Increase in prefrontal cortex oxygenation during static muscular endurance performance is modulated by self-regulation strategies
2018-10, Wolff, Wanja, Bieleke, Maik, Hirsch, Anna, Wienbruch, Christian, Gollwitzer, Peter M., Schüler, Julia
Enduring physical strain is an important ability and prototypically required in athletic activities. However, little is known about the psychological determinants of endurance performance and their underlying neural mechanisms. Here, we investigated self-regulation as one such factor. We recruited 60 participants who hold intertwined rings for as long as possible while avoiding contacts between them, either with a goal intention or an implementation intention to perform well. Performance was measured in terms of time-to-failure and contact errors. Additionally, we repeatedly assessed ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and pain (RPP) and used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to continuously monitor cerebral oxygenation in dorsal and ventral parts of the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), brain regions associated with effortful attentional control and response inhibition, respectively. Performance, RPE and RPP were similar in the goal and the implementation intention condition. LPFC activity increased over time, but its activation level was generally lower in the implementation intention condition. Both effects were particularly pronounced in the dorsal LPFC. Moreover, the balance between effortful and more automatic regulation seems to differ between self-regulation strategies. Our results indicate that self-regulation plays an important role in endurance performance and that self-regulatory processes during endurance performance might be reflected in LPFC activation.
Oscillatory magnetic brain activity is related to dissociative symptoms and childhood adversities : A study in women with multiple trauma
2017-08, Schalinski, Inga, Moran, James, Elbert, Thomas, Reindl, Vanessa, Wienbruch, Christian
Individuals with trauma-related disorders are complex and heterogeneous; part of this complexity derives from additional psychopathology like dissociation as well as environmental adversities such as traumatic stress, experienced throughout the lifespan. Understanding the neurophysiological abnormalities in Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) requires a simultaneous consideration of these factors.
Resting state magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings were obtained from 41 women with PTSD and comorbid depressive symptoms, and 16 healthy women. Oscillatory brain activity was extracted for five frequency bands and 11 source locations, and analyzed in relation to shutdown dissociation and adversity-related measures.
Dissociative symptoms were related to increased delta and lowered beta power. Adversity-related measures modulated theta and alpha oscillatory power (in particular childhood sexual abuse) and differed between patients and controls.
Findings are based on women with comorbid depressive symptoms and therefore may not be applicable for men or groups with other clinical profiles. In respect to childhood adversities, we had no reliable source for the early infancy.
Trauma-related abnormalities in neural organization vary with both exposure to adversities as well as their potential to evoke ongoing shutdown responses.
Abnormal Oscillatory Brain Responses in Dyslexic children with Poor Categorical Perception
2015, Mohamed, Wessam, Paul, Isabella, Wienbruch, Christian, Robert, Christina, Elbert, Thomas
The condition of dyslexia has been associated with problems in speech perception, particularly in the processing of speech signals (e.g., phonemes). Speech signals contain information on different time scales. For instance, while rapid spectral changes as formant transitions may occur on time scale (20-40ms), syllabic and prosodic information occur on a time scale of (150-300ms). Therefore, the segmentation of the auditory stream into discrete representations is a prerequisite for speech perception, According to Peoppel (2003); the input speech signal has a neural representation that is bilaterally symmetric at an early representational level; however it is elaborated asymmetrically in the time domain. Consequently, it has suggested that temporal integration in different windows is reflected as oscillatory neuronal activity in different frequency bands. In this study, we are testing if the temporal integration is reflected as oscillatory activity in different frequency bands by mapping focal slow waves in the delta (1.5-4Hz) frequency band. We used magnetoencephalographic (MEG) source imaging in a sample of 19 dyslexic children with poor categorical perception and 14 controls while listening passively to syllables /ba/ and /da/. Dyslexic children with poor categorical perception differ significantly in the density of magnetic slow waves produced by the two hemispheres. To illustrate, dyslexic children with poor categorical perception showed elevated production of focally generated slow waves (1-4Hz), predominately in the left hemisphere as compared to controls. The results suggest altered segmentation processes of speech sounds in a subset of children with dyslexia.
A neuronal network model for simulating the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on local field potential power spectra
2012, Bey, Alina, Leue, Stefan, Wienbruch, Christian
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) holds promise as a non-invasive therapy for the treatment of neurological disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, tinnitus, and epilepsy. Complex interdependencies between stimulus duration, frequency and intensity obscure the exact effects of rTMS stimulation on neural activity in the cortex, making evaluation of and comparison between rTMS studies difficult. To explain the influence of rTMS on neural activity (e.g. in the motor cortex), we use a neuronal network model. The results demonstrate that the model adequately explains experimentally observed short term effects of rTMS on the band power in common frequency bands used in electroencephalography (EEG). We show that the equivalent local field potential (eLFP) band power depends on stimulation intensity rather than on stimulation frequency. Additionally, our model resolves contradictions in experiments.
The impact of cognitive training on spontaneous gamma oscillations in schizophrenia
2018-04-06, Popova, Petia, Rockstroh, Brigitte, Miller, Gregory A, Wienbruch, Christian, Carolus, Almut, Popov, Tzvetan G.
Schizophrenia patients exhibit less gamma-frequency EEG/MEG activity (>30 Hz), a finding interpreted as evidence of poor temporal neural organization and functional network communication. Research has shown that neuroplasticity-oriented training can improve task-related oscillatory dynamics, indicating some reorganization capacity in schizophrenia. Demonstrating a generalization of such task training effects to spontaneous oscillations at rest would not only enrich understanding of this neuroplastic potential but inform the interpretation of spontaneous gamma oscillations in the service of normal cognitive function. In the present study, neuromagnetic resting-state oscillatory brain activity and cognitive performance were assessed before and after training in 61 schizophrenia patients, who were randomly assigned to 4 weeks of neuroplasticity-oriented targeted cognitive training or treatment as usual (TAU). Gamma power of 40-90 Hz increased after training, but not after TAU, in a frontoparietal network. Across two types of training, this increase was related to improved cognitive test performance. These results indicate that abnormal oscillatory dynamics in schizophrenia patients manifested in spontaneous gamma activity can be changed with neuroplasticity-oriented training parallel to cognitive performance.
Functional neurological symptoms modulate processing of emotionally salient stimuli
2016-12, Fiess, Johanna, Rockstroh, Brigitte, Schmidt, Roger, Wienbruch, Christian, Steffen, Astrid
Dysfunctional emotion processing has been discussed as a contributing factor to functional neurological symptoms (FNS) in the context of conversion disorder, and refers to blunted recognition and the expression of one's own feelings. However, the emotion processing components characteristic for FNS and/or relevant for conversion remain to be specified. With this goal, the present study targeted the initial, automatic discrimination of emotionally salient stimuli.
The magnetoencephalogram (MEG) was monitored in 21 patients with functional weakness and/or sensory disturbance subtypes of FNS and 21 healthy comparison participants (HC) while they passively watched 600 emotionally arousing, pleasant, unpleasant or neutral stimuli in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) design. Neuromagnetic activity was analyzed 110–330 ms following picture onset in source space for prior defined posterior and central regions of interest
As early as 110 ms and across presentation interval, posterior neural activity modulation by picture category was similar in both groups, despite smaller initial (110–150 ms) overall and posterior power in patients with FNS. The initial activity modulation by picture category was also evident in the left sensorimotor area in patients with FNS, but not significant in HC.
Similar activity modulation by emotional picture category in patients with FNS and HC suggests that the fast, automatic detection of emotional salience is unchanged in patients with FNS, but involves an emotion-processing network spanning posterior and sensorimotor areas.
The individual contribution of DSM 5 symptom clusters of PTSD, life events, and childhood adversity to frontal oscillatory brain asymmetry in a large sample of active combatants
2017-10, Moran, James, Crombach, Anselm, Elbert, Thomas, Nandi, Corina, Bambonyé, Manassé, Wienbruch, Christian, Lommen, Ursula, Weierstall, Roland
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been linked to deviations in lateralized frontal functional oscillatory activity. This is possibly because left and right DLPFC have differential roles in regulating both memory and stress response, which are both dysfunctional in PTSD. However, previous results are heterogeneous, and could be attributable to individual symptom clusters, traumatic or aggressive life events, early life stress, or the interaction of these factors. In a large sample of active combatants (N=401), we regressed these factors on frontal electroencephalography (EEG) asymmetry across 5 frequency bands (delta: 2-4Hz; theta: 4-8Hz; alpha: 8-12Hz; beta: 12-24Hz; gamma: 24-48Hz). Negative cognition and mood was associated with stronger relative left delta and theta band power. Traumatic life events showed stronger right alpha and beta band power. Traumatic life events in interaction with hyperarousal predicted stronger relative right left-right imbalance (theta, alpha, and beta bands), whereas childhood adversity, in interaction with negative cognition and mood, predicted stronger relative left left-right imbalance (delta, theta, alpha and beta bands). The contribution of lateralized DLPFC dysfunction to PTSD is thus dependent on the individual complexities of subsymptom clusters and life history, and future studies need to take these factors into account.
A mechanism of deficient interregional neural communication in schizophrenia
2015-05, Popov, Tzvetan G., Wienbruch, Christian, Meissner, Sarah, Miller, Gregory A., Rockstroh, Brigitte
Cognitive interference control is disrupted in schizophrenia (SZ). Neuroimaging studies relate interference control to 4-7 Hz (theta) neural activity in a network spanning prefrontal, anterior cingulate (ACC), and parietal cortices. The mechanism of communication in this network and how it is disrupted in schizophrenia are unclear. Behavioral performance and EEG theta oscillations were examined in a Stroop color-word interference task in 17 healthy controls (HC) and 14 SZ patients. Color-word incongruence induced less theta power increase in SZ than in HC around 400 ms and 600-900 ms after word onset in ACC, left middle frontal gyrus (MFG), and inferior parietal regions. Coupling of ACC theta phase to MFG gamma amplitude, indexing interregional communication, was weaker in SZ than in HC. Results suggest ACC-MFG theta power modulation as a mechanism of interference control that supports executive function and is disrupted in schizophrenia.
Changing facial affect recognition in schizophrenia : Effects of training on brain dynamics
2014, Popova, Petia, Popov, Tzvetan G., Wienbruch, Christian, Carolus, Almut, Miller, Gregory A., Rockstroh, Brigitte
Deficits in social cognition including facial affect recognition and their detrimental effects on functional outcome are well established in schizophrenia. Structured training can have substantial effects on social cognitive measures including facial affect recognition. Elucidating training effects on cortical mechanisms involved in facial affect recognition may identify causes of dysfunctional facial affect recognition in schizophrenia and foster remediation strategies. In the present study, 57 schizophrenia patientswere randomly assigned to (a) computer-based facial affect training that focused on affect discrimination and working memory in 20 daily 1-hour sessions, (b) similarly intense, targeted cognitive training on auditory-verbal discrimination and working memory, or (c) treatment as usual. Neuromagnetic activity was measured before and after training during a dynamic facial affect recognition task (5 s videos showing human faces gradually changing from neutral to fear or to happy expressions). Effects on 10–13 Hz (alpha) power during the transition from neutral to emotional expressionswere assessed viaMEG based on previous findings that alpha power increase is related to facial affect recognition and is smaller in schizophrenia than in healthy subjects. Targeted affect training improved overt performance on the training tasks. Moreover, alpha power increase during the dynamic facial affect recognition task was larger after affect training than after treatment-as-usual, though similar to that after targeted perceptual–cognitive training, indicating somewhat nonspecific benefits. Alpha power modulationwas unrelated to general neuropsychological test performance, which improved in all groups. Results suggest that specific neural processes supporting facial affect recognition, evident in oscillatory phenomena, are modifiable. This should be considered when developing remediation strategies targeting social cognition in schizophrenia.