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MRI assessment of cortical thickness and functional activity changes in adolescent girls following three months of practice on a visual-spatial task.

Haier RJ, Karama S, Leyba L, Jung RE - BMC Res Notes (2009)

Bottom Line: Based on fMRI BOLD signals, the Tetris group showed cortical activations throughout the brain while playing Tetris, but significant BOLD decreases, mostly in frontal areas, were observed after practice.Over the same period, brain activity decreases were observed in several other areas.These data indicate that structural change in one brain area does not necessarily result in functional change in the same location, at least on the levels assessed with these MRI methods.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Medicine (Emeritus), University of California, Irvine CA, USA. rich.haier@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Background: Neuro-imaging studies demonstrate plasticity of cortical gray matter before and after practice for some motor and cognitive tasks in adults. Other imaging studies show functional changes after practice, but there is not yet direct evidence of how structural and functional changes may be related. A fundamental question is whether they occur at the same cortical sites, adjacent sites, or sites in other parts of a network.

Findings: Using a 3 T MRI, we obtained structural and functional images in adolescent girls before and after practice on a visual-spatial problem-solving computer game, Tetris. After three months of practice, compared to the structural scans of controls, the group with Tetris practice showed thicker cortex, primarily in two areas: left BAs 6 and 22/38. Based on fMRI BOLD signals, the Tetris group showed cortical activations throughout the brain while playing Tetris, but significant BOLD decreases, mostly in frontal areas, were observed after practice. None of these BOLD decreases, however, overlapped with the cortical thickness changes.

Conclusion: Regional cortical thickness changes were observed after three months of Tetris practice. Over the same period, brain activity decreases were observed in several other areas. These data indicate that structural change in one brain area does not necessarily result in functional change in the same location, at least on the levels assessed with these MRI methods.

No MeSH data available.


Cortical Thickness Changes. Cortical thickness changes after practice showing Tetris follow-up minus baseline versus Controls follow-up minus baseline, p < .005. Upper left is left hemisphere; arrows show cluster level p < .05 FWE corrected.
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Figure 1: Cortical Thickness Changes. Cortical thickness changes after practice showing Tetris follow-up minus baseline versus Controls follow-up minus baseline, p < .005. Upper left is left hemisphere; arrows show cluster level p < .05 FWE corrected.

Mentions: Analyses used SurfStat created for MATLAB 7 (The MathWorks, Inc.). Baseline cortical thickness maps were subtracted, for each subject, from the 3-month cortical thickness maps, yielding subject-specific maps of change in cortical thickness. These maps for the Tetris group were compared to those for the Control group. Results are shown at p < .05 using the Family Wise Error (FWE) correction (Figure 1); trends are noted at p < .005, uncorrected. For all tables, Brodmann areas (BA) were determined as best estimates based on the Talairach and Tourneau atlas [20,21].


MRI assessment of cortical thickness and functional activity changes in adolescent girls following three months of practice on a visual-spatial task.

Haier RJ, Karama S, Leyba L, Jung RE - BMC Res Notes (2009)

Cortical Thickness Changes. Cortical thickness changes after practice showing Tetris follow-up minus baseline versus Controls follow-up minus baseline, p < .005. Upper left is left hemisphere; arrows show cluster level p < .05 FWE corrected.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2746806&req=5

Figure 1: Cortical Thickness Changes. Cortical thickness changes after practice showing Tetris follow-up minus baseline versus Controls follow-up minus baseline, p < .005. Upper left is left hemisphere; arrows show cluster level p < .05 FWE corrected.
Mentions: Analyses used SurfStat created for MATLAB 7 (The MathWorks, Inc.). Baseline cortical thickness maps were subtracted, for each subject, from the 3-month cortical thickness maps, yielding subject-specific maps of change in cortical thickness. These maps for the Tetris group were compared to those for the Control group. Results are shown at p < .05 using the Family Wise Error (FWE) correction (Figure 1); trends are noted at p < .005, uncorrected. For all tables, Brodmann areas (BA) were determined as best estimates based on the Talairach and Tourneau atlas [20,21].

Bottom Line: Based on fMRI BOLD signals, the Tetris group showed cortical activations throughout the brain while playing Tetris, but significant BOLD decreases, mostly in frontal areas, were observed after practice.Over the same period, brain activity decreases were observed in several other areas.These data indicate that structural change in one brain area does not necessarily result in functional change in the same location, at least on the levels assessed with these MRI methods.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Medicine (Emeritus), University of California, Irvine CA, USA. rich.haier@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Background: Neuro-imaging studies demonstrate plasticity of cortical gray matter before and after practice for some motor and cognitive tasks in adults. Other imaging studies show functional changes after practice, but there is not yet direct evidence of how structural and functional changes may be related. A fundamental question is whether they occur at the same cortical sites, adjacent sites, or sites in other parts of a network.

Findings: Using a 3 T MRI, we obtained structural and functional images in adolescent girls before and after practice on a visual-spatial problem-solving computer game, Tetris. After three months of practice, compared to the structural scans of controls, the group with Tetris practice showed thicker cortex, primarily in two areas: left BAs 6 and 22/38. Based on fMRI BOLD signals, the Tetris group showed cortical activations throughout the brain while playing Tetris, but significant BOLD decreases, mostly in frontal areas, were observed after practice. None of these BOLD decreases, however, overlapped with the cortical thickness changes.

Conclusion: Regional cortical thickness changes were observed after three months of Tetris practice. Over the same period, brain activity decreases were observed in several other areas. These data indicate that structural change in one brain area does not necessarily result in functional change in the same location, at least on the levels assessed with these MRI methods.

No MeSH data available.