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Author: Stephan Heinzel (15)


Dec
1969

Previous research in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has indicated performance decrements in working memory (WM) and response inhibition. However, underlying neural mechanisms of WM deficits are not well understood to date, and empirical evidence for a proposed conceptual link to inhibition deficits is missing. We investigated WM performance in a numeric n-back task with four WM load conditions during functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) in 51 patients with OCD and 49 healthy control participants who were matched for age, sex, and education.

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Feb
2018

Even though cognitive behavioral therapy has become a relatively effective treatment for major depressive disorder and cognitive behavioral therapy-related changes of dysfunctional neural activations were shown in recent studies, remission rates still remain at an insufficient level. Therefore, the implementation of effective augmentation strategies is needed. In recent meta-analyses, exercise therapy (especially endurance exercise) was reported to be an effective intervention in major depressive disorder.

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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

Frontal electroencephalographic alpha asymmetry as an indicator of trait approach and trait inhibition systems has previously been studied in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with mixed results. We explored frontal alpha asymmetry as a possible risk factor in OCD by investigating a large sample of OCD patients (n = 113), healthy control participants (n = 113), and unaffected 1st-degree relatives of OCD patients (n = 37). Additionally, the relationship between OCD symptom dimensions and frontal alpha asymmetry was explored.

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Dec
1969

Age-related decline in executive functions and postural control due to degenerative processes in the central nervous system have been related to increased fall-risk in old age. Many studies have shown cognitive-postural dual-task interference in old adults, but research on the role of specific executive functions in this context has just begun. In this study, we addressed the question whether postural control is impaired depending on the coordination of concurrent response-selection processes related to the compatibility of input and output modality mappings as compared to impairments related to working-memory load in the comparison of cognitive dual and single tasks.

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Sep
2017

Recent evidence indicates that patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as well as their unaffected first-degree relatives show deficits in the volitional control of saccades, suggesting that volitional saccade performance may constitute an endophenotype of OCD. Here, we aimed to replicate and extend these findings in a large, independent sample. One hundred and fifteen patients with OCD, 103 healthy comparison subjects without a family history of OCD, and 31 unaffected first-degree relatives of OCD patients were examined using structured clinical interviews and performed a volitional saccade task as well as a prosaccade task.

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Dec
1969

Working memory (WM) performance declines with age. However, several studies have shown that WM training may lead to performance increases not only in the trained task, but also in untrained cognitive transfer tasks. It has been suggested that transfer effects occur if training task and transfer task share specific processing components that are supposedly processed in the same brain areas.

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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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Dec
1969

The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game "Angry Birds" before performing the n-back working memory task.

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Dec
1969

In recent years, models have been developed that conceive psychotherapy as a self-organizing process of bio-psycho-social systems. These models originate from the theory of self-organization (Synergetics), from the theory of deterministic chaos, or from the approach of self-organized criticality. This process-outcome study examines several hypotheses mainly derived from Synergetics, including the assumption of discontinuous changes in psychotherapy (instead of linear incremental gains), the occurrence of critical instabilities in temporal proximity of pattern transitions, the hypothesis of necessary stable boundary conditions during destabilization processes, and of motivation to change playing the role of a control parameter for psychotherapeutic self-organization.

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Dec
1969

Recent work suggests that a genetic variation associated with increased dopamine metabolism in the prefrontal cortex (catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met; COMT) amplifies age-related changes in working memory performance. Research on younger adults indicates that the influence of dopamine-related genetic polymorphisms on working memory performance increases when testing the cognitive limits through training. To date, this has not been studied in older adults.

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Apr
2014

In therapy processes of a variety of disorders, discontinuous trajectories of symptom changes have been identified. In this study, we are reporting on such 'sudden gains' that occur in the treatment of clients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) following cognitive-behavioral group therapy. Time series analysis of data taken from 18 OCD clients revealed that a discontinuously shaped symptom reduction took place already before exposure/response prevention (ERP) in a large number of clients.

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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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Dec
1969

This study investigates neuronal activation patterns during the psychotherapeutic process, assuming that change dynamics undergo critical instabilities and discontinuous transitions. An internet-based system was used to collect daily self-assessments during inpatient therapies. A dynamic complexity measure was applied to the resulting time series.

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Dec
1969

Previous studies on working memory training have indicated that transfer to non-trained tasks of other cognitive domains may be possible. The aim of this study is to compare working memory training and transfer effects between younger and older adults (n = 60). A novel approach to adaptive n-back training (12 sessions) was implemented by varying the working memory load and the presentation speed.

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