Browsing by Subject "PREFRONTAL CORTEX"

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  • Haaranen, Mia; Scuppa, Giulia; Tambalo, Stefano; Järvi, Vilja; Bertozzi, Sine M.; Armirotti, Andrea; Sommer, Wolfgang H.; Bifone, Angelo; Hyytiä, Petri (2020)
    The anterior insular cortex plays a key role in the representation of interoceptive effects of drug and natural rewards and their integration with attention, executive function, and emotions, making it a potential target region for intervention to control appetitive behaviors. Here, we investigated the effects of chemogenetic stimulation or inhibition of the anterior insula on alcohol and sucrose consumption. Excitatory or inhibitory designer receptors (DREADDs) were expressed in the anterior insula of alcohol-preferring rats by means of adenovirus-mediated gene transfer. Rats had access to either alcohol or sucrose solution during intermittent sessions. To characterize the brain network recruited by chemogenetic insula stimulation we measured brain-wide activation patterns using pharmacological magnetic resonance imaging (phMRI) and c-Fos immunohistochemistry. Anterior insula stimulation by the excitatory Gq-DREADDs significantly attenuated both alcohol and sucrose consumption, whereas the inhibitory Gi-DREADDs had no effects. In contrast, anterior insula stimulation failed to alter locomotor activity or deprivation-induced water drinking. phMRI and c-Fos immunohistochemistry revealed downstream activation of the posterior insula and medial prefrontal cortex, as well as of the mediodorsal thalamus and amygdala. Our results show the critical role of the anterior insula in regulating reward-directed behavior and delineate an insula-centered functional network associated with the effects of insula stimulation. From a translational perspective, our data demonstrate the therapeutic potential of circuit-based interventions and suggest that potentiation of insula excitability with neuromodulatory methods, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), could be useful in the treatment of alcohol use disorders.
  • Ramsay, Hugh; Barnett, Jennifer H.; Miettunen, Jouko; Mukkala, Sari; Maeki, Pirjo; Liuhanen, Johanna; Murray, Graham K.; Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Ollila, Hanna; Paunio, Tiina; Veijola, Juha (2015)
    Background There is limited research regarding the association between genes and cognitive intermediate phenotypes in those at risk for psychotic disorders. Methods We measured the association between established psychosis risk variants in dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) and cognitive performance in individuals at age 23 years and explored if associations between cognition and these variants differed according to the presence of familial or clinical risk for psychosis. The subjects of the Oulu Brain and Mind Study were drawn from the general population-based Northern Finland 1986 Birth Cohort (NFBC 1986). Using linear regression, we compared the associations between cognitive performance and two candidate DRD2 polymorphisms (rs6277 and rs1800497) between subjects having familial (n=61) and clinical (n=45) risk for psychosis and a random sample of participating NFBC 1986 controls (n=74). Cognitive performance was evaluated using a comprehensive battery of tests at follow-up. Results Principal components factor analysis supported a three-factor model for cognitive measures. The minor allele of rs6277 was associated with poorer performance on a verbal factor (p=0.003) but this did not significantly interact with familial or clinical risk for psychosis. The minor allele of rs1800497 was associated with poorer performance on a psychomotor factor (p=0.038), though only in those at familial risk for psychotic disorders (interaction p=0.049). Conclusion The effect of two DRD2 SNPs on cognitive performance may differ according to risk type for psychosis, suggesting that cognitive intermediate phenotypes differ according to the type (familial or clinical) risk for psychosis.
  • Peteri, Ulla-Kaisa; Niukkanen, Mikael; Castren, Maija L. (2019)
    To an increasing extent, astrocytes are connected with various neuropathologies. Astrocytes comprise of a heterogeneous population of cells with region- and species-specific properties. The frontal cortex exhibits high levels of plasticity that is required for high cognitive functions and memory making this region especially susceptible to damage. Aberrations in the frontal cortex are involved with several cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and frontotemporal dementia. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide an alternative for disease modeling and offer possibilities for studies to investigate pathological mechanisms in a cell type-specific manner. Patient-specific iPSC-derived astrocytes have been shown to recapitulate several disease phenotypes. Addressing astrocyte heterogeneity may provide an improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Laine, Mikaela A.; Sokolowska, Ewa; Dudek, Mateusz; Callan, Saija-Anita; Hyytia, Petri; Hovatta, Iiris (2017)
    Chronic psychosocial stress is a well-established risk factor for neuropsychiatric diseases. Abnormalities in brain activity have been demonstrated in patients with stress-related disorders. Global brain activation patterns during chronic stress exposure are less well understood but may have strong modifying effects on specific brain circuits and thereby influence development of stress-related pathologies. We determined neural activation induced by chronic social defeat stress, a mouse model of psychosocial stress. To assess chronic activation with an unbiased brain-wide focus we used manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) and immunohistochemical staining of Delta FOSB, a transcription factor induced by repeated neural activity. One week after 10-day social defeat we observed significantly more activation in several brain regions known to regulate depressive and anxiety-like behaviour, including the prefrontal cortex, bed nucleus of stria terminalis, ventral hippocampus and periaqueductal grey in stressed compared to control mice. We further established that the correlation of Delta FOSB positive cells between specific brain regions was altered following chronic social defeat. Chronic activation of these neural circuits may relate to persistent brain activity changes occurring during chronic psychosocial stress exposure, with potential relevance for the development of anxiety and depression in humans.
  • Kauttonen, Janne; Hlushchuk, Yevhen; Jaaskelainen, Iiro P.; Tikka, Pia (2018)
    How does the human brain recall and connect relevant memories with unfolding events? To study this, we presented 25 healthy subjects, during functional magnetic resonance imaging, the movie 'Memento' (director C. Nolan). In this movie, scenes are presented in chronologically reverse order with certain scenes briefly overlapping previously presented scenes. Such overlapping "key-frames" serve as effective memory cues for the viewers, prompting recall of relevant memories of the previously seen scene and connecting them with the concurrent scene. We hypothesized that these repeating key-frames serve as immediate recall cues and would facilitate reconstruction of the story piece-by-piece. The chronological version of Memento, shown in a separate experiment for another group of subjects, served as a control condition. Using multivariate event-related pattern analysis method and representational similarity analysis, focal fingerprint patterns of hemodynamic activity were found to emerge during presentation of key-frame scenes. This effect was present in higher-order cortical network with regions including precuneus, angular gyrus, cingulate gyrus, as well as lateral, superior, and middle frontal gyri within frontal poles. This network was right hemispheric dominant. These distributed patterns of brain activity appear to underlie ability to recall relevant memories and connect them with ongoing events, i.e., "what goes with what" in a complex story. Given the real-life likeness of cinematic experience, these results provide new insight into how the human brain recalls, given proper cues, relevant memories to facilitate understanding and prediction of everyday life events.
  • Bonetti, L; Bruzzone, SEP; Sedghi, NA; Haumann, NT; Paunio, T; Kantojarvi, K; Kliuchko, M; Vuust, P; Brattico, E (2021)
    Predicting events in the ever-changing environment is a fundamental survival function intrinsic to the physiology of sensory systems, whose efficiency varies among the population. Even though it is established that a major source of such variations is genetic heritage, there are no studies tracking down auditory predicting processes to genetic mutations. Thus, we examined the neurophysiological responses to deviant stimuli recorded with magnetoencephalography (MEG) in 108 healthy participants carrying different variants of Val158Met single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, responsible for the majority of catecholamines degradation in the prefrontal cortex. Our results showed significant amplitude enhancement of prediction error responses originating from the inferior frontal gyrus, superior and middle temporal cortices in heterozygous genotype carriers (Val/Met) vs homozygous (Val/Val and Met/Met) carriers. Integrating neurophysiology and genetics, this study shows how the neural mechanisms underlying optimal deviant detection vary according to the gene-determined cathecolamine levels in the brain.
  • Pallesen, Karen Johanne; Brattico, Elvira; Bailey, Christopher J.; Korvenoja, Antti; Koivisto, Juha; Gjedde, Albert; Carlson, Synnove (2010)
    Musical competence may confer cognitive advantages that extend beyond processing of familiar musical sounds. Behavioural evidence indicates a general enhancement of both working memory and attention in musicians. It is possible that musicians, due to their training, are better able to maintain focus on task-relevant stimuli, a skill which is crucial to working memory. We measured the blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) activation signal in musicians and non-musicians during working memory of musical sounds to determine the relation among performance, musical competence and generally enhanced cognition. All participants easily distinguished the stimuli. We tested the hypothesis that musicians nonetheless would perform better, and that differential brain activity would mainly be present in cortical areas involved in cognitive control such as the lateral prefrontal cortex. The musicians performed better as reflected in reaction times and error rates. Musicians also had larger BOLD responses than non-musicians in neuronal networks that sustain attention and cognitive control, including regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex, lateral parietal cortex, insula, and putamen in the right hemisphere, and bilaterally in the posterior dorsal prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus. The relationship between the task performance and the magnitude of the BOLD response was more positive in musicians than in non-musicians, particularly during the most difficult working memory task. The results confirm previous findings that neural activity increases during enhanced working memory performance. The results also suggest that superior working memory task performance in musicians rely on an enhanced ability to exert sustained cognitive control. This cognitive benefit in musicians may be a consequence of focused musical training.
  • Kohtala, Henrik Samuel; Theilmann, Wiebke; Rosenholm, Marko; Penna, Leena; Karabulut, Gulsum; Uusitalo, Salla; Järventausta, Kaija; Yli-Hankala, Arvi; Yalcin, Ipek; Matsui, Nobuaki; Wigren, Henna-Kaisa; Rantamäki, Tomi (2019)
    Rapid antidepressant effects of ketamine become most evident when its psychotomimetic effects subside, but the neurobiological basis of this lag remains unclear. Laughing gas (N2O), another NMDA-R (N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor) blocker, has been reported to bring antidepressant effects rapidly upon drug discontinuation. We took advantage of the exceptional pharmacokinetic properties of N2O to investigate EEG (electroencephalogram) alterations and molecular determinants of antidepressant actions during and immediately after NMDA-R blockade. Effects of the drugs on brain activity were investigated in C57BL/6 mice using quantitative EEG recordings. Western blot and qPCR were used for molecular analyses. Learned helplessness (LH) was used to assess antidepressant-like behavior. Immediate-early genes (e.g., bdnf) and phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinasemarkers of neuronal excitabilitywere upregulated during N2O exposure. Notably, phosphorylation of BDNF receptor TrkB and GSK3 (glycogen synthase kinase 3) became regulated only gradually upon N2O discontinuation, during a brain state dominated by slow EEG activity. Subanesthetic ketamine and flurothyl-induced convulsions (reminiscent of electroconvulsive therapy) also evoked slow oscillations when their acute pharmacological effects subsided. The correlation between ongoing slow EEG oscillations and TrkB-GSK3 signaling was further strengthened utilizing medetomidine, a hypnotic-sedative agent that facilitates slow oscillations directly through the activation of (2)-adrenergic autoreceptors. Medetomidine did not, however, facilitate markers of neuronal excitability or produce antidepressant-like behavioral changes in LH. Our results support a hypothesis that transient cortical excitability and the subsequent regulation of TrkB and GSK3 signaling during homeostatic emergence of slow oscillations are critical components for rapid antidepressant responses.
  • Siebenhuhner, Felix; Wang, Sheng H.; Palva, J. Matias; Palva, Satu (2016)
    Neuronal activity in sensory and fronto-parietal (FP) areas underlies the representation and attentional control, respectively, of sensory information maintained in visual working memory (VWM). Within these regions, beta/gamma phase-synchronization supports the integration of sensory functions, while synchronization in theta/alpha bands supports the regulation of attentional functions. A key challenge is to understand which mechanisms integrate neuronal processing across these distinct frequencies and thereby the sensory and attentional functions. We investigated whether such integration could be achieved by cross-frequency phase synchrony (CFS). Using concurrent magneto- and electroencephalography, we found that CFS was load-dependently enhanced between theta and alpha gamma and between alpha and beta-gamma oscillations during VWM maintenance among visual, FP, and dorsal attention (DA) systems. CFS also connected the hubs of within-frequency-synchronized networks and its strength predicted individual VWM capacity. We propose that CFS integrates processing among synchronized neuronal networks from theta to gamma frequencies to link sensory and attentional functions.
  • Semenova, Svetlana; Rozov, Stanislav; Panula, Pertti (2017)
    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT; EC 2.1.1.6) is an enzyme with multiple functions in vertebrates. COMT methylates and thus inactivates catecholamine neurotransmitters and metabolizes xenobiotic catechols. Gene polymorphism rs4680 that influences the enzymatic activity of COMT affects cognition and behavior in humans. The zebrafish is widely used as an experimental animal in many areas of biomedical research, but most aspects of COMT function in this species have remained uncharacterized. We hypothesized that both comt genes play essential roles in zebrafish. Both comt-a and comt-b were widely expressed in zebrafish tissues, but their relative abundance varied considerably. Homogenates of zebra fish organs, including the brain, showed enzymatic COMT activity that was the highest in the liver and kidney. Treatment of larval zebrafish with the COMT inhibitor Ro41-0960 shifted the balance of catecholamine metabolic pathways towards increased oxidative metabolism. Whole-body concentrations of dioxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), a product of dopamine oxidation, were increased in the inhibitor treated larvae, although the dopamine levels were unchanged. Thus, COMT is likely to participate in the processing of catecholamine neurotransmitters in the zebrafish, but the inhibition of COMT in larval fish is compensated efficiently and does not have pronounced effects on dopamine levels. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Maria, Ambika; Shekhar, Shashank; Nissilä, Ilkka; Kotilahti, Kalle; Huotilainen, Minna; Karlsson, Linnea; Karlsson, Hasse; Tuulari, Jetro J. (2018)
    Emotional stimuli processing during childhood helps us to detect salient cues in our environment and prepares us for our social life. In early childhood, the emotional valences of auditory and visual input are salient and relevant cues of social aspects of the environment, and it is of special interest to understand how exactly the processing ofemotional stimuli develops. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a noninvasive neuroimaging tool that has proven valuable in studying emotional processing in children. After conducting a systematic search of PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase databases, we examined 50 NIRS studies performed to study emotional stimuli processing in children in the first 2 years of age. We found that the majority of these studies are done in infants and the most commonly used stimuli are visual and auditory. Many of the reviewed studies suggest the involvement of bilateral temporal areas in emotional processing of visual and auditory stimuli. It is unclear which neural activation patterns reflect maturation and at what age the emotional encoding reaches those typically seen in adults. Our review provides an overview of the database on emotional processing in children up to 2 years of age. Furthermore, it demonstrates the need to include the less-studied age range of 1 to 2 years, and suggests the use of combined audio-visual stimuli and longitudinal studies for future research on emotional processing in children. Thus, NIRS might be a vital tool to study the associations between the early pattern of neural responses and socioemotional development later in life.
  • Bhandage, Amol K.; Jin, Zhe; Bazov, Igor; Kononenko, Olga; Bakalkin, Georgy; Korpi, Esa R.; Birnir, Bryndis (2014)
  • Ukkola-Vuoti, Liisa; Kanduri, Chakravarthi; Oikkonen, Jaana; Buck, Gemma; Blancher, Christine; Raijas, Pirre; Karma, Kai; Lahdesmaki, Harri; Järvelä, Irma (2013)
  • Komulainen, Emilia; Zdrojewska, Justyna; Freemantle, Erika; Mohammad, Hasan; Kulesskaya, Natalia; Deshpande, Prasannakumar; Marchisella, Francesca; Mysore, Raghavendra; Hollos, Patrik; Michelsen, Kimmo A.; Magard, Mats; Rauvala, Heikki; James, Peter; Coffey, Eleanor T. (2014)
  • Kohtala, Henrik Samuel; Theilmann, Wiebke; Rosenholm, Marko Petteri; Müller, Heidi K.; Kiuru, Paula Sinikka; Wegener, Gregers; Yli-Kauhaluoma, Jari Tapani; Rantamäki, Tomi Pentti Johannes (2019)
    Subanesthetic rather than anesthetic doses are thought to bring the rapid antidepressant effects of the NMDAR (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor) antagonist ketamine. Among molecular mechanisms, activation of BDNF receptor TrkB along with the inhibition of GSK3 beta (glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta) are considered as critical molecular level determinants for ketamine's antidepressant effects. Hydroxynorketamines (2R,6R)-HNK and (2S,6S) HNK), non-anesthetic metabolites of ketamine, have been proposed to govern the therapeutic effects of ketamine through a mechanism not involving NMDARs. However, we have shown that nitrous oxide, another NMDAR blocking anesthetic and a putative rapid-acting antidepressant, evokes TrkB-GSK3 beta signaling alterations during rebound slow EEG (electroencephalogram) oscillations. We investigated here the acute effects of ketamine, 6,6-d(2)-ketamine (a ketamine analogue resistant to metabolism) and cis-HNK that contains (2R,6R) and (2S,6S) enantiomers in 1:1 ratio, on TrkB-GSK3 beta signaling and concomitant electroencephalographic (EEG) alterations in the adult mouse cortex. Ketamine dose-dependently increased slow oscillations and phosphorylations of TrkB(Y816) and GSK3 beta(59) in crude brain homogenates (i.e. sedative/anesthetic doses ( > 50 mg/kg, i.p.) produced more prominent effects than a subanesthetic dose (10 mg/kg, i.p.)). Similar, albeit less obvious, effects were seen in crude synaptosomes. A sedative dose of 6,6-d(2)-ketamine (100 mg/kg, i.p.) recapitulated the effects of ketamine on TrkB and GSK3 beta phosphorylation while cis-HNK at a dose of 20 mg/kg produced negligible acute effects on TrkB-GSK3 beta signaling or slow oscillations. These findings suggest that the acute effects of ketamine on TrkB-GSK3 beta signaling are by no means restricted to subanesthetic (i.e. antidepressant) doses and that cis-HNK is not responsible for these effects.
  • Barnes, Anna; Isohanni, Matti; Barnett, Jennifer H.; Pietiläinen, Olli; Veijola, Juha; Miettunen, Jouko; Paunio, Tiina; Tanskanen, Paivikki; Ridler, Khanum; Suckling, John; Bullmore, Edward T.; Murray, Graham K.; Jones, Peter B. (2012)
  • Leppä, Elli; Linden, Anni-Maija; Vekovischeva, Olga Y.; Swinny, Jerome D.; Rantanen, Ville; Toppila, Esko; Hoeger, Harald; Sieghart, Werner; Wulff, Peer; Wisden, William; Korpi, Esa R. (2011)
  • Sokka, Laura; Leinikka, Marianne; Korpela, Jussi; Henelius, Andreas; Lukander, Jani; Pakarinen, Satu; Alho, Kimmo; Huotilainen, Minna (2017)
    Individuals with prolonged occupational stress often report difficulties in concentration. Work tasks often require the ability to switch back and forth between different contexts. Here, we studied the association between job burnout and task switching by recording event-related potentials (ERPs) time-locked to stimulus onset during a task with simultaneous cue-target presentation and unpredictable switches in the task. Participants were currently working people with severe, mild, or no burnout symptoms. In all groups, task performance was substantially slower immediately after task switch than during task repetition. However, the error rates were higher in the severe burnout group than in the mild burnout and control groups. Electrophysiological data revealed an increased parietal P3 response for the switch trials relative to repetition trials. Notably, the response was smaller in amplitude in the severe burnout group than in the other groups. The results suggest that severe burnout is associated with inadequate processing when rapid shifting of attention between tasks is required resulting in less accurate performance. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Komulainen, Emma; Glerean, Enrico; Meskanen, Katarina; Heikkila, Roope; Nummenmaa, Lauri; Raij, Tuukka; Lahti, Jari; Jylhä, Pekka; Melartin, Tarja; Isometsa, Erkki; Ekelund, Jesper (2017)
    The link between neurotransmitter-level effects of antidepressants and their clinical effect remain poorly understood. A single dose of mirtazapine decreases limbic responses to fearful faces in healthy subjects, but it is unknown whether this effect applies to complex emotional situations and dynamic connectivity between brain regions. Thirty healthy volunteers listened to spoken emotional narratives during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In an open-label design, 15 subjects received 15 mg of mirtazapine two hours prior to fMRI while 15 subjects served as a control group. We assessed the effects of mirtazapine on regional neural responses and dynamic functional connectivity associated with valence and arousal. Mirtazapine attenuated responses to unpleasant events in the right fronto-insular cortex, while modulating responses to arousing events in the core limbic regions and the cortical midline structures (CMS). Mirtazapine decreased responses to unpleasant and arousing events in sensorimotor areas and the anterior CMS implicated in self-referential processing and formation of subjective feelings. Mirtazapine increased functional connectivity associated with positive valence in the CMS and limbic regions. Mirtazapine triggers large-scale changes in regional responses and functional connectivity during naturalistic, emotional stimuli. These span limbic, sensorimotor, and midline brain structures, and may be relevant to the clinical effectiveness of mirtazapine.