connectivity analysis
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2022 ◽  
Maria Semeli Frangopoulou ◽  
Maryam Alimardani

Alzheimers disease (AD) is a brain disorder that is mainly characterized by a progressive degeneration of neurons in the brain, causing a decline in cognitive abilities and difficulties in engaging in day-to-day activities. This study compares an FFT-based spectral analysis against a functional connectivity analysis based on phase synchronization, for finding known differences between AD patients and Healthy Control (HC) subjects. Both of these quantitative analysis methods were applied on a dataset comprising bipolar EEG montages values from 20 diagnosed AD patients and 20 age-matched HC subjects. Additionally, an attempt was made to localize the identified AD-induced brain activity effects in AD patients. The obtained results showed the advantage of the functional connectivity analysis method compared to a simple spectral analysis. Specifically, while spectral analysis could not find any significant differences between the AD and HC groups, the functional connectivity analysis showed statistically higher synchronization levels in the AD group in the lower frequency bands (delta and theta), suggesting that the AD patients brains are in a phase-locked state. Further comparison of functional connectivity between the homotopic regions confirmed that the traits of AD were localized in the centro-parietal and centro-temporal areas in the theta frequency band (4-8 Hz). The contribution of this study is that it applies a neural metric for Alzheimers detection from a data science perspective rather than from a neuroscience one. The study shows that the combination of bipolar derivations with phase synchronization yields similar results to comparable studies employing alternative analysis methods.

2022 ◽  
Vol 13 (1) ◽  
Dace Apšvalka ◽  
Catarina S. Ferreira ◽  
Taylor W. Schmitz ◽  
James B. Rowe ◽  
Michael C. Anderson

AbstractOver the last two decades, inhibitory control has featured prominently in accounts of how humans and other organisms regulate their behaviour and thought. Previous work on how the brain stops actions and thoughts, however, has emphasised distinct prefrontal regions supporting these functions, suggesting domain-specific mechanisms. Here we show that stopping actions and thoughts recruits common regions in the right dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex to suppress diverse content, via dynamic targeting. Within each region, classifiers trained to distinguish action-stopping from action-execution also identify when people are suppressing their thoughts (and vice versa). Effective connectivity analysis reveals that both prefrontal regions contribute to action and thought stopping by targeting the motor cortex or the hippocampus, depending on the goal, to suppress their task-specific activity. These findings support the existence of a domain-general system that underlies inhibitory control and establish Dynamic Targeting as a mechanism enabling this ability.

2022 ◽  
Vol 5 (1) ◽  
Hyebin Lee ◽  
Junmo Kwon ◽  
Jong-eun Lee ◽  
Bo-yong Park ◽  
Hyunjin Park

AbstractFunctional hierarchy establishes core axes of the brain, and overweight individuals show alterations in the networks anchored on these axes, particularly in those involved in sensory and cognitive control systems. However, quantitative assessments of hierarchical brain organization in overweight individuals are lacking. Capitalizing stepwise functional connectivity analysis, we assess altered functional connectivity in overweight individuals relative to healthy weight controls along the brain hierarchy. Seeding from the brain regions associated with obesity phenotypes, we conduct stepwise connectivity analysis at different step distances and compare functional degrees between the groups. We find strong functional connectivity in the somatomotor and prefrontal cortices in both groups, and both converge to transmodal systems, including frontoparietal and default-mode networks, as the number of steps increased. Conversely, compared with the healthy weight group, overweight individuals show a marked decrease in functional degree in somatosensory and attention networks across the steps, whereas visual and limbic networks show an increasing trend. Associating functional degree with eating behaviors, we observe negative associations between functional degrees in sensory networks and hunger and disinhibition-related behaviors. Our findings suggest that overweight individuals show disrupted functional network organization along the hierarchical axis of the brain and these results provide insights for behavioral associations.

2022 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
Leehyun Yoon ◽  
Angelica F. Carranza ◽  
Johnna R. Swartz

Although adolescence is a period in which developmental changes occur in brain connectivity, personality formation, and peer interaction, few studies have examined the neural correlates of personality dimensions related to social behavior within adolescent samples. The current study aims to investigate whether adolescents’ brain functional connectivity is associated with extraversion and agreeableness, personality dimensions linked to peer acceptance, social network size, and friendship quality. Considering sex-variant neural maturation in adolescence, we also examined sex-specific associations between personality and functional connectivity. Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a community sample of 70 adolescents aged 12–15, we examined associations between self-reported extraversion and agreeableness and seed-to-whole brain connectivity with the amygdala as a seed region of interest. Then, using 415 brain regions that correspond to 8 major brain networks and subcortex, we explored neural connectivity within brain networks and across the whole-brain. We conducted group-level multiple regression analyses with the regressors of extraversion, agreeableness, and their interactions with sex. Results demonstrated that amygdala connectivity with the postcentral gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, and the temporal pole is positively associated with extraversion in girls and negatively associated with extraversion in boys. Agreeableness was positively associated with amygdala connectivity with the middle occipital cortex and superior parietal cortex, in the same direction for boys and girls. Results of the whole-brain connectivity analysis revealed that the connectivity of the postcentral gyrus, located in the dorsal attention network, with regions in default mode network (DMN), salience/ventral attention network, and control network (CON) was associated with extraversion, with most connections showing positive associations in girls and negative associations in boys. For agreeableness, results of the within-network connectivity analysis showed that connections within the limbic network were positively associated with agreeableness in boys while negatively associated with or not associated with agreeableness in girls. Results suggest that intrinsic functional connectivity may contribute to adolescents’ individual differences in extraversion and agreeableness and highlights sex-specific neural connectivity patterns associated with the two personality dimensions. This study deepens our understanding of the neurobiological correlates of adolescent personality that may lead to different developmental trajectories of social experience.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (12) ◽  
pp. 1656
Sang-Jin Im ◽  
Ji-Yeon Suh ◽  
Jae-Hyuk Shim ◽  
Hyeon-Man Baek

Preclinical studies using rodents have been the choice for many neuroscience researchers due totheir close reflection of human biology. In particular, research involving rodents has utilized MRI to accurately identify brain regions and characteristics by acquiring high resolution cavity images with different contrasts non-invasively, and this has resulted in high reproducibility and throughput. In addition, tractographic analysis using diffusion tensor imaging to obtain information on the neural structure of white matter has emerged as a major methodology in the field of neuroscience due to its contribution in discovering significant correlations between altered neural connections and various neurological and psychiatric diseases. However, unlike image analysis studies with human subjects where a myriad of human image analysis programs and procedures have been thoroughly developed and validated, methods for analyzing rat image data using MRI in preclinical research settings have seen significantly less developed. Therefore, in this study, we present a deterministic tractographic analysis pipeline using the SIGMA atlas for a detailed structural segmentation and structural connectivity analysis of the rat brain’s structural connectivity. In addition, the structural connectivity analysis pipeline presented in this study was preliminarily tested on normal and stroke rat models for initial observation.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Yanzhe Ning ◽  
Sisi Zheng ◽  
Sitong Feng ◽  
Binlong Zhang ◽  
Hongxiao Jia

Introduction: Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques have been widely used for the purpose of improving clinical symptoms of schizophrenia. However, the ambiguous stimulation targets may limit the efficacy of NIBS for schizophrenia. Exploring effective stimulation targets may improve the clinical efficacy of NIBS in schizophrenia.Methods: We first conducted a neurosynth-based meta-analysis of 715 functional magnetic resonance imaging studies to identify schizophrenia-related brain regions as regions of interest. Then, we performed the resting-state functional connectivity analysis in 32 patients with first-episode schizophrenia to find brain surface regions correlated with the regions of interest in three pipelines. Finally, the 10–20 system coordinates corresponding to the brain surface regions were considered as potential targets for NIBS.Results: We identified several potential targets of NIBS, including the bilateral dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, supplementary motor area, bilateral inferior parietal lobule, temporal pole, medial prefrontal cortex, precuneus, superior and middle temporal gyrus, and superior and middle occipital gyrus. Notably, the 10-20 system location of the bilateral dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex was posterior to F3 (F4), not F3 (F4).Conclusion: Conclusively, our findings suggested that the stimulation locations corresponding to these potential targets might help clinicians optimize the application of NIBS therapy in individuals with schizophrenia.

PLoS ONE ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (12) ◽  
pp. e0260245
Douglas D. Burman

Studies of the hippocampus use smaller voxel sizes and smoothing kernels than cortical activation studies, typically using a multivoxel seed with specified radius for connectivity analysis. This study identified optimal processing parameters for evaluating hippocampal connectivity with sensorimotor cortex (SMC), comparing effectiveness by varying parameters during both activation and connectivity analysis. Using both 3mm and 4mm isovoxels, smoothing kernels of 0-10mm were evaluated on the amplitude and extent of motor activation and hippocampal connectivity with SMC. Psychophysiological interactions (PPI) identified hippocampal connectivity with SMC during volitional movements, and connectivity effects from multivoxel seeds were compared with alternate methods; a structural seed represented the mean connectivity map from all voxels within a region, whereas a functional seed represented the regional voxel with maximal SMC connectivity. With few exceptions, the same parameters were optimal for activation and connectivity. Larger isovoxels showed larger activation volumes in both SMC and the hippocampus; connectivity volumes from structural seeds were also larger, except from the posterior hippocampus. Regardless of voxel size, the 10mm smoothing kernel generated larger activation and connectivity volumes from structural seeds, as well as larger beta estimates at connectivity maxima; structural seeds also produced larger connectivity volumes than multivoxel seeds. Functional seeds showed lesser effects from voxel size and smoothing kernels. Optimal parameters revealed topography in structural seed connectivity along both the longitudinal axis and mediolateral axis of the hippocampus. These results indicate larger voxels and smoothing kernels can improve sensitivity for detecting both cortical activation and hippocampal connectivity.

Cancers ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (23) ◽  
pp. 6127
Nardin Samuel ◽  
Artur Vetkas ◽  
Aditya Pancholi ◽  
Can Sarica ◽  
Aaron Loh ◽  

The evaluation and manipulation of structural and functional networks, which has been integral to advancing functional neurosurgery, is beginning to transcend classical subspecialty boundaries. Notably, its application in neuro-oncologic surgery has stimulated an exciting paradigm shift from the traditional localizationist approach, which is lacking in nuance and optimization. This manuscript reviews the existing literature and explores how structural and functional connectivity analyses have been leveraged to revolutionize and individualize pre-operative tumor evaluation and surgical planning. We describe how this novel approach may improve cognitive and neurologic preservation after surgery and attenuate tumor spread. Furthermore, we demonstrate how connectivity analysis combined with neuromodulation techniques can be employed to induce post-operative neuroplasticity and personalize neurorehabilitation. While the landscape of functional neuro-oncology is still evolving and requires further study to encourage more widespread adoption, this functional approach can transform the practice of neuro-oncologic surgery and improve the care and outcomes of patients with intra-axial tumors.

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