Athanasia Monika Mowinckel

Athanasia Monika Mowinckel
University of Oslo · Department of Psychology, Center of Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition

BA MPhil PhD

About

50
Publications
10,604
Reads
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600
Citations
Introduction
I am part of the cognitive and neuroscience division of the Department of Psychology. As both ADHD and decision making are related to the catecholamines dopamine and serotonin, I am also generally interested in how these neurotransmitters influence our behaviour.
Additional affiliations
September 2016 - July 2017
University of Oslo
Position
  • Researcher
September 2016 - September 2017
University of Oslo
Position
  • Researcher
September 2015 - November 2015
University of Southampton
Position
  • visiting PhD fellow

Publications

Publications (50)
Article
Cognitive aging is accompanied by a range of structural and functional differences in the brain, even in the absence of neurodegenerative disease. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have reported increased bilateral activation during task performance in elderly participants compared to their younger counterparts, particularly in f...
Article
Full-text available
Deficient reward processing has gained attention as an important aspect of ADHD, but little is known about reward-based decision-making (DM) in adults with ADHD. This article summarizes research on DM in adult ADHD and contextualizes DM deficits by comparing them to attention deficits. Meta-analytic methods were used to calculate average effect siz...
Poster
Full-text available
Background: ADHD is associated with diminished dopamine function, and treatment with methylphenidate (MPH) is thought to alleviate this dysfunction. On a functional level, dopamine is consistently implicated in decision-making (DM) mechanisms, including reinforcement learning and choice. Given dopamine’s role in both ADHD and DM, DM deficits in ADH...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Neurobiological theories of ADHD assume that a deficient dopaminergic system is a key cause of ADHD symptoms. Impaired reinforcement learning (RL) is one such symptom and is associated with dopaminergic signalling of prediction errors. Methylphenidate treatment alleviates ADHD symptoms by manipulating the dopaminergic system, and should thus also i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Objectives: Impaired decision-making (DM) has received modest attention in adult ADHD. Tests of DM could prove useful in diagnostics and advance the understanding of pathogenesis. To provide an overview of current DM research in adult ADHD, we conducted a meta-analysis for three DM domains (delayed reward (DR), risky DM and reinforcement learning (...
Preprint
The question of how much sleep is best for the brain attracts scientific and public interest, and there is concern that insuficient sleep leads to poorer brain health. However, it is unknown how much sleep is sufficient and how much is too much. We analyzed 51,295 brain magnetic resonnance images from 47,039 participants, and calculated the self-re...
Article
Full-text available
Brain age is a widely used index for quantifying individuals’ brain health as deviation from a normative brain aging trajectory. Higher-than-expected brain age is thought partially to reflect above-average rate of brain aging. Here, we explicitly tested this assumption in two independent large test datasets (UK Biobank [main] and Lifebrain [replica...
Article
Full-text available
Working memory (WM) supports several higher-level cognitive abilities, yet we know less about factors associated with development and decline in WM compared to other cognitive processes. Here, we investigated lifespan changes in WM capacity and their structural brain correlates, using a longitudinal sample including 2358 magnetic resonance imaging...
Article
Full-text available
Higher socio-economic status (SES) has been proposed to have facilitating and protective effects on brain and cognition. We ask whether relationships between SES, brain volumes and cognitive ability differ across cohorts, by age and national origin. European and US cohorts covering the lifespan were studied (4–97 years, N = 500 000; 54 000 w/brain...
Article
Full-text available
Development and aging of the cerebral cortex show similar topographic organization and are governed by the same genes. It is unclear whether the same is true for subcortical regions, which follow fundamentally different ontogenetic and phylogenetic principles. We tested the hypothesis that genetically governed neurodevelopmental processes can be tr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Brain age is a widely used index for quantifying individuals brain health as deviation from a normative brain aging trajectory. Higher than expected brain age is thought partially to reflect above-average rate of brain aging. We explicitly tested this assumption in two large datasets and found no association between cross-sectional brain age and st...
Article
Full-text available
Aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are associated with progressive brain disorganization. Although structural asymmetry is an organizing feature of the cerebral cortex it is unknown whether continuous age- and AD-related cortical degradation alters cortical asymmetry. Here, in multiple longitudinal adult lifespan cohorts we show that higher-order c...
Article
Full-text available
Cortical thinning occurs throughout the entire life and extends to late-life neurodegeneration, yet the neurobiological substrates are poorly understood. Here, we used a virtual-histology technique and gene expression data from the Allen Human Brain Atlas to compare the regional profiles of longitudinal cortical thinning through life (4004 magnetic...
Article
Full-text available
Memory performance results from plasticity, the ability to change with experience. We show that benefit from practice over a few trials, learning slope, is predictive of long-term recall and hippocampal volume across a broad age range and a long period of time, relates to memory training benefit, and is heritable. First, in a healthy lifespan sampl...
Article
Full-text available
There is an increased emphasis on visualizing neuroimaging results in more intuitive ways. Common statistical tools for dissemination of these results, such as bar charts, lack the spatial dimension that is inherent in neuroimaging data. Here we present two packages for the statistical software R that integrate this spatial component. The ggseg and...
Article
Full-text available
It has been suggested that specific forms of cognition in older age rely largely on late-life specific mechanisms. Here instead, we tested using task-fMRI (n = 540, age 6–82 years) whether the functional foundations of successful episodic memory encoding adhere to a principle of lifespan continuity, shaped by developmental, structural, and evolutio...
Article
Full-text available
We examined whether sleep quality and quantity are associated with cortical and memory changes in cognitively healthy participants across the adult lifespan. Associations between self-reported sleep parameters (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, PSQI) and longitudinal cortical change were tested using five samples from the Lifebrain consortium (n = 22...
Preprint
Full-text available
Socio-economic status (SES) has been proposed to have facilitating and protective effects on brain and cognition. Here we show that relationships between SES, brain volumes and general cognitive ability differ significantly across European and US cohorts (4-97 years, N ≈ 500,000; 54,000 with brain imaging). Education was positively related to intra...
Article
Full-text available
Analyzing data from multiple neuroimaging studies has great potential in terms of increasing statistical power, enabling detection of effects of smaller magnitude than would be possible when analyzing each study separately and also allowing to systematically investigate between-study differences. Restrictions due to privacy or proprietary data as w...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To test the hypothesis that genetic risk for Alzheimer disease (AD) may represent a stable influence on the brain from early in life, rather than being primarily age dependent, we investigated in a lifespan sample of 1,181 persons with a total of 2,690 brain scans, whether higher polygenic risk score (PGS) for AD and presence of APOE ε4 w...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: The apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele is the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), accelerated cognitive aging, and hippocampal atrophy, but its influence on the association between hippocampus atrophy and episodic-memory decline in non-demented individuals remains unclear. Methods: We analyzed longitudinal (two to...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Brain health is a multi-faceted concept used to describe brain physiology, cognitive function, mental health and well-being. Diseases of the brain account for one third of the global burden of disease and are becoming more prevalent as populations age. Diet, social interaction as well as physical and cognitive activity are lifestyle fac...
Preprint
Full-text available
Normal aging and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) are accompanied by large-scale alterations in brain organization that undermine brain function. Although hemispheric asymmetry is a global organizing feature of cortex thought to promote brain efficiency, current descriptions of cortical thinning in aging and AD have largely overlooked cortical asymmetry. C...
Preprint
Full-text available
While development and aging of the cerebral cortex show a similar topographic organization and are mainly governed by the same genes, it is unclear whether the same is true for subcortical structures, which follow fundamentally different ontogenetic and phylogenetic principles than the cerebral cortex. To test the hypothesis that genetically govern...
Article
Full-text available
The cerebral hemispheres are specialized for different cognitive functions and receive divergent information from the sensory organs, so that the interaction between the hemispheres is a crucial aspect of perception and cognition. At the same time, the major fiber tract responsible for this interaction, the corpus callosum, shows a structural devel...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Older persons with poor sleep are more likely to develop neurodegenerative disease, but the causality underlying this association is unclear. To move towards explanation, we examine whether sleep quality and quantity are similarly associated with brain changes across the adult lifespan. Methods Associations between self-reported sleep p...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cortical thinning occurs throughout the entire life and extends to late-life neurodegeneration, yet the neurobiological substrates are poorly understood. Here, we used a virtual-histology technique and gene expression data from the Allen Human Brain Atlas to compare the regional profiles of longitudinal cortical thinning through life (4004 MRIs) wi...
Preprint
The cerebral hemispheres are specialized for different cognitive functions and receive divergent information from the sensory organs, so that the interaction between the hemispheres is a crucial aspect of perception and cognition. At the same time, the major fiber tract responsible for this interaction, the corpus callosum, shows a structural devel...
Preprint
Analyzing data from multiple neuroimaging studies has great potential in terms of increasing statistical power, enabling detection of effects of smaller magnitude than would be possible when analyzing each study separately and also allowing to systematically investigate between-study differences. Restrictions due to privacy or proprietary data as w...
Preprint
Full-text available
It is suggested that the functional mechanisms behind specific forms of cognition, particularly episodic memory, may be dynamic over the lifespan and that cognitive preservation or decay in older age thus relies on age-specific mechanisms such as compensatory processes. Here instead, we tested whether the functional foundations of successful episod...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is an increased emphasis on visualizing neuroimaging results in more intuitive ways. Common statistical tools for dissemination, such as bar charts, lack the spatial dimension that is inherent in neuroimaging data. Here we present two packages for the statistical software R, ggseg and ggseg3d, that integrate this spatial component. The ggseg...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Poor sleep is associated with multiple age-related neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric conditions. The hippocampus plays a special role in sleep and sleep-dependent cognition, and accelerated hippocampal atrophy is typically seen with higher age. Hence, it is critical to establish how the relationship between sleep and hippocampal vol...
Article
Full-text available
Performance on recall tests improves through childhood and adolescence, in part due to structural maturation of the medial temporal cortex. Although partly different processes support successful recall over shorter vs. longer intervals, recall is usually tested after less than an hour. The aim of the present study was to test whether there are uniq...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Poor sleep is associated with multiple age-related neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric conditions. The hippocampus plays a special role in sleep and sleep-dependent cognition, and accelerated hippocampal atrophy is typically seen with higher age. Hence, it is critical to establish how the relationship between sleep and hippocampal vol...
Preprint
INTRODUCTION It is unknown whether genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represents a stable influence on the brain from early in life, or whether effects are age-dependent. It is critical to characterize the effects of genetic risk factors on the primary neural substrate of AD, the hippocampus, throughout life. METHODS Relations of polygenic...
Preprint
Full-text available
Episodic memory function improves through childhood and adolescence, in part due to structural maturation of the medial temporal cortex. Although partly different processes support long-term memory over shorter vs. longer intervals, memory is usually assessed after less than an hour. The aim of the present study was to test whether there are unique...
Article
The human cerebral cortex is highly regionalized, and this feature emerges from morphometric gradients in the cerebral vesicles during embryonic development. We tested if this principle of regionalization could be traced from the embryonic development to the human life span. Data-driven fuzzy clustering was used to identify regions of coordinated l...
Article
Aging is characterized by substantial average decline in memory performance. Yet contradictory explanations have been given for how the brains of high-performing older adults work: either by engagement of compensatory processes such as recruitment of additional networks or by maintaining young adults' patterns of activity. Distinguishing these comp...
Preprint
Full-text available
The human cerebral cortex is highly regionalized. We aimed to test whether principles of regionalization could be traced from embryonic development throughout the human lifespan. A data-driven fuzzy-clustering approach was used to identify regions of coordinated longitudinal development of cortical surface area (SA) and thickness (CT) over 1.5 year...
Article
The main objective of "Lifebrain" is to identify the determinants of brain, cognitive and mental (BCM) health at different stages of life. By integrating, harmonising and enriching major European neuroimaging studies across the life span, we will merge fine-grained BCM health measures of more than 5,000 individuals. Longitudinal brain imaging, gene...
Data
Model descriptions. Syntax description of the three competing models for each of the three dependent measures. The first parenthesis describes the term of interest, where one estimates intercepts for each node or edge (node pairs).Note that for the task betas, each parameter (intercept, gain, loss, difficulty, accuracy) is hierarchically nested und...
Article
Full-text available
Insufficient suppression and connectivity of the default mode network (DMN) is a potential mediator of cognitive dysfunctions across various disorders, including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, it remains unclear if alterations in sustained DMN suppression, variability and connectivity during prolonged cognitive engagement...
Article
Full-text available
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by altered Decision-making (DM) and reinforcement learning (RL), for which competing theories propose alternative explanations. Computational modelling contributes to understanding DM and RL by integrating behavioural and neurobiological findings, and could elucidate pathogenic mechan...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Objectives Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is commonly treated with the central stimulant methylphenidate (MPH). MPH affects the dopamine (DA) system of the brain, which is also involved in decision-making (DM). Despite clear theoretical and empirical indications for DM problems in adults with ADHD, current understanding of the invo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Neurobiological theories of ADHD assume that a deficient dopaminergic system is a key cause of ADHD symptoms. Impaired reinforcement learning (RL) is one such symptom and is associated with dopaminergic signalling of prediction errors. Methylphenidate treatment alleviates ADHD symptoms by manipulating the dopaminergic system, and should thus also i...
Thesis
Full-text available
The term functional connectivity is used to describe which parts of the brain work together on a process, and might aid the understanding of how the processing systems in the human brain are fundamentally organised. The default mode network (DMN) is a constellation of cortical structures that has shown remarkable reliability as a resting-state netw...

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