Inhibition modulates receptive field properties and integrative responses of neurons in cortical circuits. The contribution of specific interneuron classes to cortical circuits and emergent responses is unknown. Here, we examined neuronal responses in primary visual cortex (V1) of adult Dlx1−/− mice, which have a selective reduction in cortical dendrite-targeting interneurons (DTIs) that express calretinin, neuropeptide Y, and somatostatin. The V1 neurons examined in Dlx1−/− mice have reduced orientation selectivity and altered firing rates, with elevated late responses, suggesting that local inhibition at dendrites has a specific role in modulating neuronal computations. We did not detect overt changes in the physiological properties of thalamic relay neurons and features of thalamocortical projections, such as retinotopic maps and eye-specific inputs, in the mutant mice, suggesting that the defects are cortical in origin. These experimental results are well explained by a computational model that integrates broad tuning from dendrite-targeting and narrower tuning from soma-targeting interneuron subclasses. Our findings suggest a key role for DTIs in the fine-tuning of stimulus-specific cortical responses.
cortex; dendrite; inhibition; orientation; tuning
The putative visual word form area (pVWFA) is the most consistently activated region in single word reading studies (i.e., Vigneau et al. 2006), yet its function remains a matter of debate. The pVWFA may be predominantly used in reading or it could be a more general visual processor used in reading but also in other visual tasks. Here, resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI) is used to characterize the functional relationships of the pVWFA to help adjudicate between these possibilities. rs-fcMRI defines relationships based on correlations in slow fluctuations of blood oxygen level–dependent activity occurring at rest. In this study, rs-fcMRI correlations show little relationship between the pVWFA and reading-related regions but a strong relationship between the pVWFA and dorsal attention regions thought to be related to spatial and feature attention. The rs-fcMRI correlations between the pVWFA and regions of the dorsal attention network increase with age and reading skill, while the correlations between the pVWFA and reading-related regions do not. These results argue the pVWFA is not used predominantly in reading but is a more general visual processor used in other visual tasks, as well as reading.
orthography; reading; resting-state; rs-fcMRI; specialization
Growing evidence suggests that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is organized hierarchically, with more anterior regions having increasingly abstract representations. How does this organization support hierarchical cognitive control and the rapid discovery of abstract action rules? We present computational models at different levels of description. A neural circuit model simulates interacting corticostriatal circuits organized hierarchically. In each circuit, the basal ganglia gate frontal actions, with some striatal units gating the inputs to PFC and others gating the outputs to influence response selection. Learning at all of these levels is accomplished via dopaminergic reward prediction error signals in each corticostriatal circuit. This functionality allows the system to exhibit conditional if–then hypothesis testing and to learn rapidly in environments with hierarchical structure. We also develop a hybrid Bayesian-reinforcement learning mixture of experts (MoE) model, which can estimate the most likely hypothesis state of individual participants based on their observed sequence of choices and rewards. This model yields accurate probabilistic estimates about which hypotheses are attended by manipulating attentional states in the generative neural model and recovering them with the MoE model. This 2-pronged modeling approach leads to multiple quantitative predictions that are tested with functional magnetic resonance imaging in the companion paper.
basal ganglia; computational model; hierarchical reinforcement learning; prefrontal cortex
The frontal lobes may be organized hierarchically such that more rostral frontal regions modulate cognitive control operations in caudal regions. In our companion paper (Frank MJ, Badre D. 2011. Mechanisms of hierarchical reinforcement learning in corticostriatal circuits I: computational analysis. 22:509–526), we provide novel neural circuit and algorithmic models of hierarchical cognitive control in cortico–striatal circuits. Here, we test key model predictions using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Our neural circuit model proposes that contextual representations in rostral frontal cortex influence the striatal gating of contextual representations in caudal frontal cortex. Reinforcement learning operates at each level, such that the system adaptively learns to gate higher order contextual information into rostral regions. Our algorithmic Bayesian “mixture of experts” model captures the key computations of this neural model and provides trial-by-trial estimates of the learner’s latent hypothesis states. In the present paper, we used these quantitative estimates to reanalyze fMRI data from a hierarchical reinforcement learning task reported in Badre D, Kayser AS, D’Esposito M. 2010. Frontal cortex and the discovery of abstract action rules. Neuron. 66:315--326. Results validate key predictions of the models and provide evidence for an individual cortico–striatal circuit for reinforcement learning of hierarchical structure at a specific level of policy abstraction. These findings are initially consistent with the proposal that hierarchical control in frontal cortex may emerge from interactions among nested cortico–striatal circuits at different levels of abstraction.
basal ganglia; cognitive control; fMRI; prefrontal cortex, reinforcement learning
Measurements of repetition suppression with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI adaptation) have been used widely to probe neuronal population response properties in human cerebral cortex. fMRI adaptation techniques assume that fMRI repetition suppression reflects neuronal adaptation, an assumption that has been challenged on the basis of evidence that repetition-related response changes may reflect unrelated factors, such as attention and stimulus expectation. Specifically, Summerfield et al. (Summerfield C, Trittschuh EH, Monti JM, Mesulam MM, Egner T. 2008. Neural repetition suppression reflects fulfilled perceptual expectations. Nat Neurosci. 11:1004–1006) reported that the relative frequency of stimulus repetitions and non-repetitions influenced the magnitude of repetition suppression in the fusiform face area, suggesting that stimulus expectation accounted for most of the effect of repetition. We confirm that stimulus expectation can significantly influence fMRI repetition suppression throughout visual cortex and show that it occurs with long as well as short adaptation durations. However, the effect was attention dependent: When attention was diverted away from the stimuli, the effects of stimulus expectation completely disappeared. Nonetheless, robust and significant repetition suppression was still evident. These results suggest that fMRI repetition suppression reflects a combination of neuronal adaptation and attention-dependent expectation effects that can be experimentally dissociated. This implies that with an appropriate experimental design, fMRI adaptation can provide valid measures of neuronal adaptation and hence response specificity.
attention; cerebral cortex; human; neuroimaging; vision
Reward has been shown to promote human performance in multiple task domains. However, an important debate has developed about the uniqueness of reward-related neural signatures associated with such facilitation, as similar neural patterns can be triggered by increased attentional focus independent of reward. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to directly investigate the neural commonalities and interactions between the anticipation of both reward and task difficulty, by independently manipulating these factors in a cued-attention paradigm. In preparation for the target stimulus, both factors increased activity within the midbrain, dorsal striatum, and fronto-parietal areas, while inducing deactivations in default-mode regions. Additionally, reward engaged the ventral striatum, posterior cingulate, and occipital cortex, while difficulty engaged medial and dorsolateral frontal regions. Importantly, a network comprising the midbrain, caudate nucleus, thalamus, and anterior midcingulate cortex exhibited an interaction between reward and difficulty, presumably reflecting additional resource recruitment for demanding tasks with profitable outcome. This notion was consistent with a negative correlation between cue-related midbrain activity and difficulty-induced performance detriments in reward-predictive trials. Together, the data demonstrate that expected value and attentional demands are integrated in cortico-striatal-thalamic circuits in coordination with the dopaminergic midbrain to flexibly modulate resource allocation for an effective pursuit of behavioral goals.
attention; fMRI; midbrain; reward; task demands
The presence of irrelevant external stimuli during the retrieval of long-term memory (LTM) has a negative impact on the fidelity of recollected details. Top-down control processes that both guide the selection of internal information relevant to LTM goals and resolve interference on retrieval from irrelevant external information have been associated with the same region in left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). The current study examined a causal role of the left VLPFC in memory performance when external distraction (i.e., visual stimuli irrelevant to the current task goals) was presented during retrieval of LTM. Immediately after functional perturbation of the left VLPFC with 1-Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, participants' memory was tested when their eyes were closed and when their eyes were open and irrelevant visual stimuli were presented. The results showed that visual distraction diminished LTM performance based on an objective measure of recollection and that perturbation of left VLPFC exacerbated the disruptive effect. This is the first evidence of a direct role of the left VLPFC in diminishing the impact of distraction on recollection, elucidating neural mechanisms that are critically involved in how we reconstruct the past while navigating the external environment.
distraction; LTM; rTMS; top-down control; VLPFC
Glutamate interacts with ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Whereas the entorhinal cortex (EC) is a principal structure involved in learning and memory, the roles of mGluRs in synaptic transmission in the EC have not been completely determined. Here, we show that activation of group II mGluRs (mGluR II) induced robust depression of glutamatergic transmission in the EC. The mGluR II–induced depression was due to a selective reduction of presynaptic release probability without alterations of the quantal size and the number of release sites. The mechanisms underlying mGluR II–mediated suppression of glutamate release included the inhibition of presynaptic release machinery and the depression of presynaptic P/Q-type Ca2+ channels. Whereas mGluR II–induced depression required the function of Gαi/o proteins, protein kinase A (PKA) pathway was only involved in mGluR II–mediated inhibition of release machinery and thereby partially required for mGluR II–induced inhibition of glutamate release. Presynaptic stimulation at 5 Hz for 10 min also induced depression of glutamatergic transmission via activation of presynaptic mGluR II suggesting an endogenous role for mGluR II in modulating glutamatergic transmission.
entorhinal cortex; glutamate receptor; G-protein; plasticity; synaptic transmission
Cortical γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons are characterized by extraordinary neurochemical and functional diversity. Although recent studies have uncovered some of the molecular components underlying interneuron development, including the cellular and molecular mechanisms guiding their migration to the cortex, the intracellular components involved are still unknown. Rac1, a member of the Rac subfamily of Rho-GTPases, has been implicated in various cellular processes such as cell cycle dynamics, axonogenesis, and migration. In this study, we have addressed the specific role of Rac1 in interneuron progenitors originating in the medial ganglionic eminence, via Cre/loxP technology. We show that ablation of Rac1 from Nkx2.1-positive progenitors, results in a migratory impairment. As a consequence, only half of GABAergic interneurons are found in the postnatal cortex. The rest remain aggregated in the ventral telencephalon and show morphological defects in their growing processes in vitro. Ablation of Rac1 from postmitotic progenitors does not result in similar defects, thus underlying a novel cell autonomous and stage-specific requirement for Rac1 activity, within proliferating progenitors of cortical interneurons. Rac1 is necessary for their transition from G1 to S phase, at least in part by regulating cyclin D levels and retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation.
cortical development; inhibitory interneurons; Rho-GTPases
Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) erodes complex social–emotional functions as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and frontoinsula (FI) degenerate, but the early vulnerable neuron within these regions has remained uncertain. Previously, we demonstrated selective loss of ACC von Economo neurons (VENs) in bvFTD. Unlike ACC, FI contains a second conspicuous layer 5 neuronal morphotype, the fork cell, which has not been previously examined. Here, we investigated the selectivity, disease-specificity, laterality, timing, and symptom relevance of frontoinsular VEN and fork cell loss in bvFTD. Blinded, unbiased, systematic sampling was used to quantify bilateral FI VENs, fork cells, and neighboring neurons in 7 neurologically unaffected controls (NC), 5 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 9 patients with bvFTD, including 3 who died of comorbid motor neuron disease during very mild bvFTD. bvFTD showed selective FI VEN and fork cell loss compared with NC and AD, whereas in AD no significant VEN or fork cell loss was detected. Although VEN and fork cell losses in bvFTD were often asymmetric, no group-level hemispheric laterality effects were identified. Right-sided VEN and fork cell losses, however, correlated with each other and with anatomical, functional, and behavioral severity. This work identifies region-specific neuronal targets in early bvFTD.
Alzheimer's disease; behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia; fork cell; frontoinsula; von Economo neuron
Many empiricist theories hold that concepts are composed of sensory–motor primitives. For example, the meaning of the word “run” is in part a visual image of running. If action concepts are partly visual, then the concepts of congenitally blind individuals should be altered in that they lack these visual features. We compared semantic judgments and neural activity during action verb comprehension in congenitally blind and sighted individuals. Participants made similarity judgments about pairs of nouns and verbs that varied in the visual motion they conveyed. Blind adults showed the same pattern of similarity judgments as sighted adults. We identified the left middle temporal gyrus (lMTG) brain region that putatively stores visual–motion features relevant to action verbs. The functional profile and location of this region was identical in sighted and congenitally blind individuals. Furthermore, the lMTG was more active for all verbs than nouns, irrespective of visual–motion features. We conclude that the lMTG contains abstract representations of verb meanings rather than visual–motion images. Our data suggest that conceptual brain regions are not altered by the sensory modality of learning.
action, blindness; language; plasticity; semantic memory; sensory–motor, visual motion
The mesocortical pathway projecting from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a critical role in a number of cognitive and emotional processes. While this pathway has been traditionally viewed as dopaminergic, recent data indicate that a considerable proportion of rostromedial VTA neurons possess markers for glutamate transmission. However, the relative density of the glutamatergic projection to the PFC from these rostromedial regions is unknown. In the present study, anterograde tracer injections into 4 ventral midbrain subregions were coupled with immunohistochemical analysis of labeled axons in PFC for markers of dopamine (DA; tyrosine hydroxylase [TH]) and glutamate (vesicular glutamate transporter 2; VGLUT2). We found that while tracer injections into the interfascicular nucleus produced labeled fibers in the PFC that were mainly TH positive, tracer injections into the rostral linear nucleus, rostral VTA, and parabrachial pigmented nucleus produced labeled fibers in PFC that contained mainly VGLUT2-positive rather than TH-positive varicosities. When viewed in the light of the previously documented strong γ-aminobutyric acidergic component, it would seem that the rostromedial mesocortical projection is actually an amino acid pathway that in addition has a DA component.
dopamine; glutamate transporter; prefrontal cortex; ventral tegmental area
Stopping an initiated response is an essential function, investigated in many studies with go/no-go and stop-signal paradigms. These standard tests require rapid action cancellation. This appears to be achieved by a suppression mechanism that has “global” effects on corticomotor excitability (i.e., affecting task-irrelevant muscles). By contrast, stopping action in everyday life may require selectivity (i.e., targeting a specific response tendency without affecting concurrent action). We hypothesized that while standard stopping engages global suppression, behaviorally selective stopping engages a selective suppression mechanism. Accordingly, we measured corticomotor excitability of the task-irrelevant leg using transcranial magnetic stimulation while subjects stopped the hand. Experiment 1 showed that for standard (i.e., nonselective) stopping, the task-irrelevant leg was suppressed. Experiment 2 showed that for behaviorally selective stopping, there was no mean leg suppression. Experiment 3 directly compared behaviorally nonselective and selective stopping. Leg suppression occurred only in the behaviorally nonselective condition. These results argue that global and selective suppression mechanisms are dissociable. Participants may use a global suppression mechanism when speed is stressed; however, they may recruit a more selective suppression mechanism when selective stopping is behaviorally necessary and preparatory information is available. We predict that different fronto–basal–ganglia pathways underpin these different suppression mechanisms.
motor-evoked potential; primary motor cortex; response inhibition; stop signal task; subthalamic nucleus
Ventral visual cortex contains specialized regions for particular object categories, but little is known about how these regions interact during object recognition. Here we examine how the face-selective fusiform gyrus (FG) and the scene-selective parahippocampal cortex (PHC) interact with each other and with the rest of the brain during different visual tasks. To assess these interactions, we developed a novel approach for identifying patterns of connectivity associated with specific task sets, independent of stimulus-evoked responses. We tested whether this “background connectivity” between the FG and PHC was modulated when subjects engaged in face and scene processing tasks. In contrast to what would be predicted from biased competition or intrinsic activity accounts, we found that the strength of FG–PHC background connectivity depended on which category was task relevant: connectivity increased when subjects attended to scenes (irrespective of whether a competing face was present) and decreased when subjects attended to faces (irrespective of competing scenes). We further discovered that posterior occipital cortex was correlated selectively with the FG during face tasks and the PHC during scene tasks. These results suggest that category specificity exists not only in which regions respond most strongly but also in how these and other regions interact.
category selectivity; face processing; fMRI; functional connectivity; scene processing
Spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is a primary focal dystonia characterized by involuntary spasms in the laryngeal muscles during speech production. Although recent studies have found abnormal brain function and white matter organization in SD, the extent of gray matter alterations, their structure–function relationships, and correlations with symptoms remain unknown. We compared gray matter volume (GMV) and cortical thickness (CT) in 40 SD patients and 40 controls using voxel-based morphometry and cortical distance estimates. These measures were examined for relationships with blood oxygen level–dependent signal change during symptomatic syllable production in 15 of the same patients. SD patients had increased GMV, CT, and brain activation in key structures of the speech control system, including the laryngeal sensorimotor cortex, inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), superior/middle temporal and supramarginal gyri, and in a structure commonly abnormal in other primary dystonias, the cerebellum. Among these regions, GMV, CT and activation of the IFG and cerebellum showed positive relationships with SD severity, while CT of the IFG correlated with SD duration. The left anterior insula was the only region with decreased CT, which also correlated with SD symptom severity. These findings provide evidence for coupling between structural and functional abnormalities at different levels within the speech production system in SD.
cortical thickness; fMRI; laryngeal dystonia; VBM; voice production
The relative contribution of intrinsic and extrinsic cues in the regulation of cortical neurogenesis remains a crucial challenge in developmental neurobiology. We previously reported that a transient population of glutamatergic neurons, the cortical plate (CP) transient neurons, migrates from the ventral pallium (VP) over long distances and participate in neocortical development. Here, we show that the genetic ablation of this population leads to a reduction in the number of cortical neurons especially fated to superficial layers. These defects result from precocious neurogenesis followed by a depletion of the progenitor pools. Notably, these changes progress from caudolateral to rostrodorsal pallial territories between E12.5 and E14.5 along the expected trajectory of the ablated cells. Conversely, we describe enhanced proliferation resulting in an increase in the number of cortical neurons in the Gsx2 mutants which present an expansion of the VP and a higher number of CP transient neurons migrating into the pallium. Our findings indicate that these neurons act to maintain the proliferative state of neocortical progenitors and delay differentiation during their migration from extraneocortical regions and, thus, participate in the extrinsic control of cortical neuronal numbers.
neocortical development; neurogenesis; neuronal numbers; progenitors; tangential migration; transient glutamatergic neurons
Cerebral axonal connections begin to develop before birth during radial migration in each brain area. A number of theories are still actively debated regarding the link between neuronal migration, developing connectivity, and gyrification. Here, we used high angular resolution diffusion tractography on postmortem fetal human brains (postconception week (W) 17–40) to document the regression of radial and tangential organization likely to represent migration pathways and the emergence of corticocortical organization and gyrification. The dominant radial organization at W17 gradually diminished first in dorsal parieto-occipital and later in ventral frontotemporal regions with regional variation: radial organization persisted longer in the crests of gyri than at the depths of sulci. The dominant tangential organization of the ganglionic eminence at W17 also gradually disappeared by term, together with the disappearance of the ganglionic eminence. A few immature long-range association pathways were visible at W17, gradually became evident by term. Short-range corticocortical tracts emerged prior to gyrification in regions where sulci later developed. Our results suggest that the regional regression of radial organization and regional emergence of fetal brain connectivity proceeds in general from posterodorsal to anteroventral with local variations.
brain; development; diffusion imaging; human fetus; tractography
We have recently shown that interference with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of right posterior intraparietal sulcus (IPS) cortex during the allocation of spatial attention leads to abnormal desynchronization of anticipatory (pretarget) electroencephalographic alpha rhythms (8–12 Hz) in occipital–parietal cortex and the detection of subsequently presented visual targets (Capotosto et al. 2009). Since lesion data suggest that lesions of the right frontoparietal cortices produce more severe and long-lasting deficits of visual spatial attention than lesions of the left hemisphere, here, we used the mentioned rTMS-electroencephalographic procedure to test if the control of anticipatory alpha rhythms by IPS is asymmetrically organized in the 2 hemispheres. Results showed that interference with either left or right IPS during covert spatial attention equally disrupted the normally lateralized anticipatory modulation of occipital visual cortex, with stronger alpha desynchronization contralaterally to the attended visual field. In contrast, only interference with right IPS induced a paradoxical pretarget synchronization of alpha rhythms and bilateral deficits of target identification. These results suggest that the control of spatial topography of anticipatory alpha rhythms in occipital–parietal cortex is shared between left and right IPS cortex, but that right IPS uniquely contributes to a bilateral prestimulus activation of occipital visual cortex.
alpha rhythms; EEG; rTMS; visual cortex; visuospatial attention
Recent advances in cell labeling and imaging techniques have dramatically expanded our knowledge of the neural precursor cells responsible for corticogenesis. In particular, radial glial cells are now known to generate several classes of restricted progenitors and neurons. While radial glial cells in the ventricular zone have received the most attention, it has become increasingly clear that a distinct subclass of radial glial cells situated in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and intermediate zone also play an important role in corticogenesis. These delaminated radial glial cells, which lack an apical process attached to the ventricular surface but maintain a basal process, were discovered over 3 decades ago. Recently, they have been further characterized as cortical progenitors and renamed outer, intermediate, or basal radial glia (bRG). Some of these studies indicated that bRG abundance in the outer SVZ (oSVZ) is correlated with enhanced gyrencephaly, particularly in primates and especially human, and therefore suggested that bRG may be responsible for the emergence and evolution of cerebral convolutions. In this issue of Cerebral Cortex, 2 papers provide new information about bRG in common marmosets, a near-lissencephalic primate, and in agouti, a near-gyrencephalic rodent (Garcia-Moreno et al. 2011; Kelava et al. 2011). They demonstrate that bRG are abundant and proliferate in inner as well as oSVZ, in both species. Together, these findings indicate that bRG and the oSVZ might not be correlated with gyrification or phylogeny. Rather, differential regulation of bRG and other progenitor types may enhance the adaptability and diversity of cortical morphogenesis.
cerebral cortex evolution; intermediate progenitors; Sox2; Tbr2
Using a population-based sampling strategy, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Normal Brain Development compiled a longitudinal normative reference database of neuroimaging and correlated clinical/behavioral data from a demographically representative sample of healthy children and adolescents aged newborn through early adulthood. The present paper reports brain volume data for 325 children, ages 4.5–18 years, from the first cross-sectional time point. Measures included volumes of whole-brain gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM), left and right lateral ventricles, frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobe GM and WM, subcortical GM (thalamus, caudate, putamen, and globus pallidus), cerebellum, and brainstem. Associations with cross-sectional age, sex, family income, parental education, and body mass index (BMI) were evaluated. Key observations are: 1) age-related decreases in lobar GM most prominent in parietal and occipital cortex; 2) age-related increases in lobar WM, greatest in occipital, followed by the temporal lobe; 3) age-related trajectories predominantly curvilinear in females, but linear in males; and 4) small systematic associations of brain tissue volumes with BMI but not with IQ, family income, or parental education. These findings constitute a normative reference on regional brain volumes in children and adolescents.
adolescents; brain volumes; children; healthy; MRI
Early cortical folding and the emergence of structural brain asymmetries have been previously analyzed by neuropathology as well as qualitative analysis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of fetuses and preterm neonates. In this study, we present a dedicated image analysis framework and its application for the detection of folding patterns during the critical period for the formation of many primary sulci (20–28 gestational weeks). Using structural information from in utero MRI, we perform morphometric analysis of cortical plate surface development and modeling of early folding in the normal fetal brain. First, we identify regions of the fetal brain surface that undergo significant folding changes during this developmental period and provide precise temporal staging of these changes for each region of interest. Then, we highlight the emergence of interhemispheric structural asymmetries that may be related to future functional specialization of cortical areas. Our findings complement previous descriptions of early sulcogenesis based on neuropathology and qualitative evaluation of 2D in utero MRI by accurate spatial and temporal mapping of the emergence of individual sulci as well as structural brain asymmetries. The study provides the missing starting point for their developmental trajectories and extends our understanding of normal cortical folding.
cortex; development; fetus; folding; lateralization
Age-related declines in source memory have been observed for various stimuli and associated details. These impairments may be related to alterations in brain regions contributing to source memory via material-independent processes and/or regions specialized for processing specific materials. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigate the effects of aging on source memory and associated neural activity for words and objects. Source accuracy was equally impaired in older adults for both materials. Imaging data revealed both groups recruited similar networks of regions to support source memory accuracy irrespective of material, including parietal and prefrontal cortices (PFC) and the hippocampus. Age-related decreases in material-independent activity linked to postretrieval monitoring were observed in right lateral PFC. Additionally, age-related increases in source accuracy effects were shown in perirhinal cortex, which were positively correlated with performance in older adults, potentially reflecting functional compensation. In addition to group differences in material-independent regions, age-related crossover interactions for material-dependent source memory effects were observed in regions selectively engaged by objects. These results suggest that older adults' source memory impairments reflect alterations in regions making material-independent contributions to source memory retrieval, primarily the lateral PFC, but may be further impacted by changes in regions sensitive to particular materials.
aging; fMRI; recollection; retrieval; source memory
Motor control relies on well-established motor circuits, which are critical for typical child development. Although many imaging studies have examined task activation during motor performance, none have examined the relationship between functional intrinsic connectivity and motor ability. The current study investigated the relationship between resting state functional connectivity within the motor network and motor performance assessment outside of the scanner in 40 typically developing right-handed children. Better motor performance correlated with greater left-lateralized (mean left hemisphere—mean right hemisphere) motor circuit connectivity. Speed, rhythmicity, and control of movements were associated with connectivity within different individual region pairs: faster speed was associated with more left-lateralized putamen–thalamus connectivity, less overflow with more left-lateralized supplementary motor–primary motor connectivity, and less dysrhythmia with more left-lateralized supplementary motor–anterior cerebellar connectivity. These findings suggest that for right-handed children, superior motor development depends on the establishment of left-hemisphere dominance in intrinsic motor network connectivity.
development; motor control; resting state network
The medial superior frontal cortex (SFC), including the supplementary motor area (SMA) and presupplementary motor area (preSMA), is implicated in movement and cognitive control, among other functions central to decision making. Previous studies delineated the anatomical boundaries and functional connectivity of the SMA. However, it is unclear whether the preSMA, which responds to a variety of behavioral tasks, comprises functionally distinct areas. With 24 seed regions systematically demarcated throughout the anterior and posterior medial SFC, we examined here the functional divisions of the medial SFC on the basis of the “correlograms” of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data of 225 adult individuals. In addition to replicating segregation of the SMA and posterior preSMA, the current results elucidated functional connectivities of anterior preSMA—the most anterior part of the medial SFC. In contrast to the caudal medial SFC, the anterior preSMA is connected with most of the prefrontal but not with somatomotor areas. Overall, the SMA is strongly connected to the thalamus and epithalamus, the posterior preSMA to putamen, pallidum, and subthalamic nucleus, and anterior preSMA to the caudate, with the caudate showing significant hemispheric asymmetry. These findings may provide a useful platform for future studies to investigate frontal cortical functions.
fMRI; functional connectivity; preSMA; resting state; SMA
Decoding specific cognitive states from brain activity constitutes a major goal of neuroscience. Previous studies of brain-state classification have focused largely on decoding brief, discrete events and have required the timing of these events to be known. To date, methods for decoding more continuous and purely subject-driven cognitive states have not been available. Here, we demonstrate that free-streaming subject-driven cognitive states can be decoded using a novel whole-brain functional connectivity analysis. Ninety functional regions of interest (ROIs) were defined across 14 large-scale resting-state brain networks to generate a 3960 cell matrix reflecting whole-brain connectivity. We trained a classifier to identify specific patterns of whole-brain connectivity as subjects rested quietly, remembered the events of their day, subtracted numbers, or (silently) sang lyrics. In a leave-one-out cross-validation, the classifier identified these 4 cognitive states with 84% accuracy. More critically, the classifier achieved 85% accuracy when identifying these states in a second, independent cohort of subjects. Classification accuracy remained high with imaging runs as short as 30–60 s. At all temporal intervals assessed, the 90 functionally defined ROIs outperformed a set of 112 commonly used structural ROIs in classifying cognitive states. This approach should enable decoding a myriad of subject-driven cognitive states from brief imaging data samples.
classification; functional connectivity; resting-state; subject-driven cognition