Social norms have a critical role in everyday decision-making, as frequent interaction with others regulates our behavior. Neuroimaging studies show that social-based and fairness-related decision-making activates an inconsistent set of areas, which sometimes includes the anterior insula, anterior cingulate cortex, and others lateral prefrontal cortices. Social-based decision-making is complex and variability in findings may be driven by socio-cognitive activities related to social norms. To distinguish among social-cognitive activities related to social norms we identified thirty six eligible articles in the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature, which we separate into two categories (a) social norm representation, and (b) norm violations. The majority of original articles (> 60%) used tasks related with fairness norms and decision-making, such as ultimatum game, dictator game or prisoner’s dilemma; the rest used tasks related to violation of moral norms, such as scenarios and sentences of moral depravity ratings etc. Using quantitative meta-analyses we report brain common and distinct brain areas that show concordance as a function of category. Specifically, concordance in ventromedial prefrontal regions is distinct to social norm representation processing, whereas concordance in right insula, dorsolateral prefrontal and dorsal cingulate cortices is distinct to norm violation processing. We propose a neurocognitive model of social norms for healthy adults, which could help guide future research in social norm compliance and mechanisms of its enforcement.
Singing, music performance, and speech rely on the retrieval of complex sounds, which are generated by the corresponding actions and are organized into sequences. It is crucial in these forms of behavior that the serial organization (i.e., order) of both the actions and associated sounds be monitored and learned. To investigate the neural processes involved in the monitoring of serial order during the initial learning of sensorimotor sequences, we performed magnetoencephalographic recordings while participants explicitly learned short piano sequences under the effect of occasional alterations of auditory feedback (AAF). The main result was a prominent and selective modulation of beta (13–30 Hz) oscillations in cingulate and cerebellar regions during the processing of AAF that simulated serial order errors. Furthermore, the AAF‐induced modulation of beta oscillations was associated with higher error rates, reflecting compensatory changes in sequence planning. This suggests that cingulate and cerebellar beta oscillations play a role in tracking serial order during initial sensorimotor learning and in updating the mapping of the sensorimotor representations. The findings support the notion that the modulation of beta oscillations is a candidate mechanism for the integration of sequential motor and auditory information during an early stage of skill acquisition in music performance. This has potential implications for singing and speech
Agrammatism in aphasia is not a homogeneous syndrome, but a characterization of a nonuniform set of language behaviors in which grammatical markers and complex syntactic structures are omitted, simplified, or misinterpreted. In a sample of 71 left-hemisphere stroke survivors, syntactic processing was quantifiedwith theNorthwestern Assessment of Verbs and Sentences (NAVS). Classification analyses were used to assess the relation between NAVS performance and morphosyntactically reduced speech in picture descriptions. Voxel-based and connectivity-based lesion-symptom mapping were applied to investigate neural correlates of impaired syntactic processing. Despite a nonrandom correspondence between NAVS performance and morphosyntactic production deficits, there was variation in individual patterns of syntactic processing. Morphosyntactically reduced production was predicted by lesions to left-hemisphere inferior frontal cortex. Impaired verb argument structure production was predicted by damage to left-hemisphere posterior superior temporal and angular gyrus, as well as to a ventral pathway between temporal and frontal cortex. Damage to this pathway was also predictive of impaired sentence comprehension and production, particularly of noncanonical sentences. Although agrammatic speech production is primarily predicted by lesions to inferior frontal cortex, other aspects of syntactic processing rely rather on regional integrity in temporoparietal cortex and the ventral stream.
The present study investigated the neural correlates associated with the processing of music‐syntactical irregularities as compared with regular syntactic structures in music. Previous studies reported an early (∼200 ms) right anterior negative component (ERAN) by traditional event‐related‐potential analysis during music‐syntactical irregularities, yet little is known about the underlying oscillatory and synchronization properties of brain responses which are supposed to play a crucial role in general cognition including music perception. First we showed that the ERAN was primarily represented by low frequency (<8 Hz) brain oscillations. Further, we found that music‐syntactical irregularities as compared with music‐syntactical regularities, were associated with (i) an early decrease in the alpha band (9–10 Hz) phase synchronization between right fronto‐central and left temporal brain regions, and (ii) a late (∼500 ms) decrease in gamma band (38–50 Hz) oscillations over fronto‐central brain regions. These results indicate a weaker degree of long‐range integration when the musical expectancy is violated. In summary, our results reveal neural mechanisms of music‐syntactic processing that operate at different levels of cortical integration, ranging from early decrease in long‐range alpha phase synchronization to late local gamma oscillations.
Recent neurophysiological studies have associated focal‐task specific dystonia (FTSD) with impaired inhibitory function. However, it remains unknown whether FTSD also affects the inhibition (INH) of long‐term overlearned motor programs. Consequently, we investigated in a Go/NoGo paradigm the neural correlates associated with the activation (ACT) and inhibition of long‐term overlearned motor memory traces in pianists with musician's dystonia (MD), a form of FTSD, during a relevant motor task under constraint timing conditions with multichannel EEG. In NoGo trials, the movement related cortical potentials showed a positive shift after the NoGo signal related to inhibition and was significantly smaller over sensorimotor areas in musicians with MD. Further, we observed an increase at 850–900 ms in the power of beta oscillations which was significantly weaker for the patient group. The role of the inter‐electrode phase coupling in the sensorimotor integration of inhibitory processes turned out to be the most relevant physiological marker: the global phase synchronization during INH exhibited an increase between 230 and 330 ms and 7–8 Hz, increase which was significantly smaller for pianists with MD. This effect was due to a weaker phase synchronization between the supplementary motor cortex and left premotor and sensorimotor electrodes in patients. Thus, our findings support the hypothesis of a deficient phase coupling between the neuronal assemblies required to inhibit motor memory traces in patients with MD. EMG recorded from the right flexor pollicis longus muscle confirmed that patients with MD had a disrupted INH in NoGo trials.
Inhibitory control is the stopping of a mental process with or without intention, conceptualized as
mental suppression of competing information because of limited cognitive capacity. Inhibitory control
dysfunction is a core characteristic of many major psychiatric disorders. Inhibition is generally
thought to involve the prefrontal cortex; however, a single inhibitory mechanism is insufficient for
interpreting the heterogeneous nature of human cognition. It remains unclear whether different
dimensions of inhibitory processes—specifically cognitive inhibition, response inhibition, and emotional
interference—rely on dissociated neural systems. We conducted systematic meta-analyses of
fMRI studies in the BrainMap database supplemented by PubMed using whole-brain activation
likelihood estimation. A total of 66 study experiments including 1,447 participants and 987 foci
revealed that while the left anterior insula was concordant in all inhibitory dimensions, cognitive
inhibition reliably activated specific dorsal frontal inhibitory system, engaging dorsal anterior cingulate,
dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and parietal areas, whereas emotional interference reliably
implicated a ventral inhibitory system, involving the ventral surface of the inferior frontal gyrus and
the amygdala. Response inhibition showed concordant clusters in the fronto-striatal system, including
the dorsal anterior cingulate region and extended supplementary motor areas, the dorsal and
ventral lateral prefrontal cortex, basal ganglia, midbrain regions, and parietal regions. We provide
an empirically derived dimensional model of inhibition characterizing neural systems underlying different
aspects of inhibitory mechanisms. This study offers a fundamental framework to advance
current understanding of inhibition and provides new insights for future clinical research into
disorders with different types of inhibition-related dysfunctions.
The contribution of the motor cortex to the semantic retrieval of verbs remains a subject of debate in neuroscience. Here, we examined whether additional engagement of the cortical motor system was required when access to verbs semantics was hindered during a verb generation task. We asked participants to produce verbs related to presented noun cues that were either strongly associated with a single verb to prompt fast and effortless verb retrieval, or were weakly associated with multiple verbs and more difficult to respond to. Using power suppression of magnetoencephalography beta oscillations (15–30 Hz) as an index of cortical activation, we performed a whole‐brain analysis in order to identify the cortical regions sensitive to the difficulty of verb semantic retrieval. Highly reliable suppression of beta oscillations occurred 250 ms after the noun cue presentation and was sustained until the onset of verbal response. This was localized to multiple cortical regions, mainly in the temporal and frontal lobes of the left hemisphere. Crucially, the only cortical regions where beta suppression was sensitive to the task difficulty, were the higher order motor areas on the medial and lateral surfaces of the frontal lobe. Stronger activation of the premotor cortex and supplementary motor area accompanied the effortful verb retrieval and preceded the preparation of verbal responses for more than 500 ms, thus, overlapping with the time window of verb retrieval from semantic memory. Our results suggest that reactivation of verb‐related motor plans in higher order motor circuitry promotes the semantic retrieval of target verbs.
Much of our behaviour is driven by two motivational dimensions—approach and avoidance. These have been related to frontal hemispheric asymmetries in clinical and resting‐state EEG studies: Approach was linked to higher activity of the left relative to the right hemisphere, while avoidance was related to the opposite pattern. Increased approach behaviour, specifically towards unhealthy foods, is also observed in obesity and has been linked to asymmetry in the framework of the right‐brain hypothesis of obesity. Here, we aimed to replicate previous EEG findings of hemispheric asymmetries for self‐reported approach/avoidance behaviour and to relate them to eating behaviour. Further, we assessed whether resting fMRI hemispheric asymmetries can be detected and whether they are related to approach/avoidance, eating behaviour and BMI. We analysed three samples: Sample 1 (n = 117) containing EEG and fMRI data from lean participants, and Samples 2 (n = 89) and 3 (n = 152) containing fMRI data from lean, overweight and obese participants. In Sample 1, approach behaviour in women was related to EEG, but not to fMRI hemispheric asymmetries. In Sample 2, approach/avoidance behaviours were related to fMRI hemispheric asymmetries. Finally, hemispheric asymmetries were not related to either BMI or eating behaviour in any of the samples. Our study partly replicates previous EEG findings regarding hemispheric asymmetries and indicates that this relationship could also be captured using fMRI. Our findings suggest that eating behaviour and obesity are likely to be mediated by mechanisms not directly relating to frontal asymmetries in neuronal activation quantified with EEG and fMRI.
The spatial accuracy of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may be as small as a few millimeters. Despite such great potential, navigated TMS (nTMS) mapping is still underused for the assessment of motor plasticity, particularly in clinical settings. Here, we investigate the within-limb somatotopy gradient as well as absolute and relative reliability of three hand muscle cortical representations (MCRs) using a comprehensive grid-based sulcus-informed nTMS motor mapping. We enrolled 22 young healthy male volunteers. Two nTMS mapping sessions were separated by 5–10 days. Motor evoked potentials were obtained from abductor pollicis brevis (APB), abductor digiti minimi, and extensor digitorum communis. In addition to individual MRI-based analysis, we studied normalized MNI MCRs. For the reliability assessment, we calculated intraclass correlation and the smallest detectable change. Our results revealed a somatotopy gradient reflected by APB MCR having the most lateral location. Reliability analysis showed that the commonly used metrics of MCRs, such as areas, volumes, centers of gravity (COGs), and hotspots had a high relative and low absolute reliability for all three muscles. For within-limb TMS somatotopy, the most common metrics such as the shifts between MCR COGs and hotspots had poor relative reliability. However, overlaps between different muscle MCRs were highly reliable. We, thus, provide novel evidence that inter-muscle MCR interaction can be reliably traced using MCR overlaps while shifts between the COGs and hotspots of different MCRs are not suitable for this purpose. Our results have implications for the interpretation of nTMS motor mapping results in healthy subjects and patients with neurological conditions.
Relating behavioral and neuroimaging measures is essential to understanding human brain function. Often, this is achieved by computing a correlation between behavioral measures, e.g., reaction times, and neurophysiological recordings, e.g., prestimulus EEG alpha-power, on a single-trial-basis. This approach treats individual trials as independent measurements and ignores the fact that data are acquired in a temporal order. It has already been shown that behavioral measures as well as neurophysiological recordings display power-law dynamics, which implies that trials are not in fact independent. Critically, computing the correlation coefficient between two measures exhibiting long-range temporal dependencies may introduce spurious correlations, thus leading to erroneous conclusions about the relationship between brain activity and behavioral measures. Here, we address data-analytic pitfalls which may arise when long-range temporal dependencies in neural as well as behavioral measures are ignored. We quantify the influence of temporal dependencies of neural and behavioral measures on the observed correlations through simulations. Results are further supported in analysis of real EEG data recorded in a simple reaction time task, where the aim is to predict the latency of responses on the basis of prestimulus alpha oscillations. We show that it is possible to "predict" reaction times from one subject on the basis of EEG activity recorded in another subject simply owing to the fact that both measures display power-law dynamics. The same is true when correlating EEG activity obtained from different subjects. A surrogate-data procedure is described which correctly tests for the presence of correlation while controlling for the effect of power-law dynamics.
Confidence in our retrieved memories, that is, retrospective confidence, is a metamemory process we perform daily. There is an abundance of applied research focusing on the metamemory judgments and very diverse studies including a wide range of clinical populations. However, the neural correlates that support its functioning are not well defined impeding the implementation of noninvasive neuromodulatory clinical interventions. To address the neural basis of metamemory judgments, we ran a meta‐analysis, where we used the activation likelihood estimation method on the 19 eligible functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. The main analysis of retrospective confidence revealed concordant bilateral activation in the parahippocampal gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, and right amygdala. We also run an analysis between the two extreme levels of confidence, namely, high and low. This additional analysis was exploratory, since the minimum amount of articles reporting these two levels was not reached. Activations for the exploratory high > low confidence subtraction analysis were the same as observed in the main analysis on retrospective confidence, whereas the exploratory low > high subtraction showed distinctive activations of the right precuneus. The involvement of the right precuneus emphasizes its role in the evaluation of low confidence memories, as suggested by previous studies. Overall, our study contributes to a better understanding of the specific brain structures involved in confidence evaluations. Better understanding of the neural basis of metamemory might eventually lead to designing more precise neuromodulatory interventions, significantly improving treatment of patients suffering from metamemory problems.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have shown notable agedependent differences in reward processing. We analyzed data from a total of 554 children, 1,059 adolescents, and 1,831 adults from 70 articles. Quantitative meta-analyses results show that adults engage an extended set of regions that include anterior and posterior cingulate gyri, insula, basal ganglia, and thalamus. Adolescents engage the posterior cingulate and middle frontal gyri as well as the insula and amygdala, whereas children show concordance in right insula and striatal regions almost exclusively. Our data support the notion of reorganization of function over childhood and adolescence and may inform current hypotheses relating to decision-making across age.
In the last decade, many studies have used automated processes to analyze magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data such as cortical thickness, which is one indicator of neuronal health. Due to the convenience of image processing software (e.g., FreeSurfer), standard practice is to rely on automated results without performing visual inspection of intermediate processing. In this work, structural MRIs of 40 healthy controls who were scanned twice were used to determine the test–retest reliability of FreeSurfer-derived cortical measures in four groups of subjects—those 25 that passed visual inspection (approved), those 15 that failed visual inspection (disapproved), a combined group, and a subset of 10 subjects (Travel) whose test and retest scans occurred at different sites. Test–retest correlation (TRC), intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), and percent difference (PD) were used to measure the reliability in the Destrieux and Desikan–Killiany (DK) atlases. In the approved subjects, reliability of cortical thickness/surface area/volume (DK atlas only) were: TRC (0.82/0.88/0.88), ICC (0.81/0.87/0.88), PD (0.86/1.19/1.39), which represent a significant improvement over these measures when disapproved subjects are included. Travel subjects’ results show that cortical thickness reliability is more sensitive to site differences than the cortical surface area and volume. To determine the effect of visual inspection on sample size required for studies of MRI-derived cortical thickness, the number of subjects required to show group differences was calculated. Significant differences observed across imaging sites, between visually approved/disapproved subjects, and across regions with different sizes suggest that these measures should be used with caution.