Frontiers in Neuroscience

Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation


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    Front. neurosci
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Frontiers Research Foundation

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Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: Human decision-making has been frequently studied and sex differences have been reported. Interestingly, previous results of hormone concentration on decision-making are somewhat inconsistent, regarding the impact of menstrual cycle phase in women or the influence of testosterone concentration on decision-making in women and men. However, the influence of the female sex hormone concentration (estradiol, progesterone) and the impact of oral contraceptive intake have rarely been examined and data regarding the effect of daytime variations of male testosterone are lacking. Moreover if personality factors such as sensation seeking, impulsivity and anxiety influence decision-making, sex-specific effects, act as modulators is unclear. In the present study 71 women and 45 men were enrolled. All participants performed a novel computerized decision-making task measuring risk-taking behavior on the basis of contingencies (Haegler et al., 2010), which can be carried out several times without a learning effect. Saliva samples were collected to obtain estradiol, progesterone and testosterone levels. Additionally, all participants completed questionnaires measuring various personality factors. Data analysis revealed no sex differences in decision-making and no significant impact of testosterone concentration on behavioral performance in women or men. However, a significant negative correlation between progesterone concentration of women in the luteal phase and their performance in the risk-averse condition was obtained. Interestingly, a significant correlation between trait anxiety and decision-making occurred in females and males. Despite similar risky decision-making of women and men and no influence of testosterone concentration, menstrual cycle phase showed an effect on risk taking in women. In contrary to other studies, our findings provide rather subtle evidence for hormonal influences in decision-making, which may be primarily explained by task factors.
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 10/2014; 8(352).
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    ABSTRACT: Relaxation rates provide important information about tissue microstructure. Multi-parameter mapping (MPM) estimates multiple relaxation parameters from multi-echo FLASH acquisitions with different basic contrasts, i.e., proton density (PD), T1 or magnetization transfer (MT) weighting. Motion can particularly affect maps of the apparent transverse relaxation rate R2(*), which are derived from the signal of PD-weighted images acquired at different echo times. To address the motion artifacts, we introduce ESTATICS, which robustly estimates R2(*) from images even when acquired with different basic contrasts. ESTATICS extends the fitted signal model to account for inherent contrast differences in the PDw, T1w and MTw images. The fit was implemented as a conventional ordinary least squares optimization and as a robust fit with a small or large confidence interval. These three different implementations of ESTATICS were tested on data affected by severe motion artifacts and data with no prominent motion artifacts as determined by visual assessment or fast optical motion tracking. ESTATICS improved the quality of the R2(*) maps and reduced the coefficient of variation for both types of data-with average reductions of 30% when severe motion artifacts were present. ESTATICS can be applied to any protocol comprised of multiple 2D/3D multi-echo FLASH acquisitions as used in the general research and clinical setting.
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 09/2014; 8:278.