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    ABSTRACT: Gyrification, the developmental buckling of the cortex, is not a random process-the forces that mediate expansion do so in such a way as to generate consistent patterns of folds across individuals and even species. Although the origin of these forces is unknown, some theories have suggested that they may be related to external cortical factors such as axonal tension. Here, we investigate an alternative hypothesis, namely, whether the differential tangential expansion of the cortex alone can account for the degree and pattern-specificity of gyrification. Using intrinsic curvature as a measure of differential expansion, we initially explored whether this parameter and the local gyrification index (used to quantify the degree of gyrification) varied in a regional-specific pattern across the cortical surface in a manner that was replicable across independent datasets of neurotypicals. Having confirmed this consistency, we further demonstrated that within each dataset, the degree of intrinsic curvature of the cortex was predictive of the degree of cortical folding at a global and regional level. We conclude that differential expansion is a plausible primary mechanism for gyrification, and propose that this perspective offers a compelling mechanistic account of the co-localization of cytoarchitecture and cortical folds.
    Cerebral Cortex 03/2013;
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    Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience 01/2013; 7:25.
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    ABSTRACT: Sense of agency refers to the sense of initiating and controlling actions in order to influence events in the outside world. Recently, a distinction between implicit and explicit aspects of sense of agency has been proposed, analogous to distinctions found in other areas of cognition, notably learning. However, there is yet no strong evidence supporting separable implicit and explicit components of sense of agency. The so-called 'Perruchet paradigm' offers one of the few convincing demonstrations of separable implicit and explicit learning systems. We adopted this approach to evaluate the implicit-explicit distinction in the context of a simple task in which outcomes were probabilistically caused by actions. In line with our initial predictions, we found evidence of a dissociation. We discuss the implications of this result for theories of sense of agency.
    Consciousness and Cognition 11/2012; 21(4):1748-1753.
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    ABSTRACT: Sense of agency refers to the experience of initiating and controlling actions in order to influence events in the outside world. A disturbed sense of agency is found in certain psychiatric and neurological disorders, most notably schizophrenia. Sense of agency is associated with a subjective compression of time: actions and their outcomes are perceived as bound together in time. This is known as 'intentional binding' and, in healthy adults, depends partly on advance prediction of action outcomes. Notably, this predictive contribution is disrupted in patients with schizophrenia. In the present study we aimed to characterise the psychotomimetic effect of ketamine, a drug model for psychosis, on the predictive contribution to intentional binding. It was shown that ketamine produced a disruption that closely resembled previous data from patients in the early, prodromal, stage of schizophrenic illness. These results are discussed in terms of established models of delusion formation in schizophrenia. The link between time and agency, more generally, is also considered.
    Neuropsychologia 07/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: A growing consensus in social cognitive neuroscience holds that large portions of the primate visual brain are dedicated to the processing of social information, i.e., to those aspects of stimuli that are usually encountered in social interactions such as others' facial expressions, actions, and symbols. Yet, studies of social perception have mostly employed simple pictorial representations of conspecifics. These stimuli are social only in the restricted sense that they physically resemble objects with which the observer would typically interact. In an equally important sense, however, these stimuli might be regarded as "non-social": the observer knows that they are viewing pictures and might therefore not attribute current mental states to the stimuli or might do so in a qualitatively different way than in a real social interaction. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of such higher-order conceptualization of the stimulus for social perceptual processing. Here, we assess the similarity between the various types of stimuli used in the laboratory and object classes encountered in real social interactions. We distinguish two different levels at which experimental stimuli can match social stimuli as encountered in everyday social settings: (1) the extent to which a stimulus' physical properties resemble those typically encountered in social interactions and (2) the higher-level conceptualization of the stimulus as indicating another person's mental states. We illustrate the significance of this distinction for social perception research and report new empirical evidence further highlighting the importance of mental state attribution for perceptual processing. Finally, we discuss the potential of this approach to inform studies of clinical conditions such as autism.
    Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 01/2012; 6:128.
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    ABSTRACT: The human cerebral cortex is a complex network of functionally specialized regions interconnected by axonal fibers, but the organizational principles underlying cortical connectivity remain unknown. Here, we report evidence that one such principle for functional cortical networks involves finding a balance between maximizing communication efficiency and minimizing connection cost, referred to as optimization of network cost-efficiency. We measured spontaneous fluctuations of the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal using functional magnetic resonance imaging in healthy monozygotic (16 pairs) and dizygotic (13 pairs) twins and characterized cost-efficient properties of brain network functional connectivity between 1041 distinct cortical regions. At the global network level, 60% of the interindividual variance in cost-efficiency of cortical functional networks was attributable to additive genetic effects. Regionally, significant genetic effects were observed throughout the cortex in a largely bilateral pattern, including bilateral posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortices, dorsolateral prefrontal and superior parietal cortices, and lateral temporal and inferomedial occipital regions. Genetic effects were stronger for cost-efficiency than for other metrics considered, and were more clearly significant in functional networks operating in the 0.09-0.18 Hz frequency interval than at higher or lower frequencies. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that brain networks evolved to satisfy competitive selection criteria of maximizing efficiency and minimizing cost, and that optimization of network cost-efficiency represents an important principle for the brain's functional organization.
    Journal of Neuroscience 03/2011; 31(9):3261-70.
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    ABSTRACT: Recent genetic results have indicated that the two major, classically distinct forms of psychosis - schizophrenia and bipolar disorder - may share causative factors in common. However it is not clear to what extent they may also have similar profiles of brain abnormality. We used meta-analytic techniques to generate and compare maps of brain structural abnormality in the large samples of patients with both disorders that have been studied using magnetic resonance imaging. A systematic search was conducted for voxel-based morphometry studies examining gray matter in patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. The anatomical distribution of the co-ordinates of gray matter differences was meta-analysed using Anatomical Likelihood Estimation. Forty-two schizophrenia studies including 2058 patients with schizophrenia and 2131 comparison subjects were compared with fourteen bipolar studies including 366 patients with bipolar disorder and 497 comparison subjects. In schizophrenia, there were extensive gray matter deficits in frontal, temporal, cingulate and insular cortex and thalamus, and increased gray matter in the basal ganglia. In bipolar disorder, gray matter reductions were present in the anterior cingulate and bilateral insula. These substantially overlapped with areas of gray matter reduction in schizophrenia, except for a region of anterior cingulate where gray matter reduction was specific to bipolar disorder. In bipolar disorder studies there were consistent regional gray matter reductions in paralimbic regions (anterior cingulate and insula) implicated in emotional processing. Gray matter reductions in schizophrenia studies were more extensive and involved limbic and neocortical structures as well as the paralimbic regions affected in bipolar disorder.
    Schizophrenia Research 03/2010; 117(1):1-12.
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    ABSTRACT: Graph theory allows us to quantify any complex system, e.g., in social sciences, biology or technology, that can be abstractly described as a set of nodes and links. Here we derived human brain functional networks from fMRI measurements of endogenous, low frequency, correlated oscillations in 90 cortical and subcortical regions for two groups of healthy (young and older) participants. We investigated the modular structure of these networks and tested the hypothesis that normal brain aging might be associated with changes in modularity of sparse networks. Newman's modularity metric was maximised and topological roles were assigned to brain regions depending on their specific contributions to intra- and inter-modular connectivity. Both young and older brain networks demonstrated significantly non-random modularity. The young brain network was decomposed into 3 major modules: central and posterior modules, which comprised mainly nodes with few inter-modular connections, and a dorsal fronto-cingulo-parietal module, which comprised mainly nodes with extensive inter-modular connections. The mean network in the older group also included posterior, superior central and dorsal fronto-striato-thalamic modules but the number of intermodular connections to frontal modular regions was significantly reduced, whereas the number of connector nodes in posterior and central modules was increased.
    NeuroImage 12/2008; 44(3):715-23.
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    ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injury is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in our society, particularly among the young. This review discusses the pathophysiology of traumatic brain injury, and current management from the acute phase through to rehabilitation of the traumatic brain injury patient.
    British journal of hospital medicine (London, England: 2005) 06/2008; 69(5):284-9.
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    ABSTRACT: An intriguing puzzle in cognitive neuroscience over recent years has been the common observation of parietal lobe activation in functional neuroimaging studies during the performance of human memory tasks. These findings have surprised scientists and clinicians because they challenge decades of established thinking that the parietal lobe does not support memory function. However, direct empirical investigation of whether circumscribed parietal lobe lesions might indeed be associated with human memory impairment has been lacking. Here we confirm using functional magnetic resonance imaging that significant parietal lobe activation is observed in healthy volunteers during a task assessing recollection of the context in which events previously occurred. However, patients with parietal lobe lesions that overlap closely with the regions activated in the healthy volunteers nevertheless exhibit normal performance on the same recollection task. Thus, although the processes subserved by the human parietal lobe appear to be recruited to support memory function, they are not a necessary requirement for accurate remembering to occur.
    Neuropsychologia 04/2008; 46(4):1185-91.
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