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Author: Sepideh Sadaghiani (14)


Oct
2017

The nicotinic system plays an important role in cognitive control and is implicated in several neuropsychiatric conditions. However, the contributions of genetic variability in this system to individuals' cognitive control abilities are poorly understood and the brain processes that mediate such genetic contributions remain largely unidentified. In this first large-scale neuroimaging genetics study of the human nicotinic receptor system (two cohorts, males and females, fMRI total= 1586, behavioral total= 3650), we investigated a common polymorphism of the high-affinity nicotinic receptor α4β2 (rs1044396 on thegene) previously implicated in behavioral and nicotine-related studies (albeit with inconsistent major/minor allele impacts).

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Nov
2016

The most salient electrical signal measured from the human brain is the α-rhythm, neural activity oscillating at ∼100ms intervals. Recent findings challenge the longstanding dogma of α-band oscillations as the signature of a passively idling brain state but diverge in terms of interpretation. Despite firm correlations with behavior, the mechanistic role of the α-rhythm in brain function remains debated.

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Jul
2015

Most brain activity occurs in an ongoing manner not directly locked to external events or stimuli. Regional ongoing activity fluctuates in unison with some brain regions but not others, and the degree of long-range coupling is called functional connectivity, often measured with correlation. Strength and spatial distributions of functional connectivity dynamically change in an ongoing manner over seconds to minutes, even when the external environment is held constant.

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Sep
2015

The complex processing architecture underlying attentional control requires delineation of the functional role of different control-related brain networks. A key component is the cingulo-opercular (CO) network composed of anterior insula/operculum, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and thalamus. Its function has been particularly difficult to characterize due to the network's pervasive activity and frequent co-activation with other control-related networks.

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Oct
2013

The brain continuously maintains a remarkably high level of intrinsic activity. This activity is non-stationary and its dynamics reveal highly structured patterns across several spatial scales, from fine-grained functional architecture in sensory cortices to large-scale networks. The mechanistic function of this activity is only poorly understood.

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Oct
2013

The nicotinic system plays an important role in ordinary cognition, particularly in attention. The main nicotinic receptor in the human brain is the heteromeric α4β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), which is distributed throughout the brain, with an especially high density in the thalamus and brainstem. Despite the important role of α4β2 nAChRs in various physiological functions and pathological conditions, their distribution in the human cortex remains poorly characterized.

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Oct
2012

Neural oscillations in the alpha band (8-12 Hz) are increasingly viewed as an active inhibitory mechanism that gates and controls sensory information processing as a function of cognitive relevance. Extending this view, phase synchronization of alpha oscillations across distant cortical regions could regulate integration of information. Here, we investigated whether such long-range cross-region coupling in the alpha band is intrinsically and selectively linked to activity in a distinct functionally specialized brain network.

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Nov
2011

Recent studies have established a relation between ongoing brain activity fluctuations and intertrial variability in evoked neural responses, perception, and motor performance. Here, we extended these investigations into the domain of cognitive control. Using functional neuroimaging and a sparse event-related design (with long and unpredictable intervals), we measured ongoing activity fluctuations and evoked responses in volunteers performing a Stroop task with color-word interference.

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Jul
2010

Trial-by-trial variability in perceptual performance on identical stimuli has been related to spontaneous fluctuations in ongoing activity of intrinsic functional connectivity networks (ICNs). In a paradigm requiring sustained vigilance for instance, we previously observed that higher prestimulus activity in a cingulo-insular-thalamic network facilitated subsequent perception. Here, we test our proposed interpretation that this network underpins maintenance of tonic alertness.

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Dec
1969

Ongoing brain activity has been observed since the earliest neurophysiological recordings and is found over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. It is characterized by remarkably large spontaneous modulations. Here, we review evidence for the functional role of these ongoing activity fluctuations and argue that they constitute an essential property of the neural architecture underlying cognition.

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Mar
2010

Perceptual decisions can be made when sensory input affords an inference about what generated that input. Here, we report findings from two independent perceptual experiments conducted during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a sparse event-related design. The first experiment, in the visual modality, involved forced-choice discrimination of coherence in random dot kinematograms that contained either subliminal or periliminal motion coherence.

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Oct
2009

Recent studies have shown that ongoing activity fluctuations influence trial-by-trial perception of identical stimuli. Some brain systems seem to bias toward better perceptual performance and others toward worse. We tested whether these observations generalize to another as of yet unassessed sensory modality, audition, and a nonspatial but memory-dependent paradigm.

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Oct
2009

Despite intense research on the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal underlying functional magnetic resonance imaging, our understanding of its physiological basis is far from complete. In this study, it was investigated whether the so-called poststimulus BOLD signal undershoot is solely a passive vascular effect or actively induced by neural responses. Prolonged static and flickering black-white checkerboard stimulation with isoluminant grey screen as baseline condition were employed on eight human subjects.

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May
2009

To interact with our dynamic environment, the brain merges motion information from auditory and visual senses. However, not only "natural" auditory MOTION, but also "metaphoric" de/ascending PITCH and SPEECH (e.g.

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