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Front Hum Neurosci. 2011 Aug 17;5:81. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00081. eCollection 2011.

Functional Brain Network Characterization and Adaptivity during Task Practice in Healthy Volunteers and People with Schizophrenia.

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Department of Neurology, Columbia University New York, NY, USA.


Cognitive remediation involves task practice and may improve deficits in people suffering from schizophrenia, but little is known about underlying neurophysiological mechanisms. In people with schizophrenia and controls, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to examine accuracy and practice-related changes in parameters indexing neural network structure and activity, to determine whether these might be useful assays of the efficacy of cognitive remediation. Two MEG recordings were acquired during performance of a tone discrimination task used to improve the acuity of auditory processing, before and after ∼2.5 h of task practice. Accuracy before practice was negatively correlated with beta-band cost efficiency, a graph theoretical measure of network organization. Synthetic aperture magnetometry was used to localize brain oscillations with high spatial accuracy; results demonstrated sound and sensorimotor modulations of the beta band in temporo-parietal regions and the sensorimotor cortex respectively. High-gamma activity also correlated with sensorimotor processing during the task, with activation of auditory regions following sound stimulation, and activation of the left sensorimotor cortex preceding the button press. High-gamma power in the left frontal cortex was also found to correlate with accuracy. Following practice, sound-induced broad-band power in the left angular gyri increased. Accuracy improved and was found to correlate with increased mutual information (MI) between sensors in temporal-parietal regions in the beta band but not global cost efficiency. Based on these results, we conclude that hours of task practice can induce meso-scale changes such as increased power in relevant brain regions as well as changes in MI that correlate with improved accuracy.


beta band; cognitive remediation; graph theory; high gamma; magnetoencephalography; practice; schizophrenia; synthetic aperture magnetometry

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