Kiyomi Shitamichi

Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan

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Publications (17)50.07 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The relationship between language development in early childhood and the maturation of brain functions related to the human voice remains unclear. Because the development of the auditory system likely correlates with language development in young children, we investigated the relationship between the auditory evoked field (AEF) and language development using non-invasive child-customized magnetoencephalography (MEG) in a longitudinal design. Twenty typically developing children were recruited (aged 36-75 months old at the first measurement). These children were re-investigated 11-25 months after the first measurement. The AEF component P1m was examined to investigate the developmental changes in each participant's neural brain response to vocal stimuli. In addition, we examined the relationships between brain responses and language performance. P1m peak amplitude in response to vocal stimuli significantly increased in both hemispheres in the second measurement compared to the first measurement. However, no differences were observed in P1m latency. Notably, our results reveal that children with greater increases in P1m amplitude in the left hemisphere performed better on linguistic tests. Thus, our results indicate that P1m evoked by vocal stimuli is a neurophysiological marker for language development in young children. Additionally, MEG is a technique that can be used to investigate the maturation of the auditory cortex based on auditory evoked fields in young children. This study is the first to demonstrate a significant relationship between the development of the auditory processing system and the development of language abilities in young children.
    NeuroImage 07/2014; · 6.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A child-customized magnetoencephalography system was used to investigate somatosensory evoked field (SEF) in 3- to 4-year-old children. Three stimulus conditions were used in which the children received tactile-only stimulation to their left index finger or visuotactile stimulation. In the two visuotactile conditions, the children received tactile stimulation to their finger while they watched a video of tactile stimulation applied either to someone else's finger (the finger-touch condition) or to someone else's toe (the toe-touch condition). The latencies and source strengths of equivalent current dipoles (ECDs) over contralateral (right) somatosensory cortex were analyzed. In the preschoolers who provided valid ECDs, the stimulus conditions induced an early-latency ECD occurring between 60 and 68 ms mainly with an anterior direction. We further identified a middle-latency ECD between 97 and 104 ms, which predominantly had a posterior direction. Finally, initial evidence was found for a late-latency ECD at about 139-151 ms again more often with an anterior direction. Differences were found in the source strengths of the middle-latency ECDs among the stimulus conditions. For the paired comparisons that could be formed, ECD source strength was more pronounced in the finger-touch condition than in the tactile-only and the toe-touch conditions. Although more research is necessary to expand the data set, this suggests that visual information modulated preschool SEF. The finding that ECD source strength was higher when seen and felt touch occurred to the same body part, as compared to a different body part, might further indicate that connectivity between visual and tactile information is indexed in preschool somatosensory cortical activity, already in a somatotopic way.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:170. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is used to measure the auditory evoked magnetic field (AEF), which reflects language-related performance. In young children, however, the simultaneous quantification of the bilateral auditory-evoked response during binaural hearing is difficult using conventional adult-sized MEG systems. Recently, a child-customised MEG device has facilitated the acquisition of bi-hemispheric recordings, even in young children. Using the child-customised MEG device, we previously reported that language-related performance was reflected in the strength of the early component (P50m) of the auditory evoked magnetic field (AEF) in typically developing (TD) young children (2 to 5 years old) [Eur J Neurosci 2012, 35:644--650]. The aim of this study was to investigate how this neurophysiological index in each hemisphere is correlated with language performance in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and TD children. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to measure the auditory evoked magnetic field (AEF), which reflects language-related performance. We investigated the P50m that is evoked by voice stimuli (/ne/) bilaterally in 33 young children (3 to 7 years old) with ASD and in 30 young children who were typically developing (TD). The children were matched according to their age (in months) and gender. Most of the children with ASD were high-functioning subjects. The results showed that the children with ASD exhibited significantly less leftward lateralisation in their P50m intensity compared with the TD children. Furthermore, the results of a multiple regression analysis indicated that a shorter P50m latency in both hemispheres was specifically correlated with higher language-related performance in the TD children, whereas this latency was not correlated with non-verbal cognitive performance or chronological age. The children with ASD did not show any correlation between P50m latency and language-related performance; instead, increasing chronological age was a significant predictor of shorter P50m latency in the right hemisphere. Using a child-customised MEG device, we studied the P50m component that was evoked through binaural human voice stimuli in young ASD and TD children to examine differences in auditory cortex function that are associated with language development. Our results suggest that there is atypical brain function in the auditory cortex in young children with ASD, regardless of language development.
    Molecular Autism 10/2013; 4(1):38. · 5.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Whispered speech is often used in direct person-to-person communication as a means to confidentiality. Compared with normally vocalized speech, whispered speech is predominantly unvoiced, i.e., produced without vocal fold vibration, and has no clear fundamental frequency. By using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), we assessed cortical hemodynamic response patterns to normally vocalized and whispered speech in adult listeners (n = 13). Stimuli consisted of 20-s strings of Japanese word associations spoken by a female voice. Average oxygenated hemoglobin values (oxy-Hb) were obtained over two regions of interest (ROIs). Results showed that oxy-Hb values during the perception of normally vocalized speech were highest over the left temporal ROI, but not significantly different from values measured over other ROIs. Oxy-Hb values during whispered speech were highest over the right temporal ROI and significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those obtained over the left temporal ROI. No significant differences, however, were found in oxy-Hb comparisons between normally vocalized and whispered speech, although the right temporal ROI comparison bordered on significance, with whisper inducing the higher value. Together, the results seem to suggest that whispered speech is a potent catalyst of cortical hemodynamic activity, especially over the right temporal cortex, in spite of its relatively modest sound level as compared to normal speech.
    The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 05/2013; 133(5):3606. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A subset of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) performs more proficiently on certain visual tasks than may be predicted by their general cognitive performances. However, in younger children with ASD (aged 5 to 7), preserved ability in these tasks and the neurophysiological correlates of their ability are not well documented. In the present study, we used a custom child-sized magnetoencephalography system and demonstrated that preserved ability in the visual reasoning task was associated with rightward lateralisation of the neurophysiological connectivity between the parietal and temporal regions in children with ASD. In addition, we demonstrated that higher reading/decoding ability was also associated with the same lateralisation in children with ASD. These neurophysiological correlates of visual tasks are considerably different from those that are observed in typically developing children. These findings indicate that children with ASD have inherently different neural pathways that contribute to their relatively preserved ability in visual tasks.
    Scientific Reports 01/2013; 3:1139. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Socio-communicative impairments are salient features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from a young age. The anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC), or Brodmann area 10, is a key processing area for social function, and atypical development of this area is thought to play a role in the social deficits in ASD. It is important to understand these brain functions in developing children with ASD. However, these brain functions have not yet been well described under conscious conditions in young children with ASD. In the present study, we focused on the brain hemodynamic functional connectivity between the right and the left aPFC in children with ASD and typically developing (TD) children and investigated whether there was a correlation between this connectivity and social ability. Brain hemodynamic fluctuations were measured non-invasively by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in 3- to 7-year-old children with ASD (n = 15) and gender- and age-matched TD children (n = 15). The functional connectivity between the right and the left aPFC was assessed by measuring the coherence for low-frequency spontaneous fluctuations (0.01 - 0.10 Hz) during a narrated picture-card show. Coherence analysis demonstrated that children with ASD had a significantly higher inter-hemispheric connectivity with 0.02-Hz fluctuations, whereas a power analysis did not demonstrate significant differences between the two groups in terms of low frequency fluctuations (0.01 - 0.10 Hz). This aberrant higher connectivity in children with ASD was positively correlated with the severity of social deficit, as scored with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. This is the first study to demonstrate aberrant brain functional connectivity between the right and the left aPFC under conscious conditions in young children with ASD.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e56087. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often described as a disorder of aberrant neural connectivity and/or aberrant hemispheric lateralization. Although it is important to study the pathophysiology of the developing ASD cortex, the physiological connectivity of the brain in young children with ASD under conscious conditions has not yet been described. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a noninvasive brain imaging technique that is practical for use in young children. MEG produces a reference-free signal and is, therefore, an ideal tool for computing the coherence between two distant cortical rhythms. Using a custom child-sized MEG, we recently reported that 5- to 7-year-old children with ASD (n = 26) have inherently different neural pathways than typically developing (TD) children that contribute to their relatively preserved performance of visual tasks. In this study, we performed non-invasive measurements of the brain activity of 70 young children (3-7 years old, of which 18 were aged 3-4 years), a sample consisting of 35 ASD children and 35 TD children. Physiological connectivity and the laterality of physiological connectivity were assessed using intrahemispheric coherence for 9 frequency bands. As a result, significant rightward connectivity between the parietotemporal areas, via gamma band oscillations, was found in the ASD group. As we obtained the non-invasive measurements using a custom child-sized MEG, this is the first study to demonstrate a rightward-lateralized neurophysiological network in conscious young children (including children aged 3-4 years) with ASD.
    NeuroImage : clinical. 01/2013; 2:394-401.
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    ABSTRACT: Optimal brain sensitivity to the fundamental frequency (F0) contour changes in the human voice is important for understanding a speaker's intonation, and consequently, the speaker's attitude. However, whether sensitivity in the brain's response to a human voice F0 contour change varies with an interaction between an individual's traits (i.e., autistic traits) and a human voice element (i.e., presence or absence of communicative action such as calling) has not been investigated. In the present study, we investigated the neural processes involved in the perception of F0 contour changes in the Japanese monosyllables "ne" and "nu." "Ne" is an interjection that means "hi" or "hey" in English; pronunciation of "ne" with a high falling F0 contour is used when the speaker wants to attract a listener's attention (i.e., social intonation). Meanwhile, the Japanese concrete noun "nu" has no communicative meaning. We applied an adaptive spatial filtering method to the neuromagnetic time course recorded by whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) and estimated the spatiotemporal frequency dynamics of event-related cerebral oscillatory changes in beta band during the oddball paradigm. During the perception of the F0 contour change when "ne" was presented, there was event-related de-synchronization (ERD) in the right temporal lobe. In contrast, during the perception of the F0 contour change when "nu" was presented, ERD occurred in the left temporal lobe and in the bilateral occipital lobes. ERD that occurred during the social stimulus "ne" in the right hemisphere was significantly correlated with a greater number of autistic traits measured according to the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ), suggesting that the differences in human voice processing are associated with higher autistic traits, even in non-clinical subjects.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(11):e80126. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CONCLUSION We have developed a method for creating a personalized brain template for superimposition of MEG without MR imaging. Using this method, the MEG data can be accurately superimposed on the brain surface without the necessity of performing MRI for mapping. BACKGROUND Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a noninvasive method with a high time resolution that is very useful for predicting the degree of pediatric psychiatric disorders. An anatomical position is obtained by superimposing the MEG data on a magnetic resonance (MR) image; however, MR imaging is difficult in children. In this study, we propose a novel method for creating a personalized brain template for mapping in MEG without an MR image. DISCUSSION RMSE between the subjects’ data and the personalized template data was 8.3 ± 1.8 mm for the conventional method and 6.9 ± 1.2 mm for our proposed method. RMSE of the proposed method was thus significantly smaller than that of the conventional method (P < 0.05). The action potential was shown in the primary auditory cortex when the personalized image and the data showing the MEG results of a hearing stimulus were superimposed. EVALUATION Institutional review board approval and written informed consent were obtained. Thirty-eight subjects (aged 3–5 years) in whom no abnormalities were observed on a 3.0 Tesla MRI were included in this study. For evaluation, 5 subjects underwent MEG. Our method for creation of the brain template consisted of the following three steps: 1) plotting of five points on the head surface; 2) selection of suitable template data; 3) and registration of the personalized data on the template. Brain template data was personalized by the method of selecting an image in which the error of the selected five points on the head surface was the smallest after performing an affine transformation on MR images of all children. The error between the personalized template data and MR images of the subjects was evaluated using the root mean squared error (RMSE). Finally, we confirmed whether the action potential would be plotted in the correct position on personalized data superimposed on the hearing stimulus data provided by MEG.
    Radiological Society of North America 2012 Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting; 11/2012
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    ABSTRACT: Accurate perception of fundamental frequency (F0) contour changes in the human voice is important for understanding a speaker's intonation, and consequently also his/her attitude. In this study, we investigated the neural processes involved in the perception of F0 contour changes in the Japanese one-syllable interjection "ne" in 21 native-Japanese listeners. A passive oddball paradigm was applied in which "ne" with a high falling F0 contour, used when urging a reaction from the listener, was randomly presented as a rare deviant among a frequent "ne" syllable with a flat F0 contour (i.e., meaningless intonation). We applied an adaptive spatial filtering method to the neuromagnetic time course recorded by whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) and estimated the spatiotemporal frequency dynamics of event-related cerebral oscillatory changes in the oddball paradigm. Our results demonstrated a significant elevation of beta band event-related desynchronization (ERD) in the right temporal and frontal areas, in time windows from 100 to 300 and from 300 to 500 ms after the onset of deviant stimuli (high falling F0 contour). This is the first study to reveal detailed spatiotemporal frequency characteristics of cerebral oscillations during the perception of intonational (not lexical) F0 contour changes in the human voice. The results further confirmed that the right hemisphere is associated with perception of intonational F0 contour information in the human voice, especially in early time windows.
    Neuroscience Letters 03/2012; 515(2):141-6. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Language development progresses at a dramatic rate in preschool children. As rapid temporal processing of speech signals is important in daily colloquial environments, we performed magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate the linkage between speech-evoked responses during rapid-rate stimulus presentation (interstimulus interval < 1 s) and language performance in 2- to 5-year-old children (n = 59). Our results indicated that syllables with this short stimulus interval evoked detectable P50m, but not N100m, in most participants, indicating a marked influence of longer neuronal refractory period for stimulation. The results of equivalent dipole estimation showed that the intensity of the P50m component in the left hemisphere was positively correlated with language performance (conceptual inference ability). The observed positive correlations were suggested to reflect the maturation of synaptic organisation or axonal maturation and myelination underlying the acquisition of linguistic abilities. The present study is among the first to use MEG to study brain maturation pertaining to language abilities in preschool children.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 02/2012; 35(4):644-50. · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In humans, oxytocin (OT) enhances prosocial behaviour. However, it is still unclear how the prosocial effects of OT are modulated by emotional features and/or individuals' characteristics. In a placebo-controlled design, we tested 20 healthy male volunteers to investigate these behavioural and neurophysiological modulations using magnetoencephalography. As an index of the individuals' characteristics, we used the empathy quotient (EQ), the autism spectrum quotient (AQ), and the systemising quotient (SQ). Only during the perception of another person's angry face was a higher SQ a significant predictor of OT-induced prosocial change, both in the behavioural and neurophysiological indicators. In addition, a lower EQ was only a significant predictor of OT-induced prosocial changes in the neurophysiological indicators during the perception of angry faces. Both on the behavioural and the neurophysiological level, the effects of OT were specific for anger and correlated with a higher SQ.
    Scientific Reports 01/2012; 2:384. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent neuroimaging studies support the view that a left-lateralized brain network is crucial for language development in children. However, no previous studies have demonstrated a clear link between lateralized brain functional network and language performance in preschool children. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a noninvasive brain imaging technique and is a practical neuroimaging method for use in young children. MEG produces a reference-free signal, and is therefore an ideal tool to compute coherence between two distant cortical rhythms. In the present study, using a custom child-sized MEG system, we investigated brain networks while 78 right-handed preschool human children (32-64 months; 96% were 3-4 years old) listened to stories with moving images. The results indicated that left dominance of parietotemporal coherence in theta band activity (6-8 Hz) was specifically correlated with higher performance of language-related tasks, whereas this laterality was not correlated with nonverbal cognitive performance, chronological age, or head circumference. Power analyses did not reveal any specific frequencies that contributed to higher language performance. Our results suggest that it is not the left dominance in theta oscillation per se, but the left-dominant phase-locked connectivity via theta oscillation that contributes to the development of language ability in young children.
    Journal of Neuroscience 10/2011; 31(42):14984-8. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we used near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to measure relative changes in cortical hemodynamics from 19 adult and 19 preschool children (aged 3-4 years old), while they watched epochs of static and motion pictures extracted from TV programs. The spatio-temporal characteristics of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin volumes (oxy- and deoxy-Hb) of both subject groups were described and compared where appropriate for five regions of interest (ROIs). These were striate, left and right middle temporal, and left and right temporo-parietal areas. Over these areas, deoxy-Hb volumes did not differ between both groups. Preschool data showed significant increases in oxy-Hb over striate, middle temporal and temporo-parietal areas in response to visual motion stimuli. Static stimuli caused a significant oxy-Hb increase over striate and left middle temporal areas. Surprisingly, changes in adult oxy-Hb were not profound and did not show a significant oxy-Hb increase in striate and middle temporal areas in response to the motion stimuli, warranting further research. In spite of oxy-Hb volume differences, oxy-Hb recovery to baseline followed a similar pattern in both groups in response to both static and motion stimuli. Together, the results suggest that near-infrared spectroscopy is a viable method to investigate cortical development of preschool children by monitoring their hemodynamic response patterns.
    Brain research 02/2011; 1383:242-51. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oscillations in the higher frequency range are closely related to regional brain hemodynamic changes. Here we investigated this neurovascular coupling in humans in response to electrical stimulation of the right median nerve. In a single-trial study, we simultaneously recorded hemodynamic fluctuations in the somatosensory cortex by near infrared spectroscopy and brain neuronal oscillations by whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG). The results from six volunteers showed that neural fluctuations at β or γ-band power were correlated with hemodynamic fluctuation during stimulus conditions. These correlations were prominent with a time delay of 5-7 s. This study provides new direct evidence that hemodynamic onset lags specific neural oscillations in the order of seconds in human awake conditions using noninvasive methods.
    Neuroreport 12/2010; 21(17):1106-10. · 1.40 Impact Factor
  • Clinical Neurophysiology - CLIN NEUROPHYSIOL. 01/2010; 121.
  • Clinical Neurophysiology - CLIN NEUROPHYSIOL. 01/2010; 121.