Browsing by Subject "WORKING-MEMORY"

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  • Peltonen, Kati; Vartiainen, Matti; Laitala-Leinonen, Tiina; Koskinen, Sanna; Luoto, Teemu; Pertab, Jon; Hokkanen, Laura (2019)
    Previous research has reported lower cognitive test scores on baseline testing in athletes reporting multiple previous concussions or a history of learning disability (LD). Age also has an important influence on cognitive performance. While these factors have been considered individually in previous studies, the present study is the first to explore the interaction of age, self-reported LD, and history of concussion on baseline Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT (R)) in a nationwide study of adolescent athletes. ImPACT (R) was administered to 1823 Finnish male ice hockey players (aged 12-21 years old) prior to the 2015-2016 or 2016-2017 playing seasons. Linear regressions and simple slopes analyses were used for clarifying the impact of LD and previous concussion history on maturational trajectories. In comparison to typically developing athletes, athletes with LD had lower neurocognitive scores in all composites and differing maturational trajectory in verbal memory and visual motor speed. The number of previous concussions did not impair neurocognitive performance at baseline assessment. Application of standard age-based norms to adolescent athletes with a history of LD has the potential to negatively skew clinical decision-making. Separate reference values for LD athletes are warranted due to their unique developmental cognitive trajectories. The reference values for the Finnish participants in this study are presented.
  • Holm, Marja E.; Aunio, Pirjo; Björn, Piia M.; Klenberg, Liisa; Korhonen, Johan; Hannula, Markku S. (2018)
    This study investigates behavioral executive functions (EFs) in the mathematics classroom context among adolescents with different mathematics performance levels. The EF problems were assessed by teachers using a behavioral rating inventory. Using cutoff scores on a standardized mathematics assessment, groups with mathematics difficulties (MD; n = 124), low mathematics performance (LA; n = 140), and average or higher scores (AC; n = 355) were identified. Results showed that the MD group had more problems with distractibility, directing attention, shifting attention, initiative, execution of action, planning, and evaluation than the LA group, whereas the differences in hyperactivity, impulsivity, and sustaining attention were not significant. Compared to the AC group, the MD group showed more problems with all behavioral EFs except hyperactivity and impulsivity, while the LA group showed more problems only with shifting attention. Male adolescents showed more behavioral EF problems than female adolescents, but this gender difference was negligible within the MD group. The practical implications of the results are discussed.
  • Pentikäinen, Emmi; Pitkäniemi, Anni; Siponkoski, Sini-Tuuli; Jansson, Maarit; Louhivuori, Jukka; Johnson, Julene K.; Paajanen, Teemu; Särkämö, Teppo (2021)
    Background and objectives Choir singing has been associated with better mood and quality of life (QOL) in healthy older adults, but little is known about its potential cognitive benefits in aging. In this study, our aim was to compare the subjective (self-reported) and objective (test-based) cognitive functioning of senior choir singers and matched control subjects, coupled with assessment of mood, QOL, and social functioning. Research design and methods We performed a cross-sectional questionnaire study in 162 healthy older (age >= 60 years) adults (106 choir singers, 56 controls), including measures of cognition, mood, social engagement, QOL, and role of music in daily life. The choir singers were divided to low (1-10 years, N = 58) and high (>10 years, N = 48) activity groups based on years of choir singing experience throughout their life span. A subcohort of 74 participants (39 choir singers, 35 controls) were assessed also with a neuropsychological testing battery. Results In the neuropsychological testing, choir singers performed better than controls on the verbal flexibility domain of executive function, but not on other cognitive domains. In questionnaires, high activity choir singers showed better social integration than controls and low activity choir singers. In contrast, low activity choir singers had better general health than controls and high activity choir singers. Discussion and implications In healthy older adults, regular choir singing is associated with better verbal flexibility. Long-standing choir activity is linked to better social engagement and more recently commenced choir activity to better general health.
  • Ylinen, Sari; Nora, Anni; Service, Elisabet (2020)
    Language learning relies on both short-term and long-term memory. Phonological short-term memory (pSTM) is thought to play an important role in the learning of novel word forms. However, language learners may differ in their ability to maintain word representations in pSTM during interfering auditory input. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate how pSTM capacity in better and poorer pSTM groups is linked to language learning and the maintenance of pseudowords in pSTM. In particular, MEG was recorded while participants maintained pseudowords in pSTM by covert speech rehearsal, and while these brain representations were probed by presenting auditory pseudowords with first or third syllables matching or mismatching the rehearsed item. A control condition included identical stimuli but no rehearsal. Differences in response strength between matching and mismatching syllables were interpreted as the phonological mapping negativity (PMN). While PMN for the first syllable was found in both groups, it was observed for the third syllable only in the group with better pSTM. This suggests that individuals with better pSTM maintained representations of trisyllabic pseudowords more accurately during interference than individuals with poorer pSTM. Importantly, the group with better pSTM learned words faster in a paired-associate word learning task, linking the PMN findings to language learning.
  • Heinonen, Jarmo; Numminen, Jussi; Hlushchuk, Yevhen; Antell, Henrik; Taatila, Vesa; Suomala, Jyrki (2016)
    Scientific findings have suggested a two-fold structure of the cognitive process. By using the heuristic thinking mode, people automatically process information that tends to be invariant across days, whereas by using the explicit thinking mode people explicitly process information that tends to be variant compared to typical previously learned information patterns. Previous studies on creativity found an association between creativity and the brain regions in the prefrontal cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex, the default mode network and the executive network. However, which neural networks contribute to the explicit mode of thinking during idea generation remains an open question. We employed an fMRI paradigm to examine which brain regions were activated when participants (n = 16) mentally generated alternative uses for everyday objects. Most previous creativity studies required participants to verbalize responses during idea generation, whereas in this study participants produced mental alternatives without verbalizing. This study found activation in the left anterior insula when contrasting idea generation and object identification. This finding suggests that the insula (part of the brain's salience network) plays a role in facilitating both the central executive and default mode networks to activate idea generation. We also investigated closely the effect of the serial order of idea being generated on brain responses: The amplitude of fMRI responses correlated positively with the serial order of idea being generated in the anterior cingulate cortex, which is part of the central executive network. Positive correlation with the serial order was also observed in the regions typically assigned to the default mode network: the precuneus/ cuneus, inferior parietal lobule and posterior cingulate cortex. These networks support the explicit mode of thinking and help the individual to convert conventional mental models to new ones. The serial order correlated negatively with the BOLD responses in the posterior presupplementarymotor area, left premotor cortex, right cerebellum and left inferior frontal gyrus. This finding might imply that idea generation without a verbal processing demand reflecting lack of need for new object identification in idea generation events. The results of the study are consistent with recent creativity studies, which emphasize that the creativity process involves working memory capacity to spontaneously shift between different kinds of thinking modes according to the context.
  • Mononen, Riikka; Niemivirta, Markku; Korhonen, Johan; Lindskog, Marcus; Tapola, Anna (2022)
    We investigated the levels of and changes in mathematics anxiety (MA), symbolic numerical magnitude processing (SNMP) and arithmetic skills, and how those changes are linked to each other. Children's (n = 264) MA, SNMP and arithmetic skills were measured in Grade 1, and again in Grade 2, also including a mathematics performance test. All three constructs correlated significantly within each time point, and the rank-order stability over time was high, particularly in SNMP and arithmetic skills. By means of latent change score modelling, we found overall increases in SNMP and arithmetic skills over time, but not in MA. Most interestingly, changes in arithmetic skills and MA were correlated (i.e. steeper increase in arithmetic skills was linked with less steep increase in MA), as were changes in SNMP and arithmetic skills (i.e. improvement in SNMP was associated with improvement in arithmetic skills). Only the initial level of arithmetic skills and change in it predicted mathematics performance. The only gender difference, in favour of boys, was found in SNMP skills. The differential effects associated with MA (developmentally only linked with arithmetic skills) and gender (predicting only changes in SNMP) call for further longitudinal research on the different domains of mathematical skills.
  • Alho, Kimmo; Moisala, Mona; Salmela-Aro, Katariina (2022)
    The increasing use of digital technology among adolescents and young adults has led to concerns about possible detrimental effects on cognitive and brain functions. Indeed, as reviewed here, according to behavioral and brain-imaging studies, excessive media multitasking (i.e., using different digital media in parallel) may lead to enhanced distractibility and problems in maintaining attention. However, frequent video gaming may be beneficial for the development of working memory, task switching, and attention skills. All these cognitive skills depend on executive cognitive functions. Stitt scant but gradually cumulating brain-imaging results suggest that the negative effects of frequent media multitasking and the positive effects of frequent video gaming on cognitive skills in adolescents and young adults are mediated by effects on the frontal lobes, implicated in executive cognitive functions and still developing even through early adulthood.
  • He, Bin; Astolfi, Laura; Valdes-Sosa, Pedro Antonio; Marinazzo, Daniele; Palva, Satu O.; Benar, Christian-George; Michel, Christoph M.; Koenig, Thomas (2019)
    We review the theory and algorithms of electrophysiological brain connectivity analysis. This tutorial is aimed at providing an introduction to brain functional connectivity from electrophysiological signals, including electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography, electrocorticography, and stereoelectroencephalography. Various connectivity estimators are discussed, and algorithms introduced. Important issues for estimating and mapping brain functional connectivity with electrophysiology are discussed.
  • Salmela, Elina; Renvall, Hanna; Kujala, Jan; Hakosalo, Osmo; Illman, Mia; Vihla, Minna; Leinonen, Eira; Salmelin, Riitta; Kere, Juha (2016)
    Several functional and morphological brain measures are partly under genetic control. The identification of direct links between neuroimaging signals and corresponding genetic factors can reveal cellular-level mechanisms behind the measured macroscopic signals and contribute to the use of imaging signals as probes of genetic function. To uncover possible genetic determinants of the most prominent brain signal oscillation, the parieto-occipital 10-Hz alpha rhythm, we measured spontaneous brain activity with magnetoencephalography in 210 healthy siblings while the subjects were resting, with eyes closed and open. The reactivity of the alpha rhythm was quantified from the difference spectra between the two conditions. We focused on three measures: peak frequency, peak amplitude and the width of the main spectral peak. In accordance with earlier electroencephalography studies, spectral peak amplitude was highly heritable (h(2)>0.75). Variance component-based analysis of 28000 single-nucleotide polymorphism markers revealed linkage for both the width and the amplitude of the spectral peak. The strongest linkage was detected for the width of the spectral peak over the left parieto-occipital cortex on chromosome 10 (LOD=2.814, nominal P
  • Sysoeva, Olga V.; Lange, Elke B.; Sorokin, Alexander B.; Campbell, Tom (2015)
    Visual search and oddball paradigms were combined to investigate memory for to-be-ignored color changes in a group of 12 healthy participants. The onset of unexpected color change of an irrelevant stimulus evoked two reliable ERP effects: a component of the event-related potential (ERP), similar to the visual mismatch negativity response (vMMN), with a latency of 120-160 ms and a posterior distribution over the left hemisphere and Late Fronto-Central Negativity (LFCN) with a latency of 320-400 ms, apparent at fronto-central electrodes and some posterior sites. Color change of that irrelevant stimulus also slowed identification of a visual target, indicating distraction. The amplitude of this color-change vMMN, but not LFCN, indexed this distraction effect. That is, electrophysiological and behavioral measures were correlated. The interval between visual scenes approximated 1 s (611-1629 ms), indicating that the brain's sensory memory for the color of the preceding visual scenes must persist for at least 600 ms. Therefore, in the case of the neural code for color, durable memory representations are formed in an obligatory manner. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Hartung, Henrike; Cichon, Nicole; De Feo, Vito; Riemann, Stephanie; Schildt, Sandra; Lindemann, Christoph; Mulert, Christoph; Gogos, Joseph A.; Hanganu-Opatz, Ileana L. (2016)
    Cognitive deficits represent a major burden of neuropsychiatric disorders and result in part from abnormal communication within hippocampal-prefrontal circuits. While it has been hypothesized that this network dysfunction arises during development, long before the first clinical symptoms, experimental evidence is still missing. Here, we show that pre-juvenile mice mimicking genetic and environmental risk factors of disease (dual-hit GE mice) have poorer recognition memory that correlates with augmented coupling by synchrony and stronger directed interactions between prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The network dysfunction emerges already during neonatal development, yet it initially consists in a diminished hippocampal theta drive and consequently, a weaker and disorganized entrainment of local prefrontal circuits in discontinuous oscillatory activity in dual-hit GE mice when compared with controls. Thus, impaired maturation of functional communication within hippocampal-prefrontal networks switching from hypo- to hyper-coupling may represent a mechanism underlying the pathophysiology of cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders.
  • Palva, J. Matias; Palva, Satu (2018)
    Neuronal oscillations and their inter-areal synchronization may be instrumental in regulating neuronal communication in distributed networks. Several lines of research have, however, shown that cognitive tasks engage neuronal oscillations simultaneously in multiple frequency bands that have distinct functional roles in cognitive processing. Gamma oscillations (30-120Hz) are associated with bottom-up processing, while slower oscillations in delta (1-4Hz), theta (4-7Hz), alpha (8-14Hz) and beta (14-30Hz) frequency bands may have roles in executive or top-down controlling functions, although also other distinctions have been made. Identification of the mechanisms that integrate such spectrally distributed processing and govern neuronal communication among these networks is crucial for understanding how cognitive functions are achieved in neuronal circuits. Cross-frequency interactions among oscillations have been recognized as a likely candidate mechanism for such integration. We advance here the hypothesis that phase-phase synchronization of neuronal oscillations in two different frequency bands, cross-frequency phase synchrony (CFS), could serve to integrate, coordinate and regulate neuronal processing distributed into neuronal assemblies concurrently in multiple frequency bands. A trail of studies over the past decade has revealed the presence of CFS among cortical oscillations and linked CFS with roles in cognitive integration. We propose that CFS could connect fast and slow oscillatory networks and thereby integrate distributed cognitive functions such as representation of sensory information with attentional and executive functions.
  • Ukkola-Vuoti, L.; Torniainen-Holm, M.; Ortega-Alonso, A.; Sinha, V.; Tuulio-Henriksson, A.; Paunio, T.; Lönnqvist, J.; Suvisaari, J.; Hennah, W. (2019)
    Schizophrenia is a heterogeneous disorder characterized by a spectrum of symptoms and many different underlying causes. Thus, instead of using the broad diagnosis, intermediate phenotypes can be used to possibly decrease the underlying complexity of the disorder. Alongside the classical symptoms of delusions and hallucinations, cognitive deficits are a core feature of schizophrenia. To increase our understanding of the biological processes related to these cognitive deficits, we performed a genome-wide gene expression analysis. A battery of 14 neuropsychological tests was administered to 844 individuals from a Finnish familial schizophrenia cohort. We grouped the applied neuropsychological tests into five factors for further analysis. Cognitive endophenotypes, whole blood mRNA, genotype, and medication use data were studied from 47 individuals. Expression level of several RNA probes were significantly associated with cognitive performance. The factor representing Verbal Working Memory was associated with altered expression levels of 11 probes, of which one probe was also associated with a specific sub-measure of this factor (WMS-R Digit span backward). While, the factor Processing speed was related to one probe, which additionally associated among 55 probes with a specific sub-measure of this factor (WAIS-R Digit symbol). Two probes were associated with the measure recognition memory performance. Enrichment analysis of these differentially expressed probes highlighted immunological processes. Our findings are in line with genome-wide genetic discoveries made in schizophrenia, suggesting that immunological processes may be of biological interest for future drug design towards schizophrenia and the cognitive dysfunctions that underlie it.
  • Siebenhühner, Felix; Wang, Sheng H.; Arnulfo, Gabriele; Lampinen, Anna; Nobili, Lino; Palva, J. Matias; Palva, Satu (2020)
    Phase synchronization of neuronal oscillations in specific frequency bands coordinates anatomically distributed neuronal processing and communication. Typically, oscillations and synchronization take place concurrently in many distinct frequencies, which serve separate computational roles in cognitive functions. While within-frequency phase synchronization has been studied extensively, less is known about the mechanisms that govern neuronal processing distributed across frequencies and brain regions. Such integration of processing between frequencies could be achieved via cross-frequency coupling (CFC), either by phase-amplitude coupling (PAC) or by n:m-cross-frequency phase synchrony (CFS). So far, studies have mostly focused on local CFC in individual brain regions, whereas the presence and functional organization of CFC between brain areas have remained largely unknown. We posit that interareal CFC may be essential for large-scale coordination of neuronal activity and investigate here whether genuine CFC networks are present in human resting-state (RS) brain activity. To assess the functional organization of CFC networks, we identified brain-wide CFC networks at mesoscale resolution from stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) and at macroscale resolution from source-reconstructed magnetoencephalography (MEG) data. We developed a novel, to our knowledge, graph-theoretical method to distinguish genuine CFC from spurious CFC that may arise from nonsinusoidal signals ubiquitous in neuronal activity. We show that genuine interareal CFC is present in human RS activity in both SEEG and MEG data. Both CFS and PAC networks coupled theta and alpha oscillations with higher frequencies in large-scale networks connecting anterior and posterior brain regions. CFS and PAC networks had distinct spectral patterns and opposing distribution of low- and high-frequency network hubs, implying that they constitute distinct CFC mechanisms. The strength of CFS networks was also predictive of cognitive performance in a separate neuropsychological assessment. In conclusion, these results provide evidence for interareal CFS and PAC being 2 distinct mechanisms for coupling oscillations across frequencies in large-scale brain networks.
  • Teivaanmäki, Sini; Huhdanpää, Hanna; Kiuru, Noona; Aronen, Eeva T.; Närhi, Vesa; Klenberg, Liisa (2020)
    The aim of the present study was to investigate associations between internalizing and externalizing symptoms and deficits in executive functions (EF) as well as to examine the overall heterogeneity of EFs in a sample of preschool children attending a psychiatric clinic (n = 171). First, based on cut-off points signifying clinical levels of impairment on the parent-completed Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), children were assigned into groups of internalizing, externalizing, combined or mild symptoms and compared to a reference group (n = 667) with regard to day care teacher ratings of EFs on the Attention and Executive Function Rating Inventory-Preschool (ATTEX-P). Second, latent profile analysis (LPA) was employed to identify distinct subgroups of children representing different EF profiles with unique strengths and weaknesses in EFs. The first set of analyses indicated that all symptom groups had more difficulties in EFs than the reference group did, and the internalizing group had less inhibition-related problems than the other symptom groups did. Using LPA, five EF profiles were identified: average, weak average, attentional problems, inhibitory problems, and overall problems. The EF profiles were significantly associated with gender, maternal education level, and psychiatric symptom type. Overall, the findings suggest that the comparison of means of internalizing and externalizing groups mainly captures the fairly obvious differences in inhibition-related domains among young psychiatric outpatient children, whereas the person-oriented approach, based on individual differences, identifies heterogeneity related to attentional functions, planning, and initiating one's action. The variability in EF difficulties suggests that a comprehensive evaluation of a child's EF profile is important regardless of the type of psychiatric symptoms the child presents with.
  • Ölander, K.; Muukkonen, I.; Saarela, T. P.; Salmela, V. R. (2019)
    Simple visual items and complex real-world objects are stored into visual working memory as a collection of independent features, not as whole or integrated objects. Storing faces into memory might differ, however, since previous studies have reported perceptual and memory advantage for whole faces compared to other objects. We investigated whether facial features can be integrated in a statistically optimal fashion and whether memory maintenance disrupts this integration. The observers adjusted a probe - either a whole face or isolated features (eyes or mouth region) - to match the identity of a target while viewing both stimuli simultaneously or after a 1.5 second retention period. Precision was better for the whole face compared to the isolated features. Perceptual precision was higher than memory precision, as expected, and memory precision further declined as the number of memorized items was increased from one to four. Interestingly, the whole-face precision was better predicted by models assuming injection of memory noise followed by integration of features than by models assuming integration of features followed by the memory noise. The results suggest equally weighted or optimal integration of facial features and indicate that feature information is preserved in visual working memory while remembering faces.
  • Wikman, Patrik; Rinne, Teemu (2019)
    A number of previous studies have implicated regions in posterior auditory cortex (AC) in auditory-motor integration during speech production. Other studies, in turn, have shown that activation in AC and adjacent regions in the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) is strongly modulated during active listening and depends on task requirements. The present fMRI study investigated whether auditory-motor effects interact with those related to active listening tasks in AC and IPL. In separate task blocks, our subjects performed either auditory discrimination or 2-back memory tasks on phonemic or nonphonemic vowels. They responded to targets by either overtly repeating the last vowel of a target pair, overtly producing a given response vowel, or by pressing a response button. We hypothesized that the requirements for auditory-motor integration, and the associated activation, would be stronger during repetition than production responses and during repetition of nonphonemic than phonemic vowels. We also hypothesized that if auditory-motor effects are independent of task-dependent modulations, then the auditory-motor effects should not differ during discrimination and 2-back tasks. We found that activation in AC and IPL was significantly modulated by task (discrimination vs. 2-back), vocal-response type (repetition vs. production), and motor-response type (vocal vs. button). Motor-response and task effects interacted in IPL but not in AC. Overall, the results support the view that regions in posterior AC are important in auditory-motor integration. However, the present study shows that activation in wide AC and IPL regions is modulated by the motor requirements of active listening tasks in a more general manner. Further, the results suggest that activation modulations in AC associated with attention-engaging listening tasks and those associated with auditory-motor performance are mediated by independent mechanisms.
  • Siebenhuehner, Felix; Weiss, Shennan A.; Coppola, Richard; Weinberger, Daniel R.; Bassett, Danielle S. (2013)
  • Sokka, Laura; Leinikka, Marianne; Korpela, Jussi; Henelius, Andreas; Ahonen, Lauri; Alain, Claude; Alho, Kimmo; Huotilainen, Minna (2016)
    Individuals with job burnout symptoms often report having cognitive difficulties, but related electrophysiological studies are scarce. We assessed the impact of burnout on performing a visual task with varying memory loads, and on involuntary attention switch to distractor sounds using scalp recordings of event-related potentials (ERPs). Task performance was comparable between burnout and control groups. The distractor sounds elicited a P3a response, which was reduced in the burnout group. This suggests burnout-related deficits in processing novel and potentially important events during task performance. In the burnout group, we also observed a decrease in working-memory related P3b responses over posterior scalp and increase over frontal areas. These results suggest that burnout is associated with deficits in cognitive control needed to monitor and update information in working memory. Successful task performance in burnout might require additional recruitment of anterior regions to compensate the decrement in posterior activity. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.