Publications by authors named "Peter Brugger"

242 Publications

The Prenatal Morphomechanic Impact of Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum on Human Brain Structure and Asymmetry.

Cereb Cortex 2021 Apr 19. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

Genetic, molecular, and physical forces together impact brain morphogenesis. The early impact of deficient midline crossing in agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC) on prenatal human brain development and architecture is widely unknown. Here we analyze the changes of brain structure in 46 fetuses with ACC in vivo to identify their deviations from normal development. Cases of complete ACC show an increase in the thickness of the cerebral wall in the frontomedial regions and a reduction in the temporal, insular, medial occipital and lateral parietal regions, already present at midgestation. ACC is associated with a more symmetric configuration of the temporal lobes and increased frequency of atypical asymmetry patterns, indicating an early morphomechanic effect of callosal growth on human brain development affecting the thickness of the pallium along a ventro-dorsal gradient. Altered prenatal brain architecture in ACC emphasizes the importance of conformational forces introduced by emerging interhemispheric connectivity on the establishment of polygenically determined brain asymmetries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab066DOI Listing
April 2021

Quantitative Backscattered Electron Imaging of Bone Using a Thermionic or a Field Emission Electron Source.

Calcif Tissue Int 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Department of Biomaterials, Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476, Potsdam, Germany.

Quantitative backscattered electron imaging is an established method to map mineral content distributions in bone and to determine the bone mineralization density distribution (BMDD). The method we applied was initially validated for a scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with a tungsten hairpin cathode (thermionic electron emission) under strongly defined settings of SEM parameters. For several reasons, it would be interesting to migrate the technique to a SEM with a field emission electron source (FE-SEM), which, however, would require to work with different SEM parameter settings as have been validated for DSM 962. The FE-SEM has a much better spatial resolution based on an electron source size in the order of several 100 nanometers, corresponding to an about [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text] times smaller source area compared to thermionic sources. In the present work, we compare BMDD between these two types of instruments in order to further validate the methodology. We show that a transition to higher pixel resolution (1.76, 0.88, and 0.57 μm) results in shifts of the BMDD peak and BMDD width to higher values. Further the inter-device reproducibility of the mean calcium content shows a difference of up to 1 wt% Ca, while the technical variance of each device can be reduced to [Formula: see text] wt% Ca. Bearing in mind that shifts in calcium levels due to diseases, e.g., high turnover osteoporosis, are often in the range of 1 wt% Ca, both the bone samples of the patients as well as the control samples have to be measured on the same SEM device. Therefore, we also constructed new reference BMDD curves for adults to be used for FE-SEM data comparison.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00223-021-00832-5DOI Listing
April 2021

The Prenatal Origins of Human Brain Asymmetry: Lessons Learned from a Cohort of Fetuses with Body Lateralization Defects.

Cereb Cortex 2021 Mar 27. Epub 2021 Mar 27.

Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna 1090, Austria.

Knowledge about structural brain asymmetries of human fetuses with body lateralization defects-congenital diseases in which visceral organs are partially or completely incorrectly positioned-can improve our understanding of the developmental origins of hemispheric brain asymmetry. This study investigated structural brain asymmetry in 21 fetuses, which were diagnosed with different types of lateralization defects; 5 fetuses with ciliopathies and 26 age-matched healthy control cases, between 22 and 34 gestational weeks of age. For this purpose, a database of 4007 fetal magnetic resonance imagings (MRIs) was accessed and searched for the corresponding diagnoses. Specific temporal lobe brain asymmetry indices were quantified using in vivo, super-resolution-processed MR brain imaging data. Results revealed that the perisylvian fetal structural brain lateralization patterns and asymmetry indices did not differ between cases with lateralization defects, ciliopathies, and normal controls. Molecular mechanisms involved in the definition of the right/left body axis-including cilium-dependent lateralization processes-appear to occur independently from those involved in the early establishment of structural human brain asymmetries. Atypically inverted early structural brain asymmetries are similarly rare in individuals with lateralization defects and may have a complex, multifactorial, and neurodevelopmental background with currently unknown postnatal functional consequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab042DOI Listing
March 2021

Alcohol consumption and neurocognitive deficits in people with well-treated HIV in Switzerland.

PLoS One 2021 2;16(3):e0246579. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Infectious Diseases Service, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Background: Hazardous alcohol consumption and HIV infection increase the risk of neurocognitive impairment (NCI). We examined the association between alcohol consumption and specific neurocognitive domain function in people with HIV (PWH) taking modern antiretroviral therapy.

Methods: The Neurocognitive Assessment in the Metabolic and Aging Cohort (NAMACO) study is a prospective, longitudinal, multicentre and multilingual (French, German and Italian) study of patients aged ≥45 years old enrolled in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS). Baseline data from 981 study participants were examined. Five neurocognitive domains were evaluated: motor skills, speed of information processing, attention/working memory, executive function and verbal episodic memory. NCI was examined as binary (presence/absence) and continuous (mean z-score) outcomes against Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for Consumption (AUDIT-C) scores using logistic and linear regression models, respectively.

Results: Most participants (96.2%) had undetectable viral loads and 64% were aged >50 years old. Hazardous alcohol consumption was observed in 49.4% of participants and binge drinking in 4.2%. While alcohol consumption frequency and quantity were not associated with NCI, the practice of binge drinking was significantly associated with impaired motor skills and overall neurocognitive function in both binary (odds ratio, OR ≥2.0, P <0.05) and continuous (mean z-score difference -0.2 to -0.4, P ≤0.01) outcomes. A significant U-shaped distribution of AUDIT-C score was also observed for motor skills and overall neurocognitive function.

Conclusions: In this cohort of PWH with well-controlled HIV infection, NCI was associated with the practice of binge drinking rather than alcohol consumption frequency or quantity. Longitudinal analysis of alcohol consumption and NCI in this population is currently underway.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0246579PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7924787PMC
March 2021

The association between depressive symptoms and neurocognitive impairment in people with well-treated HIV in Switzerland.

Int J STD AIDS 2021 Feb 25:956462420987434. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Infectious Diseases Service, 30635Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Background: Depression may contribute to neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in people with HIV (PWH). Attributing NCI to depression rather than to HIV is complicated as depression may be both a causal factor and an effect of NCI. This study aimed to determine the association between depressive symptoms and NCI among PWH with well-controlled infection.

Methods: The Neurocognitive Assessment in the Metabolic and Ageing Cohort study is an ongoing, prospective, longitudinal study of PWH aged ≥45 years old nested within the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. Neurocognitive Assessment in the Metabolic and Ageing Cohort study participants underwent neurocognitive assessment and grading of depressive symptoms using the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Neurocognitive impairment categories were defined using Frascati criteria. Participants with NCI related to neurological or psychiatric confounders other than depression were excluded. The cross-sectional association between the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression score and neurocognitive impairment was examined taking Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression score as a continuous variable and then as a binary variable using two score thresholds, 16 and 27.

Results: Excluding 79 participants with confounding factors, 902 participants were studied: 81% were men; 96% had plasma viral loads <50 copies/ml; 35% had neurocognitive impairment; 28% had Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression scores ≥16. Higher Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression scores were associated with female sex ( = 0.0003), non-Caucasian origin ( = 0.011) and current/past intravenous drug use ( = 0.002). Whilst neurocognitive impairment was associated with higher Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression scores, the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression score was a poor predictor of having neurocognitive impairment (area under the ROC curve 0.604). Applying a Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression score threshold of 16 predicted the presence of neurocognitive impairment with a sensitivity of 38.3% (specificity 77.2%), increasing the threshold to 27 lowered sensitivity to 15.4% (specificity 93.6%).

Conclusion: In this large cohort of PWH in Switzerland, we did not observe a Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression score threshold that was sensitive in predicting neurocognitive impairment. As neurocognitive impairment was however associated with higher Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression scores, the data support the screening for and treatment of depression among PWH diagnosed with neurocognitive impairment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956462420987434DOI Listing
February 2021

Susceptibility of domain experts to color manipulation indicate a need for design principles in data visualization.

PLoS One 2021 4;16(2):e0246479. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Digital Society Initiative, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Color is key for the visual encoding of data, yet its use reportedly affects decision making in important ways. We examined the impact of various popular color schemes on experts' and lay peoples' map-based decisions in two, geography and neuroscience, scenarios, in an online visualization experiment. We found that changes in color mappings influence domain experts, especially neuroimaging experts, more in their decision-making than novices. Geographic visualization experts exhibited more trust in the unfavorable rainbow color scale than would have been predicted by their suitability ratings and their training, which renders them sensitive to scale appropriateness. Our empirical results make a strong call for increasing scientists' awareness for and training in perceptually salient and cognitively informed design principles in data visualization.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0246479PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7861358PMC
February 2021

Asomatognosia: Structured Interview and Assessment of Visuomotor Imagery.

Front Psychol 2020 14;11:544544. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Psychiatric University Clinic Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Asomatognosia designates the experience that one's body has faded from awareness. It is typically a somaesthetic experience but may target the visual modality ("asomatoscopy"). Frequently associated symptoms are the loss of ownership or agency over a limb. Here, we elaborate on the rigorous nosographic classification of asomatognosia and introduce a structured interview to capture both its core symptoms and associated signs of bodily estrangement. We additionally report the case of a pure left-sided hemiasomatognosia occurring after surgical removal of a meningioma in the right atrium. Despite the wide lesions of the right angular gyrus and of the temporo-parietal junction, the patient did not present visuospatial deficits or bodily awareness disorders other than hemiasomatognosia. The patient and 10 matched controls' motor imagery was formally assessed with a limb laterality task in which they had to decide whether hands and feet presented under different angles of rotation depicted a left or a right limb. Bayesian statistics showed that patient's reaction times were significantly impaired exclusively for the left foot and especially for mental rotations requiring somatomotor rather than visual limb representations. This was in accordance with a more enduring left-sided hemiasomatognosia for the lower limbs confined to the somesthetic modality. Our findings shed new light on motor imagery in asomatognosia and encourage the future use of the structured interview introduced here. In addition, the limb laterality task may capture phenomenological elements of a case by chronometric means. This allows a more standardized reporting of phenomenological detail and improves communication across different clinical facilities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.544544DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7840572PMC
January 2021

Brain volumes in adults with congenital heart disease correlate with executive function abilities.

Brain Imaging Behav 2021 Jan 30. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

Children's Research Center, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect, and patients are at risk for neurodevelopmental impairment and brain abnormalities. Yet, little is known about the link between brain volumes and cognitive function in adults with congenital heart disease. Forty-four patients and 53 controls between 18 and 32 years underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging and cognitive testing, assessed with an intelligence quotient and executive function global score. Associations between brain volumes and cognitive function were calculated using linear models. Cognitive function in patients was within the normal range (intelligence quotient: 97.74 (10.76)). Total brain volume was significantly smaller in patients compared to controls (1067.26 (113.53) vs 1113.04 (97.88) cm, P < 0.01), irrespective of cardiac factors (heart defect complexity, cyanosis, cardiopulmonary bypass: all P > 0.4). After adjusting for total brain volume, only corpus callosum volume remained significantly smaller (P = 0.03). Smaller total brain volume was associated with poorer overall executive functioning (P = 0.02) and inhibition (P < 0.01), in both patients and controls. The association between total brain volume and overall executive functioning was moderated by parental socioeconomic status (lower socioeconomic status was associated with a stronger association between brain volume and EF; interaction P = 0.03). In adults with congenital heart disease, despite normal intelligence quotient, brain volume alterations persist into adulthood and are related to executive functioning, in particular inhibitory control. Adults coming from low socioeconomic background and with altered brain volumes are especially vulnerable and should thus be followed-up during adulthood to ensure optimal social and educational support.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11682-020-00424-1DOI Listing
January 2021

Altered white matter microstructure is related to cognition in adults with congenital heart disease.

Brain Commun 2021 28;3(1):fcaa224. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Child Development Center, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Adults with congenital heart disease are at risk for persisting executive function deficits, which are known to affect academic achievement and quality of life. Alterations in white -matter microstructure are associated with cognitive impairments in adolescents with congenital heart disease. This study aimed to identify microstructural alterations potentially associated with executive function deficits in adults with congenital heart disease. Diffusion tensor imaging and tract-based spatial statistics were conducted in 45 patients (18 females) and 54 healthy controls (26 females) aged 18-32 years. Fractional anisotropy of white matter diffusion was compared between groups and correlated with an executive function score, derived from an extensive neuropsychological test battery. Patients showed widespread bilateral reduction in fractional anisotropy ( < 0.05, multiple comparison corrected) compared to controls. Lower fractional anisotropy was driven by patients with moderate and severe defect complexity (compared to controls:  < 0.001). Executive function scores were lower in patients ( < 0.05) and associated with lower fractional anisotropy in the left superior corona radiata and the corticospinal tract (corrected  < 0.05). Our findings confirm alterations of white matter microstructure in adults with congenital heart disease, mainly in those patients of moderate to severe complexity. These alterations are associated with impairments in executive functioning. A better understanding of the neurocognitive deficits may help counselling and care of patients with congenital heart disease across their lifespan and have the potential to improve their outcome and quality of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcaa224DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7811757PMC
December 2020

Neural Correlates of Body Integrity Dysphoria.

Curr Biol 2020 Jun 7;30(11):2191-2195.e3. Epub 2020 May 7.

Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Zurich Psychiatric University Hospital, Lenggstrasse 31, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland; Neuropsychology Unit, Valens Rehabilitation Centre, Taminaplatz 1, 7317 Valens, Switzerland. Electronic address:

There are few things as irrefutable as the evidence that our limbs belong to us. However, persons with body integrity dysphoria (BID) [1] deny the ownership of one of their fully functional limbs and seek its amputation [2]. We tapped into the brain mechanisms of BID, examining sixteen men desiring the removal of the left healthy leg. The primary sensorimotor area of the to-be-removed leg and the core area of the conscious representation of body size and shape (the right superior parietal lobule [rSPL]) [3, 4] were less functionally connected to the rest of the brain. Furthermore, the left premotor cortex, reportedly involved in the multisensory integration of limb information [5-7], and the rSPL were atrophic. The more atrophic the rSPL, the stronger the desire for amputation, and the more an individual pretended to be an amputee by using wheelchairs or crutches to solve the mismatch between the desired and actual body. Our findings illustrate the pivotal role of the connectivity of the primary sensorimotor limb area in the mediation of the feeling of body ownership. They also delineate the morphometric and functional alterations in areas of higher-order body representation possibly responsible for the dissatisfaction with a standard body configuration. The neural correlates of BID may foster the understanding of other neuropsychiatric disorders involving the bodily self. Ultimately, they may help us understand what most of us take for granted, i.e., the experience of body and self as a seamless unity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.04.001DOI Listing
June 2020

The Subplate Layers: The Superficial and Deep Subplate Can be Discriminated on 3 Tesla Human Fetal Postmortem MRI.

Cereb Cortex 2020 Jul;30(9):5038-5048

Division of Neuroradiology and Musculoskeletal Radiology, Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-Guided Therapy, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

The subplate (SP) is a transient structure of the human fetal brain that becomes the most prominent layer of the developing pallium during the late second trimester. It is important in the formation of thalamocortical and cortico-cortical connections. The SP is vulnerable in perinatal brain injury and may play a role in complex neurodevelopmental disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism. Nine postmortem fetal human brains (19-24 GW) were imaged on a 3 Tesla MR scanner and the T2-w images in the frontal and temporal lobes were compared, in each case, with the histological slices of the same brain. The brains were confirmed to be without any brain pathology. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate that the superficial SP (sSP) and deep SP (dSP) can be discriminated on postmortem MR images. More specifically, we aimed to clarify that the observable, thin, hyperintense layer below the cortical plate in the upper SP portion on T2-weighted MR images has an anatomical correspondence to the histologically established sSP. Therefore, the distinction between the sSP and dSP layers, using clinically available MR imaging methodology, is possible in postmortem MRI and can help in the imaging interpretation of the fetal cerebral layers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhaa099DOI Listing
July 2020

Dynamic human and avatar facial expressions elicit differential brain responses.

Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci 2020 05;15(3):303-317

Swiss Epilepsy Center, CH-8008 Zurich, Switzerland.

Computer-generated characters, so-called avatars, are widely used in advertising, entertainment, human-computer interaction or as research tools to investigate human emotion perception. However, brain responses to avatar and human faces have scarcely been studied to date. As such, it remains unclear whether dynamic facial expressions of avatars evoke different brain responses than dynamic facial expressions of humans. In this study, we designed anthropomorphic avatars animated with motion tracking and tested whether the human brain processes fearful and neutral expressions in human and avatar faces differently. Our fMRI results showed that fearful human expressions evoked stronger responses than fearful avatar expressions in the ventral anterior and posterior cingulate gyrus, the anterior insula, the anterior and posterior superior temporal sulcus, and the inferior frontal gyrus. Fearful expressions in human and avatar faces evoked similar responses in the amygdala. We did not find different responses to neutral human and avatar expressions. Our results highlight differences, but also similarities in the processing of fearful human expressions and fearful avatar expressions even if they are designed to be highly anthropomorphic and animated with motion tracking. This has important consequences for research using dynamic avatars, especially when processes are investigated that involve cortical and subcortical regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsaa039DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7235958PMC
May 2020

Walking through virtual mazes: Spontaneous alternation behaviour in human adults.

Cortex 2020 06 11;127:1-16. Epub 2020 Feb 11.

Department of Neurology, Neuropsychology Unit, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP) and Neuroscience Center Zurich (ZNZ), University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Spontaneous alternation behaviour (SAB) is the tendency to systematically alternate directional choices in successive maze arms. Originally discovered in rats, SAB has been extensively investigated in a broad range of species. In humans, however, SAB has been mostly ignored, possibly due to the difficulties arising from the use of life-size mazes. We here propose to close this gap by advancing the study of human SAB by use of virtual reality (VR). Alternation rates in humans were examined in three experiments, each deploying a specific type of virtual maze. The three virtual mazes tested 1) the effect of a concurrent cognitive task on baseline alternation rates, 2) the differential influence of locomotor and visual factors on alternation behaviour, and 3) the direction alternation in an unrestricted open space. We report a general tendency in adult human walkers to alternate walking directions in the classical T-maze context. The search for an effect of a concurrent cognitive task and the influence of locomotor and visual factors on alternation behaviour remained inconclusive. No evidence for alternation behaviour in an open space was found. Together, the experimental series elucidates the presence and characteristics of SAB in humans and paves the way for the systematic study of its neurocognitive basis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2020.01.018DOI Listing
June 2020

Structural brain abnormalities in adults with congenital heart disease: Prevalence and association with estimated intelligence quotient.

Int J Cardiol 2020 05 24;306:61-66. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Child Development Centre, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Steinwiesstrasse 75, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland; Children's Research Centre, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Steinwiesstrasse 75, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Background: Little is known about the prevalence of structural brain abnormalities and cognitive functioning in the growing population of patients with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD). Thus, our aim was to assess structural abnormalities on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and their association with intelligence quotient (IQ) in ACHD patients.

Methods: Cross-sectional study in ACHD patients and healthy controls as comparison group. Brain MRI was performed on a 3 T MR scanner, and inspection of structural abnormalities was performed blinded to ACHD or control status. IQ was estimated using the vocabulary and matrix reasoning subtests from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Fourth Edition.

Results: A total number of 67 (55% males) ACHD patients and 55 (51% males) controls were included (mean age 26.9 and 26.0 years respectively). Abnormalities on brain MRI were detected in 29 of 46 (63%) ACHD patients and in none of the controls. Abnormalities consisted of focal infarction or atrophy, white matter lesions, microhemorrhages, and global atrophy. Mean estimated IQ was significantly lower in ACHD patients than in controls (98.51 versus 104.38; 95% CI: -10.09 to -1.66; P value = 0.007). Comparison between patients with and without cerebral abnormalities revealed no significant difference in estimated IQ.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate a high prevalence and wide spectrum of structural brain abnormalities in ACHD patients. Furthermore, this population is at a higher risk of impaired intellectual functioning than healthy controls. However, the present study could not establish a statistically significant association between MRI findings and estimated IQ.

Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT04041557; URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04041557?term=NCT04041557&rank=1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2020.02.061DOI Listing
May 2020

Cognitive Ageing in Top-Level Female Soccer Players Compared to a Normative Sample from the General Population: A Cross-sectional Study.

J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2020 08 26;26(7):645-653. Epub 2020 Feb 26.

Amsterdam collaboration on Health & Safety in Sports, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Objective: There is an ongoing debate on the potential negative effect of contact sport participation on long-term neurocognitive performance due to inherent exposure to concussive and subconcussive head impacts. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether cognitive ageing is exacerbated in elite soccer players compared to the general population.

Method: Neurocognitive performance in 6 domains was compared between 240 elite soccer players and a normative sample from the general population (n = 585) using the computerised test battery CNS Vital Signs. We used two-way factorial ANOVA to analyse the interaction between age groups (15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49 years) and study population (female soccer players vs. norm sample) in their effects on neurocognitive performance.

Results: We found no significant interaction effect of age group and study population in five of six test domains. For processing speed, the effect of age was more pronounced in female soccer players (F = 16.89, p = .002). Further, there was a clear main effect of study population on neurocognitive performance with generally better scores in soccer players.

Conclusions: Elite female soccer players generally performed better than the norm sample on tests of cognitive function, and further, cognitive ageing effects were similar in elite soccer players and controls in all but one domain. A lifespan approach may facilitate insightful future research regarding questions related to long-term neurocognitive health in contact sport athletes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1355617720000119DOI Listing
August 2020

Gaze, behavioral, and clinical data for phantom limbs after hand amputation from 15 amputees and 29 controls.

Sci Data 2020 02 20;7(1):60. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Despite recent advances in prosthetics, many upper limb amputees still use prostheses with some reluctance. They often do not feel able to incorporate the artificial hand into their bodily self. Furthermore, prosthesis fitting is not usually tailored to accommodate the characteristics of an individual's phantom limb sensations. These are experienced by almost all persons with an acquired amputation and comprise the motor and postural properties of the lost limb. This article presents and validates a multimodal dataset including an extensive qualitative and quantitative assessment of phantom limb sensations in 15 transradial amputees, surface electromyography and accelerometry data of the forearm, and measurements of gaze behavior during exercises requiring pointing or repositioning of the forearm and the phantom hand. The data also include acquisitions from 29 able-bodied participants, matched for gender and age. Special emphasis was given to tracking the visuo-motor coupling between eye-hand/eye-phantom during these exercises.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41597-020-0402-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7033227PMC
February 2020

Publisher Correction: Gaze, visual, myoelectric, and inertial data of grasps for intelligent prosthetics.

Sci Data 2020 Feb 17;7(1):62. Epub 2020 Feb 17.

Information Systems Institute, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO Valais), Sierre, Switzerland.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41597-020-0404-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7026410PMC
February 2020

Gaze, visual, myoelectric, and inertial data of grasps for intelligent prosthetics.

Sci Data 2020 Feb 10;7(1):43. Epub 2020 Feb 10.

Information Systems Institute, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO Valais), Sierre, Switzerland.

A hand amputation is a highly disabling event, having severe physical and psychological repercussions on a person's life. Despite extensive efforts devoted to restoring the missing functionality via dexterous myoelectric hand prostheses, natural and robust control usable in everyday life is still challenging. Novel techniques have been proposed to overcome the current limitations, among them the fusion of surface electromyography with other sources of contextual information. We present a dataset to investigate the inclusion of eye tracking and first person video to provide more stable intent recognition for prosthetic control. This multimodal dataset contains surface electromyography and accelerometry of the forearm, and gaze, first person video, and inertial measurements of the head recorded from 15 transradial amputees and 30 able-bodied subjects performing grasping tasks. Besides the intended application for upper-limb prosthetics, we also foresee uses for this dataset to study eye-hand coordination in the context of psychophysics, neuroscience, and assistive robotics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41597-020-0380-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7010656PMC
February 2020

Developmental dynamics of the periventricular parietal crossroads of growing cortical pathways in the fetal brain - In vivo fetal MRI with histological correlation.

Neuroimage 2020 04 21;210:116553. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. Electronic address:

The periventricular crossroads have been described as transient structures of the fetal brain where major systems of developing fibers intersect. The triangular parietal crossroad constitutes one major crossroad region. By combining in vivo and post-mortem fetal MRI with histological and immunohistochemical methods, we aimed to characterize these structures. Data from 529 in vivo and 66 post-mortem MRI examinations of fetal brains between gestational weeks (GW) 18-39 were retrospectively reviewed. In each fetus, the area adjacent to the trigone of the lateral ventricles at the exit of the posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC) was assessed with respect to signal intensity, size, and shape on T2-weighted images. In addition, by using in vivo diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), the main fiber pathways that intersect in these areas were identified. In order to explain the in vivo features of the parietal crossroads (signal intensity and developmental profile), we analyzed 23 post-mortem fetal human brains, between 16 and ​40 GW of age, processed by histological and immunohistochemical methods. The parietal crossroads were triangular-shaped areas with the base in the continuity of the PLIC, adjacent to the germinal matrix and the trigone of the lateral ventricles, with the tip pointing toward the subplate. These areas appeared hyperintense to the subplate, and corresponded to a convergence zone of the developing external capsule, the PLIC, and the fronto-occipital association fibers. They were best detected between GW 25-26, and, at term, they became isointense to the adjacent structures. The immunohistochemical results showed a distinct cellular, fibrillar, and extracellular matrix arrangement in the parietal crossroads, depending on the stage of development, which influenced the MRI features. The parietal crossroads are transient, but important structures in white matter maturation and their damage may be indicative of a poor prognosis for a fetus with regard to neurological development. In addition, impairment of this region may explain the complex neurodevelopmental deficits in preterm infants with periventricular hypoxic/ischemic or inflammatory lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116553DOI Listing
April 2020

Motor control drives visual bodily judgements.

Cognition 2020 03 13;196:104120. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London WC1N 3AZ, UK; WIN Centre, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oxford, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.

The 'embodied cognition' framework proposes that our motor repertoire shapes visual perception and cognition. But recent studies showing normal visual body representation in individuals born without hands challenges the contribution of motor control on visual body representation. Here, we studied hand laterality judgements in three groups with fundamentally different visual and motor hand experiences: two-handed controls, one-handers born without a hand (congenital one-handers) and one-handers with an acquired amputation (amputees). Congenital one-handers, lacking both motor and first-person visual information of their missing hand, diverged in their performance from the other groups, exhibiting more errors for their intact hand and slower reaction-times for challenging hand postures. Amputees, who have lingering non-visual motor control of their missing (phantom) hand, performed the task similarly to controls. Amputees' reaction-times for visual laterality judgements correlated positively with their phantom hand's motor control, such that deteriorated motor control associated with slower visual laterality judgements. Finally, we have implemented a computational simulation to describe how a mechanism that utilises a single hand representation in congenital one-handers as opposed to two in controls, could replicate our empirical results. Together, our findings demonstrate that motor control is a driver in making visual bodily judgments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.104120DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7033558PMC
March 2020

Screening tools for early neuropsychological impairment after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Neurol Sci 2020 Apr 4;41(4):817-824. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Zurich & Clinical Neuroscience Center University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Although most aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) patients suffer from neuropsychological disabilities, outcome estimation is commonly based only on functional disability scales such as the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). Moreover, early neuropsychological screening tools are not used routinely.

Objective: To study whether two simple neuropsychological screening tools identify neuropsychological deficits (NPDs), among aSAH patients categorized with favorable outcome (mRS 0-2) at discharge.

Methods: We reviewed 170 consecutive aSAH patients that were registered in a prospective institutional database. We included all patients graded by the mRS at discharge, and who had additionally been evaluated by a neuropsychologist and/or occupational therapist using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and/or Rapid Evaluation of Cognitive Function (ERFC). The proportion of patients with scores indicative of NPDs in each test were reported, and spearman correlation tests calculated the coefficients between the both neuropsychological test results and the mRS.

Results: Of the 42 patients (24.7%) that were evaluated by at least one neuropsychological test, 34 (81.0%) were rated mRS 0-2 at discharge. Among these 34 patients, NPDs were identified in 14 (53.9%) according to the MoCA and 8 (66.7%) according to the ERFC. The mRS score was not correlated with the performance in the MoCA or ERFC.

Conclusion: The two screening tools implemented here frequently identified NPDs among aSAH patients that were categorized with favorable outcome according to the mRS. Our results suggest that MoCA or ERFC could be used to screen early NPDs in favorable outcome patients, who in turn might benefit from early neuropsychological rehabilitation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-019-04159-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7160061PMC
April 2020

Aberrant Salience Across Levels of Processing in Positive and Negative Schizotypy.

Front Psychol 2019 18;10:2073. Epub 2019 Sep 18.

Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, United States.

Schizotypy is a multidimensional construct conceptualized as the expression of the underlying vulnerability for schizophrenia. Certain traits of positive schizotypy, such as odd beliefs, unusual perceptual experiences, suspiciousness, and referential thinking show associations with aberrant salience. Positive schizotypy may involve hyper-attribution of salience toward insignificant events, whereas negative schizotypy may involve hypo-attribution of salience, even toward important events. Attribution of salience is thought to involve dopamine-mediated processes, a mechanism that is disrupted in schizotypy; however, little is known about the cognitive processes potentially underlying salience attribution. The present study assessed the relationship between aberrant salience and latent inhibition (LI), as well as their associations with positive and negative schizotypy. Salience was measured at various stages of processing, including visual salience, attributions of salience to contingency illusions, and self-reported experience of salience. Schizotypy traits were differentially associated with self-reported aberrant salience experiences: positive schizotypy showed positive associations (β = 0.67, = 0.82, large effect) and negative schizotypy showed inverse associations (β = -0.20, = 0.07, small effect). However, neither schizotypy dimension was associated with visual salience, contingency illusions, or LI. Salience processing across perceptual, cognitive, and experiential levels likely involves different mechanisms, some of which may not show major disruption in subclinical manifestations of schizotypy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6759779PMC
September 2019

Influence of the Intensive Care Unit Environment on the Reliability of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.

Front Neurol 2019 3;10:734. Epub 2019 Jul 3.

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Neuropsychological screening becomes increasingly important for the evaluation of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and stroke patients. It is often performed during the surveillance period on the intensive (ICU), while it remains unknown, whether the distraction in this environment influences the results. We aimed to study the reliability of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in the ICU environment. Consecutive stable patients with recent brain injury (tumor, trauma, stroke, etc.) were evaluated twice within 36 h using official parallel versions of the MoCA (ΔMoCA). The sequence of assessment was randomized into (a) busy ICU first or (b) quiet office first with subsequent crossover. For repeated MoCA, we determined sequence, period, location effects, and the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). = 50 patients were studied [ = 30 (60%) male], with a mean age of 57 years. The assessment's sequence ["ICU first" mean ΔMoCA -1.14 (SD 2.34) vs. "Office first" -0.73 (SD 1.52)] did not influence the MoCA ( = 0.47). On the 2nd period, participants scored 0.96 points worse (SD 2.01; = 0.001), indicating no MoCA learning effect but a possible difference in parallel versions. There was no location effect ( = 0.31) with ΔMoCA between locations (Office minus ICU) of -0.32 (SD 2.21). The ICC for repeated MoCA was 0.87 (95% CI 0.79-0.92). The reliability of the MoCA was excellent, independent from the testing environment being ICU or office. This finding is helpful for patient care and studies investigating the effect of a therapeutic intervention on the neuropsychological outcome after SAH, stroke or traumatic brain injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00734DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6617738PMC
July 2019

Putting Yourself in the Skin of In- or Out-Group Members: No Effect of Implicit Biases on Egocentric Mental Transformation.

Front Psychol 2019 14;10:1338. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

Cognitive Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Previous studies suggest that visual encoding of ethnicity of in-group/out-group members might influence empathy and sensorimotor sharing. Here, we investigated whether mental perspective taking, presumably a precursor of empathy, is also influenced by in-group/out-group perception and the implicit attitudes toward it. We used an embodied egocentric visual-perspective taking task, the full body rotation task (FBR), in which participants were asked to mentally rotate themselves into the position of dark- or light-skinned bodies. FBR was contrasted to a pure sensorimotor task, the hand laterality task (HLT), in which participants were asked to mentally rotate their hand to the posture of seen light- or dark-skinned hands, which does not require mental simulation of another person's perspective. We expected the FBR but not the HLT to be influenced by the skin color of the stimuli and by the individual implicit biases toward out-group members. Contrary to this hypothesis, we found that neither skin color nor implicit biases modulated reaction times (RTs) in either task. The data thus suggest that unlike other empathy tasks, skin color does not influence visuospatial perspective taking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01338DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6606962PMC
June 2019

Effect of 2000 IU compared with 800 IU vitamin D on cognitive performance among adults age 60 years and older: a randomized controlled trial.

Am J Clin Nutr 2019 07;110(1):246-253

Departments of 1Geriatrics.

Background: Findings on the effects of vitamin D on cognitive performance have been inconsistent and no clinical trials with detailed cognitive testing in healthy older adults have been reported.

Objectives: We tested whether 2000 IU is superior to 800 IU vitamin D3/d for cognitive performance among relatively healthy older adults.

Design: We analyzed data on cognitive performance as the secondary outcome of a 2-y double-blind randomized controlled trial that originally investigated the effect of vitamin D3 on knee function and pain in seniors with osteoarthritis. Participants were randomly assigned to either 2000 or 800 IU vitamin D3/d. Capsules had identical appearances and taste. A total of 273 community-dwelling older adults aged ≥60 y were enrolled 6-8 wk after unilateral joint replacement. Inclusion required a baseline Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) score of 24. We implemented a detailed 2-h cognitive test battery. The primary cognitive endpoint was the score achieved in the MMSE. Secondary endpoints included a composite score of 7 executive function tests, auditory verbal and visual design learning tests, and reaction times.

Results: At baseline, mean age was 70.3 y, 31.4% were vitamin D-deficient [25(OH)D <20 ng/mL], and mean ± SD MMSE score was 28.0 ± 1.5. Although the mean ± SD 25(OH)D concentrations achieved differed significantly between treatment groups at 24-mo follow-up (2000 IU = 45.1 ± 10.2 ng/mL; 800 IU = 37.5 ± 8.8 ng/mL; P < 0.0001), none of the primary or secondary endpoints of cognitive performance differed between treatment group. Results by treatment were similar for predefined subgroups of baseline 25(OH)D status (deficient compared with replete) and age (60-69 y compared with ≥70 y).

Conclusions: Our study does not support a superior cognitive benefit of 2000 IU compared with 800 IU vitamin D/d among relatively healthy older adults over a 24-mo treatment period. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00599807.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqz081DOI Listing
July 2019

Echo-planar FLAIR Sequence Improves Subplate Visualization in Fetal MRI of the Brain.

Radiology 2019 07 14;292(1):159-169. Epub 2019 May 14.

From the Department of Image Guided Therapy, University Clinic for Neuroradiology and Musculoskeletal Radiology, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, Leistelle 6F, 1090 Vienna, Austria (M.C.D., D.P., F.S., M.W., G.K.); Center for Anatomy and Cell Biology, Division of Systematic Anatomy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria (G.M.G., P.C.B.); and University Clinic for Gynecology and Obstetrics, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria (D.B.).

Background The cortical plate (future cortex) is readily identifiable in utero at MRI. However, MRI evaluation of the remaining brain layers is limited by the poor T2 contrast between the subplate and the underlying intermediate zone (IZ). Purpose To compare the delineation of fetal brain lamination between T2-weighted single-shot fast spin-echo (SSFSE) and echo-planar imaging (EPI) fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images, and to quantify differences in the depiction of brain layering between the two sequences. Materials and Methods Consecutive fetal brain MRI examinations performed between January 2014 and March 2018 with T2-weighted SSFSE and EPI-FLAIR images were reviewed. Two neuroradiologists evaluated the visibility of brain layers by using a three-point grading system, and findings were compared by using the sign test. One rater performed region-of-interest analysis in the cortical plate (CP), subplate (gyral crest and sulcal bottom), and IZ. Signal intensity (SI) ratios between adjacent brain compartments were calculated and compared by using the paired test. Reader agreement was assessed by using weighted κ values. Results A total of 259 MRI examinations (mean gestational age [GA], 26.9 weeks ± 5.6) were included in the qualitative analysis, and 72 MRI examinations (mean GA, 27.4 weeks ± 5.5) were included in the quantitative analysis. Subplate identification on EPI-FLAIR images was superior to that on T2-weighted SSFSE images (subplate visualization [complete + partial]: frontal lobe, = 243 vs = 117; temporal lobe, = 244 vs = 137; parietal lobe = 240 vs = 93; and occipital lobe, = 241 vs = 97, respectively; < .001), with higher interrater reliability (κ = 0.91-0.95 for EPI-FLAIR images and 0.80-0.87 for T2-weighted SSFSE images). SI ratios between the IZ and subplate were significantly higher on EPI-FLAIR images in all lobes (EPI-FLAIR images: 1.6-2.1; T2-weighted SSFSE images:1.2-1.2; < .001). Subplate-to-CP ratios were not statistically significant between the two sequences (EPI-FLAIR:1.8-2.4; T2-weighted SSFSE: 2.0-2.2; < .001). Conclusion The echo-planar fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequence improves visualization of fetal brain lamination compared with the T2-weighted single-shot fast spin-echo sequence, as established by quantitative and qualitative methods. © RSNA, 2019 See also the editorial by Rossi in this issue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2019181976DOI Listing
July 2019

Bodily self-disturbance in schizophrenia-spectrum populations: Introducing the Benson et al. Body Disturbances Inventory (B-BODI).

Psych J 2019 Mar;8(1):110-121

Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Anomalous or weakened sense of self was central to early theories of schizophrenia. Recent studies have also documented disturbances in body ownership and increased susceptibility for dissociative experiences, such as the out-of-body experience in individuals with schizophrenia, but further research is necessary to clarify components of bodily self-disturbances in the schizophrenia spectrum, and the stability of these experiences over time. With respect to methodology, self-disturbances research in schizophrenia tends to rely exclusively on verbal self-report questionnaires and interviews. Given that individuals with schizophrenia suffer from language and communication difficulties, verbal self-report measures may be insufficient. To bridge this gap, we have developed a new picture-based instrument, the Benson et al. Body Disturbances Inventory (B-BODI), designed to quantify bodily self-disturbances with respect to the frequency and vividness of these experiences, as well as the degree of distress associated with them. Drawings that depicted different aspects of aberrant bodily self-experiences were presented with accompanying captions. Participants were asked to indicate the frequency, vividness, and distressfulness of the experience captured by the picture using a 5-point scale. Individuals with schizophrenia, older healthy controls, and college students participated in two alternative versions of the B-BODI. Participants were also asked to complete a battery of established questionnaires that probed psychosis proneness and a range of self, body, and perceptual aberrations. The results suggest that the B-BODI is a useful tool that accurately captures bodily self-disturbances and has the potential to predict psychosis risk in healthy young individuals. Furthermore, anomalous self-disturbances seem to be relatively stable across time in individuals with chronic schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pchj.280DOI Listing
March 2019

Histological and MRI Study of the Development of the Human Indusium Griseum.

Cereb Cortex 2019 12;29(11):4709-4724

Croatian Institute for Brain Research, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Šalata12, Zagreb, Croatia.

To uncover the ontogenesis of the human indusium griseum (IG), 28 post-mortem fetal human brains, 12-40 postconceptional weeks (PCW) of age, and 4 adult brains were analyzed immunohistochemically and compared with post-mortem magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of 28 fetal brains (14-41 PCW). The morphogenesis of the IG occurred between 12 and 15 PCW, transforming the bilateral IG primordia into a ribbon-like cortical lamina. The histogenetic transition of sub-laminated zones into the three-layered cortical organization occurred between 15 and 35 PCW, concomitantly with rapid cell differentiation that occurred from 18 to 28 PCW and the elaboration of neuronal connectivity during the entire second half of gestation. The increasing number of total cells and neurons in the IG at 25 and 35 PCW confirmed its continued differentiation throughout this period. High-field 3.0 T post-mortem MRI enabled visualization of the IG at the mid-fetal stage using T2-weighted sequences. In conclusion, the IG had a distinct histogenetic differentiation pattern than that of the neighboring intralimbic areas of the same ontogenetic origin, and did not show any signs of regression during the fetal period or postnatally, implying a functional role of the IG in the adult brain, which is yet to be disclosed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhz004DOI Listing
December 2019