Effect of dopamine transporter genotype on intrinsic functional connectivity depends on cognitive state.
ABSTRACT Functional connectivity between brain regions can define large-scale neural networks and provide information about relationships between those networks. We examined how relationships within and across intrinsic connectivity networks were 1) sensitive to individual differences in dopaminergic function, 2) modulated by cognitive state, and 3) associated with executive behavioral traits. We found that regardless of cognitive state, connections between frontal, parietal, and striatal nodes of Task-Positive networks (TPNs) and Task-Negative networks (TNNs) showed higher functional connectivity in 10/10 homozygotes of the dopamine transporter gene, a polymorphism influencing synaptic dopamine, than in 9/10 heterozygotes. However, performance of a working memory task (a state requiring dopamine release) modulated genotype differences selectively, such that cross-network connectivity between TPNs and TNNs was higher in 10/10 than 9/10 subjects during working memory but not during rest. This increased cross-network connectivity was associated with increased self-reported measures of impulsivity and inattention traits. By linking a gene regulating synaptic dopamine to a phenotype characterized by inefficient executive function, these findings validate cross-network connectivity as an endophenotype of executive dysfunction.
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ABSTRACT: Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is an emerging low-cost noninvasive neuroimaging technique that measures cortical bloodflow. While fNIRS has gained interest as a potential alternative to fMRI for use with clinical and pediatric populations, it remains unclear whether fNIRS has the necessary sensitivity to serve as a replacement for fMRI. The present study set out to examine whether fNIRS has the sensitivity to detect linear changes in activation and functional connectivity in response to cognitive load, and functional connectivity changes when transitioning from a task-free resting state to a task. Sixteen young adult subjects were scanned with a continuous-wave fNIRS system during a 10-min resting-state scan followed by a letter n-back task with three load conditions. Five optical probes were placed over frontal and parietal cortices, covering bilateral dorsolateral PFC (dlPFC), bilateral ventrolateral PFC (vlPFC), frontopolar cortex (FP), and bilateral parietal cortex. Activation was found to scale linearly with working memory load in bilateral prefrontal cortex. Functional connectivity increased with increasing n-back loads for fronto-parietal, interhemispheric dlPFC, and local connections. Functional connectivity differed between the resting state scan and the n-back scan, with fronto-parietal connectivity greater during the n-back, and interhemispheric vlPFC connectivity greater during rest. These results demonstrate that fNIRS is sensitive to both cognitive load and state, suggesting that fNIRS is well-suited to explore the full complement of neuroimaging research questions and will serve as a viable alternative to fMRI.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 02/2014; 8:76. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00076 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Dopaminergic medications, used to treat neurochemical pathology and resultant symptoms in neuropsychiatric disorders, are of mixed efficacy and regularly associated with behavioural side effects. The possibility that dopamine exerts both linear and nonlinear ('inverted U-shaped') effects on cognitive neurocircuitry may explain this outcome variability. However, it has proven difficult to characterise neural manifestations of psychopharmacological effects in humans. We hypothesised that diverse effects of dopamine neuromodulation could be characterised using systems-level neuroimaging approaches. Using 'resting-state' functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI), combined with dopaminergic challenges, we examined the dopamine-dependent functional connectivity of brain 'resting-state networks' (RSNs). We compared RSN connectivity in 3 groups of healthy volunteers given dopamine antagonist (haloperidol; N = 18) or agonistic (levodopa; N = 16) drugs, or a placebo (N = 15). As RSNs have been shown to be relevant for numerous psychological functions and dysfunctions, we investigated both linear and nonlinear effects on RSN connectivity of manipulating dopamine neurotransmission pharmacologically. A basal ganglia RSN displayed both linear and nonlinear effects of dopamine manipulation on functional connectivity, respectively, with lateral frontoparietal and medial frontal neocortical areas. Conversely, a cognitive 'default mode' network showed only linear dopaminergic effects on connectivity with lateral frontal and parietal cortices. Our findings highlight diverse functional effects of dopamine neuromodulations on systems-level neural interactions. The observation that dopamine modulates distinct large-scale network connectivity patterns differentially, in both linear and nonlinear fashions, provides support for the objective utility of RSN metrics in classifying the effects and efficacy of psychopharmacological medications.NeuroImage 04/2013; 78. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.04.034 · 6.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Attentional processing has been associated with the dorsal attention, default mode, and frontoparietal control networks. The dorsal attention network is involved in externally focused attention whereas the default mode network is involved in internally directed attention. The frontoparietal control network has been proposed to mediate the transition between external and internal attention by coupling its activity to either the dorsal attention network or the default mode network, depending on the attentional demand. Dopamine is hypothesized to modulate attention and has been linked to the integrity of these three attention-related networks. We used PET with 6-[(18)F]fluoro-L-m-tyrosine to quantify dopamine synthesis capacity in vivo and fMRI to acquire stimulus-independent brain activity in cognitively healthy human subjects. We found that in the resting state where internal cognition dominates, dopamine enhances the coupling between the frontoparietal control network and the default mode network while reducing the coupling between the frontoparietal control network and the dorsal attention network. These results add a neurochemical perspective to the role of network interaction in modulating attention.The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 07/2012; 32(28):9582-7. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0909-12.2012 · 6.75 Impact Factor