Individual Differences in the Accuracy of Judgments of Learning Are Related to the Gray Matter Volume and Functional Connectivity of the Left Mid-Insula.
ABSTRACT: The judgment of learning (JOL) is an important form of prospective metamemory judgment, and the biological basis of the JOL process is an important topic in metamemory research. Although previous task-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have examined the brain regions underlying the JOL process, the neural correlates of individual differences in JOL accuracy require further investigation. This study used structural and resting-state functional MRI to investigate whether individual differences in JOL accuracy are related to the gray matter (GM) volume and functional connectivity of the bilateral insula and medial Brodmann area (BA) 11, which are assumed to be related to JOL accuracy. We found that individual differences in JOL accuracy were related to the GM volume of the left mid-insula and to the functional connectivity between the left mid-insula and various other regions, including the left superior parietal lobule/precuneus, bilateral inferior parietal lobule/intraparietal sulcus, right frontal pole and left parahippocampal gyrus/fusiform gyrus/cerebellum. Further analyses indicated that the functional connectivity related to individual differences in JOL accuracy could be divided into two factors and might support information integration and selective attention processes underlying accurate JOLs. In addition, individual differences in JOL accuracy were not related to the GM volume or functional connectivity of the medial BA 11. Our findings provide novel evidence for the role of the left mid-insula and its functional connectivity in the JOL process.
Project description:Judgments of learning (JOL) pertain to introspective metamemory processes evaluating how well information is learned. Using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task, we investigated the neural substrates of JOL predictions in a group of 105 cognitively unimpaired older adults from the Harvard Aging Brain Study. Associations of JOL performance and its neural correlates with amyloid-? (A?) and tau pathology, two proteinopathies associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and aging, were also examined. We found that trials judged as learned well relative to trials judged as learned less well (high JOL?>?low JOL) engaged the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and precuneus, among other midline regions, in addition to bilateral hippocampi. In this cohort of older adults, greater levels of entorhinal tau deposition were associated with overestimation of memory performance and with lower fMRI signal in midline regions during predicted memory success. No associations with A? were found. The findings suggest that tau pathology in unimpaired older adults may play a role in altered metamemory processes. We discuss our findings in light of the hypothesis that JOLs are partially dependent on a process involving attempts to retrieve a correct answer from memory, as well as implications for clinical research investigating unawareness of memory performance (i.e., anosognosia) in patients with AD dementia.
Project description:Functional neuroimaging studies suggest that the anterior, mid, and posterior division of the insula subserve different functions in the perception of pain. The anterior insula (AI) has predominantly been associated with cognitive-affective aspects of pain, while the mid and posterior divisions have been implicated in sensory-discriminative processing. We examined whether this functional segregation is paralleled by differences in (1) structural and (2) resting state connectivity and (3) in correlations with pain-relevant psychological traits. Analyses were restricted to the 3 insular subdivisions and other pain-related brain regions. Both type of analyses revealed largely overlapping results. The AI division was predominantly connected to the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (structural and resting state connectivity) and orbitofrontal cortex (structural connectivity). In contrast, the posterior insula showed strong connections to the primary somatosensory cortex (SI; structural connectivity) and secondary somatosensory cortex (SII; structural and resting state connectivity). The mid insula displayed a hybrid connectivity pattern with strong connections with the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, SII (structural and resting state connectivity) and SI (structural connectivity). Moreover, resting state connectivity revealed strong connectivity of all 3 subdivisions with the thalamus. On the behavioural level, AI structural connectivity was related to the individual degree of pain vigilance and awareness that showed a positive correlation with AI-amygdala connectivity and a negative correlation with AI-rostral anterior cingulate cortex connectivity. In sum, our findings show a differential structural and resting state connectivity for the anterior, mid, and posterior insula with other pain-relevant brain regions, which might at least partly explain their different functional profiles in pain processing.
Project description:Brain network hubs are susceptible to normal aging processes and disruptions of their functional connectivity are detrimental to decline in cognitive functions in older adults. However, it remains unclear how the functional connectivity of network hubs cope with cognitive heterogeneity in an aging population. This study utilized cognitive and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data, cluster analysis, and graph network analysis to examine age-related alterations in the network hubs' functional connectivity of good and poor cognitive performers. Our results revealed that poor cognitive performers showed age-dependent disruptions in the functional connectivity of the right insula and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), while good cognitive performers showed age-related disruptions in the functional connectivity of the left insula and PCC. Additionally, the left PCC had age-related declines in the functional connectivity with the left medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Most interestingly, good cognitive performers showed age-related declines in the functional connectivity of the left insula and PCC with their right homotopic structures. These results may provide insights of neuronal correlates for understanding individual differences in aging. In particular, our study suggests prominent protection roles of the left insula and PCC and bilateral ACC in good performers.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Although cancer patients frequently report cognitive disturbances, it is commonly asserted a lack of association between cognitive complaints and neuropsychological test performances. Our goal was to better understand the relationships between subjective and objective cognitive scores through a metamemory monitoring assessment. METHODS:Sixty cancer patients currently treated by chemotherapy and/or targeted therapy, and 30 healthy controls (HC) were included. Cognitive complaint was assessed by FACT-cog, QAM and DEX questionnaires. One or more z-scores ?-1.65 among these three questionnaires defined the presence of cognitive complaints. Objective cognitive performances assessed episodic memory, processing speed and executive functions/working memory (ESR paradigm, TMT, Stroop, n-back). Metamemory was assessed with a Judgment of Learning (JOL) task. RESULTS:Patients with cognitive complaints had significantly more depressive and anxiety symptoms (ps < .004), and lower performances on several cognitive tests (ps < .05) than both patients without complaints and HC. More specifically, analyses of the metamemory scores revealed that HC gave significantly more overestimations ("Yes" judgment and incorrect recall) than patients with cognitive complaints (p = .036). For these patients, JOL scores correlated positively with executive functioning (ps < .01). CONCLUSION:Metamemory monitoring seems to be well-preserved during cancer. What is more, patients make less overestimation than HC, and they do not underestimate their memory. An accurate self-estimation of memory abilities in cancer patients, particularly those with mild cognitive deficits, may play an adaptive function. Our results suggest that the discrepancy frequently reported between cognitive complaints and objective cognitive scores may not be related to metamemory monitoring dysfunction.
Project description:Obesity is fundamentally a disorder of energy balance. In obese individuals, more energy is consumed than is expended, leading to excessive weight gain through the accumulation of adipose tissue. Complications arising from obesity, including cardiovascular disease, elevated peripheral inflammation, and the development of Type II diabetes, make obesity one of the leading preventable causes of morbidity and mortality. Thus, it is of paramount importance to both individual and public health that we understand the neural circuitry underlying the behavioral regulation of energy balance. To this end, we sought to examine obesity-related differences in the resting state functional connectivity of the dorsal mid-insula, a region of gustatory and interoceptive cortex associated with homeostatically sensitive responses to food stimuli. Within the present study, obese and healthy weight individuals completed resting fMRI scans during varying interoceptive states, both while fasting and after a standardized meal. We examined group differences in the pre- versus post-meal functional connectivity of the mid-insula, and how those differences were related to differences in self-reported hunger ratings and ratings of meal pleasantness. Obese and healthy weight individuals exhibited opposing patterns of eating-related functional connectivity between the dorsal mid-insula and multiple brain regions involved in reward, valuation, and satiety, including the medial orbitofrontal cortex, the dorsal striatum, and the ventral striatum. In particular, healthy weight participants exhibited a significant positive relationship between changes in hunger and changes in medial orbitofrontal functional connectivity, while obese participants exhibited a complementary negative relationship between hunger and ventral striatum connectivity to the mid-insula. These obesity-related alterations in dorsal mid-insula functional connectivity patterns may signify a fundamental difference in the experience of food motivation in obese individuals, wherein approach behavior toward food is guided more by reward-seeking than by homeostatically relevant interoceptive information from the body.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Altered reward circuitry function is observed in individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) and their unaffected offspring (OBP). While OBP are at elevated risk for BD, modifiable risk factors that may exacerbate neural vulnerabilities in OBP remain under-characterized. As sleep loss is strongly linked to mania in BD, this study tested associations between sleep duration, reward circuitry function, and mood dysregulation in OBP. METHODS:Two groups of youth unaffected with BD (9-17yr) completed a number-guessing fMRI reward paradigm: 25 OBP and 21 age-sex-IQ-matched offspring of control parents with non-BD psychopathology (OCP), to differentiate risk for BD from risk for psychopathology more broadly. Regressions tested effects of group status, self-reported past-week sleep duration, and their interaction on neural activity and bilateral ventral striatum (VS) functional connectivity to win>control. Correlations with parent-reported mood dysregulation were assessed. RESULTS:Group effects were observed for right posterior insula activity (OCP>OBP) and VS-left posterior insula connectivity (OBP>OCP). Group?sleep duration interactions were observed for left dorsal anterior-mid-cingulate (daMCC) activity and VS-left anterior insula/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) connectivity. Specifically, sleep duration and daMCC activity were positively related in OBP, but negatively related in OCP and sleep duration and VS-left anterior insula/VLPFC connectivity were negatively related in OBP, but positively in OCP. Additionally, increased VS-left posterior insula connectivity and VS-left anterior insula/VLPFC connectivity were associated with greater mood dysregulation in OBP only. LIMITATIONS:Cross-sectional design and small sample size. CONCLUSIONS:Altered reward-related VS-insula connectivity could represent a neural pathway underpinning mood dysregulation in OBP, and may be modulated by shortened sleep duration.
Project description:Diffuse atrophy including the insula was previously demonstrated in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) patients but little is known about the prodromal stage of DLB (pro-DLB). In this prospective study, we used SPM8-DARTEL to measure gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) atrophy in pro-DLB patients (n?=?54), prodromal Alzheimer's disease (pro-AD) patients (n?=?16), DLB patients at the stage of dementia (mild-DLB) (n?=?15), and Alzheimer's disease patients at the stage of dementia (mild-AD) (n?=?28), and compared them with healthy elderly controls (HC, n?=?22). Diminished GM volumes were found in bilateral insula in pro-DLB patients, a trend to significance in right hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus in pro-AD patients, in left insula in mild-DLB patients, and in medial temporal lobes and insula in mild-AD patients. The comparison between prodromal groups did not showed any differences. The comparison between groups with dementia revealed atrophy around the left middle temporal gyrus in mild-AD patients. Reduced WM volume was observed in mild-DLB in the pons. The insula seems to be a key region in DLB as early as the prodromal stage. MRI studies looking at perfusion, and functional and anatomical connectivity are now needed to better understand the role of this region in DLB.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The insular cortex (IC) and cingulate cortex (CC) are critically involved in pain perception. Previously we demonstrated that fibromyalgia (FM) patients have greater connectivity between the insula and default mode network at rest, and that changes in the degree of this connectivity were associated with changes in the intensity of ongoing clinical pain. In this study we more thoroughly evaluated the degree of resting-state connectivity to multiple regions of the IC in individuals with FM and healthy controls. We also investigated the relationship between connectivity, experimental pain, and current clinical chronic pain. Functional connectivity was assessed using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in 18 FM patients and 18 age- and sex-matched healthy controls using predefined seed regions in the anterior, middle, and posterior IC. FM patients exhibited greater connectivity between 1) right mid IC and right mid/posterior CC and right mid IC, 2) right posterior IC and left CC, and 3) right anterior IC and left superior temporal gyrus. Healthy controls displayed greater connectivity between left anterior IC and bilateral medial frontal gyrus/anterior cingulate cortex; and left posterior IC and right superior frontal gyrus. Within the FM group, greater connectivity between the IC and CC was associated with decreased pressure-pain thresholds. PERSPECTIVE:These data provide further support for altered resting-state connectivity between the IC and other brain regions known to participate in pain perception/modulation, which may play a pathogenic role in conditions such as FM. We speculate that altered IC connectivity is associated with the experience of chronic pain in individuals with FM.
Project description:Depression is common in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), which can make all the other symptoms of PD much worse. It is thus urgent to differentiate depressed PD (DPD) patients from non-depressed PD (NDPD).The purpose of the present study was to characterize alterations in directional brain connectivity unique to Parkinson's disease with depression, using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI).Sixteen DPD patients, 20 NDPD patients, 17 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 21 healthy control subjects (normal controls [NC]) underwent structural MRI and rs-fMRI scanning. Voxel-based morphometry and directional brain connectivity during resting-state were analyzed. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and 2-sample t tests were used to compare each pair of groups, using sex, age, education level, structural atrophy, and/or HAMD, unified PD rating scale (UPDRS) as covariates.In contrast to NC, DPD showed significant gray matter (GM) volume abnormalities in some mid-line limbic regions including dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and precuneus, and sub-cortical regions including caudate and cerebellum. Relative to NC and MDD, both DPD and NDPD showed significantly increased directional connectivity from bilateral anterior insula and posterior orbitofrontal cortices to left inferior temporal cortex. As compared with NC, MDD and NDPD, alterations of directional connectivity in DPD were specifically observed in the pathway from bilateral anterior insula and posterior orbitofrontal cortices to right basal ganglia.Resting state directional connectivity alterations were observed between emotion network and motor network in DPD patients after controlling for age, sex, structural atrophy. Given that these alterations are unique to DPD, it may provide a potential differential biomarker for distinguishing DPD from NC, NDPD, and MDD.
Project description:Discontinuing unhealthy behaviors, such as overeating or drug use, depends upon an individual's ability to overcome the influence of environmental reward cues. The strength of that influence, however, varies greatly depending upon the internal state of the body. Characterizing the relationship between interoceptive signaling and shifting drug cue valuation provides an opportunity for understanding the neural bases of how changing internal states alter reward processing more generally. A total of 17 cigarette smokers rated the pleasantness of cigarette pictures when they were nicotine sated or nicotine abstinent. On both occasions, smokers also underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning while performing a visceral interoceptive attention task and a resting-state functional connectivity scan. Hemodynamic, physiological, and behavioral parameters were compared between sated and abstinent scans. The relationships between changes in these parameters across scan sessions were also examined. Smokers rated cigarette pictures as significantly more pleasant while nicotine abstinent than while nicotine sated. Comparing abstinent with sated scans, smokers also exhibited significantly decreased mid-insula, amygdala, and orbitofrontal activity while attending to interoceptive signals from the body. Change in interoceptive activity within the left mid-insula predicted the increase in smoker's pleasantness ratings of cigarette cues. This increase in pleasantness ratings was also correlated with an increase in resting-state functional connectivity between the mid-insula and the ventral striatum and ventral pallidum. These findings support a model wherein interoceptive processing in the mid-insula of withdrawal signals from the body potentiates the motivational salience of reward cues through the recruitment of hedonic 'hot spots' within the brain's reward circuitry.