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Brain and Cognition

Camilia Thieba, Xiangyu Long, Deborah Dewey, Catherine Lebel
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies show that bilingual adults display structural and functional brain alterations, especially in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), dependent on when they learned their second language. However, it is unclear whether these differences are due to early exposure to another language, or to lifelong adaptation. We studied 22 children aged 3-5 years growing up in a multilingual environment and 22 age- and sex-matched controls exposed to an English-only environment. Resting-state functional MRI and T1-weighted MRI were used to assess functional connectivity and structure of the IFG...
July 11, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Ana Raposo, Sofia Frade, Mara Alves, J Frederico Marques
People are often confronted with the need of estimating the market price of goods. An important question is how people estimate prices, given the variability of products and prices available. Using event-related fMRI, we investigated how numerical processing modulates the neural bases of retail price estimation by focusing on two numerical dimensions: the size and precision of the estimates. Participants were presented with several product labels and made market price estimates for those products. Measures of product buying frequency and market price variability were also collected...
July 11, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Liyang Sai, Haiyan Wu, Xiaoqing Hu, Genyue Fu
Does deception necessarily involve false statements that are incompatible with the truth? In some cases, people choose truthful statements in order to mislead others. This type of deception has been investigated less. The current study employed event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to investigate the neurocognitive processes when both truthful and false statements were used to deceive others. We focused our ERP analysis on two stages: a decision making stage during which participants decided whether to tell a false or a truthful statement, and an outcome evaluation stage during which participants evaluated whether their deception had succeeded or not...
July 7, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Jutta Peterburs, David Hofmann, Michael P I Becker, Alexander M Nitsch, Wolfgang H R Miltner, Thomas Straube
Previous studies have reported cerebellar activations during error and reward processing. The present study investigated if the cerebellum differentially processes feedback depending on changes in response strategy during reversal learning, as is conceivable given its internal models for movement and thought. Negative relative to positive feedback in an fMRI-based reversal learning task was hypothesized to be associated with increased cerebellar activations. Moreover, increased activations were expected for negative feedback followed by a change in response strategy compared to negative feedback not followed by such a change, and for first positive feedback after compared to final negative feedback before a change, due to updating of internal models...
July 4, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Stefan Duschek, Alexandra Hoffmann, Angela Bair, Gustavo A Reyes Del Paso, Casandra I Montoro
In addition to complaints including fatigue, mood disturbance, dizziness or cold limbs, chronic low blood pressure (hypotension) is associated with reduced cognitive performance. Deficiencies in cerebral blood flow regulation may contribute to this impairment. This study investigated cerebral blood flow modulations during proactive control in hypotension. Proactive control refers to cognitive processes during anticipation of a behaviourally relevant event that allow optimization of readiness to react. Using functional transcranial Doppler sonography, bilateral blood flow velocities in the middle cerebral arteries were recorded in 40 hypotensive and 40 normotensive participants during a precued Stroop task...
July 2, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Olivier Dupuy, Laurent Bosquet, Sarah Anne Fraser, Véronique Labelle, Louis Bherer
INTRODUCTION/PURPOSE: This study compared cognitive performances and cardiac autonomic measures of higher fit and lower fit middle-aged and older highly active adults. The working hypotheses were that higher fit (master athletes) would show cognitive benefits in executive control conditions due to a high level of fitness compared to lower fit people and that this effect would be mediated by better cardiac autonomic adaptations in athletes. METHODS: We recruited 39 highly active middle aged and older adults from Master Athletes' organizations...
June 30, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Nicola Del Maschio, Simone Sulpizio, Federico Gallo, Davide Fedeli, Brendan S Weekes, Jubin Abutalebi
Evidence that bilingualism protects against age-related neurocognitive decline is mixed. One relatively consistent finding is that bilingual seniors have greater grey matter volume (GMV) in regions implicated in executive control (EC) and language processing. Here, we compare the neuroplastic effects of bilingual experience on the EC network of young and aging populations directly, and for the first time we evaluate the extent to which such effects may predict executive control performance across age. We used GMV as an index of neural reserve and response time (RT) performance on the Flanker task for measuring EC efficiency...
June 30, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Alyssa Cruse, Kelsey Offen, Julie Markant
Selective attention is a dynamic process that rapidly shifts processing resources to information that is most relevant to our goals. Although individuals often show spatial biases in attention, these biases can be modified by both long-term factors, such as musical training, or by momentary changes in the auditory context. The present study used a visual search task to examine the influence of these factors on spatial attention biases while increasing demands on selective attention. Experiment 1 examined the effects of musical experience on baseline spatial selective attention biases during search...
June 28, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Fred Travis, Laurent Valosek, Arthur Konrad, Janice Link, John Salerno, Ray Scheller, Sanford Nidich
BACKGROUND: Psychological stability and brain integration are important factors related to physical and mental health and organization effectiveness. This study tested whether a mind-body technique, the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program could increase EEG brain integration and positive affect, and decrease psychological distress in government employees. METHOD: Ninety-six central office administrators and staff at the San Francisco Unified School District were randomly assigned to either immediate start of the TM program or to a wait-list control group...
June 21, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Ladislav Kesner, Dominika Grygarová, Iveta Fajnerová, Jiří Lukavský, Tereza Nekovářová, Jaroslav Tintěra, Yuliya Zaytseva, Jiří Horáček
In this study, we use separate eye-tracking measurements and functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neuronal and behavioral response to painted portraits with direct versus averted gaze. We further explored modulatory effects of several painting characteristics (premodern vs modern period, influence of style and pictorial context). In the fMRI experiment, we show that the direct versus averted gaze elicited increased activation in lingual and inferior occipital and the fusiform face area, as well as in several areas involved in attentional and social cognitive processes, especially the theory of mind: angular gyrus/temporo-parietal junction, inferior frontal gyrus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex...
June 15, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Eva-Maria Kurz, Guilherme Wood, Silvia Erika Kober, Walter Schippinger, Gerald Pichler, Gernot Müller-Putz, Günther Bauernfeind
BACKGROUND: Recently, fNIRS has been proposed as a promising approach for awareness detection, and a possible method to establish basic communication in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). AIM: Using fNIRS, the present study evaluated the applicability of auditory presented mental-arithmetic tasks in this respect. METHODS: We investigated the applicability of active attention to serial subtractions for awareness detection in ten healthy controls (HC, 21-32 y/o), by comparing the measured patterns to patterns induced by self-performance of the same task...
June 14, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Tobias Bormann, Lars Frings, Andrea Dreßing, Volkmar Glauche, Cornelius Weiller
Pure alexia is a deficit of reading affecting the ability to process a word's letters in parallel. Instead, a slow, effortful letter-by-letter reading strategy is employed. It has been claimed that a visual impairment caused the reading impairment. The present study compares visual processing and word reading of a patient with severe visuospatial deficits due to probable posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) to two patients with pure alexia. A double dissociation emerged between visual processing and word reading: The participant with PCA was severely impaired in all visual tasks but read fluently while the patients with pure alexia read slowly but exhibited better preserved visual processing...
June 11, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Alexandra Tremblay, Céline Jobin, Mélanie Demers, Emmanuelle Dagenais, Sridar Narayanan, David Araújo, Arnold L Douglas, Elaine Roger, Laury Chamelian, Pierre Duquette, Isabelle Rouleau
OBJECTIVES: Although multiple sclerosis (MS) has long been considered to primarily affect white matter, it is now recognized that cognitive deficits in MS are also related to neocortical, thalamic and hippocampal damage. However, the association between damage to these structures and memory deficits in MS is unclear. This study examines whether MS patients with cognitive impairment have a reduction of hippocampal and/or thalamic volumes compared to cognitively intact patients, and whether these volume reductions correlate with various aspects of memory function...
June 8, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Judith Koppehele-Gossel, Robert Schnuerch, Henning Gibbons
This study replicates and extends the findings of Koppehele-Gossel, Schnuerch, and Gibbons (2016) of a posterior semantic asymmetry (PSA) in event-related brain potentials (ERPs), which closely tracks the time course and degree of semantic activation from single visual words. This negativity peaked 300 ms after word onset, was derived by subtracting right- from left-side activity, and was larger in a semantic task compared to two non-semantic control tasks. The validity of the PSA in reflecting the effort to activate word meaning was again attested by a negative correlation between the meaning-specific PSA increase and verbal intelligence, even after controlling for nonverbal intelligence...
June 6, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Phillip R Zoladz, Tessa J Duffy, Brianne E Mosley, Miranda K Fiely, Hannah E Nagle, Amanda R Scharf, Callie M Brown, McKenna B Earley, Boyd R Rorabaugh, Alison M Dailey
Certain susceptibility factors, such as genetic variants or specific physiological responses to stress, can dictate the effects of stress on learning and memory. Here, we examined the influence of the BclI polymorphism of the glucocorticoid receptor gene on the time-dependent effects of pre-learning stress on long-term memory. Healthy individuals were exposed to the socially evaluated cold pressor test or a control condition immediately or 30 min before word list learning. Participants' memory for the words was tested immediately and 24 h after learning, and saliva samples were collected to genotype participants for the BclI polymorphism and to assess cortisol responses to the stressor...
June 4, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Anthony Boyer, Sofiane Ramdani, Hugues Duffau, Bénédicte Poulin-Charronnat, David Guiraud, François Bonnetblanc
Slow-growing, infiltrative brain tumours may modify the electrophysiological balance between the two hemispheres. To determine whether and how asymmetry of EEG rhythms during motor preparation might occur following "awake brain surgery" for this type of tumour, we recorded electroencephalograms during a simple visuo-manual reaction time paradigm performed by the patients between 3 and 12 months after surgery and compared them to a control group of 8 healthy subjects. Frequency analyses revealed imbalances between the injured and healthy hemispheres...
June 2, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Anne Gärtner, Alexander Strobel, Andreas Reif, Klaus-Peter Lesch, Sören Enge
Growing evidence demonstrates that the serotonin system influences punishment behavior in social decision-making and that individual differences in the propensity to punish are, at least in part, due to genetic variation. However, the specific genes and their mechanisms by which they influence punishment behavior are not yet fully characterized. Here, we examined whether serotonin system-related gene variation impacts on altruistic punishment in the ultimatum game by using a longitudinal approach with three time points, covering a time frame up to four months in young adults (N = 106)...
May 30, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Carmelo M Vicario, Karolina A Kuran, Robert Rogers, Robert D Rafal
Human history is studded with instances where instinctive motivations take precedence over ethical choices. Nevertheless, the evidence of any linking between motivational states and morality has never been systematically explored. Here we addressed this topic by testing a possible linking between appetite and moral judgment. We compared moral disapproval ratings (MDR) for stories of ethical violations in participants under fasting and after having eaten a snack. Our results show that subjective hunger, measured via self-reported rating, reduces MDR for ethical violations...
May 28, 2018: Brain and Cognition
T Smeets, P van Ruitenbeek, B Hartogsveld, Conny W E M Quaedflieg
Instrumental learning, i.e., learning that specific behaviors lead to desired outcomes, occurs through goal-directed and habit memory systems. Exposure to acute stress has been shown to result in less goal-directed control, thus rendering behavior more habitual. The aim of the current studies was to replicate and extend findings on stress-induced prompting of habitual responding and specifically focused on the role of stress-induced cortisol reactivity. Study 1 used an established outcome devaluation paradigm to assess goal-directed and habitual control...
May 25, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Charlotte Martial, David Stawarczyk, Arnaud D'Argembeau
The self-concept consists of both a general (context-independent) self-representation and a set of context-dependent selves that represent personal attributes in particular contexts (e.g., as a student, as a daughter). To date, however, neuroimaging studies have focused on general self-representations, such that little is known about the neural correlates of context-dependent self-knowledge. The present study aimed at investigating this issue by examining the neural correlates of both kinds of self-knowledge...
May 25, 2018: Brain and Cognition
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