Steven C R Williams

Steven C R Williams
King's College London | KCL · Department of Neuroimaging

BSc PhD(Cantab)

About

1,280
Publications
187,304
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75,384
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Publications

Publications (1,280)
Article
Full-text available
Threat avoidance is a prominent symptom of affective disorders, yet its biological basis remains poorly understood. Here, we used a validated task, the Joystick Operated Runway Task (JORT), combined with fMRI, to explore whether abnormal function in neural circuits responsible for avoidance underlies these symptoms. Eighteen individuals with major...
Preprint
Adults with antisocial personality disorder with (ASPD + P) and without (ASPD-P) psychopathy commit the majority of violent crimes. Empathic processing abnormalities are particularly prominent in psychopathy, but effective pharmacological interventions have yet to be identified. Oxytocin modulates neural responses to fearful expressions in healthy...
Conference Paper
With the modernization and digitisation of the healthcare system, the need for exchanging medical data has become increasingly compelling. Biomedical imaging has been no exception, where the gathering of medical imaging acquisitions from multi-site collaborations have enabled to reach data sizes never imaginable until few years ago. Usually, medica...
Article
Full-text available
Arterial spin labelling (ASL) plays an increasingly important role in neuroimaging pain research but does not provide molecular insights regarding how regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) relates to underlying neurotransmission. Here, we integrate ASL with positron emission tomography (PET) and brain transcriptome data to investigate the molecular s...
Article
Full-text available
Significance There is an acknowledged need for improved service provision in the context of autism spectrum disorders. Previous studies have demonstrated the positive role drum training can play in improving behavioral outcomes for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral difficulties. However, to date, none of these studies has explo...
Article
Full-text available
The integration of neuroimaging and transcriptomics data, Imaging Transcriptomics, is becoming increasingly popular but standardized workflows for its implementation are still lacking. We describe the Imaging Transcriptomics toolbox, a new package that implements a full imaging transcriptomics pipeline using a user-friendly, command line interface....
Poster
Background: Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL) is a well-established imaging technique for understanding the neural correlates of ongoing pain, however it is inherently unable to delineate the neurochemical substrates underlying the Cerebral Blood Flow (CBF). Aim: To explore the neurochemical basis of pain-induced CBF changes (ΔCBF), by means of their...
Preprint
Mechanisms underpinning neurotypical age-related variations in cortical thickness in the human brain remain insufficiently specified. Here we used cell-specific marker genes, followed by gene ontology and enrichment analyses, to quantify the association between gene-expression levels and inter-regional age-related variations in neurotypical cortica...
Preprint
Objective A comprehensive search of published literature in brain volumetry was conducted in three autoimmune diseases – Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) with the intention of performing a meta-analysis of published data. Due to lack of data in RA and UC the reported meta-analysis was limite...
Article
Full-text available
Cortical differences have been reported in Anorexia Nervosa (AN) compared with healthy controls (HC); however, it is unclear if Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) characteristics are related to these cortical differences. The aim of this study was to examine if structural measures were correlated to ASD traits in AN. In total 184 female participants pa...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Low magnetic field systems provide an important opportunity to expand MRI to new and diverse clinical and research study populations. However, a fundamental limitation of low field strength systems is the reduced SNR compared to 1.5 or 3T, necessitating compromises in spatial resolution and imaging time. Most often, images are acquired wi...
Preprint
Receptor-Enriched Analysis of functional Connectivity by Targets (REACT) is a novel analytical strategy that enriches functional connectivity (FC) information from functional MRI (fMRI) with molecular information on the neurotransmitter distribution density in the human brain, providing a biological basis to the FC analysis. So far, this integrativ...
Preprint
Introduction FDOPA PET has been used extensively to image the human brain in many clinical disorders and has the potential to be used for patient stratification and individualized treatment. However, to reach its full and effective clinical translation, FDOPA PET requires both a robust data infrastructure and analytical protocol that are capable of...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: To develop self-navigated motion correction for 3D silent zero echo time (ZTE) based neuroimaging and characterize its performance for different types of head motion. Methods: The proposed method termed MERLIN (Motion Estimation & Retrospective correction Leveraging Interleaved Navigators) achieves self-navigation by using interleaved 3...
Article
Full-text available
In posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), re‐experiencing of the trauma is a hallmark symptom proposed to emerge from a de‐contextualised trauma memory. Cognitive therapy for PTSD (CT‐PTSD) addresses this de‐contextualisation through different strategies. At the brain level, recent research suggests that the dynamics of specific large‐scale brain ne...
Preprint
Mechanisms underpinning age-related variations in cortical thickness in the human brain remain poorly understood. We investigated whether inter-regional age-related variations in cortical thinning (in a multicohort neuroimaging dataset from the ENIGMA Lifespan Working Group totalling 14,248 individuals, aged 4-89 years) depended on cell-specific ma...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Previous theoretical models and reviews have documented a strong connection between emotion dysregulation eating disorder (ED) psychopathology among the general and clinical populations. The aim of this review was to build on this previous work by conducting a network meta-analysis to explore associations between adaptive and maladapti...
Article
Full-text available
Current neuroimaging acquisition and processing approaches tend to be optimised for quality rather than speed. However, rapid acquisition and processing of neuroimaging data can lead to novel neuroimaging paradigms, such as adaptive acquisition, where rapidly processed data is used to inform subsequent image acquisition steps. Here we first evaluat...
Article
Full-text available
Background Overgeneralised self-blame and worthlessness are key symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD) and have previously been associated with self-blame-selective changes in connectivity between right superior anterior temporal lobe (rSATL) and subgenual frontal cortices. Another study showed that remitted MDD patients were able to modulate...
Article
Full-text available
It is unclear whether early psychosis in the context of cannabis use is different from psychosis without cannabis. We investigated this issue by examining whether abnormalities in oculomotor control differ between patients with psychosis with and without a history of cannabis use. We studied four groups: patients in the early phase of psychosis wit...
Article
Full-text available
Background Cluster headache is an excruciating disorder with no cure. Greater occipital nerve blockades can transiently suppress attacks in approximately 50% of patients, however, its mechanism of action remains uncertain, and there are no reliable predictors of treatment response. To address this, we investigated the effect of occipital nerve bloc...
Article
Full-text available
The integration of transcriptomic and neuroimaging data, “imaging transcriptomics,” has recently emerged to generate hypotheses about potential biological pathways underlying regional variability in neuroimaging features. However, the validity of this approach is yet to be examined in depth. Here, we sought to bridge this gap by performing transcri...
Article
Liraglutide is a glucagon‐like peptide‐1 (GLP‐1) analogue licensed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Preclinical evidence in transgenic models of Alzheimer’s disease suggests that liraglutide exerts neuroprotective effects by reducing amyloid oligomers, normalising synaptic plasticity and cerebral glucose uptake, and increasing the proliferatio...
Article
Background : Large-scale longitudinal and multi-centre studies are used to explore neuroimaging markers of normal aging, and neurodegenerative and mental health disorders. Longitudinal changes in brain structure are typically small, therefore the reliability of automated techniques is crucial. Determining the effects of different factors on reliabi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain could be a key diagnostic and research tool for understanding the neuropsychiatric complications of COVID-19. For maximum impact, multi-modal MRI protocols will be needed to measure the effects of SARS-CoV2 infection on the brain by diverse potentially pathogenic mechanisms, and with high rel...
Article
Key points: Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is associated with descending pain modulation as measured by the Conditioned Pain Modulation paradigm (CPM) There is an association between CPM scores and the functional connectivity between the periaqueductal grey (PAG) and ventro-medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) CPM scores are also associated with vmPFC g...
Preprint
Background: Previous theoretical models and reviews have documented a strong connection between emotion dysregulation eating disorder (ED) psychopathology among the general and clinical populations. The aim of this review was to build on this previous work by conducting a network meta-analysis to explore associations between specific emotion regula...
Article
Chronic pain is a highly debilitating and difficult to treat condition, which affects the structure of the brain. While the development of chronic pain is moderately heritable, how disease-related alterations at the microscopic genetic architecture drive macroscopic brain abnormalities is currently largely unknown. Here, we examined alterations in...
Preprint
Research on entrepreneurial cognition and uncertainty has existed for decades, yet most empirical studies have not integrated methods or concepts from neuroscience. To address this, we provide a framework to unpack the micro-foundations of entrepreneurial cognition. Leveraging theories of cognitive control we show how novel actions are produced, an...
Preprint
Background: Social-emotional difficulties have been proposed to play a key role in the progression of psychiatric disorders, including anorexia nervosa. The aim of the current study was to build on existing work and develop more ecologically valid measures of interpretation biases and evoked emotional responses. Methodology: 124 healthy female part...
Article
Full-text available
Startle reflex is modulated when a weaker sensory stimulus (“prepulse”) precedes a startling stimulus (“pulse”). Prepulse Inhibition (PPI) is the attenuation of the startle reflex (prepulse precedes pulse by 30–500 ms), whereas Prepulse Facilitation (PPF) is the enhancement of the startle reflex (prepulse precedes pulse by 500–6000 ms). Here, we cr...
Article
Full-text available
Subtype and Stage Inference (SuStaIn) is an unsupervised learning algorithm that uniquely enables the identification of subgroups of individuals with distinct pseudo-temporal disease progression patterns from cross-sectional datasets. SuStaIn has been used to identify data-driven subgroups and perform patient stratification in neurodegenerative dis...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: We aimed to investigate changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) using arterial spin labelling (ASL) in patients with visual snow syndrome (VSS), in order to understand more about the underlying neurobiology of the condition, which remains mostly unknown. Methods: We performed an MRI study in which whole-brain maps of rCBF were...
Article
Full-text available
Background Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has a high cost to affected individuals and society, but treatments for core symptoms are lacking. To expand intervention options, it is crucial to gain a better understanding of potential treatment targets, and their engagement, in the brain. For instance, the striatum (caudate, putamen, and nucleus accumb...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Heightened detail-processing and low levels of central coherence are common in individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) and predict poorer prognosis. However, it is unclear whether these processing styles predate the disorder or, rather, emerge during later stages of AN. The current study aimed to address this question by investigating cent...
Article
Full-text available
Background There is growing concern about possible cognitive consequences of COVID-19, with reports of ‘Long COVID’ symptoms persisting into the chronic phase and case studies revealing neurological problems in severely affected patients. However, there is little information regarding the nature and broader prevalence of cognitive problems post-inf...
Article
Full-text available
The autonomic nervous system governs the body's multifaceted internal adaptation to diverse changes in the external environment, a role more complex than is accessible to the methods — and data scales — hitherto used to illuminate its operation. Here we apply generative graphical modelling to large-scale multimodal neuroimaging data encompassing no...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Objective Mutations in the MAPT gene cause frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Most previous studies investigating the neuroanatomical signature of MAPT mutations have grouped all different mutations together and shown an association with focal atrophy of the temporal lobe. However, the variability in atrophy patterns between each particu...
Preprint
The expansion of neuroimaging techniques over the last decades has opened a wide range of new possibilities to characterize brain dysfunction in several neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the lack of specificity of most of these techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-derived measures, to the underlying molecular and cell...
Article
Full-text available
Amyloid plaques are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that develop in its earliest stages. Thus, non-invasive detection of these plaques would be invaluable for diagnosis and the development and monitoring of treatments, but this remains a challenge due to their small size. Here, we investigated the utility of manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) fo...
Article
Repetitive behavior is a core symptom of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and has been associated with impairments in cognitive control. However, it is unclear how cognitive control and associated neural circuitry relate to the development of repetitive behavior in children with these disorders. In a multicent...
Article
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has played an increasingly relevant role in understanding infant, child, and adolescent neurodevelopment, providing new insight into developmental patterns in neurotypical development, as well as those associated with potential psychopathology, learning disorders, and other neurological conditions. In addition, stud...
Article
Full-text available
The glutamatergic modulator ketamine has been shown to rapidly reduce depressive symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (TRD). Although its mechanisms of action are not fully understood, changes in cortical excitation/inhibition (E/I) following ketamine administration are well documented in animal models and could r...
Article
Full-text available
Social-communication (SC) and restricted repetitive behaviors (RRB) are autism diagnostic symptom domains. SC and RRB severity can markedly differ within and between individuals and may be underpinned by different neural circuitry and genetic mechanisms. Modeling SC-RRB balance could help identify how neural circuitry and genetic mechanisms map ont...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale Schizophrenia is associated with impairments in cognitive functioning yet there are no approved drugs to treat these deficits. Objectives Based on animal models, we investigated the potential for roflumilast, a selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE4), to improve cognition, which may act by increasing intracellular cyclic a...
Article
Full-text available
Background Although social-emotional difficulties are believed play a key role in anorexia nervosa (AN), there is uncertainty regarding what these difficulties might look like. Previous research has largely focused on a “disease model” of social-emotional processing in AN with little attention paid to positive emotions and experiences. Therefore, t...
Preprint
Chronic pain is a highly debilitating and poorly understood condition. Here, we attempt to advance our understanding of the brain mechanisms driving chronic pain by investigating alterations in morphometric similarity (MS) and corresponding transcriptomic and cellular signatures, in three cohorts of patients with distinct chronic pain syndromes (kn...
Article
Full-text available
Social–emotional processing difficulties have been reported in Anorexia Nervosa (AN), yet the neural correlates remain unclear. Previous neuroimaging work is sparse and has not used functional connectivity paradigms to more fully explore the neural correlates of emotional difficulties. Fifty‐seven acutely unwell AN (AAN) women, 60 weight‐recovered...
Article
Full-text available
Looping Star is a near‐silent, multi‐echo, 3D functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique. It reduces acoustic noise by at least 25dBA, with respect to gradient‐recalled echo echo‐planar imaging (GRE‐EPI)‐based fMRI. Looping Star has successfully demonstrated sensitivity to the cerebral blood‐oxygen‐level‐dependent (BOLD) response during...
Article
Full-text available
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) show overlapping symptomatology and deficits in inhibitory control, which are associated with altered functioning and glutamatergic signaling in fronto-striatal circuitry. These parameters have never been examined together. The purpose of the current study was to investigate fun...
Article
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners produce loud acoustic noise originating from vibrational Lorentz forces induced by rapidly changing currents in the magnetic field gradient coils. Using zero echo time (ZTE) MRI pulse sequences, gradient switching can be reduced to a minimum, which enables near silent operation. Besides silent MRI, ZTE offe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Chronic pain is a world-wide clinical challenge. Response to analgesic treatment is limited and difficult to predict. Functional MRI (fMRI) has been suggested as a potential solution. However, while most analgesics target specific neurotransmission pathways, fMRI-based biomarkers are not specific for any neurotransmitter system, limiting...
Article
Full-text available
Delineating the association of age and cortical thickness in healthy individuals is critical given the association of cortical thickness with cognition and behavior. Previous research has shown that robust estimates of the association between age and brain morphometry require large-scale studies. In response, we used cross-sectional data from 17,07...
Article
Full-text available
Delineating the association of age and cortical thickness in healthy individuals is critical given the association of cortical thickness with cognition and behavior. Previous research has shown that robust estimates of the association between age and brain morphometry require large‐scale studies. In response, we used cross‐sectional data from 17,07...
Preprint
Full-text available
Current neuroimaging acquisition and processing approaches tend to be optimised for quality rather than speed. However, rapid acquisition and processing of neuroimaging data can lead to novel neuroimaging paradigms, such as adaptive acquisition, where rapidly processed data is used to inform subsequent image acquisition steps. Here we first evaluat...
Article
Full-text available
Age has a major effect on brain volume. However, the normative studies available are constrained by small sample sizes, restricted age coverage and significant methodological variability. These limitations introduce inconsistencies and may obscure or distort the lifespan trajectories of brain morphometry. In response, we capitalized on the resource...
Article
Full-text available
Age has a major effect on brain volume. However, the normative studies available are constrained by small sample sizes, restricted age coverage and significant methodological variability. These limitations introduce inconsistencies and may obscure or distort the lifespan trajectories of brain morphometry. In response, we capitalized on the resource...
Preprint
Full-text available
The glutamatergic modulator ketamine has been shown to rapidly reduce depressive symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (TRD). Although its mechanisms of action are not fully understood, changes in cortical excitation/inhibition (E/I) following ketamine administration are well documented in animal models and could r...
Article
Background The assumption that functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) noise has constant volatility has recently been challenged by studies examining heteroscedasticity arising from head motion and physiological noise. The present study builds on this work using latest methods from the field of financial mathematics to model fMRI noise volati...
Article
Full-text available
Here we investigate brain functional connectivity in patients with visual snow syndrome (VSS). Our main objective was to understand more about the underlying pathophysiology of this neurological syndrome. Twenty‐four patients with VSS and an equal number of gender and age‐matched healthy volunteers attended MRI sessions in which whole‐brain maps of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Senile plaques are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that develop in its earliest stages. Thus, non-invasive detection of these plaques would be invaluable for diagnosis and the development and monitoring of treatments, but this remains a challenge due to their small size. Here, we investigated the utility of manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) for...
Article
Full-text available
Drugs that are clinically effective against anxiety disorders modulate the innate defensive behaviour of rodents, suggesting these illnesses reflect altered functioning in brain systems that process threat. This hypothesis is supported in humans by the discovery that the intensity of threat-avoidance behaviour is altered by the benzodiazepine anxio...