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Cognitive Control and Brain Network Dynamics during Word Generation Tasks Predicted Using a Novel Event-Related Deep Brain Activity Method

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Document pages: 23 pages

Abstract: There is a growing interest in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with dementia and cognitive impairment at an early stage. Recent imaging studies have explored neural mechanisms underlying cognitive dysfunction based on brain network architecture and functioning. The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) is thought to regulate large-scale intrinsic brain networks, and plays a primary role in cognitive processing with the anterior insular cortex (aIC), thus providing salience functions. Although neural mechanisms have been elucidated at the connectivity level by imaging studies, their understanding at the activity level still remains unclear because of limited time-based resolution of conventional imaging techniques. In this study, we investigated temporal activity of the dACC during word (verb) generation tasks based on our newly developed event-related deep brain activity (ER-DBA) method using occipital electroencephalogram (EEG) alpha-2 powers with a time resolution of a few hundred milliseconds. The dACC exhibited dip-like temporal waveforms indicating deactivation in an initial stage of each trial when appropriate verbs were successfully generated. By contrast, monotonous increase was observed for incorrect responses and a decrease was detected for no responses. The dip depth was correlated with the percentage of success. Additionally, the dip depth linearly increased with increasing slow component of the DBA index at rest across all subjects. These findings suggest that dACC deactivation is essential for cognitive processing, whereas its activation is required for goal-oriented behavioral outputs, such as cued speech. Such dACC functioning, represented by the dip depth, is supported by the activity of the upper brainstem region including monoaminergic neural systems.

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