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Author: Robert C Lorenz (20)


Sep
2017

Theoretical models and preceding studies have described age-related alterations in neuronal activation of frontoparietal regions in a working memory (WM) load-dependent manner. However, to date, underlying neuronal mechanisms of these WM load-dependent activation changes in aging remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate these mechanisms in terms of effective connectivity by application of dynamic causal modeling with Bayesian Model Selection.

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Aug
2017

While previous attempts to train self-control in humans have frequently failed, we set out to train response inhibition using computer-game elements. We trained older adults with a newly developed game-based inhibition training on a tablet for two months and compared them to an active and passive control group. Behavioural effects reflected in shorter stop signal response times that were observed only in the inhibition-training group.

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Dec
1969

Substance-dependent individuals often lack the ability to adjust decisions flexibly in response to the changes in reward contingencies. Prediction errors (PEs) are thought to mediate flexible decision-making by updating the reward values associated with available actions. In this study, we explored whether the neurobiological correlates of PEs are altered in alcohol dependence.

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Dec
2016

The amygdala is essential for processing emotions, including the processing of aversive faces. The aim of this multimethodological study was to relate the amygdala reactivity of students (N = 88) toward teachers' fearful and angry faces, to students' relationship with their teachers. Furthermore, students' neural responses during the perception of teachers' faces were tested as predictors of test anxiety (controlling for neuroticism as a potential trait anxiety effect).

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May
2017

In the present longitudinal study, we aimed to investigate video game training associated neuronal changes in reward processing using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We recruited 48 healthy young participants which were assigned to one of 2 groups: A group in which participants were instructed to play a commercial video game ("Super Mario 64 DS") on a portable Nintendo DS handheld console at least 30minutes a day over a period of two months (video gaming group; VG) or to a matched passive control group (CG). Before and after the training phase, in both groups, fMRI imaging was conducted during passively viewing reward and punishment-related videos sequences recorded from the trained video game.

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Dec
1969

Parenting is an essential factor within a child's development, yet the impact of normative variations of parenting on neural emotion processing has not been studied to date. The present study investigated 83 healthy adolescents using functional magnetic resonance imaging and an emotional face-matching paradigm. The faces paradigm elicited an increased amygdala response towards negative facial expressions (fearful and angry each compared to neutral faces) and a significant activation of fusiform gyrus to all emotions separately (fearful, happy, angry faces) compared to neutral faces.

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Feb
2017

The formation of a coherent and unified self-concept represents a key developmental stage during adolescence. Imaging studies on self-referential processing in adolescents are rare, and it is not clear whether neural structures involved in self-reflection are also involved in reflections of familiar others. In the current study, 41 adolescents were asked to make judgments about trait adjectives during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): they had to indicate whether the word describes themselves, their friends, their teachers or politicians.

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Jan
2017

Adolescence is a critical maturation period for human cognitive control and executive function. In this study, a large sample of adolescents (n = 85) performed a reversal learning task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. We analyzed behavioral data using a reinforcement learning model to provide individually fitted parameters and imaging data with regard to reward prediction errors (PE).

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Dec
1969

This multi-methodological study applied functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate neural activation in a group of adolescent students (N = 88) during a probabilistic reinforcement learning task. We related patterns of emerging brain activity and individual learning rates to socio-motivational (in-)dependence manifested in four different motivation types (MTs): (1) peer-dependent MT, (2) teacher-dependent MT, (3) peer-and-teacher-dependent MT, (4) peer-and-teacher-independent MT. A multinomial regression analysis revealed that the individual learning rate predicts students' membership to the independent MT, or the peer-and-teacher-dependent MT.

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Jul
2016

As indicated by previous research, aging is associated with a decline in working memory (WM) functioning, related to alterations in fronto-parietal neural activations. At the same time, previous studies showed that WM training in older adults may improve the performance in the trained task (training effect), and more importantly, also in untrained WM tasks (transfer effects). However, neural correlates of these transfer effects that would improve understanding of its underlying mechanisms, have not been shown in older participants as yet.

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Oct
2015

Response inhibition is a basic mechanism in cognitive control and dysfunctional in major psychiatric disorders. The neuronal mechanisms are in part driven by dopamine in the striatum. Animal data suggest a regulatory role of glutamate on the level of the striatum.

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Aug
2015

The perception of control over the environment constitutes a fundamental biological adaptive mechanism, especially during development. Previous studies comparing an active choice condition with a passive no-choice condition showed that the neural basis of this mechanism is associated with increased activity within the striatum and the prefrontal cortex. In the current study, we aimed to investigate whether subjective belief of control in an uncertain gambling situation induces elevated activation in a cortico-striatal network.

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Dec
1969

Video games contain elaborate reinforcement and reward schedules that have the potential to maximize motivation. Neuroimaging studies suggest that video games might have an influence on the reward system. However, it is not clear whether reward-related properties represent a precondition, which biases an individual toward playing video games, or if these changes are the result of playing video games.

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Feb
2015

Drugs of abuse elicit dopamine release in the ventral striatum, possibly biasing dopamine-driven reinforcement learning towards drug-related reward at the expense of non-drug-related reward. Indeed, in alcohol-dependent patients, reactivity in dopaminergic target areas is shifted from non-drug-related stimuli towards drug-related stimuli. Such 'hijacked' dopamine signals may impair flexible learning from non-drug-related rewards, and thus promote craving for the drug of abuse.

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Jul
2015

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with decreased ventral-striatal responsiveness during reward anticipation. However, previous research mostly focused on adults with heterogeneous ADHD subtype and divers drug treatment status while studies in children with ADHD are sparse. Moreover, it remains unclear to what degree ADHD is characterized by a delay of normal brain structure or function maturation.

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Nov
2015

The fronto-limbic network interaction, driven by glutamatergic and dopaminergic neurotransmission, represents a core mechanism of motivated behavior and personality traits. Reward seeking behavior undergoes tremendous changes in adolescence paralleled by neurobiological changes of this network including the prefrontal cortex, striatum and amygdala. Since fronto-limbic dysfunctions also underlie major psychiatric diseases beginning in adolescence, this investigation focuses on network characteristics separating adolescents from adults.

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Oct
2014

Processing of reward is the basis of adaptive behavior of the human being. Neural correlates of reward processing seem to be influenced by developmental changes from adolescence to late adulthood. The aim of this study is to uncover these neural correlates during a slot machine gambling task across the lifespan.

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Jan
2014

In the domain of working memory (WM), a sigmoid-shaped relationship between WM load and brain activation patterns has been demonstrated in younger adults. It has been suggested that age-related alterations of this pattern are associated with changes in neural efficiency and capacity. At the same time, WM training studies have shown that some older adults are able to increase their WM performance through training.

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Aug
2013

Despite several modifications and the wide use of the monetary incentive delay paradigm (MID; Knutson et al. in J Neurosci 21(16):RC159, 2001a) for assessing reward processing, evidence concerning its application in children is scarce. A first child-friendly MID modification has been introduced by Gotlib et al.

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Jan
2013

Despite a rising social relevance of pathological computer game playing, it remains unclear whether the neurobiological basis of this addiction-like behavioral disorder and substance-related addiction are comparable. In substance-related addiction, attentional bias and cue reactivity are often observed. We conducted a functional magnetic resonance study using a dot probe paradigm with short-presentation (attentional bias) and long-presentation (cue reactivity) trials in eight male pathological computer game players (PCGPs) and nine healthy controls (HCs).

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