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  • Journal article
    Woolgar A, Hampshire A, Thompson R, Duncan Jet al., 2011,

    Adaptive coding of task-relevant information in human frontoparietal cortex

    , J Neurosci, Vol: 31, Pages: 14592-14599, ISSN: 1529-2401

    Frontoparietal cortex is thought to be essential for flexible behavior, but the mechanism for control remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate a potentially critical property of this cortex: its dynamic configuration for coding of task-critical information. Using multivoxel pattern analysis of human functional imaging data, we demonstrate an adaptive change in the patterns of activation coding task-relevant stimulus distinctions. When task demands made perceptual information more difficult to discriminate, frontoparietal regions showed increased coding of this information. Visual cortices showed the opposite result: a weaker representation of perceptual information in line with the physical change in the stimulus. On a longer timescale, a rebalancing of coding was also seen after practice, with a diminished representation of task rules as they became familiar. The results suggest a flexible neural system, exerting cognitive control in a wide range of tasks by adaptively representing the task features most challenging for successful goal-directed behavior.

  • Journal article
    Schweizer S, Hampshire A, Dalgleish T, 2011,

    Extending brain-training to the affective domain: increasing cognitive and affective executive control through emotional working memory training

    , PLoS One, Vol: 6, ISSN: 1932-6203

    So-called 'brain-training' programs are a huge commercial success. However, empirical evidence regarding their effectiveness and generalizability remains equivocal. This study investigated whether brain-training (working memory [WM] training) improves cognitive functions beyond the training task (transfer effects), especially regarding the control of emotional material since it constitutes much of the information we process daily. Forty-five participants received WM training using either emotional or neutral material, or an undemanding control task. WM training, regardless of training material, led to transfer gains on another WM task and in fluid intelligence. However, only brain-training with emotional material yielded transferable gains to improved control over affective information on an emotional Stroop task. The data support the reality of transferable benefits of demanding WM training and suggest that transferable gains across to affective contexts require training with material congruent to those contexts. These findings constitute preliminary evidence that intensive cognitively demanding brain-training can improve not only our abstract problem-solving capacity, but also ameliorate cognitive control processes (e.g. decision-making) in our daily emotive environments.

  • Journal article
    Huntley J, Bor D, Hampshire A, Owen A, Howard Ret al., 2011,

    Working memory task performance and chunking in early Alzheimer's disease

    , Br J Psychiatry, Vol: 198, Pages: 398-403, ISSN: 1472-1465

    BACKGROUND: Chunking is a powerful encoding strategy that significantly improves working memory performance in normal young people. AIMS: To investigate chunking in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease and in a control group of elderly people without cognitive impairment. METHOD: People with mild Alzheimer's disease (n = 28) were recruited and divided according to Mini-Mental State Examination score into mild and very mild disease groups. A control group of 15 elderly individuals was also recruited. All participants performed digit and spatial working memory tasks requiring either unstructured sequences or structured sequences (which encourage chunking of information) to be recalled. RESULTS: The control group and both disease groups performed significantly better on structured trials of the digit working memory tasks, indicating successful use of chunking strategies to improve verbal working memory performance. The control and very mild disease groups also performed significantly better on structured trials of the spatial task, whereas those with mild disease demonstrated no significant difference between the structured and unstructured spatial conditions. CONCLUSIONS: The ability to use chunking as an encoding strategy to improve verbal working memory performance is preserved at the mild stage of Alzheimer's disease, whereas use of chunking to improve spatial working memory is impaired by this stage. Simple training in the use of chunking might be a beneficial therapeutic strategy to prolong working memory functioning in patients at the earliest stage of Alzheimer's disease.

  • Journal article
    Kempton MJ, Ettinger U, Foster R, Williams SC, Calvert GA, Hampshire A, Zelaya FO, O'Gorman RL, McMorris T, Owen AM, Smith MSet al., 2011,

    Dehydration affects brain structure and function in healthy adolescents

    , Hum Brain Mapp, Vol: 32, Pages: 71-79, ISSN: 1097-0193

    It was recently observed that dehydration causes shrinkage of brain tissue and an associated increase in ventricular volume. Negative effects of dehydration on cognitive performance have been shown in some but not all studies, and it has also been reported that an increased perceived effort may be required following dehydration. However, the effects of dehydration on brain function are unknown. We investigated this question using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 10 healthy adolescents (mean age = 16.8, five females). Each subject completed a thermal exercise protocol and nonthermal exercise control condition in a cross-over repeated measures design. Subjects lost more weight via perspiration in the thermal exercise versus the control condition (P < 0.0001), and lateral ventricle enlargement correlated with the reduction in body mass (r = 0.77, P = 0.01). Dehydration following the thermal exercise protocol led to a significantly stronger increase in fronto-parietal blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response during an executive function task (Tower of London) than the control condition, whereas cerebral perfusion during rest was not affected. The increase in BOLD response after dehydration was not paralleled by a change in cognitive performance, suggesting an inefficient use of brain metabolic activity following dehydration. This pattern indicates that participants exerted a higher level of neuronal activity in order to achieve the same performance level. Given the limited availability of brain metabolic resources, these findings suggest that prolonged states of reduced water intake may adversely impact executive functions such as planning and visuo-spatial processing.

  • Journal article
    Cannon R, Kerson C, Hampshire A, 2011,

    sLORETA and fMRI Detection of Medial Prefrontal Default Network Anomalies in Adult ADHD

    , Journal of Neurotherapy
  • Journal article
    Bonnelle V, Leech R, Kinnunen KM, Ham T, Beckmann CF, De BX, Greenwood RJ, Sharp DJet al., 2011,

    Default mode network connectivity predicts sustained attention deficits following traumatic brain injury.

    , Journal of Neuroscience
  • Journal article
    Sharp DJ, Beckmann CF, Greenwood RJ, Kinnunen KM, Bonnelle V, De BX, Powell J, Counsell SJ, Patel M, Leech Ret al., 2011,

    Default mode network functional and structural connectivity after traumatic brain injury

    , Brain
  • Journal article
    Scott G, Cross F, 2010,

    Reducing insulin errors Try electronic prescribing

    , BMJ-BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL, Vol: 341, ISSN: 1756-1833
  • Journal article
    Scott G, Cross F, 2010,

    Reducing insulin errors. Try electronic prescribing.

    , BMJ, Vol: 341
  • Conference paper
    Sharp D, Leech PJR, Bonnelle V, Beckmann CF, De Boissezon X, Greenwood R, Kinnunen Ket al., 2010,

    ALTERED STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL NETWORK CONNECTIVITY PREDICTS COGNITIVE FUNCTION AFTER TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY

    , Annual Meeting of the Association-of-British-Neurologists, Publisher: B M J PUBLISHING GROUP, Pages: E23-E23, ISSN: 0022-3050

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