IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation

Venezia, Italy

IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation

Venezia, Italy
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Tarantino V.,University of Padua | Mazzonetto I.,University of Padua | Formica S.,University of Padua | Causin F.,Neuroradiology Unit | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2017

The ability to check and evaluate the environment over time with the aim to detect the occurrence of target stimuli is supported by sustained/tonic as well as transient/phasic control processes, which overall might be referred to as event monitoring. The neural underpinning of sustained attentional control processes involves a fronto-parietal network. However, it has not been well-defined yet whether this cortical circuit acts irrespective of the specific material to be monitored and whether this mediates sustained as well as transient monitoring processes. In the current study, the functional activity of brain during an event monitoring task was investigated and compared between two cognitive domains, whose processing is mediated by differently lateralized areas. Namely, participants were asked to monitor sequences of either faces (supported by right-hemisphere regions) or tools (left-hemisphere). In order to disentangle sustained from transient components of monitoring, a simultaneous EEG-fMRI technique was adopted within a block design. When contrasting monitoring versus control blocks, the conventional fMRI analysis revealed the sustained involvement of bilateral fronto-parietal regions, in both task domains. Event-related potentials (ERPs) showed a more positive amplitude over frontal sites in monitoring compared to control blocks, providing evidence of a transient monitoring component. The joint ERP-fMRI analysis showed that, in the case of face monitoring, this transient component relies on right-lateralized areas, including the inferior parietal lobule and the middle frontal gyrus. In the case of tools, no fronto-parietal areas correlated with the transient ERP activity, suggesting that in this domain phasic monitoring processes were masked by tonic ones. Overall, the present findings highlight the role of bilateral fronto-parietal regions in sustained monitoring, independently of the specific task requirements, and suggest that right-lateralized areas subtend transient monitoring processes, at least in some task contexts. © 2017 Tarantino, Mazzonetto, Formica, Causin and Vallesi.


Benavides-Varela S.,University of Padua | Benavides-Varela S.,IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation | Passarini L.,IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation | Butterworth B.,University College London | And 11 more authors.
Cortex | Year: 2016

Transcoding numerals containing zero is more problematic than transcoding numbers formed by non-zero digits. However, it is currently unknown whether this is due to zeros requiring brain areas other than those traditionally associated with number representation. Here we hypothesize that transcoding zeros entails visuo-spatial and integrative processes typically associated with the right hemisphere. The investigation involved 22 right-brain-damaged patients and 20 healthy controls who completed tests of reading and writing Arabic numbers. As expected, the most significant deficit among patients involved a failure to cope with zeros. Moreover, a voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM) analysis showed that the most common zero-errors were maximally associated to the right insula which was previously related to sensorimotor integration, attention, and response selection, yet for the first time linked to transcoding processes. Error categories involving other digits corresponded to the so-called Neglect errors, which however, constituted only about 10% of the total reading and 3% of the writing mistakes made by the patients. We argue that damage to the right hemisphere impairs the mechanism of parsing, and the ability to set-up empty-slot structures required for processing zeros in complex numbers; moreover, we suggest that the brain areas located in proximity to the right insula play a role in the integration of the information resulting from the temporary application of transcoding procedures. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Cona G.,University of Padua | Panozzo G.,University of Padua | Semenza C.,University of Padua | Semenza C.,IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation
Brain and Cognition | Year: 2017

Although activation of dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) has been consistently observed in the neuroimaging studies of mental rotation, the functional meaning of PMd activation is still unclear and multiple alternative explanations have been suggested. The present study used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to investigate the role of PMd in mental rotation. Two tasks were used, involving mental rotation of hands and abstract objects, with either matching (same stimuli) or mirror stimuli. Compared to sham stimulation, TMS over right and left PMd regions significantly affected accuracy in the object task, specifically for the same stimuli. Furthermore, response times were longer following right PMd stimulation in both the object and the hand tasks, but again, selectively for the same stimuli. The effect of rotational angle on response times and accuracies was greater for the same stimuli. Moreover TMS over PMd impaired the performance accuracy selectively in these stimuli, mainly in a task that included abstract objects. For these reasons, the present findings indicate a contribution of PMd to mental rotation. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.


Ambrosini E.,University of Padua | Vallesi A.,University of Padua | Vallesi A.,IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience | Year: 2017

The ability to suppress irrelevant information while executing a task, also known as interference resistance ability, is a function of pFC that is critical for successful goal-directed human behavior. In the study of interference resistance and, more generally, executive functions, two key questions are still open: Does pFC contribute to cognitive control abilities through lateralized but domain-general mechanisms or through hemispheric specialization of domain-specific processes? And what are the underlying causes of interindividual differences in executive control performance? To shed light on these issues, here we employed an interindividual difference approach to investigate whether participants’ hemispheric asymmetry in resting-state electrophysiological brain dynamics may reflect their variability in domain-general interference resistance. We recorded participants’ resting-state electroencephalographic activity and performed spectral power analyses on the estimated cortical source activity. To measure participants’ lateralized brain dynamics at rest, we computed the right–left hemispheric asymmetry score for the β/α power ratio. To measure their domain-general interference resistance ability, verbal and spatial Stroop tasks were used. Robust correlations followed by intersection analyses showed that participants with stronger resting-state-related left-lateralized activity in different pFC regions, namely the mid-posterior superior frontal gyrus, middle and posterior middle frontal gyrus, and inferior frontal junction, were more able to inhibit irrelevant information in both domains. The present results confirm and extend previous findings showing that neurophysiological difference factors may explain interindividual differences in executive functioning. They also provide support for the hypothesis of a left pFC hemispheric specialization for domainindependent phasic cognitive control processes mediating Stroop performance. © 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Cona G.,University of Padua | Semenza C.,University of Padua | Semenza C.,IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2017

The Supplementary Motor Area (SMA) is considered as an anatomically and functionally heterogeneous region and is implicated in several functions. We propose that SMA plays a crucial role in domain-general sequence processes, contributing to the integration of sequential elements into higher-order representations regardless of the nature of such elements (e.g., motor, temporal, spatial, numerical, linguistic, etc.). This review emphasizes the domain-general involvement of the SMA, as this region has been found to support sequence operations in a variety of cognitive domains that, albeit different, share an inherent sequence processing. These include action, time and spatial processing, numerical cognition, music and language processing, and working memory. In this light, we reviewed and synthesized recent neuroimaging, stimulation and electrophysiological studies in order to compare and reconcile the distinct sources of data by proposing a unifying account for the role of the SMA. We also discussed the differential contribution of the pre-SMA and SMA-proper in sequence operations, and possible neural mechanisms by which such operations are executed. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd


Montefinese M.,University College London | Montefinese M.,University of Padua | Montefinese M.,IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation | Turco C.,IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation | And 3 more authors.
NeuroImage | Year: 2017

Although parietal areas of the left hemisphere are known to be involved in simple mental calculation, the possible role of the homologue areas of the right hemisphere in mental complex calculation remains debated. In the present study, we tested the causal role of the posterior parietal cortex of both hemispheres in two-digit mental addition and subtraction by means of neuronavigated repetitive TMS (rTMS), investigating possible hemispheric asymmetries in specific parietal areas. In particular, we performed two rTMS experiments, which differed only for the target sites stimulated, on independent samples of participants. rTMS was delivered over the horizontal and ventral portions of the intraparietal sulcus (HIPS and VIPS, respectively) of each hemisphere in Experiment 1, and over the angular and supramarginal gyri (ANG and SMG, respectively) of each hemisphere in Experiment 2. First, we found that each cerebral area of the posterior parietal cortex is involved to some degree in the two-digit addition and subtraction. Second, in Experiment 1, we found a stronger pattern of hemispheric asymmetry for the involvement of HIPS in addition compared to subtraction. In particular, results showed a greater involvement of the right HIPS than the left one for addition. Moreover, we found less asymmetry for the VIPS. Taken together, these results suggest that two-digit mental addition is more strongly associated with the use of a spatial mapping compared to subtraction. In support of this view, in Experiment 2, a greater role of left and right ANG was found for addition needed in verbal processing of numbers and in visuospatial attention processes, respectively. We also revealed a greater involvement of the bilateral SMG in two-digit mental subtraction, in response to greater working memory load required to solve this latter operation compared to addition. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.


Pompanin S.,University of Padua | Jelcic N.,IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation | Cecchin D.,University of Padua | Cagnin A.,University of Padua
General hospital psychiatry | Year: 2014

OBJECTIVE: To describe a patient with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) presenting with impulse control disorders (ICDs) which responded to fluvoxamine and topiramate.CASE REPORT: A 64-year-old woman was affected by several ICDs. At disease onset, she suffered from impulsive smoking and overeating which caused a body weight increase of 20 kg in 6 months. Later on she manifested binge-eating behavior and skin-picking compulsion. Presence of progressive frontal cognitive impairment (Mini Mental State Examination 24/30) and evidence of hypoperfusion of the anterior cingulate and dorsolateral frontal cortex with brain single-photon emission computed tomography scan contributed to the diagnosis of bvFTD. Use of combination treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs and topiramate improved all these symptoms.CONCLUSION: This case extends the clinical phenotype of repetitive and compulsive habits in bvFTD to encompass symptoms suggestive of ICDs. It is proposed that fluvoxamine and topiramate may be considered as treatment options in these conditions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Pompanin S.,University of Padua | Jelcic N.,IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation | Cecchin D.,University of Padua | Cagnin A.,University of Padua | Cagnin A.,IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation
General Hospital Psychiatry | Year: 2014

Objective: To describe a patient with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) presenting with impulse control disorders (ICDs) which responded to fluvoxamine and topiramate. Case report: A 64-year-old woman was affected by several ICDs. At disease onset, she suffered from impulsive smoking and overeating which caused a body weight increase of 20 kg in 6 months. Later on she manifested binge-eating behavior and skin-picking compulsion. Presence of progressive frontal cognitive impairment (Mini Mental State Examination 24/30) and evidence of hypoperfusion of the anterior cingulate and dorsolateral frontal cortex with brain single-photon emission computed tomography scan contributed to the diagnosis of bvFTD. Use of combination treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs and topiramate improved all these symptoms. Conclusion: This case extends the clinical phenotype of repetitive and compulsive habits in bvFTD to encompass symptoms suggestive of ICDs. It is proposed that fluvoxamine and topiramate may be considered as treatment options in these conditions. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Testi S.,University of Verona | Fabrizi G.M.,University of Verona | Pompanin S.,University of Padua | Cagnin A.,University of Padua | Cagnin A.,IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2012

Mutations in the Presenilin 2 gene (PSEN2) represent the less frequent genetic cause of familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD). Only eight PSEN2 mutations, reported in approximately 27 families, satisfied strict criteria of pathogenicity. We reported a patient with early-onset FAD and the PSEN2 p.Met239Ile mutation, presenting with severe executive dysfunction and myoclonic tremor, associated with memory loss. Brain SPECT study showed an early hypoperfusion of the frontal cortex. We confirmed the pathogenicity of PSEN2 p.Met239Ile mutation and its heterogeneous phenotypic expression. The modulating effect of the Apolipoprotein E and Prion Protein gene polymorphisms on the phenotypic variability was not confirmed. © 2012 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Shanks M.F.,University of Sheffield | McGeown W.J.,University of Strathclyde | Guerrini C.,University of Hull | Venneri A.,University of Sheffield | Venneri A.,IRCCS San Camillo Hospital Foundation
Neuropsychology | Year: 2014

Objective: A single case study with control and normative data of a 74-year-old retired businessman with amnestic mild cognitive impairment, who had spontaneous confabulations concerning fantastic exploits and magical powers as well as déjà vécu experiences. Methods and Results: His neuropsychological profile showed episodic memory impairment including deficits of recent episodic autobiographical memories and of recognition, but performance was within normal limits on tests assessing source memory for words, the ability to suppress irrelevant items on a continuous recognition memory task, and the detection of stimulus frequency. There were discrete impairments in an ad hoc test measuring his ability to detect and discriminate the source of a range of material including information derived from personal and public events, invented material, and episodes culled from his personal reading. Although his source memory for autobiographical information was normal, he attributed 20% of the invented material and personal readings and 15% of the public events either to his own experience or to that of someone he knew personally or to someone else. Conclusions: This evidence suggests that none of the current theoretical accounts of spontaneous confabulations is sufficiently explanatory. Instead, an argument is developed that both fantastic confabulation and déjà vécu arose from a more fundamental disorder of awareness. © 2013 American Psychological Association.

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