Morten L Kringelbach

Aarhus University, Aarhus, Central Jutland, Denmark

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Publications (140)658.44 Total impact

  • T.J. van Hartevelt · M.L. Kringelbach ·
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    ABSTRACT: The olfactory system is a unique and important sense which has, however, been underrepresented in research. It plays a crucial role in food selection and reproduction, ensuring survival for both the individual and the species. The olfactory system is unique compared to the other senses in that, among other things, information is not relayed via the thalamus, but instead projected directly to cortical regions such as the orbitofrontal cortex. This article describes the information processing in the olfactory system from the olfactory epithelium to the cortical projection areas, based on translational research and imaging studies, and details the multimodal interactions between olfaction and gustation. Equally, we describe the breakdown of the sense of smell that can be devastating and is implicated in anhedonia, the lack of pleasure, a key feature of mental illness.
    Brain Mapping, Edited by Arthur W. Toga, 12/2015: pages 347-355; Academic Press., ISBN: 9780123973160
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    Morten L Kringelbach ·
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    ABSTRACT: As all chefs know, great food can have a transformational impact. A great deal of recent research has gone into using the new techniques from molecular gastronomy and gastrophysics to create innovative meals with delicious original textures and flavours. These novel creations have elicited much excitement from food critiques and diners alike. Much stands to be gained if these developments were to be matched by a better understanding of how the pleasure of food comes about in the brain. This review summarises the current state-of-the-art of the science of pleasure and specifically the brain’s fundamental computational principles for eating and the pleasures evoked. It is shown how the study of food has advanced our understanding of the unitary pleasure system that is used for all pleasures. As such, these novel insights may come to serve as a guide for chefs of how to combine science and art in order to maximise pleasure—and perhaps even increase happiness.
    12/2015; 4(1). DOI:10.1186/s13411-014-0029-2
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    Dan-Mikael Ellingsen · Siri Leknes · Morten Kringelbach ·
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    ABSTRACT: The hedonic processing of pleasure, pain, and displeasure is essential to survival and as such motivates behavior and strongly influences decision-making. Research has shown that the underlying mechanisms of wanting, liking, and learning form partly separable neuroanatomical and neuropharmacological systems in the brain, which are shared among many mammalian species. This chapter provides an overview of the brain circuitry involved in hedonic (dis)liking, wanting, and learning of rewards and punishments. It discusses the influence of physiology and homeostasis, motivational state, and contextual meaning in shaping the subjective utility of stimuli, and consequently hedonic value and the subjective hedonic experience.
    Handbook of Value: Perspectives from Economics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology, Edited by Tobias Brosch, David Sanders, 11/2015: chapter 13: pages 265-286; Oxford University Press., ISBN: 978-0-19-871660-0
  • Morten L. Kringelbach · Anthony R. McIntosh · Petra Ritter · Viktor K. Jirsa · Gustavo Deco ·
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    ABSTRACT: Slowness of thought is not necessarily a handicap but could be a signature of optimal brain function. Emerging evidence shows that neuroanatomical and dynamical constraints of the human brain shape its functionality in optimal ways, characterized by slowness during task-based cognition in the context of spontaneous resting-state activity. This activity can be described mechanistically by whole-brain computational modeling that relates directly to optimality in the context of theories arguing for metastability in the brain. We discuss the role for optimal processing of information in the context of cognitive, task-related activity, and propose that combining multi-modal neuroimaging and explicit whole-brain models focused on the timing of functional dynamics can help to uncover fundamental rules of brain function in health and disease. The dynamics of the human brain exhibits 'slowness' during spontaneous activity and task-based cognition.Whole-brain computational modeling can account for the mechanisms underlying this slowness in terms of maximal metastability of the dynamical system.A better understanding of the balance between fast and slow brain processing could lead to fundamental new insights into the brain in health and disease.
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10/2015; 19(10):616-628. DOI:10.1016/j.tics.2015.07.011 · 21.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Conflicts of interest: none.
    World Neurosurgery 09/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.wneu.2015.08.065 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stress affects brain function, and may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Considerable empirical data for the neurobiology of PTSD has been derived from neuroimaging studies, although findings have proven inconsistent. We used an activation likelihood estimation analysis to explore differences in brain activity between adults with and without PTSD in response to affective stimuli. We separated studies by type of control group: trauma-exposed and trauma-naïve: this revealed distinct patterns of differences in functional activity. Compared to trauma-exposed controls, regions of the basal ganglia were differentially active in PTSD; whereas the comparison with trauma-naïve controls revealed differential involvement in in the right anterior insula, precuneus, cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices known to be involved in emotional regulation. Changes in activity in the amygdala and parahippocampal cortex distinguished PTSD from both control groups. Results suggest that trauma has a measurable, enduring effect upon the functional dynamics of the brain, even in individuals who experience trauma but do not develop PTSD. These findings contribute to the understanding of whole-brain network activity following trauma, and its transition to clinical PTSD. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 07/2015; 56:207-221. DOI:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.07.007 · 8.80 Impact Factor
  • Gustavo Deco · Giulio Tononi · Melanie Boly · Morten L Kringelbach ·
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    ABSTRACT: The brain regulates information flow by balancing the segregation and integration of incoming stimuli to facilitate flexible cognition and behaviour. The topological features of brain networks - in particular, network communities and hubs - support this segregation and integration but do not provide information about how external inputs are processed dynamically (that is, over time). Experiments in which the consequences of selective inputs on brain activity are controlled and traced with great precision could provide such information. However, such strategies have thus far had limited success. By contrast, recent whole-brain computational modelling approaches have enabled us to start assessing the effect of input perturbations on brain dynamics in silico.
    Nature Reviews Neuroscience 07/2015; 16(7):430-9. DOI:10.1038/nrn3963 · 31.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is unclear whether Hebbian-like learning occurs at the level of long-range white matter connections in humans, i.e., where measurable changes in structural connectivity (SC) are correlated with changes in functional connectivity. However, the behavioral changes observed after deep brain stimulation (DBS) suggest the existence of such Hebbian-like mechanisms occurring at the structural level with functional consequences. In this rare case study, we obtained the full network of white matter connections of one patient with Parkinson's disease (PD) before and after long-term DBS and combined it with a computational model of ongoing activity to investigate the effects of DBS-induced long-term structural changes. The results show that the long-term effects of DBS on resting-state functional connectivity is best obtained in the computational model by changing the structural weights from the subthalamic nucleus (STN) to the putamen and the thalamus in a Hebbian-like manner. Moreover, long-term DBS also significantly changed the SC towards normality in terms of model-based measures of segregation and integration of information processing, two key concepts of brain organization. This novel approach using computational models to model the effects of Hebbian-like changes in SC allowed us to causally identify the possible underlying neural mechanisms of long-term DBS using rare case study data. In time, this could help predict the efficacy of individual DBS targeting and identify novel DBS targets.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 06/2015; 9. DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00167 · 3.27 Impact Factor
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  • Kent C Berridge · Morten L Kringelbach ·
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    ABSTRACT: Pleasure is mediated by well-developed mesocorticolimbic circuitry and serves adaptive functions. In affective disorders, anhedonia (lack of pleasure) or dysphoria (negative affect) can result from breakdowns of that hedonic system. Human neuroimaging studies indicate that surprisingly similar circuitry is activated by quite diverse pleasures, suggesting a common neural currency shared by all. Wanting for reward is generated by a large and distributed brain system. Liking, or pleasure itself, is generated by a smaller set of hedonic hot spots within limbic circuitry. Those hot spots also can be embedded in broader anatomical patterns of valence organization, such as in a keyboard pattern of nucleus accumbens generators for desire versus dread. In contrast, some of the best known textbook candidates for pleasure generators, including classic pleasure electrodes and the mesolimbic dopamine system, may not generate pleasure after all. These emerging insights into brain pleasure mechanisms may eventually facilitate better treatments for affective disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Neuron 05/2015; 86(3):646-664. DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2015.02.018 · 15.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that Contactin-associated protein-like2 (CNTNAP2) polymorphisms affect left-hemispheric function of language processing in healthy individuals, but no study has investigated the influence of these polymorphisms on right-hemispheric function involved in human voice perception. Further, although recent reports suggest that determination of handedness is influenced by genetic effect, the interaction effect between handedness and CNTNAP2 polymorphisms for brain activity in human voice perception and language processing has not been revealed. We aimed to investigate the interaction effect of handedness and CNTNAP2 polymorphisms in respect to brain function for human voice perception and language processing in healthy individuals. Brain function of 108 healthy volunteers (74 right-handed and 34 non-right-handed) was examined while they were passively listening to reverse sentences (rSEN), identifiable non-vocal sounds (SND), and sentences (SEN). Full factorial design analysis was calculated by using three factors: (1) rs7794745 (A/A or A/T), (2) rs2710102 [G/G or A carrier (A/G and A/A)], and (3) voice-specific response (rSEN or SND). The main effect of rs7794745 (A/A or A/T) was significantly revealed at the right middle frontal gyrus (MFG) and bilateral superior temporal gyrus (STG). This result suggests that rs7794745 genotype affects voice-specific brain function. Furthermore, interaction effect was significantly observed among MFG-STG activations by human voice perception, rs7794745 (A/A or A/T), and handedness. These results suggest that CNTNAP2 polymorphisms could be one of the important factors in the neural development related to vocal communication and language processing in both right-handed and non-right-handed healthy individuals.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 05/2015; 9(87). DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00087 · 3.27 Impact Factor
  • Maria A G Witek · Morten L Kringelbach · Peter Vuust ·

    Physics of Life Reviews 04/2015; 13. DOI:10.1016/j.plrev.2015.04.029 · 7.48 Impact Factor
  • L Gebauer · M L Kringelbach · P Vuust ·

    Physics of Life Reviews 04/2015; 13. DOI:10.1016/j.plrev.2015.04.023 · 7.48 Impact Factor
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    Kristine Rømer Thomsen · Peter C. Whybrow · Morten L. Kringelbach ·
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    ABSTRACT: Anhedonia, the lack of pleasure, has been shown to be a critical feature of a range of psychiatric disorders. Yet, it is currently measured primarily through subjective self-reports and as such has been difficult to submit to rigorous scientific analysis. New insights from affective neuroscience hold considerable promise in improving our understanding of anhedonia and for providing useful objective behavioral measures to complement traditional self-report measures, potentially leading to better diagnoses and novel treatments. Here, we review the state-of-the-art of hedonia research and specifically the established mechanisms of wanting, liking, and learning. Based on this framework we propose to conceptualize anhedonia as impairments in some or all of these processes, thereby departing from the longstanding view of anhedonia as solely reduced subjective experience of pleasure. We discuss how deficits in each of the reward components can lead to different expressions, or subtypes, of anhedonia affording novel ways of measurement. Specifically, we review evidence suggesting that patients suffering from depression and schizophrenia show impairments in wanting and learning, while some aspects of conscious liking seem surprisingly intact. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that anhedonia is heterogeneous across psychiatric disorders, depending on which parts of the pleasure networks are most affected. This in turn has implications for diagnosis and treatment of anhedonia.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 03/2015; 9. DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00049 · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    A Fjaeldstad · T Kjaergaard · T J Van Hartevelt · A Moeller · M L Kringelbach · T Ovesen ·
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The Sniffin’ Sticks 12-Identification test (SIT-12) is the most commonly applied Danish olfaction screening tool, however, it has never been validated in a Danish population. The screening score depends on familiarity with descriptors, which is strongly influenced by linguistic and cultural factors, why validation is mandatory. This study aims to validate the SIT-12 in a Danish population. Design: Prospective controlled study. Setting: Otorhinolaryngology department. Participants: The SIT-12 was applied to 100 normosmic, healthy adult Danish participants. Main outcome measures: Choice of descriptors was registered, along with nasal endoscopic examination, screening for cognitive impairment, depression, and sinonasal symptoms. Descriptors of the original version of SIT-12 were evaluated in 50 participants and misleading descriptors were identified. Modifications to these descriptors were subsequently validated in a comparable group of 50 participants. Results: Mean odorant identification score in the evaluation group was 11.0 of a possible 12, and 11.6 in the validation group (p<0.001). Among all odorant identification errors in the evaluation group, 60% were due to two incorrect descriptors having close resemblance to the correct descriptors, lemon and cinnamon. Two additional descriptors were unfamiliar to more than half the participants. There was a significant difference in the distribution of wrong identification answers between odorants in the evaluation group (p<0.001), but not in the validation group. Conclusions: The identified systematically wrong descriptors have been modified and validated in the Danish SIT-12.
    Clinical otolaryngology: official journal of ENT-UK; official journal of Netherlands Society for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology & Cervico-Facial Surgery 02/2015; DOI:10.1111/coa.12405 · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    Katherine S Young · Christine E Parsons · Alan Stein · Morten L Kringelbach ·
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    ABSTRACT: Impaired social functioning is a well-established feature of depression. Evidence to date suggests that disrupted processing of emotional cues may constitute part of this impairment. Beyond processing of emotional cues, fluent social interactions require that people physically move in synchronized, contingent ways. Disruptions to physical movements are a diagnostic feature of depression (psychomotor disturbance) but have not previously been assessed in the context of social functioning. Here we investigated the impact of psychomotor disturbance in depression on physical responsive behavior in both an experimental and observational setting. In Experiment 1, we examined motor disturbance in depression in response to salient emotional sounds, using a laboratory-based effortful motor task. In Experiment 2, we explored whether psychomotor disturbance was apparent in real-life social interactions. Using mother-infant interactions as a model affective social situation, we compared physical behaviors of mothers with and without postnatal depression (PND). We found impairments in precise, controlled psychomotor performance in adults with depression relative to healthy adults (Experiment 1). Despite this disruption, all adults showed enhanced performance following exposure to highly salient emotional cues (infant cries). Examining real-life interactions, we found differences in physical movements, namely reduced affective touching, in mothers with PND responding to their infants, compared to healthy mothers (Experiment 2). Together, these findings suggest that psychomotor disturbance may be an important feature of depression that can impair social functioning. Future work investigating whether improvements in physical movement in depression could have a positive impact on social interactions would be of much interest.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 02/2015; 9:26. DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00026 · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a remarkably effective clinical tool, used primarily for movement disorders. DBS relies on precise targeting of specific brain regions to rebalance the oscillatory behaviour of whole-brain neural networks. Traditionally, DBS targeting has been based upon animal models (such as MPTP for Parkinson’s disease) but has also been the result of serendipity during human lesional neurosurgery. There are, however, no good animal models of psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia, and progress in this area has been slow. In this paper, we use advanced tractography combined with whole-brain anatomical parcellation to provide a rational foundation for identifying the connectivity ‘fingerprint’ of existing, successful DBS targets. This knowledge can then be used pre-surgically and even potentially for the discovery of novel targets. First, using data from our recent case series of cingulate DBS for patients with treatment-resistant chronic pain, we demonstrate how to identify the structural ‘fingerprints’ of existing successful and unsuccessful DBS targets in terms of their connectivity to other brain regions, as defined by the whole-brain anatomical parcellation. Second, we use a number of different strategies to identify the successful fingerprints of structural connectivity across four patients with successful outcomes compared with two patients with unsuccessful outcomes. This fingerprinting method can potentially be used pre-surgically to account for a patient’s individual connectivity and identify the best DBS target. Ultimately, our novel fingerprinting method could be combined with advanced whole-brain computational modelling of the spontaneous dynamics arising from the structural changes in disease, to provide new insights and potentially new targets for hitherto impenetrable neuropsychiatric disorders.
    New Journal of Physics 01/2015; 17(1-1):015001. DOI:10.1088/1367-2630/17/1/015001 · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Crying is the most powerful auditory signal of infant need. Adults' ability to perceive and respond to crying is important for infant survival and in the provision of care. This study investigated a number of listener variables that might impact on adults' perception of infant cry distress, namely parental status, musical training, and empathy. Sensitivity to infant distress was tested using a previously validated task, which experimentally manipulated distress by varying the pitch of infant cries. This task required that participants discriminate between pitch differences and interpret these as differences in infant distress. Parents with musical training showed a significant advantage on this task when compared with parents without. The extent of the advantage was correlated with the amount of self-reported musical training. For non-parents, individual differences in empathy were associated with task performance, with higher empathy scores corresponding to greater sensitivity to infant distress. We suggest that sensitivity to infant distress can be impacted by a number of listener variables, and may be amenable to training.
    Frontiers in Psychology 12/2014; 5:1440. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01440 · 2.80 Impact Factor
  • Gustavo Deco · Morten L Kringelbach ·
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    ABSTRACT: The study of human brain networks with in vivo neuroimaging has given rise to the field of connectomics, furthered by advances in network science and graph theory informing our understanding of the topology and function of the healthy brain. Here our focus is on the disruption in neuropsychiatric disorders (pathoconnectomics) and how whole-brain computational models can help generate and predict the dynamical interactions and consequences of brain networks over many timescales. We review methods and emerging results that exhibit remarkable accuracy in mapping and predicting both spontaneous and task-based healthy network dynamics. This raises great expectations that whole-brain modeling and computational connectomics may provide an entry point for understanding brain disorders at a causal mechanistic level, and that computational neuropsychiatry can ultimately be leveraged to provide novel, more effective therapeutic interventions, e.g., through drug discovery and new targets for deep brain stimulation. VIDEO ABSTRACT: Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Neuron 12/2014; 84(5):892-905. DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2014.08.034 · 15.05 Impact Factor
  • Maria A. G. Witek · Eric F. Clarke · Morten L. Kringelbach · Peter Vuust ·
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    ABSTRACT: IN MUSIC, THE RHYTHMS OF DIFFERENT INSTRUMENTS are often syncopated against each other to create tension. Existing perceptual theories of syncopation cannot adequately model such kinds of syncopation since they assume monophony. This study investigates the effects of polyphonic context, instrumentation and metrical location on the salience of syncopations. Musicians and nonmusicians were asked to tap along to rhythmic patterns of a drum kit and rate their stability; in these patterns, syncopations occurred among different numbers of streams, with different instrumentation and at different metrical locations. The results revealed that the stability of syncopations depends on all these factors and music training, in variously interacting ways. It is proposed that listeners' experiences of syncopations are shaped by polyphonic and instrumental configuration, metrical structure, and individual music training, and a number of possible mechanisms are considered, including the rhythms' acoustic properties, ecological associations, statistical learning, and timbral differentiation.
    Music Perception 12/2014; 32(2):201-217. DOI:10.1525/MP.2014.32.2.201 · 1.63 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

8k Citations
658.44 Total Impact Points


  • 2008-2015
    • Aarhus University
      • Centre of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience CFIN
      Aarhus, Central Jutland, Denmark
  • 2000-2015
    • University of Oxford
      • • Department of Psychiatry
      • • Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics
      • • Department of Experimental Psychology
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 2000-2014
    • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
      • Nuffield Department of Surgery
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 2013
    • University of Jyväskylä
      Jyväskylä, Central Finland, Finland