The Role of Default Network Deactivation in Cognition and Disease.

Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, Connecticut Mental Health Center, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, USA. Electronic address: .
Trends in Cognitive Sciences (Impact Factor: 21.97). 11/2012; 16(12). DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2012.10.008
Source: PubMed


A considerable body of evidence has accumulated over recent years on the functions of the default-mode network (DMN) - a set of brain regions whose activity is high when the mind is not engaged in specific behavioral tasks and low during focused attention on the external environment. In this review, we focus on DMN suppression and its functional role in health and disease, summarizing evidence that spans several disciplines, including cognitive neuroscience, pharmacological neuroimaging, clinical neuroscience, and theoretical neuroscience. Collectively, this research highlights the functional relevance of DMN suppression for goal-directed cognition, possibly by reducing goal-irrelevant functions supported by the DMN (e.g., mind-wandering), and illustrates the functional significance of DMN suppression deficits in severe mental illness.

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    • "In line with this notion, functional imaging studies that rely on internal attention report active involvement of the precuneus in processes such as episodic memory retrieval or self-processing operations (Cavanna and Trimble, 2006). More generally, DMN-activation can be observed during various kinds of loose self-referential thought or " mind wandering " (Spreng, 2012; see also Anticevic et al., 2012). These functions may directly relate to creativity, as creative cognition has long been hypothesized to draw strongly upon primary process cognition (Kris, 1952), i.e. autonomous and associative processing with an internal focus of attention that goes along with increased EEG alpha power (Fink and Benedek, 2014a). "
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    ABSTRACT: There is increasing research interest in the structural and functional brain correlates underlying creative potential. Recent investigations found that interindividual differences in creative potential relate to volumetric differences in brain regions belonging to the default mode network, such as the precuneus. Yet, the complex interplay between creative potential, intelligence, and personality traits and their respective neural bases are still under debate. We investigated regional gray matter volume (rGMV) differences that can be associated with creative potential in a heterogeneous sample of N = 135 individuals using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). By means of latent variable modeling and consideration of recent psychometric advancements in creativity research, we sought to disentangle the effects of ideational originality and fluency as two independent indicators of creative potential. Intelligence and openness to experience were considered as common covariates of creative potential. The results confirmed and extended previous research: rGMV in the precuneus was associated with ideational originality, but not with ideational fluency. In addition, we found ideational originality to be correlated with rGMV in the caudate nucleus. The results indicate that the ability to produce original ideas is tied to default-mode as well as dopaminergic structures. These structural brain correlates of ideational originality were apparent throughout the whole range of intellectual ability and thus not moderated by intelligence. In contrast, structural correlates of ideational flueny, a quantitative marker of creative potential, were observed only in lower intelligent individuals in the cuneus / lingual gyrus.
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    • "). Given that DMN is associated with both potentially disruptive introspection and mindwandering , it is not surprising that abnormal persistent activation of DMN has been shown to be associated with various disruptions of normal cognitive functioning (Anticevic et al., 2012) and stream of consciousness (perhaps especially of " transitive parts " that normally assure a sense of continuous temporal flow) (Northoff, 2015)—both suggestive of disturbed grip. "
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    DESCRIPTION: Schizophrenia is a diverse and varying syndrome that defies most attempts at classification and pathogenetic explanation. This is the second of two articles offering a comprehensive model meant to integrate an understanding of schizophrenic forms of subjectivity, especially anomalous core-self experience (disturbed ipseity), with neurocognitive and neurodevelopmental findings. In the first article we discussed the primary or foundational role of disturbed intermodal perceptional integration (“perceptual dys-integration”). Here we discuss phenomenological alterations that can be considered secondary in a pathogenetic sense—whether as consequential products downstream from a more originary disruption, or as defensive reactions involving quasi-intentional or even volitional compensations to the more primary disruptions. These include secondary forms of: 1, hyperreflexivity, 2, diminished self-presence (self-affection), and 3. disturbed “grip” on the cognitive/perceptual field of awareness. We consider complementary relations between these secondary abnormal experiences while also considering their temporal relationships and pathogenetic intertwining with the more primary phenomenological alterations discussed previously, all in relation to the neurodevelopmental model. The secondary phenomena can be understood as highly variable factors involving overall orientations or attitudes toward experience; they have some affinities with experiences of meditation, introspectionism, and depersonalization defense. Also, they seem likely to become more pronounced during adolescence as a result of new cognitive capacities related to development of the prefrontal lobes, especially attention allocation, executive functions, abstraction, and meta-awareness. Heterogeneity in these secondary alterations might help explain much of the clinical diversity in schizophrenia, both between patients and within individual patients over time—without however losing sight of key underlying commonalities.
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    • "Cognitive impairments in SZ may not only be associated with the failure to recruit the fronto-parietal network, but also a relative lack of DMN deactivation (Whitfield-Gabrieli and Ford, 2012). In line with this, a failure of DMN deactivation may reflect a key feature of SZ (Broyd et al., 2009; Landin-Romero et al., 2015; Pomarol-Clotet et al., 2008), and the reciprocity between these two networks may be affected in patients (Anticevic et al., 2013; Nygard et al., 2012; Whitfield-Gabrieli et al., 2009). Structural brain abnormalities have been consistently reported in patients with SZ, including reductions in cortical thickness, surface area, gray matter volumes, and gyrification (Ellison-Wright and Bullmore, 2010; Gupta et al., 2015; Nesvag et al., 2014; Rimol et al., 2010; Rimol et al., 2012), global and subcortical volumes (van Erp et al., 2015), as well as white matter microstructure as measured by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) (Ellison-Wright and Bullmore, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia (SZ) is a psychotic disorder with significant cognitive dysfunction. Abnormal brain activation during cognitive processing has been reported, both in task-positive and task-negative networks. Further, structural cortical and subcortical brain abnormalities have been documented, but little is known about how task-related brain activation is associated with brain anatomy in SZ compared to healthy controls (HC). Utilizing linked independent component analysis (LICA), a data-driven multimodal analysis approach, we investigated structure–function associations in a large sample of SZ (n = 96) and HC (n = 142). We tested for associations between task-positive (fronto-parietal) and task-negative (default-mode) brain networks derived from fMRI activation during an n-back working memory task, and brain structural measures of surface area, cortical thickness, and gray matter volume, and to what extent these associations differed in SZ compared to HC. A significant association (p b .05, corrected for multiple comparisons) was found between a component reflecting the task-positive fronto-parietal network and another component reflecting cortical thickness in fronto-temporal brain regions in SZ, indicating increased activation with increased thickness. Other structure–function associations across, between and within groups were generally moderate and significant at a nominal p-level only, with more numerous and stronger associations in SZ compared to HC. These results indicate a complex pattern of moderate associations between brain activation during cognitive processing and brain morphometry, and extend previous findings of fronto-temporal brain abnormalities in SZ by suggesting a coupling between cortical thickness of these brain regions and working memory-related brain activation.
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