Julia W. Y. Kam's research while affiliated with The University of Calgary and other places

Publications (22)

Article
Our attention often drifts away from the ongoing task to task-unrelated thoughts, a phenomenon commonly referred to as mind wandering. Ample studies dedicated to delineating its electrophysiological correlates have revealed distinct event-related potentials (ERP) and spectral patterns associated with mind wandering. It remains less clear whether th...
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Task-unrelated thoughts (TUTs) are frequent distractions from our everyday tasks, which can reduce productivity and safety during task performance. This necessitates the examination of factors that modulate TUT occurrence in daily life. One factor that has previously been implicated as a source of TUT is personally salient concerns. External factor...
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Commonly used to characterize mind wandering, task-unrelated thought has long been associated with negative affective outcomes. However, less is known about how other thought dimensions including intentionality and freedom of movement interact with task-unrelated thought to modulate momentary affect in everyday life. To address this, we used ecolog...
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The ability to mentally wander away from the external environment is a remarkable feature of the human mind. Although recent years have witnessed a surge of interest in examining mind wandering using EEG, there is no comprehensive review that summarizes and accounts for the variable findings. Accordingly, we conducted a systematic review that synth...
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COVID-19 has led to mental health adversities worldwide. The current study examined whether daily practice of brief mindfulness training has a beneficial impact on affective well-being, and mitigates the negative impact of exposure to COVID-19 news during the pandemic. Participants were randomly assigned into a mindfulness training (MT) group or a...
Article
Cognitive neuroscience has witnessed a surge of interest in investigating the neural correlates of the mind when it drifts away from an ongoing task and the external environment. To that end, functional neuroimaging research has consistently implicated the default mode network (DMN) and frontoparietal control network (FPCN) in mind-wandering. Yet,...
Article
Despite increased awareness of the lack of gender equity in academia and a growing number of initiatives to address issues of diversity, change is slow, and inequalities remain. A major source of inequity is gender bias, which has a substantial negative impact on the careers, work-life balance, and mental health of underrepresented groups in scienc...
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Mind wandering is often characterized by attention oriented away from an external task towards our internal, self-generated thoughts. This universal phenomenon has been linked to numerous disruptive functional outcomes, including performance errors and negative affect. Despite its prevalence and impact, studies to date have yet to identify robust b...
Article
Extensive neuroanatomical connectivity between the anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN) and hippocampus and neocortex renders them well-placed for a role in memory processing, and animal, lesion, and neuroimaging studies support such a notion. The deep location and small size of the ATN have precluded their real-time electrophysiological investigation du...
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Resting-state fMRI (rsfMRI) reveals brain dynamics in a task-unconstrained environment as subjects let their minds wander freely. Consequently, resting subjects navigate a rich space of cognitive and perceptual states (i.e., ongoing experience). How this ongoing experience shapes rsfMRI summary metrics (e.g., functional connectivity) is unknown, ye...
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Significance Our minds rarely stay still when left alone. Such trains of thought, however, may unfold in vastly different ways. Here, we combined electrophysiological recording with thought sampling to assess four types of thoughts: task-unrelated, freely moving, deliberately constrained, and automatically constrained. Parietal P3 was larger for ta...
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Decades of electrophysiological research on top–down control converge on the role of the lateral frontal cortex in facilitating attention to behaviorally relevant external inputs. However, the involvement of frontal cortex in the top–down control of attention directed to the external versus internal environment remains poorly understood. To address...
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By recording neural activity directly from the human brain, researchers gain unprecedented insight into how neurocognitive processes unfold in real time. We first briefly discuss how intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) recordings, performed for clinical practice, are used to study human cognition with the spatiotemporal and single-trial prec...
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Background: Up to 75% of women diagnosed with breast cancer report chemotherapy-related cognitive changes (CRCC) during treatment, including decreased memory, attention, and processing speed. Though CRCC negatively impacts everyday functioning and reduces overall quality of life in women diagnosed with breast cancer, effective interventions to pre...
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Dry electrode electroencephalogram (EEG) recording combined with wireless data transmission offers an alternative tool to conventional wet electrode EEG systems. However, the question remains whether the signal quality of dry electrode recordings is comparable to wet electrode recordings in the clinical context. We recorded the resting state EEG (r...
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Attending to our inner world is a fundamental cognitive phenomenon1–3, yet its neural underpinnings remain largely unknown. Neuroimaging evidence implicates the default network (DN) and frontoparietal control network (FPCN)⁴; however, the electrophysiological basis for the interaction between these networks is unclear. Here we recorded intracranial...
Article
Introduction: The purpose of this study was to describe the trajectory of cognitive function using neuropsychological tests and electrophysiological measures in individuals receiving 5FU/oxaliplatin chemotherapy for colon cancer. Methods: A total of 10 participants were tested at baseline (within 3 weeks of starting chemotherapy), 6 months (coin...
Article
The role of the hippocampus in P300 has long been debated. Here, we present a theoretical framework that elucidates hippocampal contributions to scalp P300 based on intracranial and lesion research combined with emerging evidence on the role of the hippocampus in rapid statistical learning, memory, and novelty processing. The P300 has been divided...
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Our study was designed to examine whether the pain reliever acetaminophen impacts the normal ebb-and-flow of off-task attentional states, such as captured by the phenomenon of mind wandering. In a placebo-controlled between-groups design, participants performed a sustained attention to response task while event-related potentials (ERPs) to target e...
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This online guide is a concise overview of a selection of the most important contemporary electrophysiological techniques, their implementation, applications, and ways in which they can be combined and integrated with related neuroscience techniques. It does not obscure the relevant technical details with textbook neuroscience tutorials, and each c...
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Top-down control of visual sensory cortex has long been tied to the orienting of visual spatial attention on a rapid, moment-to-moment basis. Here, we examined whether sensory responses in visual cortex are also modulated by natural and comparatively slower fluctuations in whether or not one is paying attention to the task at hand. Participants per...

Citations

... Moreover, the continuous monitoring enables pointof-care disease diagnostics and allows healthy persons to profit from it as preventive medicine while continuing their daily lives [137]. For instance, among these signals, the recording of cardiac activity by electrocardiography (ECG) is crucial to detect abnormalities such as tachycardia or myocardial infarction [138]. Similarly, the recording of muscle activity by surface electromyography (EMG) is employed as a medical diagnostic and to control prosthetic members. ...
... These values agreed with the results of other studies, such as Mertens et al. (2020) and Hart et al. (2022). They indicated that the frequency of media use in the search for information about COVID-19 significantly affected daily tasks and increased negative emotions of fear, worry, and anxiety and that digital platforms exerted a more significant influence on the construction of this feeling compared to other media. ...
... Our finding of EEG signal complexity changes across different timescales during mind wandering extends the well-established perceptual and cognitive decoupling effect (Smallwood, 2013;Kam and Handy, 2013). As reported in our systematic review of electrophysiological correlates of mind wandering (Kam et al., 2022), ample evidence supporting this decoupling framework converges on the disengagement of perceptual and cognitive responses to the external environment during mind wandering (e.g., Arnau et al., 2020;Denkova et al., 2018;Dias da Silva et al., 2022;Groot et al., 2021;Jaswal et al., 2019;Kam et al., 2011Kam et al., , 2021Wamsley and Summer 2020). This decoupling from the environment has traditionally manifested in reduced amplitude of ERP components (e.g., Denkova et al., 2018;Dias da Silva et al., 2022;Jaswal et al., 2019;Kam et al., 2011Kam et al., , 2021 or reduced evoked power of a given frequency band (e.g., Arnau et al., 2020;Groot et al., 2021;Kam et al., 2021;Wamsley and Summer 2020). ...
... The recent introduction of tDCS in research on MW modulation has yielded some exciting ndings 34 . ...
... Moreover, Boliver [10] assessed the existence of ethnicity bias in acceptance chances at Russell Group universities. Llorens et al. [11] showed that scholars experience gender bias throughout their academic life, such as finding a career, becoming promoted, and receiving grants. Then, the authors of this study suggested solutions at different levels to increase diversity as they claimed it is necessary for success in science. ...
... The data used for Study 1 were originally gathered as part of a study examining the potential for mindfulness training as an intervention to reduce the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health (Kam et al., 2021). The study was approved by the Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board at the University of Calgary. ...
... Notably, we do not know of the published studies that searched for the relationship between MW understood as a trait and the organization of functional networks reconstructed on the basis of source-space resting-state EEG. Previous EEG studies aimed, inter alia, at establishing links between MW and the theta/beta ratio 33 , or generally a given frequency peak 34 , and identifying EEG signature of off-task though using thought-probe method and ERP analysis 35,36 . The frequency-focused investigations have produced quite divergent results suggesting that MW is associated with alpha 36,37 delta and gamma 38 or by delta, theta and alpha bands 39 . ...
... The historical view of the thalamus as a passive relay station for sensory information has been recently overcome, and available evidence suggests that the thalamus is actively involved in several cognitive functions (Wolff & Vann, 2019). Its role has been highlighted in selective attention, spatial navigation, memory, and language (Jankowski et al., 2013;Johnson & Ojemann, 2000;Kastner & Saalman, 2012;Sweeney-Reed et al., 2021). Through its connection with the prefrontal cortex, the mediodorsal nucleus (MD) of the thalamus appears to play an important role in set-shifting abilities and cognitive flexibility (Rikhye et al., 2018), which are known to be impaired in patients with AN (Miles et al., 2020;Stedal et al., 2021;Tenconi et al., 2010). ...
... Zhou et al., 2019). In contrast, resting state fMRI aims to gain insights into the intrinsic functional architecture of the brain ('at rest') while the participants do not engage in a specific mental operation ('do not think of something in particular') (Gonzalez-Castillo et al., 2021;Markett et al., 2018). ...
... As mind wandering occupies a significant amount of waking thought, there has been a surge of interest in understanding the neurophysiological processes underlying mind wandering. To this end, the majority of EEG literature has focused on establishing the ERP and spectral correlates of mind wandering when an external task-based focus is required (Arnau et al., 2020;Baird et al., 2014;Baldwin et al., 2017;Compton et al., 2019;Denkova et al., 2018;Groot et al., 2021;Kam et al., 2021;Pepin et al., 2021;van Son et al., 2019). While many of these studies have found that mind wandering alters our electrophysiological response to external information, less is known about how mind wandering affects the dynamics of the signal itself using an underexplored metric of brain function: signal complexity. ...