Next Issue
Volume 12, April
Previous Issue
Volume 12, February
 
 

Brain Sci., Volume 12, Issue 3 (March 2022) – 117 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In the monkey brain, the precentral gyrus and ventral intraparietal area are two interconnected brain regions that form a system for detecting and responding to events in nearby “peripersonal” space (PPS), with threat detection as one of its major functions. Behavioral studies point toward a similar defensive function of PPS in humans. Here, our aim was to find support for this hypothesis by investigating if homolog regions in the human brain respond more strongly to approaching threatening stimuli. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
The Efficacy of Extended Metacognitive Training on Neurocognitive Function in Schizophrenia: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030413 - 21 Mar 2022
Viewed by 749
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of metacognitive training (MCT) on improving the neurocognitive function of Chinese patients with schizophrenia. One hundred inpatients with schizophrenia were selected by regional group randomization and divided into the control (treated as usual, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of metacognitive training (MCT) on improving the neurocognitive function of Chinese patients with schizophrenia. One hundred inpatients with schizophrenia were selected by regional group randomization and divided into the control (treated as usual, TAU) group (n = 50) and the TAU + MCT group (n = 50). In this study, a 10-module MCT was used and the intervention process lasted 30 days. Cognitive function was assessed blindly using the Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) scale at baseline, 24 h post-treatment, and 12 weeks’ post-treatment. The differences between the total RBANS score and baseline (pre-test) for the post-test and 12-week-follow-up tests were used as the primary outcome, and the difference between the RBANS dimension scores and baseline (pre-test) were used as a secondary outcome in this study. The completion rate at follow-up was high in the TAU + MCT group (94%). Intention-to-treat analysis and per-protocol analysis showed a significant increase in total neurocognitive function scores and three-dimensional scores (delayed memory, visual breadth, and attention) in the TAU + MCT group immediately after the intervention and at the 12-week follow-up compared with baseline. This study provides support for the efficacy of 10 module MCT concerning neurocognition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatric Diseases)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Later but Not Weaker: Neural Categorization of Native Vowels of Children at Familial Risk of Dyslexia
by
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030412 - 21 Mar 2022
Viewed by 591
Abstract
Although allophonic speech processing has been hypothesized to be a contributing factor in developmental dyslexia, experimental evidence is limited and inconsistent. The current study compared the categorization of native similar sounding vowels of typically developing (TD) children and children at familial risk (FR) [...] Read more.
Although allophonic speech processing has been hypothesized to be a contributing factor in developmental dyslexia, experimental evidence is limited and inconsistent. The current study compared the categorization of native similar sounding vowels of typically developing (TD) children and children at familial risk (FR) of dyslexia. EEG response was collected in a non-attentive passive oddball paradigm from 35 TD and 35 FR Dutch 20-month-old infants who were matched on vocabulary. The children were presented with two nonwords “giep” [ɣip] and “gip” [ɣIp] that contrasted solely with respect to the vowel. In the multiple-speaker condition, both nonwords were produced by twelve different speakers while in the single-speaker condition, single tokens of each word were used as stimuli. For both conditions and for both groups, infant positive mismatch response (p-MMR) was elicited, and the p-MMR amplitude was comparable between the two groups, although the FR children had a later p-MMR peak than the TD children in the multiple-speaker condition. These findings indicate that FR children are able to categorize speech sounds, but that they may do so in a more effortful way than TDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurobiological Basis of Developmental Dyslexia)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Distinct Effects of Stimulus Repetition on Various Temporal Stages of Subject’s Own Name Processing
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030411 - 21 Mar 2022
Viewed by 633
Abstract
The self is one of the most important concepts in psychology, which is of great significance for human survival and development. As an important self-related stimulus, the subject’s own name (SON) shows great advantages in cognitive and social processing and is widely used [...] Read more.
The self is one of the most important concepts in psychology, which is of great significance for human survival and development. As an important self-related stimulus, the subject’s own name (SON) shows great advantages in cognitive and social processing and is widely used as an oddball stimulus in previous studies. However, it remained unknown whether the multiple repetition of stimulus would have similar influence on the neural response to SON and the other names under equal probability. In this study, adopting EEG and an equal–probability paradigm, we first detected the SON-related ERP components which could differentiate SON from other names, and then investigated how these components are influenced by repeated exposure of the stimulus. Our results showed that SON evoked an earlier SON-related negativity (SRN) at the fronto-central region and a late positive potential (LPP) at the centro-parietal region. More intriguingly, the earlier SRN demonstrated reduction after multiple repetitions, whereas LPP did not exhibit significant changes. In conclusion, these findings revealed that multiple repetitions of the stimulus might influence the various temporal stages in SON-related processing and highlighted the robustness of the late stage in this processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Communication
The Influence of the Ventricular-Lumbar Gradient on Cerebrospinal Fluid Analysis in Serial Samples
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030410 - 20 Mar 2022
Viewed by 741
Abstract
Background: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from patients with non-inflammatory neurological diseases are used for control groups in biomarker studies. Since large amounts of CSF are withdrawn, patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) or normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) are especially suitable. The serially taken [...] Read more.
Background: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from patients with non-inflammatory neurological diseases are used for control groups in biomarker studies. Since large amounts of CSF are withdrawn, patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) or normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) are especially suitable. The serially taken CSF portions are usually collected in different tubes. We aimed to investigate whether the later random choice of one of these tubes for CSF investigations might harbor the risk of different CSF protein findings due to the so-called ventriculo-lumbar CSF gradient. Methods: Patients with IIH (9) and NPH (7) were included. CSF was serially taken and collected in six tubes of 5 mL each. Concentrations and CSF-serum quotients of immunoglobulins, albumin and the virus-specific antibody index (AI) were determined in the first, fourth and sixth CSF fraction. Results: CSF immunoglobulin and albumin concentrations and CSF-serum protein quotients were significantly lower in the fourth and sixth CSF fraction compared with the first CSF fraction. Virus-specific AI did not significantly differ in the different CSF fractions. Conclusions: CSF protein analytics should be performed in the first CSF fraction in order to avoid different measurement results and achieve comparability within a control group and between different control and patient groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropathology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
It Takes Two: Interpersonal Neural Synchrony Is Increased after Musical Interaction
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030409 - 20 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1260
Abstract
Music’s deeply interpersonal nature suggests that music-derived neuroplasticity relates to interpersonal temporal dynamics, or synchrony. Interpersonal neural synchrony (INS) has been found to correlate with increased behavioral synchrony during social interactions and may represent mechanisms that support them. As social interactions often do [...] Read more.
Music’s deeply interpersonal nature suggests that music-derived neuroplasticity relates to interpersonal temporal dynamics, or synchrony. Interpersonal neural synchrony (INS) has been found to correlate with increased behavioral synchrony during social interactions and may represent mechanisms that support them. As social interactions often do not have clearly delineated boundaries, and many start and stop intermittently, we hypothesize that a neural signature of INS may be detectable following an interaction. The present study aimed to investigate this hypothesis using a pre-post paradigm, measuring interbrain phase coherence before and after a cooperative dyadic musical interaction. Ten dyads underwent synchronous electroencephalographic (EEG) recording during silent, non-interactive periods before and after a musical interaction in the form of a cooperative tapping game. Significant post-interaction increases in delta band INS were found in the post-condition and were positively correlated with the duration of the preceding interaction. These findings suggest a mechanism by which social interaction may be efficiently continued after interruption and hold the potential for measuring neuroplastic adaption in longitudinal studies. These findings also support the idea that INS during social interaction represents active mechanisms for maintaining synchrony rather than mere parallel processing of stimuli and motor activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Music-Related Neuroplasticity: Mechanisms and Medicine)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Elephant in the Room: A Cross-Sectional Study on the Stressful Psychological Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Mental Healthcare Workers
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030408 - 19 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1164
Abstract
Despite extensive research on COVID-19’s impact on healthcare workers, few studies have targeted mental health workers (MHWs) and none have investigated previous traumatic events. We investigated psychological distress in MHWs after the first lockdown in Italy to understand which COVID-19, sociodemographic, and professional [...] Read more.
Despite extensive research on COVID-19’s impact on healthcare workers, few studies have targeted mental health workers (MHWs) and none have investigated previous traumatic events. We investigated psychological distress in MHWs after the first lockdown in Italy to understand which COVID-19, sociodemographic, and professional variables represented greater effects, and the role of previous trauma. The survey included sociodemographic and professional questions, COVID-19 variables, and the questionnaires Life Events Checklist for DSM-5 (LEC-5), Impact of Event Scale—Revised (IES-R), and Depression Anxiety Stress Scales 21 (DASS-21). On the 271 MHWs who completed the survey (73.1% female; mean age 45.37), we obtained significant effects for contagion fear, experience of patients’ death, increased workload, and worse team relationship during the first wave. Nurses were more affected and showed more post-traumatic stress symptoms, assessed by IES-R, and more depressive, anxiety, and stress symptoms, assessed by DASS-21. The strongest risk factors for distress were greater age, professional role, increased workload, worse team relationship, and separation from family members. Previous experience of severe human suffering and unwanted sexual experiences negatively impacted IES-R and DASS-21 scores. Being a psychiatrist or psychologist/psychotherapist and good team relationships were protective factors. Recent but also previous severe stressful events might represent relevant risk factors for distress, reducing resilience skills. Identifying vulnerable factors and professional categories may help in the development of dedicated measures to prevent emotional burden and support psychological health. Highlights: Psychological distress in mental health workers in the COVID-19 pandemic is more frequent in nurses, who experience more depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Previous and recent stressful events are risk factors for distress and should guide intervention strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatric Diseases)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
COVID-19 Vaccination and Neurological Manifestations: A Review of Case Reports and Case Series
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030407 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
Background: With 10 vaccines approved by the WHO and nearly 48% of people fully vaccinated worldwide, we have observed several individual case studies of neurological manifestations post-COVID-19 vaccination. Through this systematic review, we aim to discern these CNS and PNS manifestations following the [...] Read more.
Background: With 10 vaccines approved by the WHO and nearly 48% of people fully vaccinated worldwide, we have observed several individual case studies of neurological manifestations post-COVID-19 vaccination. Through this systematic review, we aim to discern these CNS and PNS manifestations following the COVID-19 vaccine to help produce methods to mitigate them. Methods: We conducted a thorough literature search of Google Scholar and PubMed from 1 December 2020 until 10 October 2021 and included all the case studies of COVID-19 vaccine-associated neurological side effects. The literature search and data analysis were performed by two independent reviewers according to prespecified inclusion and exclusion criteria using PRISMA. Results: The most common CNS manifestation was CVST (14.47%), found in females (64%) younger than 50 years (71%) after the first AstraZeneca dose (93%). Others included CNS demyelinating disorders (TM, ADEM, MS, NMOSD) (9.30%), encephalopathy/encephalitis (3.10%), and others (4.13%). The most common PNS manifestation was GBS (14.67%) found in males (71%) older than 50 years (79%), followed by Bell’s palsy (5.24%) and others (2.10%). Most occurred with the AstraZeneca (28.55%), Pfizer-BioNTech (9.18%), and Moderna (8.16%) vaccines. Nine (64%) out of the 14 patients with CVST died. However, most cases overall (42 out of 51) were non-fatal (82%). Conclusion: Several CNS and PNS adverse events have occurred post-COVID-19 vaccination, including CVST, GBS, and TM. High vigilance with early identification and treatment leads to better outcomes. Further studies with non-vaccinated controls might help in understanding the pathophysiologic mechanisms of these neurological manifestations following COVID-19 vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropathology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Emergent Neuroimaging Findings for Written Expression in Children: A Scoping Review
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030406 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 759
Abstract
Background: There is currently a dearth of research on the neural framework of writing tasks in children, as measured by neuroimaging techniques. Objective: This paper provides an overview of the current literature examining the neurological underpinnings of written expression in children. Design: Using [...] Read more.
Background: There is currently a dearth of research on the neural framework of writing tasks in children, as measured by neuroimaging techniques. Objective: This paper provides an overview of the current literature examining the neurological underpinnings of written expression in children. Design: Using a scoping review approach, with thorough searches of key databases, this paper presents the available literature comprising 13 different studies using both structural and functional neuroimaging techniques with the 0–18 English speaking population. Results: Studies largely presented small sample sizes, with most studies utilizing elementary or middle school-aged children. Emergent findings revealed a complex network of neural contributions to the writing process in children. There were associations between the left fusiform gyrus and orthographic coding (i.e., handwriting), and spelling and written composition measures were significantly correlated with activity in the left posterior cingulate, left precuneus, and right precuneus regions. Additionally, results revealed that good versus poor writers manifested differential brain activation patterns during many tasks associated with written expression, with good writers performing more efficiently than poor writers with respect to brain regions activated during a writing task across handwriting, spelling, and idea generation. Conclusions: The findings from this scoping review lay the foundation for future studies examining the interface between writing skills in children and underlying neural pathways that support the various components of the writing process. It will be important for future research to examine the neurological bases of the various components of written expression in children and adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurobiological Basis of Developmental Dyslexia)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Cranio-Orbito-Zygomatic Approach: Core Techniques for Tailoring Target Exposure and Surgical Freedom
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030405 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 842
Abstract
Background: The cranio-orbito-zygomatic (COZ) approach is a workhorse of skull base surgery, and each of its steps has a precise effect on target exposure and surgical freedom. The present study overviews the key techniques for execution and tailoring of the COZ approach, focusing [...] Read more.
Background: The cranio-orbito-zygomatic (COZ) approach is a workhorse of skull base surgery, and each of its steps has a precise effect on target exposure and surgical freedom. The present study overviews the key techniques for execution and tailoring of the COZ approach, focusing on the quantitative effects resulting from removal of the orbitozygomatic (OZ) bar, orbital rim, and zygomatic arch. Methods: A PRISMA-based literature review was performed on the PubMed/Medline and Web of Science databases using the main keywords associated with the COZ approach. Articles in English without temporal restriction were included. Eligibility was limited to neurosurgical relevance. Results: A total of 78 articles were selected. The range of variants of the COZ approach involves a one-piece, two-piece, and three-piece technique, with a decreasing level of complexity and risk of complications. The two-piece technique includes an OZ and orbitopterional variant. Superolateral orbitotomy expands the subfrontal and transsylvian corridors, increasing surgical freedom to the basal forebrain, hypothalamic region, interpeduncular fossa, and basilar apex. Zygomatic osteotomy shortens the working distance of the pretemporal and subtemporal routes. Conclusion: Subtraction of the OZ bar causes a tremendous increase in angular exposure of the subfrontal, transsylvian, pretemporal, and subtemporal perspectives avoiding brain retraction, allowing for multiangled trajectories, and shortening the working distance. The COZ approach can be tailored based on the location of the lesion, thus optimizing the target exposure and surgical freedom and decreasing the risk of complications. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Influence of Motor and Cognitive Tasks on Time Estimation
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030404 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 798
Abstract
The passing of time can be precisely measured by using clocks, whereas humans’ estimation of temporal durations is influenced by many physical, cognitive and contextual factors, which distort our internal clock. Although it has been shown that temporal estimation accuracy is impaired by [...] Read more.
The passing of time can be precisely measured by using clocks, whereas humans’ estimation of temporal durations is influenced by many physical, cognitive and contextual factors, which distort our internal clock. Although it has been shown that temporal estimation accuracy is impaired by non-temporal tasks performed at the same time, no studies have investigated how concurrent cognitive and motor tasks interfere with time estimation. Moreover, most experiments only tested time intervals of a few seconds. In the present study, participants were asked to perform cognitive tasks of different difficulties (look, read, solve simple and hard mathematical operations) and estimate durations of up to two minutes, while walking or sitting. The results show that if observers pay attention only to time without performing any other mental task, they tend to overestimate the durations. Meanwhile, the more difficult the concurrent task, the more they tend to underestimate the time. These distortions are even more pronounced when observers are walking. Estimation biases and uncertainties change differently with durations depending on the task, consistent with a fixed relative uncertainty. Our findings show that cognitive and motor systems interact non-linearly and interfere with time perception processes, suggesting that they all compete for the same resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of the Sensorimotor System in Cognitive Functions)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Communication
Earlier Age at Surgery for Brain Cavernous Angioma-Related Epilepsy May Achieve Complete Seizure Freedom without Aid of Anti-Seizure Medication
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030403 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 722
Abstract
Background: The present study hypothesized that some factors may distinguish between patients with a brain cavernous angioma (BCA), who were free from anti-seizure medication (ASM), and patients who still required ASMs postoperatively. The purpose of the study was thus to identify factors associated [...] Read more.
Background: The present study hypothesized that some factors may distinguish between patients with a brain cavernous angioma (BCA), who were free from anti-seizure medication (ASM), and patients who still required ASMs postoperatively. The purpose of the study was thus to identify factors associated with ceasing ASMs for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy secondary to BCA, who underwent BCA removal surgery. Methods: We divided patients into those with drug-resistant epilepsy secondary to BCA who achieved complete seizure freedom without ASMs a year after surgery (No-ASM group) (International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) classification class I with no epileptiform discharges), and others (ASM group) (ILAE classification ≤ II and/or epileptiform discharges). We statistically compared groups in terms of: (1) age at operation; (2) history of epilepsy; (3) size of BCA; and (4) location of BCA. Results: Overall, a year after the surgery, the No-ASM group comprised 12 patients (48%), and the ASM group comprised 13 patients (52%). In both multi- and univariate logistic regression analyses, age at BCA removal surgery correlated significantly with the No-ASM group (p = 0.043, p = 0.019), but history of epilepsy did not (p = 0.581, p = 0.585). Conclusions: Earlier age at surgery for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy is encouraged to achieve complete seizure freedom without the need for ASMs when the cause of epilepsy is BCA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurosurgery and Neuroanatomy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Brain Connectivity and Graph Theory Analysis in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease: The Contribution of Electrophysiological Techniques
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030402 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 918
Abstract
In recent years, applications of the network science to electrophysiological data have increased as electrophysiological techniques are not only relatively low cost, largely available on the territory and non-invasive, but also potential tools for large population screening. One of the emergent methods for [...] Read more.
In recent years, applications of the network science to electrophysiological data have increased as electrophysiological techniques are not only relatively low cost, largely available on the territory and non-invasive, but also potential tools for large population screening. One of the emergent methods for the study of functional connectivity in electrophysiological recordings is graph theory: it allows to describe the brain through a mathematic model, the graph, and provides a simple representation of a complex system. As Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are associated with synaptic disruptions and changes in the strength of functional connectivity, they can be well described by functional connectivity analysis computed via graph theory. The aim of the present review is to provide an overview of the most recent applications of the graph theory to electrophysiological data in the two by far most frequent neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Indexes for the E-Baking Tray Task: A Look on Laterality, Verticality and Quality of Exploration
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030401 - 17 Mar 2022
Viewed by 594
Abstract
The Baking Tray Task is an ecological task developed for the assessment of unilateral neglect that can also be used for research on neurotypical participants. In this task, participants are asked to place 16 objects inside a board as evenly as possible. In [...] Read more.
The Baking Tray Task is an ecological task developed for the assessment of unilateral neglect that can also be used for research on neurotypical participants. In this task, participants are asked to place 16 objects inside a board as evenly as possible. In the case of impaired spatial exploration, consequent to right attentional networks damage, asymmetrical object disposition is observed as more objects are placed on the ipsilesional side (typically the right side). The E-BTT is a technology-enhanced version of the Baking Tray Task, implemented with a software platform, E-TAN, which detects the objects and automatically computes their spatial coordinates. This allows a complement to the traditional scoring methods with new measures to extract richer information from the data. In this study, we focus on neurotypical participants to explore if some new indexes, derived from the literature review on similar tasks, can be applied to BTT and E-BTT for research aims. A principal component analysis (PCA) was then performed to verify if these new indexes reflect some common dimensions. Results indicate the emergence of two principal dimensions: spatiality, which summarizes both laterality and verticality, and quality, which regards the explored space and (dis)organization in placing the items. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensory and Motor Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
In Vivo Basilar Membrane Time Delays in Humans
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030400 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
To date, objective measurements and psychophysical experiments have been used to measure frequency dependent basilar membrane (BM) delays in humans; however, in vivo measurements have not been made. This study aimed to measure BM delays by performing intracochlear electrocochleography in cochlear implant recipients. [...] Read more.
To date, objective measurements and psychophysical experiments have been used to measure frequency dependent basilar membrane (BM) delays in humans; however, in vivo measurements have not been made. This study aimed to measure BM delays by performing intracochlear electrocochleography in cochlear implant recipients. Sixteen subjects with various degrees of hearing abilities were selected. Postoperative Computer Tomography was performed to determine electrode locations. Electrical potentials in response to acoustic tone pips at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz and clicks were recorded with electrodes at the frequency specific region. The electrode array was inserted up to the characteristic cochlear frequency region of 250 Hz for 6 subjects. Furthermore, the array was inserted in the region of 500 Hz for 15 subjects, and 1, 2, and 4 kHz were reached in all subjects. Intracochlear electrocochleography for each frequency-specific tone pip and clicks showed detectable responses in all subjects. The latencies differed among the cochlear location and the cochlear microphonic (CM) onset latency increased with decreasing frequency and were consistent with click derived band technique. Accordingly, BM delays in humans could be derived. The BM delays increased systematically along the cochlea from basal to apical end and were in accordance with Ruggero and Temchin, 2007. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Systems Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Editorial
New Advances in Neuropsychiatric Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030399 - 16 Mar 2022
Viewed by 581
Abstract
Neurological and psychiatric disorders during developmental ages affect an increasing share of the pediatric population, both due to the increased understanding and attention paid to these issues and due to increased risk factors [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurological Diseases in Children Series II)
Editorial
Individuals with Down Syndrome: Editorial
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030398 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 617
Abstract
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common syndromic cause of intellectual disability, so it has long been of interest to researchers [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Individuals with Down Syndrome)
Editorial
Replicability in Brain Imaging
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030397 - 16 Mar 2022
Viewed by 572
Abstract
In the early 2010s, the “replication crisis” and synonymous terms (“replicability crisis” and “reproducibility crisis”) were coined to describe growing concerns regarding published research results too often not being replicable, potentially undermining scientific progress [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Brain Imaging Replication Crisis)
Article
When Two Is Better Than One: A Pilot Study on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Plus Muscle Vibration in Treating Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030396 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 785
Abstract
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS) affects about 4–16% of adult women, and about one-third of them require medical assistance due to severe symptoms. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the supplementary motor area (SMA) has been shown to manage pain in refractory CPPS. [...] Read more.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS) affects about 4–16% of adult women, and about one-third of them require medical assistance due to severe symptoms. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the supplementary motor area (SMA) has been shown to manage pain in refractory CPPS. Focal muscle vibration (FMV) has also been reported to relieve pelvic pain. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility and effect of rTMS coupled with FMV to reduce pain in seven adult women with refractory CPPS. This pilot, open-labeled, prospective trial examined treatment by 5 Hz rTMS over SMA and 150 Hz FMV over the perineum, suprapubic, and sacrococcygeal areas, with one daily session for five consecutive days for three weeks. We assessed tolerance and subjective pain changes (as per visual analog scale, VAS) until one month post-treatment, with a primary endpoint at day 7. No patients experienced serious adverse effects or a significant increase in pain. Six out of seven patients experienced a VAS improvement of at least 10% at T7; three of these individuals experienced a VAS improvement of more than 30%. Overall, we found a significant VAS reduction of 15 points (95% CI 8.4–21.6) at T7 (t = 6.3, p = 0.001; ES = 2.3 (1.1–3.9)). Three of the women who demonstrated a significant VAS reduction at T7 retained such VAS improvement at T30. VAS decreased by six points (95% CI 1.3–10.7) at T30 (t = 3.1, p = 0.02; ES = 1.5 (0.2–2.6)). This coupled approach seems promising for pain management in adult women with refractory CPPS and paves the way for future randomized controlled trials. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Editorial
Brain Dynamics and Connectivity from Birth through Adolescence
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030395 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 685
Abstract
The human brain as a complex dynamic system undergoes significant structural and functional changes from birth to adulthood to engender neurocognitive functions [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Dynamics and Connectivity from Birth through Adulthood)
Review
Outcomes after Flow Diverter Treatment in Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: A Meta-Analysis and Development of a Clinical Prediction Model (OUTFLOW)
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030394 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 922
Abstract
Background: patients with a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) might need a flow diverter (FD) placement for complex acutely ruptured intracranial aneurysms (IAs). We conducted a meta-analysis and developed a prediction model to estimate the favorable clinical outcome after the FD treatment in acutely ruptured [...] Read more.
Background: patients with a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) might need a flow diverter (FD) placement for complex acutely ruptured intracranial aneurysms (IAs). We conducted a meta-analysis and developed a prediction model to estimate the favorable clinical outcome after the FD treatment in acutely ruptured IAs. Methods: a systematic literature search was performed from 2010 to January 2021 in PubMed and Embase databases. Studies with more than five patients treated with FDs within fifteen days were included. In total, 1157 studies were identified. The primary outcome measure was the favorable clinical outcome (mRS 0–2). Secondary outcome measures were complete occlusion rates, aneurysm rebleeding, permanent neurologic deficit caused by procedure-related complications, and all-cause mortality. A prediction model was constructed using individual patient-level data. Results: 26 retrospective studies with 357 patients and 368 aneurysms were included. The pooled rates of the favorable clinical outcome, mortality, and complete aneurysm occlusion were 73.7% (95% CI 64.7–81.0), 17.1% (95% CI 13.3–21.8), and 85.6% (95% CI 80.4–89.6), respectively. Rebleeding occurred in 3% of aneurysms (11/368). The c-statistic of the final model was 0.83 (95% CI 0.76–0.89). All the studies provided a very low quality of evidence. Conclusions: FD treatment can be considered for complex ruptured IAs. Despite high complication rates, the pooled clinical outcomes seem favorable. The prediction model needs to be validated by larger prospective studies before clinical application. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Do Older and Younger Adults Prefer the Positive or Avoid the Negative?
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030393 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 694
Abstract
Affective information is processed in different ways across one’s lifespan. Explanations for this pattern of performance are multiple and range from top-down motivational shifts and cognitive control to faster bottom-up and implicit processes. In this study, we aimed to investigate implicit affective information [...] Read more.
Affective information is processed in different ways across one’s lifespan. Explanations for this pattern of performance are multiple and range from top-down motivational shifts and cognitive control to faster bottom-up and implicit processes. In this study, we aimed to investigate implicit affective information processing and positivity effects by examining performance in a modified version of the dot-probe task across three image-pair conditions (positive/neutral; negative/neutral; and positive/negative). We examined data from 50 older adults and 50 younger adults. The results showed that affective information processing varies with age and valence and that age effects in affective processing may occur early during information processing. Positivity biases emerge in both younger and older adults. However, while younger adults seem to prioritize positive information independently of context, older adults showed this prioritization only when presented in an emotional (i.e., negative) context. Moreover, older adults showed a tendency to avoid negative information whereas younger adults showed a general bias for affective content modulated by image-pair context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Approaches to Memory and Aging)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Relationship between Behavioral and Objective Measures of Sound Intensity in Normal-Hearing Listeners and Hearing-Aid Users: A Pilot Study
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030392 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 696
Abstract
Background: For hearing-impaired individuals, hearing aids are clinically fit according to subjective measures of threshold and loudness. The goal of this study was to evaluate objective measures of loudness perception that might benefit hearing aid fitting. Method: Seventeen adult hearing aid users and [...] Read more.
Background: For hearing-impaired individuals, hearing aids are clinically fit according to subjective measures of threshold and loudness. The goal of this study was to evaluate objective measures of loudness perception that might benefit hearing aid fitting. Method: Seventeen adult hearing aid users and 17 normal-hearing adults participated in the study. Outcome measures including categorical loudness scaling, cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs), and pupillometry. Stimuli were 1-kHz tone bursts presented at 40, 60, and 80 dBA. Results: Categorical loudness scaling showed that loudness significantly increased with intensity for all participants (p < 0.05). For CAEPs, high intensity was associated with greater P1, N1, and P2 peak amplitude for all listeners (p < 0.05); a significant but small effect of hearing aid amplification was observed. For all participants, pupillometry showed significant effects of high intensity on pupil dilation (p < 0.05); there was no significant effect of hearing aid amplification. A Focused Principal Component analysis revealed significant correlations between subjective loudness and some of the objective measures. Conclusion: The present data suggest that intensity had a significant impact on loudness perception, CAEPs, and pupil response. The correlations suggest that pupillometry and/or CAEPs may be useful in determining comfortable amplification for hearing aids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Hearing Loss Diagnosis and Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Threat Detection in Nearby Space Mobilizes Human Ventral Premotor Cortex, Intraparietal Sulcus, and Amygdala
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030391 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 741
Abstract
In the monkey brain, the precentral gyrus and ventral intraparietal area are two interconnected brain regions that form a system for detecting and responding to events in nearby “peripersonal” space (PPS), with threat detection as one of its major functions. Behavioral studies point [...] Read more.
In the monkey brain, the precentral gyrus and ventral intraparietal area are two interconnected brain regions that form a system for detecting and responding to events in nearby “peripersonal” space (PPS), with threat detection as one of its major functions. Behavioral studies point toward a similar defensive function of PPS in humans. Here, our aim was to find support for this hypothesis by investigating if homolog regions in the human brain respond more strongly to approaching threatening stimuli. During fMRI scanning, naturalistic social stimuli were presented in a 3D virtual environment. Our results showed that the ventral premotor cortex and intraparietal sulcus responded more strongly to threatening stimuli entering PPS. Moreover, we found evidence for the involvement of the amygdala and anterior insula in processing threats. We propose that the defensive function of PPS may be supported by a subcortical circuit that sends information about the relevance of the stimulus to the premotor cortex and intraparietal sulcus, where action preparation is facilitated when necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Cognition across Healthy and Neuropsychiatric Conditions)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Case Report
Autistic-like Behaviors Associated with a Novel Non-Canonical Splice-Site DDX3X Variant: A Case Report of a Rare Clinical Syndrome
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030390 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1272
Abstract
Background. Heterozygous pathogenic variants in the DDX3X gene account for 1–3% of females with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The clinical presentation is variable, including a wide range of neurological and behavioral deficits and structural defects of the brain. Approximately 52% of affected [...] Read more.
Background. Heterozygous pathogenic variants in the DDX3X gene account for 1–3% of females with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The clinical presentation is variable, including a wide range of neurological and behavioral deficits and structural defects of the brain. Approximately 52% of affected females remain nonverbal after five years of age. Case presentation: We report a 7 year old nonverbal female with a likely novel de novo pathogenic heterozygous variant in the DDX3X gene affecting the non-canonical splice-site in the intron 1 (NM_001356:c.45+12G>A). The patient presents with features typical for the DDX3X phenotype, such as: movement disorders, behavioral problems, a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and some other features uncommon for DDX3X such as: muscle hypertonia and spinal asymmetry evaluated through the scoliometer. Conclusions. Due to its rare occurrence, the clinical picture of DDX3X syndrome is yet to be fully determined. So far, behavioral disorders, including those from ASD, and neurological abnormalities seem to be the dominant features of this disorder. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Developmental Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Case Report
New Insight in Hyperinsulinism/Hyperammonemia Syndrome by Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030389 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 620
Abstract
Hyperinsulinism/hyperammonemia syndrome (HI/HA) is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by monoallelic activating mutations in the glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (GLUD1) gene. While hyperinsulinism may be explained by a reduction in the allosteric inhibition of GLUD1, the pathogenesis of HA in HI/HA [...] Read more.
Hyperinsulinism/hyperammonemia syndrome (HI/HA) is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by monoallelic activating mutations in the glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (GLUD1) gene. While hyperinsulinism may be explained by a reduction in the allosteric inhibition of GLUD1, the pathogenesis of HA in HI/HA remains uncertain; interestingly, HA in the HI/HA syndrome is not associated with acute hyperammonemic intoxication events. We obtained a brain magnetic resonance (MR) in a woman with HI/HA syndrome with chronic asymptomatic HA. On MR spectroscopy, choline and myoinositol were decreased as in other HA disorders. In contrast, distinct from other HA disorders, combined glutamate and glutamine levels were normal (not increased). This observation suggests that brain biochemistry in HI/HA may differ from that of other HA disorders. In HI/HA, ammonia overproduction may come to the expense of glutamate levels, and this seems to prevent the condensation of ammonia with glutamate to produce glutamine that is typical of the other HA disorders. The absence of combined glutamate and glutamine elevation might be correlated to the absence of acute cerebral ammonia toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neural Control of Peripheral Function)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Gender Differences in Dual Diagnoses Associated with Cannabis Use: A Review
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030388 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 752
Abstract
Gender differences in psychiatric disorders and drug use are well known. Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug among young people. In recent years, its use has been related to the development of psychiatric pathologies; however, few studies have incorporated the gender [...] Read more.
Gender differences in psychiatric disorders and drug use are well known. Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug among young people. In recent years, its use has been related to the development of psychiatric pathologies; however, few studies have incorporated the gender perspective as of yet. The present work analyses the literature to determine the existence of gender differences in the development of psychotic, depressive and anxious symptoms associated with cannabis use. First, we describe cannabis misuse and its consequences, paying special attention to adolescent subjects. Second, the main gender differences in psychiatric disorders, such as psychosis, depression, anxiety and cannabis use disorders, are enumerated. Subsequently, we discuss the studies that have evaluated gender differences in the association between cannabis use and the appearance of psychotic, depressive and anxious symptoms; moreover, we consider the possible explanations for the identified gender differences. In conclusion, the studies referred to in this review reveal the existence of gender differences in psychiatric symptoms associated with cannabis use, although the direction of such differences is not always clear. Future research is necessary to discern the causal relationship between cannabis use and the development of psychiatric symptoms, as well as the gender differences found. Full article
Article
Changes in the Serum Levels of Cytokines: IL-1β, IL-4, IL-8 and IL-10 in Depression with and without Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030387 - 14 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 725
Abstract
Background: Both depressive disorders (DD) and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) are caused by immune system dysfunction. Affected individuals show increased proinflammatory cytokine concentration levels. Also, it has been hypothesized that DD and PTSD might be associated with a generalized proinflammatory cytokine signature. The [...] Read more.
Background: Both depressive disorders (DD) and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) are caused by immune system dysfunction. Affected individuals show increased proinflammatory cytokine concentration levels. Also, it has been hypothesized that DD and PTSD might be associated with a generalized proinflammatory cytokine signature. The study assessed the concentration of IL-1β, IL-4, IL-8 and IL-10 in depression alone and with PTSD. Methods: The study involved 460 participants. Out of them, 420 subjects comprised a study group and 40 subjects comprised a control group. Each study group consisted of 60 patients with mild depression (MD), moderate depression (MOD), severe depression (SeD), MD and PTSD (MD + PTSD), MOD and PTSD (MOD + PTSD), SeD and PTSD (SeD + PTSD), and with PTSD alone. All patients had serum concentration of IL-1β, IL-4, IL-8 and IL-10 measured with ELISA. Results: DD and PTSD are reflected in IL-1β, IL-4, IL-8 and IL-10 concentration levels. It was reported that mean levels of IL-1β, IL-4, IL-8 increase as depression became more severe. A regular decrease in IL-10 concentration levels was noted with the onset and exacerbation of depressive symptoms. Conclusion: The findings might be useful when considering chronic inflammation as a potential target or biomarker in depression and PTSD treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Mechanisms and Treatments of Neurodegenerative Diseases)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Systematic Review
Brain Correlates of the Alcohol Use Disorder Pharmacotherapy Response: A Systematic Review of Neuroimaging Studies
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030386 - 14 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1228
Abstract
Background: Although Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is highly prevalent worldwide, treating this condition remains challenging. Further, potential treatments for AUD do not fully address alcohol-induced neuroadaptive changes. Understanding the effects of pharmacotherapies for AUD on the human brain may lead to tailored, more [...] Read more.
Background: Although Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is highly prevalent worldwide, treating this condition remains challenging. Further, potential treatments for AUD do not fully address alcohol-induced neuroadaptive changes. Understanding the effects of pharmacotherapies for AUD on the human brain may lead to tailored, more effective treatments, and improved individual clinical outcomes. Objectives: We systematically reviewed the literature for studies investigating pharmacotherapies for AUD that included neuroimaging-based treatment outcomes. We searched the PubMed, Scielo, and PsycINFO databases up to January 2021. Study eligibility criteria, participants, and interventions: Eligible studies included those investigating pharmacotherapies for AUD and employing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and/or proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H-MRS). Study appraisal and synthesis methods: Two independent reviewers screened studies’ titles and abstracts for inclusion. Data extraction forms were shared among all the authors to standardize data collection. We gathered information on the following variables: sample size; mean age; sociodemographic and clinical characteristics; alcohol use status; study design and methodology; main neuroimaging findings and brain-regions of interest (i.e., brain areas activated by alcohol use and possible pharmacological interactions); and limitations of each study. Results: Out of 177 studies selected, 20 studies provided relevant data for the research topic. Findings indicate that: (1) Acamprosate and gabapentin may selectively modulate limbic regions and the anterior cingulate cortex; (2) Naltrexone and disulfiram effects may involve prefrontal, premotor, and cerebellar regions; (3) Pharmacotherapies acting on glutamate and GABA neurotransmission involve primarily areas underpinning reward and negative affective states, and; (4) Pharmacotherapies acting on opioid and dopamine systems may affect areas responsible for the cognitive and motor factors of AUD. Limitations: Most of the studies were focused on naltrexone. A small number of studies investigated the action of disulfiram and gabapentin, and no neuroimaging studies investigated topiramate. In addition, the time between medication and neuroimaging scans varied widely across studies. Conclusions: We identified key-brain regions modulated by treatments available for AUD. Some of the regions modulated by naltrexone are not specific to the brain reward system, such as the parahippocampal gyrus (temporal lobe), parietal and occipital lobes. Other treatments also modulate not specific regions of the reward system, but play a role in the addictive behaviors, including the insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The role of these brain regions in mediating the AUD pharmacotherapy response warrants investigation in future research studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Collection on Systems Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Pragmatic Profiles of Adults with Fragile X Syndrome and Williams Syndrome
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030385 - 13 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 789
Abstract
Linguistic phenotypes of individuals with Fragile X (FXS) and Williams (WS) syndromes exhibit various degrees of pragmatic impairment, involving difficulties in social communication and in adapting to conversational principles. The goal of the present study was to explore syndrome-specific pragmatic profiles of adults [...] Read more.
Linguistic phenotypes of individuals with Fragile X (FXS) and Williams (WS) syndromes exhibit various degrees of pragmatic impairment, involving difficulties in social communication and in adapting to conversational principles. The goal of the present study was to explore syndrome-specific pragmatic profiles of adults with FXS and WS based on the assessment of the observance of Gricean maxims of conversation. The participants were 12 Spanish-speaking adults (6 FXS/6 WS), without a diagnosis of ASD, whose extensive naturalistic conversations (71,859 words) were transcribed and coded with the CHILDES/TALKBANK tools and the PREP-CORP pragmatic protocol. Violations of the maxims of conversation were analyzed, and indexes of cooperation and conversational response were obtained. Both groups showed reduced verbal production and repetitive dysfluencies; prominent features in the FXS profile were higher proportion of non-contingent language, perseverations of topic and form, and impulsive conversational responses; in the WS profile, salient characteristics were higher proportion of tangential utterances, reformulations, and conversational responses reflecting overly literal interpretation. Pragmatic profiles of violation of conversational maxims reflect specific communication skills impaired in adults with FXS and WS and raise the need for assessment and intervention methods that specifically address their social communication abilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Developmental Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Case Report
An Equivocal SCC Lesion—Antiepileptic-Induced CLOCC
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030384 - 13 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 711
Abstract
We present a case of a woman who reported to the emergency unit due to recurrent episodes of severe headache and collapse. MRI examination revealed no relevant findings apart from small meningioma of the right parietal region. The patient was diagnosed with epilepsy [...] Read more.
We present a case of a woman who reported to the emergency unit due to recurrent episodes of severe headache and collapse. MRI examination revealed no relevant findings apart from small meningioma of the right parietal region. The patient was diagnosed with epilepsy and received outpatient treatment, which was changed due to poor toleration. A follow-up MRI was performed which revealed an isolated, focal lesion of the splenium of the corpus callosum. The patient underwent extensive laboratory testing and antiseizure medications were started again. Another MRI indicated substantial regression of the splenium of the corpus callosum (SCC) lesion. Both the complete clinical image and results of the diagnostic evaluation spoke in favor of cytotoxicity of the corpus callosum associated with anti-epileptic drug treatment. Pathologies involving the corpus callosum include congenital, demyelination, infection, neoplasm, trauma and vascular changes. Isolated, non-specific lesions of the splenium of corpus callosum usually indicate multiple sclerosis; however, other pathologies should be considered. Anti-epileptic drugs may evoke cytotoxic lesions of the corpus callosum (CLOCCs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migraine and Neurological Disorders)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop