Institute Universitari Of Neurorehabilitacio Guttmann Uab

Badalona, Spain

Institute Universitari Of Neurorehabilitacio Guttmann Uab

Badalona, Spain
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Fecteau S.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Tormos J.M.,Institute Universitari Of Neurorehabilitacio Guttmann Uab | Gangitano M.,University of Palermo | Theoret H.,University of Montréal | And 2 more authors.
European Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2010

The observation of an action modulates motor cortical outputs in specific ways, in part through mediation of the mirror neuron system. Sometimes we infer a meaning to an observed action based on integration of the actual percept with memories. Here, we conducted a series of experiments in healthy adults to investigate whether such inferred meanings can also modulate motor cortical outputs in specific ways. We show that brief observation of a neutral stimulus mimicking a hand does not significantly modulate motor cortical excitability (Study 1) although, after prolonged exposure, it can lead to a relatively nonspecific modulation (Study 2). However, when such a neutral stimulus is preceded by exposure to a hand stimulus, the latter appears to serve as a prime, perhaps enabling meaning to the neutral stimulus, which then modulates motor cortical excitability in accordance with mirror neuron-driving properties (Studies 2 and 3). Overall results suggest that a symbolic value ascribed to an otherwise neutral stimulus can modulate motor cortical outputs, revealing the influence of top-down inputs on the mirror neuron system. These findings indicate a novel aspect of the human mirror neuron system: an otherwise neutral stimulus can acquire specific mirror neuron-driving properties in the absence of a direct association between motor practice and perception. This significant malleability in the way that the mirror neuron system can code otherwise meaningless (i.e. arbitrarily associated) stimuli may contribute to coding communicative signals such as language. This may represent a mirror neuron system feature that is unique to humans. © 2010 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Vidal-Pineiro D.,University of Barcelona | Martin-Trias P.,University of Barcelona | Arenaza-Urquijo E.M.,University of Barcelona | Sala-Llonch R.,University of Barcelona | And 10 more authors.
Brain Stimulation | Year: 2014

Background Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can affect episodic memory, one of the main cognitive hallmarks of aging, but the mechanisms of action remain unclear. Objectives To evaluate the behavioral and functional impact of excitatory TMS in a group of healthy elders. Methods We applied a paradigm of repetitive TMS - intermittent theta-burst stimulation - over left inferior frontal gyrus in healthy elders (n = 24) and evaluated its impact on the performance of an episodic memory task with two levels of processing and the associated brain activity as captured by a pre and post fMRI scans. Results In the post-TMS fMRI we found TMS-related activity increases in left prefrontal and cerebellum-occipital areas specifically during deep encoding but not during shallow encoding or at rest. Furthermore, we found a task-dependent change in connectivity during the encoding task between cerebellum-occipital areas and the TMS-targeted left inferior frontal region. This connectivity change correlated with the TMS effects over brain networks. Conclusions The results suggest that the aged brain responds to brain stimulation in a state-dependent manner as engaged by different tasks components and that TMS effect is related to inter-individual connectivity changes measures. These findings reveal fundamental insights into brain network dynamics in aging and the capacity to probe them with combined behavioral and stimulation approaches. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Pena-Gomez C.,University of Barcelona | Sala-Lonch R.,University of Barcelona | Junque C.,University of Barcelona | Junque C.,Institute dInvestigacions Biomediques August Pi i Sunyer | And 12 more authors.
Brain Stimulation | Year: 2012

Background: Brain areas interact mutually to perform particular complex brain functions such as memory or language. Furthermore, under resting-state conditions several spatial patterns have been identified that resemble functional systems involved in cognitive functions. Among these, the default-mode network (DMN), which is consistently deactivated during task periods and is related to a variety of cognitive functions, has attracted most attention. In addition, in resting-state conditions some brain areas engaged in focused attention (such as the anticorrelated network, AN) show a strong negative correlation with DMN; as task demand increases, AN activity rises, and DMN activity falls. Objective: We combined transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate these brain network dynamics. Methods: Ten healthy young volunteers underwent four blocks of resting-state fMRI (10-minutes), each of them immediately after 20 minutes of sham or active tDCS (2 mA), on two different days. On the first day the anodal electrode was placed over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) (part of the AN) with the cathode over the contralateral supraorbital area, and on the second day, the electrode arrangement was reversed (anode right-DLPFC, cathode left-supraorbital). Results: After active stimulation, functional network connectivity revealed increased synchrony within the AN components and reduced synchrony in the DMN components. Conclusions: Our study reveals a reconfiguration of intrinsic brain activity networks after active tDCS. These effects may help to explain earlier reports of improvements in cognitive functions after anodal-tDCS, where increasing cortical excitability may have facilitated reconfiguration of functional brain networks to address upcoming cognitive demands. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Kaplan E.,Boston University | Naeser M.A.,Boston University | Martin P.I.,Boston University | Ho M.,Boston University | And 4 more authors.
NeuroImage | Year: 2010

The arcuate fasciculus (AF) is a white matter pathway traditionally considered to connect left Broca's area with posterior language zones. We utilized diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in eight healthy subjects (5 M) to track pathways in the horizontal mid-portion of the AF (hAF) to subregions of Broca's area - pars triangularis (PTr) and pars opercularis (POp); and to ventral premotor cortex (vPMC) in the right and left hemispheres (RH, LH). These pathways have previously been studied in the LH, but not in the RH. Only 1/8 subjects showed fiber tracts between PTr and hAF in the RH (also, only 1/8 in the LH). In contrast to PTr, 5/8 subjects showed fiber tracts between POp and hAF in the RH (8/8 in the LH). Fiber tracts for vPMC were similar to those of POp, where 7/8 subjects showed fiber tracts between vPMC and hAF in the RH (8/8 in the LH). Our designated hAF could have included some of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) III, because it is difficult to separate the two fiber bundles. The SLF III has been previously reported to connect supramarginal gyrus with POp and vPMC in the LH. Thus, although the present DTI study showed almost no pathways between PTr and hAF in the RH (and in the LH), robust pathways were observed between POp and/or vPMC with hAF in the RH (and in LH). These results replicate previous studies for the LH, but are new, for the RH. They could contribute to better understanding of recovery in aphasia. © 2010.


Pena-Gomez C.,University of Barcelona | Vidal-Pineiro D.,University of Barcelona | Clemente I.C.,University of Barcelona | Pascual-Leone A.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Evidence from neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies indicates that the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is a core region in emotional processing, particularly during down-regulation of negative emotional conditions. However, emotional regulation is a process subject to major inter-individual differences, some of which may be explained by personality traits. In the present study we used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the left DLPFC to investigate whether transiently increasing the activity of this region resulted in changes in the ratings of positive, neutral and negative emotional pictures. Results revealed that anodal, but not cathodal, tDCS reduced the perceived degree of emotional valence for negative stimuli, possibly due to an enhancement of cognitive control of emotional expression. We also aimed to determine whether personality traits (extraversion and neuroticism) might condition the impact of tDCS. We found that individuals with higher scores on the introversion personality dimension were more permeable than extraverts to the modulatory effects of the stimulation. The present study underlines the role of the left DLPFC in emotional regulation, and stresses the importance of considering individual personality characteristics as a relevant variable, although replication is needed given the limited sample size of our study. © 2011 Peña-Gómez et al.


Domenech J.,Hospital Arnau Of Vilanova | Tormos J.M.,Institute Universitari Of Neurorehabilitacio Guttmann Uab | Barrios C.,University of Valencia | Pascual-Leone A.,Institute Universitari Of Neurorehabilitacio Guttmann Uab | Pascual-Leone A.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
European Spine Journal | Year: 2010

The aetiology of idiopathic scoliosis (IS) remains unknown; however, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that the spine deformity could be the expression of a subclinical nervous system disorder. A defective sensory input or an anomalous sensorimotor integration may lead to an abnormal postural tone and therefore the development of a spine deformity. Inhibition of the motor cortico-cortical excitability is abnormal in dystonia. Therefore, the study of cortico-cortical inhibition may shed some insight into the dystonia hypothesis regarding the pathophysiology of IS. Paired pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to study cortico-cortical inhibition and facilitation in nine adolescents with IS, five teenagers with congenital scoliosis (CS) and eight healthy age-matched controls. The effect of a previous conditioning stimulus (80% intensity of resting motor threshold) on the amplitude of the motor-evoked potential induced by the test stimulus (120% of resting motor threshold) was examined at various interstimulus intervals (ISIs) in both abductor pollicis brevis muscles. The results of healthy adolescents and those with CS showed a marked inhibitory effect of the conditioning stimulus on the response to the test stimulus at interstimulus intervals shorter than 6 ms. These findings do not differ from those reported for normal adults. However, children with IS revealed an abnormally reduced cortico-cortical inhibition at the short ISIs. Cortico-cortical inhibition was practically normal on the side of the scoliotic convexity while it was significantly reduced on the side of the scoliotic concavity. In conclusion, these findings support the hypothesis that a dystonic dysfunction underlies in IS. Asymmetrical cortical hyperexcitability may play an important role in the pathogenesis of IS and represents an objective neurophysiological finding that could be used clinically. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.


Garcia-Molina A.,Institute Universitari Of Neurorehabilitacio Guttmann Uab | Tirapu-Ustarroz J.,NeuroLogica | Luna-Lario P.,NeuroLogica | Ibanez J.,Area Hospitalaria Virgen Macarena | And 2 more authors.
Revista de Neurologia | Year: 2010

Introduction. With the growth of cognitive science, the study of the cognitive components involved in solving tests to assess intelligence become especially significant. From this perspective, the g factor is conceived as the representative of the operation of high-level cognitive processes that control the computational programmes of the brain. Different names have been used to denominate the cognitive processes that underlie the g factor: control processes, executive functioning, executive control or executive functions. Development. We review the relationship between intelligence, on the one hand, and working memory and the executive functions construct, on the other. Furthermore, the article also reviews the relationship between intelligence and the prefrontal cortex, as its possible neuroanatomical substrate. Conclusions. The studies that were surveyed offer different answers to the question of whether intelligence and the executive functions are one and the same thing, the most widely accepted hypothesis being the one that sees intelligence and the executive functions as overlapping in some aspects but not in others. © 2010 revista de Neurología.


Garcia-Molina A.,Institute Universitari Of Neurorehabilitacio Guttmann Uab | Tormos J.M.,Institute Universitari Of Neurorehabilitacio Guttmann Uab | Bernabeu M.,Institute Universitari Of Neurorehabilitacio Guttmann Uab | Junque C.,University of Barcelona | Roig-Rovira T.,Institute Universitari Of Neurorehabilitacio Guttmann Uab
Brain Injury | Year: 2012

Primary objective: To examine the relationship between traditional executive function measures and everyday competence in Spanish-speaking individuals with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods and procedures: Thirty-two TBI patients (24 men, eight women) with an age range of 1759 years (mean age30.73 years; SD13.34) were administered a battery of performance-based executive function measures. Such measures included the Trail Making Test part B, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Stroop Colour Word Interference Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test and Letter-Number Sequencing. Behavioural manifestations of executive deficits were assessed by the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult version (BRIEF-A). Patient's everyday functioning was examined with the Patient Competency Rating Scale (PCRS). Main outcomes and results: Traditional performance-based executive measures correlated significantly, although moderately, with the PCRS; this relationship was more significant in the Controlled Oral Word Association Test and Trail Making Test part B. A significant correlation was obtained between the BRIEF-A clinical scales and patient's everyday competence as measured by the PCRS. Conclusions: The current findings suggest that traditional performance-based executive measures reveal some degree of ecological validity or real-world relevance, providing relevant information for predicting everyday competence after moderate-to-severe TBI. © 2012 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.


PubMed | Institute Universitari Of Neurorehabilitacio Guttmann Uab
Type: Review | Journal: Revista de neurologia | Year: 2017

Every day millions of professionals use a countless number of technical words to refer to the different structures inside the skull. But few of them would know how to explain their origin. In this study we take an in-depth look into the etymological origins of some of these neuroanatomical terms.The study takes an etymological tour of the central nervous system. It is in no way meant to be an exhaustive, detailed review of the terms currently in use, but instead a means to familiarise the reader with the linguistic past of words like brain, hippocampus, thalamus, claustrum, fornix, corpus callosum or limbic system. All of them come from either Greek or Latin, which were used for centuries as the lingua francas of science. The study also analyses the evolution of the word meninges, originally of Greco-Latin origin, although its current usages derive from Arabic.The neuroanatomical terms that are in use today do not come from words that associate a particular brain structure with its function, but instead from words that reflect the formal or conceptual similarity between a structure and a familiar or everyday entity (for example, an object or a part of the human body). In other cases, these words indicate the spatial location of the neuroanatomical structure with respect to a third, or they may be terms derived from characters in Greco-Latin mythology.


PubMed | Institute Universitari Of Neurorehabilitacio Guttmann Uab
Type: Historical Article | Journal: Revista de neurologia | Year: 2015

Today, when we reflect on which structures of the human brain are the most significant, we invariably think of the anterior regions of the cerebral cortex, and more particularly the prefrontal cortex. Although this has been the predominant dogma over the last 150 years or more, well-renowned researchers have openly questioned this assumption.During the 19th and 20th centuries, a number of researchers considered the posterior cortical regions to be the neuranatomical seat of the highest intellectual faculties. One of those researchers who stands out above the others, due to the proposals he formulated and the impact they had on the scientific community, was the German neuroanatomist Paul Emil Flechsig (1847-1929). Wilder Graves Penfield (1891-1976) was another scientist who disagreed with the dogma that considered the prefrontal cortex to be the anatomical entity underlying the most complex and sublime mental processes of human beings. In the mid-20th century, Penfield held the hypothesis of the existence of what he called the centrencephalic integrating system, which was responsible for the highest level of integration of the central nervous system.The corticocentric conceptions confer the highly-revered award of the most important structure in the brain to the prefrontal cortex. Nevertheless, many other alternative proposals have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to strip it of this distinction and bestow it upon other brain structures.

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