Human Brain Responses and Functional Brain Networks across the Lifespan

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425). This special issue belongs to the section "Developmental Neuroscience".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 July 2024 | Viewed by 4902

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Human and Health Sciences, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
Interests: neuro-cognitive development; environmental influences on brain development; ERPs and brain oscillations; schizophrenia

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Arts and Science, Izmir University of Economics, 35330 Izmir, Turkey
Interests: cognitive neuroscience; experimental neuroscience; electroencephalography; neural networks; psychiatric illnesses

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Life-long adaptation of human brain networks allows for responding to life-period-specific challenges. This enables increasingly complex cognitive functions during development and compensational processes during aging. Enhanced neuroplasticity occurs during development or is triggered by life-changing events and may have a sustained impact on the later stages of life, including educational and work–life trajectories. Recent studies increasingly mirror how brain development and function are influenced by social experiences due to socio-economic status, familiar relationships, and social acceptance of group identities, for example. Human brain development further relates to risks of emerging mental health disorders or accelerated mental aging.

These multifold aspects of adaptations in human brain networks through life can be characterized by event-related and oscillatory EEG or MEG measures. Their high temporal resolution specifically enables determining age-related changes in the temporal coordination of multiple neural activation patterns and their integration within functional neural networks.

The aim of this Special Issue is to bring together a broad range of EEG/MEG studies to better understand the mechanisms and functions of brain changes through the lifespan. Empirical, theoretical, and methodological papers are welcome, focusing on healthy, risk- and illness-related brain changes with age, and their relation to cognitive or everyday function.

Prof. Dr. Birgit Mathes
Prof. Dr. Canan Başar-Eroǧlu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • brain development and aging
  • cognitive and socio-emotional function through life
  • event-related potentials
  • brain oscillations
  • neural networks
  • social experience
  • neuroplasticity
  • cross-sectional and longitudinal studies

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 5084 KiB  
Article
The Development of Global-Level Categorization: Frequency Tagging EEG Responses
by Stefanie Peykarjou, Stefanie Hoehl and Sabina Pauen
Brain Sci. 2024, 14(6), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci14060541 - 24 May 2024
Viewed by 204
Abstract
Adults and infants form abstract categories of visual objects, but little is known about the development of global categorization. This study aims to characterize the development of very fast global categorization (living and non-living objects) and to determine whether and how low-level stimulus [...] Read more.
Adults and infants form abstract categories of visual objects, but little is known about the development of global categorization. This study aims to characterize the development of very fast global categorization (living and non-living objects) and to determine whether and how low-level stimulus characteristics contribute to this response. Frequency tagging was used to characterize the development of global-level categorization in N = 69 infants (4, 7, 11 months), N = 22 children (5–6 years old), and N = 20 young adults. Images were presented in an oddball paradigm, with a category change at every fifth position (AAAABAAAABA…). Strong and significant high-level categorization was observed in all age groups, with reduced responses for phase-scrambled control sequences (R2 = 0.34–0.73). No differences between the categorization of living and non-living targets were observed. These data demonstrate high-level visual categorization as living and non-living from four months to adulthood, providing converging evidence that humans are highly sensitive to broad categorical information from infancy onward. Full article
13 pages, 974 KiB  
Article
Predicted Brain Age in First-Episode Psychosis: Association with Inexpressivity
by Dean F. Salisbury, Brian M. Wulf, Dylan Seebold, Brian A. Coffman, Mark T. Curtis and Helmet T. Karim
Brain Sci. 2024, 14(6), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci14060532 - 24 May 2024
Viewed by 395
Abstract
Accelerated brain aging is a possible mechanism of pathology in schizophrenia. Advances in MRI-based brain development algorithms allow for the calculation of predicted brain age (PBA) for individuals. Here, we assessed PBA in 70 first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum individuals (FESz) and 76 matched healthy neurotypical [...] Read more.
Accelerated brain aging is a possible mechanism of pathology in schizophrenia. Advances in MRI-based brain development algorithms allow for the calculation of predicted brain age (PBA) for individuals. Here, we assessed PBA in 70 first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum individuals (FESz) and 76 matched healthy neurotypical comparison individuals (HC) to determine if FESz showed advanced aging proximal to psychosis onset and whether PBA was associated with neurocognitive, social functioning, or symptom severity measures. PBA was calculated with BrainAgeR (v2.1) from T1-weighted MR scans. There were no differences in the PBAs between groups. After controlling for actual age, a “younger” PBA was associated with higher vocabulary scores among all individuals, while an “older” PBA was associated with more severe negative symptom “Inexpressivity” component scores among FESz. Female participants in both groups had an elevated PBA relative to male participants. These results suggest that a relatively younger brain age is associated with a better semantic memory performance. There is no evidence for accelerated aging in FESz with a late adolescent/early adult onset. Despite a normative PBA, FESz with a greater residual PBA showed impairments in a cluster of negative symptoms, which may indicate some underlying age-related pathology proximal to psychosis onset. Although a period of accelerated aging cannot be ruled out with disease course, it does not occur at the time of the first episode. Full article
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14 pages, 3867 KiB  
Article
Development of Gamma Oscillation during Sentence Processing in Early Adolescence: Insights into the Maturation of Semantic Processing
by Mohammad Hossein Behboudi, Stephanie Castro, Prasanth Chalamalasetty and Mandy J. Maguire
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1639; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13121639 - 26 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
Children’s ability to retrieve word meanings and incorporate them into sentences, along with the neural structures that support these skills, continues to evolve throughout adolescence. Theta (4–8 Hz) activity that corresponds to word retrieval in children decreases in power and becomes more localized [...] Read more.
Children’s ability to retrieve word meanings and incorporate them into sentences, along with the neural structures that support these skills, continues to evolve throughout adolescence. Theta (4–8 Hz) activity that corresponds to word retrieval in children decreases in power and becomes more localized with age. This bottom-up word retrieval is often paired with changes in gamma (31–70 Hz), which are thought to reflect semantic unification in adults. Here, we studied gamma engagement during sentence processing using EEG time–frequency in children (ages 8–15) to unravel the developmental trajectory of the gamma network during sentence processing. Children heavily rely on semantic integration for sentence comprehension, but as they mature, semantic and syntactic processing units become distinct and localized. We observed a similar developmental shift in gamma oscillation around age 11, with younger groups (8–9 and 10–11) exhibiting broadly distributed gamma activity with higher amplitudes, while older groups (12–13 and 14–15) exhibited smaller and more localized gamma activity, especially over the left central and posterior regions. We interpret these findings as support for the argument that younger children rely more heavily on semantic processes for sentence comprehension than older children. And like adults, semantic processing in children is associated with gamma activity. Full article
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Review

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16 pages, 294 KiB  
Review
A Review of Childhood Developmental Changes in Attention as Indexed in the Electrical Activity of the Brain
by Sirel Karakaş
Brain Sci. 2024, 14(5), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci14050458 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 747
Abstract
This review aims to present age-related changes in the neuroelectric responses of typically developing children (TDC) who are presumed to meet developmental stages appropriately. The review is based on findings from the frequently used neuropsychological tasks of active attention, where attention is deliberately [...] Read more.
This review aims to present age-related changes in the neuroelectric responses of typically developing children (TDC) who are presumed to meet developmental stages appropriately. The review is based on findings from the frequently used neuropsychological tasks of active attention, where attention is deliberately focused versus passive attention where attention is drawn to a stimulus, facilitatory attention, which enhances the processing of a stimulus versus inhibitory attention, which suppresses the processing of a stimulus. The review discusses the early and late stages of attentional selectivity that correspond to early and late information processing. Age-related changes in early attentional selectivity were quantitatively represented in latencies of the event-related potential (ERP) components. Age-related changes in late attentional selectivity are also qualitatively represented by structural and functional reorganization of attentional processing and the brain areas involved. The purely bottom-up or top-down processing is challenged with age-related findings on difficult tasks that ensure a high cognitive load. TDC findings on brain oscillatory activity are enriched by findings from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The transition from the low to fast oscillations in TDC and ADHD confirmed the maturational lag hypothesis. The deviant topographical localization of the oscillations confirmed the maturational deviance model. The gamma-based match and utilization model integrates all levels of attentional processing. According to these findings and theoretical formulations, brain oscillations can potentially display the human brain’s wholistic–integrative functions. Full article
24 pages, 1885 KiB  
Review
The Necessity of Taking Culture and Context into Account When Studying the Relationship between Socioeconomic Status and Brain Development
by Julie M. Schneider, Mohammad Hossein Behboudi and Mandy J. Maguire
Brain Sci. 2024, 14(4), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci14040392 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1389
Abstract
Decades of research has revealed a relationship between childhood socioeconomic status (SES) and brain development at the structural and functional levels. Of particular note is the distinction between income and maternal education, two highly correlated factors which seem to influence brain development through [...] Read more.
Decades of research has revealed a relationship between childhood socioeconomic status (SES) and brain development at the structural and functional levels. Of particular note is the distinction between income and maternal education, two highly correlated factors which seem to influence brain development through distinct pathways. Specifically, while a families’ income-to-needs ratio is linked with physiological stress and household chaos, caregiver education influences the day-to-day language environment a child is exposed to. Variability in either one of these environmental experiences is related to subsequent brain development. While this work has the potential to inform public policies in a way that benefits children, it can also oversimplify complex factors, unjustly blame low-SES parents, and perpetuate a harmful deficit perspective. To counteract these shortcomings, researchers must consider sociodemographic differences in the broader cultural context that underlie SES-based differences in brain development. This review aims to address these issues by (a) identifying how sociodemographic mechanisms associated with SES influence the day-to-day experiences of children, in turn, impacting brain development, while (b) considering the broader cultural contexts that may differentially impact this relationship. Full article
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