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Liberman G.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Liberman G.,Bar - Ilan University | Louzoun Y.,Bar - Ilan University | Ben Bashat D.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Ben Bashat D.,Tel Aviv University
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging | Year: 2014

Purpose To improve the calculation of T1 relaxation time from a set of variable flip-angle (FA) spoiled gradient recalled echo images. Materials and Methods The proposed method: (a) uses a uniform weighting of all FAs, (b) takes into account global inaccuracies in the generation of the prescribed FAs by estimating the actual FAs, and (c) incorporates data-driven local B 1 inhomogeneity corrections. The method was validated and its accuracy tested using simulated data, phantom, and in vivo experiments. Results were compared with existing analysis methods and to inversion recovery (IR). Consistency was assessed by means of repeated scans of two subjects. Reference values were obtained from eight healthy subjects from various brain regions and compared with literature values. Results The method accurately and consistently estimated T1 values in all cases. The method was more robust, in comparison with the standard method, to the choice of FA set; to inaccuracies in generation of the prescribed FAs (in simulated data, T1 estimation error was 12.1 ms versus 235.5 ms); demonstrated greater consistency (in vivo study showed interscan T1 difference of 80 ms versus 356 ms); and achieved a better agreement with IR on phantom (median absolute difference of 123.8 ms versus 790 ms). Reference T1 values were 883/801 ms for female/male in white matter and 1501/1349 ms in gray matter, within the range previously reported. Conclusion The proposed method overcomes some inaccuracies in FA production, providing more accurate estimation of T1 values compared with standard methods, and is applicable for currently available data. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Admon R.,Harvard University | Milad M.R.,Harvard University | Hendler T.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Hendler T.,Tel Aviv University
Trends in Cognitive Sciences | Year: 2013

Discriminating neural abnormalities into the causes versus consequences of psychopathology would enhance the translation of neuroimaging findings into clinical practice. By regarding the traumatic encounter as a reference point for disease onset, neuroimaging studies of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can potentially allocate PTSD neural abnormalities to either predisposing (pre-exposure) or acquired (post-exposure) factors. Based on novel research strategies in PTSD neuroimaging, including genetic, environmental, twin, and prospective studies, we provide a causal model that accounts for neural abnormalities in PTSD, and outline its clinical implications. Current data suggest that abnormalities within the amygdala and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex represent predisposing risk factors for developing PTSD, whereas dysfunctional hippocampal-ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) interactions may become evident only after having developed the disorder. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Perry D.,Haifa University | Walder K.,Haifa University | Hendler T.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Hendler T.,Tel Aviv University | Shamay-Tsoory S.G.,Haifa University
Brain Research | Year: 2013

Background Empathy relates to the ability to share the emotions and understand the intentions and emotions of the other. Although it has been suggested that women have superior empathic abilities as compared to men, it is unknown whether it is the gender or the sexual preference of the individual that affects empathy. Given that sexual attraction has been reported to affect social behavior, the present study explored the possibility that sexual orientation affects behavioral measures of empathy as well as empathy related activations. Methods Fifty two heterosexual and homosexual women and men were scanned while performing an emotional judgment task involving emotional understanding of a protagonist. Results The behavioral and neuroimaging results indicate that empathy is related to the gender as well as the sexual preference of the participant. Individuals sexually attracted to men (heterosexual women and homosexual men) showed greater empathy than subjects attracted to women (heterosexual men and homosexual women). Furthermore, brain imaging data reveal that regions within the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), showed sensitivity to the sexual orientation of the individual, such that it was activated more in subjects attracted to men than in subjects attracted to women while evaluating the emotional state of the other. Moreover, the activation in the TPJ was found to be correlated with the degree to which subjects were empathizing. Conclusions These results suggest that individual differences in empathy are related to the gender as well as the sexual orientation of the subject. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Ziv M.,Haifa University | Tomer R.,Haifa University | Defrin R.,Tel Aviv University | Hendler T.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Hendler T.,Tel Aviv University
Human Brain Mapping | Year: 2010

Anxiety arising during pain expectancy can modulate the subjective experience of pain. However, individuals differ in their sensitivity to pain expectancy. The amygdale and hippocampus were proposed to mediate the behavioral response to aversive stimuli. However, their differential role in mediating anxiety-related individual differences is not clear. Using fMRI, we investigated brain activity during expectancy to cued or uncued thermal pain applied to the wrist. Following each stimulation participants rated the intensity of the painful experience. Activations in the amygdala and hippocampus were examined with respect to individual differences in harm avoidance (HA) personality trait, and individual sensitivity to expectancy, (i.e. response to cued vs. uncued painful stimuli). Only half of the subjects reported on cued pain as being more painful than uncued pain. In addition, we found a different activation profile for the amygdala and hippocampus during pain expectancy and experience. The amygdala was more active during expectancy and this activity was correlated with HA scores. The hippocampal activity was equally increased during both pain expectancy and experience, and correlated with the individual's sensitivity to expectancy. Our findings suggest that the amygdala supports an innate tendency to approach or avoid pain as reflected in HA trait, whereas the hippocampus mediates the effect of context possibly via appraisal of the stimulus value. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source

Elkana O.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Elkana O.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Frost R.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Kramer U.,Sourasky Medial Center | And 5 more authors.
Cortex | Year: 2011

Characterizing and mapping the relationship between neuronal reorganization and functional recovery are essential to the understanding of cerebral plasticity and the dynamic processes which occur following brain damage. The neuronal mechanisms underlying linguistic recovery following left hemisphere (LH) lesions are still unknown. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated whether the extent of brain lateralization of linguistic functioning in specific regions of interest (ROIs) is correlated with the level of linguistic performance following recovery from acquired childhood aphasia. The study focused on a rare group of children in whom lesions occurred after normal language acquisition, but prior to complete maturation of the brain. During fMRI scanning, rhyming, comprehension and verb generation activation tasks were monitored. The imaging data were evaluated with reference to linguistic performance measured behaviorally during imaging, as well as outside the scanner. Compared with normal controls, we found greater right hemisphere (RH) lateralization in patients. However, correlations with linguistic performance showed that increased proficiency in linguistic tasks was associated with greater lateralization to the LH. These results were replicated in a longitudinal case study of a patient scanned twice, 3 years apart. Additional improvement in linguistic performance of the patient was accompanied by increasing lateralization to the LH in the anterior language region. This, however, was the result of a decreased involvement of the RH. These findings suggest that recovery is a dynamic, ongoing process, which may last for years after onset. The role of each hemisphere in the recovery process may continuously change within the chronic stage. © 2009 Elsevier Srl. Source

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