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  • 1
    In: PLoS ONE, 2014, Vol.9(9)
    Description: Factors influencing crossmodal interactions are manifold and operate in a stimulus-driven, bottom-up fashion, as well as via top-down control. Here, we evaluate the interplay of stimulus congruence and attention in a visual-tactile task. To this end, we used a matching paradigm requiring the identification of spatial patterns that were concurrently presented visually on a computer screen and haptically to the fingertips by means of a Braille stimulator. Stimulation in our paradigm was always bimodal with only the allocation of attention being manipulated between conditions. In separate blocks of the experiment, participants were instructed to (a) focus on a single modality to detect a specific target pattern, (b) pay attention to both modalities to detect a specific target pattern, or (c) to explicitly evaluate if the patterns in both modalities were congruent or not. For visual as well as tactile targets, congruent stimulus pairs led to quicker and more accurate detection compared to incongruent stimulation. This congruence facilitation effect was more prominent under divided attention. Incongruent stimulation led to behavioral decrements under divided attention as compared to selectively attending a single sensory channel. Additionally, when participants were asked to evaluate congruence explicitly, congruent stimulation was associated with better performance than incongruent stimulation. Our results extend previous findings from audiovisual studies, showing that stimulus congruence also resulted in behavioral improvements in visuotactile pattern matching. The interplay of stimulus processing and attentional control seems to be organized in a highly flexible fashion, with the integration of signals depending on both bottom-up and top-down factors, rather than occurring in an ‘all-or-nothing’ manner.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology And Life Sciences
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 2
    In: Scientific Reports, 2016, Vol.6
    Description: In this study, we used a novel multisensory attention paradigm to investigate attention-modulated cortical oscillations over a wide range of frequencies using magnetencephalography in healthy human participants. By employing a task that required the evaluation of the congruence of audio-visual stimuli, we promoted the formation of widespread cortical networks including early sensory cortices as well as regions associated with cognitive control. We found that attention led to increased high-frequency gamma-band activity and decreased lower frequency theta-, alpha-, and beta-band activity in early sensory cortex areas. Moreover, alpha-band coherence decreased in visual cortex. Frontal cortex was found to exert attentional control through increased low-frequency phase synchronisation. Crossmodal congruence modulated beta-band coherence in mid-cingulate and superior temporal cortex. Together, these results offer an integrative view on the concurrence of oscillations at different frequencies during multisensory attention.
    Keywords: Biology;
    E-ISSN: 2045-2322
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: NeuroImage, 01 August 2019, Vol.196, pp.114-125
    Description: The integration of sensory signals from different modalities requires flexible interaction of remote brain areas. One candidate mechanism to establish communication in the brain is transient synchronization of oscillatory neural signals. Although there is abundant evidence for the involvement of cortical oscillations in brain functions based on the analysis of local power, assessment of the phase dynamics among spatially distributed neuronal populations and their relevance for behavior is still sparse. In the present study, we investigated the interaction between remote brain areas by analyzing high-density electroencephalogram (EEG) data obtained from human participants engaged in a visuotactile pattern matching task. We deployed an approach for purely data-driven clustering of neuronal phase coupling in source space, which allowed imaging of large-scale functional networks in space, time and frequency without defining a priori constraints. Based on the phase coupling results, we further explored how brain areas interacted across frequencies by computing phase-amplitude coupling. Several networks of interacting sources were identified with our approach, synchronizing their activity within and across the theta (∼5 Hz), alpha (∼10 Hz), and beta (∼20 Hz) frequency bands and involving multiple brain areas that have previously been associated with attention and motor control. We demonstrate the functional relevance of these networks by showing that phase delays – in contrast to spectral power – were predictive of task performance. The data-driven analysis approach employed in the current study allowed an unbiased examination of functional brain networks based on EEG source level connectivity data. Showcased for multisensory processing, our results provide evidence that large-scale neuronal coupling is vital to long-range communication in the human brain and relevant for the behavioral outcome in a cognitive task.
    Keywords: Oscillations ; Multisensory ; EEG ; Phase Locking Value ; Phase Coupling ; Phase-Amplitude Coupling ; Attention ; Medicine
    ISSN: 1053-8119
    E-ISSN: 1095-9572
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  • 4
    In: Bipolar Disorders, December 2008, Vol.10(8), pp.877-887
    Description: There is growing evidence of cognitive impairment as a trait factor in bipolar disorder. The generalizability of this finding is limited because previous studies have either focussed exclusively on bipolar I disorder or have analysed mixed patient groups. Thus, it is still largely unknown whether bipolar II patients perform differently from bipolar I patients on measures of cognitive functioning. A total of 65 patients with bipolar I disorder, 38 with bipolar II disorder, and 62 healthy controls participated in the study. Patients had to be euthymic for at least one month. Clinical and demographic variables were collected in a clinical interview and with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM‐IV. Cognitive functioning was assessed using a neuropsychological battery. Univariate and multivariate analyses of variance were conducted for analyzing possible differences between the groups. The multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) indicated overall differences in neuropsychological performance between the three groups (Pillai Spur: 1.96, p = 0.003). Post hoc comparisons revealed that patients with bipolar I disorder showed significantly lower scores in psychomotor speed, working memory, verbal learning, delayed memory, and executive functions than healthy controls. Patients with bipolar II disorder showed significant deficits in psychomotor speed, working memory, visual/constructional abilities, and executive functions compared to controls, but not on verbal learning and delayed memory. The two patient groups did not differ significantly from each other on any domain tested. These results support a similar pattern of cognitive deficits in both subtypes of bipolar disorder.
    Keywords: Bipolar I Disorder ; Bipolar Ii Disorder ; Cognition ; Neuropsychological Functioning
    ISSN: 1398-5647
    E-ISSN: 1399-5618
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