Brain Activation While Thinking About the Self From Another Person's Perspective After Traumatic Brain Injury in Adolescents

Newsome, Baylor College of Medicine, Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, 1709 Dryden Road, Suite 725, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Neuropsychology (Impact Factor: 3.27). 03/2010; 24(2):139-47. DOI: 10.1037/a0017432
Source: PubMed


Deficits in self awareness and taking the perspective of others are often observed following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Nine adolescents (ages 12-19 years) who had sustained moderate to severe TBI after an average interval of 2.6 years and nine typically developing (TD) adolescents underwent functional MRI (fMRI) while performing a perspective taking task (D'Argembeau et al., 2007). Participants made trait attributions either from their own perspective or from that of the significant other. The groups did not differ in reaction time or on a consistency criterion. When thinking of the self from a third-person perspective, adolescents with TBI demonstrated greater activation in posterior brain regions implicated in social cognition, the left lingual gyrus (BA 18) and posterior cingulate (BA 31), extending into neighboring regions not generally associated with social cognition, that is, cuneus (BA 31) and parahippocampal gyrus, relative to TD adolescents. We postulate that adolescents with moderate to severe TBI recruited alternative neural pathways during perspective-taking because traumatic axonal injury disrupted their fronto-parietal networks mediating social cognition.

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    • "Thus, a similar proposal might not be as legitimate for social cognition, especially as previous studies have shown that neural compensation for damage to the brain network related to social cognitive tasks is possible. For instance, Newsome et al. demonstrated that a group of adolescents who had traumatic brain injuries (TBI) recruit alternative neural pathways to compensate for theory of mind impairments related to the affected areas by TBI, and hence had similar processing speeds as healthy controls [73]. This evidence may provide a clue to the interpretation of the result that we did not find any correlation between social cognition and oxidative stress, even though the NT4/5 levels that were negatively associated with NO predicted some variance in executive functioning. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Schizophrenia is a debilitating mental disorder that presents impairments in neurocognition and social cognition. Several studies have suggested that the etiology of schizophrenia can be partly explained by oxidative stress. However, our knowledge about the implications of oxidative stress on illness-related cognitive deficits is still far from being clear. The aim of this work was to study the role of oxidative stress molecules on social cognition and neurocognition in patients with schizophrenia.Methods We assessed the peripheral levels of several molecules associated with oxidative stress, namely nitric oxide (NO), malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH), homocysteine, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and neurotrophin 4/5 (NT4/5), in forty¿one patients with schizophrenia and forty-three healthy participants. A battery of tests to measure neurocognition and social cognition was also administered to the schizophrenia group.ResultsWe found that the schizophrenia group presented substantially higher levels of oxidative stress than the control group, as revealed by elevated quantities of the pro-oxidants NO and MDA, and decreased levels of the antioxidants GSH, SOD and NT4/5. Interestingly, the levels of NT4/5, which have been shown to have antioxidant effects, correlated with executive functioning, as measured by two distinct tests (WCST and TMT). However, social cognition and symptom severity were not found to be associated with oxidative stress.Conclusions We propose a protective role of NT4/5 against oxidative stress, which appears to have a potentially beneficial impact on neurocognition in schizophrenia.
    BMC Psychiatry 09/2014; 14(1):268. DOI:10.1186/s12888-014-0268-x · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    • "The robust and long-lasting effect on neurogenic upregulation suggests that this may help play an important role in recovery. Indeed, inducing neurogenesis pharmacologically has been explored as a therapeutic approach following brain trauma following TBI [89], [90]. However, it is worth nothing that in the case of neurogenesis, more is not always better. "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuronal loss is a common component of a variety of neurodegenerative disorders (including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease) and brain traumas (stroke, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury). One brain region that commonly exhibits neuronal loss in several neurodegenerative disorders is the hippocampus, an area of the brain critical for the formation and retrieval of memories. Long-lasting and sometimes unrecoverable deficits caused by neuronal loss present a unique challenge for clinicians and for researchers who attempt to model these traumas in animals. Can these deficits be recovered, and if so, is the brain capable of regeneration following neuronal loss? To address this significant question, we utilized the innovative CaM/Tet-DTA mouse model that selectively induces neuronal ablation. We found that we are able to inflict a consistent and significant lesion to the hippocampus, resulting in hippocampally-dependent behavioral deficits and a long-lasting upregulation in neurogenesis, suggesting that this process might be a critical part of hippocampal recovery. In addition, we provide novel evidence of angiogenic and vasculature changes following hippocampal neuronal loss in CaM/Tet-DTA mice. We posit that angiogenesis may be an important factor that promotes neurogenic upregulation following hippocampal neuronal loss, and both factors, angiogenesis and neurogenesis, can contribute to the adaptive response of the brain for behavioral recovery.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0106009 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "This contrast revealed significant activation within the pACC, dACC, and Cuneus. Such a pattern of activation is in line with the literature on differences between stimuli processing concerning oneself and stimuli processing concerning others, which is suggested to reflect self-related processes [37,38]; (cf. supporting information file S1, Table S4). "
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    ABSTRACT: A number of recent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) studies on intertemporal choice behavior have demonstrated that so-called emotion- and reward-related brain areas are preferentially activated by decisions involving immediately available (but smaller) rewards as compared to (larger) delayed rewards. This pattern of activation was not seen, however, when intertemporal choices were made for another (unknown) individual, which speaks to that activation having been triggered by self-relatedness. In the present fMRI study, we investigated the brain correlates of individuals who passively observed intertemporal choices being made either for themselves or for an unknown person. We found higher activation within the ventral striatum, medial prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex, pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, and posterior cingulate cortex when an immediate reward was possible for the observer herself, which is in line with findings from studies in which individuals actively chose immediately available rewards. Additionally, activation in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, and precuneus was higher for choices that included immediate options than for choices that offered only delayed options, irrespective of who was to be the beneficiary. These results indicate that (1) the activations found in active intertemporal decision making are also present when the same decisions are merely observed, thus supporting the assumption that a robust brain network is engaged in immediate gratification; and (2) with immediate rewards, certain brain areas are activated irrespective of whether the observer or another person is the beneficiary of a decision, suggesting that immediacy plays a more general role for neural activation. An explorative analysis of participants' brain activation corresponding to chosen rewards, further indicates that activation in the aforementioned brain areas depends on the mere presence, availability, or actual reception of immediate rewards.
    PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(8):e73531. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0073531 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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