Science posts

See science posts on page 55 below.

    • 2014
    • Xianwei Che et al
    • Synchronous activation within the default mode network correlates with perceived social support
    • Perceived social support emphasizes subjective feeling of provisions offered by family, friends and significant others. In consideration of the great significance of perceived social support to health outcomes, attempt to reveal the neural substrates of perceived social support will facilitate its application in a series of mental disorders. Perceived social support potentially relies on healthy interpersonal relationships calling for cognitive processes like perspective taking, empathy and theory of mind. Interestingly, functional activations and connectivity within the default mode network (DMN) are extensively involved in these interpersonal skills. As a result, it is proposed that synchronous activities among brain regions within the DMN will correlate with self-report of perceived social support. In the present study, we tried to investigate the associations between coherence among the DMN regions and perceived social support at resting state. A total of 333 (145 men) participan..
    • 2014
    • Qunlin Chen et al
    • Association of creative achievement with cognitive flexibility by a combined voxel-based morphometry and resting-state functional connectivity study
    • Although researchers generally concur that creativity involves the production of novel and useful products, the neural basis of creativity remains elusive due to the complexity of the cognitive processes involved. Recent studies have shown that highly creative individuals displayed more cognitive flexibility. However, direct evidence supporting the relationship between creativity and cognitive flexibility has rarely been investigated using both structural and functional neuroimaging techniques. We used a combined voxel-based morphometry and resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) analysis to investigate the relationship between individual creativity ability assessed by the creative achievement questionnaire (CAQ), and regional gray matter volume (GMV), as well as intrinsic functional connectivity. Results showed that CAQ scores negatively correlated with GMV in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the bilateral dorsal ACC (dACC) extending to supplementary motor area, ..
    • 2014
    • Ana Luísa Pinho et al
    • Connecting to Create: Expertise in Musical Improvisation Is Associated with Increased Functional Connectivity between Premotor and Prefrontal Areas
    • Musicians have been used extensively to study neural correlates of long-term practice, but no studies have investigated the specific effects of training musical creativity. Here, we used human functional MRI to measure brain activity during improvisation in a sample of 39 professional pianists with varying backgrounds in classical and jazz piano playing. We found total hours of improvisation experience to be negatively associated with activity in frontoparietal executive cortical areas. In contrast, improvisation training was positively associated with functional connectivity of the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, dorsal premotor cortices, and presupplementary areas. The effects were significant when controlling for hours of classical piano practice and age. These results indicate that even neural mechanisms involved in creative behaviors, which require a flexible online generation of novel and meaningful output, can be automated by training. Second, improvisational music..
    • 2010
    • de Manzano, Örjan
    • Biological Mechanisms in Creativity and Flow
    • What would the world and our lives look like, if creativity had not evolved? Defined as the ability to have ideas and produce artifacts that are at the same time novel and meaningful, creativity is arguably one of the faculties that has given the human species adaptive ability beyond any other organism. The goal of this thesis was to elucidate some of the biological mechanisms that enable creative thinking. Four studies, based on three different methodologies are presented. Study I was performed in order to investigate the putative relationship between creative thinking and dopaminergic function. Scores on divergent thinking tests were correlated with regional D2 receptor densities, as measured by PET. The results showed a negative correlation between divergent thinking and D2 density in the thalamus, controlling for age and general cognitive ability. Decreased D2 receptor densities in the thalamus may be associated with lower thalamic gating thresholds, i.e. an increased thalamoco..
    • 2012
    • Melanie Stollstorff et al
    • Rationality and emotionality: serotonin transporter genotype influences reasoning bias
    • Reasoning often occurs under emotionally charged, opinion-laden circumstances. The belief-bias effect indexes the extent to which reasoning is based upon beliefs rather than logical structure. We examined whether emotional content increases this effect, particularly for adults genetically predisposed to be more emotionally reactive. SS/SLG carriers of the serotonin transporter genotype (5-HTTLPR) were less accurate selectively for evaluating emotional relational reasoning problems with belief-logic conflict relative to LALA carriers. Trait anxiety was positively associated with emotional belief-bias, and the 5-HTTLPR genotype significantly accounted for the variance in this association. Thus, deductive reasoning, a higher cognitive ability, is sensitive to differences in emotionality rooted in serotonin neurotransmitter function.
    • 1997
    • Yutaka Ono et al
    • Association between dopamine D4 receptor (D4DR) Exon III polymorphism and novelty seeking in Japanese subjects
    • This study was designed to assess the association between novelty seeking and D4DR gene polymorphism in the Japanese population. The 48 bp repeat polymorphism in the third exon of the dopamine D4 receptor gene of 153 normal female students was correlated with personality feature results from the Japanese version of Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory. The Novelty Seeking subscale of Exploratory Excitability had a significant association with long alleles of the polymorphic exon III repeat sequence of D4DR. Our results suggest that there is an association between long alleles of the polymorphic exon III repeat sequence of D4DR and the personality traits of the Novelty Seeking subscale of Exploratory Excitability, regardless of racial differences in the frequencies of D4DR exon III repeat polymorphism.
    • 2010
    • Siobhan M. Hoscheidt et al
    • Hippocampal activation during retrieval of spatial context from episodic and semantic memory
    • The hippocampus, a region implicated in the processing of spatial information and episodic memory, is central to the debate concerning the relationship between episodic and semantic memory. Studies of medial temporal lobe amnesic patients provide evidence that the hippocampus is critical for the retrieval of episodic but not semantic memory. On the other hand, recent neuroimaging studies of intact individuals report hippocampal activation during retrieval of both autobiographical memories and semantic information that includes historical facts, famous faces, and categorical information, suggesting that episodic and semantic memory may engage the hippocampus during memory retrieval in similar ways. Few studies have matched episodic and semantic tasks for the degree to which they include spatial content, even though spatial content may be what drives hippocampal activation during semantic retrieval. To examine this issue, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) stud..
    • 2009
    • Atsuko Nagano-Saito et al
    • Dopamine modulates default mode network deactivation in elderly individuals during the Tower of London task
    • Task-induced deactivation is frequently reported in the ventro-medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), regions considered to belong to the default mode network. To investigate the effect of dopamine on task-induced deactivation, we used positron emission tomography to measure cerebral blood flow during performance of the Tower of London task before and after administration of the dopamine receptor agonist apomorphine in six healthy volunteers (49–66 years old) and six Parkinson disease patients (52–69 years old). Although task-induced deactivation was observed in the vmPFC and PCC in both groups and in both conditions, an inverse correlation between activation and problem complexity was observed in the vmPFC only in the apomorphine condition.
    • 2012
    • Linh C. Dang et al
    • Dopamine Supports Coupling of Attention-Related Networks
    • Attentional processing has been associated with the dorsal attention, default mode, and frontoparietal control networks. The dorsal attention network is involved in externally focused attention whereas the default mode network is involved in internally directed attention. The frontoparietal control network has been proposed to mediate the transition between external and internal attention by coupling its activity to either the dorsal attention network or the default mode network, depending on the attentional demand. Dopamine is hypothesized to modulate attention and has been linked to the integrity of these three attention-related networks. We used PET with 6-[18F]fluoro-L-m-tyrosine to quantify dopamine synthesis capacity in vivo and fMRI to acquire stimulus-independent brain activity in cognitively healthy human subjects. We found that in the resting state where internal cognition dominates, dopamine enhances the coupling between the frontoparietal control network and the default m..
    • 2010
    • Luiz Pessoa et al
    • Embedding Reward Signals into Perception and Cognition
    • Despite considerable interest in the neural basis of valuation, the question of how valuation affects cognitive processing has received relatively less attention. Here, we review evidence from recent behavioral and neuroimaging studies supporting the notion that motivation can enhance perceptual and executive control processes to achieve more efficient goal-directed behavior. Specifically, in the context of cognitive tasks offering monetary gains, improved behavioral performance has been repeatedly observed in conjunction with elevated neural activations in task-relevant perceptual, cognitive and reward-related regions. We address the neural basis of motivation-cognition interactions by suggesting various modes of communication between relevant neural networks: (1) global hub regions may integrate information from multiple inputs providing a communicative link between specialized networks; (2) point-to-point interactions allow for more specific cross-network communication; and (3) di..

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