22 research outputs found

    Sex differences in brain homotopic co-activations: a meta-analytic study

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    An element of great interest in functional connectivity is ‘homotopic connectivity’ (HC), namely the connectivity between two mirrored areas of the two hemispheres, mainly mediated by the fibers of the corpus callosum. Despite a long tradition of studying sexual dimorphism in the human brain, to our knowledge only one study has addressed the influence of sex on HC. We investigated the issue of homotopic co-activations in women and men using a coordinate-based meta-analytic method and data from the BrainMap database. A first unexpected observation was that the database was affected by a sex bias: women-only groups are investigated less often than men-only ones, and they are more often studied in certain domains such as emotion compared to men, and less in cognition. Implementing a series of sampling procedures to equalize the size and proportion of the datasets, our results indicated that females exhibit stronger interhemispheric co-activation than males, suggesting that the female brain is less lateralized and more integrated than that of males. In addition, males appear to show less intense but more extensive co-activation than females. Some local differences also appeared. In particular, it appears that primary motor and perceptual areas are more co-activated in males, in contrast to the opposite trend in the rest of the brain. This argues for a multidimensional view of sex brain differences and suggests that the issue should be approached with more complex models than previously thought. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s00429-022-02572-0

    Seeking Overlapping Neuroanatomical Alterations between Dyslexia and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Replication Study

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    The present work is a replication article based on the paper “Are there shared neural correlates between dyslexia and ADHD? A meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies” by McGrath and Stoodley (2019). In the original research, the authors used activation likelihood estimation (ALE), a technique to perform coordinate-based meta-analysis (CBMA), to investigate the existence of brain regions undergoing gray matter alteration in association with both attention-deficit/hyper-activity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia. Here, the same voxel-based morphometry dataset was analyzed, while using the permutation-subject images version of signed differential mapping (PSI-SDM) in place of ALE. Overall, the replication converged with the original paper in showing a limited overlap between the two conditions. In particular, no significant effect was found for dyslexia, therefore precluding any form of comparison between the two disorders. The possible influences of biological sex, age, and medication status were also ruled out. Our findings are in line with literature about gray matter alteration associated with ADHD and dyslexia, often showing conflicting results. Therefore, although neuropsychological and clinical evidence suggest some convergence between ADHD and dyslexia, more future research is sorely needed to reach a consensus on the neuroimaging domain in terms of patterns of gray matter alteration

    A co-alteration parceling of the cingulate cortex

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    The cingulate cortex is known to be a complex structure, involved in several cognitive and emotional functions, as well as being altered by a variety of brain disorders. This heterogeneity is reflected in the multiple parceling models proposed in the literature. At the present, sub-regions of the cingulate cortex had been identified taking into account functional and structural connectivity, as well as cytological and electrochemical properties. In the present work, we propose an innovative node-wise parceling approach based on meta-analytic Bayesian co-alteration. To this aim, 193 case–control voxel-based morphometry experiments were analyzed, and the Patel’s Îș index was used to assess probability of morphometric co-alteration between nodes placed in the cingulate cortex and in the rest of the brain. Hierarchical clustering was then applied to identify nodes in the cingulate cortex exhibiting a similar pattern of whole-brain co-alteration. The obtained dendrogram highlighted a robust fronto-parietal cluster compatible with the default mode network, and being supported by the interplay between the retrosplenial cortex and the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, rarely described in the literature. This ensemble was further confirmed by the analysis of functional patterns. Leveraging on co-alteration to investigate cortical organization could, therefore, allow to combine multimodal information, resolving conflicting results sometimes coming from the separate use of singular modalities. Crucially, this provides a valuable way to understand the pathological brain using data driven, whole-brain informed and context-specific evidence in a way not yet explored in the field. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s00429-022-02473-2

    Linking neuroanatomical abnormalities in autism spectrum disorder with gene expression of candidate ASD genes: A meta-analytic and network-oriented approach

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    BACKGROUND: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a set of developmental conditions with widespread neuroanatomical abnormalities and a strong genetic basis. Although neuroimaging studies have indicated anatomical changes in grey matter (GM) morphometry, their associations with gene expression remain elusive. METHODS: Here, we aim to understand how gene expression correlates with neuroanatomical atypicalities in ASD. To do so, we performed a coordinate-based meta-analysis to determine the common GM variation pattern in the autistic brain. From the Allen Human Brain Atlas, we selected eight genes from the SHANK, NRXN, NLGN family and MECP2, which have been implicated with ASD, particularly in regards to altered synaptic transmission and plasticity. The gene expression maps for each gene were built. We then assessed the correlation between the gene expression maps and the GM alteration maps. Lastly, we projected the obtained clusters of GM alteration-gene correlations on top of the canonical resting state networks, in order to provide a functional characterization of the structural evidence. RESULTS: We found that gene expression of most genes correlated with GM alteration (both increase and decrease) in regions located in the default mode network. Decreased GM was also correlated with gene expression of some ASD genes in areas associated with the dorsal attention and cerebellar network. Lastly, single genes were found to be significantly correlated with increased GM in areas located in the somatomotor, limbic and ganglia/thalamus networks. CONCLUSIONS: This approach allowed us to combine the well beaten path of genetic and brain imaging in a novel way, to specifically investigate the relation between gene expression and brain with structural damage, and individuate genes of potential interest for further investigation in the functional domain

    The neural correlates of consciousness and attention: Two sister processes of the brain

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