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1.  Aberrant Functional Connectivity in Dissociable Hippocampal Networks Is Associated with Deficits in Memory 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2014;34(14):4920-4928.
In the healthy human brain, evidence for dissociable memory networks along the anterior–posterior axis of the hippocampus suggests that this structure may not function as a unitary entity. Failure to consider these functional divisions may explain diverging results among studies of memory adaptation in disease. Using task-based and resting functional MRI, we show that chronic seizures disrupting the anterior medial temporal lobe (MTL) preserve anterior and posterior hippocampal-cortical dissociations, but alter signaling between these and other key brain regions. During performance of a memory encoding task, we found reduced neural activity in human patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy relative to age-matched healthy controls, but no upregulation of fMRI signal in unaffected hippocampal subregions. Instead, patients showed aberrant resting fMRI connectivity within anterior and posterior hippocampal-cortical networks, which was associated with memory decline, distinguishing memory-intact from memory-impaired patients. Our results highlight a critical role for intact hippocampo-cortical functional communication in memory and provide evidence that chronic injury-induced functional reorganization in the diseased MTL is behavioral inefficient.
PMCID: PMC3972719  PMID: 24695711
fMRI; memory; plasticity; reorganization; temporal lobe epilepsy
2.  Famous face identification in temporal lobe epilepsy: Support for a multimodal integration model of semantic memory 
This study aims to demonstrate that the left and right anterior temporal lobes (ATLs) perform critical but unique roles in famous face identification, with damage to either leading to differing deficit patterns reflecting decreased access to lexical or semantic concepts but not their degradation. Famous face identification was studied in 22 presurgical and 14 postsurgical temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients and 20 healthy comparison subjects using free recall and multiple choice (MC) paradigms. Right TLE patients exhibited presurgical deficits in famous face recognition, and postsurgical deficits in both famous face recognition and familiarity judgments. However, they did not exhibit any problems with naming before or after surgery. In contrast, left TLE patients demonstrated both pre-and postsurgical deficits in famous face naming but no significant deficits in recognition or familiarity. Double dissociations in performance between groups were alleviated by altering task demands. Postsurgical right TLE patients provided with MC options correctly identified greater than 70% of famous faces they initially rated as unfamiliar. Left TLE patients accurately chose the name for nearly all famous faces they recognized (based on their verbal description) but initially failed to name, although they tended to rapidly lose access to this name. We believe alterations in task demands activate alternative routes to semantic and lexical networks, demonstrating that unique pathways to such stored information exist, and suggesting a different role for each ATL in identifying visually presented famous faces. The right ATL appears to play a fundamental role in accessing semantic information from a visual route, with the left ATL serving to link semantic information to the language system to produce a specific name. These findings challenge several assumptions underlying amodal models of semantic memory, and provide support for the integrated multimodal theories of semantic memory and a distributed representation of concepts.
PMCID: PMC3679345  PMID: 23040175
Famous face naming and recognition; Epilepsy surgery; Models of semantic memory
3.  Study protocol: the Whitehall II imaging sub-study 
BMC Psychiatry  2014;14:159.
The Whitehall II (WHII) study of British civil servants provides a unique source of longitudinal data to investigate key factors hypothesized to affect brain health and cognitive ageing. This paper introduces the multi-modal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol and cognitive assessment designed to investigate brain health in a random sample of 800 members of the WHII study.
A total of 6035 civil servants participated in the WHII Phase 11 clinical examination in 2012–2013. A random sample of these participants was included in a sub-study comprising an MRI brain scan, a detailed clinical and cognitive assessment, and collection of blood and buccal mucosal samples for the characterisation of immune function and associated measures. Data collection for this sub-study started in 2012 and will be completed by 2016. The participants, for whom social and health records have been collected since 1985, were between 60–85 years of age at the time the MRI study started. Here, we describe the pre-specified clinical and cognitive assessment protocols, the state-of-the-art MRI sequences and latest pipelines for analyses of this sub-study.
The integration of cutting-edge MRI techniques, clinical and cognitive tests in combination with retrospective data on social, behavioural and biological variables during the preceding 25 years from a well-established longitudinal epidemiological study (WHII cohort) will provide a unique opportunity to examine brain structure and function in relation to age-related diseases and the modifiable and non-modifiable factors affecting resilience against and vulnerability to adverse brain changes.
PMCID: PMC4048583  PMID: 24885374
Epidemiology; Magnetic resonance imaging; Diffusion tensor imaging; White matter; Functional MRI; Connectome; Resting state brain networks; Neuropsychology; Dementia; Affective disorders
4.  Consistency and interpretation of changes in millimeter-scale cortical intrinsic curvature across three independent datasets in schizophrenia☆ 
Neuroimage  2012;63(1):611-621.
Several studies have sought to test the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia through analysis of cortical gyrification. However, to date, results have been inconsistent. A possible reason for this is that gyrification measures at the centimeter scale may be insensitive to subtle morphological changes at smaller scales. The lack of consistency in such studies may impede further interpretation of cortical morphology as an aid to understanding the etiology of schizophrenia.
In this study we developed a new approach, examining whether millimeter-scale measures of cortical curvature are sensitive to changes in fundamental geometric properties of the cortical surface in schizophrenia. We determined and compared millimeter-scale and centimeter-scale curvature in three separate case–control studies; specifically two adult groups and one adolescent group. The datasets were of different sizes, with different ages and gender-spreads. The results clearly show that millimeter-scale intrinsic curvature measures were more robust and consistent in identifying reduced gyrification in patients across all three datasets.
To further interpret this finding we quantified the ratio of expansion in the upper and lower cortical layers. The results suggest that reduced gyrification in schizophrenia is driven by a reduction in the expansion of upper cortical layers. This may plausibly be related to a reduction in short-range connectivity.
► Studies of cortical gyrification in schizophrenia have to date been equivocal. ► Millimeter-scale measures of gyrification are potentially more sensitive and robust. ► Intrinsic curvature can be used to quantify gyrification at the millimeter scale. ► mm-scale gyrification is consistently reduced across multiple schizophrenic groups. ► Reduced gyrification predominantly reflects changes in upper cortical layers.
PMCID: PMC3459091  PMID: 22743195
Intrinsic curvature; Gyrification; Cerebral cortex; Schizophrenia; Connectivity
5.  Diffusion imaging of whole, post-mortem human brains on a clinical MRI scanner 
Neuroimage  2011;57(1-4):167-181.
Diffusion imaging of post mortem brains has great potential both as a reference for brain specimens that undergo sectioning, and as a link between in vivo diffusion studies and “gold standard” histology/dissection. While there is a relatively mature literature on post mortem diffusion imaging of animals, human brains have proven more challenging due to their incompatibility with high-performance scanners. This study presents a method for post mortem diffusion imaging of whole, human brains using a clinical 3-Tesla scanner with a 3D segmented EPI spin-echo sequence. Results in eleven brains at 0.94 × 0.94 × 0.94 mm resolution are presented, and in a single brain at 0.73 × 0.73 × 0.73 mm resolution. Region-of-interest analysis of diffusion tensor parameters indicate that these properties are altered compared to in vivo (reduced diffusivity and anisotropy), with significant dependence on post mortem interval (time from death to fixation). Despite these alterations, diffusion tractography of several major tracts is successfully demonstrated at both resolutions. We also report novel findings of cortical anisotropy and partial volume effects.
Research highlights
► Acquisition and processing protocols for diffusion MRI of post-mortem human brains. ► Effect of post-mortem and scan intervals on diffusion indices. ► Tractography in post-mortem human brains. ► Radial diffusion anisotropy in cortical gray matter.
PMCID: PMC3115068  PMID: 21473920
Diffusion tensor imaging; Tractography; Post mortem; Human; Brain

Results 1-5 (5)