No Association Between Structural Properties of Corpus Callosum and Handedness: Evidence from the Constrained Spherical Deconvolution Approach
Handedness is the most prominent trait of functional asymmetry in humans, associated with lateralized cognitive functions and considered in relation to mental disorders. However, the neuroanatomical correlates of handedness are still unclear. It has been hypothesized that the structural properties of sub-regions of the corpus callosum (CC) are linked to handedness. Nevertheless, tractography studies of the relation between directly measured structural properties of CC subregions and handedness are lacking. The Constrained Spherical Deconvolution (CSD) approach enables full reconstruction of the sub-regions of the CC. The current study aimed to investigate the relation between the structural properties of the CC, such as volume and the CSD metric, referred to as hindrance modulated orientational anisotropy (HMOA), and handedness. Handedness was considered in two dimensions: direction (right-handed, ambidextrous, left-handed) and degree (the absolute values of Handedness quotient). We found no association between 1) volume or HMOA as a proxy of microstructural properties, namely the axonal diameter and fiber dispersion, of each sub-region and 2) either the direction or the degree of handedness. These findings suggest the absence of a direct relation between sub-regions of the CC and handedness, demonstrating the necessity of future tractography studies.
Background and Purpose Despite the continuing efforts in multimodal assessment of the motor system after stroke, conclusive findings on the complementarity of functional and structural metrics of the corticospinal tract (CST) integrity and the role of the contralesional hemisphere are still missing. The aim of this work was to find the best combination of the motor system parameters, allowing classification of patients into three predefined groups of upper limb motor recovery.
Methods 35 chronic ischemic stroke patients (47 [26–66] y.o., 29 [6–58] months post-stroke) with only supratentorial lesion and unilateral upper extremity weakness were enrolled. Patients were divided into three groups depending on the upper limb motor recovery. Non-parametric statistical tests and regression analysis were used to investigate the relationships among structural and functional motor system parameters, probed by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In addition, stratification rules were tested, using a decision tree classifier to identify parameters explaining motor recovery.
Results Fractional anisotropy (FA) ratio in the internal capsule (IC) and absence/presence of motor evoked potentials (MEPs), were equally discriminative of the worst motor outcome group (96% accuracy). MEP presence diverged for two investigated hand muscles. Concurrently, for the three recovery groups’ classification, the best parameter combination was: IC FA ratio and Fréchet distance between the contralesional and ipsilesional CST FA profiles (91% accuracy). No other metrics had any additional value for patients’ classification.
Conclusions This study demonstrates that IC FA ratio and MEPs absence are equally important markers for poor recovery. Importantly, we found that MEPs should be controlled in more than one hand muscle. Finally, we show that better separation between different motor recovery groups may be achieved when considering the whole CST FA profile.
The left frontal aslant tract (FAT) has been proposed to be relevant for language, and specifically for spontaneous speech fluency. However, there is missing causal evidence that stimulation of the FAT affects spontaneous speech, and not language production in general. We present a series of 12 neurosurgical cases with awake language mapping of the cortex near the left FAT. Tasks for language mapping included the commonly used action picture naming, and sentence completion, tapping more specifically into spontaneous speech. A task dissociation was found in 10 participants: while being stimulated on specific sites, they were able to name a picture but could not complete a sentence. Overlaying of these sites on preoperative white-matter tract reconstructions revealed that in each individual case they were located on cortical terminations of the FAT. This corroborates the language functional specificity of the left FAT as a tract underlying fluent spontaneous speech.
Students' internet usage attracts the attention of many researchers in different countries. Differences in internet penetration in diverse countries lead us to ask about the interaction of medium and culture in this process. In this paper we present an analysis based on a sample of 825 students from 18 Russian universities and discuss findings on particularities of students' ICT usage. On the background of the findings of the study, based on data collected in 2008-2009 year during a project "A сross-cultural study of the new learning culture formation in Germany and Russia", we discuss the problem of plagiarism in Russia, the availability of ICT features in Russian universities and an evaluation of the attractiveness of different categories of ICT usage and gender specifics in the use of ICT.
The distractive effects on attentional task performance in different paradigms are analyzed in this paper. I demonstrate how distractors may negatively affect (interference effect), positively (redundancy effect) or neutrally (null effect). Distractor effects described in literature are classified in accordance with their hypothetical source. The general rule of the theory is also introduced. It contains the formal prediction of the particular distractor effect, based on entropy and redundancy measures from the mathematical theory of communication (Shannon, 1948). Single- vs dual-process frameworks are considered for hypothetical mechanisms which underpin the distractor effects. Distractor profiles (DPs) are also introduced for the formalization and simple visualization of experimental data concerning the distractor effects. Typical shapes of DPs and their interpretations are discussed with examples from three frequently cited experiments. Finally, the paper introduces hierarchical hypothesis that states the level-fashion modulating interrelations between distractor effects of different classes.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.