Publications by authors named "Berge Osnes"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Cortical thickness and resting-state cardiac function across the lifespan: A cross-sectional pooled mega-analysis.

Psychophysiology 2020 Oct 10. Epub 2020 Oct 10.

Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research (NORMENT), Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Understanding the association between autonomic nervous system [ANS] function and brain morphology across the lifespan provides important insights into neurovisceral mechanisms underlying health and disease. Resting-state ANS activity, indexed by measures of heart rate [HR] and its variability [HRV] has been associated with brain morphology, particularly cortical thickness [CT]. While findings have been mixed regarding the anatomical distribution and direction of the associations, these inconsistencies may be due to sex and age differences in HR/HRV and CT. Previous studies have been limited by small sample sizes, which impede the assessment of sex differences and aging effects on the association between ANS function and CT. To overcome these limitations, 20 groups worldwide contributed data collected under similar protocols of CT assessment and HR/HRV recording to be pooled in a mega-analysis (N = 1,218 (50.5% female), mean age 36.7 years (range: 12-87)). Findings suggest a decline in HRV as well as CT with increasing age. CT, particularly in the orbitofrontal cortex, explained additional variance in HRV, beyond the effects of aging. This pattern of results may suggest that the decline in HRV with increasing age is related to a decline in orbitofrontal CT. These effects were independent of sex and specific to HRV; with no significant association between CT and HR. Greater CT across the adult lifespan may be vital for the maintenance of healthy cardiac regulation via the ANS-or greater cardiac vagal activity as indirectly reflected in HRV may slow brain atrophy. Findings reveal an important association between CT and cardiac parasympathetic activity with implications for healthy aging and longevity that should be studied further in longitudinal research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13688DOI Listing
October 2020

Study protocol of the Bergen brain-gut-microbiota-axis study: A prospective case-report characterization and dietary intervention study to evaluate the effects of microbiota alterations on cognition and anatomical and functional brain connectivity in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2020 Sep;99(37):e21950

National Center for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway.

Introduction: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common clinical label for medically unexplained gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, recently described as a disturbance of the brain-gut-microbiota (BGM) axis. To gain a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the poorly understood etiology of IBS, we have designed a multifaceted study that aim to stratify the complex interaction and dysfunction between the brain, the gut, and the microbiota in patients with IBS.

Methods: Deep phenotyping data from patients with IBS (n = 100) and healthy age- (between 18 and 65) and gender-matched controls (n = 40) will be collected between May 2019 and December 2021. Psychometric tests, questionnaires, human biological tissue/samples (blood, faeces, saliva, and GI biopsies from antrum, duodenum, and sigmoid colon), assessment of gastric accommodation and emptying using transabdominal ultrasound, vagal activity, and functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, are included in the investigation of each participant. A subgroup of 60 patients with IBS-D will be further included in a 12-week low FODMAP dietary intervention-study to determine short and long-term effects of diet on GI symptoms, microbiota composition and functions, molecular GI signatures, cognitive, emotional and social functions, and structural and functional brain signatures. Deep machine learning, prediction tools, and big data analyses will be used for multivariate analyses allowing disease stratification and diagnostic biomarker detection.

Discussion: To our knowledge, this is the first study to employ unsupervised machine learning techniques and incorporate systems-based interactions between the central and the peripheral components of the brain-gut-microbiota axis at the levels of the multiomics, microbiota profiles, and brain connectome of a cohort of 100 patients with IBS and matched controls; study long-term safety and efficacy of the low-FODMAP diet on changes in nutritional status, gut microbiota composition, and metabolites; and to investigate changes in the brain and gut connectome after 12 weeks strict low-FODMAP-diet in patients with IBS. However, there are also limitations to the study. As a restrictive diet, the low-FODMAP diet carries risks of nutritional inadequacy and may foster disordered eating patterns. Strict FODMAP restriction induces a potentially unfavourable gut microbiota, although the health effects are unknown.

Trial Registration Number: NCT04296552 (ClinicalTrials.gov).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000021950DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7489588PMC
September 2020

The effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on risk and protective factors of depressive relapse - a randomized wait-list controlled trial.

BMC Psychol 2020 Jun 5;8(1):57. Epub 2020 Jun 5.

Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

Background: The aim of this randomized wait-list controlled trial was to explore the effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) on risk and protective factors for depressive relapse within the domains of cognition, emotion and self-relatedness.

Methods: Sixty-eight individuals with recurrent depressive disorder were randomized to MBCT or a wait-list control condition (WLC).

Results: Completers of MBCT (N = 26) improved significantly on measures assessing risk and protective factors of recurrent depression compared to WLC (N = 30) on measures of rumination (d = 0.59, p = .015), emotion regulation (d = 0.50, p = .028), emotional reactivity to stress (d = 0.32, p = .048), self-compassion (d = 1.02, p < .001), mindfulness (d = 0.59, p = .010), and depression (d = 0.40, p = .018). In the Intention To Treat sample, findings were attenuated, but there were still significant results on measures of rumination, self-compassion and depression.

Conclusions: Findings from the present trial contribute to evidence that MBCT can lead to reduction in risk factors of depressive relapse, and strengthening of factors known to be protective of depressive relapse. The largest changes were found in the domain of self-relatedness, in the form of large effects on the participants' ability to be less self-judgmental and more self-compassionate.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN, ISRCTN18001392. Registered 29 June 2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40359-020-00417-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7275325PMC
June 2020

Lower Cardiac Vagal Activity Predicts Self-Reported Difficulties With Emotion Regulation in Adolescents With ADHD.

Front Psychiatry 2020 17;11:244. Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

Objective: To investigate the relation between cardiac vagal activity (CVA), a measure of autonomic nervous system (ANS) flexibility, and self-reported emotion regulation (ER) difficulties in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and controls.

Methods: The sample comprised 11-17-year-old adolescents with ADHD (=34) and controls ( = 33). Multiple linear regression analyses investigated the relation between CVA, as indexed by high frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV), and ER difficulties as assessed by the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS). Supplemental analyses were performed in ADHD and control groups separately. Analyses assessed effects of body mass index (BMI), physical activity levels, and HF peak as a surrogate of respiration on CVA.

Results: Lower CVA was associated with ER difficulties, and specifically with limited access to effective ER strategies. When investigating the relation between CVA and ER in the ADHD and control groups separately, there was a tendency of lower CVA predicting limited access to effective ER strategies in the ADHD group, and not in the control group.

Conclusion: The results suggest that lower CVA, i.e., reduced ANS flexibility, in adolescents with ADHD and controls is associated with self-reported ER difficulties, and specifically with limited access to effective ER strategies. There was a tendency for lower CVA to predict limited ER strategies only in the adolescents with ADHD and not controls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00244DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7181562PMC
April 2020

Is Dispositional Self-Compassion Associated With Psychophysiological Flexibility Beyond Mindfulness? An Exploratory Pilot Study.

Front Psychol 2020 9;11:614. Epub 2020 Apr 9.

Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

Background: Dispositional mindfulness and self-compassion are shown to associate with less self-reported emotional distress. However, previous studies have indicated that dispositional self-compassion may be an even more important buffer against such distress than dispositional mindfulness. To our knowledge, no study has yet disentangled the relationship between dispositional self-compassion and mindfulness and level of psychophysiological flexibility as measured with vagally mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV). The aim was thus to provide a first exploratory effort to expand previous research relying on self-report measures by including a psychophysiological measure indicative of emotional stress reactivity.

Methods: Fifty-three university students filled out the "Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire" (FFMQ) and the "Self-Compassion Scale" (SCS), and their heart rate was measured during a 5 min resting electrocardiogram. Linear hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to examine the common and unique variance explained by the total scores of the FFMQ and the SCS on level of resting vmHRV.

Results: Higher SCS total scores associated significantly with higher levels of vmHRV also when controlling for the FFMQ total scores. The SCS uniquely explained 7% of the vmHRV. The FFMQ total scores did not associate with level of vmHRV.

Conclusion: These results offer preliminary support that dispositional self-compassion associates with better psychophysiological regulation of emotional arousal above and beyond mindfulness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00614DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7160328PMC
April 2020

The Association Between Juvenile Onset of Depression and Emotion Regulation Difficulties.

Front Psychol 2019 18;10:2262. Epub 2019 Oct 18.

Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

Juvenile onset of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is associated with increased likelihood of recurrent episodes of depression and more detrimental clinical trajectories. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of juvenile onset of MDD on emotion regulation as measured by self-report and Heart Rate Variability (HRV). Furthermore, we wanted to assess whether juvenile onset impacted the association between rumination and depressive symptoms. Sixty-four individuals with at least three prior episodes of MDD were recruited and filled out self-report questionnaires measuring rumination and emotion regulation abilities. In addition, electrocardiographic assessments were used to calculate HRV. Based on self-reported age of MDD onset, individuals were divided in two groups: Juvenile onset of MDD (first MDD episode before the age of 18, = 30) and adult onset of MDD (first MDD episode after the age of 18, = 34). Results showed that individuals whose first depressive episode occurred in childhood and adolescence reported more rumination and less emotional clarity compared to individuals who had their first episode of MDD in adulthood. Moreover, the tendency to ruminate was strongly associated with depressive symptoms in the juvenile onset of MDD group, whereas no such association was found in the adult onset group. There was no significant group difference for HRV. The findings are discussed in light of existing literature, in addition to suggesting how our findings may inform clinical practice and future research. We conclude that juvenile onset of MDD may lead to difficulties in emotion regulation and that these difficulties may increase depressive symptoms and vulnerability for relapse in this particular subgroup.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02262DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6816416PMC
October 2019

Dispositional Mindfulness and Attentional Control: The Specific Association Between the Mindfulness Facets of Non-judgment and Describing With Flexibility of Early Operating Orienting in Conflict Detection.

Front Psychol 2018 29;9:2359. Epub 2018 Nov 29.

Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

A state of mindfulness refers to a present-centered attentional awareness without judging. Being mindful seems to increase the ability to be flexible and adaptive in attention focus according to situational contingencies. The way mindfulness affects such attentional control is often measured with three different but interacting attentional networks of alerting (preparedness), orienting (selection of stimulus), and conflict detection (suppression of irrelevant stimuli). In the current study, the aim was to study the effects of dispositional mindfulness on these attention networks, and specifically the effects on the interactions between these attention networks. Fifty participants between 19 and 29 years old filled out the questionnaire Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) and performed the revised version of the Attention Network Test (ANT-R). The five FFMQ facets of Describing, Non-Judgment, Orienting, Non-Reactivity, and Acting with Awareness were included as predictors in multiple linear regression analyses with the ANT-R scores of alerting, orienting, conflict detection, and the interaction scores of alerting by conflict detection and orienting by conflict detection as outcome variables, respectively. Higher dispositional mindfulness as measured with the five FFMQ facets predicted interaction scores (faster reaction times) of orienting by conflict detection, but none of the other ANT-R scores. It was specifically the FFMQ facets of Describing and non-judgment that predicted this lower interaction score of orienting by conflict detection. Our findings indicate that being mindful is associated with a more flexible and efficient orienting attention. It is associated with a higher ability to disengage from salient stimuli that is irrelevant to pursue goal-directed behavior (conflict detection).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02359DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6282922PMC
November 2018

Listening to Rhythmic Music Reduces Connectivity within the Basal Ganglia and the Reward System.

Front Neurosci 2017 28;11:153. Epub 2017 Mar 28.

Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of BergenBergen, Norway; Department of Clinical Engineering, Haukeland University HospitalBergen, Norway.

Music can trigger emotional responses in a more direct way than any other stimulus. In particular, music-evoked pleasure involves brain networks that are part of the reward system. Furthermore, rhythmic music stimulates the basal ganglia and may trigger involuntary movements to the beat. In the present study, we created a continuously playing rhythmic, dance floor-like composition where the ambient noise from the MR scanner was incorporated as an additional instrument of rhythm. By treating this continuous stimulation paradigm as a variant of resting-state, the data was analyzed with stochastic dynamic causal modeling (sDCM), which was used for exploring functional dependencies and interactions between core areas of auditory perception, rhythm processing, and reward processing. The sDCM model was a fully connected model with the following areas: auditory cortex, putamen/pallidum, and ventral striatum/nucleus accumbens of both hemispheres. The resulting estimated parameters were compared to ordinary resting-state data, without an additional continuous stimulation. Besides reduced connectivity within the basal ganglia, the results indicated a reduced functional connectivity of the reward system, namely the right ventral striatum/nucleus accumbens from and to the basal ganglia and auditory network while listening to rhythmic music. In addition, the right ventral striatum/nucleus accumbens demonstrated also a change in its hemodynamic parameter, reflecting an increased level of activation. These converging results may indicate that the dopaminergic reward system reduces its functional connectivity and relinquishing its constraints on other areas when we listen to rhythmic music.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2017.00153DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5368249PMC
March 2017

The Association between Self-Reported Difficulties in Emotion Regulation and Heart Rate Variability: The Salient Role of Not Accepting Negative Emotions.

Front Psychol 2017 9;8:328. Epub 2017 Mar 9.

Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Bergen Bergen, Norway.

Difficulties in emotion regulation are associated with development and maintenance of psychopathology. Typically, features of emotion regulation are assessed with self-report questionnaires. Heart rate variability (HRV) is an objective measure proposed as an index of emotional regulation capacity. A limited number of studies have shown that self-reported difficulties in emotion regulation are associated with HRV. However, results from prior studies are inconclusive, and an ecological validation of the association has not yet been tested. Therefore, further exploration of the relation between self-report questionnaires and psychophysiological measures of emotional regulation is needed. The present study investigated the contribution of self-reported emotion regulation difficulties on HRV in a student sample. We expected higher scores on emotion regulation difficulties to be associated with lower vagus-mediated HRV (vmHRV). Sixty-three participants filled out the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale and their resting HRV was assessed. In addition, a subsample of participants provided ambulatory 24-h HRV data, in order to ecologically validate the resting data. Correlation analyses indicated that self-reported difficulties in emotion regulation was negatively associated with vmHRV in both resting HRV and 24-h HRV. Specifically, when exploring the contribution of the different facets of emotion dysregulation, the inability to accept negative emotions showed the strongest association with HRV. The results are discussed and need for future research is described.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00328DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5343522PMC
March 2017

Trait Self-Compassion Reflects Emotional Flexibility Through an Association with High Vagally Mediated Heart Rate Variability.

Mindfulness (N Y) 2016;7(5):1103-1113. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Jonas Lies vei 91, Bergen, 5009 Norway ; KG Jebsen Center for Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Bergen, Norway.

Converging evidence shows a positive effect of self-compassion on self-reported well-being and mental health. However, few studies have examined the relation between self-compassion and psychophysiological measures. In the present study, we therefore examined the relation between trait self-compassion and vagally mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV) in 53 students (39 female, mean age = 23.63). Trait self-compassion was assessed using the Self-Compassion Scale, and resting vmHRV was measured during a 5-min ECG baseline period. We hypothesized that higher levels of trait self-compassion would predict higher levels of resting vmHRV. Controlling for potential covariates (including age, gender, and BMI), the results confirmed our hypotheses, showing that higher levels of trait self-compassion predicted higher vmHRV. These results were validated with a 24-h measure of vmHRV, acquired from a subsample of the participants ( = 26, 16 female, mean age = 23.85), confirming the positive correlation between high trait self-compassion and higher vmHRV. The relation between trait self-compassion, vmHRV, self-reported trait anxiety (the trait scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory; STAI) and self-reported rumination (the Rumination subscale of the Rumination-Reflection Questionnaire; RRQ-Rum) was also investigated. Higher levels of trait anxiety and rumination were highly correlated with low levels of trait self-compassion. Trait anxiety, but not rumination, correlated marginally significantly with the level of vmHRV. The findings of the present study indicate that trait self-compassion predicts a better ability to physiologically and psychologically adapt emotional responses. Possible implications and limitations of the study are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12671-016-0549-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5010618PMC
June 2016

Resting states are resting traits--an FMRI study of sex differences and menstrual cycle effects in resting state cognitive control networks.

PLoS One 2014 24;9(7):e103492. Epub 2014 Jul 24.

Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; Department of Medical Engineering, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway.

To what degree resting state fMRI is stable or susceptible to internal mind states of the individual is currently an issue of debate. To address this issue, the present study focuses on sex differences and investigates whether resting state fMRI is stable in men and women or changes within relative short-term periods (i.e., across the menstrual cycle). Due to the fact that we recently reported menstrual cycle effects on cognitive control based on data collected during the same sessions, the current study is particularly interested in fronto-parietal resting state networks. Resting state fMRI was measured in sixteen women during three different cycle phases (menstrual, follicular, and luteal). Fifteen men underwent three sessions in corresponding time intervals. We used independent component analysis to identify four fronto-parietal networks. The results showed sex differences in two of these networks with women exhibiting higher functional connectivity in general, including the prefrontal cortex. Menstrual cycle effects on resting states were non-existent. It is concluded that sex differences in resting state fMRI might reflect sexual dimorphisms in the brain rather than transitory activating effects of sex hormones on the functional connectivity in the resting brain.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0103492PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4110030PMC
November 2015

Language lateralization and cognitive control across the menstrual cycle assessed with a dichotic-listening paradigm.

Psychoneuroendocrinology 2012 Nov 23;37(11):1866-75. Epub 2012 Apr 23.

Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

Lateralization has been shown to vary across the menstrual cycle, however, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood, and results are inconsistent. Additionally, it has been suggested that estradiol enhances cognitive control. By modulating attention in a consonant-vowel dichotic listening test, the current study aims to investigate the effects of cycle-related changes on language lateralization (non-forced condition), as well as the effects of estradiol-modulated cognitive control (forced left condition) on the ear advantage. Fifteen women and fifteen men tested three times on the dichotic listening test, women once in menstrual, follicular, and luteal phase (verified by hormone assays). Whereas the results from the non-forced and forced-right condition remained stable, results from the forced left condition changed across the cycle, where women in the follicular phase compared to both menstrual and luteal phases showed a stronger left ear advantage, i.e. better cognitive control performance. The increase in performance from menstrual to follicular phase correlated negatively with increase in estradiol levels, indicating a shift from a stimulus-driven right ear advantage (indicating a left hemispheric asymmetry for language) when estradiol levels were low toward a cognitively controlled left ear advantage when estradiol levels were high. This finding strongly suggests an active role of estradiol on cognitive control. The study further suggests that the degree of cognitive control demands of a given task is important to consider when investigating lateralization across the menstrual cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.03.021DOI Listing
November 2012

Stimulus expectancy modulates inferior frontal gyrus and premotor cortex activity in auditory perception.

Brain Lang 2012 Apr 28;121(1):65-9. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

In studies on auditory speech perception, participants are often asked to perform active tasks, e.g. decide whether the perceived sound is a speech sound or not. However, information about the stimulus, inherent in such tasks, may induce expectations that cause altered activations not only in the auditory cortex, but also in frontal areas such as inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and motor cortices, even in the absence of an explicit task. To investigate this, we applied spectral mixes of a flute sound and either vowels or specific music instrument sounds (e.g. trumpet) in an fMRI study, in combination with three different instructions. The instructions either revealed no information about stimulus features, or explicit information about either the music instrument or the vowel features. The results demonstrated that, besides an involvement of posterior temporal areas, stimulus expectancy modulated in particular a network comprising IFG and premotor cortices during this passive listening task.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2012.02.002DOI Listing
April 2012

Increased activation in superior temporal gyri as a function of increment in phonetic features.

Brain Lang 2011 Feb 4;116(2):97-101. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Jonas Lies vei 91, 5009 Bergen, Norway.

A common assumption is that phonetic sounds initiate unique processing in the superior temporal gyri and sulci (STG/STS). The anatomical areas subserving these processes are also implicated in the processing of non-phonetic stimuli such as music instrument sounds. The differential processing of phonetic and non-phonetic sounds was investigated in this study by applying a "sound-morphing" paradigm, where the presence of phonetic features were parametrically varied, creating a step-wise transition from a non-phonetic sound into a phonetic sound. The stimuli were presented in an event-related fMRI design. The fMRI-BOLD data were analysed using parametric contrasts. The results showed a higher sensitivity for sounds containing phonetic features compared to non-phonetic sounds in the middle part of STG, and in the anterior part of the planum temporale (PT) bilaterally. Although the same areas were involved in the processing of non-phonetic sounds, a difference in activation was evident in the STG, with an increase in activation related to increment of phonetic features in the sounds. The results indicate a stimulus-driven, bottom-up process that utilizes general auditory resources in the secondary auditory cortex, depending on specific phonetic features in the sounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2010.10.001DOI Listing
February 2011

Effective connectivity analysis demonstrates involvement of premotor cortex during speech perception.

Neuroimage 2011 Feb 13;54(3):2437-45. Epub 2010 Oct 13.

Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

Several reports of premotor cortex involvement in speech perception have been put forward. Still, the functional role of premotor cortex is under debate. In order to investigate the functional role of premotor cortex, we presented parametrically varied speech stimuli in both a behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. White noise was transformed over seven distinct steps into a speech sound and presented to the participants in a randomized order. As control condition served the same transformation from white noise into a music instrument sound. The fMRI data were modelled with Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) where the effective connectivity between Heschl's gyrus, planum temporale, superior temporal sulcus and premotor cortex were tested. The fMRI results revealed a graded increase in activation in the left superior temporal sulcus. Premotor cortex activity was only present at an intermediate step when the speech sounds became identifiable but were still distorted but was not present when the speech sounds were clearly perceivable. A Bayesian model selection procedure favored a model that contained significant interconnections between Heschl's gyrus, planum temporal, and superior temporal sulcus when processing speech sounds. In addition, bidirectional connections between premotor cortex and superior temporal sulcus and from planum temporale to premotor cortex were significant. Processing non-speech sounds initiated no significant connections to premotor cortex. Since the highest level of motor activity was observed only when processing identifiable sounds with incomplete phonological information, it is concluded that premotor cortex is not generally necessary for speech perception but may facilitate interpreting a sound as speech when the acoustic input is sparse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.09.078DOI Listing
February 2011

Detection of differential speech-specific processes in the temporal lobe using fMRI and a dynamic "sound morphing" technique.

Hum Brain Mapp 2009 Oct;30(10):3436-44

Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

Contrary to the classical view, recent neuroimaging studies claim that phonological processing, as part of auditory speech perception, is subserved by both the left and right temporal lobes and not the left temporal lobe alone. This study seeks to explore whether there are variations in the lateralization of response to verbal and nonverbal sounds by varying spectral complexity of those sounds. White noise was gradually transformed into either speech or music sounds using a "sound morphing" procedure. The stimuli were presented in an event-related design and the evoked brain responses were measured using fMRI. The results demonstrated that the left temporal lobe was predominantly sensitive to gradual manipulation of the speech sounds while the right temporal lobe responded to all sounds and manipulations. This effect was especially pronounced within the middle region of the left superior temporal sulcus (mid-STS). This area could be further subdivided into a more posterior area, which showed a linear response to the manipulation of speech sounds, and an anteriorly adjacent area which showed the strongest interaction between the speech and music sound manipulations. Such a differential and selective response was not seen in other brain areas and not when the sound "morphed" into a music stimulus. This gives further experimental evidence for the assumption of a posterior-anterior processing stream in the left temporal lobe. In addition, the present findings support the notion that the left mid STS area is more sensitive to speech signals compared to the right homologue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.20768DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6871028PMC
October 2009