Altered long-range alpha-band synchronization during visual short-term memory retention in children born very preterm

Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 10/2010; 54(3):2330-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.10.044
Source: PubMed


Children born very preterm, even when intelligence is broadly normal, often experience selective difficulties in executive function and visual-spatial processing. Development of structural cortical connectivity is known to be altered in this group, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) evidence indicates that very preterm children recruit different patterns of functional connectivity between cortical regions during cognition. Synchronization of neural oscillations across brain areas has been proposed as a mechanism for dynamically assigning functional coupling to support perceptual and cognitive processing, but little is known about what role oscillatory synchronization may play in the altered neurocognitive development of very preterm children. To investigate this, we recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG) activity while 7-8 year old children born very preterm and age-matched full-term controls performed a visual short-term memory task. Very preterm children exhibited reduced long-range synchronization in the alpha-band during visual short-term memory retention, indicating that cortical alpha rhythms may play a critical role in altered patterns functional connectivity expressed by this population during cognitive and perceptual processing. Long-range alpha-band synchronization was also correlated with task performance and visual-perceptual ability within the very preterm group, indicating that altered alpha oscillatory mechanisms mediating transient functional integration between cortical regions may be relevant to selective problems in neurocognitive development in this vulnerable population at school age.

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Available from: Ruth E Grunau, Sep 30, 2015
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    • "(Cepeda et al., 2007; Doesburg et al., 2010b, 2011a "
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    • "Individual differences in neuronal oscillations have also been related to the emergence of perceptual abilities (Csisbra et al., 2000) and the development of cognitive abilities (Benasich et al., 2008; Gou et al., 2011). Atypical oscillatory synchronization in brain networks has been related also to functional impairments and cognitive difficulties in other pediatric populations (Doesburg et al., 2011; Ibrahim et al., 2012). These age-dependent changes are understood to reflect changes in the architecture of functional brain networks, reflecting maturation in pathways of information flow in the brain (Boersma et al., 2011, 2013a). "
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    • "Very preterm children often display selective difficulties at school age in visual-perceptual abilities [eg, 4, 21, 60, 67]. We previously found alterations in the spectrum of spontaneous neuromagnetic oscillations in school-age children born very prematurely (632 weeks gestational age (GA)) [10] and demonstrated that such atypicalities are related to selective difficulties in visual-perceptual abilities in this population [11]. "
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