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Tuft M.,Neuropsychology Center | Gjelsvik B.,University of Oxford | Nakken K.O.,University of Oslo
Epilepsy and Behavior | Year: 2015

In "Epilepsy is Dancing", in Antony and the Johnsons' album "The Crying Light"(2009), the lyrics and accompanying music video depicts an epileptic seizure in which the person is transferred to another beautiful and magical world. This may be called "enchanted epilepsy" i.e., the experience of epilepsy as deeply nourishing and (positively) transforming, is conveyed not only in the lyrics but also the visual and auditory qualities of the video. The seizure in the video gives associations to Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's dream".If epilepsy appears in music lyrics, the focus is mostly on negative aspects of the illness, such as horror, fear and repulsive sexuality associated with the fits [1,2]. Contradictory to these lyrics, Anthony and the Johnsons' song is an example of a positive portrayal of epilepsy. It is open to a multitude of meanings, emotional valence and appraisal of epilepsy. By widening the experiential range associated with epileptic seizures, these lyrics highlight the inherently construed nature of epileptic experience. The song stands out in several ways. First, it describes epilepsy in positive terms, prioritising the euphoric, ecstatic, potentially empowering and enhancing aspects of epileptic seizures. Second, the lyrics and accompanying video point to divine experiences associated with epileptic seizures. Through the lyrics and the music video we are, as an audience, able to sense a snicket of an epileptic seizure, but also the universal experience of loosing control. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Tuft M.,Neuropsychology Center | Gjelsvik B.,University of Oxford | Nakken K.O.,University of Oslo
Epilepsy and Behavior | Year: 2015

Ian Curtis was the front man of the post-punk band Joy Division. He suffered from epilepsy and actively incorporated his experiences of the disease in his lyrics. Curtis had frequent epileptic seizures, both on and off stage. After dying from suicide in 1980, he became a legend in the post-punk milieu. The impact which the epilepsy, the epilepsy treatment, and comorbid depression had on his artistic life and premature death is not well known. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Pitzalis S.,Foro Italico University of Rome | Pitzalis S.,Neuropsychology Center | Sdoia S.,Foro Italico University of Rome | Bultrini A.,Foro Italico University of Rome | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The optic flow generated when a person moves through the environment can be locally decomposed into several basic components, including radial, circular, translational and spiral motion. Since their analysis plays an important part in the visual perception and control of locomotion and posture it is likely that some brain regions in the primate dorsal visual pathway are specialized to distinguish among them. The aim of this study is to explore the sensitivity to different types of egomotion-compatible visual stimulations in the human motion-sensitive regions of the brain. Event-related fMRI experiments, 3D motion and wide-field stimulation, functional localizers and brain mapping methods were used to study the sensitivity of six distinct motion areas (V6, MT, MST+, V3A, CSv and an Intra-Parietal Sulcus motion [IPSmot] region) to different types of optic flow stimuli. Results show that only areas V6, MST+ and IPSmot are specialized in distinguishing among the various types of flow patterns, with a high response for the translational flow which was maximum in V6 and IPSmot and less marked in MST+. Given that during egomotion the translational optic flow conveys differential information about the near and far external objects, areas V6 and IPSmot likely process visual egomotion signals to extract information about the relative distance of objects with respect to the observer. Since area V6 is also involved in distinguishing object-motion from self-motion, it could provide information about location in space of moving and static objects during self-motion, particularly in a dynamically unstable environment. © 2013 Pitzalis et al.

Di Russo F.,Foro Italico University of Rome | Di Russo F.,Neuropsychology Center | Stella A.,Foro Italico University of Rome | Stella A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 11 more authors.
Human Brain Mapping | Year: 2012

Recordings of event-related potentials (ERPs) were combined with structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the timing and localization of stimulus selection processes during visual-spatial attention to pattern-reversing gratings. Pattern reversals were presented in random order to the left and right visual fields at a rapid rate, while subjects attended to the reversals in one field at a time. On separate runs, stimuli were presented in the upper and lower visual quadrants. The earliest ERP component (C1, peaking at around 80 ms), which inverted in polarity for upper versus lower field stimuli and was localized in or near visual area V1, was not modulated by attention. In the latency range 80-250 ms, multiple components were elicited that were increased in amplitude by attention and were colocalized with fMRI activations in specific visual cortical areas. The principal anatomical sources of these attention-sensitive components were localized by fMRI-seeded dipole modeling as follows: P1 (ca. 100 ms-source in motion-sensitive area MT+), C2 (ca. 130 ms-same source as C1), N1a (ca. 145 ms-source in horizontal intraparietal sulcus), N1b (ca. 165 ms-source in fusiform gyrus, area V4/V8), N1c (ca. 180 ms-source in posterior intraparietal sulcus, area V3A), and P2 (ca. 220 ms-multiple sources, including parieto-occipital sulcus, area V6). These results support the hypothesis that spatial attention acts to amplify both feed-forward and feedback signals in multiple visual areas of both the dorsal and ventral streams of processing. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Taddei F.,Foro Italico University of Rome | Bultrini A.,Foro Italico University of Rome | Spinelli D.,Foro Italico University of Rome | Spinelli D.,Neuropsychology Center | And 2 more authors.
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise | Year: 2012

Purpose: Open-skill sports require high levels of visual attention and fast and flexible decision making and action execution. We evaluated whether these sports may counteract the well-known age-related declines in executive processing. Methods: Young and middle-age fencers and nonathletes were studied. Participants (N = 40) performed visual motor tasks while reaction times (RTs) and event-related potentials were recorded. Results: RTs were slower for the older subjects, but accuracy was not impaired. At event-related potential level, the late P3 component was delayed in older subjects, but those who participated in sports showed less delay. The RTs of middle-age and young fencers were comparable; the P1 latency of middle-age fencers was similar to that of the younger subjects; the N1 was enhanced in older, as well as younger, fencers; the N2 component of fencers had shorter latencies and larger amplitudes than nonathletes; and in no-go trials, the P3 component was enhanced in fencers independent of age. Conclusions: Overall, the practice of open-skill sports was associated with improvement of the executive functions that are already degraded at middle age. © 2012 by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Wright D.J.,Manchester Metropolitan University | Holmes P.S.,Manchester Metropolitan University | Di Russo F.,Foro Italico University of Rome | Di Russo F.,Neuropsychology Center | And 2 more authors.
Human Movement Science | Year: 2012

The influence of motor skill learning on movement-related brain activity was investigated using electroencephalography. Previous research has indicated that experienced performers display movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs) of smaller amplitude and later onset compared to novices. Unfortunately, previous studies have lacked ecological validity with experimenters recording the MRCP prior to simple motor tasks and applying the results to more complex motor skills. This study replicated previous research using an ecologically valid motor skill; recording the MRCP from a group of experienced guitarists and a control group of non-musicians while they played a simple scale on the guitar. Results indicated no difference between groups in early motor planning. In contrast, the later, negative slope and motor potential components were of smaller amplitude and the negative slope began later in the experienced guitarists. The data may indicate that, for experienced guitarists, a reduced level of effort is required during the motor preparation phase of the task. These findings have implications for musical instrument learning as well as motor skill acquisition in general. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Bozzacchi C.,Foro Italico University of Rome | Bozzacchi C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Giusti M.A.,Neuropsychology Center | Giusti M.A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

A simple movement, such as pressing a button, can acquire different meanings by producing different consequences, such as starting an elevator or switching a TV channel. We evaluated whether the brain activity preceding a simple action is modulated by the expected consequences of the action itself. To further this aim, the motor-related cortical potentials were compared during two key-press actions that were identical from the kinematics point of view but different in both meaning and consequences. In one case (virtual grasp), the key-press started a video clip showing a hand moving toward a cup and grasping it; in the other case, the key-press did not produce any consequence (key-press). A third condition (real grasp) was also compared, in which subjects actually grasped the cup, producing the same action presented in the video clip. Data were collected from fifteen subjects. The results showed that motor preparation for virtual grasp (starting 3 s before the movement onset) was different from that of the key-press and similar to the real grasp preparation-as if subjects had to grasp the cup in person. In particular, both virtual and real grasp presented a posterior parietal negativity preceding activity in motor and pre-motor areas. In summary, this finding supports the hypothesis that motor preparation is affected by the meaning of the action, even when the action is only virtual. © 2012 Bozzacchi et al.

Wright D.J.,Manchester Metropolitan University | Holmes P.,Manchester Metropolitan University | Di Russo F.,Foro Italico University of Rome | Di Russo F.,Neuropsychology Center | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Experts in a skill produce movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs) of smaller amplitude and later onset than novices. This may indicate that, following long-term training, experts require less effort to plan motor skill performance. However, no longitudinal evidence exists to support this claim. To address this, EEG was used to study the effect of motor skill training on cortical activity related to motor planning. Ten non-musicians took part in a 5-week training study learning to play guitar. At week 1, the MRCP was recorded from motor areas whilst participants played the G Major scale. Following a period of practice of the scale, the MRCP was recorded again at week 5. Results showed that the amplitude of the later pre-movement components were smaller at week 5 compared to week 1. This may indicate that, following training, less activity at motor cortex sites is involved in motor skill preparation. This supports claims for a more efficient motor preparation following motor skill training. © 2012 Wright et al.

Baumann T.P.,Neuropsychology Center | Baumann T.P.,University of Basel | Duyar H.,University of Basel | Sollberger M.,Neuropsychology Center | And 6 more authors.
Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders | Year: 2010

Objective: Our purpose was to measure Aβ 1-42, T-tau and P-tau 181 in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), a presenile dementia likely to represent a variant of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Methods: CSF samples from 34 subjects including 9 patients with PCA, 11 age-matched patients with AD and 14 age-matched cognitively healthy controls were analyzed using commercially available ELISA kits. Results: The Aβ 1-42, T-tau and P-tau 181 levels in PCA patients differed significantly (p < 0.02) from those in healthy controls but were indistinguishable from subjects with a clinical diagnosis of AD. Conclusion: High T-tau and P-tau 181 and low Aβ 1-42 levels in PCA - typically observed in AD - indicate that the underlying pathology of PCA is usually AD. If these findings are replicated in PCA patients with autopsy-confirmed AD neuropathology, PCA patients may be eligible for disease-modifying AD treatments. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Nici J.,Neuropsychology Center | Hom J.,Neuropsychology Center
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology | Year: 2013

The Halstead Category Test-ComputerVersion (HCT-CV)was developed with the goal of adapting the HCTto the computer while maintaining all essential features of the original test. We compared the HCT-CV results from clinical neuropsychological evaluations of 25 patients who were matched on a pairwise basis with 25 patients previously tested with the original version. Matching was done on age, education, and diagnosis. Results of group comparisons showed that the HCT-CV performed comparably with the original version, with mean score differences of ,2 points. Correlations with the other subtests from the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery were also found to be comparable. Results suggest that the HCT-CV can be considered a satisfactory and comparable version of the HCT, while providing advantages in terms of ease of use and portability. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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