Georg Northoff

Georg Northoff
University of Ottawa · Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR)

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677
Publications
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Introduction
For full text of publications please see on our website: http://www.theroyal.ca/northoff/category/papers/

Publications

Publications (677)
Article
The low‐frequency (<0.1 Hz) fluctuation in sustained attention attracts enormous interest in cognitive neuroscience and clinical research since it always leads to cognitive and behavioral lapses. What is the source of the spontaneous fluctuation in sustained attention in neural activity, and how does the neural fluctuation relate to behavioral fluc...
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Prominent theories propose that interoception modulates our behavioral and emotional responses involving decision-making and emotion regulation. Are the regions implicated in interoception also spatially related to and possibly nested within the networks of decision making and emotion regulation? Addressing this question, we performed three meta-an...
Preprint
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Our perceptions and decisions are not always objectively correct as they are featured by a bias related to our self. What are the behavioral, neural, and computational mechanisms of such cognitive bias? Addressing this yet unresolved question, we here investigate whether the cognitive bias is related to temporal integration and segregation as media...
Article
Since January 1st 2022, catatonia is (again) recognized as an independent diagnostic entity in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). This is a relevant time to systematically review how the concept of catatonia has evolved within the 19th century and how this concept changed under the influence of a wide variet...
Article
Time is a core aspect of psychopathology with potential for clinical use and early intervention. Temporal experience, perception, judgement and processing are distorted in various psychiatric disorders such as mood (depression and mania), anxiety, autistic, impulse‐control, dissociative and attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorders. Can these disor...
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Much of current artificial intelligence (AI) and the drive toward artificial general intelligence (AGI) focuses on developing machines for functional tasks that humans accomplish. These may be narrowly specified tasks as in AI, or more general tasks as in AGI – but typically these tasks do not target higher-level human cognitive abilities, such as...
Article
What is the role of the brain’s ongoing activity for cognition? The predominant perspectives associate ongoing brain activity with resting state, the default-mode network (DMN), and internally oriented mentation. This triad is often contrasted with task states, non-DMN brain networks, and externally oriented mentation, together comprising a “dual m...
Article
Introduction: Depression can be characterized by rumination that is featured by spontaneity and perseveration of internally oriented thoughts. At the same time, depressed subjects complain about abnormal slowness and lack of power/energy in their thoughts, suggesting abnormal "thought dynamics." The relationship between rumination and thought dyna...
Article
The self is characterized by an intrinsic temporal component consisting in continuity across time. On the neural level, this temporal continuity manifests in the brain's intrinsic neural timescales (INT) that can be measured by the autocorrelation window (ACW). Recent EEG studies reveal a relationship between resting state ACW and self-consciousnes...
Preprint
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A special issue of Entropy (ISSN 1099-4300). Link: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/entropy/special_issues/temporo_spatial_consciousness Deadline for manuscript submissions: 18 December 2022
Article
At present, current diagnostic criteria and systems neglect affective symptom expression in catatonia. This potentially serious omission could explain why putative contributions of limbic system structures, such as amygdala, hippocampus or hypothalamus, to catatonia in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) have been scarcely investigated so far. T...
Article
Cortical oscillations and scale-free neural activity are thought to influence a variety of cognitive functions, but their differential relationships to neural stability and flexibility has never been investigated. Based on the existing literature, we hypothesize that scale-free and oscillatory processes in the brain exhibit different trade-offs bet...
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Trait empathy is an essential personality feature in the intricacy of typical social inclinations of individuals. Empathy is likely supported by multilevel neuronal network functioning, whereas local topological properties determine network integrity. In the present functional MRI study (N=116), we aimed to trace empathic traits to the intrinsic br...
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Citation: Ebisch, S.J.H.; Scalabrini, A.; Northoff, G.; Mucci, C.; Sergi, M.R.; Saggino, A.; Aquino, A.; Alparone, F.R.; Perrucci, M.G.; Gallese, V.; Di Plinio, S.
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Susceptibility to the rubber hand illusion (RHI) varies. To date, however, there is no consensus explanation of this variability. Previous studies, focused on the role of multisensory integration, have searched for neural correlates of the illusion. But those studies have failed to identify a sufficient set of functionally specific neural correlate...
Article
The search for the subjective nature of our self is intensely debated in philosophy and neuroscience. However, despite all progress, the subjectivity of self and how it fits into the seemingly objective world remains elusive. Drawing on recent empirical data, we show how the self is shaped by the brain’s scale-free activity, that is, long-range tem...
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Our thoughts are highly dynamic in their contents. At some points, our thoughts are related to external stimuli or tasks focusing on single content (on-single thoughts), While in other moments, they are drifting away with multiple simultaneous items as contents (off-multiple thoughts). Can such thought dynamics be tracked by corresponding neurodyna...
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Abstract Schizophrenia subjects often suffer from a failure to properly predict incoming inputs; most notably, some patients exhibit impaired prediction of the sensory consequences of their own actions. The mechanisms underlying this deficit remain unclear, though. One possible mechanism could consist in aberrant predictive processing, as schizophr...
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This article introduces a process-oriented approach for improving present moment conceptualization in psychotherapy that is in alignment with neuroscience: the Temporospatial movements of mind (TSMM) model. We elaborate on seven temporal movements that describe the moment-to-moment morphogenesis of emotional feelings and thoughts from inception to...
Article
The brain shows a topographical hierarchy along the lines of lower- and higher-order networks. The exact temporal dynamics characterization of this lower-higher-order topography at rest and its impact on task states remains unclear, though. Using 2 functional magnetic resonance imaging data sets, we investigate lower- and higher-order networks in t...
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Time is a key element of consciousness as it includes multiple timescales from shorter to longer ones. This is reflected in our experience of various short-term phenomenal contents at discrete points in time as part of an ongoing, more continuous, and long-term 'stream of consciousness .' Can Integrated Information Theory (IIT) account for this mul...
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Human brain imaging has revealed that stimulus-induced activity does generally not simply add to the pre-stimulus activity, but rather builds in a non-additive way on this activity. Here we investigate this subject at the single neuron level and address the question whether and to what extent a strong form of non-additivity where activity drops pos...
Article
Consciousness and its neural mechanisms remain a mystery. Current neuroscientific theories focus predominantly on the external input/stimulus and the associated stimulus-related activity during conscious contents. Despite all progress, we encounter two gaps: (i) a gap between spontaneous and stimulus-related activity; (ii) a gap between neuronal an...
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The neural mechanism that enables the recovery of consciousness in patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) remains unclear. The aim of the current study is to characterize the cortical hub regions related to the recovery of consciousness. In the current fMRI study, voxel-wise degree centrality analysis was adopted to identify the cort...
Article
The brain is continuously bombarded by external stimuli, which are processed in different input systems. The intrinsic features of these sensory input systems remain yet unclear. Investigating topography and dynamics of input systems is the goal of our study in order to better understand the intrinsic features that shape their neural processing. Us...
Article
Aim: The notion of a disturbed self as the core feature of schizophrenia dates back to the founding texts on the illness. Since the development of the psychometric tool for examination of anomalous self-experience (EASE), self-disorders have become accessible to empirical research. Empirical studies have shown that EASE measured self-disorders pred...
Article
We are continuously bombarded by external inputs of various timescales from the environment. How does the brain process this multitude of timescales? Recent resting state studies show a hierarchy of intrinsic neural timescales (INT) with a shorter duration in unimodal regions (e.g., visual cortex and auditory cortex) and a longer duration in transm...
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We investigate both experimentally and using a computational model how the power of the electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded in human subjects tracks the presentation of sounds with acoustic intensities that increase exponentially (looming) or remain constant (flat). We focus on the link between this EEG tracking response, behavioral reaction times...
Article
Self-consciousness is neuronally associated with the brain’s default mode network as its “neuronal baseline” while, psychologically the self is characterized by different thought modes and dynamics. We here raise the question whether they reflect the “psychological baseline” of the self. We investigate the psychological relationship of the self wit...
Article
Studies of perception and cognition in schizophrenia (SCZ) show neuronal background noise (ongoing activity) to intermittently overwhelm the processing of external stimuli. This increased noise, relative to the activity evoked by the stimulus, results in temporal imprecision and higher variability of behavioral responses. What, however, are the neu...
Article
Introduction: Abnormalities in the experience of space and time are fundamental to understanding schizophrenia spectrum disorders, but the precise relation between such abnormalities and psychopathological symptoms is still unclear. Therefore, the aim of our study was to introduce a novel scale for space and time experience in psychosis (STEP), sp...
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We process and integrate multiple timescales into one meaningful whole. Recent evidence suggests that the brain displays a complex multiscale temporal organization. Different regions exhibit different timescales as described by the concept of intrinsic neural timescales (INT); however, their function and neural mechanisms remains unclear. We review...
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Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a complex state-dependent psychiatric illness for which biomarkers linking psychophysical, biochemical, and psychopathological changes remain yet elusive, though. Earlier studies demonstrate reduced GABA in lower-order occipital cortex in acute MDD leaving open its validity and significance for higher-order visual...
Book
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Second Edition enriched with a Foreword written by Jakub Przybyła Frenis Zero publishing house, 2021, ISBN 978-88-97479-30-7 Presentation: The second edition of the book is foreworded by Jakub Przybyła who criticizes the idea of integrating neurobiology and psychotherapy based mainly on the study of psychoanalysis and neuropsychoanalysis. The autho...
Article
Medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and other regions like the occipital cortex (OC) exhibit abnormal neural activity in major depressive disorder (MDD). Their relationship to specific biochemical, psychophysical, and psychopathological changes remains unclear, though. For that purpose, we focus on a particular subregion in OC, namely middle temporal (...
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Various studies demonstrate a special role of the right compared to the left anterior insula in mediating our self. However, the neural features of the right insula that allow for its special role remain unclear. Presupposing a spatiotemporal model of self—“Basis model of self-specificity” (BMSS)—we here address the following question: what spatial...
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Childhood trauma is one of the most prominent risk factors in developing major depressive disorder (MDD) and may lead to unfavorable outcomes of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy in MDD. While how it modulates the treatment outcome of the repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and how sex difference may play a role in mediating this re...
Article
Background: Altered global signal (GS) topography features in the resting-state fMRI of major depressive disorder (MDD), showing abnormally strong global signal representation in the default-mode network (DMN). Whether the abnormal local to global change also shapes activity during task states, and how it relates to psychopathological symptoms, e.g...
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What kind of neuroscience does psychoanalysis require? At his time, Freud in his “Project for a Scientific Psychology” searched for a model of the brain that could relate to incorporate the psyche’s topography and dynamic. Current neuropsychoanalysis builds on specific functions as investigated in Affective and Cognitive (and Social) Neuroscience i...
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Catatonia is a transnosologic psychomotor syndrome with high prevalence in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD). There is mounting neuroimaging evidence that catatonia is associated with aberrant frontoparietal, thalamic and cerebellar regions. Large-scale brain network dynamics in catatonia have not been investigated so far. In this study, resti...
Preprint
Full-text available
Susceptibility to the rubber hand illusion (RHI) varies. Thus far, however, there is no consensus as regards how to explain this variation. Previous studies, focused on the role of multisensory integration, have searched for neural correlates of the illusion. Those studies, however, have failed to identify a sufficient set of functionally specific...
Article
The specific role of white matter (WM) microstructure in parkinsonism among patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) is largely unknown. To determine whether topographical alterations of WM microstructure contribute to parkinsonism in SSD patients, we examined healthy controls (HC, n=16) and SSD patients with and without parkinsonism, a...
Article
Objective: Clinical and neurobiological models posited that dissociative mechanisms might affect processes involved in emotional generation and regulation. However, there is a lack of a comprehensive theoretical framework that systematically includes dissociation within emotional functioning. Methods: The current study aims at conducting a meta-...
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We offer to extend structural realism into the field of mind and brain studies. The naturalised metaphysics of structural realism has been defined in terms of unification of sciences. The unification program has been carried out nicely in fields of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. But for the structural realist metaphysics to receive a rec...
Article
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by changes in both rest and task states as manifested in temporal dynamics (EEG) and spatial patterns (fMRI). Are rest and task changes related to each other? Extending the “Resting state hypothesis of depression” (RSHD) (Northoff et al., 2011), we, using multimodal imaging, take a tripartite approac...
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Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by social anxiety/fear, self-attention, and interoception. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies demonstrate increased activity during symptom-sensitive tasks in regions of the default-mode network (DMN), amygdala (AMG), and salience network (SN). What is the source of this task-unspecific symp...
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The existential crisis of nihilism in schizophrenia has been reported since the early days of psychiatry. Taking first-person accounts concerning nihilistic experiences of both the self and the world as vantage point, we aim to develop a dynamic existential model of the pathological development of existential nihilism. Since the phenomenology of su...
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The self is an increasingly central topic in current neuroscience. Understanding the neural processes that are involved in self-referential processing and functioning may also be crucial to understanding consciousness. The current short communication goes beyond the typical concept that the self is singular, as has been assumed from neuroanatomical...
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Spontaneous neural activity fluctuations have been shown to influence trial-by-trial variation in perceptual, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes. However, the complex electrophysiological mechanisms by which these fluctuations shape stimulus-evoked neural activity remain largely to be explored. Employing a large-scale magnetoencephalographic datase...
Article
Over the past three decades research interest in hypokinetic, hyperkinetic, sensorimotor and psychomotor abnormalities in mental disorders has steadily increased. This development has led to an increasing number of scientific initiatives that have not only highlighted the clinical need for early detection of extrapyramidal motor symptoms, tardive d...
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The anticipation of control over aversive events in life is relevant for our mental health. Insights on the underlying neural mechanisms remain limited. We developed a new functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task that uses auditory stimuli to explore the neural correlates of (1) the anticipation of control over aversion and (2) the process...
Chapter
Psychiatric disorders can be characterized by major changes in self which is often experienced in an abnormal way. The neural correlates and mechanisms as well as the methodological approach for how to explore and investigate these abnormalities of self remain unclear. I review here recent findings on the involvement of different neural networks in...
Article
Neural responses to the same stimulus show significant variability over trials, with this variability typically reduced (quenched) after a stimulus is presented. This trial-to-trial variability (TTV) has been much studied, however how this neural variability quenching is influenced by the ongoing dynamics of the prestimulus period is unknown. Utili...
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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by a fundamental change in self-awareness including seemingly paradoxical features like increased ego-centeredness and weakened self-referentiality. What is the neural basis of this so-called “self-paradox”? Conducting a meta-analytic review of fMRI rest and task studies, we show that ASD exhibits con...
Preprint
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Background and Objectives: The neural mechanism that enables the recovery of consciousness in patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) remains unclear. The aim of the current study is to characterize the cortical hub regions related to the recovery of consciousness in patients with UWS. Methods: Voxel-wise degree centrality analysis wa...
Chapter
The aim of this contribution is to introduce Spatiotemporal Psychopathology and the way it may complement and extent Phenomenological Psychopathology by bridging the methodological gap between the brain and experience. In the first part, I will provide examples for spatiotemporal correspondence between neuronal and psychopathological features. Spec...
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Background: Interest in disordered sense of self in schizophrenia has recently re-emerged in the literature. It has been proposed that there is a basic self disturbance, underlying the diagnostic symptoms of schizophrenia, in which the person's sense of being a bounded individual continuous through time loses stability. This disturbance has been do...
Article
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The human cortex exhibits intrinsic neural timescales that shape a temporal hierarchy. Whether this temporal hierarchy follows the spatial hierarchy of its topography, namely the core-periphery organization, remains an open issue. Using magnetoencephalography data, we investigate intrinsic neural timescales during rest and task states; we measure t...
Article
Objective: Nested into slow oscillations (SO) and modulated by their up-states, spindles are electrophysiological hallmarks of N2 sleep stage that present a complex hierarchical architecture. However, most studies have only described spindles in basic statistical terms, which were limited to the spindle itself without analyzing the characteristics...