Mark D'Esposito

Mark D'Esposito
University of California, Berkeley | UCB · Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute

M.D.

About

468
Publications
79,196
Reads
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54,252
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2000 - present
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • Director, Henry H. Wheeler Jr. Brain Imaging Center
January 2000 - present
University of California, San Francisco
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2000 - present
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (468)
Preprint
Stroke alters blood flow to the brain resulting in tissue loss. However, the disruption of cerebral blood flow (perfusion) can also be observed in surrounding tissue as well as distal areas. These structurally preserved but sub-optimally perfused regions may contribute less to recovery; thus, to better understand aphasia recovery the relationship b...
Article
Full-text available
Mounting evidence suggests that during conscious states, the electrodynamics of the cortex are poised near a critical point or phase transition and that this near-critical behavior supports the vast flow of information through cortical networks during conscious states. Here, we empirically identify a mathematically specific critical point near whic...
Article
The locus coeruleus (LC) is the brain’s major source of the neuromodulator norepinephrine, and is also profoundly vulnerable to the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-related tau pathology. Norepinephrine plays a role in neuroprotective functions that may reduce AD progression, and also underlies optimal memory performance. Successful maintena...
Article
Full-text available
The emergence of distributed patterns of neural activity supporting brain functions and behavior can be understood by study of the brain’s low-dimensional topology. Functional neuroimaging demonstrates that brain activity linked to adaptive behavior is constrained to low-dimensional manifolds. In human participants, we tested whether these low-dime...
Article
The cognitive effects of pharmacologically enhancing cortical dopamine (DA) tone are variable across healthy human adults. It has been postulated that individual differences in drug responses are linked to baseline cortical DA activity according to an inverted-U-shaped function. To better understand the effect of divergent starting points along thi...
Article
Full-text available
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) leads to impairments in both cognitive and affective functioning. Animal work suggests that chronic stress reduces dopamine tone, and both animal and human studies argue that changes in dopamine tone influence working memory, a core executive function. These findings give rise to the hypothesis that increasing...
Article
Extant research indicates that worry is associated with reduced working memory. It remains unclear, however, what mechanisms contribute to impaired performance in worriers. Critically, dopamine in the prefrontal cortex heavily influences the stability of mental representations during working memory tasks, yet no research has probed its role in asso...
Article
Full-text available
In MRI studies, spatial normalization is required to infer results at the group level. In the presence of a brain lesion, such as in stroke patients, the normalization process can be affected by tissue loss, spatial deformations, signal intensity changes, and other stroke sequelae that introduce confounds into the group analysis results. Previously...
Preprint
Mounting evidence suggests that during conscious states, the electrodynamics of the cortex are poised near a critical point or phase transition, and that this near-critical behavior supports the vast flow of information through cortical networks during conscious states. Here, for the first time, we empirically identify the specific critical point n...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Brain health is neglected in public health, receiving attention after something goes wrong. Neuroplasticity research illustrates that preventive steps strengthen the brain's component systems; however, this information is not widely known. Actionable steps are needed to scale proven population-level interventions. Objectives: This pil...
Article
Measures of human brain functional connectivity acquired during the resting-state track critical aspects of behavior. Recently, fluctuations in resting-state functional connectivity patterns – typically averaged across in traditional analyses – have been considered for their potential neuroscientific relevance. There exists a lack of research on th...
Article
Humans can draw insight from previous experiences in order to quickly adapt to novel environments that share a common underlying structure. Here we combine functional imaging and computational modeling to identify the neural systems that support the discovery and transfer of hierarchical task structure. Human subjects (male and female) completed mu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Measures of human brain functional connectivity acquired during the resting-state track critical aspects of behavior. Recently, fluctuations in resting-state functional connectivity patterns – typically averaged across in traditional analyses – have been considered for their potential neuroscientific relevance. There exists a lack of research on th...
Article
Full-text available
In daily life, we use visual working memory (WM) to guide our actions. While attending to currently-relevant information, we must simultaneously maintain future-relevant information, and discard information that is no longer relevant. However, the neural mechanisms by which unattended, but future-relevant, information is maintained in working memor...
Article
Stable representations of past experience are thought to depend on processes that unfold after events are initially encoded into memory. Post-encoding reactivation and hippocampal-cortical interactions are leading candidate mechanisms thought to support memory retention and stabilization across hippocampal-cortical networks. Although putative conso...
Article
Hierarchical cognitive control enables us to execute actions guided by abstract goals. Previous research has suggested that neuronal oscillations at different frequency bands are associated with top-down cognitive control; however, whether distinct neural oscillations have similar or different functions for cognitive control is not well understood....
Article
Full-text available
Sequential sampling models such as the drift diffusion model (DDM) have a long tradition in research on perceptual decision-making, but mounting evidence suggests that these models can account for response time (RT) distributions that arise during reinforcement learning and value-based decision-making. Building on this previous work, we implemented...
Article
Working memory (WM) relies on the prioritization of relevant information and suppression of irrelevant information [1, 2]. Prioritizing relevant information has been linked to theta frequency neural oscillations in lateral prefrontal cortex and suppressing irrelevant information has been linked to alpha oscillations in occipito-parietal cortex [3,1...
Article
Dopamine (DA) has been implicated in modulating multiple cognitive control processes, including the robust maintenance of task sets and memoranda in the face of distractors (cognitive stability) and, conversely, the ability to switch task sets or update the contents of working memory when it is advantageous to do so (cognitive flexibility). In huma...
Article
Persisting difficulties in executive functioning (EF) are common after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Cognitive rehabilitation can be effective, but the impact of pretreatment neurocognitive functioning on long term effects of rehabilitation is unknown. Because this information can impact treatment planning, we examined the relationship between prer...
Article
Objective: To investigate long-term effects of GOALS executive function training in Veterans with chronic TBI. In a recently completed study Veterans with chronic TBI showed improvement immediately post-GOALS but not control training on measures of executive function, functional task performance, and emotion regulation. We now examine the long-term...
Article
Past studies have demonstrated that flexible interactions between brain regions support a wide range of goal-directed behaviors. However, the neural mechanisms that underlie adaptive communication between brain regions are not well understood. In this study, we combined theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic res...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sequential sampling models such as the drift diffusion model have a long tradition in research on perceptual decision-making, but mounting evidence suggests that these models can account for response time distributions that arise during reinforcement learning and value-based decision-making. Building on this previous work, we implemented the drift...
Thesis
Full-text available
Essential to human cognition is the ability to quickly respond to changing task demands-to shift attention between different or competing tasks without affecting performance. This complex cognitive ability has been linked to increased activity in the cingulo-opercular (CO) and fronto-parietal (FP) networks while participants are switching attention...
Article
Working memory is characterized by neural activity that persists during the retention interval of delay tasks. Despite the ubiquity of this delay activity across tasks, species and experimental techniques, our understanding of this phenomenon remains incomplete. Although initially there was a narrow focus on sustained activation in a small number o...
Article
The brain operates via networked activity in separable groups of regions called modules. The quantification of modularity compares the number of connections within and between modules, with high modularity indicating greater segregation, or dense connections within sub-networks and sparse connections between sub-networks. Previous work has demonstr...
Article
Beta and gamma frequency neuronal oscillations have been implicated in top–down and bottom–up attention. In this study, we used rhythmic TMS to modulate ongoing beta and gamma frequency neuronal oscillations in frontal and parietal cortex while human participants performed a visual search task that manipulates bottom–up and top–down attention (sing...
Article
Objectives: A common cognitive complaint of older adulthood is distractibility, or decline in ability to concentrate and maintain focus, yet few evidence-based interventions exist to address these deficits. We implemented s pilot trial of an evidence-based executive function training program, to investigate whether training in applied goal-directed...
Article
Interventions using methods such as cognitive training and aerobic exercise have shown potential to enhance cognitive abilities. However, there is often pronounced individual variability in the magnitude of these gains. Here, we propose that brain network modularity, a measure of brain subnetwork segregation, is a unifying biomarker of intervention...
Article
Long-range phase synchrony in the α-oscillation band (near 10 Hz) has been proposed to facilitate information integration across anatomically segregated regions. Which areas may top-down regulate such cross-regional integration is largely unknown. We previously found that the moment-to-moment strength of high-α band (10-12 Hz) phase synchrony co-va...
Article
The divide-and-conquer approach to the study of human cognition has succeeded in focusing researchers’ efforts on behavioral phenomena that fall under well-defined categories such as attention, perception, language, memory, emotion, and motor control. The result has been the development of coherent bodies of work in each area replete with successfu...
Article
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is common among Veterans, and sequelae frequently include deficits in attention and executive function and problems with emotional regulation. Although rehabilitation has been shown to be effective, it is not clear how patient characteristics such as baseline cognitive status may impact response to rehabilitation in thi...
Article
The hippocampus plays a critical role in episodic memory, among other cognitive functions. However, few tools exist to causally manipulate hippocampal function in healthy human participants. Recent work has targeted hippocampal-cortical networks by performing TMS to a region interconnected with the hippocampus, posterior inferior parietal cortex (p...
Article
Visual working memory (VWM) recruits a broad network of brain regions, including prefrontal, parietal, and visual cortices. Recent evidence supports a “sensory recruitment” model of VWM, whereby precise visual details are maintained in the same stimulus-selective regions responsible for perception. A key question in evaluating the sensory recruitme...
Article
Full-text available
Deficits in executive control functions are some of the most common and disabling consequences of both military and civilian brain injury. However, effective interventions are scant. The goal of this study was to assess whether cognitive rehabilitation training that was successfully applied in chronic civilian brain injury would be effective for mi...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale: The prefrontal cortex (PFC) and basal ganglia (BG) have been associated with cognitive stability and cognitive flexibility, respectively. We hypothesized that increasing PFC dopamine tone by administering tolcapone (a catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor) to human subjects should promote stability; conversely, increasing BG dop...
Article
Full-text available
Research has shown that the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) may be hierarchically organized along a rostral-caudal functional gradient such that control processing becomes progressively more abstract from caudal to rostral frontal regions. Here, we briefly review the most recent functional MRI, neuropsychological, and electrophysiological evidence...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: We examined imaging surrogates of white matter microstructural abnormalities which may precede white matter lesions (WML) and represent a relevant marker of cerebrovascular injury in adults in midlife. Methods: In 698 community-dwelling adults (mean age 50 years +/- 3.5 SD) from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARD...
Article
Full-text available
Recent work suggests that the brain can be conceptualized as a network comprised of groups of sub-networks or modules. The extent of segregation between modules can be quantified with a modularity metric, where networks with high modularity have dense connections within modules and sparser connections between modules. Previous work has shown that h...
Chapter
Working memory is a system responsible for the online maintenance and processing of information central for higher‐level cognition. Here, we review historical and ongoing progress in the neuroscientific study of working memory. We detail how classical demonstrations of stable, elevated firing in the prefrontal cortex presumed to form the neural bas...
Chapter
Working memory refers to the temporary retention of information that has just arrived to the senses or been retrieved from long-term memory. While internal representations of external stimuli have a natural tendency to decay, they can be kept “in mind” through the action of maintenance or rehearsal strategies and can be subjected to various operati...
Article
The intrinsic white matter connections of the frontal cortex are highly complex, and the organization of these connections is not fully understood. Quantitative graph-theoretical methods, which are not solely reliant on human observation and interpretation, can be powerful tools for describing the organizing network principles of frontal cortex. He...
Preprint
Recent experiments have shown that visual cognition blends current visual input with that from the recent past to guide ongoing decision making. This serial dependence is tuned to the similarity between consecutive stimuli and appears to exploit the temporal autocorrelation normally present in visual scenes to promote perceptual stability. While th...
Article
Background: While older adults are able to attend to goal-relevant information, the capacity to ignore irrelevant or distracting information declines with advancing age. This decline in selective attention has been associated with poor modulation of brain activity in sensory cortices by anterior brain regions implicated in cognitive control. Obje...
Article
Full-text available
The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) is essential for higher-level cognition, but how its interactions support cognitive control remains elusive. Previously (Nee and D'Esposito, 2016), dynamic causal modeling (DCM) indicated that mid LPFC integrates abstract, rostral and concrete, caudal influences to inform context-appropriate action. Here, we use...
Preprint
Flexible interaction between brain regions enables neural systems to transfer and process information adaptively for goal-directed behaviors. In the current study, we investigated neural substrates that interact with task-evoked functional connectivity during cognitive control. We conducted a human fMRI study where participants selectively attended...
Preprint
Full-text available
The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) is essential for higher-level cognition, but how interactions among LPFC areas support cognitive control has remained elusive. In previous work, dynamic causal modeling (DCM) of fMRI data revealed that demands on cognitive control elicited a convergence of influences towards mid LPFC. We proposed that these find...
Article
Full-text available
The neuromodulator acetylcholine (ACh) modulates spatial integration in visual cortex by altering the balance of inputs that generate neuronal receptive fields. These cholinergic effects may provide a neurobiological mechanism underlying the modulation of visual representations by visual spatial attention. However, the consequences of cholinergic e...
Article
A complex system can be represented and analyzed as a network, where nodes represent the units of the network and edges represent connections between those units. For example, a brain network represents neurons as nodes and axons between neurons as edges. In many networks, some nodes have a disproportionately high number of edges. These nodes also...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive training interventions are a promising approach to mitigate cognitive deficits common in aging and, ultimately, to improve functioning in older adults. Baseline neural factors, such as properties of brain networks, may predict training outcomes and can be used to improve the effectiveness of interventions. Here, we investigated the relati...
Article
Full-text available
Significance statement: The dynamic nature of the human brain gives rise to the wide range of behaviors and cognition of which humans are capable. We collected fMRI data from healthy young adults and measured large-scale functional connectivity patterns between regions distributed across the entire brain. We implemented graph theoretical analyses...
Chapter
Working memory refers to a system involved in the online maintenance and manipulation of information in the absence of external input. Due to the importance of working memory in higher-level cognition, a wealth of neuroscience studies has investigated its neural basis. These studies have often led to conflicting viewpoints regarding the importance...
Preprint
Full-text available
The thalamus is globally connected with distributed cortical regions, yet the functional significance of this extensive thalamocortical connectivity remains largely unknown. By performing graph-theoretic analyses on thalamocortical functional connectivity data collected from human participants, we found that the human thalamus displays network prop...
Chapter
Neuroimaging, in many respects, revolutionized the study of cognitive neuroscience, the discipline that attempts to determine the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive processes. Early studies of brain- behavior relationships relied on a precise neurological exam as the basis for hypothesizing the site of brain damage that was responsible for a gi...
Article
Full-text available
Many decisions involve a trade-off between the temporal proximity of a reward and its magnitude. A range of clinical conditions are associated with poor self-control during such intertemporal choices, such that smaller rewards that are received sooner are preferred over larger rewards that are received later to a greater extent [1, 2]. According to...
Article
Insidious declines in normal aging are well established. Emerging evidence suggests that non-pharmacological interventions, specifically cognitive and physical training, may counter diminishing age-related cognitive and brain functions. This randomized trial compared effects of two training protocols: cognitive training (CT) versus physical trainin...
Article
Full-text available
Although recent research has shown that the frontal cortex has a critical role in perceptual decision making, an overarching theory of frontal functional organization for perception has yet to emerge. Perceptual decision making is temporally organized such that it requires the processes of selection, criterion setting, and evaluation. We hypothesiz...
Article
Aging is accompanied by declines in executive control abilities and changes in underlying brain network architecture. Here, we examined brain networks in young and older adults during a task-free resting-state and an N-back task and investigated age-related changes in the modular network organization of the brain. Compared to young adults, older ad...
Data
Statistical parametric maps of the univariate whole-brain results.Maps contain t-statistics and have been thresholded to correct for multiple comparisons as detailed in the Materials and methods.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12112.007
Data
Statistical parametric maps of the activation-behavior correlations.Maps contain r-values and have been thresholded to correct for multiple comparisons as detailed in the Materials and methods.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12112.016
Article
Working memory refers to the temporary maintenance of information that is no longer present in the environment for use in ongoing cognition. Neurally, this is accomplished through an interplay between caudal frontal systems involved in the selection of information and posterior systems involved in the representation of information. Distinct caudal...
Article
Full-text available
It is proposed that feedback signals from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) to extrastriate cortex are essential for goal-directed processing, maintenance, and selection of information in visual working memory (VWM). In a previous study, we found that disruption of PFC function with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in healthy individuals impaired...
Article
Full-text available
Converging evidence links individual differences in mesolimbic and mesocortical dopamine (DA) to variation in the tendency to choose immediate rewards ("Now") over larger, delayed rewards ("Later"), or "Now bias". However, to date, no study of healthy young adults has evaluated the relationship between Now bias and DA using positron emission tomogr...
Article
Full-text available
Network-based analyses of brain imaging data consistently reveal distinct modules and connector nodes with diverse global connectivity across the modules. How discrete the functions of modules are, how dependent the computational load of each module is to the other modules' processing, and what the precise role of connector nodes is for between-mod...