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Lenzi D.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Serra L.,Neuroimaging Laboratory | Perri R.,Clinical and Behavioural Neurology Laboratory | Pantano P.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 6 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2011

Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI) is associated with the highest annual incidence of conversion to Alzheimer's disease (AD) (10-15%). a-MCI patients may have only a memory deficit (single domain: sd-a-MCI) or additional dysfunctions affecting other cognitive domains (multiple domain: md-a-MCI). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated brain activation in 16 sd-a-MCI patients and 14 controls during four different tasks assessing language, memory, attention and empathy functions. We found greater activation in sd-a-MCI compared with controls in the left inferior temporal gyrus (language), the right superior temporal gyrus (memory) and the right dorsal precentral gyrus (attention). Moreover, patients' activation correlated significantly with neuropsychological scores obtained at tests exploring the corresponding function. These findings indicate that fMRI is sensitive to detect early changes occurring in AD pathology and that individuals with sd-a-MCI show increased activation in multiple task-related brain regions. We suggest that these functional changes relate to the development of early compensatory mechanisms that reduce cognitive deficits associated with the progressive accumulation of brain damage. © 2009 Elsevier Inc.

Barban F.,Clinical and Behavioural Neurology Laboratory | Zannino G.D.,Clinical and Behavioural Neurology Laboratory | Santangelo V.,Neuroimaging Laboratory | Santangelo V.,University of Perugia | And 6 more authors.
Neurocase | Year: 2010

We present a case of a little investigated reading disorder we call 'amblyopic dyslexia'. The reading impairment in this patient resulted from a left extrastriate and white matter lesion causing a scotomatic area of partial deficit within the right visual field. The visual deficit was consistent with cerebral amblyopia, that is, reduced form, colour, and light sensitivity without a complete loss of vision. The patient's reading deficit was characterized by accurate single letter naming and almost accurate but effortful single word reading, with no letter-by-letter strategy. The criteria for distinguishing amblyopic dyslexia from other reading disorders and the most appropriate treatment are discussed. © 2010 Psychology Press.

Picazio S.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Picazio S.,Clinical and Behavioural Neurology Laboratory | Oliveri M.,Clinical and Behavioural Neurology Laboratory | Oliveri M.,University of Palermo | And 4 more authors.
Cerebellum | Year: 2013

A cerebellar role in spatial information processing has been advanced even in the absence of physical manipulation, as occurring in mental rotation. The present study was aimed at investigating the specific involvement of left and right cerebellar hemispheres in two tasks of mental rotation.We used continuous theta burst stimulation to downregulate cerebellar hemisphere excitability in healthy adult subjects performing two mental rotation tasks: an Embodied Mental Rotation (EMR) task, entailing an egocentric strategy, and an Abstract Mental Rotation (AMR) task entailing an allocentric strategy. Following downregulation of left cerebellar hemisphere, reaction times were slower in comparison to sham stimulation in both EMR and AMR tasks. Conversely, identical reaction times were obtained in both tasks following right cerebellar hemisphere and sham stimulations. No effect of cerebellar stimulation side was found on response accuracy. The present findings document a specialization of the left cerebellar hemisphere in mental rotation regardless of the kind of stimulus to be rotated. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013.

Barban F.,Clinical and Behavioural Neurology Laboratory | Barban F.,Neuroimaging Laboratory | Carlesimo G.A.,Clinical and Behavioural Neurology Laboratory | Carlesimo G.A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 4 more authors.
Behavioural Neurology | Year: 2013

In this study we tested the gateway hypothesis of Broadmann area 10 (BA10). With a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) protocol we manipulated the saliency-stimulus-oriented (SO) attending-and the memory load-stimulus- independent (SI) attending-during a prospective memory (PM) task. We found a significant main effect of the SO manipulation within the medial BA10 and a significant interaction between SI attending and PM task within the left lateral BA10. Our results give experimental support to the gateway hypothesis. © 2013 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Barban F.,Clinical and Behavioural Neurology Laboratory | Barban F.,Neuroimaging Laboratory | Daniele Zannino G.,Clinical and Behavioural Neurology Laboratory | Macaluso E.,Neuroimaging Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
Human Brain Mapping | Year: 2013

Iconic memory is a high-capacity low-duration visual memory store that allows the persistence of a visual stimulus after its offset. The categorical nature of this store has been extensively debated. This study provides functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence for brain regions underlying the persistence of postcategorical representations of visual stimuli. In a partial report paradigm, subjects matched a cued row of a 3 × 3 array of letters (postcategorical stimuli) or false fonts (precategorical stimuli) with a subsequent triplet of stimuli. The cued row was indicated by two visual flankers presented at the onset (physical stimulus readout) or after the offset of the array (iconic memory readout). The left planum temporale showed a greater modulation of the source of readout (iconic memory vs. physical stimulus) when letters were presented compared to false fonts. This is a multimodal brain region responsible for matching incoming acoustic and visual patterns with acoustic pattern templates. These findings suggest that letters persist after their physical offset in an abstract postcategorical representation. A targeted region of interest analysis revealed a similar pattern of activation in the Visual Word Form Area. These results suggest that multiple higher-order visual areas mediate iconic memory for postcategorical stimuli. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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