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Estimating frontal and parietal involvement in cognitive estimation: a study of focal neurodegenerative diseases

By Teagan Ann Bisbing, Christopher A Olm, Corey T. McMillan, Katya eRascovsky, Laura eBaehr, Kylie eTernes, David J Irwin, Robin eClark and Murray eGrossman

Abstract

We often estimate an unknown value based on available relevant information, a process known as cognitive estimation. In this study, we assess the cognitive and neuroanatomic basis for quantitative estimation by examining deficits in patients with focal neurodegenerative disease in frontal and parietal cortex. Executive function and number knowledge are key components in cognitive estimation. Prefrontal cortex has been implicated in multilevel reasoning and planning processes, and parietal cortex has been associated with number knowledge required for such estimations. We administered the Biber Cognitive Estimation Test (BCET) to assess cognitive estimation in 22 patients with prefrontal disease due to behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), to 17 patients with parietal disease due to corticobasal syndrome (CBS) or posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and 11 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Both bvFTD and CBS/PCA patients had significantly more difficulty with cognitive estimation than controls. MCI were not impaired on BCET relative to controls. Regression analyses related BCET performance to gray matter atrophy in right lateral prefrontal and orbital frontal cortices in bvFTD, and to atrophy in right inferior parietal cortex, right insula and fusiform cortices in CBS/PCA. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that a frontal-parietal network plays a crucial role in cognitive estimation

Topics: Corticobasal Syndrome, posterior cortical atrophy, Cognitive estimation, Parietal cortices, behavioral variant frontotemporal degeneration, prefrontal cortices
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00317
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:14b1c91d52e94842826b5ccb67cc2ac8
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