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1.
  • Kühn, Simone, et al. (författare)
  • The dynamics of change in striatal activity following updating training
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: Human Brain Mapping. - : Wiley-Blackwell. - 1065-9471 .- 1097-0193. ; 34:7, s. 1530-1541
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Increases in striatal activity have been suggested to mediate training-related improvements in working-memory ability. We investigated the temporal dynamics of changes in task-related brain activity following training of working memory. Participants in an experimental group and an active control group, trained on easier tasks of a constant difficulty in shorter sessions than the experimental group, were measured before, after about 1 week, and after more than 50 days of training. In the experimental group an initial increase of working-memory related activity in the functionally defined right striatum and anatomically defined right and left putamen was followed by decreases, resulting in an inverted u-shape function that relates activity to training over time. Activity increases in the striatum developed slower in the active control group, observed at the second posttest after more than 50 days of training. In the functionally defined left striatum, initial activity increases were maintained after more extensive training and the pattern was similar for the two groups. These results shed new light on the relation between activity in the striatum (especially the putamen) and the effects of working memory training, and illustrate the importance of multiple measurements for interpreting effects of training on regional brain activity.
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2.
  • Kuhn, Simone, et al. (författare)
  • The neural representation of intrusive thoughts
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. - : Oxford University Press. - 1749-5024 .- 1749-5016. ; 8:6, s. 688-693
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Based on the philosophical notion that language embodies thought we investigated whether a habitual tendency for intrusive thought that younger and older participants report over a period of 100 sessions, spread out over about 6 months, is associated with brain regions related to language production. In favour of this hypothesis, we found that individual differences in habitual intrusive thoughts are correlated with activity in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG, Broca's area) as well as the cingulate cortex (CC) during a two-choice reaction-time task in fMRI. Participants who habitually tended to experience intrusive thoughts showed greater activity during task-free (baseline) compared to task periods in brain regions involved in language production. Task performance was unrelated to individual differences in intrusive thoughts. We conclude that intrusive thoughts may be represented in a language-like format and that individuals reporting a habitually higher tendency for intrusive thoughts may have stronger and more habitual inner speech processes.
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3.
  • Lövdén, Martin, et al. (författare)
  • Performance-Related Increases in Hippocampal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) Induced by Spatial Navigation Training Are Restricted to BDNF Val Homozygotes
  • 2011
  • Ingår i: Cerebral Cortex. - : Oxford University Press. - 1047-3211 .- 1460-2199. ; 21:6, s. 1435-1442
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Recent evidence indicates experience-dependent brain volume changes in humans, but the functional and histological nature of such changes is unknown. Here, we report that adult men performing a cognitively demanding spatial navigation task every other day over 4 months display increases in hippocampal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) as measured with magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Unlike measures of brain volume, changes in NAA are sensitive to metabolic and functional aspects of neural and glia tissue and unlikely to reflect changes in microvasculature. Training-induced changes in NAA were, however, absent in carriers of the Met substitution in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene, which is known to reduce activity-dependent secretion of BDNF. Among BDNF Val homozygotes, increases in NAA were strongly related to the degree of practice-related improvement in navigation performance and normalized to pretraining levels 4 months after the last training session. We conclude that changes in demands on spatial navigation can alter hippocampal NAA concentrations, confirming epidemiological studies suggesting that mental experience may have direct effects on neural integrity and cognitive performance. BDNF genotype moderates these plastic changes, in line with the contention that gene–context interactions shape the ontogeny of complex phenotypes.
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4.
  • Schael, S, et al. (författare)
  • Precision electroweak measurements on the Z resonance
  • 2006
  • Ingår i: Physics Reports. - : Elsevier. - 0370-1573 .- 1873-6270. ; 427:5-6, s. 257-454
  • Forskningsöversikt (refereegranskat)abstract
    • We report on the final electroweak measurements performed with data taken at the Z resonance by the experiments operating at the electron-positron colliders SLC and LEP. The data consist of 17 million Z decays accumulated by the ALEPH, DELPHI, L3 and OPAL experiments at LEP, and 600 thousand Z decays by the SLID experiment using a polarised beam at SLC. The measurements include cross-sections, forward-backward asymmetries and polarised asymmetries. The mass and width of the Z boson, m(Z) and Gamma(Z), and its couplings to fermions, for example the p parameter and the effective electroweak mixing angle for leptons, are precisely measured: m(Z) = 91.1875 +/- 0.0021 GeV, Gamma(Z) = 2.4952 +/- 0.0023 GeV, rho(l) = 1.0050 +/- 0.0010, sin(2)theta(eff)(lept) = 0.23153 +/- 0.00016. The number of light neutrino species is determined to be 2.9840 +/- 0.0082, in agreement with the three observed generations of fundamental fermions. The results are compared to the predictions of the Standard Model (SM). At the Z-pole, electroweak radiative corrections beyond the running of the QED and QCD coupling constants are observed with a significance of five standard deviations, and in agreement with the Standard Model. Of the many Z-pole measurements, the forward-backward asymmetry in b-quark production shows the largest difference with respect to its SM expectation, at the level of 2.8 standard deviations. Through radiative corrections evaluated in the framework of the Standard Model, the Z-pole data are also used to predict the mass of the top quark, m(t) = 173(+10)(+13) GeV, and the mass of the W boson, m(W) = 80.363 +/- 0.032 GeV. These indirect constraints are compared to the direct measurements, providing a stringent test of the SM. Using in addition the direct measurements of m(t) and m(W), the mass of the as yet unobserved SM Higgs boson is predicted with a relative uncertainty of about 50% and found to be less than 285 GeV at 95% confidence level. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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5.
  • Wenger, Elisabeth, et al. (författare)
  • Cortical thickness changes following spatial navigation training in adulthood and aging
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: NeuroImage. - : Elsevier. - 1053-8119 .- 1095-9572. ; 59:4, s. 3389-3397
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • A widespread network involving cortical and subcortical brain structures forms the neural substrate of human spatial navigation. Most studies investigating plasticity of this network have focused on the hippocampus. Here, we investigate age differences in cortical thickness changes evoked by four months of spatial navigation training in 91 men aged 20-30 or 60-70 years. Cortical thickness was automatically measured before, immediately after, and four months after termination of training. Younger as well as older navigators evidenced large improvements in navigation performance that were partly maintained after termination of training. Importantly, training-related cortical thickening in left precuneus and paracentral lobule were observed in young navigators only. Thus, spatial navigation training appears to affect cortical brain structure of young adults, but there is reduced potential for experience-dependent cortical alterations in old age.
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6.
  • Kuehn, Simone, et al. (författare)
  • Brain Areas Consistently Linked to Individual Differences in Perceptual Decision-making in Younger as well as Older Adults before and after Training
  • 2011
  • Ingår i: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. - Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press. - 1530-8898 .- 0898-929X. ; 23:9, s. 2147-2158
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Perceptual decision-making performance depends on several cognitive and neural processes. Here, we fit Ratcliff's diffusion model to accuracy data and reaction-time distributions from one numerical and one verbal two-choice perceptual-decision task to deconstruct these performance measures into the rate of evidence accumulation (i.e., drift rate), response criterion setting (i.e., boundary separation), and peripheral aspects of performance (i.e., nondecision time). These theoretical processes are then related to individual differences in brain activation by means of multiple regression. The sample consisted of 24 younger and 15 older adults performing the task in fMRI before and after 100 daily 1-hr behavioral training sessions in a multitude of cognitive tasks. Results showed that individual differences in boundary separation were related to striatal activity, whereas differences in drift rate were related to activity in the inferior parietal lobe. These associations were not significantly modified by adult age or perceptual expertise. We conclude that the striatum is involved in regulating response thresholds, whereas the inferior parietal lobe might represent decision-making evidence related to letters and numbers.
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7.
  • Lövdén, Martin, et al. (författare)
  • Experience-dependent plasticity of white-matter microstructure extends into old age
  • 2010
  • Ingår i: Neuropsychologia. - : Elsevier. - 0028-3932 .- 1873-3514. ; 48:13, s. 3878-3883
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Experience-dependent alterations in the human brain's white-matter microstructure occur in early adulthood, but it is unknown whether such plasticity extends throughout life. We used cognitive training, diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI), and structural MRI to investigate plasticity of the white-matter tracts that connect the left and right hemisphere of the frontal lobes. Over a period of about 180 days, 20 younger adults and 12 older adults trained for a total of one hundred and one 1-h sessions on a set of three working memory, three episodic memory, and six perceptual speed tasks. Control groups were assessed at pre- and post-test. Training affected several DTI metrics and increased the area of the anterior part of the corpus callosum. These alterations were of similar magnitude in younger and older adults. The findings indicate that experience-dependent plasticity of white-matter microstructure extends into old age and that disruptions of structural interhemispheric connectivity in old age, which are pronounced in aging, are modifiable by experience and amenable to treatment.
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8.
  • Lövdén, Martin, et al. (författare)
  • Spatial navigation training protects the hippocampus against age-related changes during early and late adulthood
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: Neurobiology of Aging. - : Elsevier. - 0197-4580 .- 1558-1497. ; 33:3, s. 620.e9-620.e22
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • It is unknown whether lifestyle, including mental stimulation, and appropriate training interventions, may directly improve spatial navigation performance and its underlying neural substrates. Here we report that healthy younger and older men performing a cognitively demanding spatial navigation task every other day over 4 months display navigation-related gains in performance and stable hippocampal volumes that were maintained 4 months after termination of training. In contrast, control groups displayed volume decrements consistent with longitudinal estimates of age-related decline. Hippocampal barrier density, as indicated by mean diffusivity estimated from diffusion tensor imaging, showed a quadratic shape of increased density after training followed by a return to baseline in the right hippocampus, but declined in the control groups and in the left hippocampus. We conclude that sustained experiential demands on spatial ability protect hippocampal integrity against age-related decline. These results provide the first longitudinal evidence indicating that spatial navigation experience modifies hippocampal volumes in humans, and confirm epidemiological results suggesting that mental stimulation may have direct effects on neural integrity.
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9.
  • Wenger, Elisabeth, et al. (författare)
  • Comparing Manual and Automatic Segmentation of Hippocampal Volumes : Reliability and Validity Issues in Younger and Older Brains
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: Human Brain Mapping. - : Wiley-Blackwell. - 1065-9471 .- 1097-0193. ; 35:8, s. 4236-4248
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • We compared hippocampal volume measures obtained by manual tracing to automatic segmentation with FreeSurfer in 44 younger (20-30 years) and 47 older (60-70 years) adults, each measured with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) over three successive time points, separated by four months. Retest correlations over time were very high for both manual and FreeSurfer segmentations. With FreeSurfer, correlations over time were significantly lower in the older than in the younger age group, which was not the case with manual segmentation. Pearson correlations between manual and FreeSurfer estimates were sufficiently high, numerically even higher in the younger group, whereas intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) estimates were lower in the younger than in the older group. FreeSurfer yielded higher volume estimates than manual segmentation, particularly in the younger age group. Importantly, FreeSurfer consistently overestimated hippocampal volumes independently of manually assessed volume in the younger age group, but overestimated larger volumes in the older age group to a less extent, introducing a systematic age bias in the data. Age differences in hippocampal volumes were significant with FreeSurfer, but not with manual tracing. Manual tracing resulted in a significant difference between left and right hippocampus (right > left), whereas this asymmetry effect was considerably smaller with FreeSurfer estimates. We conclude that FreeSurfer constitutes a feasible method to assess differences in hippocampal volume in young adults. FreeSurfer estimates in older age groups should, however, be interpreted with care until the automatic segmentation pipeline has been further optimized to increase validity and reliability in this age group.
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10.
  • Wenger, Elisabeth, et al. (författare)
  • Repeated Structural Imaging Reveals Nonlinear Progression of Experience-Dependent Volume Changes in Human Motor Cortex
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Cerebral Cortex. - : Oxford University Press. - 1047-3211 .- 1460-2199. ; 27:5, s. 2911-2925
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Evidence for experience-dependent structural brain change in adult humans is accumulating. However, its time course is not well understood, as intervention studies typically consist of only 2 imaging sessions (before vs. after training).We acquired up to 18 structural magnetic resonance images over a 7-week period while 15 right-handed participants practiced left-hand writing and drawing. After 4 weeks, we observed increases in gray matter of both left and right primary motor cortices relative to a control group; 3 weeks later, these differences were no longer reliable. Time-series analyses revealed that gray matter in the primary motor cortices expanded during the first 4weeks and then partially renormalized, in particular in the right hemisphere, despite continued practice and increasing task proficiency. Similar patterns of expansion followed by partial renormalization are also found in synaptogenesis, cortical map plasticity, and maturation, and may qualify as a general principle of structural plasticity. Research on human brain plasticity needs to encompass more than 2 measurement occasions to capture expansion and potential renormalization processes over time.
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