Cortex (CORTEX )

Publisher: Elsevier


Cortex is an international journal devoted to the study of the inter-relations of the nervous system and behavior, particularly as these are reflected in the effects of brain lesions on cognitive functions. It was founded in 1964. Tra le riviste italiane con maggior impact factor, raccoglie selezionati lavori di ricerca sulle attività nervose superiori. Si rivolge essenzialmente a un pubblico di neurologi e psicologi, ma tratta argomenti di pertinenza anche per gli psichiatri e per quanti sono interessati ad analizzare il comportamento umano e le sue alterazioni in termini di strutture e meccanismi anatomo-fisiologici. Dal 2001 il comitato scientifico, rinnovato e potenziato, è diretto dall'Editor in Chief dott. Sergio Della Sala. In occasioni del 40° anniversario sono stati rinnovati formato e grafica della rivista ed è stato accresciuto il sito web, che mette a disposizione l'archivio e, per gli abbonati, l'ultimo numero e gli articoli che saranno pubblicati nei prossimi numeri.

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  • 5-year impact
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  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
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  • Website
    Cortex website
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  • Material type
    Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
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    • Voluntary deposit by author of pre-print allowed on Institutions open scholarly website and pre-print servers
    • Voluntary deposit by author of authors post-print allowed on institutions open scholarly website including Institutional Repository
    • Deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental mandate only allowed where separate agreement between repository and publisher exists
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    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • NIH Authors articles will be submitted to PMC after 12 months
    • Authors who are required to deposit in subject repositories may also use Sponsorship Option
    • Pre-print can not be deposited for The Lancet
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • Cortex 05/2014; 54:A1.
  • Cortex 04/2014; 53:A1-3.
  • Cortex 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Most of our learning activity takes place in a social context. I examined how social interactions influence associative learning in neurodegenerative diseases and atypical neurodevelopmental conditions primarily characterised by social cognitive and memory dysfunctions. Participants were individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA, n = 18), early-stage behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD, n = 16) and Alzheimer's disease (AD, n = 20). The leading symptoms in HFA and bvFTD were social and behavioural dysfunctions, whereas AD was characterised by memory deficits. Participants received three versions of a paired associates learning task. In the game with boxes test, objects were hidden in six candy boxes placed in different locations on the computer screen. In the game with faces, each box was labelled by a photo of a person. In the real-life version of the game, participants played with real persons. Individuals with HFA and bvFTD performed well in the computer games, but failed on the task including real persons. In contrast, in patients with early-stage AD, social interactions boosted paired associates learning up to the level of healthy control volunteers. Worse performance in the real life game was associated with less successful recognition of complex emotions and mental states in the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test. Spatial span did not affect the results. When social cognition is impaired, but memory systems are less compromised (HFA and bvFTD), real-life interactions disrupt associative learning; when disease process impairs memory systems but social cognition is relatively intact (early-stage AD), social interactions have a beneficial effect on learning and memory.
    Cortex 03/2014; 54C:200-209.
  • Cortex 02/2014;
  • Cortex 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Although accurate diagnosis of deficit of mild intensity is critical, various methods are used to assess, dichotomize and integrate performance, with no validated gold standard. This study described and validated a framework for the analysis of cognitive performance. This study was performed by using the Groupe de Réflexion sur L'Evaluation des Fonctions EXécutives (GREFEX) database (724 controls and 461 patients) examined by 7 tests assessing executive functions. The first phase determined the criteria for the cutoff scores, the second phase, the effect of test number on diagnostic accuracy and the third phase, the best methods for combining test scores into an overall summary score. Four validation criteria were used: determination of impaired performance as compared to expected one, false-positive rate ≤5%, detection of both single and multiple impairments with optimal sensitivity. The procedure based on 5th percentile cutoffs determined from standardized residuals was the most appropriate procedure. Although area under the curve (AUC) increased with the number of scores (p = .0001), the false-positive rate also increased (p = .0001), resulting in suboptimal sensitivity for detecting selective impairment. Two overall summary scores, the average of the seven process scores and the Item Response Theory (IRT) score, had significantly (p = .0001) higher AUCs, even for patients with a selective impairment, and provided higher resulting prevalence of dysexecutive disorders (p = .0001). The present study provides and validates a generative framework for the interpretation of cognitive data. Two overall summary score met all 4 validation criteria. A practical consequence is the need to profoundly modify the analysis and interpretation of cognitive assessments for both routine use and clinical research.
    Cortex 02/2014; 54C:51-62.
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    ABSTRACT: From the first research on aphasia, it has been shown that, in addition to verbal communication disorders, aphasic patients often have difficulty on non-verbal cognitive tasks, which can actually be solved without the use of language. In this survey, I will discuss in a historical perspective the different interpretations provided by classical and contemporary authors to explain this puzzling observation. First, I will take into account the different positions of classical authorities on this topic, starting from the first debates (mainly based on anatomo-clinical observations) on the organization of language in the brain. Then, I will attempt to summarize the work of authors who have tackled this complex issue more recently, in systematic investigations using methods drawn from experimental psychology, to clarify the meaning of non-verbal cognitive disorders in aphasia. Finally, in the last part of the survey, I will discuss the interpretation of proponents of the ‘semantic hub’ hypothesis who have tried to analyse and explain the differences between the non-verbal semantic defects of patients with semantic dementia and aphasic stroke patients. The hypothesis which assumes that most non-verbal cognitive disorders observed in aphasic patients are due to a preverbal conceptual disorder, which cannot be attributed to a loss of semantic representations but rather to a defect in their controlled retrieval, seems substantially confirmed. Nevertheless, two main issues must still be clarified. The first is that some of the non-verbal cognitive defects of aphasic patients seem due to the negative influence of language disturbances on abstract non-verbal cognitive activities, rather than to a preverbal conceptual disorder. The second issue concerns the exact nature and the neuro-anatomical correlates of the defective controlled retrieval of unimpared conceptual representations, which should subsume most of the non-verbal cognitive disorders of aphasic patients.
    Cortex 01/2014;
  • Cortex 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective There is increasing evidence that congenital heart disease affects brain structure, but little is known about the long-term trajectory of brain maturation and its impact on the cognitive development of patients with congenital heart disease. We proposed to address this question in a longitudinally-followed cohort of individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, the most common microdeletion syndrome in humans. Methods A total of 80 participants were included in this longitudinal analysis. The volumes of thirty-four cortical regions and eight hippocampal regions were measured in each hemisphere with FreeSurfer software. This paper utilized linear mixed modelling to investigate cerebral morphometry and age-related maturational changes of all regions. The effect of congenital heart disease was assessed for intercept and slope significance. Results We observed significant (p<0.05/34) volumetric reductions in patients with congenital heart disease compared to patients without in fifteen out of the sixty-eight cortical sub-regions. Similarly, global hippocampal volumes and twelve of the hippocampal sub-regions were significantly smaller (p<0.05/8). The results demonstrate significant absolute volumetric differences, but did not show any significant differences in the way that the cortical or hippocampal regions developed over time. There was limited evidence of any effect of the presence of congenital heart disease on key cognitive measures. Conclusions We propose that cerebral hypoperfusion, due to the presence of congenital heart disease or its surgery, impairs early cortical and particularly hippocampal growth, potentially due to the damaging effects of stress, but not subsequent maturational processes in children and adolescents.
    Cortex 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Theories of spoken word production agree that semantic and phonological representations are activated in spoken word production. There is less agreement concerning the role of syntax. In this study we investigated noun syntax activation in English bare noun naming, using mass and count nouns. Fourteen healthy controls and thirteen speakers with aphasia took part. Participants named mass and count nouns, and completed a related noun syntax judgement task. We analysed speakers’ noun syntax knowledge when naming accurately, and when making errors in production. Healthy speakers’ noun syntax judgement was accurate for words they named correctly, but this did not correlate with naming accuracy. Speakers with aphasia varied in their noun syntax judgement, and this also did not correlate with naming accuracy. Healthy speakers' syntax for semantic errors was less accurate, as was that for speakers with aphasia. For phonological errors half the participants with aphasia could access syntax, half could not, indicating two types of phonological error. Individual differences were found in no responses. Finally, we found no effect of frequency for any of the above. The lack of a relationship between syntax and naming accuracy suggests that syntax is available, but access is not obligatory. This finding supports theories incorporating non-obligatory syntactic processing, which is independent of phonological access. The semantic error data are best explained within such a theory where there is damage to phonological access and hence to independent syntax. For the aphasia group we identify two types of phonological error, one implicating syntax and phonology, and one implicating phonology only, again supporting independent access to these systems. Overall the data support a model with in which syntax is independent of phonology, and activation of syntax operates flexibly dependent on task demands and integrity of other processing routines.
    Cortex 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The sense of body ownership is based on integration of multimodal sensory information, including tactile sensation, proprioception, and vision. Distorted body ownership contributes to the development of chronic pain syndromes and possibly symptoms of psychiatric disease. However, the effects of disownership on cortical processing of somatosensory information are unknown. In the present study, we created a “disownership” condition in healthy individuals by manipulating the visual information indicating the location of the subject’s own left hand using a mirror box and examined the influence of this disownership on cortical responses to electrical stimulation of the left index finger using magnetoencephalography. The event-related magnetic field in the right primary somatosensory cortex at approximately 50 ms (M50) after stimulus was enhanced under the disownership condition. The present results suggest that M50 reflects a cortical incongruence detection mechanism involving integration of sensory inputs from visual and proprioceptive systems. This signal may be valuable for future studies of the mechanisms underlying sense of body ownership and the role that disrupted sense of ownership has in neurological disease.
    Cortex 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Deficits in the ability to understand and predict the mental states of others is one of the central features of traumatic brain injury (TBI), leading to problems in social-daily life such as social withdrawal and the inability to maintain work or family relationships. Although several functional neuroimaging studies have identified a widely distributed brain network involved in the reading the mind in the eyes test (RMET), the necessary brain regions engaged in this capacity are still heavily debated. In this study, we combined the RMET with a whole-brain voxel-based lesion symptom mapping (VLSM) approach to identify brain regions necessary for adequate RMET performance in a large sample of patients with penetrating TBI (pTBI). Our results revealed that pTBI patients performed worse on the RMET compared to non-head injured controls, and impaired RMET performance was associated with lesions in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Our findings suggest that the left IFG is a key region in reading the mind in the eyes, probably involved in a more general impairment of a semantic working memory system that facilitates reasoning about what others are feeling and thinking as expressed by the eyes.
    Cortex 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Research has shown that direct current stimulation (tDCS) over left temporoparietal cortex – a region implicated in phonological processing – aids new word learning. The locus of this effect remains unclear since (i) experiments have not empirically separated the acquisition of phonological forms from lexical-semantic links and (ii) outcome measures have focused on learnt associations with a referent rather than phonological stability. We tested the hypothesis that left temporoparietal tDCS would strengthen the acquisition of phonological forms, even in the absence of the opportunity to acquire lexical-semantic associations. Participants were familiarised with nonwords paired with (i) photographs of concrete referents or (ii) blurred images where no clear features were visible. Nonword familiarisation proceeded under conditions of anodal tDCS and sham stimulation in different sessions. We examined the impact of these manipulations on the stability of the phonological trace in an immediate serial recall (ISR) task the following day, ensuring that any effects were due to the influence of tDCS on long-term learning and not a direct consequence of short-term changes in neural excitability. We found that only a few exposures to the phonological forms of nonwords were sufficient to enhance nonword ISR overall compared to entirely novel items. Anodal tDCS during familiarisation further enhanced the acquisition of phonological forms, producing a specific reduction in the frequency of phoneme migrations when sequences of nonwords were maintained in verbal short-term memory. More of the phonemes that were recalled were bound together as a whole correct nonword following tDCS. These data show that tDCS to left temporoparietal cortex can facilitate word learning by strengthening the acquisition of long-term phonological forms, irrespective of the availability of a concrete referent, and that the consequences of this learning can be seen beyond the learning task as strengthened phonological coherence in verbal short-term memory.
    Cortex 01/2014;
  • Cortex 01/2014;

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