Multimodal MRI reveals structural connectivity differences in 22q11 deletion syndrome related to impaired spatial working memory
Human brain mapping, 37, 4689-4705, 2016
Impaired spatial working memory is a core cognitive deficit observed in people with 22q11 Deletion syndrome (22q11DS) and has been suggested as a candidate endophenotype for schizophrenia. However, to date, the neuroanatomical mechanisms describing its structural and functional underpinnings in 22q11DS remain unclear. We quantitatively investigate the cognitive processes and associated neuroanatomy of spatial working memory in people with 22q11DS compared to matched controls. We examine whether there are significant between‐group differences in spatial working memory using task related fMRI, Voxel based morphometry and white matter fiber tractography.
Materials and Methods:
Multimodal magnetic resonance imaging employing functional, diffusion and volumetric techniques were used to quantitatively assess the cognitive and neuroanatomical features of spatial working memory processes in 22q11DS. Twenty‐six participants with genetically confirmed 22q11DS aged between 9 and 52 years and 26 controls aged between 8 and 46 years, matched for age, gender, and handedness were recruited.
People with 22q11DS have significant differences in spatial working memory functioning accompanied by a gray matter volume reduction in the right precuneus. Gray matter volume was significantly correlated with task performance scores in these areas. Tractography revealed extensive differences along fibers between task‐related cortical activations with pronounced differences localized to interhemispheric commissural fibers within the parietal section of the corpus callosum.
Abnormal spatial working memory in 22q11DS is associated with aberrant functional activity in conjunction with gray and white matter structural abnormalities. These anomalies in discrete brain regions may increase susceptibility to the development of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).