Frontostriatal atrophy disrupts language embodiment in Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. Birba A, García-Cordero I, Kozono G, Legaz A, Ibáñez A, Sedeño L, García AM. 2017

AUTORES Birba A, García-Cordero I, Kozono G, Legaz A, Ibáñez A, Sedeño L, García AM.
AÑO 2017
JOURNAL Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
VOLUMEN September, 2017
ABSTRACT Within the language domain, movement disorders triggered by frontostriatal damage are characterized by deficits in action verbs, motor-language coupling, and syntax. However, these impairments have not been jointly interpreted under a unifying rationale or integratively assessed in terms of possible clinical implications. To bridge these gaps, here we introduce the “disrupted motor grounding hypothesis”, a new framework to conceive such impairments as disturbances of embodied mechanisms (high-order domains based on the recycling of functionally germane sensorimotor circuits). We focus on two relevant lesion models: Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. First, we describe the physiopathology of both conditions as models of progressive frontostriatal impairment. Then, we summarize works assessing action language, motor-language coupling, and syntax in samples at early and preclinical disease stages. To conclude, we discuss the implications of the evidence for neurolinguistic modeling, identify key issues to be addressed in future research, and discuss potential clinical implications. In brief, our work seeks to open new theoretical and translational avenues for embodied cognition research.
RESUMEN En esta revisión, demostramos que la atrofia de las redes frontoestriadas en las enfermedades de Parkinson y Huntington afecta tres dominios lingüísticos corporizados: el lenguaje de acción, su integración con movimientos corporales, y el procesamiento sintáctico. En particular, dado que estos déficits se manifiestan independientemente de otros trastornos cognitivos y son identificables en etapas tempranas y aun preclínicas, podrían constituir biomarcadores sensibles  de ambos cuadros. Bajo esa lógica, se delinean avenidas teóricas y traslacionales para la investigación en el marco de la cognición corporizada.

Pathophysiology and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation Detected after Ischemic Stroke (PARADISE): A Translational, Integrated, and Transdisciplinary Approach. Paquet M, Cerasuolo JO, Thorburn V, Fridman S, Alsubaie R, Lopes RD, Cipriano LE, Salamone P, Melling CWJ, Khan AR, Sedeño L, Fang J, Drangova M, Montero-Odasso M, Mandzia J, Khaw AV, Racosta JM, Paturel J, Samoilov L, Stirling D, Balint B, Jaremek V, Koschinsky ML, Boffa MB, Summers K, Ibañez A, Mrkobrada M, Saposnik G, Kimpinski K, Whitehead SN, Sposato LA. 2017

AUTORES Paquet M, Cerasuolo JO, Thorburn V, Fridman S, Alsubaie R, Lopes RD, Cipriano LE, Salamone P, Melling CWJ, Khan AR, Sedeño L, Fang J, Drangova M, Montero-Odasso M, Mandzia J, Khaw AV, Racosta JM, Paturel J, Samoilov L, Stirling D, Balint B, Jaremek V, Koschinsky ML, Boffa MB, Summers K, Ibañez A, Mrkobrada M, Saposnik G, Kimpinski K, Whitehead SN, Sposato LA.
AÑO 2017
JOURNAL Journal of Stroke Cerebrovascular Diseases
VOLUMEN November 13, 2017
ABSTRACT It has been hypothesized that ischemic stroke can cause atrial fibrillation. By elucidating the mechanisms of neurogenically mediated paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, novel therapeutic strategies could be developed to prevent atrial fibrillation occurrence and perpetuation after stroke. This could result in fewer recurrent strokes and deaths, a reduction or delay in dementia onset, and in the lessening of the functional, structural, and metabolic consequences of atrial fibrillation on the heart.
RESUMEN El accidente cerebrovascular isquémico podría causar fibrilación auricular cardiaca. Presentamos la iniciativa traslacional denominada Pathophysiology and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation Detected after Ischemic Stroke (PARADISE). Comprende 3 líneas de investigación: experimental (electrocardiográfica, autonómica, anatómica, animales), clínica (cambios autonómicos, inflamatorios y neurocognitivos en fibrilación auricular post-stroke) y epidemiológica (Ontario Stroke Registry de 23000 pacientes). PARADISE podría ayudar a reducir accidentes cerebrovasculares, muertes recurrentes, inicio temprano de la demencia, y consecuencias de la fibrilación auricular en el corazón.

A lesion model of envy and Schadenfreude: legal, deservingness and moral dimensions as revealed by neurodegeneration. Santamaría-García H, Baez S, Reyes P, Santamaría-García J, Santacruz-Escudero J, Matallana D, Arévalo A, Sigman M, García AM, Ibáñez A. 2017.

AUTORES Santamaría-García H, Baez S, Reyes P, Santamaría-García J, Santacruz-Escudero J, Matallana D, Arévalo A, Sigman M, García AM, Ibáñez A.
AÑO 2017
JOURNAL Brain
VOLUMEN November 2, 2017
ABSTRACT The study of moral emotions (i.e. Schadenfreude and envy) is critical to understand the ecological complexity of everyday interactions between cognitive, affective, and social cognition processes. Most previous studies in this area have used correlational imaging techniques and framed Schadenfreude and envy as unified and monolithic emotional domains. Here, we profit from a relevant neurodegeneration model to disentangle the brain regions engaged in three dimensions of Schadenfreude and envy: deservingness, morality, and legality. We tested a group of patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), patients with Alzheimer’s disease, as a contrastive neurodegeneration model, and healthy controls on a novel task highlighting each of these dimensions in scenarios eliciting Schadenfreude and envy. Compared with the Alzheimer’s disease and control groups, patients with bvFTD obtained significantly higher scores on all dimensions for both emotions. Correlational analyses revealed an association between envy and Schadenfreude scores and greater deficits in social cognition, inhibitory control, and behaviour disturbances in bvFTD patients. Brain anatomy findings (restricted to bvFTD and controls) confirmed the partially dissociable nature of the moral emotions’ experiences and highlighted the importance of socio-moral brain areas in processing those emotions. In all subjects, an association emerged between Schadenfreude and the ventral striatum, and between envy and the anterior cingulate cortex. In addition, the results supported an association between scores for moral and legal transgression and the morphology of areas implicated in emotional appraisal, including the amygdala and the parahippocampus. By contrast, bvFTD patients exhibited a negative association between increased Schadenfreude and envy across dimensions and critical regions supporting social-value rewards and social-moral processes (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, angular gyrus and precuneus). Together, this study provides lesion-based evidence for the multidimensional nature of the emotional experiences of envy and Schadenfreude. Our results offer new insights into the mechanisms subsuming complex emotions and moral cognition in neurodegeneration. Moreover, this study presents the exacerbation of envy and Schadenfreude as a new potential hallmark of bvFTD that could impact in diagnosis and progression.
RESUMEN En este trabajo, seleccionado como “Editor’s Choice”, elegido tapa de la revista BRAIN de edición de Diciembre de 2017, y destacado por medios regionales (La Nacion, Argentina; y LUN, Chile), creamos una tarea que evalúa las dimensiones de merecimiento, moral y legal de emociones sociales (envidia y Schadenfreude), evidenciando un vínculo entre su exacerbación y la atrofia de la red cerebral de cognición social en la demencia frontotemporal. En la ilustración de la tapa, los personajes manifiestan envidia y Schadenfreude, dos emociones morales opuestas y arraigadas en las comparaciones sociales del sí mismo y los otros, simbolizados el segundo personaje del columpio.

The interplay between sharing behavior and beliefs about others in children during dictator games. Hernando Santamaría-García, María Luz González-Gadea, Rafael Di Tella, Agustin Ibáñez, Mariano Sigman. 2017

AUTORES Hernando Santamaría-García, María Luz González-Gadea, Rafael Di Tella, Agustin Ibáñez, Mariano Sigman.
AÑO 2017
JOURNAL Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
VOLUMEN August 16, 2017
ABSTRACT Previous studies in adults demonstrated that beliefs and sharing decisions in social scenarios are closely related. However, to date, little is known about the development of this relationship in children. By using a modified dictator game, we assessed sharing behavior and beliefs about others in children between 3 and 12 years old. We performed four studies (N = 376) aimed to assess whether decisions were related to beliefs (Studies 1 and 2) and whether information about the recipient’s forced sharing behavior would shape decisions and beliefs (Studies 3 and 4). Results of Studies 1 and 2 showed that beliefs about others’ generosity were related to children’s sharing behavior. In Studies 3 and 4, we found that only children older than 9 years shared more pieces of candy when they knew that the recipient would be forced to share (cooperative context) than when they knew that the recipient would be forced not to share (noncooperative context). Besides, children older than 6 years did not modify their beliefs about others’ generosity according to these social contexts. These results suggest that normative or preconceived beliefs about the functioning of the social world may guide social behavior in children.
RESUMEN En este estudio evaluamos la relación entre las creencias y las decisiones de compartir en escenarios sociales, en niños entre 3 y 12 años, mediante cuatro estudios (N = 376). Los resultados mostraron que las creencias normativas o preconcebidas sobre el funcionamiento del mundo social impactan en las decisiones de cooperación y comportamiento social en la niñez.

Thumala D, Kennedy B, Calvo E, Gonzalez-Billault C, Zitko P, Lillo P, Villagra P, Ibáñez A, Assar R, Andrade M, Slachevsky A. Aging and Health Policies in Chile: New Agendas for Research. 2017

AUTORES Thumala D, Kennedy B, Calvo E, Gonzalez-Billault C, Zitko P, Lillo P, Villagra P, Ibáñez A, Assar R, Andrade M, Slachevsky A.
AÑO 2017
JOURNAL Health Systems & Reform
VOLUMEN July 13, 2017
ABSTRACT Population aging is among the most important global transformations. Compared to European and North American countries, Chile is among the countries with the fastest growth of life expectancy at birth during recent decades. The aging of Chile’s population is related to the improvement of living conditions, but also entails risks that tend to be associated with a rapid economic growth accompanied by large income inequalities and a chronic deficit of basic social benefits. The rapid demographic transition towards an aged population has unfolded in a context of poor development of public policies to tackle the opportunities and needs associated with an aging society. This article provides a brief overview of current Chilean public policy on aging, with a focus on healthy aging as defined by World Health Organization. The discussion addresses core challenges to successfully achieve healthy aging in Chile.
RESUMEN Este artículo ofrece una reseña de la política pública chilena actual sobre el envejecimiento en Chile (uno de los países con el crecimiento más rápido de la población). Se abordan los principales desafíos para lograr un envejecimiento saludable en Chile. Entre ellos, se analiza el rápido crecimiento económico acompañado de grandes desigualdades de ingresos y un déficit crónico de beneficios sociales básicos.

María Roca; Milagros García; María Juliana Torres Ardila; María Luz Gonzalez Gadea; Teresa Torralva; Jesica Ferrari; Agustín Ibañez; Facundo Manes; John Duncan. Rule reactivation and capture errors in goal directed behaviour. 2017

AUTORES María Roca; Milagros García; María Juliana Torres Ardila; María Luz Gonzalez Gadea; Teresa Torralva; Jesica Ferrari; Agustín Ibañez; Facundo Manes; John Duncan.
AÑO 2017
JOURNAL Cortex
VOLUMEN September 10, 2017
ABSTRACT In everyday life people may act automatically, following “unwanted” lines of action which are triggered by contextual cues and may interfere with current goals. Such occurrences are known as “capture errors” in reference to errors that occur when a more salient behaviour takes place when a similar, but less salient, action was intended. Clinical neuropsychological studies suggest that reactivation of previous rules may play an important role in behavioural interference, but such reactivation has been little studied in normal subjects and simple experimental tasks. In the present study we develop this theme, presenting data on 4 subjects who spontaneously showed capture errors in verbal fluency tasks, and developing a new experimental paradigm specifically designed to elicit such interference in normal subjects. In the new paradigm, 101 normal subjects performed a simple series of working memorytasks, including occasional stimuli whose answer matched both the current and the previous rule. We found that normal controls indeed tend to commit more mistakes after the presentation of a stimulus whose answer is consistent with a current and preceding rule. In this case, however, the errors produced are not necessarily associated with a shift back to the old rule, suggesting that rule reactivation leads to a more general interference effect. We discuss the importance of our data from both theoretical and clinical perspectives.
RESUMEN Son denominados “errores de captura” a aquellos que se cometen cuando somos tomados de forma no intencional por una actividad que resulta ambientalmente saliente dentro del contexto, desviándonos del objetivo principal. Estudios previos mostraron que la activación de reglas previas interfiere en las actividades ejecutadas, derivando en dichos “errores de captura”. En nuestro estudio dichos errores fueron descriptos en 4 sujetos (2 pacientes con DFT-vc, una paciente con hipoperfusión frontal y un control) los cuales, luego de haber realizado la tarea de fluencia fonológica con la letra “p”, se les brindó la tarea de fluencia semántica, en la cual luego de unos segundos de iniciada, al producir un animal que cuya letra inicial era la “p”, volvían a la consigna de la tarea previa, expresando palabras que iniciaban con dicha letra, retornando a la regla previa. Posteriormente se estudió dicho fenómeno en 101 sujetos control de diversas edades y nivel educativo, mediante un paradigma experimental de 4 tareas simples de memoria de trabajo, en las cuales se incluyeron estímulos ambiguos que cumplían en su respuesta con la consigna en curso, pero también con el de la tarea asignada inmediatamente antes de ella. Los hallazgos indicaron que dichos estímulos ambiguos llevaban a un mayor porcentaje de error en los estímulos inmediatamente posteriores a ellos. Dichos errores sin embargo, no cumplían con la regla otorgada previamente, sino que correspondían a errores de memoria de trabajo.

Trevisan P, Sedeño L, Birba A, Ibáñez A, García, AM. A moving story: Whole-body motor training selectively improves the appraisal of action meanings in naturalistic narratives. 2017

AUTORES Trevisan P, Sedeño L, Birba A, Ibáñez A, García, AM
AÑO 2017
JOURNAL Scientific Reports
VOLUMEN October 02, 2017
ABSTRACT This study examined whether systematic whole-body stimulation and increased attention to visuospatial motion patterns can enhance the appraisal of action meanings evoked by naturalistic texts. Participants listened to action and neutral (non-action) narratives before and after videogame-based bodily training, and responded to questions on information realized by verbs (denoting abstract and action processes) and circumstances (conveying locative or temporal details, for example). Strategically, we worked with dyslexic children, whose potential comprehension deficits could give room to post-training improvements. Results showed a selective boost in understanding of action information, even when controlling for baseline performance. Also, this effect proved uninfluenced by short-term memory skills, and it was absent when training relied on non-action videogames requiring minimal bodily engagement. Of note, the movements described in the texts did not match those performed by participants, suggesting that well-established effector- and direction-specific language embodiment effects may be accompanied by more coarse-grained sensorimotor resonance, driven by activation of motor and visuospatial sensory systems. In sum, the stimulation of movement-related mechanisms seems to selectively boost the appraisal of actions evoked by naturalistic texts. By demonstrating such links between two real-life activities, our study offers an empirical tie between embodied and situated accounts of cognition.
RESUMEN En este trabajo, evaluamos si la estimulación corporal ecológica puede mejorar la comprensión de acciones en textos naturalistas. Primero, 20 niños con dislexia realizaron pruebas de comprensión de narraciones con alto y bajo contenido motor. Luego, se estimuló su sistema motor mediante videojuegos dinámicos en la consola Nintendo Wii. Al evaluárselos nuevamente con otro par de textos, se observó una mejoría específica en su comprensión de acciones. Este efecto no se debió a un incremento en memoria de trabajo y tampoco surgió ante videojuegos que no requieren actividad corporal. Así, éste es el primer estudio en demostrar que la actividad corporal sistemática puede mejorar la comprensión de acciones en historias narrativas.

García AM, Bocanegra Y, Herrera E, Moreno L, Carmona J, Baena A, Lopera F, Pineda D, Melloni M, Legaz A, Muñoz E, Sedeño L, Baez S, Ibáñez A. Parkinson’s disease compromises the appraisal of action meanings evoked by naturalistic texts. 2017

AUTORES García AM, Bocanegra Y, Herrera E, Moreno L, Carmona J, Baena A, Lopera F, Pineda D, Melloni M, Legaz A, Muñoz E, Sedeño L, Baez S, Ibáñez A.
AÑO 2017
JOURNAL Science Direct
VOLUMEN July 17, 2017
ABSTRACT The linguistic profile of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by difficulties in processing units which denote bodily movements. However, the available evidence has low ecological validity, as it stems from atomistic tasks which are never encountered in real life. Here, we assessed whether such deficits also occur for meanings evoked by context-rich narratives, considering patients with and without mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI and PD-nMCI, respectively) and matched controls for each group. Participants read two naturalistic stories (an action text and a neutral text) and responded to questions tapping the appraisal of verb-related and circumstantial information. In PD-MCI, impairments in the appraisal of action meanings emerged alongside difficulties in other categories, but they were unique in their independence from general cognitive dysfunction. However, in PD-nMCI, deficits were observed only for action meanings, irrespective of the patients’ domain-general skills (executive functions and general cognitive state). Also, using multiple group discriminant function analyses, we found that appraisal of action meanings was the only discourse-level variable that robustly contributed to classifying PD-MCI patients from controls (with an accuracy of 88% for all participants and for each sample separately). Moreover, this variable actually superseded a sensitive executive battery in discriminating between PD-nMCI and controls (with a combined accuracy of 83% for all participants, correctly classifying 79.2% of patients and 87.5% of controls). In sum, action appraisal deficits seem to constitute both a hallmark of naturalistic discourse processing in PD and a sensitive subject-level marker for patients with and without MCI. Such findings highlight the relevance of ecological measures of embodied cognitive functions in the assessment of this population.
RESUMEN En este estudio, basado en un nuevo protocolo de lectura de textos narrativos, evaluamos la aprehensión de acciones en la enfermedad de Parkinson, considerando pacientes con y sin deterioro cognitivo leve (EP-DCL y EP-nDCL). Los pacientes con EP-DCL presentaron déficits en distintas categorías textuales, pero sólo la aprehensión de acciones resultó independiente de sus habilidades cognitivas generales. Los pacientes EP-nDCL sólo manifestaron déficits en dicha categoría. Además, esta variable permitió clasificar a más del 80% de los pacientes, lo cual sugiere que el procesamiento de acciones en textos naturalistas podría constituir un marcador robusto de esta enfermedad.

David Martínez-Pernía; Javier Núñez-Huasaf; Ángel Del Blanco; Amparo Ruiz-Tagle; Juan Velásquez; Mariela Gomez; Carl Robert Blesius; Agustin Ibañez; Baltasar Fernández-Manjón; Andrea Slachevsky. Using game authoring platforms to develop screen-based simulated functional assessments in persons with executive dysfunction following traumatic brain injury. 2017

Using game authoring platforms to develop screen-based simulated functional assessments in persons with executive dysfunction following traumatic brain injury

AUTORES David Martínez-Pernía, Javier Núñez-Huasaf, Ángel Del Blanco, Amparo Ruiz-Tagle, Juan Velásquez, Mariela Gomez, Carl Robert Blesius, Agustin Ibañez, Baltasar Fernández-Manjón, Andrea Slachevsky
AÑO 2017
JOURNAL Journal of Biomedical Informatics
VOLUMEN August 22, 2017
ABSTRACT The assessment of functional status is a critical component of clinical neuropsychological evaluations used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in patients with cognitive brain disorders. There are, however, no widely adopted neuropsychological tests that are both ecologically valid and easily administered in daily clinical practice. This discrepancy is a roadblock to the widespread adoption of functional assessments. In this paper, we propose a novel approach using a serious game authoring platform (eAdventure) for creating screen-based simulated functional assessments. We created a naturalistic functional task that consisted of preparing a cup of tea (SBS-COT) and applied the assessment in a convenience sample of eight dyads of therapists/patients with mild executive dysfunction after traumatic brain injury. We had three main aims. First, we performed a comprehensive review of executive function assessment in activities of daily living. Second, we were interested in measuring the feasibility of this technology with respect to staffing, economic and technical requirements. Third, a serious game was administered to patients to study the feasibility of this technology in the clinical context (pre-screening test). In addition, quantitative (Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) questionnaires) and qualitative (semistructured interviews) evaluations were applied to obtain user input. Our results suggest that the staffing, economic and technical requirements of the SBS-COT are feasible. The outcomes of the pre-screening test provide evidence that this technology is useful in the functional assessment of patients with executive dysfunction. In relation to subjective data, the TAM questionnaire showed good user acceptability from a professional perspective. Interview analyses with professionals and patients showed positive experiences related to the use of the SBS-COT. Our work indicates that the use of these types of authoring platforms could have positive long-term implications for neuropsychological research, opening the door to more reproducible, cooperative and efficient research by allowing the facilitated production, reuse and sharing of neuropsychological assessment tools.
RESUMEN En este trabajo se desarrolló una plataforma (serious game authoring platform, eAdventure) para una simulación que evalúa la actividad funcional en tareas naturalísticas, aplicadas en parejas de pacientes (con afectación ejecutiva posterior a traumatismo craneoencefálico) y terapeutas. Encontramos que la plataforma tuvo un efecto adecuado en términos de intervención, reproducibilidad, cooperación y eficiencia.

Trujillo, Sandra P.; Trujillo, Natalia; Ugarriza, Juan E.; Uribe, Luz H.; Pineda, David A.; Aguirre-Acevedo, Daniel C.; Ibáñez, Agustín; Decety, Jean; Garcia-Barrera, Mauricio A. How Empathic Are War Veterans? An Examination of the Psychological Impacts of Combat Exposure. 2017

How Empathic Are War Veterans? An Examination of the Psychological Impacts of Combat Exposure.

AUTORES Trujillo, Sandra P.; Trujillo, Natalia; Ugarriza, Juan E.; Uribe, Luz H.; Pineda, David A.; Aguirre-Acevedo, Daniel C.; Ibáñez, Agustín; Decety, Jean; Garcia-Barrera, Mauricio A.
AÑO 2017
JOURNAL Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology
VOLUMEN June 26, 2017
ABSTRACT

How empathic are battle-experienced war veterans and demobilized ex-combatants? Individuals who have participated in war-related violence tend to show an increased risk of mental health problems, which makes their readaptation to postconflict civilian life much more difficult. This study is the first systematic attempt to evaluate whether war experiences are potentially related to empathic deficit among veterans. Based on a sample of 624 demobilized ex-guerrillas and ex-paramilitaries from the Colombian armed conflict, we identify 3 clearly distinct empathic profiles, suggesting that, while lack of empathy is not generalized among ex-combatants, there is an important subgroup of veterans who present such a dispositional profile. Identification of this critical subgroup will be crucial to policies aimed at assisting postconflict reintegration efforts.

RESUMEN La exposición a las experiencias de guerra podría tener un impacto los procesos empáticos de los combatientes. En este estudio mostramos que el 70% de una muestra de excombatientes del conflicto armado Colombiano mostraron una disminución significativa en una dimensión de la empatía:  el sentimiento de displacer por las experiencias desafortunadas de los otros.