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Peran P.,I.R.C.C.S. Foundation Santa Lucia | Peran P.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Demonet J.-F.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Cherubini A.,I.R.C.C.S. Foundation Santa Lucia | And 4 more authors.
Brain Research | Year: 2010

Recent theories have hypothesized that semantic representations of action verbs and mental representations of action may be supported by partially overlapping, distributed brain networks. An fMRI experiment in healthy participants was designed to identify the common and specific regions in three different tasks from a common set of object drawings (manipulable man-made objects (MMO) and biological objects (MBO)): the generation of action words (GenA), the mental simulation of action (MSoA) and the mime of an action with the right hand (MimA). A fourth task, object naming (ON), was used as control for input/output effects. A null conjunction identified a common neural network consisting of nine regions distributed over premotor, parietal and occipital cortices. Within this common network, GenA elicited significantly more activation than either ON or MSoA in the left inferior frontal region, while MSoA elicited significantly more activation than either ON or GenA in the left superior parietal lobule. Both MSoA and GenA activated the left inferior parietal lobule more than ON. Furthermore, the left superior parietal cortex was activated to a greater extent by MMO than by MBO regardless of the tasks. These results suggest that action-denoting verbs and motor representations of the same actions activate a common frontal-parietal network. The left inferior parietal cortex and the left superior parietal cortex are likely to be involved in the retrieval of spatial-temporal features of object manipulation; the former might relate to the grasping and manipulation of any object while the latter might be linked to specific object-related gestures. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source


Montefinese M.,University of Chieti Pescara | Zannino G.D.,Laboratory of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology | Ambrosini E.,University of Chieti Pescara
Psychological Research | Year: 2015

In everyday life, human beings can report memories of past events that did not occur or that occurred differently from the way they remember them because memory is an imperfect process of reconstruction and is prone to distortion and errors. In this recognition study using word stimuli, we investigated whether a specific operationalization of semantic similarity among concepts can modulate false memories while controlling for the possible effect of associative strength and word co-occurrence in an old–new recognition task. The semantic similarity value of each new concept was calculated as the mean cosine similarity between pairs of vectors representing that new concept and each old concept belonging to the same semantic category. Results showed that, compared with (new) low-similarity concepts, (new) high-similarity concepts had significantly higher probability of being falsely recognized as old, even after partialling out the effect of confounding variables, including associative relatedness and lexical co-occurrence. This finding supports the feature-based view of semantic memory, suggesting that meaning overlap and sharing of semantic features (which are greater when more similar semantic concepts are being processed) have an influence on recognition performance, resulting in more false alarms for new high-similarity concepts. We propose that the associative strength and word co-occurrence among concepts are not sufficient to explain illusory memories but is important to take into account also the effects of feature-based semantic relations, and, in particular, the semantic similarity among concepts. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source


Adriano F.,Laboratory of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology | Caltagirone C.,Laboratory of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology | Caltagirone C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Spalletta G.,Laboratory of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology
Neuroscientist | Year: 2012

Several magnetic resonance imaging studies have reported hippocampal volume reduction in patients with schizophrenia, but other studies have reported contrasting results. In this review and meta-analysis, the authors aim to clarify whether a reduction in hippocampal volume characterizes patients with schizophrenia by considering illness phase (chronic and first episode) and hippocampus side separately. They made a detailed literature search for studies reporting physical volumetric hippocampal measures of patients with schizophrenia and healthy control (HC) participants and found 44 studies that were eligible for meta-analysis. Individual meta-analyses were also performed on 13 studies of first-episode patients and on 22 studies of chronic patients. The authors also detected any different findings when only males or both males and females were considered. Finally, additional meta-analyses and analyses of variance investigated the role of the factors "illness phase" and "side" on hippocampal volume reduction. Overall, the patient group showed significant bilateral hippocampal volume reduction compared with HC. Interestingly, first-episode and chronic patients showed same-size hippocampal volume reduction. Moreover, the left hippocampus was smaller than the right hippocampus in patients and HC. This review and meta-analysis raises the question about whether hippocampal volume reduction in schizophrenia is of neurodevelopmental origin. Future studies should specifically investigate this issue. © The Author(s) 2012. Source


Caltagirone C.,Laboratory of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology | Caltagirone C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Spoletini I.,Laboratory of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology | Gianni W.,IRCCS INRCA | Spalletta G.,Laboratory of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology
Surgical Oncology | Year: 2010

Elderly patients with cancer are particularly burdened with pain, which has an impact on physical, psychological and cognitive symptoms, and consequently, on the overall quality of life. Here, the existing literature on pain and its consequences in elderly patients with cancer is reviewed, in order to understand the impact of cancer pain and its related symptoms, and the importance of its correct assessment and management, in the geriatric population. From the literature, it emerges that cancer pain has a complex and multidimensional phenomenology in this population, and it is often underestimated and consequently untreated. Furthermore, elderly cancer patients are at higher risk of suffering from pain. Aetiology of cancer pain in elderly patients is still an emergent issue, and immunological findings on the link between pain, cancer and aging may help enlighten the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying pain in elderly cancer patients. Particularly, immune dysfunction may represent a common pathogenic ground of pain and its more common related symptoms (i.e. depression and cognitive decline) in elderly cancer patients. Appropriate pain relief represents a challenge in oncological research, in order to improve patients' and caregivers' quality of life. © 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Source


Adriano F.,Laboratory of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology | Spoletini I.,Laboratory of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology | Caltagirone C.,Laboratory of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology | Caltagirone C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Spalletta G.,Laboratory of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology
Schizophrenia Research | Year: 2010

Objectives: Although several structural MRI studies report significant thalamus volume reduction in patients with schizophrenia, many other studies do not. Therefore, the present meta-analyses aimed to clarify whether a reduction in thalamic volume characterizes patients diagnosed with schizophrenia by considering first-episode and chronic phases of the illness and right and left thalamus separately. Methods: Using Pubmed databases, we made a detailed literature search for structural MRI studies on patients with schizophrenia that reported physical volumetric measures of the right and left thalamus. Thirteen structural MRI studies were considered eligible for meta-analysis of the entire sample of patients and of the healthy control subjects. Individual meta-analyses were also performed on 6 studies of first-episode patients only and on 7 studies of chronic patients only. These were followed by additional meta-analyses to investigate the role of the factors "illness phase" and "side" on thalamic volume reduction. Results: Overall, the patient group showed a significant bilateral thalamus volume reduction compared to healthy control subjects. This was found in both first-episode and chronic patients. Furthermore, left thalamus was smaller than right in both patients and healthy control subjects. Conclusions: When only studies that used physical volumetric measures were considered, the present meta-analyses confirmed that thalamic volume reduction characterizes patients with schizophrenia, both at the first-episode and chronic phases of the illness. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

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