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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    Cortex website
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    Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

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    • Pre-print allowed on any website or open access repository
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    • Deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate only allowed where separate agreement between repository and the publisher exists.
    • Permitted deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate, may be required to comply with embargo periods of 12 months to 48 months .
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    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • NIH Authors articles will be submitted to PubMed Central after 12 months
    • Publisher last contacted on 18/10/2013
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Symmetry is an organizational principle that is ubiquitous throughout the visual world. However, this property can also be detected through non-visual modalities such as touch. The role of prior visual experience on detecting tactile patterns containing symmetry remains unclear. We compared the behavioral performance of early blind and sighted (blindfolded) controls on a tactile symmetry detection task. The tactile patterns used were similar in design and complexity as in previous visual perceptual studies. The neural correlates associated with this behavioral task were identified with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In line with growing evidence demonstrating enhanced tactile processing abilities in the blind, we found that early blind individuals showed significantly superior performance in detecting tactile symmetric patterns compared to sighted controls. Furthermore, comparing patterns of activation between these two groups identified common areas of activation (e.g. superior parietal cortex) but key differences also emerged. In particular, tactile symmetry detection in the early blind was also associated with activation that included peri-calcarine cortex, lateral occipital (LO), and middle temporal (MT) cortex, as well as inferior temporal and fusiform cortex. These results contribute to the growing evidence supporting superior behavioral abilities in the blind, and the neural correlates associated with crossmodal neuroplasticity following visual deprivation.
    Cortex 02/2015; 63:104–117.
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    ABSTRACT: The construction of anosognosia as a clinical ‘disorder’ resulted from the convergence (in the work of various writers and culminating in Babinski) of a name, a concept, and a clinical phenomenon. During the early stages of this convergence, unawareness of neurological dysfunction was not considered as an independent clinical phenomenon. Started in the work of Anton, the process of separating it as a differentiable clinical state is completed by Babinski who reaffirmed the semiological independence of ‘unawareness’. The history of the construction of ‘anosognosia’ parallels the late 19th century debate on the nature and brain inscription of the concept of ‘consciousness’.
    Cortex 12/2014;
  • Cortex 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Despite many claims of functional reorganization following tumour surgery, empirical studies that investigate changes in functional activation patterns are rare. This study investigates whether functional recovery following surgical treatment in patients with a low grade glioma in the left hemisphere is linked to inter-hemispheric reorganization. Based on literature, we hypothesized that reorganization would induce changes in the spatial pattern of activation specifically in tumour homologue brain areas in the healthy right hemisphere. An experimental group of 14 patients with a glioma in the left hemisphere near language related brain areas, and a control group of 6 patients with a glioma in the right, non-language dominant hemisphere were scanned before and after resection. In addition, an age and gender matched second control group of eighteen healthy volunteers was scanned twice. A verb generation task was used to map language related areas and a novel technique was used for data analysis. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that functional recovery following surgery of low-grade gliomas cannot be linked to functional reorganization in language homologue brain areas in the healthy, right hemisphere. Although elevated changes in the activation pattern were found in patients after surgery, these were largest in brain areas in proximity to the surgical resection, and were very similar to the spatial pattern of the brain shift following surgery. This suggests that the apparent perilesional functional reorganization is mostly caused by the brain shift as a consequence of surgery. Perilesional functional reorganization can however not be excluded. The study suggests that language recovery after transient postsurgical language deficits involves recovery of functioning of the presurgical language system.
    Cortex 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In digit-color synesthesia, a variant of grapheme-color synesthesia, digits trigger an additional color percept. Recent work on number processing in synesthesia suggests that colors can implicitly elicit numerical representations in digit-color synesthetes implying that synesthesia is bidirectional. Furthermore, morphometric investigations revealed structural differences in the parietal cortex of grapheme-color synesthetes, i.e., in the brain region where interactions between number and space occur in non-synesthetic subjects. Based upon these previous findings, we here examined whether implicitly evoked numerical representations interact with spatial representations in synesthesia in such a way that even a non-numerical, visuo-spatial task (here: line bisection) is modulated, i.e., whether synesthetes exhibit a systematic bisection bias for colored lines.Thirteen digit-color synesthetes were asked to bisect two sets of lines which were colored in their individual synesthetic colors associated with a small or a large digit, respectively. For all colored line stimuli combined, digit-color synesthetes showed - like control subjects (n=13, matched for age, gender, IQ and handedness) - a pseudo-neglect when bisecting colored lines. Measuring the color-induced change of the bisection bias (i.e., comparing the biases when bisecting lines colored according to a small number vs. those lines corresponding to a large number) revealed that only digit-color synesthetes were significantly influenced by line color.The results provide further evidence for the bidirectional nature of synesthesia and support the concept of a mental number line. In addition, they extend previous reports on bidirectionality in synesthesia by showing that even non-numerical, visuo-spatial performance can be modulated by implicit bidirectional processes.
    Cortex 11/2014;
  • Cortex 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Recognition memory – affected early in the course of Alzheimer Disease (AD) – is supposed to rely on two processes: recollection (i.e. retrieval of details from the encoding episode) and familiarity (i.e. acontextual sense of prior exposure). Recollection has repeatedly been shown to be impaired in patients with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI) – known to be at high risk for AD. However, studies that evaluated familiarity in these patients have reported conflicting results.Here, we assessed familiarity in single-domain aMCI patients (n = 19) and healthy matched controls (n = 22). All participants underwent a classic yes/no recognition memory paradigm with confidence judgments, allowing an estimation of familiarity and recollection similar to the approach used in previous studies. In addition, they underwent a novel speeded recognition memory task, the Speed and Accuracy Boosting procedure, based on the idea that familiarity is fast and hence that fast answers rely on familiarity.On the classic yes/no task, aMCI patients were found to have impaired performance, reaction times, recollection and familiarity. However, performance and reaction times of aMCI patients did not differ from that of controls in the speeded task. This is noteworthy since this task was comparatively difficult for control subjects.This dissociation within familiarity suggests that a very basic component of declarative memory, probably at the interface between implicit and explicit memory, may be preserved, or possibly released, in patients with aMCI. It is suggested that early subprocesses (e.g. fluency based familiarity) could be preserved in aMCI patients, while delayed ones (e.g. conceptual fluency, post-retrieval monitoring, confidence assessment, or even access to awareness) may be impaired. These findings may provide support for recent suggestions that familiarity may result from the combination of a set of subprocesses, each with its specific temporal signature.
    Cortex 11/2014;
  • Cortex 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Music is a sound structure of remarkable acoustical and temporal complexity. Although it cannot denote specific meaning, it is one of the most potent and universal stimuli for inducing mood. How the auditory and limbic systems interact, and whether this interaction is lateralized when feeling emotions related to music, remains unclear. We studied the functional correlation between the auditory cortex and amygdala through intracerebral recordings from both hemispheres in a single patient while she listened attentively to musical excerpts, which we compared to passive listening of a sequence of pure tones. While the left primary and secondary auditory cortices showed larger increases in gamma-band responses than the right side, only the right side showed emotion-modulated gamma oscillatory activity. An intra- and inter-hemisphere correlation was observed between the auditory areas and amygdala during the delivery of a sequence of pure tones. In contrast, a strikingly right-lateralized functional network between the auditory cortex and the amygdala was observed to be related to the musical excerpts the patient experienced as happy, sad and peaceful. Interestingly, excerpts experienced as angry, which the patient disliked, were associated with widespread de-correlation between all the structures. These results suggest that the right auditory-limbic interactions result from the formation of oscillatory networks that bind the activities of the network nodes into coherence patterns, resulting in the emergence of a feeling.
    Cortex 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Space, time and number are fundamental to how we act within and reason about the world. These three experiential domains are systematically intertwined in behavior, language, and the brain. Two main theories have attempted to account for cross-domain interactions. A Theory of Magnitude (ATOM) posits a domain-general magnitude system. Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) maintains that cross-domain interactions are manifestations of asymmetric mappings that use representations of space to structure the domains of number and time. These theories are often viewed as competing accounts. We propose instead that ATOM and CMT are complementary, each illuminating different aspects of cross-domain interactions. We argue that simple representations of magnitude cannot, on their own, account for the rich, complex interactions between space, time and number described by CMT. On the other hand, ATOM is better at accounting for low-level and language-independent associations that arise early in ontogeny. We conclude by discussing how magnitudes and metaphors are both needed to understand our neural and cognitive web of space, time and number.
    Cortex 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Major clues to the human brain mechanisms of spatial attention and visual awareness have come from the syndrome of neglect, where patients ignore one half of space. A longstanding puzzle, though, is that neglect almost always comes from right-hemisphere damage, which suggests that the two sides of the brain play distinct roles. But tests of attention in healthy people have revealed only slight differences between the hemispheres. Here we show that major differences emerge if we look at the timing of brain activity in a task optimized to identify attentional functions. Using EEG to map cortical activity on a millisecond timescale, we found transient (20-30 ms) periods of interhemispheric competition, followed by short phases of marked right-sided activity in the ventral attentional network. Our data are the first to show interhemispheric interactions that, much like a toggle switch, quickly allocate neural resources to one or the other hemisphere.
    Cortex 11/2014;
  • Cortex 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) symptoms have been hypothesized to result from altered brain connectivity. The ‘disconnectivity’ hypothesis has been used to explain characteristic impairments in socio-emotional function, observed clinically in ASD. Here, we review the evidence for impaired white matter connectivity as a neural substrate for socio-emotional dysfunction in ASD. A review of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies, and focused discussion of relevant post-mortem, structural, and functional neuroimaging studies, is provided.Methods Studies were identified using a sensitive search strategy in MEDLINE, Embase and PsycINFO article databases using the OvidSP database interface. Search terms included database subject headings for the concepts of pervasive developmental disorders, and DTI. Seventy-two published DTI studies examining white matter microstructure in ASD were reviewed. A comprehensive discussion of DTI studies that examined white matter tracts linking socio-emotional structures is presented.ResultsSeveral DTI studies reported microstructural differences indicative of developmental alterations in white matter organization, and potentially myelination, in ASD. Altered structure within long-range white matter tracts linking socio-emotional processing regions was implicated. While alterations of the uncinate fasciculus and frontal and temporal thalamic projections have been associated with social symptoms in ASD, few studies examined association of tract microstructure with core impairment in this disorder.Conclusions The uncinate fasciculus and frontal and temporal thalamic projections mediate limbic connectivity and integrate structures responsible for complex socio-emotional functioning. Impaired development of limbic connectivity may represent one neural substrate contributing to ASD social impairments. Future efforts to further elucidate the nature of atypical white matter development, and its relationship to core symptoms, may offer new insights into etiological mechanisms contributing to ASD impairments and uncover novel opportunities for targeted intervention.
    Cortex 11/2014;