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Creators/Authors contains: "Wilson, Tony W."

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  1. Abstract

    Motor control requires the coordination of spatiotemporally precise neural oscillations in the beta and gamma range within the primary motor cortex (M1). Recent studies have shown that motor performance can be differentially modulated based on the spectral target of noninvasive transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), with gamma-frequency tACS improving motor performance. However, the spectral specificity for eliciting such improvements remains unknown. Herein, we derived the peak movement-related gamma frequency in 25 healthy adults using magnetoencephalography and a motor control paradigm. These individualized peak gamma frequencies were then used for personalized sessions of tACS. All participants completed 4 sessions of high-definition (HD)-tACS (sham, low-, peak-, and high-gamma frequency) over M1 for 20 min during the performance of sequential movements of varying complexity (e.g. tapping adjacent fingers or nonadjacent fingers). Our primary findings demonstrated that individualized tACS dosing over M1 leads to enhanced motor performance/learning (i.e. greatest reduction in time to complete motor sequences) compared to nonspecific gamma-tACS in humans, which suggests that personalized neuromodulation may be advantageous to optimize behavioral outcomes.

  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  4. Abstract

    Alcohol and cannabis use disorder (AUD/CUD) are two of the most common addictive disorders. While studies are beginning to understand the neural changes related to acute and chronic use, few studies have examined the independent effects of AUD and CUD on neural oscillatory activity. We examined 45 adults who reported current use of both cannabis and alcohol. Participants underwent the SCID-V to determine whether they met criteria for AUD and/or CUD. Participants also completed a visual-spatial processing task while undergoing magnetoencephalography (MEG). ANCOVA with a 2 × 2 design was then used to identify the main effects of AUD and CUD on source-level oscillatory activity. Of the 45 adults, 17 met criteria for AUD, and 26 met criteria for CUD. All participants, including comparison groups, reported use of both cannabis and alcohol. Statistical analyses showed a main effect of AUD, such that participants with AUD displayed a blunted occipital alpha (8–16 Hz) response. Post-hoc testing showed this decreased alpha response was related to increased AUD symptoms, above and beyond amount of use. No effects of AUD or CUD were identified in visual theta or gamma activity. In conclusion, AUD was associated with reduced alpha responses and scaled with increasing severity, independent of CUD.more »These findings indicate that alpha oscillatory activity may play an integral part in networks affected by alcohol addiction.

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  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  6. Abstract

    Neural oscillations may be sensitive to aspects of brain maturation such as myelination and synaptic density changes. Better characterization of developmental trajectories and reliability is necessary for understanding typical and atypical neurodevelopment. Here, we examined reliability in 110 typically developing children and adolescents (aged 9–17 years) across 2.25 years. From 10 min of magnetoencephalography resting-state data, normalized source spectral power and intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated. We found sex-specific differences in global normalized power, with males showing age-related decreases in delta and theta, along with age-related increases in beta and gamma. Females had fewer significant age-related changes. Structural magnetic resonance imaging revealed that males had more total gray, subcortical gray, and cortical white matter volume. There were significant age-related changes in total gray matter volume with sex-specific and frequency-specific correlations to normalized power. In males, increased total gray matter volume correlated with increased theta and alpha, along with decreased gamma. Split-half reliability was excellent in all frequency bands and source regions. Test–retest reliability ranged from good (alpha) to fair (theta) to poor (remaining bands). While resting-state neural oscillations can have fingerprint-like quality in adults, we show here that neural oscillations continue to evolve in children and adolescents due to brain maturationmore »and neurodevelopmental change.

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  7. Abstract Working memory, the ability to hold items in memory stores for further manipulation, is a higher order cognitive process that supports many aspects of daily life. Childhood trauma has been associated with altered cognitive development including particular deficits in verbal working memory (VWM), but the neural underpinnings remain poorly understood. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) studies of VWM have reliably shown decreased alpha activity in left-lateralized language regions during encoding, and increased alpha activity in parieto-occipital cortices during the maintenance phase. In this study, we examined whether childhood trauma affects behavioral performance and the oscillatory dynamics serving VWM using MEG in a cohort of 9- to 15-year-old youth. All participants completed a modified version of the UCLA Trauma History Profile and then performed a VWM task during MEG. Our findings indicated a sex-by-age-by-trauma three-way interaction, whereby younger females experiencing higher levels of trauma had the lowest d’ accuracy scores and the strongest positive correlations with age (i.e. older performed better). Likewise, females with higher levels of childhood trauma exhibited altered age-related alpha changes during the maintenance phase within the right temporal and parietal cortices. These findings suggest that trauma exposure may alter the developmental trajectory of neural oscillations serving VWM processing inmore »a sex-specific way.« less
  8. Abstract

    Adolescents demonstrate increasing mastery of motor actions with age. One prevailing hypothesis is that maturation of the somatosensory system during adolescence contributes to the improved motor control. However, limited efforts have been made to determine if somatosensory cortical processing is different in adolescents during movement. In this study, we used magnetoencephalographic brain imaging to begin addressing this knowledge gap by applying an electrical stimulation to the tibial nerve as adolescents (Age = 14.8 ± 2.5 yrs.) and adults (Age = 36.8 ± 5.0 yrs.) produced an isometric ankle plantarflexion force, or sat with no motor activity. Our results showed strong somatosensory cortical oscillations for both conditions in the alpha-beta (8–30 Hz) and gamma (38–80 Hz) ranges that occurred immediately after the stimulation (0–125 ms), and a beta (18–26 Hz) oscillatory response shortly thereafter (300–400 ms). Compared with the passive condition, all of these frequency specific cortical oscillations were attenuated while producing the ankle force. The attenuation of the alpha-beta response was greater in adolescents, while the adults had a greater attenuation of the beta response. These results imply that altered attenuation of the somatosensory cortical oscillations might be central to the under-developed somatosensory processing and motor performance characteristics in adolescents.

  9. Abstract

    A major goal of many translational neuroimaging studies is the identification of biomarkers of disease. However, a prerequisite for any such biomarker is robust reliability, which for magnetoencephalography (MEG) and many other imaging modalities has not been established. In this study, we examined the reliability of visual (Experiment 1) and somatosensory gating (Experiment 2) responses in 19 healthy adults who repeated these experiments for three visits spaced 18 months apart. Visual oscillatory and somatosensory oscillatory and evoked responses were imaged, and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were computed to examine the long-term reliability of these responses. In Experiment 1, ICCs showed good reliability for visual theta and alpha responses in occipital cortices, but poor reliability for gamma responses. In Experiment 2, the time series of somatosensory gamma and evoked responses in the contralateral somatosensory cortex showed good reliability. Finally, analyses of spontaneous baseline activity indicated excellent reliability for occipital alpha, moderate reliability for occipital theta, and poor reliability for visual/somatosensory gamma activity. Overall, MEG responses to visual and somatosensory stimuli show a high degree of reliability across 3 years and therefore may be stable indicators of sensory processing long term and thereby of potential interest as biomarkers of disease.