Impact of alcohol use on EEG dynamics of response inhibition: a cotwin control analysis.
ABSTRACT: Research indicates that alcohol misuse is associated with behavioral disinhibition, but the neurophysiological mechanisms governing this relationship remain largely unknown. Recent work suggests that successful inhibition and cognitive control involve electrophysiological theta-band dynamics, including medial frontal cortex (MFC) power enhancement and functional connectivity between the MFC and dorsal prefrontal cortex (dPFC) regions, which may be disrupted by alcohol misuse. In addition, research suggests that, compared to men, women are at heightened risk of experiencing the negative physical and neurocognitive correlates of drinking. The present study tested the hypothesis that alcohol misuse has a deleterious effect on theta-band response inhibition EEG dynamics in a sample of 300 24-year-old same-sex twins. A cotwin control (CTC) design was used to disentangle premorbid risk for alcohol use from the causal effects of alcohol exposure. Drinking was negatively associated with theta-band MFC power and MFC-dPFC connectivity during response inhibition, and this effect was stronger among women. The CTC analysis suggested that, for women, reduced nogo-related theta-band MFC power and MFC-dPFC connectivity were both consistent with the potential deleterious causal effects of alcohol exposure. These findings suggest that diminished theta-band MFC power and MFC-dPFC connectivity may be neurophysiological mechanisms underlying alcohol-related disinhibition. Although preliminary, these results suggest that normative levels of alcohol use during emerging adulthood have potential sex-specific causal effects on response inhibition EEG dynamics, and thus have potentially significant public health implications.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Adolescent alcohol use (AAU) is associated with brain anomalies, but less is known about long-term neurocognitive effects. Despite theoretical models linking AAU to diminished cognitive control, empirical work testing this relationship with specific cognitive control neural correlates (e.g., prefrontal theta-band EEG dynamics) remains scarce. A longitudinal twin design was used to test the hypothesis that greater AAU is associated with reduced conflict-related EEG theta-band dynamics in adulthood, and to examine the genetic/environmental etiology of this association. METHODS:In a large (N=718) population-based prospective twin sample, AAU was assessed at ages 11/14/17. Twins completed a flanker task at age 29 to elicit EEG theta-band medial frontal cortex (MFC) power and medial-dorsal prefrontal cortex (MFC-dPFC) connectivity. Two complementary analytic methods (cotwin control analysis; biometric modeling) were used to disentangle the genetic/shared environmental risk towards AAU from possible alcohol exposure effects on theta dynamics. RESULTS:AAU was negatively associated with adult cognitive control-related theta-band MFC power and MFC-dPFC functional connectivity. Genetic influences primarily underlie these associations. CONCLUSIONS:Findings provide strong evidence that genetic factors underlie the comorbidity between AAU and diminished cognitive control-related theta dynamics in adulthood. SIGNIFICANCE:Conflict-related theta-band dynamics appear to be candidate brain-based endophenotypes/mechanisms for AAU.
Project description:We describe for the first time the fast dynamics of functional and effective (causal) connectivity during word reading. Independent component analysis of high-density EEG recorded during a word reading task recovered multiple sources of electrical brain activity previously identified by fMRI and PET. Results confirmed the ventral occipito-temporal cortex (vOT) as a central hub for word reading, showing a progression of theta-band (3-7 Hz) and gamma-band (30-50 Hz) phase synchronization and directed theta-band and gamma-band information flow with both early visual areas and high-level language-processing areas. These results highlight the interplay between local and long-distance neural dynamics involved at each stage of the reading process. Moreover, these measures of functional and causal connectivity dynamics may be used as a benchmark for comparison with clinical populations (e.g. individuals with developmental dyslexia), such that disturbances in connectivity dynamics may provide insight as to underlying neurological problems with language processing, and their potential remediation.
Project description:While the P3 component during target detection and novelty processing has been widely studied, less is known about its underlying network dynamics. A recent cognitive model suggests that frontal-parietal and frontal-temporal interregional connectivity are related to attention/action selection and target-related memory updating during the P3, respectively, but empirical work testing this model is lacking. Other work suggests the importance of theta- and delta-band connectivity between the medial frontal cortex and distributed cortical regions during attention, stimulus detection, and response selection processes, and similar dynamics may underlie P3-related network connectivity. The present study evaluated the functional connectivity elicited during a visual task, which combined oddball target and novelty stimuli, in a sample of 231 same-sex twins. It was hypothesized that both target and novel conditions would involve theta frontoparietal connectivity and medial frontal theta power, but that target stimuli would elicit the strongest frontotemporal connectivity. EEG time-frequency analysis revealed greater theta-band frontoparietal connectivity and medial frontal power during both target and novel conditions compared to standards, which may index conflict/uncertainty resolution processes. Theta-band frontotemporal connectivity was maximal during the target condition, potentially reflecting context updating or stimulus-response activation. Delta-band frontocentral-parietal connectivity was also strongest following targets, which may be sensitive to response-related demands. These results suggest the existence of functional networks related to P3 that are differentially engaged by target oddballs and novel distractors. Compared to simple P3 amplitude, network measures may provide a more nuanced view of the neural dynamics during target detection/novelty processing in normative and pathological populations.
Project description:The distribution of pathology in frontotemporal dementia is anatomically selective, to distinct cortical regions and with differential neurodegeneration across the cortical layers. The cytoarchitecture and connectivity of cortical laminae preferentially supports frequency-specific oscillations and hierarchical information transfer between brain regions. We therefore predicted that in frontotemporal dementia, core functional deficits such as disinhibition would be associated with differences in the frequency spectrum and altered cross-frequency coupling between frontal cortical regions. We examined this hypothesis using a 'Go-NoGo' response inhibition paradigm with 18 patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia and 20 healthy aged-matched controls during magnetoencephalography. During Go and NoGo trials, beta desynchronization was severely attenuated in patients. Beta power was associated with increased impulsivity, as measured by the Cambridge Behavioural Inventory, a carer-based questionnaire of changes in everyday behaviour. To quantify the changes in cross-frequency coupling in the frontal lobe, we used dynamic causal modelling to test a family of hierarchical casual models, which included the inferior frontal gyrus, pre-supplementary motor area (preSMA) and primary motor cortex. This analysis revealed evidence for cross-frequency coupling in a fully connected network in both groups. However, in the patient group, we identified a significant loss of reciprocal connectivity of the inferior frontal gyrus, particularly for interactions in the gamma band and for theta to alpha coupling. Importantly, although prefrontal coupling was diminished, gamma connectivity between preSMA and motor cortex was enhanced in patients. We propose that the disruption of behavioural control arises from reduced frequency-specific connectivity of the prefrontal cortex, together with a hyper-synchronous reorganization of connectivity among preSMA and motor regions. These results are supported by preclinical evidence of the selectivity of frontotemporal lobar degeneration on oscillatory dynamics, and provide a clinically relevant yet precise neurophysiological signature of behavioural control as a potential pharmacological target for early phase experimental medicines studies.
Project description:Diminished cognitive control in alcohol use disorder (AUD) is thought to be mediated by prefrontal cortex circuitry dysregulation. Research testing the relationship between AUD and specific cognitive control psychophysiological correlates, such as medial frontal (MF) theta-band EEG power, is scarce, and the etiology of this relationship is largely unknown. The current report tested relationship between pathological alcohol use through young adulthood and reduced conflict-related theta at age 29 in a large prospective population-based twin sample. Greater lifetime AUD symptomatology was associated with reduced MF theta power during response conflict, but not alpha-band visual attention processing. Follow-up analyses using cotwin control analysis and biometric modeling suggested that genetic influences, and not the consequences of sustained AUD symptomatology, explained the theta-AUD association. Results provide strong evidence that AUD is genetically related to diminished conflict-related MF theta, and advance MF theta as a promising electrophysiological correlate of AUD-related dysfunctional frontal circuitry.
Project description:The polymorphism of variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) in dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene exon III has been linked to various neuro-psychiatric conditions with disinhibition/impulsivity as one of the core features. This study examined the modulatory effects of long-allele variant of DRD4 VNTR on the regional neural activity as well as inter-regional neural interactions in a young female population. Blood sample and resting state eyes-closed EEG signals were collected in 233 healthy females, stratified into two groups by polymerase chain reaction: long-allele carriers (>4- repeat) and non-carriers (<=4-repeat/<=4-repeat). The values of mean power of 18 electrodes and mutual information of 38 channel pairs across theta, alpha, and beta frequencies were analyzed. Our connectivity analysis was based on information theory, which combined Morlet wavelet transform and mutual information calculation. Between-group differences of regional power and connectivity strength were quantified by independent t-test, while between-group differences in global trends were examined by non-parametric analyses. We noticed that DRD4 VNTR long-allele was associated with decreased global connectivity strength (from non-parametric analysis), especially over bi-frontal, biparietal and right fronto-parietal and right fronto-temporal connections (from independent t-tests). The between-group differences in regional power were not robust. Our findings fit with the networks of response inhibition, providing evidence bridging DRD4 long-allele and disinhibition/impulsivity in neuropsychiatric disorders. We suggest future DRD4 studies of imaging genetics incorporate connectivity analysis to unveil its impact on cerebral network.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Impaired consciousness has been associated with impaired cortical signal propagation after transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). We hypothesised that the reduced current propagation under propofol-induced unresponsiveness is associated with changes in both feedforward and feedback connectivity across the cortical hierarchy. METHODS:Eight subjects underwent left occipital TMS coupled with high-density EEG recordings during wakefulness and propofol-induced unconsciousness. Spectral analysis was applied to responses recorded from sensors overlying six hierarchical cortical sources involved in visual processing. Dynamic causal modelling (DCM) of induced time-frequency responses and evoked response potentials were used to investigate propofol's effects on connectivity between regions. RESULTS:Sensor space analysis demonstrated that propofol reduced both induced and evoked power after TMS in occipital, parietal, and frontal electrodes. Bayesian model selection supported a DCM with hierarchical feedforward and feedback connections. DCM of induced EEG responses revealed that the primary effect of propofol was impaired feedforward responses in cross-frequency theta/alpha-gamma coupling and within frequency theta coupling (F contrast, family-wise error corrected P<0.05). An exploratory analysis (thresholded at uncorrected P<0.001) also suggested that propofol impaired feedforward and feedback beta band coupling. Post hoc analyses showed impairments in all feedforward connections and one feedback connection from parietal to occipital cortex. DCM of the evoked response potential showed impaired feedforward connectivity between left-sided occipital and parietal cortex (T contrast P=0.004, Bonferroni corrected). CONCLUSIONS:Propofol-induced loss of consciousness is associated with impaired hierarchical feedforward connectivity assessed by EEG after occipital TMS.
Project description:The frontal eye fields (FEFs) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) are commonly coactivated for cognitive saccade tasks, but whether this joined activation indexes coordinated activity underlying successful guidance of sensorimotor mapping is unknown. Here we test whether ACC and FEF circuits coordinate through phase synchronization of local field potential and neural spiking activity in macaque monkeys performing memory-guided and pro- and anti-saccades. We find that FEF and ACC showed prominent synchronization at a 3-9?Hz theta and a 12-30?Hz beta frequency band during the delay and preparation periods with a strong Granger-causal influence from ACC to FEF. The strength of theta- and beta-band coherence between ACC and FEF but not variations in power predict correct task performance. Taken together, the results support a role of ACC in cognitive control of frontoparietal networks and suggest that narrow-band theta and to some extent beta rhythmic activity indexes the coordination of relevant information during periods of enhanced control demands.
Project description:In daily life, complex events are perceived in a causal manner, suggesting that the brain relies on predictive processes to model them. Within predictive coding theory, oscillatory beta-band activity has been linked to top-down predictive signals and gamma-band activity to bottom-up prediction errors. However, neurocognitive evidence for predictive coding outside lower-level sensory areas is scarce. We used magnetoencephalography to investigate neural activity during probability-dependent action perception in three areas pivotal for causal inference, superior temporal sulcus, temporoparietal junction and medial prefrontal cortex, using bowling action animations. Within this network, Granger-causal connectivity in the beta-band was found to be strongest for backward top-down connections and gamma for feed-forward bottom-up connections. Moreover, beta-band power in TPJ increased parametrically with the predictability of the action kinematics-outcome sequences. Conversely, gamma-band power in TPJ and MPFC increased with prediction error. These findings suggest that the brain utilizes predictive-coding-like computations for higher-order cognition such as perception of causal events.