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    Gamma Oscillations During Episodic Memory Processing Provide Evidence for Functional Specialization in the Longitudinal Axis of the Human Hippocampus
    (Wiley, 2018-11-05) Lin, Jui-Jui; Umbach, Gray; Rugg, Michael D.; Lega, Bradley; Rugg, Michael D.
    The question of whether the anterior and posterior hippocampus serve different or complementary functional roles during episodic memory processing has been motivated by noteworthy findings in rodent experiments and from noninvasive studies in humans. Researchers have synthesized these data to postulate several models of functional specialization, However, the issue has not been explored in detail using direct brain recordings. We recently published evidence that theta power increases during episodic memory encoding occur in the posterior hippocampus in humans. In our current investigation we analyzed an expanded data set of 32 epilepsy patients undergoing stereo EEG seizure mapping surgery with electrodes precisely targeted to the anterior and posterior hippocampus simultaneously who performed an episodic memory task. Using a repeated measures design, we looked for an interaction between encoding versus retrieval differences in gamma oscillatory power and anterior versus posterior hippocampal location. Our findings are consistent with a recently articulated model (the HERNET model) favoring posterior hippocampal activation during retrieval related processing. We also tested for encoding versus retrieval differences in the preferred gamma frequency band (high versus low gamma oscillations) motivated by published rodent data.
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    ASL-MRICloud: An Online Tool for the Processing of ASL MRI Data
    (Wiley, 2018-12-26) Li, Yang; Liu, Peiying; Li, Yue; Fan, Hongli; Su, Pan; Peng, Shin-Lei; Park, Denise C.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Jiang, Hangyi; Faria, Andreia V.; Ceritoglu, Can; Miller, Michael; Mori, Susumu; Lu, Hanzhang; 74141364 (Park, DC); Park, Denise C.; Rodrigue, Karen M.
    Arterial spin labeling (ASL) MRI is increasingly used in research and clinical settings. The purpose of this work is to develop a cloud-based tool for ASL data processing, referred to as ASL-MRICloud, which may be useful to the MRI community. In contrast to existing ASL toolboxes, which are based on software installation on the user's local computer, ASL-MRICloud uses a web browser for data upload and results download, and the computation is performed on the remote server. As such, this tool is independent of the user's operating system, software version, and CPU speed. The ASL-MRICloud tool was implemented to be compatible with data acquired by scanners from all major MRI manufacturers, is capable of processing several common forms of ASL, including pseudo-continuous ASL and pulsed ASL, and can process single-delay and multi-delay ASL data. The outputs of ASL-MRICloud include absolute and relative values of cerebral blood flow, arterial transit time, voxel-wise masks indicating regions with potential hyper-perfusion and hypo-perfusion, and an image quality index. The ASL tool is also integrated with a T₁-based brain segmentation and normalization tool in MRICloud to allow generation of parametric maps in standard brain space as well as region-of-interest values. The tool was tested on a large data set containing 309 ASL scans as well as on publicly available ASL data from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) study.
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    Frontostriatal White Matter Connectivity: Age Differences and Associations with Cognition and BOLD Modulation
    (Elsevier Inc., 2020-06-07) Webb Christina E.; Hoagey, David A.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Kennedy, Kristen M.; 0000-0001-5373-9026 (Kennedy, KM); Webb Christina E.; Hoagey, David A.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Kennedy, Kristen M.
    Despite the importance of cortico-striatal circuits to cognition, investigation of age effects on the structural circuitry connecting these regions is limited. The current study examined age effects on frontostriatal white matter connectivity, and identified associations with both executive function performance and dynamic modulation of blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) activation to task difficulty in a lifespan sample of 169 healthy humans aged 20–94 years. Greater frontostriatal diffusivity was associated with poorer executive function and this negative association strengthened with increasing age. Whole-brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analyses additionally indicated an association between frontostriatal mean diffusivity and BOLD modulation to difficulty selectively in the striatum across 2 independent fMRI tasks. This association was moderated by age, such that younger- and middle-aged individuals showed reduced dynamic range of difficulty modulation as a function of increasing frontostriatal diffusivity. Together these results demonstrate the importance of age-related degradation of frontostriatal circuitry on executive functioning across the lifespan, and highlight the need to capture brain changes occurring in early-to middle-adulthood.
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    Genetic Predisposition for Inflammation Exacerbates Effects of Striatal Iron Content on Cognitive Switching Ability in Healthy Aging
    (Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science, 2018-10-25) Daugherty, Ana M.; Hoagey, David A.; Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; 0000-0001-5373-9026 (Kennedy, KM); Hoagey, David A.; Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.
    Non-heme iron homeostasis interacts with inflammation bidirectionally, and both contribute to age-related decline in brain structure and function via oxidative stress. Thus, individuals with genetic predisposition for inflammation may be at greater risk for brain iron accumulation during aging and more vulnerable to cognitive decline. We examine this hypothesis in a lifespan sample of healthy adults (N = 183, age 20 - 94 years) who underwent R2*-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to estimate regional iron content and genotyping of interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), a pro-inflammatory cytokine for which the T allelle of the single nucleotide polymorphism increases risk for chronic neuroinflammation. Older age was associated with greater striatal iron content that in turn accounted for poorer cognitive switching performance. Heterozygote IL-1β T-carriers demonstrated poorer switching performance in relation to striatal iron content as compared to IL-1β C/C counterparts, despite the two groups being of similar age. With increasing genetic inflammation risk, homozygote IL-1β T/T carriers had lesser age-related variance in striatal iron content as compared to the other groups but showed a similar association of greater striatal iron content predicting poorer cognitive switching. Non-heme iron and inflammation, although necessary for normal neuronal function, both promote oxidative stress that when accumulated in excess, drives a complex mechanism of neural and cognitive decline in aging.
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    The Relationship Between Age, Neural Differentiation, and Memory Performance
    (Society for Neuroscience, 2018-11-02) Koen, Joshua D.; Hauck, Nedra; Rugg, Michael D.; 0000-0002-7286-5084 (Koen, JD); 0000-0002-0397-5749 (Rugg, MD); Koen, Joshua D.; Hauck, Nedra; Rugg, Michael D.
    Healthy aging is associated with decreased neural selectivity (dedifferentiation) in category-selective cortical regions. This finding has prompted the suggestion that dedifferentiation contributes to age-related cognitive decline. Consistent with this possibility, dedifferentiation has been reported to negatively correlate with fluid intelligence in older adults. Here, we examined whether dedifferentiation is associated with performance in another cognitive domain- episodic memory-that is also highly vulnerable to aging. Given the proposed role of dedifferentiation in age-related cognitive decline, we predicted there would be a stronger link between dedifferentiation and episodic memory performance in older than in younger adults. Young (18 -30 years) and older (64 -75 years) male and female humans underwent fMRI scanning while viewing images of objects and scenes before a subsequent recognition memory test. We computed a differentiation index in two regions of interest (ROIs): parahippocampal place area (PPA) and lateral occipital complex (LOC). This index quantified the selectivity of the BOLD response to preferred versus nonpreferred category of an ROI (scenes for PPA, objects for LOC). The differentiation index in the PPA, but not the LOC, was lower in older than in younger adults. Additionally, the PPA differentiation index predicted recognition memory performance for the studied items. This relationship was independent of and not moderated by age. The PPA differentiation index also predicted performance on a latent "fluency" factor derived from a neuropsychological test battery; this relationship was also age invariant. These findings suggest that two independent factors, one associated with age, and the other with cognitive performance, influence neural differentiation.
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    Frontoparietal Cortical Thickness Mediates the Effect of COMT Val¹⁵⁸Met Polymorphism on Age-Associated Executive Function
    (Elsevier Science Inc, 2018-09-21) Miranda, Giuseppe G.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Kennedy, Kristen M.; 0000-0001-5373-9026 (Kennedy, KM); Miranda, Giuseppe G.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Kennedy, Kristen M.
    Proper dopamine (DA) signaling is likely necessary for maintaining optimal cognitive performance as we age, particularly in prefrontal-parietal networks and in fronto-striatal networks. Thus, reduced DA availability is a salient risk factor for accelerated cognitive aging. A common polymorphism that affects DA D1 receptor dopamine availability, COMT Val¹⁵⁸Met (rs4680), influences enzymatic breakdown of DA, with COMT Val carriers having a 3- to 4-fold reduction in synaptic DA compared to COMT Met carriers. Furthermore, dopamine receptors and postsynaptic availability are drastically reduced with aging, as is executive function performance that ostensibly relies on these pathways. Here, we investigated in 176 individuals aged 20-94 years whether: (1) COMT Val carriers differ from their Met counterparts in thickness of regional cortices receiving D1 receptor pathways: prefrontal, parietal, cingulate cortices; (2) this gene-brain association differs across the adult lifespan; and (3) COMT-related regional thinning evidences cognitive consequences. We found that COMT Val carriers evidenced thinner cortex in prefrontal, parietal, and posterior cingulate cortices than COMT Met carriers and this effect was not age-dependent. Further, we demonstrate that thickness of these regions significantly mediates the effect of COMT genotype on an executive function composite measure. These results suggest that poorer executive function performance is due partly to thinner association cortex in dopaminergic-rich regions, and particularly so in individuals who are genetically predisposed to lower postsynaptic dopamine availability, regardless of age.
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    Progress Update from the Hippocampal Subfields Group
    (Elsevier Inc., 2019-06-13) Olsen, R. K.; Carr, V. A.; Daugherty, A. M.; La Joie, R.; Amaral, R. S. C.; Amunts, K.; Augustinack, J. C.; Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Hippocampal Subfields Group; Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.
    Introduction: Heterogeneity of segmentation protocols for medial temporal lobe regions and hippocampal subfields on in vivo magnetic resonance imaging hinders the ability to integrate findings across studies. We aim to develop a harmonized protocol based on expert consensus and histological evidence. Methods: Our international working group, funded by the EU Joint Programme–Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND), is working toward the production of a reliable, validated, harmonized protocol for segmentation of medial temporal lobe regions. The working group uses a novel postmortem data set and online consensus procedures to ensure validity and facilitate adoption. Results: This progress report describes the initial results and milestones that we have achieved to date, including the development of a draft protocol and results from the initial reliability tests and consensus procedures. Discussion: A harmonized protocol will enable the standardization of segmentation methods across laboratories interested in medial temporal lobe research worldwide. ©2019 The Authors
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    High-Fidelity Mapping of Repetition-Related Changes in the Parietal Memory Network
    (Elsevier Inc., 2019-06-05) Gilmore, A. W.; Nelson, Steven M.; Laumann, T. O.; Gordon, Evan M.; Berg, J. J.; Greene, D. J.; Gratton, C.; Nguyen, A. L.; Ortega, M.; Hoyt, C. R.; Coalson, R. S.; Schlaggar, B. L.; Petersen, S. E.; Dosenbach, N. U. F.; McDermott, K. B.; Nelson, Steven M.; Gordon, Evan M.
    fMRI studies of human memory have identified a “parietal memory network” (PMN) that displays distinct responses to novel and familiar stimuli, typically deactivating during initial encoding but robustly activating during retrieval. The small size of PMN regions, combined with their proximity to the neighboring default mode network, makes a targeted assessment of their responses in highly sampled subjects important for understanding information processing within the network. Here, we describe an experiment in which participants made semantic decisions about repeatedly-presented stimuli, assessing PMN BOLD responses as items transitioned from experimentally novel to repeated. Data are from the highly-sampled subjects in the Midnight Scan Club dataset, enabling a characterization of BOLD responses at both the group and single-subject level. Across all analyses, PMN regions deactivated in response to novel stimuli and displayed changes in BOLD activity across presentations, but did not significantly activate to repeated items. Results support only a portion of initially hypothesized effects, in particular suggesting that novelty-related deactivations may be less susceptible to attentional/task manipulations than are repetition-related activations within the network. This in turn suggests that novelty and familiarity may be processed as separable entities within the PMN. © 2019 The Authors
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    Learning Efficiency: Identifying Individual Differences in Learning Rate and Retention in Healthy Adults
    (Sage Publications Inc.) Zerr, C. L.; Berg, J. J.; Nelson, Steven M.; Fishell, A. K.; Savalia, Neil K.; McDermott, K. B.; Nelson, Steven M.; Savalia, Neil K.
    People differ in how quickly they learn information and how long they remember it, yet individual differences in learning abilities within healthy adults have been relatively neglected. In two studies, we examined the relation between learning rate and subsequent retention using a new foreign-language paired-associates task (the learning-efficiency task), which was designed to eliminate ceiling effects that often accompany standardized tests of learning and memory in healthy adults. A key finding was that quicker learners were also more durable learners (i.e., exhibited better retention across a delay), despite studying the material for less time. Additionally, measures of learning and memory from this task were reliable in Study 1 (N = 281) across 30 hr and Study 2 (N = 92; follow-up n = 46) across 3 years. We conclude that people vary in how efficiently they learn, and we describe a reliable and valid method for assessing learning efficiency within healthy adults.
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    Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the Left Angular Gyrus During Encoding Does not Impair Associative Memory Performance
    (Routledge) Koen, Joshua D.; Thakral, P. P.; Rugg, Michael D.; Koen, Joshua D.; Rugg, Michael D.
    The left angular gyrus (AG) is thought to play a critical role in episodic retrieval and has been implicated in the recollection of specific details of prior episodes. Motivated by recent fMRI studies in which it was reported that elevated neural activity in left AG during study is predictive of subsequent associative memory, the present study investigated whether the region plays a causal role in associative memory encoding. Participants underwent online transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) while encoding word pairs prior to an associative memory test. We predicted that TMS to left AG during encoding would result in reduced subsequent memory accuracy, especially for estimates of recollection. The results did not support this prediction: estimates of both recollection and familiarity-driven recognition were essentially identical for words pairs encoded during TMS to left AG relative to a vertex control site. These results suggest that the left AG may not play a necessary role in associative memory encoding. TMS to left AG did however affect confidence for incorrect ‘intact’ judgments to rearranged pairs and incorrect ‘rearranged’ judgments to intact pairs. These findings suggest that the left AG supports encoding processes that contribute to aspects of subjective mnemonic experience. © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
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    Socioeconomic Status Moderates Age-Related Differences in the Brain's Functional Network Organization and Anatomy Across the Adult Lifespan
    Chan, Micaela Y.; Na, Jinkyung; Agres, Phillip F.; Savalia, Neil K.; Park, Denise C.; Wig, Gagan S.; 74141364 (Park, DC); Chan, Micaela Y.; Agres, Phillip F.; Savalia, Neil K.; Park, Denise C.; Wig, Gagan S.
    An individual's environmental surroundings interact with the development and maturation of their brain. An important aspect of an individual's environment is his or her socioeconomic status (SES), which estimates access to material resources and social prestige. Previous characterizations of the relation between SES and the brain have primarily focused on earlier or later epochs of the lifespan (i.e., childhood, older age). We broaden this work to examine the relationship between SES and the brain across a wide range of human adulthood (20-89 years), including individuals from the less studied middle-age range. SES, defined by education attainment and occupational socioeconomic characteristics, moderates previously reported age-related differences in the brain's functional network organization and whole-brain cortical structure. Across middle age (35-64 years), lower SES is associated with reduced resting-state system segregation (a measure of effective functional network organization). A similar but less robust relationship exists between SES and age with respect to brain anatomy: Lower SES is associated with reduced cortical gray matter thickness in middle age. Conversely, younger and older adulthood do not exhibit consistent SES-related difference in the brain measures. The SES-brain relationships persist after controlling for measures of physical and mental health, cognitive ability, and participant demographics. Critically, an individual's childhood SES cannot account for the relationship between their current SES and functional network organization. These findings provide evidence that SES relates to the brain's functional network organization and anatomy across adult middle age, and that higher SES may be a protective factor against age-related brain decline.
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    Moral Judgement by the Disconnected Left and Right Cerebral Hemispheres: A Split-Brain Investigation
    (2017-07-26) Steckler, Conor M.; Hamlin, J. Kiley; Miller, Michael B.; King, Danielle; Kingstone, Alan; King, Danielle
    Owing to the hemispheric isolation resulting from a severed corpus callosum, research on split-brain patients can help elucidate the brain regions necessary and sufficient for moral judgement. Notably, typically developing adults heavily weight the intentions underlying others' moral actions, placing greater importance on valenced intentions versus outcomes when assigning praise and blame. Prioritization of intent in moral judgements may depend on neural activity in the right hemisphere's temporoparietal junction, an area implicated in reasoning about mental states. To date, split-brain research has found that the right hemisphere is necessary for intentbased moral judgement. When testing the left hemisphere using linguistically based moral vignettes, split-brain patients evaluate actions based on outcomes, not intentions. Because the right hemisphere has limited language ability relative to the left, and morality paradigms to date have involved significant linguistic demands, it is currently unknown whether the right hemisphere alone generates intent-based judgements. Here we use nonlinguistic morality plays with split-brain patient J.W. to examine the moral judgements of the disconnected right hemisphere, demonstrating a clear focus on intent. This finding indicates that the right hemisphere is not only necessary but also sufficient for intent-based moral judgement, advancing research into the neural systems supporting the moral sense.
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    Differential Aging Trajectories of Modulation of Activation to Cognitive Challenge in APOEε4 Groups: Reduced Modulation Predicts Poorer Cognitive Performance
    Foster, Chris M.; Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; 0000-0001-5373-9026 (Kennedy, KM); Foster, Chris M.; Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.
    The present study was designed to investigate the effect of a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), ApolipoproteinE ε4 (APOEε4), on the ability of the brain to modulate activation in response to cognitive challenge in a lifespan sample of healthy human adults. A community-based sample of 181 cognitively intact, healthy adults were recruited from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Thirty-oneAPOEε4+ individuals (48% women), derived from the parent sample, were matched based on sex, age, and years of education to 31 individuals who were APOEε4-negative (APOEε4-). Ages ranged from 20 to 86 years of age. Blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging was collected during the performance of a visuospatial distance judgment task with three parametric levels of difficulty. Multiple regression was used in a whole-brain analysis with age, APOE group, and their interaction predicting functional brain modulation in response to difficulty. Results revealed an interaction between age and APOE in a large cluster localized primarily to the bilateral precuneus. APOEε4- individuals exhibited age-invariant modulation in response to task difficulty, whereas APOEε4- individuals showed age-related reduction of modulation in response to increasing task difficulty compared with ε4- individuals. Decreased modulation in response to cognitive challenge was associated with reduced task accuracy as well as poorer name-face associative memory performance. Findings suggest that APOEε4 is associated with a reduction in the ability of the brain to dynamically modulate in response to cognitive challenge. Coupled with a significant genetic risk factor for AD, changes in modulation may provide additional information toward identifying individuals potentially at risk for cognitive decline associated with preclinical AD.
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    Are There Multiple Kinds of Episodic Memory? An fMRI Investigation Comparing Autobiographical and Recognition Memory Tasks
    (Society for Neuroscience, 2018-08-20) Chen, H. -Y; Gilmore, A. W.; Nelson, Steven M.; McDermott, K. B.; Nelson, Steven M.
    What brain regions underlie retrieval from episodic memory? The bulk of research addressing this question with fMRI has relied upon recognition memory for materials encoded within the laboratory. Another, less dominant tradition has used autobiographical methods, whereby people recall events from their lifetime, often after being cued with words or pictures. The current study addresses how the neural substrates of successful memory retrieval differed as a function of the targeted memory when the experimental parameters were held constant in the two conditions (except for instructions). Human participants studied a set of scenes and then took two types of memory test while undergoing fMRI scanning. In one condition (the picture memory test), participants reported for each scene (32 studied, 64 nonstudied) whether it was recollected from the prior study episode. In a second condition (the life memory test), participants reported for each scene (32 studied, 64 nonstudied) whether it reminded them of a specific event from their preexperimental lifetime. An examination of successful retrieval (yes responses) for recently studied scenes for the two test types revealed pronounced differences; that is, autobiographical retrieval instantiated with the life memory test preferentially activated the default mode network, whereas hits in the picture memory test preferentially engaged the parietal memory network as well as portions of the frontoparietal control network. When experimental cueing parameters are held constant, the neural underpinnings of successful memory retrieval differ when remembering life events and recently learned events.
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    To Switch or Not to Switch: Role of Cognitive Control in Working Memory Training in Older Adults
    (Frontiers Media SA) Basak, Chandramallika; O'Connell, Margaret A.; 0000 0001 2852 4218 (Basak, C)
    It is currently not known what are the best working memory training strategies to offset the age-related declines in fluid cognitive abilities. In this randomized clinical double-blind trial, older adults were randomly assigned to one of two types of working memory training one group was trained on a predictable memory updating task (PT) and another group was trained on a novel, unpredictable memory updating task (UT). Unpredictable memory updating, compared to predictable, requires greater demands on cognitive control (Basak and Verhaeghen, 2011a). Therefore, the current study allowed us to evaluate the role of cognitive control in working memory training. All participants were assessed on a set of near and far transfer tasks at three different testing sessions before training, immediately after the training, and 1.5 months after completing the training. Additionally, individual learning rates for a comparison working memory task (performed by both groups) and the trained task were computed. Training on unpredictable memory updating, compared to predictable, significantly enhanced performance on a measure of episodic memory, immediately after the training. Moreover, individuals with faster learning rates showed greater gains in this episodic memory task and another new working memory task; this effect was specific to UT. We propose that the unpredictable memory updating training, compared to predictable memory updating training, may a better strategy to improve selective cognitive abilities in older adults, and future studies could further investigate the role of cognitive control in working memory training.
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    Altered Cerebellar Connectivity in Parkinson's Patients ON and OFF L-DOPA Medication
    (Frontiers Research Foundation, 2015-04-21) Festini, Sara B.; Bernard, Jessica A.; Kwak, Youngbin; Peltier, Scott; Bohnen, Nicolaas I.; Müller, Martijn,L.T.M.; Dayalu, Praveen; Seidler, Rachael D.
    Although nigrostriatal changes are most commonly affiliated with Parkinson's disease, the role of the cerebellum in Parkinson's has become increasingly apparent. The present study used lobule-based cerebellar resting state functional connectivity to (1) compare cerebellar-whole brain and cerebellar-cerebellar connectivity in Parkinson's patients both ON and OFF L-DOPA medication and controls, and to (2) relate variations in cerebellar connectivity to behavioral performance. Results indicated that, when contrasted to the control group, Parkinson's patients OFF medication had increased levels of cerebellar-whole brain and cerebellar-cerebellar connectivity, whereas Parkinson's patients ON medication had decreased levels of cerebellar-whole brain and cerebellar-cerebellar connectivity. Moreover, analyses relating levels of cerebellar connectivity to behavioral measures demonstrated that, within each group, increased levels of connectivity were most often associated with improved cognitive and motor performance, but there were several instances where increased connectivity was related to poorer performance. Overall, the present study found medication-variant cerebellar connectivity in Parkinson's patients, further demonstrating cerebellar changes associated with Parkinson's disease and the moderating effects of medication.;
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    Decreased Segregation of Brain Systems across the Healthy Adult Lifespan
    (National Academy of Science) Chan, Micaela Y.; Park, Denise C.; Savalia, Neil K.; Petersen, Steven E.; Wig, Gagan S.; 0000 0000 0265 9301 (Park, DC); 92048764 (Park, DC); 74141364 (Park, DC)
    Healthy aging has been associated with decreased specialization in brain function. This characterization has focused largely on describing age-accompanied differences in specialization at the level of neurons and brain areas. We expand this work to describe systems-level differences in specialization in a healthy adult lifespan sample (n = 210; 20-89 y). A graph-theoretic framework is used to guide analysis of functional MRI resting-state data and describe systems-level differences in connectivity of individual brain networks. Young adults' brain systems exhibit a balance of within-and between-system correlations that is characteristic of segregated and specialized organization. Increasing age is accompanied by decreasing segregation of brain systems. Compared with systems involved in the processing of sensory input and motor output, systems mediating "associative" operations exhibit a distinct pattern of reductions in segregation across the adult lifespan. Of particular importance, the magnitude of association system segregation is predictive of long-term memory function, independent of an individual's age.
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    Network Complexity as a Measure of Information Processing across Resting-State Networks: Evidence from the Human Connectome Project
    (Frontiers Research Foundation, 2014-06-10) McDonough, Ian M.; Nashiro, Kaoru
    An emerging field of research focused on fluctuations in brain signals has provided evidence that the complexity of those signals, as measured by entropy, conveys important information about network dynamics (e.g., local and distributed processing). While much research has focused on how neural complexity differs in populations with different age groups or clinical disorders, substantially less research has focused on the basic understanding of neural complexity in populations with young and healthy brain states. The present study used resting-state fMRI data from the Human Connectome Project (Van Essen et al., 2013) to test the extent that neural complexity in the BOLD signal, as measured by multiscale entropy (1) would differ from random noise, (2) would differ between four major resting-state networks previously associated with higher-order cognition, and (3) would be associated with the strength and extent of functional connectivity-a complementary method of estimating information processing. We found that complexity in the BOLD signal exhibited different patterns of complexity from white, pink, and red noise and that neural complexity was differentially expressed between resting-state networks, including the default mode, cingulo-opercular, left and right frontoparietal networks. Lastly, neural complexity across all networks was negatively associated with functional connectivity at fine scales, but was positively associated with functional connectivity at coarse scales. The present study is the first to characterize neural complexity in BOLD signals at a high temporal resolution and across different networks and might help clarify the inconsistencies between neural complexity and functional connectivity, thus informing the mechanisms underlying neural complexity. ;
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    Comparison of the Neural Correlates of Encoding Item-Item and Item-Context Associations
    Wong, Jenny X.; de Chastelaine, Marianne; Rugg, Michael D.; 0000 0001 1596 5452 (Rugg, MD); 92008261‏ (Rugg)
    fMRI was employed to investigate the role of the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) in the encoding of item-item and item-context associations. On each of a series of study trials subjects viewed a picture that was presented either to the left or right of fixation, along with a subsequently presented word that appeared at fixation. Memory was tested in a subsequent memory test that took place outside of the scanner. On each test trial one of two forced choice judgments was required. For the associative test, subjects chose between the word paired with the picture at study and a word studied on a different trial. For the source test, the judgment was whether the picture had been presented on the left or right. Successful encoding of associative information was accompanied by subsequent memory effects in several cortical regions, including much of the LIFG. By contrast, successful source encoding was selectively associated with a subsequent memory effect in right fusiform cortex. The finding that the LIFG was enhanced during successful associative, but not source, encoding is interpreted in light of the proposal that subsequent memory effects are localized to cortical regions engaged by the on-line demands of the study task.;
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    Age-Related Similarities and Differences in Brain Activity Underlying Reversal Learning
    (2013-05-29) Nashiro, Kaoru; Sakaki, Michiko; Nga, Lin; Mather, Mara
    The ability to update associative memory is an important aspect of episodic memory and a critical skill for social adaptation. Previous research with younger adults suggests that emotional arousal alters brain mechanisms underlying memory updating; however, it is unclear whether this applies to older adults. Given that the ability to update associative information declines with age, it is important to understand how emotion modulates the brain processes underlying memory updating in older adults. The current study investigated this question using reversal learning tasks, where younger and older participants (age ranges 19-35 and 61-78, respectively) learn a stimulus-outcome association and then update their response when contingencies change. We found that younger and older adults showed similar patterns of activation in the frontopolar OFC and the amygdala during emotional reversal learning. In contrast, when reversal learning did not involve emotion, older adults showed greater parietal cortex activity than did younger adults. Thus, younger and older adults show more similarities in brain activity during memory updating involving emotional stimuli than during memory updating not involving emotional stimuli.;