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Creators/Authors contains: "Taylor, Brittany K."

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  1. Abstract

    The transition from childhood to adolescence is associated with an influx of sex hormones, which not only facilitates physical and behavioral changes, but also dramatic changes in neural circuitry. While previous work has shown that pubertal hormones modulate structural and functional brain development, few of these studies have focused on the impact that such hormones have on spontaneous cortical activity, and whether these effects are modulated by sex during this critical developmental window. Herein, we examined the effect of endogenous testosterone on spontaneous cortical activity in 71 typically‐developing youth (ages 10–17 years; 32 male). Participants completed a resting‐state magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recording, structural MRI, and provided a saliva sample for hormone analysis. MEG data were source‐reconstructed and the power within five canonical frequency bands (delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma) was computed. The resulting power spectral density maps were analyzed via vertex‐wise ANCOVAs to identify spatially specific effects of testosterone and sex by testosterone interactions, while covarying out age. We found robust sex differences in the modulatory effects of testosterone on spontaneous delta, beta, and gamma activity. These interactions were largely confined to frontal cortices and exhibited a stark switch in the directionality of the correlation from the low (delta) to high frequencies (beta/gamma). For example, in the delta band, greater testosterone related to lower relative power in prefrontal cortices in boys, while the reverse pattern was found for girls. These data suggest testosterone levels are uniquely related to the development of spontaneous cortical dynamics during adolescence, and such levels are associated with different developmental patterns in males and females within regions implicated in executive functioning.

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  2. Abstract

    HIV‐infection has been associated with widespread alterations in brain structure and function, although few studies have examined whether such aberrations are co‐localized and the degree to which clinical and cognitive metrics are related. We examine this question in the somatosensory system using high‐resolution structural MRI (sMRI) and magnetoencephalographic (MEG) imaging of neural oscillatory activity. Forty‐four participants with HIV (PWH) and 55 demographically‐matched uninfected controls completed a paired‐pulse somatosensory stimulation paradigm during MEG and underwent 3T sMRI. MEG data were transformed into the time‐frequency domain; significant sensor level responses were imaged using a beamformer. Virtual sensor time series were derived from the peak responses. These data were used to compute response amplitude, sensory gating metrics, and spontaneous cortical activity power. The T1‐weighted sMRI data were processed using morphological methods to derive cortical thickness values across the brain. From these, the cortical thickness of the tissue coinciding with the peak response was estimated. Our findings indicated both PWH and control exhibit somatosensory gating, and that spontaneous cortical activity was significantly stronger in PWH within the left postcentral gyrus. Interestingly, within the same tissue, PWH also had significantly reduced cortical thickness relative to controls. Follow‐up analyses indicated that the reduction in cortical thickness was significantly correlated with CD4 nadir and mediated the relationship between HIV and spontaneous cortical activity within the left postcentral gyrus. These data indicate that PWH have abnormally strong spontaneous cortical activity in the left postcentral gyrus and such elevated activity is driven by locally reduced cortical gray matter thickness.

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