing seem to build on processes of high-level visual perception.
Johannes Bloechle; Stefan Huber; Elise Klein; Julia Bahnmueller; Johannes Rennig; Korbinian Moeller; Julia F Huber
In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12 , pp. 1–20, 2018.
Performance in visual quantification tasks shows two characteristic patterns as a function of set size. A precise subitizing process for small sets (up to four) was contrasted with an approximate estimation process for larger sets. The spatial arrangement of elements in a set also influences visual quantification performance, with frequently perceived arrangements (e.g., dice patterns) being faster enumerated than random arrangements. Neuropsychological and imaging studies identified the intraparietal sulcus (IPS), as key brain area for quantification, both within and above the subitizing range. However, it is not yet clear if and how set size and spatial arrangement of elements in a set modulate IPS activity during quantification. In an fMRI study, participants enumerated briefly presented dot patterns with random, canonical or dice arrangement within and above the subitizing range. We evaluated how activity amplitude and pattern in the IPS were influenced by size and spatial arrangement of a set. We found a discontinuity in the amplitude of IPS response between subitizing and estimation range, with steep activity increase for sets exceeding four elements. In the estimation range, random dot arrangements elicited stronger IPS response than canonical arrangements which in turn elicited stronger response than dice arrangements. Furthermore, IPS activity patterns differed systematically between arrangements. We found a signature in the IPS response for a transition between subitizing and estimation processes during quantification. Differences in amplitude and pattern of IPS activity for different spatial arrangements indicated a more precise representation of non-symbolic numerical magnitude for dice and canonical than for random arrangements. These findings challenge the idea of an abstract coding of numerosity in the IPS even within a single notation.
Ilona M Bloem; Sam Ling
In: Nature Communications, 10 , pp. 5660, 2019.
Although attention is known to increase the gain of visuocortical responses, its underlying neural computations remain unclear. Here, we use fMRI to test the hypothesis that a neural population's ability to be modulated by attention is dependent on divisive normalization. To do so, we leverage the feature-tuned properties of normalization and find that visuocortical responses to stimuli sharing features normalize each other more strongly. Comparing these normalization measures to measures of attentional modulation, we demonstrate that subpopulations which exhibit stronger normalization also exhibit larger attentional benefits. In a converging experiment, we reveal that attentional benefits are greatest when a subpopulation is forced into a state of stronger normalization. Taken together, these results suggest that the degree to which a subpopulation exhibits normalization plays a role in dictating its potential for attentional benefits.
Michael B Bone; Marie St-Laurent; Christa Dang; Douglas A McQuiggan; Jennifer D Ryan; Bradley R Buchsbaum; Jennifer D Ryan; Christa Dang; Michael B Bone; Marie St-Laurent
In: Cerebral Cortex, 29 (3), pp. 1075–1089, 2018.
Half a century ago, Donald Hebb posited that mental imagery is a constructive process that emulates perception. Specifically, Hebb claimed that visual imagery results from the reactivation of neural activity associated with viewing images. He also argued that neural reactivation and imagery benefit from the re-enactment of eye movement patterns that first occurred at viewing (fixation reinstatement). To investigate these claims, we applied multivariate pattern analyses to functional MRI (fMRI) and eye-tracking data collected while healthy human participants repeatedly viewed and visualized complex images. We observed that the specificity of neural reactivation correlated positively with vivid imagery and with memory for stimulus image details. Moreover, neural reactivation correlated positively with fixation reinstatement, meaning that image-specific eye movements accompanied image-specific patterns of brain activity during visualization. These findings support the conception of mental imagery as a simulation of perception, and provide evidence of the supportive role of eye-movement in neural reactivation.
Anna K Bonkhoff; Eckart Zimmermann; Gereon R Fink
In: NeuroImage, 156 , pp. 377–387, 2017.
How the brain represents visual space is an unsolved mystery. Spatial localization becomes particularly challenging when visual information processing is briefly disrupted, as in the case of saccadic eye movements, blinks, or visual masks. As we have recently reported, a compression of visual space, illustrated by displacements of shortly flashed stimuli, can be observed in the temporal vicinity of masking stimuli during ocular fixation (Zimmermann et al., 2013). We here aimed at investigating the neural mechanisms underlying these displacements using functional magnetic resonance imaging. On the behavioral level, we detected significant stimulus displacement when visual masks were simultaneously presented. At the neural level, we observed decreased human motion complex V5/MT+ activation associated with these displacements: When comparing trials with a perceived stimulus shift in space to trials of veridical perception of stimulus localization, human V5/MT+ was significantly less activated although no differences in perceived motion can account for this. Data suggest an important role of human V5/MT+ in the process of spatial localization of briefly presented objects and thus extend current concepts of the functions of human V5/MT+.
Rotem Botvinik-Nezer; Roni Iwanir; Felix Holzmeister; Jürgen Huber; Magnus Johannesson; Michael Kirchler; Anna Dreber; Colin F Camerer; Russell A Poldrack; Tom Schonberg
In: Scientific Data, 6 , pp. 1–9, 2019.
There is an ongoing debate about the replicability of neuroimaging research. It was suggested that one of the main reasons for the high rate of false positive results is the many degrees of freedom researchers have during data analysis. In the Neuroimaging Analysis Replication and Prediction Study (NARPS), we aim to provide the first scientific evidence on the variability of results across analysis teams in neuroscience. We collected fMRI data from 108 participants during two versions of the mixed gambles task, which is often used to study decision-making under risk. For each participant, the dataset includes an anatomical (T1 weighted) scan and fMRI as well as behavioral data from four runs of the task. The dataset is shared through OpenNeuro and is formatted according to the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS) standard. Data pre-processed with fMRIprep and quality control reports are also publicly shared. This dataset can be used to study decision-making under risk and to test replicability and interpretability of previous results in the field.
Rodrigo M Braga; Randy L Buckner
In: Neuron, 95 (2), pp. 457–471, 2017.
Certain organizational features of brain networks present in the individual are lost when central tendencies are examined in the group. Here we investigated the detailed network organization of four individuals each scanned 24 times using MRI. We discovered that the distributed network known as the default network is comprised of two separate networks possessing adjacent regions in eight or more cortical zones. A distinction between the networks is that one is coupled to the hippocampal formation while the other is not. Further exploration revealed that these two networks were juxtaposed with additional networks that themselves fractionate group-defined networks. The collective networks display a repeating spatial progression in multiple cortical zones, suggesting that they are embedded within a broad macroscale gradient. Regions contributing to the newly defined networks are spatially variable across individuals and adjacent to distinct networks, raising issues for network estimation in group-averaged data and applied endeavors, including targeted neuromodulation.
Rodrigo M Braga; Koene R A Van Dijk; Jonathan R Polimeni; Mark C Eldaief; Randy L Buckner
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, 121 (4), pp. 1513–1534, 2019.
Examination of large-scale distributed networks within the individual reveals details of cortical network organization that are absent in group-averaged studies. One recent discovery is that a distributed transmodal network, often referred to as the “default network,” comprises two closely interdigitated networks, only one of which is coupled to posterior parahippocampal cortex. Not all studies of individuals have identified the same networks, and questions remain about the degree to which the two networks are separate, particularly within regions hypothesized to be interconnected hubs. In this study we replicate the observation of network separation across analytical (seed-based connectivity and parcellation) and data projection (volume and surface) methods in two individuals each scanned 31 times. Additionally, three individuals were examined with highresolution (7T; 1.35 mm) functional magnetic resonance imaging to gain further insight into the anatomical details. The two networks were identified with separate regions localized to adjacent portions of the cortical ribbon, sometimes inside the same sulcus. Midline regions previously implicated as hubs revealed near complete spatial separation of the two networks, displaying a complex spatial topography in the posterior cingulate and precuneus. The network coupled to parahippocampal cortex also revealed a separate region directly within the hippocampus, at or near the subiculum. These collective results support that the default network is composed of at least two spatially juxtaposed networks. Fine spatial details and juxtapositions of the two networks can be identified within individuals at high resolution, providing insight into the network organization of association cortex and placing further constraints on interpretation of group-averaged neuroimaging data.
Rodrigo M Braga; Lauren M DiNicola; Hannah C Becker; Randy L Buckner
In: Journal of neurophysiology, 124 (5), pp. 1415–1448, 2020.
Using procedures optimized to explore network organization within the individual, the topography of a candidate language network was characterized and situated within the broader context of adjacent networks. The candidate network was first identified using functional connectivity and replicated across individuals, acquisition tasks, and analytical methods. In addition to classical language regions near the perisylvian cortex and temporal pole, regions were also observed in dorsal posterior cingulate, midcingulate, and anterior superior frontal and inferior temporal cortex. The candidate network was selectively activated when processing meaningful (as contrasted with nonword) sentences, whereas spatially adjacent networks showed minimal or even decreased activity. Results were replicated and triplicated across two prospectively acquired cohorts. Examined in relation to adjacent networks, the topography of the language network was found to parallel the motif of other association networks, including the transmodal association networks linked to theory of mind and episodic remembering (often collectively called the default network). The several networks contained juxtaposed regions in multiple association zones. Outside of these juxtaposed higher-order networks, we further noted a distinct frontotemporal network situated between language regions and a frontal orofacial motor region and a temporal auditory region. A possibility is that these functionally related sensorimotor regions might anchor specialization of neighboring association regions that develop into a language network. What is most striking is that the canonical language network appears to be just one of multiple similarly organized, differentially specialized distributed networks that populate the evolutionarily expanded zones of human association cortex.
Johannes Brand; Marco Piccirelli; Marie Claude Hepp-Reymond; Kynan Eng; Lars Michels
Brain activation during visually guided finger movements Journal Article
In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14 , pp. 1–12, 2020.
Computer interaction via visually guided hand movements often employs either abstract cursor-based feedback or virtual hand (VH) representations of varying degrees of realism. The effect of changing this visual feedback in virtual reality settings is currently unknown. In this study, 19 healthy right-handed adults performed index finger movements (“action”) and observed movements (“observation”) with four different types of visual feedback: a simple circular cursor (CU), a point light (PL) pattern indicating finger joint positions, a shadow cartoon hand (SH) and a realistic VH. Finger movements were recorded using a data glove, and eye-tracking was recorded optically. We measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Both action and observation conditions showed stronger fMRI signal responses in the occipitotemporal cortex compared to baseline. The action conditions additionally elicited elevated bilateral activations in motor, somatosensory, parietal, and cerebellar regions. For both conditions, feedback of a hand with a moving finger (SH, VH) led to higher activations than CU or PL feedback, specifically in early visual regions and the occipitotemporal cortex. Our results show the stronger recruitment of a network of cortical regions during visually guided finger movements with human hand feedback when compared to a visually incomplete hand and abstract feedback. This information could have implications for the design of visually guided tasks involving human body parts in both research and application or training-related paradigms.
Jan Brascamp; Randolph Blake; Tomas Knapen
In: Nature Neuroscience, 18 (11), pp. 1672–1678, 2015.
The human brain's executive systems have a vital role in deciding and selecting among actions. Selection among alternatives also occurs in the perceptual domain; for instance, when perception switches between interpretations during perceptual bistability. Whether executive systems also underlie this functionality remains debated, with known fronto-parietal concomitants of perceptual switches being variously interpreted as reflecting the switches' cause or as reflecting their consequences. We developed a procedure in which the two eyes receive different inputs and perception demonstrably switches between these inputs, yet the switches themselves are so inconspicuous as to become unreportable, minimizing their executive consequences. Fronto-parietal fMRI BOLD responses that accompanied perceptual switches were similarly minimized in this procedure, indicating that these reflect the switches' consequences rather than their cause. We conclude that perceptual switches do not always rely on executive brain areas and that processes responsible for selection among alternatives may operate outside the brain's executive systems.
D J Bridge; Joel L Voss
In: Journal of Neuroscience, 34 (6), pp. 2203–2213, 2014.
Memory stability and change are considered opposite outcomes. We tested the counterintuitive notion that both depend on one process: hippocampal binding of memory features to associatively novel information, or associative novelty binding (ANB). Building on the idea that dominant memory features, or “traces,” are most susceptible to modification, we hypothesized that ANB would selectively involve dominant traces. Therefore, memory stability versus change should depend on whether the currently dominant trace is old versus updated; in either case, novel information will be bound with it, causing either maintenance (when old) or change (when updated). People in our experiment studied objects at locations within scenes (contexts). During reactivation in a new context, subjects moved studied objects to new locations either via active location recall or by passively dragging objects to predetermined locations. After active reactivation, the new object location became dominant in memory, whereas after passive reactivation, the old object location maintained dominance. In both cases, hippocampal ANB bound the currently dominant object-location memory with a context with which it was not paired previously (i.e., associatively novel). Stability occurred in the passive condition when ANB united the dominant original location trace with an associatively novel newer context. Change occurred in the active condition when ANB united the dominant updated object location with an associatively novel and older context. Hippocampal ANB of the currently dominant trace with associatively novel contextual information thus provides a single mechanism to support memory stability and change, with shifts in trace dominance during reactivation dictating the outcome.
Donna J Bridge; Neal J Cohen; Joel L Voss
In: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 29 (8), pp. 1324–1338, 2017.
Memory can profoundly influence new learning, presumably because memory optimizes exploration of to-be-learned material. Although hippocampus and frontoparietal networks have been implicated in memory-guided exploration, their specific and interactive roles have not been identified. We examined eye movements during fMRI scanning to identify neural correlates of the influences of memory retrieval on exploration and learning. After retrieval of one object in a multiobject array, viewing was strategically directed away from the retrieved object toward nonretrieved objects, such that exploration was directed toward to-be-learned content. Retrieved objects later served as optimal reminder cues, indicating that exploration caused memory to become structured around the retrieved content. Hippocampal activity was associated with memory retrieval, whereas frontoparietal activity varied with strategic viewing patterns deployed after retrieval, thus providing spatiotemporal dissociation of memory retrieval from memory-guided learning strategies. Time-lagged fMRI connectivity analyses indicated that hippocampal activity predicted frontoparietal activity to a greater extent for a condition in which retrieval guided exploration occurred than for a passive control condition in which exploration was not influenced by retrieval. This demonstrates network-level interaction effects specific to influences of memory on strategic exploration. These findings show how memory guides behavior during learning and demonstrate distinct yet interactive hippocampal-frontoparietal roles in implementing strategic exploration behaviors that determine the fate of evolving memory representations.
Ruud L van den Brink; Thomas Pfeffer; Christopher M Warren; Peter R Murphy; Klodiana-Daphne Tona; Nic J van der Wee; Eric J Giltay; Martijn S van Noorden; Serge A R B Rombouts; Tobias H Donner; Sander Nieuwenhuis
In: Journal of Neuroscience, 36 (30), pp. 7865–7876, 2016.
The brain commonly exhibits spontaneous (i.e., in the absence of a task) fluctuations in neural activity that are correlated across brain regions. It has been established that the spatial structure, or topography, of these intrinsic correlations is in part determined by the fixed anatomical connectivity between regions. However, it remains unclear which factors dynamically sculpt this topography as a function of brain state. Potential candidate factors are subcortical catecholaminergic neuromodulatory systems, such as the locus ceruleus-norepinephrine system, which send diffuse projections to most parts of the forebrain. Here, we systematically characterized the effects of endogenous central neuromodulation on correlated fluctuations during rest in the human brain. Using a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design, we pharmacologically increased synaptic catecholamine levels by administering atomoxetine, an NE transporter blocker, and examined the effects on the strength and spatial structure of resting-state MRI functional connectivity. First, atomoxetine reduced the strength of inter-regional correlations across three levels of spatial organization, indicating that catecholamines reduce the strength of functional interactions during rest. Second, this modulatory effectonintrinsic correlations exhibited a substantial degree of spatial specificity: the decrease in functional connectivity showed an anterior–posterior gradient in the cortex, depended on the strength of baseline functional connectivity, and was strongest for connections between regions belonging to distinct resting-state networks. Thus, catecholamines reduce intrinsic correlations in a spatially heterogeneous fashion. We conclude that neuromodulation is an important factor shaping the topography of intrinsic functional connectivity.
James A Brissenden; Emily J Levin; David E Osher; Mark A Halko; David C Somers
In: Journal of Neuroscience, 36 (22), pp. 6083–6096, 2016.
The "dorsal attention network" or "frontoparietal network" refers to a network of cortical regions that support sustained attention and working memory. Recent work has demonstrated that cortical nodes of the dorsal attention network possess intrinsic functional connections with a region in ventral cerebellum, in the vicinity of lobules VII/VIII. Here, we performed a series of task-based and resting-state fMRI experiments to investigate cerebellar participation in the dorsal attention network in humans. We observed that visual working memory and visual attention tasks robustly recruit cerebellar lobules VIIb and VIIIa, in addition to canonical cortical dorsal attention network regions. Across the cerebellum, resting-state functional connectivity with the cortical dorsal attention network strongly predicted the level of activation produced by attention and working memory tasks. Critically, cerebellar voxels that were most strongly connected with the dorsal attention network selectively exhibited load-dependent activity, a hallmark of the neural structures that support visual working memory. Finally, we examined intrinsic functional connectivity between task-responsive portions of cerebellar lobules VIIb/VIIIa and cortex. Cerebellum-to-cortex functional connectivity strongly predicted the pattern of cortical activation during task performance. Moreover, resting-state connectivity patterns revealed that cerebellar lobules VIIb/VIIIa group with cortical nodes of the dorsal attention network. This evidence leads us to conclude that the conceptualization of the dorsal attention network should be expanded to include cerebellar lobules VIIb/VIIIa.
James A Brissenden; Sean M Tobyne; David E Osher; Emily J Levin; Mark A Halko; David C Somers
In: Current Biology, 28 , pp. 3364–3372, 2018.
Substantial portions of the cerebellum appear to support non-motor functions; however, previous investigations of cerebellar involvement in cognition have revealed only a coarse degree of specificity. Although somatotopic maps have been observed within cerebellum, similar precision within corticocerebellar networks supporting non-motor functions has not previously been reported. Here, we find that human cerebellar lobule VIIb/VIIIa differentially codes key aspects of visuospatial cognition. Ipsilateral visuospatial representations were observed during both a visual working memory and an attentionally demanding visual receptive field-mapping fMRI task paradigm. Moreover, within lobule VIIb/VIIIa, we observed a functional dissociation between spatial coding and visual working memory processing. Visuospatial representations were found in the dorsomedial portion of lobule VIIb/VIIIa, and load dependent visual working memory processing was shifted ventrolaterally. A similar functional gradient for spatial versus load processing was found in posterior parietal cortex. This cerebral cortical organization was well predicted by functional connectivity with spatial and load regions of cerebellar lobule VIIb/VIIIa. Collectively, our findings indicate that recruitment by visuospatial attentional functions within cerebellar lobule VIIb/VIIIa is highly specific. Furthermore, the topographic arrangement of these functions is mirrored in frontal and parietal cortex. These findings motivate a closer examination of cortico-cerebellar functional specialization across a broad range of cognitive domains.
Rotem Broday-Dvir; Shany Grossman; Edna Furman-Haran; Rafael Malach
In: NeuroImage, 171 , pp. 84–98, 2018.
In the absence of a task, the human brain enters a mode of slow spontaneous fluctuations. A fundamental, unresolved question is whether these fluctuations are ongoing and thus persist during task engagement, or alternatively, are quenched and replaced by task-related activations. Here, we examined this issue in the human visual cortex, using fMRI. Participants were asked to either perform a recognition task of randomly appearing face and non-face targets (attended condition) or watch them passively (unattended condition). Importantly, in approximately half of the trials, all sensory stimuli were absent. Our results show that even in the absence of stimuli, spontaneous fluctuations were suppressed by attention. The effect occurred in early visual cortex as well as in fronto-parietal attention network regions. During unattended trials, the activity fluctuations were negatively linked to pupil diameter, arguing against attentional fluctuations as underlying the effect. The results demonstrate that spontaneous fluctuations do not remain unchanged with task performance, but are rather modulated according to behavioral and cognitive demands.
Rotem Broday-Dvir; Rafael Malach
In: Cerebral Cortex, 31 (1), pp. 213–232, 2021.
Resting-state fluctuations are ubiquitous and widely studied phenomena of the human brain, yet we are largely in the dark regarding their function in human cognition. Here we examined the hypothesis that resting-state fluctuations underlie the generation of free and creative human behaviors. In our experiment, participants were asked to perform three voluntary verbal tasks: a verbal fluency task, a verbal creativity task, and a divergent thinking task, during functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD)-activity during these tasks was contrasted with a control- deterministic verbal task, in which the behavior was fully determined by external stimuli. Our results reveal that all voluntary verbal-generation responses displayed a gradual anticipatory buildup that preceded the deterministic control-related responses. Critically, the time-frequency dynamics of these anticipatory buildups were significantly correlated with resting-state fluctuations' dynamics. These correlations were not a general BOLD-related or verbal-response related result, as they were not found during the externally determined verbal control condition. Furthermore, they were located in brain regions known to be involved in language production, specifically the left inferior frontal gyrus. These results suggest a common function of resting-state fluctuations as the neural mechanism underlying the generation of free and creative behaviors in the human cortex.
Anouk J de Brouwer; Jeroen B J Smeets; Tjerk P Gutteling; I Toni; Pieter W Medendorp
In: Neuropsychologia, 77 , pp. 119–127, 2015.
To guide our actions, the brain has developed mechanisms to code target locations in egocentric coordinates (i.e., with respect to the observer), and to update these when the observer moves. The latter mechanism, called visuomotor updating, is implemented in the dorsal visual stream of the brain. In contrast, the ventral visual stream is assumed to transform target locations into an allocentric reference frame that is highly sensitive to visual contextual illusions. Here, we tested the effect of the Müller-Lyer illusion on visuomotor updating in a double-step saccade task. Using the same paradigm in a 3T fMRI scanner, we investigated the effect of the illusion on the neural correlate of the updating process. Participants briefly viewed the Brentano version of the Müller-Lyer illusion with a target at its middle vertex, while fixating at one of the two endpoints of the illusion. Shortly after the disappearance of the stimulus, the eyes' fixation point moved to a position outside the illusion. After a delay, participants made a saccade to the remembered position of the target. The landing position of this saccade was systematically displaced in a manner congruent with the perceptual illusion, showing that visuomotor updating is affected by the illusion. fMRI results showed that the BOLD response in the occipito-parietal cortex (area V7) and the intraparietal sulcus related to planning of the saccade to the updated target was also modulated by the configuration of the illusion. This suggests that the dorsal visual stream represents perceived rather than physical locations of remembered saccade targets.
Harriet R Brown; Karl J Friston
The functional anatomy of attention: A DCM study Journal Article
In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7 (December), 2013.
Recent formulations of attention—in terms of predictive coding—associate attentional gain with the expected precision of sensory information. Formal models of the Posner paradigm suggest that validity effects can be explained in a principled (Bayes optimal) fashion in terms of a cue-dependent setting of precision or gain on the sensory channels reporting anticipated target locations, which is updated selectively by invalid targets. This normative model is equipped with a biologically plausible process theory in the form of predictive coding, where precision is encoded by the gain of superficial pyramidal cells reporting prediction error. We used dynamic causal modeling to assess the evidence in magnetoencephalographic responses for cue-dependent and top-down updating of superficial pyramidal cell gain. Bayesian model comparison suggested that it is almost certain that differences in superficial pyramidal cells gain—and its top-down modulation—contribute to observed responses; and we could be more than 80% certain that anticipatory effects on post-synaptic gain are limited to visual (extrastriate) sources. These empirical results speak to the role of attention in optimizing perceptual inference and its formulation in terms of predictive coding.
Batel Buaron; Daniel Reznik; Roee Gilron; Roy Mukamel
In: Cerebral Cortex, 30 (12), pp. 6097–6107, 2020.
Evoked neural activity in sensory regions and perception of sensory stimuli are modulated when the stimuli are the consequence of voluntary movement, as opposed to an external source. It has been suggested that such modulations are due to motor commands that are sent to relevant sensory regions during voluntary movement. However, given the anatomical-functional laterality bias of the motor system, it is plausible that the pattern of such behavioral and neural modulations will also exhibit a similar bias, depending on the effector triggering the stimulus (e.g., right/left hand). Here, we examined this issue in the visual domain using behavioral and neural measures (fMRI). Healthy participants judged the relative brightness of identical visual stimuli that were either self-triggered (using right/left hand button presses), or triggered by the computer. Stimuli were presented either in the right or left visual field. Despite identical physical properties of the visual consequences, we found stronger perceptual modulations when the triggering hand was ipsi- (rather than contra-) lateral to the stimulated visual field. Additionally, fMRI responses in visual cortices differentiated between stimuli triggered by right/left hand. Our findings support a model in which voluntary actions induce sensory modulations that follow the anatomical-functional bias of the motor system.
Korhan Buyukturkoglu; Hans Roettgers; Jens Sommer; Mohit Rana; Leonie Dietzsch; Ezgi Belkis Arikan; Ralf Veit; Rahim Malekshahi; Tilo Kircher; Niels Birbaumer; Ranganatha Sitaram; Sergio Ruiz
In: PLoS ONE, 10 (8), pp. e0135872, 2015.
Introduction: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common and chronic condition that can have disabling effects throughout the patient's lifespan. Frequent symptoms among OCD patients include fear of contamination and washing compulsions. Several studies have shown a link between contamination fears, disgust over-reactivity, and insula activation in OCD. In concordance with the role of insula in disgust processing, new neural models based on neuroimaging studies suggest that abnormally high activations of insula could be implicated in OCD psychopathology, at least in the subgroup of patients with contamination fears and washing compulsions. Methods: In the current study, we used a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) based on real-time func- tional magnetic resonance imaging (rtfMRI) to aid OCD patients to achieve down-regula- tion of the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signal in anterior insula. Our first aim was to investigate whether patients with contamination obsessions and washing com- pulsions can learn to volitionally decrease (down-regulate) activity in the insula in the pres- ence of disgust/anxiety provoking stimuli. Our second aimwas to evaluate the effect of down-regulation on clinical, behavioural and physiological changes pertaining to OCD symptoms. Hence, several pre- and post-training measures were performed, i.e., con- fronting the patient with a disgust/anxiety inducing real-world object (Ecological Disgust Test), and subjective rating and physiological responses (heart rate, skin conductance level) of disgust towards provoking pictures. Results: Results of this pilot study, performed in 3 patients (2 females), show that OCD patients can gain self-control of the BOLD activity of insula, albeit to different degrees. In two patients positive changes in behaviour in the EDT were observed following the rtfMRI trainings. Behavioural changes were also confirmed by reductions in the negative valence and in the subjective perception of disgust towards symptom provoking images. Conclusion: Although preliminary, results of this study confirmed that insula down-regulation is possible in patients suffering from OCD, and that volitional decreases of insula activation could be used for symptom alleviation in this disorder.
Laura Cacciamani; Erica Wager; Mary A Peterson; Paige E Scalf
In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 9 , pp. 1–15, 2017.
The perirhinal cortex (PRC) is a medial temporal lobe (MTL) structure known to be involved in assessing whether an object is familiar (i.e., meaningful) or novel. Recent evidence shows that the PRC is sensitive to the familiarity of both whole object configurations and their parts, and suggests the PRC may modulate part familiarity responses in V2. Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated age-related decline in the PRC's sensitivity to part/configuration familiarity and assessed its functional connectivity to visual cortex in young and older adults. Participants categorized peripherally presented silhouettes as familiar ("real-world") or novel. Part/configuration familiarity was manipulated via three silhouette configurations: Familiar (parts/configurations familiar), Control Novel (parts/configurations novel), and Part-Rearranged Novel (parts familiar, configurations novel). "Real-world" judgments were less accurate than "novel" judgments, although accuracy did not differ between age groups. The fMRI data revealed differential neural activity, however: In young adults, a linear pattern of activation was observed in left hemisphere (LH) PRC, with Familiar textgreater Control Novel textgreater Part-Rearranged Novel. Older adults did not show this pattern, indicating age-related decline in the PRC's sensitivity to part/configuration familiarity. A functional connectivity analysis revealed a significant coupling between the PRC and V2 in the LH in young adults only. Older adults showed a linear pattern of activation in the temporopolar cortex (TPC), but no evidence of TPC-V2 connectivity. This is the first study to demonstrate age-related decline in the PRC's representations of part/configuration familiarity and its covariance with visual cortex.
Florence Campana; Ignacio Rebollo; Anne E Urai; Valentin Wyart; Catherine Tallon-Baudry
In: Journal of Neuroscience, 36 (19), pp. 5200–5213, 2016.
The reverse hierarchy theory (Hochstein and Ahissar, 2002) makes strong, but so far untested, predictions on conscious vision. In this theory, local details encoded in lower-order visual areas are unconsciously processed before being automatically and rapidly combined into global information in higher-order visual areas, where conscious percepts emerge. Contingent on current goals, local details can afterward be consciously retrieved. This model therefore predicts that (1) global information is perceived faster than local details, (2) global information is computed regardless of task demands during early visual processing, and (3) spontaneous vision is dominated by global percepts. We designed novel textured stimuli that are, as opposed to the classic Navon's letters, truly hierarchical (i.e., where global information is solely defined by local information but where local and global orientations can still be manipulated separately). In line with the predictions, observers were systematically faster reporting global than local properties of those stimuli. Second, global information could be decoded from magneto-encephalographic data during early visual processing regardless of task demands. Last, spontaneous subjective reports were dominated by global information and the frequency and speed of spontaneous global perception correlated with the accuracy and speed in the global task. No such correlation was observed for local information. We therefore show that information at different levels of the visual hierarchy is not equally likely to become conscious; rather, conscious percepts emerge preferentially at a global level. We further show that spontaneous reports can be reliable and are tightly linked to objective performance at the global level.
Almudena Capilla; Pascal Belin; Joachim Gross
In: Cerebral Cortex, 23 (6), pp. 1388–1395, 2013.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have repeatedly provided evidence for temporal voice areas (TVAs) with particular sensitivity to human voices along bilateral mid/anterior superior temporal sulci and superior temporal gyri (STS/STG). In contrast, electrophysiological studies of the spatio-temporal correlates of cerebral voice processing have yielded contradictory results, finding the earliest correlates either at ∼300-400 ms, or earlier at ∼200 ms ("fronto-temporal positivity to voice", FTPV). These contradictory results are likely the consequence of different stimulus sets and attentional demands. Here, we recorded magnetoencephalography activity while participants listened to diverse types of vocal and non-vocal sounds and performed different tasks varying in attentional demands. Our results confirm the existence of an early voice-preferential magnetic response (FTPVm, the magnetic counterpart of the FTPV) peaking at about 220 ms and distinguishing between vocal and non-vocal sounds as early as 150 ms after stimulus onset. The sources underlying the FTPVm were localized along bilateral mid-STS/STG, largely overlapping with the TVAs. The FTPVm was consistently observed across different stimulus subcategories, including speech and non-speech vocal sounds, and across different tasks. These results demonstrate the early, largely automatic recruitment of focal, voice-selective cerebral mechanisms with a time-course comparable to that of face processing.
Daniel Carey; Francesco Caprini; Micah Allen; Antoine Lutti; Nikolaus Weiskopf; Geraint Rees; Martina F Callaghan; Frederic Dick
In: NeuroImage, 182 , pp. 429–440, 2018.
Measuring the structural composition of the cortex is critical to understanding typical development, yet few investigations in humans have charted markers in vivo that are sensitive to tissue microstructural attributes. Here, we used a well-validated quantitative MR protocol to measure four parameters (R1, MT, R2* PD*) that differ in their sensitivity to facets of the tissue microstructural environment (R1, MT: myelin, macromolecular content; R2*: myelin, paramagnetic ions, i.e., iron; PD*: free water content). Mapping these parameters across cortical regions in a young adult cohort (18–39 years
Benjamin T Carter; Brent Foster; Nathan M Muncy; Steven G Luke
In: NeuroImage, 189 , pp. 224–240, 2019.
The ability to make predictions is thought to facilitate language processing. During language comprehension such predictions appear to occur at multiple levels of linguistic representations (i.e. semantic, syntactic and lexical). The neural mechanisms that define the network sensitive to linguistic predictability have yet to be adequately defined. The purpose of the present study was to explore the neural network underlying predictability during the normal reading of connected text. Predictability values for different linguistic information were obtained from a pre-existing text corpus. Forty-one subjects underwent simultaneous eye-tracking and fMRI scans while reading these select paragraphs. Lexical, semantic, and syntactic predictability measures were then correlated with functional activation associated with fixation onset on the individual words. Activation patterns showed both positive and negative correlations to lexical, semantic, and syntactic predictabilities. Conjunction analysis revealed regions specific to or shared between each type of predictability. The regions associated with the different predictability measures were largely separate. Results suggest that most linguistic predictions are graded in nature, activating components of the existing language system. A number of regions were also found to be uniquely associated with full lexical predictability, most notably the anterior temporal lobe and the inferior posterior temporal cortex.
Benjamin T Carter; Steven G Luke
In: Data in Brief, 25 , pp. 1–21, 2019.
The data presented in this document was created to explore the effect of including or excluding word length, word frequency, the lexical predictability of function words and first pass reading time (or the duration of the first fixation on a word) as either baseline regressors or duration modulators on the final analysis for a fixation-related fMRI investigation of linguistic processing. The effect of these regressors was a central question raised during the review of Linguistic networks associated with lexical, semantic and syntactic predictability in reading: A fixation-related fMRI study . Three datasets were created and compared to the original dataset to determine their effect. The first examines the effect of adding word length and word frequency as baseline regressors. The second examines the effect of removing first pass reading time as a duration modulator. The third examines the inclusion of function word predictability into the baseline hemodynamic response function. Statistical maps were created for each dataset and compared to the primary dataset (published in ) across the linguistic conditions of the initial dataset (lexical predictability, semantic predictability or syntax predictability).
Nathan Caruana; Jon Brock; Alexandra Woolgar
In: NeuroImage, 108 , pp. 34–46, 2015.
Joint attention is a fundamental cognitive ability that supports daily interpersonal relationships and communication. The Parallel Distributed Processing model (PDPM) postulates that responding to (RJA) and initiating (IJA) joint attention are predominantly supported by posterior-parietal and frontal regions respectively. It also argues that these neural networks integrate during development, supporting the parallel processes of self- and other-attention representation during interactions. However, direct evidence for the PDPM is limited due to a lack of ecologically valid experimental paradigms that can capture both RJA and IJA. Building on existing interactive approaches, we developed a virtual reality paradigm where participants engaged in an online interaction to complete a cooperative task. By including tightly controlled baseline conditions to remove activity associated with non-social task demands, we were able to directly contrast the neural correlates of RJA and IJA to determine whether these processes are supported by common brain regions. Both RJA and IJA activated broad frontotemporoparietal networks. Critically, a conjunction analysis identified that a subset of these regions were common to both RJA and IJA. This right-lateralised network included the dorsal portion of the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), middle temporal gyrus (MTG), precentral gyrus, posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and precuneus. Additional activation was observed in this network for IJA relative to RJA at MFG, IFG, TPJ and precuneus. This is the first imaging study to directly investigate the neural correlates common to RJA and IJA engagement, and thus support the assumption that a broad integrated network underlies the parallel aspects of both initiating and responding to joint attention.
Natalie Caspari; John T Arsenault; Rik Vandenberghe; Wim Vanduffel
In: Cerebral Cortex, 28 (6), pp. 2085–2099, 2018.
We continually shift our attention between items in the visual environment. These attention shifts are usually based on task relevance (top-down) or the saliency of a sudden, unexpected stimulus (bottom-up), and are typically followed by goal-directed actions. It could be argued that any species that can covertly shift its focus of attention will rely on similar, evolutionarily conserved neural substrates for processing such shift-signals. To address this possibility, we performed comparative fMRI experiments in humans and monkeys, combining traditional, and novel, data-driven analytical approaches. Specifically, we examined correspondences between monkey and human brain areas activated during covert attention shifts. When " shift " events were compared with " stay " events, the medial (superior) parietal lobe (mSPL) and inferior parietal lobes showed similar shift sensitivities across species, whereas frontal activations were stronger in monkeys. To identify, in a data-driven manner, monkey regions that corresponded with human shift-selective SPL, we used a novel interspecies beta-correlation strategy whereby task-related beta-values were correlated across voxels or regions-of-interest in the 2 species. Monkey medial parietal areas V6/V6A most consistently correlated with shift-selective human mSPL. Our results indicate that both species recruit corresponding, evolutionarily conserved regions within the medial superior parietal lobe for shifting spatial attention.
Joao Castelhano; Isabel C Duarte; Carlos Ferreira; Joao Duraes; Henrique Madeira; Miguel Castelo-Branco
In: Brain Imaging and Behavior, 13 (3), pp. 623–637, 2019.
Software programming is a complex and relatively recent human activity, involving the integration of mathematical, recursive thinking and language processing. The neural correlates of this recent human activity are still poorly understood. Error monitoring during this type of task, requiring the integration of language, logical symbol manipulation and other mathematical skills, is particularly challenging. We therefore aimed to investigate the neural correlates of decision-making during source code understanding and mental manipulation in professional participants with high expertise. The present fMRI study directly addressed error monitoring during source code comprehension, expert bug detection and decision-making. We used C code, which triggers the same sort of processing irrespective of the native language of the programmer. We discovered a distinct role for the insula in bug monitoring and detection and a novel connectivity pattern that goes beyond the expected activation pattern evoked by source code understanding in semantic language and mathematical processing regions. Importantly, insula activity levels were critically related to the quality of error detection, involving intuition, as signalled by reported initial bug suspicion, prior to final decision and bug detection. Activity in this salience network (SN) region evoked by bug suspicion was predictive of bug detection precision, suggesting that it encodes the quality of the behavioral evidence. Connectivity analysis provided evidence for top-down circuit “reutilization” stemming from anterior cingulate cortex (BA32), a core region in the SN that evolved for complex error monitoring such as required for this type of recent human activity. Cingulate (BA32) and anterolateral (BA10) frontal regions causally modulated decision processes in the insula, which in turn was related to activity of math processing regions in early parietal cortex. In other words, earlier brain regions used during evolution for other functions seem to be reutilized in a top-down manner for a new complex function, in an analogous manner as described for other cultural creations such as reading and literacy.
Nicoletta Cera; João Castelhano; Cátia Oliveira; Joana Carvalho; Ana Luísa Quinta Gomes; Maria Manuela Peixoto; Raquel Pereira; Erick Janssen; Miguel Castelo-Branco; Pedro Nobre
In: Scientific Reports, 10 , pp. 1–11, 2020.
Several studies highlighted the role of insula on several functions and in sexual behavior. This exploratory study examines the relationships among genital responses, brain responses, and eye movements, to disentangle the role played by the anterior and posterior insula during different stages of male sexual response and during visual attention to sexual stimuli. In 19 healthy men, fMRI, eye movement, and penile tumescence data were collected during a visual sexual stimulation task. After a whole-brain analysis comparing neutral and sexual clips and confirming a role for the bilateral insulae, we selected two bilateral seed regions in anterior and posterior insula for functional connectivity analysis. Single-ROI-GLMs were run for the FC target regions. Single-ROI-GLMs were performed based on areas to which participants fixate: “Faces”, “Genitals,” and “Background” with the contrast “Genitals textgreater Faces”. Single-ROI-GLMs with baseline, onset, and sustained PT response for the sexual clips were performed. We found stronger effects for the posterior than the anterior insula. In the target regions of the posterior insula, we found three different pathways: the first involved in visual attention, onset of erection, and sustained erection; the second involved only in the onset of erection, and the third limited to sustained erection.
Wonil Choi; Rutvik H Desai; John M Henderson
In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8 , pp. 1–11, 2014.
Most previous studies investigating the neural correlates of reading have presented text using serial visual presentation (SVP), which may not fully reflect the underlying processes of natural reading. In the present study, eye movements and BOLD data were collected while subjects either read normal paragraphs naturally or moved their eyes through "paragraphs" of pseudo-text (pronounceable pseudowords or consonant letter strings) in two pseudo-reading conditions. Eye movement data established that subjects were reading and scanning the stimuli normally. A conjunction fMRI analysis across natural- and pseudo-reading showed that a common eye-movement network including frontal eye fields (FEF), supplementary eye fields (SEF), and intraparietal sulci was activated, consistent with previous studies using simpler eye movement tasks. In addition, natural reading versus pseudo-reading showed different patterns of brain activation: normal reading produced activation in a well-established language network that included superior temporal gyrus/sulcus, middle temporal gyrus (MTG), angular gyrus (AG), inferior frontal gyrus, and middle frontal gyrus, whereas pseudo-reading produced activation in an attentional network that included anterior/posterior cingulate and parietal cortex. These results are consistent with results found in previous single-saccade eye movement tasks and SVP reading studies, suggesting that component processes of eye-movement control and language processing observed in past fMRI research generalize to natural reading. The results also suggest that combining eyetracking and fMRI is a suitable method for investigating the component processes of natural reading in fMRI research.
Wonil Choi; John M Henderson
In: Neuropsychologia, 75 , pp. 109–118, 2015.
Theories of eye movement control during active vision tasks such as reading and scene viewing have primarily been developed and tested using data from eye tracking and computational modeling, and little is currently known about the neurocognition of active vision. The current fMRI study was conducted to examine the nature of the cortical networks that are associated with active vision. Subjects were asked to read passages for meaning and view photographs of scenes for a later memory test. The eye movement control network comprising frontal eye field (FEF), supplementary eye fields (SEF), and intraparietal sulcus (IPS), commonly activated during single-saccade eye movement tasks, were also involved in reading and scene viewing, suggesting that a common control network is engaged when eye movements are executed. However, the activated locus of the FEF varied across the two tasks, with medial FEF more activated in scene viewing relative to passage reading and lateral FEF more activated in reading than scene viewing. The results suggest that eye movements during active vision are associated with both domain-general and domain-specific components of the eye movement control network.
Heeyoung Choo; Dirk B Walther
In: NeuroImage, 135 , pp. 32–44, 2016.
Humans efficiently grasp complex visual environments, making highly consistent judgments of entry-level category despite their high variability in visual appearance. How does the human brain arrive at the invariant neural representations underlying categorization of real-world environments? We here show that the neural representation of visual environments in scene-selective human visual cortex relies on statistics of contour junctions, which provide cues for the three-dimensional arrangement of surfaces in a scene. We manipulated line drawings of real-world environments such that statistics of contour orientations or junctions were disrupted. Manipulated and intact line drawings were presented to participants in an fMRI experiment. Scene categories were decoded from neural activity patterns in the parahippocampal place area (PPA), the occipital place area (OPA) and other visual brain regions. Disruption of junctions but not orientations led to a drastic decrease in decoding accuracy in the PPA and OPA, indicating the reliance of these areas on intact junction statistics. Accuracy of decoding from early visual cortex, on the other hand, was unaffected by either image manipulation. We further show that the correlation of error patterns between decoding from the scene-selective brain areas and behavioral experiments is contingent on intact contour junctions. Finally, a searchlight analysis exposes the reliance of visually active brain regions on different sets of contour properties. Statistics of contour length and curvature dominate neural representations of scene categories in early visual areas and contour junctions in high-level scene-selective brain regions.
S Clavagnier; Serge O Dumoulin; R F Hess
In: Journal of Neuroscience, 35 (44), pp. 14740–14755, 2015.
The neural basis of amblyopia is a matter of debate. The following possibilities have been suggested: loss of foveal cells, reduced cortical magnification, loss of spatial resolution of foveal cells, and topographical disarray in the cellular map. To resolve this we undertook a population receptive field (pRF) functional magnetic resonance imaging analysis in the central field in humans with moderate-to-severe amblyopia. We measured the relationship between averaged pRF size and retinal eccentricity in retinotopic visual areas. Results showed that cortical magnification is normal in the foveal field of strabismic amblyopes. However, the pRF sizes are enlarged for the amblyopic eye. We speculate that the pRF enlargement reflects loss of cellular resolution or an increased cellular positional disarray within the representation of the amblyopic eye.
Brian A Coffman; Piyadasa Kodituwakku; Elizabeth L Kodituwakku; Lucinda Romero; Nirupama Muniswamy Sharadamma; David Stone; Julia M Stephen
In: Human Brain Mapping, 34 (11), pp. 2852–2862, 2013.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are debilitating, with effects of prenatal alcohol exposure persisting into adolescence and adulthood. Complete characterization of FASD is crucial for the development of diagnostic tools and intervention techniques to decrease the high cost to individual families and society of this disorder. In this experiment, we investigated visual system deficits in adolescents (12-21 years) diagnosed with an FASD by measuring the latency of patients' primary visual M100 responses using MEG. We hypothesized that patients with FASD would demonstrate delayed primary visual responses compared to controls. M100 latencies were assessed both for FASD patients and age-matched healthy controls for stimuli presented at the fovea (central stimulus) and at the periphery (peripheral stimuli; left or right of the central stimulus) in a saccade task requiring participants to direct their attention and gaze to these stimuli. Source modeling was performed on visual responses to the central and peripheral stimuli and the latency of the first prominent peak (M100) in the occipital source timecourse was identified. The peak latency of the M100 responses were delayed in FASD patients for both stimulus types (central and peripheral), but the difference in latency of primary visual responses to central vs. peripheral stimuli was significant only in FASD patients, indicating that, while FASD patients' visual systems are impaired in general, this impairment is more pronounced in the periphery. These results suggest that basic sensory deficits in this population may contribute to sensorimotor integration deficits described previously in this disorder.
Alexandra E D'Agostino; David Kattan; Turhan Canli
An fMRI study of loneliness in younger and older adults Journal Article
In: Social Neuroscience, 14 (2), pp. 136–148, 2019.
Loneliness, the subjective experience of social isolation, may reflect, in part, underlying neural processing of social signals. Aging may exacerbate loneliness due to decreased social networks and increased social isolation, or it may reduce loneliness due to preferential attentional processing of positive information and increased interactions with emotionally close partners. Here, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of loneliness in younger (N = 50, 26 female, M age = 20.4) and older (N = 49, 30 female, M age = 62.9) adults. Compared to younger adults, older adults were less lonely and dwelled longer on faces, regardless of valence. Previous studies in younger adults found that loneliness was negatively correlated with ventral striatal (VS) activation to pleasant social pictures of strangers yet positively correlated with VS activation to faces of close others. In the present study, we observed no association between loneliness and VS activation to social pictures of strangers in either age group. Further, unlike previous studies, we observed no association between social network size and amygdala activation to social stimuli. Additional research is needed to examine the effect of loneliness and social network size on neural processing of different dimensions of social stimuli.
Marshall A Dalton; Peter Zeidman; Cornelia McCormick; Eleanor A Maguire
In: Journal of Neuroscience, 38 (38), pp. 8146–8159, 2018.
The hippocampus is known to be important for a range of cognitive functions including episodic memory, spatial navigation and future-thinking. Wide agreement on the exact nature of its contribution has proved elusive, with some theories emphasising associative processes and another proposing that scene construction is its primary role. To directly compare these accounts of hippocampal function in human males and females, we devised a novel mental imagery paradigm where different tasks were closely matched for associative processing and mental construction, but either did or did not evoke scene representations, and we combined this with high resolution functional MRI. The results were striking in showing that differentiable parts of the hippocampus, along with distinct cortical regions, were recruited for scene construction or non-scene-evoking associative processing. The contrasting patterns of neural engagement could not be accounted for by differences in eye movements, mnemonic processing or the phenomenology of mental imagery. These results inform conceptual debates in the field by showing that the hippocampus does not seem to favour one type of process over another; it is not a story of exclusivity. Rather, there may be different circuits within the hippocampus, each associated with different cortical inputs, which become engaged depending on the nature of the stimuli and the task at hand. Overall, our findings emphasise the importance of considering the hippocampus as a heterogeneous structure, and that a focus on characterising how specific portions of the hippocampus interact with other brain regions may promote a better understanding of its role in cognition.
Antea D'Andrea; Federico Chella; Tom R Marshall; Vittorio Pizzella; Gian Luca Romani; Ole Jensen; Laura Marzetti
In: NeuroImage, 188 , pp. 722–732, 2019.
It is well known that attentional selection of relevant information relies on local synchronization of alpha band neuronal oscillations in visual cortices for inhibition of distracting inputs. Additionally, evidence for long-range coupling of neuronal oscillations between visual cortices and regions engaged in the anticipation of upcoming stimuli has been more recently provided. Nevertheless, on the one hand the relation between long-range functional coupling and anatomical connections is still to be assessed, and, on the other hand, the specific role of the alpha and beta frequency bands in the different processes underlying visuo-spatial attention still needs further clarification. We address these questions using measures of linear (frequency-specific) and nonlinear (cross-frequency) phase-synchronization in a cohort of 28 healthy subjects using magnetoencephalography. We show that alpha band phase-synchronization is modulated by the orienting of attention according to a parieto-occipital top-down mechanism reflecting behavior, and its hemispheric asymmetry is predicted by volume's asymmetry of specific tracts of the Superior-Longitudinal-Fasciculus. We also show that a network comprising parietal regions and the right putative Frontal-Eye-Field, but not the left, is recruited in the deployment of spatial attention through an alpha-beta cross-frequency coupling. Overall, we demonstrate that the visuospatial attention network features subsystems indexed by characteristic spectral fingerprints, playing different functional roles in the anticipation of upcoming stimuli and with diverse relation to fiber tracts.
Benjamin De Haas; Samuel D Schwarzkopf
In: Scientific Reports, 8 (1), pp. 1–11, 2018.
Early visual cortex responds to illusory contours in which abutting lines or collinear edges imply the presence of an occluding surface, as well as to occluded parts of an object. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and population receptive field (pRF) analysis to map retinotopic responses in early visual cortex using bar stimuli defined by illusory contours, occluded parts of a bar, or subtle luminance contrast. All conditions produced retinotopic responses in early visual field maps even though signal-to-noise ratios were very low. We found that signal-to-noise ratios and coherence with independent high-contrast mapping data increased from V1 to V2 to V3. Moreover, we found no differences of signal-to-noise ratios or pRF sizes between the low-contrast luminance and illusion conditions. We propose that all three conditions mapped spatial attention to the bar location rather than activations specifically related to illusory contours or occlusion.
Rutvik H Desai; Wonil Choi; Vicky T Lai; John M Henderson
In: Journal of Neuroscience, 36 (14), pp. 4050–4055, 2016.
The neural basis of language processing, in the context of naturalistic reading of connected text, is a crucial but largely unexplored area. Here we combined functional MRI and eye tracking to examine the reading of text presented as whole paragraphs in two experiments with human subjects. We registered high-temporal resolution eye-tracking data to a low-temporal resolution BOLD signal to extract responses to single words during naturalistic reading where two to four words are typically processed per second. As a test case of a lexical variable, we examined the response to noun manipulability. In both experiments, signal in the left anterior inferior parietal lobule and posterior inferior temporal gyrus and sulcus was positively correlated with noun manipulability. These regions are associated with both action performance and action semantics, and their activation is consistent with a number of previous studies involving tool words and physical tool use. The results show that even during rapid reading of connected text, where semantics of words may be activated only partially, the meaning of manipulable nouns is grounded in action performance systems. This supports the grounded cognition view of semantics, which posits a close link between sensory-motor and conceptual systems of the brain. On the methodological front, these results demonstrate that BOLD responses to lexical variables during naturalistic reading can be extracted by simultaneous use of eye tracking. This opens up new avenues for the study of language and reading in the context of connected text.
Rutvik H Desai; Wonil Choi; John M Henderson
Word frequency effects in naturalistic reading Journal Article
In: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 35 (5), pp. 1–12, 2020.
Word frequency is a central psycholinguistic variable that accounts for substantial variance in language processing. A number of neuroimaging studies have examined frequency at a single word level, typically demonstrating a strong negative, and sometimes positive correlation between frequency and hemodynamic response. Here, 40 subjects read passages of text in an MRI scanner while their eye movements were recorded. We used fixation-related analysis to identify neural activity tied to the frequency of each fixated word. We found that negative correlations with frequency were reduced, while strong positive correlations were found in the temporal and parietal areas associated with semantics. We propose that the processing cost of low frequency words is reduced due to contextual cues. Meanings of high frequency words are more readily accessed and integrated with context resulting in enhanced processing in the semantic system. The results demonstrate similarities and differences between single word and naturalistic text processing.
Jelle A van Dijk; Benjamin de Haas; Christina Moutsiana; Samuel D Schwarzkopf
Intersession reliability of population receptive field estimates Journal Article
In: NeuroImage, 143 , pp. 293–303, 2016.
Population receptive field (pRF) analysis is a popular method to infer spatial selectivity of voxels in visual cortex. However, it remains largely untested how stable pRF estimates are over time. Here we measured the intersession reliability of pRF parameter estimates for the central visual field and near periphery, using a combined wedge and ring stimulus containing natural images. Sixteen healthy human participants completed two scanning sessions separated by 10–114 days. Individual participants showed very similar visual field maps for V1-V4 on both sessions. Intersession reliability for eccentricity and polar angle estimates was close to ceiling for most visual field maps (rtextgreater.8 for V1-3). PRF size and cortical magnification (CMF) estimates showed strong but lower overall intersession reliability (r≈.4–.6). Group level results for pRF size and CMF were highly similar between sessions. Additional control experiments confirmed that reliability does not depend on the carrier stimulus used and that reliability for pRF size and CMF is high for sessions acquired on the same day (rtextgreater.6). Our results demonstrate that pRF mapping is highly reliable across sessions.
Lauren M DiNicola; Rodrigo M Braga; Randy L Buckner
In: Journal of Neurophysiology, 123 (3), pp. 1144–1179, 2020.
Association cortex is organized into large-scale distributed networks. One such network, the default network (DN), is linked to diverse forms of internal mentation, opening debate about whether shared or distinct anatomy supports multiple forms of cognition. Using within-individual analysis procedures that preserve idiosyncratic anatomical details, we probed whether multiple tasks from two domains, episodic projection and theory of mind (ToM), rely on the same or distinct networks. In an initial experiment (6 subjects, each scanned 4 times), we found evidence that episodic projection and ToM tasks activate separate regions distributed throughout the cortex, with adjacent regions in parietal, temporal, prefrontal, and midline zones. These distinctions were predicted by the hypothesis that the DN comprises two parallel, interdigitated networks. One network, linked to parahippocampal cortex (PHC), is preferentially recruited during episodic projection, including both remembering and imagining the future. A second juxtaposed network, which includes the temporoparietal junction (TPJ), is differentially engaged during multiple forms of ToM. In two prospectively acquired independent experiments, we replicated and triplicated the dissociation (each with 6 subjects scanned 4 times). Furthermore, the dissociation was found in all zones when analyzed independently, including robustly in midline regions previously described as hubs. The TPJ-linked network is interwoven with the PHC-linked network across the cortex, making clear why it is difficult to fully resolve the two networks in group-averaged or lower-resolution data. These results refine our understanding of the functional-anatomical organization of association cortex and raise fundamental questions about how specialization might arise in parallel, juxtaposed association networks.
Mithun Diwakar; Deborah L Harrington; Jun Maruta; Jamshid Ghajar; Fady El-Gabalawy; Laura Muzzatti; Maurizio Corbetta; Ming-Xiong X Huang; Roland R Lee
In: NeuroImage: Clinical, 8 , pp. 210–223, 2015.
A barrier in the diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) stems from the lack of measures that are adequately sensitive in detecting mild head injuries. MRI and CT are typically negative in mTBI patients with persistent symptoms of post-concussive syndrome (PCS), and characteristic difficulties in sustaining attention often go undetected on neuropsychological testing, which can be insensitive to momentary lapses in concentration. Conversely, visual tracking strongly depends on sustained attention over time and is impaired in chronic mTBI patients, especially when tracking an occluded target. This finding suggests deficient internal anticipatory control in mTBI, the neural underpinnings of which are poorly understood. The present study investigated the neuronal bases for deficient anticipatory control during visual tracking in 25 chronic mTBI patients with persistent PCS symptoms and 25 healthy control subjects. The task was performed while undergoing magnetoencephalography (MEG), which allowed us to examine whether neural dysfunction associated with anticipatory control deficits was due to altered alpha, beta, and/or gamma activity. Neuropsychological examinations characterized cognition in both groups. During MEG recordings, subjects tracked a predictably moving target that was either continuously visible or randomly occluded (gap condition). MEG source-imaging analyses tested for group differences in alpha, beta, and gamma frequency bands. The results showed executive functioning, information processing speed, and verbal memory deficits in the mTBI group. Visual tracking was impaired in the mTBI group only in the gap condition. Patients showed greater error than controls before and during target occlusion, and were slower to resynchronize with the target when it reappeared. Impaired tracking concurred with abnormal beta activity, which was suppressed in the parietal cortex, especially the right hemisphere, and enhanced in left caudate and frontaloral areas. Regional beta-amplitude demonstrated high classification accuracy (92%) compared to eye-tracking (65%) and neuropsychological variables (80%). These findings show that deficient internal anticipatory control in mTBI is associated with altered beta activity, which is remarkably sensitive given the heterogeneity of injuries.
Katharina Dobs; Johannes Schultz; Isabelle Bülthoff; Justin L Gardner
In: NeuroImage, 172 , pp. 689–702, 2018.
What cortical mechanisms allow humans to easily discern the expression or identity of a face? Subjects detected changes in expression or identity of a stream of dynamic faces while we measured BOLD responses from topographically and functionally defined areas throughout the visual hierarchy. Responses in dorsal areas increased during the expression task, whereas responses in ventral areas increased during the identity task, consistent with previous studies. Similar to ventral areas, early visual areas showed increased activity during the identity task. If visual responses are weighted by perceptual mechanisms according to their magnitude, these increased responses would lead to improved attentional selection of the task-appropriate facial aspect. Alternatively, increased responses could be a signature of a sensitivity enhancement mechanism that improves representations of the attended facial aspect. Consistent with the latter sensitivity enhancement mechanism, attending to expression led to enhanced decoding of exemplars of expression both in early visual and dorsal areas relative to attending identity. Similarly, decoding identity exemplars when attending to identity was improved in dorsal and ventral areas. We conclude that attending to expression or identity of dynamic faces is associated with increased selectivity in representations consistent with sensitivity enhancement.
Florin Dolcos; Yuta Katsumi; Chen Shen; Paul C Bogdan; Suhnyoung Jun; Ryan Larsen; Wendy Heller; Kelly Freeman Bost; Sanda Dolcos
In: Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 20 (5), pp. 1011–1026, 2020.
Emotional well-being depends on the ability to adaptively cope with various emotional challenges. Most studies have investigated the neural mechanisms of emotion regulation strategies deployed relatively later in the timing of processing that leads to full emotional experiences. However, less is known about strategies that are engaged in earlier stages of emotion processing, such as those involving attentional deployment. We investigated the neural mechanisms associated with self-guided Focused Attention (FA) in mitigating subjective negative emotional experiences. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were recorded while participants viewed a series of composite negative and neutral images with distinguishable foreground (FG) and background (BG) areas. Participants were instructed to focus either on the FG or BG components of the images, and then rated their emotional experiences. Behavioral results showed that FA was successful in decreasing emotional ratings for negative images viewed in BG Focus condition. At the neural level, the BG Focus was associated with increased activity in regions typically implicated in top-down executive control (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and lateral parietal cortex) and decreased activity in regions linked to affective processing (amygdala and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex). Dissociable brain activity linked to FA also was identified in visual cortices, including between the parahippocampal and fusiform gyri, showing increased versus decreased activity, respectively, during the BG Focus. These findings complement the evidence from prior FA studies with recollected emotional memories as internal stimuli and further demonstrate the effectiveness of self-guided FA in mitigating negative emotional experiences associated with processing of external unpleasant stimuli.
Pascasie L Dombert; Anna B Kuhns; Paola Mengotti; Gereon R Fink; Simone Vossel
In: NeuroImage, 142 , pp. 553–564, 2016.
Humans flexibly attend to features or locations and these processes are influenced by the probability of sensory events. We combined computational modeling of response times with fMRI to compare the functional correlates of (re-)orienting, and the modulation by probabilistic inference in spatial and feature-based attention systems. Twenty-four volunteers performed two task versions with spatial or color cues. Percentage of cue validity changed unpredictably. A hierarchical Bayesian model was used to derive trial-wise estimates of probability-dependent attention, entering the fMRI analysis as parametric regressors. Attentional orienting activated a dorsal frontoparietal network in both tasks, without significant parametric modulation. Spatially invalid trials activated a bilateral frontoparietal network and the precuneus, while invalid feature trials activated the left intraparietal sulcus (IPS). Probability-dependent attention modulated activity in the precuneus, left posterior IPS, middle occipital gyrus, and right temporoparietal junction for spatial attention, and in the left anterior IPS for feature-based and spatial attention. These findings provide novel insights into the generality and specificity of the functional basis of attentional control. They suggest that probabilistic inference can distinctively affect each attentional subsystem, but that there is an overlap in the left IPS, which responds to both spatial and feature-based expectancy violations.
Linda Drijvers; Mircea van der Plas; Asli Özyürek; Ole Jensen
In: NeuroImage, 194 , pp. 55–67, 2019.
Listeners are often challenged by adverse listening conditions during language comprehension induced by external factors, such as noise, but also internal factors, such as being a non-native listener. Visible cues, such as semantic information conveyed by iconic gestures, can enhance language comprehension in such situations. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) we investigated whether spatiotemporal oscillatory dynamics can predict a listener's benefit of iconic gestures during language comprehension in both internally (non-native versus native listeners) and externally (clear/degraded speech) induced adverse listening conditions. Proficient non-native speakers of Dutch were presented with videos in which an actress uttered a degraded or clear verb, accompanied by a gesture or not, and completed a cued-recall task after every video. The behavioral and oscillatory results obtained from non-native listeners were compared to an MEG study where we presented the same stimuli to native listeners (Drijvers et al., 2018a). Non-native listeners demonstrated a similar gestural enhancement effect as native listeners, but overall scored significantly slower on the cued-recall task. In both native and non-native listeners, an alpha/beta power suppression revealed engagement of the extended language network, motor and visual regions during gestural enhancement of degraded speech comprehension, suggesting similar core processes that support unification and lexical access processes. An individual's alpha/beta power modulation predicted the gestural benefit a listener experienced during degraded speech comprehension. Importantly, however, non-native listeners showed less engagement of the mouth area of the primary somatosensory cortex, left insula (beta), LIFG and ATL (alpha) than native listeners, which suggests that non-native listeners might be hindered in processing the degraded phonological cues and coupling them to the semantic information conveyed by the gesture. Native and non-native listeners thus demonstrated similar yet distinct spatiotemporal oscillatory dynamics when recruiting visual cues to disambiguate degraded speech.
João Valente Duarte; Gabriel Nascimento Costa; Ricardo Martins; Miguel Castelo-Branco
In: Human Brain Mapping, 38 (10), pp. 4882–4897, 2017.
It remains an open question whether long-range disambiguation of ambiguous surface motion can be achieved in early visual cortex or instead in higher level regions, which concerns object/surface segmentation/integration mechanisms. We used a bistable moving stimulus that can be perceived as a pattern comprehending both visual hemi-fields moving coherently downward or as two widely segregated nonoverlapping component objects (in each visual hemi-field) moving separately inward. This paradigm requires long-range integration across the vertical meridian leading to interhemispheric binding. Our fMRI study (n = 30) revealed a close relation between activity in hMT+ and perceptual switches involving interhemispheric segregation/integration of motion signals, crucially under nonlocal conditions where components do not overlap and belong to distinct hemispheres. Higher signal changes were found in hMT+ in response to spatially segregated component (incoherent) percepts than to pattern (coherent) percepts. This did not occur in early visual cortex, unlike apparent motion, which does not entail surface segmentation. We also identified a role for top–down mechanisms in state transitions. Deconvolution analysis of switch-related changes revealed prefrontal, insula, and cingulate areas, with the right superior parietal lobule (SPL) being particularly involved. We observed that directed influences could emerge either from left or right hMT+ during bistable motion integration/segregation. SPL also exhibited significant directed functional connectivity with hMT+, during perceptual state maintenance (Granger causality analysis). Our results suggest that long-range interhemispheric binding of ambiguous motion representations mainly reflect bottom–up processes from hMT+ during perceptual state maintenance. In contrast, state transitions maybe influenced by high-level regions such as the SPL.
Laura Dugué; Elisha P Merriam; David J Heeger; Marisa Carrasco
In: Cerebral Cortex, 28 (7), pp. 2375–2390, 2018.
The temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) has been associated with various cognitive and social functions, and is critical for attentional reorienting. Attention affects early visual processing. Neuroimaging studies dealing with such processes have thus far concentrated on striate and extrastriate areas. Here, we investigated whether attention orienting or reorienting modulate activity in visually driven TPJ subregions. For each observer we identified 3 visually responsive subregions within TPJ: 2 bilateral (vTPJ ant and vTPJ post) and 1 right lateralized (vTPJ cent). Cortical activity in these subregions was measured using fMRI while observers performed a 2-alternative forced-choice orientation discrimination task. Covert spatial endogenous (voluntary) or exogenous (involuntary) attention was manipulated using either a central or a peripheral cue with task, stimuli and observers constant. Both endogenous and exogenous attention increased activity for invalidly cued trials in right vTPJ post ; only endogenous attention increased activity for invalidly cued trials in left vTPJ post and in right vTPJ cent ; and neither type of attention modulated either right or left vTPJ ant . These results demonstrate that vTPJ post and vTPJ cent mediate the reorientation of covert attention to task relevant stimuli, thus playing a critical role in visual attention. These findings reveal a differential reorienting cortical response after observers' attention has been oriented to a given location voluntarily or involuntarily.
Laura Dugué; Elisha Merriam; David Heeger; Marisa Carrasco
In: Scientific Reports, 10 , pp. 1–16, 2020.
How do endogenous (voluntary) and exogenous (involuntary) attention modulate activity in visual cortex? Using ROI-based fMRI analysis, we measured fMRI activity for valid and invalid trials (target at cued/un-cued location, respectively), pre- or post-cueing endogenous or exogenous attention, while participants performed the same orientation discrimination task. We found stronger modulation in contralateral than ipsilateral visual regions, and higher activity in valid- than invalid-trials. For endogenous attention, modulation of stimulus-evoked activity due to a pre-cue increased along the visual hierarchy, but was constant due to a post-cue. For exogenous attention, modulation of stimulus-evoked activity due to a pre-cue was constant along the visual hierarchy, but was not modulated due to a post-cue. These findings reveal that endogenous and exogenous attention distinctly modulate activity in visuo-occipital areas during orienting and reorienting; endogenous attention facilitates both the encoding and the readout of visual information whereas exogenous attention only facilitates the encoding of information.
Katherine Duncan; Bradley B Doll; Nathaniel D Daw; Daphna Shohamy
In: Neuron, 98 (3), pp. 645–657, 2018.
People often perceive configurations rather than the elements they comprise, a bias that may emerge because configurations often predict outcomes. But how does the brain learn to associate configurations with outcomes and how does this learning differ from learning about individual elements? We combined behavior, reinforcement learning models, and functional imaging to understand how people learn to associate configurations of cues with outcomes. We found that configural learning depended on the relative predictive strength of elements versus configurations and was related to both the strength of BOLD activity and patterns of BOLD activity in the hippocampus. Configural learning was further related to functional connectivity between the hippocampus and nucleus accumbens. Moreover, configural learning was associated with flexible knowledge about associations and differential eye movements during choice. Together, this suggests that configural learning is associated with a distinct computational, cognitive, and neural profile that is well suited to support flexible and adaptive behavior.
Grace Edwards; Petra Vetter; Fiona McGruer; Lucy S Petro; Lars Muckli
Predictive feedback to V1 dynamically updates with sensory input Journal Article
In: Scientific Reports, 7 , pp. 16538, 2017.
Predictive coding theories propose that the brain creates internal models of the environment to predict upcoming sensory input. Hierarchical predictive coding models of vision postulate that higher visual areas generate predictions of sensory inputs and feed them back to early visual cortex. In V1, sensory inputs that do not match the predictions lead to amplified brain activation, but does this amplification process dynamically update to new retinotopic locations with eye-movements? We investigated the effect of eye-movements in predictive feedback using functional brain imaging and eye-tracking whilst presenting an apparent motion illusion. Apparent motion induces an internal model of motion, during which sensory predictions of the illusory motion feed back to V1. We observed attenuated BOLD responses to predicted stimuli at the new post-saccadic location in V1. Therefore, pre-saccadic predictions update their retinotopic location in time for post-saccadic input, validating dynamic predictive coding theories in V1.
Susanne Eisenhauer; Christian J Fiebach; Benjamin Gagl
In: eNeuro, 6 (2), pp. 1–25, 2019.
Word familiarity and predictive context facilitate visual word processing, leading to faster recognition times and reduced neuronal responses. Previously, models with and without top-down connections, including lexical-semantic, pre-lexical (e.g., orthographic/phonological), and visual processing levels were successful in accounting for these facilitation effects. Here we systematically assessed context-based facilitation with a repetition priming task and explicitly dissociated pre-lexical and lexical processing levels using a pseudoword (PW) familiarization procedure. Experiment 1 investigated the temporal dynamics of neuronal facilitation effects with magnetoencephalography (MEG; N = 38 human participants), while experiment 2 assessed behavioral facilitation effects (N = 24 human participants). Across all stimulus conditions, MEG demonstrated context-based facilitation across multiple time windows starting at 100 ms, in occipital brain areas. This finding indicates context-based facilitation at an early visual processing level. In both experiments, we furthermore found an interaction of context and lexical familiarity, such that stimuli with associated meaning showed the strongest context-dependent facilitation in brain activation and behavior. Using MEG, this facilitation effect could be localized to the left anterior temporal lobe at around 400 ms, indicating within-level (i.e., exclusively lexical-semantic) facilitation but no top-down effects on earlier processing stages. Increased pre-lexical familiarity (in PWs familiarized utilizing training) did not enhance or reduce context effects significantly. We conclude that context-based facilitation is achieved within visual and lexical processing levels. Finally, by testing alternative hypotheses derived from mechanistic accounts of repetition suppression, we suggest that the facilitatory context effects found here are implemented using a predictive coding mechanism.
Eran Eldar; Gyung Jin Bae; Zeb Kurth-Nelson; Peter Dayan; Raymond J Dolan
In: Nature Human Behaviour, 2 (9), pp. 670–681, 2018.
When confronted with complex inputs consisting of multiple elements, humans use various strategies to integrate the elements quickly and accurately. For instance, accuracy may or over be improved by processing elements one at a time1–4 extended periods5–8 ; speed can increase if the internal rep- resentation of elements is accelerated9,10 . However, little is known about how humans actually approach these challenges because behavioural findings can be accounted for by mul- tiple alternative process models11 and neuroimaging investi-gations typically rely on haemodynamic signals that change too slowly. Consequently, to uncover the fast neural dynamics that support information integration, we decoded magnetoencephalographic signals that were recorded as human subjects performed a complex decision task. Our findings reveal three sources of individual differences in the temporal structure of the integration process—sequential representation, partial reinstatement and early computation—each having a dissociable effect on how subjects handled problem complexity and temporal constraints. Our findings shed new light on the structure and influence of self-determined neural integration processes.
Michiel van Elk; Michiel van Elk
In: Frontiers in Psychology, 5 , pp. 1–12, 2014.
Action semantics enables us to plan actions with objects and to predict others' object-directed actions as well. Previous studies have suggested that action semantics are represented in a fronto-parietal action network that has also been implicated to play a role in action observation. In the present fMRI study it was investigated how activity within this network changes as a function of the predictability of an action involving multiple objects and requiring the use of action semantics. Participants performed an action prediction task in which they were required to anticipate the use of a centrally presented object that could be moved to an associated target object (e.g., hammer-nail). The availability of actor information (i.e., presenting a hand grasping the central object) and the number of possible target objects (i.e., 0, 1, or 2 target objects) were independently manipulated, resulting in different levels of predictability. It was found that making an action prediction based on actor information resulted in an increased activation in the extrastriate body area (EBA) and the fronto-parietal action observation network (AON). Predicting actions involving a target object resulted in increased activation in the bilateral IPL and frontal motor areas. Within the AON, activity in the left inferior parietal lobe (IPL) and the left premotor cortex (PMC) increased as a function of the level of action predictability. Together these findings suggest that the left IPL represents stored hand-postures that can be used for planning object-directed actions and for predicting other's actions as well.
Abdurahman S Elkhetali; Ryan J Vaden; Sean M Pool; Kristina M Visscher
In: NeuroImage, 107 , pp. 277–288, 2015.
The human brain is able to process information flexibly, depending on a person's task. The mechanisms underlying this ability to initiate and maintain a task set are not well understood, but they are important for understanding the flexibility of human behavior and developing therapies for disorders involving attention. Here we investigate the differential roles of early visual cortical areas in initiating and maintaining a task set.Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), we characterized three different components of task set-related, but trial-independent activity in retinotopically mapped areas of early visual cortex, while human participants performed attention demanding visual or auditory tasks. These trial-independent effects reflected: (1) maintenance of attention over a long duration, (2) orienting to a cue, and (3) initiation of a task set. Participants performed tasks that differed in the modality of stimulus to be attended (auditory or visual) and in whether there was a simultaneous distractor (auditory only, visual only, or simultaneous auditory and visual). We found that patterns of trial-independent activity in early visual areas (V1, V2, V3, hV4) depend on attended modality, but not on stimuli. Further, different early visual areas play distinct roles in the initiation of a task set. In addition, activity associated with maintaining a task set tracks with a participant's behavior. These results show that trial-independent activity in early visual cortex reflects initiation and maintenance of a person's task set.
Abdurahman S Elkhetali; Leland L Fleming; Ryan J Vaden; Rodolphe Nenert; Jane E Mendle; Kristina M Visscher
In: NeuroImage, 184 , pp. 790–800, 2019.
The human brain has the ability to process identical information differently depending on the task. In order to perform a given task, the brain must select and react to the appropriate stimuli while ignoring other irrelevant stimuli. The dynamic nature of environmental stimuli and behavioral intentions requires an equally dynamic set of responses within the brain. Collectively, these responses act to set up and maintain states needed to perform a given task. However, the mechanisms that allow for setting up and maintaining a task state are not fully understood. Prior evidence suggests that one possible mechanism for maintaining a task state may be through altering 'background connectivity,' connectivity that exists independently of the trials of a task. Although previous studies have suggested that background connectivity contributes to a task state, these studies have typically not controlled for stimulus characteristics, or have focused primarily on relationships among areas involved with visual sensory processing. In the present study we examined background connectivity during tasks involving both visual and auditory stimuli. We examined the connectivity profiles of both visual and auditory sensory cortex that allow for selection of task-relevant stimuli, demonstrating the existence of a potentially universal pattern of background connectivity underlying attention to a stimulus. Participants were presented with simultaneous auditory and visual stimuli and were instructed to respond to only one, while ignoring the other. Using functional MRI, we observed task-based modulation of the background connectivity profile for both the auditory and visual cortex to certain brain regions. There was an increase in background connectivity between the task-relevant sensory cortex and control areas in the frontal cortex. This increase in synchrony when receiving the task-relevant stimulus as compared to the task irrelevant stimulus may be maintaining paths for passing information within the cortex. These task-based modulations of connectivity occur independently of stimuli and could be one way the brain sets up and maintains a task state.
Daniel Marten van Es; Jan Theeuwes; Tomas Knapen
In: eLife, 7 , pp. 1–28, 2018.
Spatial attention changes the sampling of visual space. Behavioral studies suggest that feature-based attention modulates this resampling to optimize the attended feature's sampling. We investigate this hypothesis by estimating spatial sampling in visual cortex while independently varying both feature-based and spatial attention. Our results show that spatial and feature-based attention interacted: resampling of visual space depended on both the attended location and feature (color vs. temporal frequency). This interaction occurred similarly throughout visual cortex, regardless of an area's overall feature preference. However, the interaction did depend on spatial sampling properties of voxels that prefer the attended feature. These findings are parsimoniously explained by variations in the precision of an attentional gain field. Our results demonstrate that the deployment of spatial attention is tailored to the spatial sampling properties of units that are sensitive to the attended feature.
Mats W J van Es; Jan-Mathijs Schoffelen
In: NeuroImage, 186 , pp. 703–712, 2019.
The efficiency of neuronal information transfer in activated brain networks may affect behavioral performance. Gamma-band synchronization has been proposed to be a mechanism that facilitates neuronal processing of behaviorally relevant stimuli. In line with this, it has been shown that strong gamma-band activity in visual cortical areas leads to faster responses to a visual go cue. We investigated whether there are directly observable consequences of trial-by-trial fluctuations in non-invasively observed gamma-band activity on the neuronal response. Specifically, we hypothesized that the amplitude of the visual evoked response to a go cue can be predicted by gamma power in the visual system, in the window preceding the evoked response. Thirty-three human subjects (22 female) performed a visual speeded response task while their magnetoencephalogram (MEG) was recorded. The participants had to respond to a pattern reversal of a concentric moving grating. We estimated single trial stimulus-induced visual cortical gamma power, and correlated this with the estimated single trial amplitude of the most prominent event-related field (ERF) peak within the first 100 ms after the pattern reversal. In parieto-occipital cortical areas, the amplitude of the ERF correlated positively with gamma power, and correlated negatively with reaction times. No effects were observed for the alpha and beta frequency bands, despite clear stimulus onset induced modulation at those frequencies. These results support a mechanistic model, in which gamma-band synchronization enhances the neuronal gain to relevant visual input, thus leading to more efficient downstream processing and to faster responses.
Magdalena Fafrowicz; Bartosz Bohaterewicz; Anna Ceglarek; Monika Cichocka; Koryna Lewandowska; Barbara Sikora-Wachowicz; Halszka Oginska; Anna Beres; Justyna Olszewska; Tadeusz Marek
In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 13 , pp. 1–6, 2019.
Human performance, alertness, and most biological functions express rhythmic fluctuations across a 24-h-period. This phenomenon is believed to originate from differences in both circadian and homeostatic sleep-wake regulatory processes. Interactions between these processes result in time-of-day modulations of behavioral performance as well as brain activity patterns. Although the basic mechanism of the 24-h clock is conserved across evolution, there are interindividual differences in the timing of sleep-wake cycles, subjective alertness and functioning throughout the day. The study of circadian typology differences has increased during the last few years, especially research on extreme chronotypes, which provide a unique way to investigate the effects of sleep-wake regulation on cerebral mechanisms. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we assessed the influence of chronotype and time-of-day on resting-state functional connectivity. Twenty-nine extreme morning- and 34 evening-type participants underwent two fMRI sessions: about 1 h after wake-up time (morning) and about 10 h after wake-up time (evening), scheduled according to their declared habitual sleep-wake pattern on a regular working day. Analysis of obtained neuroimaging data disclosed only an effect of time of day on resting-state functional connectivity; there were different patterns of functional connectivity between morning (MS) and evening (ES) sessions. The results of our study showed no differences between extreme morning-type and evening-type individuals. We demonstrate that circadian and homeostatic influences on the resting-state functional connectivity have a universal character, unaffected by circadian typology.
Nathan Faivre; Sylvain Charron; Paul Roux; Stephane Lehericy; Sid Kouider
In: Neuropsychologia, 50 , pp. 3736–3744, 2012.
Facial expressions are known to impact observers' behavior, even when they are not consciously identifiable. Relying on visual crowding, a perceptual phenomenon whereby peripheral faces become undiscriminable, we show that participants exposed to happy vs. neutral crowded faces rated the pleasantness of subsequent neutral targets accordingly to the facial expression's valence. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) along with psychophysiological interaction analysis, we investigated the neural determinants of this nonconscious preference bias, either induced by static (i.e., pictures) or dynamic (i.e., videos) facial expressions. We found that while static expressions activated primarily the ventral visual pathway (including task-related functional connectivity between the fusiform face area and the amygdala), dynamic expressions triggered the dorsal visual pathway (i.e., posterior partietal cortex) and the substantia innominata, a structure that is contiguous with the dorsal amygdala. As temporal cues are known to improve the processing of visible facial expressions, the absence of ventral activation we observed with crowded videos questions the capacity to integrate facial features and facial motions without awareness. Nevertheless, both static and dynamic facial expressions activated the hippocampus and the orbitofrontal cortex, suggesting that nonconscious preference judgments may arise from the evaluation of emotional context and the computation of aesthetic evaluation.
Jamie Ferri; Joseph Schmidt; Greg Hajcak; Turhan Canli
In: NeuroImage, 70 , pp. 268–277, 2013.
Attentional deployment is an emotion regulation strategy that involves shifting attentional focus towards or away from particular aspects of emotional stimuli. Previous studies have highlighted the prevalence of attentional deployment and demonstrated that it can have a significant impact on brain activity and behavior. However, little is known about the neural correlates of this strategy. The goal of the present studies was to examine the effect of attentional deployment on neural activity by directing attention to more or less arousing portions of unpleasant images. In Studies 1 and 2, participants passively viewed counterbalanced blocks of unpleasant images without a focus, unpleasant images with an arousing focus, unpleasant images with a non-arousing focus, neutral images without a focus, and neutral images with a non-arousing focus for 4000. ms each. In Study 2, eye-tracking data were collected on all participants during image acquisition. In both studies, affect ratings following each block indicated that participants felt significantly less negative affect after viewing unpleasant images with a non-arousing focus compared to unpleasant images with an arousing focus. In both studies, the unpleasant non-arousing focus condition compared to the unpleasant arousing focus condition was associated with increased activity in frontal and parietal regions implicated in inhibitory control and visual attention. In Study 2, the unpleasant non-arousing focus condition compared to the unpleasant arousing focus condition was associated with reduced activity in the amygdala and visual cortex. Collectively these data suggest that attending to a non-arousing portion of an unpleasant image successfully reduces subjective negative affect and recruits fronto-parietal networks implicated in inhibitory control. Moreover, when ensuring task compliance by monitoring eye movements, attentional deployment modulates amygdala activity.
Jamie Ferri; Joseph Schmidt; Greg Hajcak; Turhan Canli
In: Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 16 (6), pp. 991–1002, 2016.
Attentional deployment is an emotion regulation strategy that involves shifting attentional focus. Deploying attention to non-arousing, compared to arousing, regions of unpleasant images has been associated with reduced negative affect, reduced amygdala activation, and increased activity in fronto-parietal control networks. The current study examined neural correlates and functional connectivity associated with using attentional deployment to increase negative affect (deploying attention towards arousing unpleasant information) or to decrease negative affect (deploying attention away from arousing unpleasant information), compared to naturally viewing unpleasant images, in 42 individuals while concurrently monitoring eye movements. Directing attention to both arousing and non-arousing regions resulted in enhanced fronto-parietal activation compared to natural viewing, but only directing attention to non-arousing regions was associated with changes in amygdala activation. There were no significant differences in connectivity between naturally viewing unpleasant images and focusing on arousing regions. However, naturally viewing unpleasant images, relative to focusing on non-arousing regions, was associated with increased connectivity between the amygdala and visual cortex, while focusing on non-arousing regions of unpleasant images, compared to natural viewing, was associated with increased connectivity between the amygdala and the precuneus. Amygdala-precuneus connectivity correlated positively with eye-tracking measures of attentional deployment success and with trait reappraisal. Deploying attention away from arousing unpleasant information, then, may depend upon functional relationships between the amygdala and parietal regions implicated in attentional control. Furthermore, these relationships might relate to the ability to successfully implement attentional deployment, and the predisposition to utilize adaptive emotion regulation strategies.
Nonie J Finlayson; Xiaoli Zhang; Julie D Golomb
In: NeuroImage, 147 , pp. 507–516, 2017.
Visual information is initially represented as 2D images on the retina, but our brains are able to transform this input to perceive our rich 3D environment. While many studies have explored 2D spatial representations or depth perception in isolation, it remains unknown if or how these processes interact in human visual cortex. Here we used functional MRI and multi-voxel pattern analysis to investigate the relationship between 2D location and position-in-depth information. We stimulated different 3D locations in a blocked design: each location was defined by horizontal, vertical, and depth position. Participants remained fixated at the center of the screen while passively viewing the peripheral stimuli with red/green anaglyph glasses. Our results revealed a widespread, systematic transition throughout visual cortex. As expected, 2D location information (horizontal and vertical) could be strongly decoded in early visual areas, with reduced decoding higher along the visual hierarchy, consistent with known changes in receptive field sizes. Critically, we found that the decoding of position-in-depth information tracked inversely with the 2D location pattern, with the magnitude of depth decoding gradually increasing from intermediate to higher visual and category regions. Representations of 2D location information became increasingly location-tolerant in later areas, where depth information was also tolerant to changes in 2D location. We propose that spatial representations gradually transition from 2D-dominant to balanced 3D (2D and depth) along the visual hierarchy.
Matthew W Flounders; Carlos González-García; Richard Hardstone; Biyu J He
In: eLife, 8 , pp. 1–25, 2019.
Past experiences have enormous power in shaping our daily perception. Currently, dynamical neural mechanisms underlying this process remain mysterious. Exploiting a dramatic visual phenomenon, where a single experience of viewing a clear image allows instant recognition of a related degraded image, we investigated this question using MEG and 7 Tesla fMRI in humans. We observed that following the acquisition of perceptual priors, different degraded images are represented much more distinctly in neural dynamics starting from ~500 ms after stimulus onset. Content-specific neural activity related to stimulus-feature processing dominated within 300 ms after stimulus onset, while content-specific neural activity related to recognition processing dominated from 500 ms onward. Model-driven MEG-fMRI data fusion revealed the spatiotemporal evolution of neural activities involved in stimulus, attentional, and recognition processing. Together, these findings shed light on how experience shapes perceptual processing across space and time in the brain.
Stefan Frässle; Sören Krach; Frieder M Paulus; Andreas Jansen
In: Scientific Reports, 6 , pp. 27153, 2016.
While the right-hemispheric lateralization of the face perception network is well established, recent evidence suggests that handedness affects the cerebral lateralization of face processing at the hierarchical level of the fusiform face area (FFA). However, the neural mechanisms underlying differential hemispheric lateralization of face perception in right- and left-handers are largely unknown. Using dynamic causal modeling (DCM) for fMRI, we aimed to unravel the putative processes that mediate handedness-related differences by investigating the effective connectivity in the bilateral core face perception network. Our results reveal an enhanced recruitment of the left FFA in left-handers compared to right-handers, as evidenced by more pronounced face-specific modulatory influences on both intra- and interhemispheric connections. As structural and physiological correlates of handedness- related differences in face processing, right- and left-handers varied with regard to their gray matter volume in the left fusiform gyrus and their pupil responses to face stimuli. Overall, these results describe how handedness is related to the lateralization of the core face perception network, and point to different neural mechanisms underlying face processing in right- and left-handers. In a wider context, this demonstrates the entanglement of structurally and functionally remote brain networks, suggesting a broader underlying process regulating brain lateralization.