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Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Italy

Caglio M.,University of Turin | Latini-Corazzini L.,University of Turin | D'Agata F.,University of Turin | Cauda F.,University of Turin | And 6 more authors.
Neurocase | Year: 2012

The use of 3D video games in memory rehabilitation has been explored very little. A virtual navigation task allows participants to encode the spatial layout of the virtual environment and activate areas involved in memory processing. We describe the rehabilitation of a 24-year-old man with traumatic brain injury presenting memory deficits, and evaluate the efficacy of a navigational training program measuring neuropsychological changes and fMRI modification cerebral activations. Memory improvement appears to be present both after navigational training and in follow-up testing. Furthermore, fMRI data suggest that this training may increase activation of the hippocampal and parahippocampal brain regions. The results suggest that intensive training in virtual navigational tasks may result in an enhancement of memory function in brain-damaged adults. © 2012 Copyright 2012 Psychology Press, an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa business.

Cauda F.,CCS fMRI | Cauda F.,University of Turin | D'Agata F.,CCS fMRI | D'Agata F.,University of Turin | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry | Year: 2010

Background: Chronic pain can be considered as a highly salient stimulus that continuously taxes the attentional and salience processing networks, thus interfering with cognitive abilities and, more specifically, consuming attentional resources. The aim of the paper was to explore whether and how diabetic neuropathic pain (NP) affects attentional networks. Methods: The authors sought to achieve this by investigating resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) in diabetic NP patients and comparing it with that of matched healthy controls. Results: NP patients showed a widespread reduction in connectivity in both the dorsal and ventral attentional networks, as well as in the dorsal anterior cingulated cortex (ACC), typically implicated in salience processing. The authors also found a generalised reduction in the length of functional connections in the NP group: in all the examined networks, the Euclidean distance between connected voxels was significantly shorter in patients than in controls. Conclusion: In diabetic NP, a parieto-fronto- cingulate network controlling attention to external stimuli is impaired. In line with previous studies, chronic pain can disrupt the synchrony of a common pool of brain areas, involved in self-monitoring, pain processing and salience detection.

Cauda F.,CCS fMRI | Cauda F.,University of Turin | Geminiani G.,CCS fMRI | Geminiani G.,University of Turin | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

As different areas within the PMC have different connectivity patterns with various cortical and subcortical regions, we hypothesized that distinct functional modules may be present within the PMC. Because the PMC appears to be the most active region during resting state, it has been postulated to play a fundamental role in the control of baseline brain functioning within the default mode network (DMN). Therefore one goal of this study was to explore which components of the PMC are specifically involved in the DMN. In a sample of seventeen healthy volunteers, we performed an unsupervised voxelwise ROI-based clustering based on resting state functional connectivity. Our results showed four clusters with different network connectivity. Each cluster showed positive and negative correlations with cortical regions involved in the DMN. Progressive shifts in PMC functional connectivity emerged from anterior to posterior and from dorsal to ventral ROIs. Ventral posterior portions of PMC were found to be part of a network implicated in the visuo-spatial guidance of movements, whereas dorsal anterior portions of PMC were interlinked with areas involved in attentional control. Ventral retrosplenial PMC selectively correlated with a network showing considerable overlap with the DMN, indicating that it makes essential contributions in self-referential processing, including autobiographical memory processing. Finally, ventral posterior PMC was shown to be functionally connected with a visual network. The paper represents the first attempt to provide a systematic, unsupervised, voxelwise clustering of the human posteromedial cortex (PMC), using resting-state functional connectivity data. Moreover, a ROI-based parcellation was used to confirm the results. © 2010 Cauda et al.

Costa T.,CCS fMRI | Costa T.,University of Turin | Cauda F.,CCS fMRI | Cauda F.,University of Turin | And 8 more authors.
Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience | Year: 2014

The different temporal dynamics of emotions are critical to understand their evolutionary role in the regulation of interactions with the surrounding environment. Here, we investigated the temporal dynamics underlying the perception of four basic emotions from complex scenes varying in valence and arousal (fear, disgust, happiness and sadness) with the millisecond time resolution of Electroencephalography (EEG). Event-related potentials were computed and each emotion showed a specific temporal profile, as revealed by distinct time segments of significant differences from the neutral scenes. Fear perception elicited significant activity at the earliest time segments, followed by disgust, happiness and sadness. Moreover, fear, disgust and happiness were characterized by two time segments of significant activity, whereas sadness showed only one long-latency time segment of activity. Multidimensional scaling was used to assess the correspondence between neural temporal dynamics and the subjective experience elicited by the four emotions in a subsequent behavioral task. We found a high coherence between these two classes of data, indicating that psychological categories defining emotions have a close correspondence at the brain level in terms of neural temporal dynamics. Finally, we localized the brain regions of time-dependent activity for each emotion and time segment with the low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography. Fear and disgust showed widely distributed activations, predominantly in the right hemisphere. Happiness activated a number of areas mostly in the left hemisphere, whereas sadness showed a limited number of active areas at late latency. The present findings indicate that the neural signature of basic emotions can emerge as the byproduct of dynamic spatiotemporal brain networks as investigated with millisecond-range resolution, rather than in time-independent areas involved uniquely in the processing one specific emotion. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press.

Cauda F.,CCS fMRI | Cauda F.,University of Turin | Geda E.,CCS fMRI | Sacco K.,CCS fMRI | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry | Year: 2011

Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is defined on a clinical basis by impairments in social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and repetitive or stereotyped behaviours. Voxel based morphometry (VBM), a technique that gives a probabilistic measure of local grey matter (GM) and white matter concentration, has been used to study ASD patients: modifications in GM volume have been found in various brain regions, such as the corpus callosum, brainstem, amygdala, hippocampus and cerebellum. However, the findings are inconsistent with respect to the specific localisation and direction of GM modifications, and no paper has attempted to statistically summarise the results available in the literature. Methods: The present study is a quantitative meta-analysis of the current VBM findings aimed at delineating the cortical regions with consistently increased or reduced GM concentrations. The activation likelihood estimation (ALE) was used, which is a quantitative voxel based meta-analysis method which can be used to estimate consistent activations across different imaging studies. Co-occurrence statistics of a PubMed query were generated, employing 'autism spectrum disorder' as the neuroanatomical lexicon. Results: Significant ALE values related to GM increases were observed bilaterally in the cerebellum, in the middle temporal gyrus, in the right anterior cingulate cortex, caudate head, insula, fusiform gyrus, precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex, and in the left lingual gyrus. GM decreases were observed bilaterally in the cerebellar tonsil and inferior parietal lobule, in the right amygdala, insula, middle temporal gyrus, caudate tail and precuneus and in the left precentral gyrus.

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