Taylor W Schmitz

Taylor W Schmitz
The University of Western Ontario | UWO · Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

PhD

About

50
Publications
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2,871
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Publications

Publications (50)
Article
Full-text available
Over the last two decades, inhibitory control has featured prominently in accounts of how humans and other organisms regulate their behaviour and thought. Previous work on how the brain stops actions and thoughts, however, has emphasised distinct prefrontal regions supporting these functions, suggesting domain-specific mechanisms. Here we show that...
Preprint
Full-text available
Neurotransmitter receptors support the propagation of signals in the human brain. How receptor systems are situated within macroscale neuroanatomy and how they shape emergent function remains poorly understood, and there exists no comprehensive atlas of receptors. Here we collate positron emission tomography scans in >1,200 healthy individuals to c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Neurotransmitter receptors support the propagation of signals in the human brain. How receptor systems are situated within macroscale neuroanatomy and how they shape emergent function remains poorly understood, and there exists no comprehensive atlas of receptors. Here we collate positron emission tomography scans in >1,200 healthy individuals to c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Successful self-control requires the ability to stop unwanted actions or thoughts. Stopping is regarded as a central function of inhibitory control, a mechanism enabling the suppression of diverse mental content, and strongly associated with the prefrontal cortex. A domain-general inhibitory control capacity, however, would require the region or re...
Article
Full-text available
Alzheimer's disease neurodegeneration is thought to spread across anatomically and functionally connected brain regions. However, the precise sequence of spread remains ambiguous. The prevailing model used to guide in vivo human neuroimaging and non-human animal research assumes that Alzheimer's degeneration starts in the entorhinal cortices, befor...
Article
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The cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain (BF) provide virtually all of the brain's cortical and amygdalar cholinergic input. They are particularly vulnerable to neuropathology in early Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may trigger the emergence of neuropathology in their cortico-amygdalar projection system through cholinergic denervation and trans...
Article
Attention alters three key properties of population neural activity - firing rate, rate variability, and shared variability between neurons. All three properties are well explained by a single canonical computation - normalization - that acts across hierarchically integrated brain systems. Combining data from rodents and nonhuman primates, we argue...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to stop actions and thoughts is essential for goal-directed behaviour. Neuroimaging research has revealed that stopping actions and thoughts engage similar cortical mechanisms, including the ventro- and dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex. However, whether and how these abilities require similar subcortical mechanisms remains unexplored. Sp...
Article
Full-text available
Intrusive memories, images, and hallucinations are hallmark symptoms of psychiatric disorders. Although often attributed to deficient inhibitory control by the prefrontal cortex, difficulty in controlling intrusive thoughts is also associated with hippocampal hyperactivity, arising from dysfunctional GABAergic interneurons. How hippocampal GABA con...
Article
There is considerable debate whether Alzheimer's disease (AD) originates in basal forebrain or entorhinal cortex. Here we examined whether longitudinal decreases in basal forebrain and entorhinal cortex grey matter volume were interdependent and sequential. In a large cohort of age-matched older adults ranging from cognitively normal to AD, we demo...
Article
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The unique way in which each of us perceives the world must arise from our brain representations. If brain imaging could reveal an individual's unique mental representation, it could help us understand the biological substrate of our individual experiential worlds in mental health and disease. However, imaging studies of object vision have focused...
Article
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It is well-known that emotionally salient events are remembered more vividly than mundane ones. Our recent research has demonstrated that such memory vividness (Mviv) is due in part to the subjective experience of emotional events as more perceptually vivid, an effect we call emotionally enhanced vividness (EEV). The present study built on previous...
Article
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Highly emotional events are associated with vivid "flashbulb" memories. Here we examine whether the flashbulb metaphor characterizes a previously unknown emotion-enhanced vividness (EEV) during initial perceptual experience. Using a magnitude estimation procedure, human observers estimated the relative magnitude of visual noise overlaid on scenes....
Article
Referential delusions are the most common symptom of schizophrenia and offer an opportunity to examine the neural correlates of delusions because they occur in discrete episodes that can be studied in the scanner. The cortical midline structures (CMS) and subcortical regions, including the amygdala and striatum, are linked with self-reference in he...
Article
Full-text available
We examined visual selective attention under perceptual load--simultaneous presentation of task-relevant and -irrelevant information--in healthy young and older adult human participants to determine whether age differences are observable at early stages of selection in the visual cortices. Participants viewed 50/50 superimposed face/place images an...
Article
Positive and negative emotional states are thought to have originated from fundamentally opposing approach and avoidance behaviors. Furthermore, affective valence has been hypothesized to exert opposing biases in cognitive control. Here we examined with functional magnetic resonance imaging whether the opposing influences of positive and negative s...
Article
In the present study, we used fMRI to examine the influence of age on two other known risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD), APOE genotype and parental history of AD (FH status), during episodic encoding (ENC) and metacognitive self-appraisal (SA) paradigms. These paradigms have previously been shown to evoke activity from brain regions that ar...
Article
Full-text available
Awareness of cognitive dysfunction shown by individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), a condition conferring risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD), is variable. Anosognosia, or unawareness of loss of function, is beginning to be recognized as an important clinical symptom of MCI. However, little is known about the brain substrates underlying th...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to form associations between choice alternatives and their contingent outcomes is an important aspect of learning that may be sensitive to hippocampal dysfunction in memory disorders of aging such as amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCIa), or early Alzheimer disease. In this preliminary study we examined brain activation using functi...
Article
We argue that many similar findings observed in cognitive, affective, and social neuroimaging research may compose larger processes central to generating self-relevance. In support of this, recent findings from these research domains were reviewed to identify common systemic activation patterns. Superimposition of these patterns revealed evidence f...
Article
We compared fMRI and cognitive data from nine hormone therapy (HT)-naive women with data from women exposed to either opposed conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) (n = 10) or opposed estradiol (n = 4). Exposure to either form of HT was associated with healthier fMRI response; however, CEE-exposed women exhibited poorer memory performance than either H...
Article
This study examined the functionality of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and posterior cingulate (PC) in mild cognitive impairment amnestic type (MCI), a syndrome that puts patients at greater risk for developing Alzheimer disease (AD). Functional MRI (fMRI) was used to identify regions normally active during encoding of novel items and recognition...
Article
Several previous studies have reported that amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), a significant risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), is associated with greater atrophy in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and posterior cingulate gyrus (PCG). In the present study, we examined the cross-sectional accuracy (i.e., the sensitivity and specificity...
Article
First-degree family history of sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD) and the apolipoprotein E epsilon4 (APOE4) are risk factors for developing AD. Although the role of APOE4 in AD pathogenesis has been well studied, family history remains a rarely studied and poorly understood risk factor. Both putatively cause early brain changes before symptomatic dise...
Article
The anterior medial prefrontal cortex (aMPFC) is consistently active during personally salient decisions, yet the differential contributory processes of this region along the dorsal-ventral axis are less understood. Using a self-appraisal decision-making task and functional magnetic resonance imaging, we demonstrated task-dependent connectivity of...
Article
Individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) often exhibit an array of cognitive deficits, yet perhaps most maladaptive of these sequelae is the frequent occurrence of reduced insight into one's own condition. In such cases, TBI individuals may overestimate their post-injury level of socio-cognitive functioning, leading to disparit...
Article
Neuroimaging research has demonstrated that the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) is functionally compromised in individuals diagnosed with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a major risk factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In functional MRI studies with healthy participants, this same region is active during self-appraisa...
Article
Full-text available
Background The presence of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele is a major risk factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and has been associated with metabolic brain changes several years before the onset of typical AD symptoms. Functional MRI (fMRI) is a brain imaging technique that has been used to demonstrate hippocampal activati...
Article
The anterior medial prefrontal (AMPFC) and retrosplenial (RSC) cortices are active during self-referential decision-making tasks such as when participants appraise traits and abilities, or current affect. Other appraisal tasks requiring an evaluative decision or mental representation, such as theory of mind and perspective-taking tasks, also involv...
Article
The capability to foster metacognitive evaluations (MEs) of oneself and others represents a major component of conscious awareness. Separate emerging lines of brain activation research examining ME have converged on the medial prefrontal cortex as a common finding. The current functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study utilized a task that...
Article
First-degree family history of sporadic Alzheimer Disease (AD) and the apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE4) are risk factors for developing AD. Although the role of APOE4 in AD pathogenesis has been well studied, family history remains a rarely studied and poorly understood risk factor. Both putatively cause early brain changes prior to symptomatic disease,...

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Projects (3)
Project
We will re-evaluate the role of the cholinergic basal forebrain projection system in Alzheimer's disease (AD), with emphasis on four key experimental factors: (1) Preclinical detection: We will use precise biological delineation of cohorts in preclinical stages of AD using cerebrospinal fluid assays, integrated with neuropsychology (2) Longitudinal monitoring: We examine progressive changes in brain structure and function across multiple time-points. (3) Multi-modal neuroimaging: Techniques including structural MRI, resting state fMRI, and molecular imaging with PET and 1H MRS will be integrated to triangulate changes specific to the cholinergic basal forebrain. (4) Genes and metabolism: We will explore how genotype, gene expression and metabolic data interact to differentiate normal age-related from AD trajectories of progressive cholinergic loss.