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Peper J.S.,Leiden University | Peper J.S.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition | De Reus M.A.,University Utrecht | Van Den Heuvel M.P.,University Utrecht | Schutter D.J.L.G.,Radboud University Nijmegen
Human Brain Mapping | Year: 2015

Functional neuroimaging studies in adults show that aggression involves reduced brain communication between subcortical and cortical areas dedicated to motivation and control, respectively. Prior research indicates that sex steroid hormone production during adolescence negatively influences the rapid development of white matter connectivity between subcortical and cortical areas during adolescence and may potentiate aggression. Here, we tested this hypothesis in 258 participants between 8 and 25 years of age by using Diffusion Weighted Imaging to examine the microstructure of white matter connections within the fronto-temporal-subcortical network. Trait aggression was measured using the Buss Perry Aggression Questionnaire and testosterone and estradiol levels were measured in saliva. Results indicated that higher levels of testosterone were associated with less white matter integrity within the fronto-temporal-subcortical network (i.e., higher mean diffusivity [MD] longitudinal [LD], and radial diffusivity [RD]). Furthermore, lower fractional anisotropy and higher MD, LD, and RD values within this network increased expressive forms of aggression and reduced inhibited forms of aggression (hostility). Our study indicates higher levels of testosterone relating to lower quality of structural cortical-subcortical connectivity, arguably resulting in a shift from inhibited towards expressive forms of aggression. Our data adds evidence to the idea that aggressive tendencies are subcortically driven, but individuals with relatively high testosterone might have lower structural connectivity within cortical control areas, resulting in a stronger tendency to act on these aggressive tendencies. Hum Brain Mapp 36:1043-1052, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

de Wit F.R.C.,Leiden University | Scheepers D.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition | Jehn K.A.,University of Melbourne
Psychophysiology | Year: 2012

This study examined how the outcomes of joint decision making relate to cardiovascular reactions when group members disagree about the decision to be taken. A conflict was experimentally induced during a joint decision-making task, while cardiovascular markers of challenge/threat motivational states were assessed following the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat (BPSM; J. Blascovich, ). Results show that individuals were less likely to adjust their initially preferred decision alternative the more they exhibited a cardiovascular pattern indicative of threat (i.e., relatively high total peripheral resistance and low cardiac output) compared to challenge. This finding extends the BPSM by showing a link between threat and rigidity, and emphasizes the importance of psychophysiological processes for studying intragroup conflict and decision making. © 2012 Society for Psychophysiological Research. Source

Hommel B.,Leiden University | Zmigrod S.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition
Multisensory Research | Year: 2013

The human brain is facing a continuous stream of stimulus information delivered by multiple modalities and sensory channels and processed in distinct cortical regions. We discuss recent empirical and theoretical developments in addressing the question of how this distributed information is integrated into coherent representations (the so-called binding problem) with an emphasis on the principles and constraints underlying the integration of multiple (rather than redundant) features across different sensory modalities and across perception and action planning. © 2012 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden. Source

Van Meel C.S.,Leiden Institute for Psychological Research | Van Meel C.S.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition | Van Heijningen C.A.A.,Leiden University
Psychophysiology | Year: 2010

The present study examined the effect of the social context on early emotional appraisal of performance errors and negative feedback reflected by the error-related negativity (ERN), feedback-related negativity (FRN), and P300. Participants performed a probabilistic learning task in which they received valid and invalid performance feedback. During one half of the task they were led to believe that they were competing online against another participant. As expected, the ERN following response errors was enhanced in the competition compared to the neutral condition. The FRN was more negative following negative compared to positive feedback and valid compared to invalid feedback, but only during competition. The P300 was larger to false positive than false negative feedback, which was independent of the social context. In conclusion, ERN and FRN, but not P300, may be sensitive to affective distress elicited by expectation violations during social interaction. © 2009 Society for Psychophysiological Research. Source

Haijma S.V.,University Utrecht | Van Haren N.,University Utrecht | Cahn W.,University Utrecht | Koolschijn P.C.M.P.,Leiden University | And 3 more authors.
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2013

Although structural brain alterations in schizophrenia have been demonstrated extensively, their quantitative distribution has not been studied over the last 14 years despite advances in neuroimaging. Moreover, a volumetric meta-analysis has not been conducted in antipsychotic-naive patients. Therefore, meta-analysis on cross-sectional volumetric brain alterations in both medicated and antipsychotic-naive patients was conducted. Three hundred seventeen studies published from September 1, 1998 to January 1, 2012 comprising over 9000 patients were selected for meta-analysis, including 33 studies in antipsychotic-naive patients. In addition to effect sizes, potential modifying factors such as duration of illness, sex composition, current antipsychotic dose, and intelligence quotient matching status of participants were extracted where available. In the sample of medicated schizophrenia patients (n = 8327), intracranial and total brain volume was significantly decreased by 2.0% (effect size d = -0.17) and 2.6% (d = -0.30), respectively. Largest effect sizes were observed for gray matter structures, with effect sizes ranging from -0.22 to -0.58. In the sample of antipsychotic-naive patients (n = 771), volume reductions in caudate nucleus (d = -0.38) and thalamus (d = -0.68) were more pronounced than in medicated patients. White matter volume was decreased to a similar extent in both groups, while gray matter loss was less extensive in antipsychotic-naive patients. Gray matter reduction was associated with longer duration of illness and higher dose of antipsychotic medication at time of scanning. Therefore, brain loss in schizophrenia is related to a combination of (early) neurodevelopmental processes - reflected in intracranial volume reduction - as well as illness progression. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. Source

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