129 research outputs found

    The cerebral cortex and complex cerebral functions

    No full text

    Handedness modulates proprioceptive drift in the rubber hand illusion

    Get PDF
    Preference for use of either the left or right hand (‘handedness’) has been linked with modulations of perception and sensory processing—both of space and the body. Here we ask whether multisensory integration of bodily information also varies as a function of handedness. We created a spatial disparity between visual and somatosensory hand position information using the rubber hand illusion, and use the magnitude of illusory shifts in hand position (proprioceptive ‘drift’) as a tool to probe the weighted integration of multisensory information. First, we found drift was significantly reduced when the illusion was performed on the dominant vs. non-dominant hand. We suggest increased manual dexterity of the dominant hand causes greater representational stability and thus an increased resistance to bias by the illusion induction. Second, drift was generally greatest when the hand was in its habitual action space (i.e., near the shoulder of origin), compared to when it laterally displaced towards, or across the midline. This linear effect, however, was only significant for the dominant hand—in both left- and right-handed groups. Thus, our results reveal patterns of habitual hand action modulate drift both within a hand (drift varies with proximity to action space), and between hands (differences in drift between the dominant and non-dominant hands). In contrast, we were unable to find conclusive evidence to support, or contradict, an overall difference between left- and right-handers in susceptibility to RHI drift (i.e., total drift, collapsed across hand positions). In sum, our results provide evidence that patterns of daily activity—and the subsequent patterns of sensory input—shape multisensory integration across space

    Brain structural and functional asymmetry in human situs inversus totalis

    Get PDF
    Magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate brain structural and functional asymmetries in 15 participants with complete visceral reversal (situs inversus totalis, SIT). Language-related brain structural and functional lateralization of SIT participants, including peri-Sylvian gray and white matter asymmetries and hemispheric language dominance, was similar to those of 15 control participants individually matched for sex, age, education, and handedness. In contrast, the SIT cohort showed reversal of the brain (Yakovlevian) torque (occipital petalia and occipital bending) compared to the control group. Secondary findings suggested different asymmetry patterns between SIT participants with (n = 6) or without (n = 9) primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD, also known as Kartagener syndrome) although the small sample sizes warrant cautious interpretation. In particular, reversed brain torque was mainly due to the subgroup with PCD-unrelated SIT and this group also included 55% left handers, a ratio close to a random allocation of handedness. We conclude that complete visceral reversal has no effect on the lateralization of brain structural and functional asymmetries associated with language, but seems to reverse the typical direction of the brain torque in particular in participants that have SIT unrelated to PCD. The observed differences in asymmetry patterns of SIT groups with and without PCD seem to suggest that symmetry breaking of visceral laterality, brain torque, and language dominance rely on different mechanisms

    Modeling Diffusion Directions of Corpus Callosum

    Get PDF
    Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) has been used to study the characteristics of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in the brain. The von Mises- Fisher distribution (vmf) is a probability distribution for modeling directional data on the unit hypersphere. In this paper we modeled the diffusion directions of the Corpus Callosum (CC) as a mixture of vmf distributions for both MS subjects and healthy controls. Higher diffusion concentration around the mean directions and smaller sum of angles between the mean directions are observed on the normal-appearing CC of the MS subjects as compared to the healthy controls

    Common variants in left/right asymmetry genes and pathways are associated with relative hand skill

    Get PDF
    This work was supported by the University of St Andrews, the UK Medical Research Council (grant number G0800523/86473 to SP), the Max Plank Society, and the the EU (Neurodys, 018696). Genotyping at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics was supported by the Wellcome Trust (090532/Z/ 09/Z) and a Medical Research Council Hub Grant (G0900747 91070). Core support for ALSPAC was provided by the UK Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust (092731) and the University of Bristol. SP is a Royal Society University Research Fellow. CW is also funded by the UK Medical Research Funding and the EU (GENCODYS, 241995). APMor was supported by the Wellcome Trust (grant numbers WT075491, WT090532, and WT098017). WMB is the recipient of a Nuffield Department of Medicine Prize Studentship. JPK is funded by a Wellcome Trust PhD studentship (WT083431MA).Humans display structural and functional asymmetries in brain organization, strikingly with respect to language and handedness. The molecular basis of these asymmetries is unknown. We report a genome-wide association study meta-analysis for a quantitative measure of relative hand skill in individuals with dyslexia [reading disability (RD)] (n = 728). The most strongly associated variant, rs7182874 (P = 8.68×10−9), is located in PCSK6, further supporting an association we previously reported. We also confirmed the specificity of this association in individuals with RD; the same locus was not associated with relative hand skill in a general population cohort (n = 2,666). As PCSK6 is known to regulate NODAL in the development of left/right (LR) asymmetry in mice, we developed a novel approach to GWAS pathway analysis, using gene-set enrichment to test for an over-representation of highly associated variants within the orthologs of genes whose disruption in mice yields LR asymmetry phenotypes. Four out of 15 LR asymmetry phenotypes showed an over-representation (FDR≤5%). We replicated three of these phenotypes; situs inversus, heterotaxia, and double outlet right ventricle, in the general population cohort (FDR≤5%). Our findings lead us to propose that handedness is a polygenic trait controlled in part by the molecular mechanisms that establish LR body asymmetry early in development.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    Morphometry of corpus callosum in Williams syndrome: shape as an index of neural development

    No full text
    Brain abnormalities in Williams syndrome (WS) have been consistently reported, despite few studies have devoted attention to connectivity between different brain regions in WS. In this study, we evaluated corpus callosum (CC) morphometry: bending angle, length, thickness and curvature of CC using a new shape analysis method in a group of 17 individuals with WS matched with a typically developing group. We used this multimethod approach because we hypothesized that neurodevelopmental abnormalities might result in both volume changes and structure deformation. Overall, we found reduced absolute CC cross-sectional area and volume in WS (mean CC and subsections). In parallel, we observed group differences regarding CC shape and thickness. Specifically, CC of WS is morphologically different, characterized by a larger bending angle and being more curved in the posterior part. Moreover, although CC in WS is shorter, a larger relative thickness of CC was found in all callosal sections. Finally, groups differed regarding the association between CC measures, age, white matter volume and cognitive performance. In conclusions, abnormal patterns of CC morphology and shape may be implicated in WS cognitive and behavioural phenotype.PIC/IC/83290/2007 and PTDC/PSI-PCL/115316/2009 from Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Portugal). This study was also supported, in part, by grants from the National Institutes of Health (K05 MH070047

    Topography of the Chimpanzee Corpus Callosum

    Get PDF
    The corpus callosum (CC) is the largest commissural white matter tract in mammalian brains, connecting homotopic and heterotopic regions of the cerebral cortex. Knowledge of the distribution of callosal fibers projecting into specific cortical regions has important implications for understanding the evolution of lateralized structures and functions of the cerebral cortex. No comparisons of CC topography in humans and great apes have yet been conducted. We investigated the topography of the CC in 21 chimpanzees using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Tractography was conducted based on fiber assignment by continuous tracking (FACT) algorithm. We expected chimpanzees to display topographical organization similar to humans, especially concerning projections into the frontal cortical regions. Similar to recent studies in humans, tractography identified five clusters of CC fibers projecting into defined cortical regions: prefrontal; premotor and supplementary motor; motor; sensory; parietal, temporal and occipital. Significant differences in fractional anisotropy (FA) were found in callosal regions, with highest FA values in regions projecting to higher-association areas of posterior cortical (including parietal, temporal and occipital cortices) and prefrontal cortical regions (p<0.001). The lowest FA values were seen in regions projecting into motor and sensory cortical areas. Our results indicate chimpanzees display similar topography of the CC as humans, in terms of distribution of callosal projections and microstructure of fibers as determined by anisotropy measures

    Current self-reported symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder are associated with total brain volume in healthy adults.

    Get PDF
    Contains fulltext : 110756.pdf (publisher's version ) (Open Access)BACKGROUND: Reduced total brain volume is a consistent finding in children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In order to get a better understanding of the neurobiology of ADHD, we take the first step in studying the dimensionality of current self-reported adult ADHD symptoms, by looking at its relation with total brain volume. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In a sample of 652 highly educated adults, the association between total brain volume, assessed with magnetic resonance imaging, and current number of self-reported ADHD symptoms was studied. The results showed an association between these self-reported ADHD symptoms and total brain volume. Post-hoc analysis revealed that the symptom domain of inattention had the strongest association with total brain volume. In addition, the threshold for impairment coincides with the threshold for brain volume reduction. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This finding improves our understanding of the biological substrates of self-reported ADHD symptoms, and suggests total brain volume as a target intermediate phenotype for future gene-finding in ADHD
    corecore