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

Bonnelle, V; Leech, R; Kinnunen, KM; Ham, TE; Beckmann, CF; De Boissezon, X; Greenwood, RJ; (2011) Default mode network connectivity predicts sustained attention deficits following traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neuroscience Green open access

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Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) frequently produces impairments of attention in humans. These can result in a failure to maintain consistent goal-directed behavior. A predominantly right-lateralized frontoparietal network is often engaged during attentionally demanding tasks. However, lapses of attention have also been associated with increases in activation within the default mode network (DMN). Here, we study TBI patients with sustained attention impairment, defined on the basis of the consistency of their behavioral performance over time. We show that sustained attention impairments in patients are associated with an increase in DMN activation, particularly within the precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex. Furthermore, the interaction of the precuneus with the rest of the DMN at the start of the task, i.e., its functional connectivity, predicts which patients go on to show impairments of attention. Importantly, this predictive information is present before any behavioral evidence of sustained attention impairment, and the relationship is also found in a subgroup of patients without focal brain damage. TBI often results in diffuse axonal injury, which produces cognitive impairment by disconnecting nodes in distributed brain networks. Using diffusion tensor imaging, we demonstrate that structural disconnection within the DMN also correlates with the level of sustained attention. These results show that abnormalities in DMN function are a sensitive marker of impairments of attention and suggest that changes in connectivity within the DMN are central to the development of attentional impairment after TBI.

Type: Article
Title: Default mode network connectivity predicts sustained attention deficits following traumatic brain injury
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The license allows you to copy, distribute, and transmit the work, as well as adapting it. However, you must attribute the work to the author (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work), and cannot use the work for commercial purposes without prior permission of the author. If you alter or build upon this work, you can distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Brain Repair and Rehabilitation
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1341705
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