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Kiefer M.,University of Ulm | Kubesch S.,University of Ulm | Kubesch S.,Institute Education plus | Collins P.,University of Nottingham | Dimitrova J.,Temerty Center for Therapeutic Brain Intervention
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2015

The current study examined the effects of cardiorespiratory fitness, identified with a continuous graded cycle ergometry, and aerobic exercise on cognitive functioning and entropy of the electroencephalogram (EEG) in 30 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 14 years. Higher and lower fit participants performed an executive function task after a bout of acute exercise and after rest while watching a film. EEG entropy, using the sample entropy measure, was repeatedly measured during the 1500 ms post-stimulus interval to evaluate changes in entropy over time. Analysis of the behavioral data for lower and higher fit groups revealed an interaction between fitness levels and acute physical exercise. Notably, lower fit, but not higher fit, participants had higher error rates (ER) for No Go relative to Go trials in the rest condition, whereas in the acute exercise condition there were no differences in ER between groups; higher fit participants also had significantly faster reaction times in the exercise condition in comparison with the rest condition. Analysis of EEG data revealed that higher fit participants demonstrated lower entropy post-stimulus than lower fit participants in the left frontal hemisphere, possibly indicating increased efficiency of early stage stimulus processing and more efficient allocation of cognitive resources to the task demands. The results suggest that EEG entropy is sensitive to stimulus processing demands and varies as a function of physical fitness levels, but not acute exercise. Physical fitness, in turn, may enhance cognition in adolescence by facilitating higher functionality of the attentional system in the context of lower levels of frontal EEG entropy. © 2015 Hogan, O’Hora, Kiefer, Kubesch, Kilmartin, Collins and Dimitrova. Source


Voineskos D.,University of Toronto | Rogasch N.C.,Monash University | Rajji T.K.,University of Toronto | Fitzgerald P.B.,Monash University | And 2 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Psychiatry | Year: 2013

The adaptations resulting from neural plasticity lead to changes in cognition and behaviour, which are strengthened through repeated exposure to the novel environment or stimulus. Learning and memory have been hypothesized to occur through modifications of the strength of neural circuits, particularly in the hippocampus and cortex. Cognitive deficits, specifically in executive functioning and negative symptoms, may be a corollary to deficits in neural plasticity. Moreover, the main excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters associated with neural plasticity have also been extensively investigated for their role in the cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) represents some of the most promising approaches to directly explore the physiological manifestations of neural plasticity in the human brain. Three TMS paradigms (use-dependent plasticity, paired associative stimulation, and repetitive TMS) have been used to evaluate neurophysiological measures of neural plasticity in the healthy brain and in patients with schizophrenia, and to examine the brain's responses to such stimulation. In schizophrenia, deficits in neural plasticity have been consistently shown which parallel the molecular evidence appearing to be entwined with this debilitating disorder. Such pathophysiology may underlie the learning and memory deficits that are key symptoms of this disorder and may even be a key mechanism involved in treatment with antipsychotics. Source


Khanna A.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Pascual-Leone A.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Farzan F.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Farzan F.,Temerty Center for Therapeutic Brain Intervention
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: Electroencephalographic (EEG) microstate analysis is a method of identifying quasi-stable functional brain states ("microstates") that are altered in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders, suggesting their potential use as biomarkers of neurophysiological health and disease. However, use of EEG microstates as neurophysiological biomarkers requires assessment of the test-retest reliability of microstate analysis. Methods: We analyzed resting-state, eyes-closed, 30-channel EEG from 10 healthy subjects over 3 sessions spaced approximately 48 hours apart. We identified four microstate classes and calculated the average duration, frequency, and coverage fraction of these microstates. Using Cronbach's α and the standard error of measurement (SEM) as indicators of reliability, we examined: (1) the test-retest reliability of microstate features using a variety of different approaches; (2) the consistency between TAAHC and k-means clustering algorithms; and (3) whether microstate analysis can be reliably conducted with 19 and 8 electrodes. Results: The approach of identifying a single set of "global" microstate maps showed the highest reliability (mean Cronbach's α>0.8, SEM ≈10% of mean values) compared to microstates derived by each session or each recording. There was notably low reliability in features calculated from maps extracted individually for each recording, suggesting that the analysis is most reliable when maps are held constant. Features were highly consistent across clustering methods (Cronbach's α>0.9). All features had high test-retest reliability with 19 and 8 electrodes. Conclusions: High test-retest reliability and cross-method consistency of microstate features suggests their potential as biomarkers for assessment of the brain's neurophysiological health. © 2014 Khanna et al. Source


Wheeler A.L.,Research Imaging Center | Wheeler A.L.,University of Toronto | Chakravarty M.M.,Research Imaging Center | Chakravarty M.M.,University of Toronto | And 12 more authors.
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2014

Background: Prominent regional cortical thickness reductions have been shown in schizophrenia. In contrast, little is known regarding alterations of structural coupling between regions in schizophrenia and how these alterations may be related to cognitive impairments in this disorder. Methods: T1-weighted magnetic resonance images were acquired in 54 patients with schizophrenia and 68 healthy control subjects aged 18-55 years. Cortical thickness was compared between groups using a vertex-wise approach. To assess structural coupling, seeds were selected within regions of reduced thickness, and brain-wide cortical thickness correlations were compared between groups. The relationships between identified patterns of circuit structure disruption and cognitive task performance were then explored. Results: Prominent cortical thickness reductions were found in patients compared with controls at a 5% false discovery rate in a predominantly frontal and temporal pattern. Correlations of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) with right prefrontal regions were significantly different in patients and controls. The difference remained significant in a subset of 20 first-episode patients. Participants with stronger frontal interhemispheric thickness correlations had poorer working memory performance. Conclusions: We identified structural impairment in a left-right DLPFC circuit in patients with schizophrenia independent of illness stage or medication exposure. The relationship between left-right DLPFC thickness correlations and working memory performance implicates prefrontal interhemispheric circuit impairment as a vulnerability pathway for poor working memory performance. Our findings could guide the development of novel therapeutic interventions aimed at improving working memory performance in patients with schizophrenia. © 2014 The Author. Source


Rajji T.K.,University of Toronto | Rajji T.K.,Temerty Center for Therapeutic Brain Intervention | Sun Y.,University of Toronto | Sun Y.,Temerty Center for Therapeutic Brain Intervention | And 9 more authors.
Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2013

Neuroplasticity and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) are considered important mechanisms in learning and memory, and their disruption may be related to the pathophysiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders. Paired associative stimulation (PAS) is a brain stimulation paradigm that produces enhanced activity in the human motor cortex that may be related to LTP. In a group of 15 healthy participants, we report on the potentiation of cortical-evoked activity in the human DLPFC using the combination of PAS and electroencephalography. In contrast, a PAS control condition did not result in potentiation in another group of nine healthy participants. We also demonstrate that PAS-induced potentiation of cortical-evoked activity is characterized by anatomical specificity that is largely confined to the site of stimulation. Finally, we show that PAS results in potentiation of θ-and γ-activity and θ-phase-γ- amplitude coupling. These neurophysiological indices may be related to working memory, an important function of the DLPFC. To our knowledge, this is the first report of potentiation of cortical-evoked activity in the DLPFC. As this potentiation may be related to LTP, our findings provide a model through which neuroplasticity in health and disease states in the frontal cortex can be studied. © 2013 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Source

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