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See detailModulating effect of COMT genotype on the brains regions underlying inhibition
Jaspar, Mathieu ULg; Grandjean, Julien ULg; SALMON, Eric ULg et al

Conference (2012, May)

Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is an important enzyme which degrades catecholamines, such dopamine, notably in the prefrontal cortex (Männistö & Kaakkola, 1999). A large number of studies reported an ... [more ▼]

Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is an important enzyme which degrades catecholamines, such dopamine, notably in the prefrontal cortex (Männistö & Kaakkola, 1999). A large number of studies reported an effect on executive functioning of COMT genotype (Barnett & al., 2007), each genotype being associated with a different COMT enzymatic activity (Weinshilboum & al., 1999). In an event-related fMRI study, a modified form of the Stroop task was administered to 45 young adults separated in three groups according to their COMT val158met genotype : 15 homozygous val/val (VV), 15 homozygous met/met (MM) and 15 heterozygotes val/met (VM). Both behavioral and fMRI results indicated the presence of a general interference effect consistent with prior reports (Nee & al., 2007). More interestingly, group comparisons indicate that this effect is associated, for a similar behavioral performance, with increased medial frontal and precentral gyrus activity in VV and VM groups by comparison with MM group. Conversely, no supplementary brain areas were observed for the comparison of the MM to the two other groups. These observations, paralleling with the lower COMT enzymatic activity and, thus, the higher cortical dopamine level in met/met individuals, confirms our expectation of a COMT Val158Met genotype modulation of the brain regions underlying inhibition efficiency. [less ▲]

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See detailModulation of brain activity during a Stroop inhibitory task by the kind of cognitive control required
Grandjean, Julien ULg; D'Ostilio, Kevin ULg; Phillips, Christophe ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(7), 41513

This study used a proportion congruency manipulation in the Stroop task in order to investigate, at the behavioral and brain substrate levels, the predictions derived from the Dual Mechanisms of Control ... [more ▼]

This study used a proportion congruency manipulation in the Stroop task in order to investigate, at the behavioral and brain substrate levels, the predictions derived from the Dual Mechanisms of Control (DMC) account of two distinct modes of cognitive control depending on the task context. Three experimental conditions were created that varied the proportion congruency: mostly incongruent (MI), mostly congruent (MC), and mostly neutral (MN) contexts. A reactive control strategy, which corresponds to transient interference resolution processes after conflict detection, was expected for the rare conflicting stimuli in the MC context, and a proactive strategy, characterized by a sustained task-relevant focus prior to the occurrence of conflict, was expected in the MI context. Results at the behavioral level supported the proactive/reactive distinction, with the replication of the classic proportion congruent effect (i.e., less interference and facilitation effects in the MI context). fMRI data only partially supported our predictions. Whereas reactive control for incongruent trials in the MC context engaged the expected fronto-parietal network including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex, proactive control in the MI context was not associated with any sustained lateral prefrontal cortex activations, contrary to our hypothesis. Surprisingly, incongruent trials in the MI context elicited transient activation in common with incongruent trials in the MC context, especially in DLPFC, superior parietal lobe, and insula. This lack of sustained activity in MI is discussed in reference to the possible involvement of item-specific rather than list-wide mechanisms of control in the implementation of a high task-relevant focus. [less ▲]

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See detailPerceptual and motor abilities in normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease: a preliminary study
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Grandjean, Julien ULg; Salmon, Eric ULg et al

in Archives of Gerontology & Geriatrics (2012), 54

Deficits in inhibitory abilities are frequently observed in normal aging and Alzheimer disease (AD). However, few studies have explored the generality of these deficits in a single group of participants ... [more ▼]

Deficits in inhibitory abilities are frequently observed in normal aging and Alzheimer disease (AD). However, few studies have explored the generality of these deficits in a single group of participants. A battery of tasks assessing perceptual and motor inhibitory functioning was administered to young and older healthy participants (Study 1), as well as to mild Alzheimer patients (Study 2). Results did not agree with a selective impairment of motor or perceptual inhibition in either AD or normal aging but rather suggest that a decrease in cognitive resources available in working memory could explain inhibitory performance both in normal aging and AD. [less ▲]

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See detailModulating effect of COMT genotype on the brain regions underlying inhibition
Jaspar, Mathieu ULg; Grandjean, Julien ULg; Salmon, Eric ULg et al

Poster (2011, June 26)

Introduction Catechol-O-methytransferase (COMT) is an important enzyme which degrades catecholamines, such dopamine, notably in the prefrontal cortex (Männistö & Kaakkola, 1999). Actually, a transition of ... [more ▼]

Introduction Catechol-O-methytransferase (COMT) is an important enzyme which degrades catecholamines, such dopamine, notably in the prefrontal cortex (Männistö & Kaakkola, 1999). Actually, a transition of guanine to adenine at codon 158 of the COMT gene results in a valine to methionine substitution (Lotta & al., 1995). This phenomenon leads to different COMT genotypes, each associated with a different COMT enzymatic activity (Weinshilboum, & al., 1999). A large number of studies reported an effect of COMT on executive functioning. However, most of them used multi-determined executive tasks (e.g., Barnett & al., 2007). We are interested here to determine the effect of COMT Val158Met genotype on the activity of frontal and parietal areas (Nee & al., 2007; Laird & al., 2005) underlying the specific executive process of inhibition. Methods Procedure In an event-related fMRI experiment, a modified form of the Stroop task was administered to 44 young adults (age range: 18-30) separated into three groups according to their COMT Val158Met genotype: 15 homozygous val/val (VV), 14 homozygous met/met (MM) and 15 heterozygotes val/met (VM) carriers. The Stroop task consisted in the presentation of color words printed in various ink colors (e.g the word blue written in red). Subjects were instructed to name of ink color as fast and accurately as possible by avoiding to read the word. In this version of the Stroop task, three different contexts were created (data not showed here): (1) a congruent context (MC) with a majority of facilitator items (IC), (2) a non-congruent context (MI) with mainly interfering items (II), (3) a neutral context (MN) with mainly neutral items (IN, series of %%% written in different colors). MRI acquisition, data analysis Functional MRI time series were acquired on a 3T head-only scanner operated with the standard transmit-receive quadrature head coil. Multislice T2*-weighted functional images were acquired with a gradient-echo echo-planar imaging sequence using axial slice orientation and covering the whole brain (32 slices, FoV = 220x220 mm², voxel size 3.4x3.4x3 mm³, 30% interslice gap, matrix size 64x64x32, TR = 2130 ms, TE = 40 ms, FA = 90°). Structural images were obtained using a high resolution T1-weighted sequence (3D MDEFT [Deichmann & al., (2004)] ; TR = 7.92 ms, TE = 2.4 ms, TI = 910 ms, FA = 15°, FoV = 256 x 224 x 176 mm³, 1 mm isotropic spatial resolution). Preprocessing and statistical analyses were performed with SPM8 (p<.001 uncorrected). Results Behavioral results indicated the presence of a general interference effect (II – IN items) for reaction time (F(1,41) = 292,44 ; p < 0,001) but no significant difference in interference between the three groups (F(2,41) = 0,27; p = 0,76). FMRI results revealed that interference effect [(MI_II-MI_IN) + (MC_II-MC_IN) + (MN_II-MN_IN)] observed in our three groups is mainly associated with cerebral activity in frontal and parietal areas. Moreover, group comparisons indicates that this effect is associated with increased medial frontal and precentral gyrus activity in VV and VM groups by comparison with MM group, but also in the superior temporal gyrus and in the thalamus in the VM by comparison to MM . Conversely, no supplementary brain area was observed for the comparison of the MM to the two other groups. Conclusions The fronto-parietal brain network associated with interference resolution observed here is consistent with prior reports (Nee & al., 2007; Laird & al., 2005). Moreover, results showed activity in different brain areas according to the COMT genotype. Indeed, a similar behavioral performance is associated to the recruitment of supplementary areas in the carriers of the val allele. This observation, paralleling with the lower COMT enzymatic activity and, thus, the higher cortical dopamine level in met/met individuals, confirms our expectation of a COMT Val158Met genotype modulation of the brain regions underlying inhibition efficiency. [less ▲]

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See detailIs brain activity during a Stroop inhibitory task modulated by the kind of cognitive control required?
Collette, Fabienne ULg; D'Ostilio, Kevin ULg; D'Argembeau, Arnaud ULg et al

Conference (2011)

Performance on the Stroop task is associated to a large antero-posterior cerebral network involving notably the anterior cingulate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In this study, we used a mixed-BOLD ... [more ▼]

Performance on the Stroop task is associated to a large antero-posterior cerebral network involving notably the anterior cingulate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In this study, we used a mixed-BOLD-fMRI design (N=25) to determine the neural substrates of inhibitory functioning in a Stroop task according to contextual information. Consequently, two task-contexts were created: (1) congruent context with a majority of facilitator items, (2) non-congruent context with mainly interfering items. Based on the dual cognitive control model, we postulated that the non-congruent blocks will involve proactive control, which is anticipatory, sustained, and involved when a large number of interfering items are successively presented. On the contrary, congruent blocks were assumed to involve reactive control, which occurs when few interfering items are presented, and just after the presentation of these items only. On this basis, we hypothesized that the kind of cognitive control modulates cerebral activity associated to inhibitory functioning. For behavioral data, we obtained faster response times for interfering items in the non-congruent vs. congruent condition, indicating proactive control specific to the congruent condition only. Functional neuro-imaging data showed an increased transient activity for interfering vs neutral items in a fronto-parietal network more important in the congruent than in the neutral condition. A similar contrast in the non-congruent condition showed no significant brain activity at the statistical threshold used. These data indicate the existence of a modulation of the cerebral areas associated to inhibitory functioning according to the kind of cognitive control necessary to perform the task. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence of response prepotency strength, general working memory resources, and specific working memory load on the ability to inhibit predominant responses: A comparison of young and elderly participants
Grandjean, Julien ULg; Collette, Fabienne ULg

in Brain & Cognition (2011), 77

One conception of inhibitory functioning suggests that the ability to successfully inhibit a predominant response depends mainly on the strength of that response, the general functioning of working memory ... [more ▼]

One conception of inhibitory functioning suggests that the ability to successfully inhibit a predominant response depends mainly on the strength of that response, the general functioning of working memory processes, and the working memory demand of the task (Roberts, Hager, and Heron, 1994). The proposal that inhibition and functional working memory capacity interact was assessed in the present study using two motor inhibition tasks (Go/No-Go and response incompatibility) in young and older participants. The strength of prepotency was assessed with a short or long training phase for the response to be inhibited. The influence of working memory resources was evaluated by administering the tasks in full versus divided attention conditions. The effect of working memory load was manipulated by increasing the number of target and distracter items in each task. Results showed no effect of prepotency strength, whereas dividing attentional resources and increasing working memory load were associated with greater inhibitory effects in both groups and for both tasks. This deleterious effect was higher for older participants, except in the working memory load condition of the Go/No-Go task. These results suggest an interactive link between working memory and response inhibition by showing that taxing working memory resources increases the difficulty of inhibiting prepotent responses in younger and older subjects. The additional detrimental effect of these factors on healthy elderly subjects was related to their decreased cognitive resources and to their shorter span size. [less ▲]

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See detailCapacités d'inhibition et vieillissement normal
Grandjean, Julien ULg; Collette, Fabienne ULg

in Brouillet, Denis (Ed.) Le vieillissement cognitif normal. Maintenir l'autonomie de la personne âgée. (2011)

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See detailNeural correlates of cognitive control at the item level in the Stroop task.
Grandjean, Julien ULg; D'Ostilio, Kevin ULg; Fias, Wim et al

Poster (2010, November 15)

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See detailDéficits d’inhibition dans le vieillissement normal et la maladie d’Alzheimer: pas d’atteinte spécifique aux niveaux de traitement perceptif ou moteur
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Grandjean, Julien ULg; Salmon, Eric ULg et al

Poster (2010, September 24)

Introduction. Une diminution des capacités d’inhibition est fréquemment observée dans le vieillissement normal et la maladie d’Alzheimer. Toutefois, peu d’études ont exploré la généralité de ces déficits ... [more ▼]

Introduction. Une diminution des capacités d’inhibition est fréquemment observée dans le vieillissement normal et la maladie d’Alzheimer. Toutefois, peu d’études ont exploré la généralité de ces déficits au sein d’un groupe unique de participants. Objectif. Déterminer si les déficits d’inhibition présents dans le vieillissement normal et la maladie d’Alzheimer sont en accord avec la distinction entre inhibition perceptive et inhibition motrice proposée par Dempster et Corkill (1999). Méthode. Nous avons administré une large batterie d’épreuves d’inhibition à un groupe de participants jeunes, de participants âgés sains et de patients souffrant de maladie d’Alzheimer. L’inhibition perceptive a été évaluée au moyen des épreuves de Stroop et de priming négatif, de la tâche des ailiers et d’une tâche de résolution de conflit perceptif ; l’inhibition motrice a quant à elle été évaluée au moyen de tâches de go/no-go, de stop-signal, d’antisaccade et de résolution de conflit moteur. Résultats. Les résultats obtenus indiquent la présence d’un pattern mixte de déficits, incluant à la fois des épreuves d’inhibition motrice et d’inhibition perceptive, aussi bien chez les sujets âgés sains que chez les patients souffrant de la maladie d’Alzheimer. Des différences qualitatives de performance ont également été observées entre les deux groupes de sujets âgés. Discussion. Nos résultats ne sont pas en la faveur d’une distinction entre inhibition motrice et perceptive. Les déficits d’inhibition observés dans le vieillissement normal peuvent être interprétés dans le sens d’une diminution générale des ressources de traitement tandis que les déficits des patients Alzheimer peuvent être attribués à une capacité réduite de résistance à l’interférence provenant d’informations non pertinentes dans l’environnement externe de la personne. La présence de différences qualitatives de performance entre les deux groupes de sujets âgés semble indiquer que la maladie d’Alzheimer ne consiste pas en une simple accentuation des difficultés déjà observées lors du vieillissement normal. [less ▲]

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See detailNeural correlates of cognitive control at the item specific level in the Stroop task
Grandjean, Julien ULg; D'Ostilio, Kevin ULg; Fias, Wim et al

Poster (2010, May 04)

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