Browsing by Subject "FRONTAL-CORTEX"

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  • Guirado, Ramon; Perez-Rando, Marta; Ferragud, Antonio; Gutierrez-Castellanos, Nicolas; Umemori, Juzoh; Carceller, Hector; Nacher, Juan; Castillo-Gómez, Esther (2020)
    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been classically defined as the brain region responsible for higher cognitive functions, including the decision-making process. Ample information has been gathered during the last 40 years in an attempt to understand how it works. We now know extensively about the connectivity of this region and its relationship with neuromodulatory ascending projection areas, such as the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) or the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Both areas are well-known regulators of the reward-based decision-making process and hence likely to be involved in processes like evidence integration, impulsivity or addiction biology, but also in helping us to predict the valence of our future actions: i.e., what is “good” and what is “bad.” Here we propose a hypothesis of a critical period, during which the inputs of the mPFC compete for target innervation, establishing specific prefrontal network configurations in the adult brain. We discuss how these different prefrontal configurations are linked to brain diseases such as addiction or neuropsychiatric disorders, and especially how drug abuse and other events during early life stages might lead to the formation of more vulnerable prefrontal network configurations. Finally, we show different promising pharmacological approaches that, when combined with the appropriate stimuli, will be able to re-establish these functional prefrontocortical configurations during adulthood.
  • Lahtinen, Alexandra; Puttonen, Sampsa; Vanttola, Päivi; Viitasalo, Katriina; Sulkava, Sonja; Pervjakova, Natalia; Joensuu, Anni; Salo, Perttu; Toivola, Auli; Härmä, Mikko; Milani, Lili; Perola, Markus; Paunio, Tiina (2019)
    Short sleep duration or insomnia may lead to an increased risk of various psychiatric and cardio-metabolic conditions. Since DNA methylation plays a critical role in the regulation of gene expression, studies of differentially methylated positions (DMPs) might be valuable for understanding the mechanisms underlying insomnia. We performed a cross-sectional genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation in relation to self-reported insufficient sleep in individuals from a community-based sample (79 men, aged 39.3 +/- 7.3), and in relation to shift work disorder in an occupational cohort (26 men, aged 44.9 +/- 9.0). The analysis of DNA methylation data revealed that genes corresponding to selected DMPs form a distinctive pathway: "Nervous System Development" (FDR P value <0.05). We found that 78% of the DMPs were hypomethylated in cases in both cohorts, suggesting that insufficient sleep may be associated with loss of DNA methylation. A karyoplot revealed clusters of DMPs at various chromosomal regions, including 12 DMPs on chromosome 17, previously associated with Smith-Magenis syndrome, a rare condition comprising disturbed sleep and inverse circadian rhythm. Our findings give novel insights into the DNA methylation patterns associated with sleep loss, possibly modifying processes related to neuroplasticity and neurodegeneration. Future prospective studies are needed to confirm the observed associations.
  • Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnove; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo (2015)
  • Jiang, Ping; Vuontela, Virve; Tokariev, Maksym; Lin, Hai; Aronen, Eeva T.; Ma, YuanYe; Carlson, Synnöve (2018)
    Earlier studies on adults have shown that functional connectivity (FC) of brain networks can vary depending on the brain state and cognitive challenge. Network connectivity has been investigated quite extensively in children in resting state, much less during tasks and is largely unexplored between these brain states. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging and independent component analysis to investigate the functional architecture of large-scale brain networks in 16 children (aged 7-11 years, 11 males) and 16 young adults (aged 22-29 years, 10 males) during resting state and visual working memory tasks. We identified the major neurocognitive intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs) in both groups. Children had stronger FC than adults within the cingulo-opercular network in resting state, during task performance, and after controlling for performance differences. During tasks, children had stronger FC than adults also within the default mode (DMN) and right frontoparietal (rFPN) networks, and between the anterior DMN and the frontopolar network, whereas adults had stronger coupling between the anterior DMN and rFPN. Furthermore, children compared to adults modulated the FC strength regarding the rFPN differently between the brain states. The FC within the anterior DMN correlated with age and performance in children so that the younger they were, the stronger was the FC, and the stronger the FC within this network, the slower they performed the tasks. The group differences in the network connectivity reported here, and the observed correlations with task performance, provide insight into the normative development of the preadolescent brain and link maturation of functional connectivity with improving cognitive performance.
  • Gogulski, Juha; Zetter, Rasmus; Nyrhinen, Mikko; Pertovaara, Antti; Carlson, Synnove (2017)
    The human prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been shown to be important for metacognition, the capacity to monitor and control one's own cognitive processes. Here we dissected the neural architecture of somatosensory metacognition using navigated single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to modulate tactile working memory (WM) processing. We asked subjects to perform tactile WM tasks and to give a confidence rating for their performance after each trial. We circumvented the challenge of interindividual variability in functional brain anatomy by applying TMS to two PFC areas that, according to tractography, were neurally connected with the primary somatosensory cortex (S1): one area in the superior frontal gyrus (SFG), another in the middle frontal gyrus (MFG). These two PFC locations and a control cortical area were stimulated during both spatial and temporal tactile WM tasks. We found that tractography-guided TMS of the SFG area selectively enhanced metacognitive accuracy of tactile temporal, but not spatial WM. Stimulation of the MFG area that was also neurally connected with the S1 had no such effect on metacognitive accuracy of either the temporal or spatial tactile WM. Our findings provide causal evidence that the PFC contains distinct neuroanatomical substrates for introspective accuracy of tactile WM.