WELCOME to WARSAW

We are delighted to welcome you to the 1-day symposium on the structural and functional imaging of the basal ganglia and thalamus in healthy and disordered brain.

We hope your time here will be both instructive and agreeable. Our intention is this meeting will provide a forum for young scientists as well as for well established researchers to learn about neuroimaging from experts in the field and to share their experiences in thought-provoking environment.

Undoubtedly, this symposium is bringing together well known experts in the field of neuroimaging from United Kingdom: the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, from Germany: University of Mannheim, from Italy: University of Bari, from Canada: Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Toronto Hospital for Sick Children, and from Poland: the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw, and Warsaw University of Technology.

We sincerely thank all of our speakers, honourable guests and session chairs for their time and for making this meeting possible.

We hope that this symposium will broaden your own research interest and provide opportunity to meet and develop collaborative links.

Organising Committee:

           Katarzyna Kucharska-Pietura, MD, PhD
           Roman Stefański, MD, PhD
           Elżbieta Szyper, MA


Sponsors:

            National Science Centre, grant 2011/01/B/NZ5/02838



INFORMATION

REGISTRATION DESK: Registration Desk is open during the symposium to answer any conference related queries.

BREAKS: morning and afternoon breaks as well as a light lunch and refreshments will be served at Symposium place at the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology.

BANKS & CURRENCY: banks are open from Monday to Friday, 8.00 - 16.00 or 9.00 - 17.00. The local currency is Polish Zloty.

TRANSPORT: taxi transport will be provided to all speakers.

SOCIAL EVENT: Christopher Hogwood in concert with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus at Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall

Mozart Symphony No.39 in E-flat major K.543
Haydn Mass in D minor Hob.XXII Nelson Mass

Christopher Hogwood - conductor
Olga Pasiecznik - soprano
Ewa Marciniec - alto
Rafał Bartmiński - tenor
Rafał Siwek - bass
and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus
Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, 28 April 2012, 18:00

Christopher Hogwood is universally acknowledged as one of the most influential conductors, musicologists, and exponents of the historically informed early-music movement. He is equally passionate about music of the 19th and 20th centuries: with a particular focus on the neo-classical school (Martinů, Stravinsky, Britten, Copland, Tippett and Honegger), he applies the same rigour and supreme musicianship to all his work, striving to discover and to recreate the composer's intentions both in notation and performance. "His name is a byword for excellence of playing and quality of supporting scholarship" (BBC Music Magazine), http://www.hogwood.org/.

Ticket price: 60 PLN
Tickets can be bought at the registration desk based on availability.
Pre-purchased tickets are essential for all events.



SYMPOSIUM PROGRAMME

SATURDAY 28 APRIL 2012


9.00 - WELCOME TEA/COFFEE

9.30 - WELCOME AND INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: HIS EXCELLENCY ROBIN BARNETT, BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO POLAND

SESSION 1: BASAL GANGLIA IN NEUROIMAGING - ENTANGLING GORDIAN KNOT

CHAIR PERSON: KATARZYNA KUCHARSKA-PIETURA, MD, PhD

10.00 - 10.30
SIMON SURGULADZE
, MD, PhD:

EPISTASIS OF GENES MODULATING SEROTONIN AND DOPAMINE METABOLISM IMPACTS ON STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF BRAIN REGIONS INVOLVED IN EMOTION PROCESSING

10.30 - 11.00
ANNABELLA DI GIORGIO
, MD, PhD:

ASSOCIATION BETWEEN GENETIC VARIATION OF DOPAMINE SIGNALING AND SCHIZOPHRENIA PHENOTYPES

11.30 - 12.00
GABRIELE ENDE
, PROF. (APL.) DR. DIPL. PHYS.:

PROTON AND PHOSPHOROUS MR SPECTROSCOPY OF THE BASAL GANGLIA IN MAJOR DEPRESSION AND SCHIZOPHRENIA

12.00 - 12.30
TAMARA RUSSELL
, BSc, MSc, PhD, D.CLIN:

THE NEUROANATOMY OF MINDFULNESS

12.30 - 12.45 - DISCUSSION
12.45 - 13.30 - LUNCH

SESSION 2: METHODOLOGICAL TRAPS AND CHALLENGES IN NEUROIMAGING STUDIES ON BASAL GANGLIA AND THALAMUS

CHAIR PERSON: ROMAN STEFAŃSKI, MD, PhD

13.30 - 14.00
EMMA DUERDEN
, MD, PhD:

FUNCTIONAL TOPOGRAPHY AND STRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE BASAL GANGLIA

14.00 - 14.30
PIOTR BOGORODZKI
, PhD:

MEASURING BRAIN ACTIVITY WITH THE BOLD: A PRACTICAL OVERVIEW OF ANALYSIS APPROACHES BASED ON REGIONAL RESPONSES

14.30 - 15.30
KATARZYNA KUCHARSKA-PIETURA
, MD, PhD:

ASSESSING NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL AND NEUROIMAGING (fMRI) CHANGES IN PATIENTS WITH EARLY STAGE OF UNILATERAL THALAMIC STROKE

15.30 - 16.00 - EXPERT DEBATE (TO BE CHAIRED BY ROMAN STEFAŃSKI, MD, PhD)

16.00 - 16.30 - AFTERNOON TEA/COFFEE AND REFRESHMENTS

17.00 - CLOSING REMARKS



SPEAKERS




Simon A. Surguladze, MD, PhD - Associate Specialist in Psychiatry, Cygnet Healthcare, UK; Honorary Senior Lecturer, King's College London Institute of Psychiatry; Visiting Professor of Social Neuroscience, Tbilisi State University, Georgia; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, USA.

His main interests are neurobiological correlates of emotional processing in psychiatric disorders. Since 1997 he has been continuing with remarkable research in af ective neuroscience at King's College London Institute of Psychiatry. From 2005 to 2010 he was a Head of Af ective Neuroscience Group of King's College London Institute of Psychiatry. Dr. Surguladze is a member of prestigious scientific societies such as: Society of Biological Psychiatry, Society for Social Neuroscience, Royal College of Psychiatrists UK, and British Neuropsychiatry Association. He published 2 book chapters, 50 papers in peer reviewed journals. Total number of citations: 1283.





Annabella Di Giorgio, MD, PhD - consultant psychiatrist in IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sof erenza, San Giovanni Rotondo (FG), Italy, and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Psychiatric Neuroscience Group - Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Bari, Italy. June 2008 - June 2010 - research fellow at Section of Neuroradiology, Department of Neuroscience, University of Catania, Italy.

She has successfully completed International MSc in Af ective Neuroscience, July 2007 at University of Maastricht, Maastricht, Netherlands, and International PhD in Neurobiology - January 2008 at University of Catania-Rome-Pavia, Catania, Italy.
She has gained robust research experience in neuroimaging working in leading neuroimaging centres such as Institute of Psychiatry in London, University of Bari and Catania in Italy.
She has won several international distinctions and awards, e.g. NIMH Travel Award, APA Travel Award, Leonardo Da Vinci Fellowship, Scholarship supported by the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, UK, Clinical Fellowship supported by "Regione Sicilia", Institute of Psychiatry - University of Catania, Italy, and Research Fellowship supported by the Italian Society of Neuroscience, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Bari.
She is an author and co-author of several excellent publications published in peer reviewed journals.





Gabriele Ende, Prof. (apl.) Dr. Dipl.-Phys. - the Head of the Department Neuroimaging, Mannheim Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany since 2006.

PhD (Dr. rer. nat): 10/90 - 12/93: MR Spectroscopy Unit, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany: "Double Resonance in 1 H- 31 P and 1 H- 13 C in vivo MR Spectroscopy: Dynamic Nuclear Polarization and Decoupling". Postdoc: 01/94 - 12/95 University of California, San Francisco, Comprehensive Epilepsy Centre, and VA Medical Centre, MR Spectroscopy Unit (Dr. Michael Weiner), San Francisco, California, USA.
Main research interest: magnetic resonance research in psychiatry: MR spectroscopy/spectroscopic imaging, morphometry, functional MRI, real-time fMRI, hyperscanning, diffusion tensor imaging.
Publications: 55 original papers, 5 reviews, 3 book chapters, more than 100 reviewed abstracts.
Grants: 5 DFG grants, NGFN-Plus, Heidelberg Academy of Science - WIN project.
Awards: Young Investigators Award Finalist, SMRM, New York 1993: "Dynamic 13C-1H Nuclear Polarization of Lipid Methylene Resonances Applied to Broadband Proton-Decoupled in Vivo 13C MR Spectroscopy of Human Breast and Muscle Tissue"; several poster awards.





Tamara Russell, BSc, MSc, PhD, D.Clin - a clinical psychologist, martial artist and neuroscientist.

She studied for her undergraduate Psychology and postgraduate Clinical Psychology degrees at University College London, and did a MSc in Neuroscience and PhD in Experimental Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. She is an Honorary Lecturer at KCL, teaching on the Mental Health Studies, Neuroimaging and Organizational Psychology and Psychiatry courses and supervising student projects. She is the co-editor of the MIT Press publication "Methods in Mind" and the Director of the Mindfulness Centre of Excellence, London, UK. She has worked as both an academic and clinician, specialising in working with individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar and eating disorders and in the use of mindfulness based approaches. She collaborates with Brasilian researchers using functional MRI to explore how meditative practice changes the structure and function of the brain. In her private work she also provides training and workshops for the National Health Service and private corporations in the use of mindfulness techniques in the workplace.





Emma Duerden, MD, PhD - Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Duerden completed her undergraduate degree in neuropsychology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She trained at the Montreal Neurological Institute for her Master's degree where she studied the functional topography and structural morphometry of the basal ganglia and thalamus. She then pursued her doctoral studies at the University of Montreal where she studied typical and atypical pain processing using functional and structural neuroimaging techniques. Her recent research has focussed on structural brain differences in children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders and also in children born preterm.





Piotr Bogorodzki, PhD - Assistant Professor in Division of Medical and Nuclear Electronics, Institute of Radioelectronics, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland.

Courses taught: Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Principles of Computer Science, Visiting Fellow, Brain Imaging Center, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School; Reviewer, "IEEE Transactions of Medical Imaging", European FP7 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) grants (ICT for health).
Grants: Principal Investigator of grant from Polish State Committee for Scientific Research - "fMRI instrumentation for stroke patients"; Principal Investigator of grant from Polish State Committee for Scientific Research - Development of Methodology and Instrumentation for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) of Auditory Cortex; Principal Investigator of European EUREKA Program Grant: E! 2427 PERMON - Perfusion Monitoring System for Controlling of Surgical, Interventional and Pharmacological Treatments.
Research interest: MRI methodology development.





Katarzyna Kucharska-Pietura, MD, PhD - consultant psychiatrist in North East Lincolnshire NHS Trust; an Honorary Senior Lecturer for Hull York Medical School, the UK with extensive research experience (British Council, Batory, and Wellcome Trust research projects at the Institute of Psychiatry in London), and Senior Lecturer at Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw (habilitation dissertation - 2009, Warsaw).

The Wellcome awards gave her a marvellous opportunity twice (research fellow, 2000; postdoctoral research fellow 2002-2003) to examine the neural correlates of emotions in healthy and schizophrenic population using functional MRI in the Institute of Psychiatry in London.
Her PhD Dissertation (2000) entitled "Assessment of emotional processes in non-chronic and chronic schizophrenic patients and in unilateral brain-damaged patients" was awarded by Polish Prime Minister Award. Her research aims to examine the way in which the human brain responds to emotion, and how abnormalities in emotional processing, empathy and cognition may contribute to the formation of symptoms in specific psychiatric populations.
She is an author and co-author of two books, three book chapters, and numerous papers published in peer reviewed journals.


ABSTRACTS


EPISTASIS OF GENES MODULATING SEROTONIN AND DOPAMINE METABOLISM IMPACTS ON STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF BRAIN REGIONS INVOLVED IN EMOTION PROCESSING

Simon A. Surguladze, MD, PhD

Introduction: Imaging genetic studies provide for the possibility to uncover endopheno-types for neuropsychiatric disorders.

Objectives: To establish neuroimaging correlates of the joint ef ect of serotonergic (5-HTTLPR) and dopaminergic (COMT) genes.

Aims: To examine an interaction of 5-HTTLPR and COMT markers on ef ective connectivity and regional brain volume in healthy individuals.

Methods: Ninety one healthy Caucasian adults underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and structural MRI. In fMRI study the participants were presented with videoclips of dynamic emotional facial expressions of fear, sadness, happiness and anger. The effective connectivity within the emotion processing circuitry was assessed with Granger causality method. In the structural neuroimaging part of the study we applied diffeomorphic anatomic registration through exponentiated Lie algebra (DARTEL) whole-brain voxel-based morphometry (VBM).

Results: In fear processing condition, an interaction between 5-HTTLPR (S) and COMT (met) low activity alleles was associated with reduced effective connectivity within the facial emotion processing circuitry including bilateral inferior prefrontal cortex, right superior temporal gyrus, bilateral fusiform/inferior occipital regions, and right amygdala.
The results of the structural data analysis showed an interaction of COMT and 5-HTTLPR genotypes with regional grey matter volume in bilateral parahippocampalgyrus, amygdala, hippocampus, cerebellum, and right putamen. In particular, the gray matter volume in these regions was smaller in individuals who were both COMT-met and 5-HTTLPR-S carriers, as compared to those carrying either 5-HTTLPR-L/L, or COMT-val/val.

Conclusions: The epistatic effect of COMT-met and 5-HTTLPR-S markers impacts on both the brain function and structure and may underlie an inefficient emotion regulation.

Correspondence: simon.2.surguladze@kcl.ac.uk
King's College London Institute of Psychiatry and Cygnet Health Care UK
9 DeCrespigny Park, London SE5 8AB, UK




ASSOCIATION BETWEEN GENETIC VARIATION OF DOPAMINE SIGNALING AND SCHIZOPHRENIA PHENOTYPES

Annabella Di Giorgio, MD, PhD

Susceptibility to schizophrenia is explained for the largest fraction by genetic variation. While the specific genes conferring risk of schizophrenia are still undetermined, several studies and meta-analyses point to the potential involvement of the gene for dopamine D2 receptors (DRD2). Moreover, several lines of evidence suggest involvement of the dopamine system and D2 signaling in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Indeed, all antipsychotics available on the market block dopamine D2 receptors. Phenomenologically, schizophrenia is characterized by cognitive deficits, in particular in the working memory domain. Working memory deficits in schizophrenia have been associated with dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex and of the dopamine system. Several authors have hypothesized that altered working memory performance and related prefrontal activity can be part of a systems level pathophysiological mechanism also involving dopamine D2 receptors and dopamine transporters in the striatum (which activity is physically regulated by pre-synaptic D2 receptors). In a series of studies using multimodal imaging techniques, we have examined the association between different polymorphisms of dopamine-related genes and prefrontal activity during working memory as well as striatal dopamine signaling and other schizophrenia phenotypes in healthy subjects and in patients with schizophrenia. These genes include the dopamine transporter (DAT) and the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2). Collectively, our results suggest that main ef ects and interactions between genetic variants in DRD2 and DAT may critically modulate the non-linear relationship between dopamine and neuronal activity during memory processing, providing a systems-level mechanism that may explain the association with diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Correspondence: digiorgioannabella@gmail.com
1. Department of Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari "Aldo Moro"
Piazza GiulioCesare, 11
Bari, 70100, Italy
2. IRCCS "Casa Sollievo della Sof erenza"
Via Cappuccini, 1
San Giovanni Rotondo (FG), 71013, Italy




PROTON AND PHOSPHOROUS MR SPECTROSCOPY OF THE BASAL GANGLIA IN MAJOR DEPRESSION AND SCHIZOPHRENIA

Gabriele Ende, Prof. Dr.

Introduction: The basal ganglia have been increasingly implicated in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD) as well as schizophrenia. Thus the basal ganglia are among the brain regions of major interest for both disorders.

Objectives: to study in vivo MR-detectable metabolism in MDD and schizophrenia.

Methods: We applied proton (1H) and phosphorous (31P) MR spectroscopy to study basal ganglia MR-detectable metabolism in MDD and schizophrenia. For 1H MRS we applied multislice MR spectroscopic imaging at 1.5 T to acquire spectra from patients and healthy controls with non-overlapping resonances of for N-acetylasparte (NAA), a marker of neuronal function, choline-containing compounds (Cho), possibly involved in membrane and myelin sheath metabolism and creatine- and phosphocreatine (tCr) reflecting cerebral energy metabolism. 31P MRS research is limited by the fact, that phospholipid (PL) concentration cannot be easily quantified. The RINEPT MRSI technique provides improved sensitivity compared to other 31P MRS. We applied RINEPT in a cross-sectional study with schizophrenic and MDD patients and matched, healthy control subjects in order to define PL differences and correlations with psychopathological symptoms and neuropsychological performance.

Results: In proton MR spectroscopy (MRS) studies we found that metabolic processes in the basal ganglia of schizophrenic patients seem to be opposite to the hippocampal and thalamus findings. In MDD we found an increased choline signal in the basal ganglia.
We further observed a reduction of phosphocholine and glycerophosphocholine in basal ganglia in schizophrenia in concert with previous findings.

Correspondence: gabi.ende@zi-mannheim.de
http://www.zi-mannheim.de
Central Institute of Mental Health, Department Neuroimaging J5
68159 Mannheim, Germany




THE NEUROANATOMY OF MINDFULNESS

Tamara Russell, BSc, MSc, PhD, D.Clin

Mindfulness is a mental training technique with it's origins in the Eastern contemplative traditions. In the last 25 years, the technique has been secularized and used in a variety of mental and physical health contexts. Originally used to help those with long term physical health conditions to cope better with stress, the training has more recently been applied in the mental health field for those with difficulties ranging from depression, psychosis to eating disorders and bipolar. The training requires individuals to focus their attention in a particular way and by doing so, benefits in emotion regulation are observed. This talk will describe the emerging neuroimaging data that has begun to unravel the underlying mechanism of mindfulness training. Data from studies exploring the neural underpinnings of mindfulness and meditative practice in both expert meditators (i.e.: monks) as well as meditation naive healthy individuals who have undergone mindfulness training will be shown. From the emerging field of contemplative neuroscience comes a convincing story of how and why mindfulness training can strengthen attention networks and regulate limbic system structures and allow for more skilful responding to emotionally challenging situations. A discussion of the current controversies and challenges of this work will conclude the presentation.

Correspondence: Tamara.russell@kcl.ac.uk
Psychosis Division, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
DeCrespigny Park, London SE5 8AF




FUNCTIONAL TOPOGRAPHY AND STRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE BASAL GANGLIA

Emma G. Duerden1,4 , Marie Arsalidou1 , M. Mallar Chakravarty2 , Margot J. Taylor1,3,4
Presenting author: Emma G. Duerden, MD, PhD


Introduction: The basal ganglia connect cortical regions with brain systems that are involved with the generation of behaviour. While these nuclei are essential for a range of sensorimotor and cognitive functioning, their specific roles in these processes and how they develop remains uncertain.

Objectives: To study the function of the basal ganglia nuclei and their developmental time courses.

Aims: 1. examine motor, cognitive, affective and somatosensory functions of the basal ganglia;
2. determine the developmental trajectory of the volumes of the basal ganglia nuclei.

Methods: Study 1: Data from 204 functional imaging studies were sorted into our categories of interest (motor, cognitive, affect, somatosensory) and 3D probability maps were generated.
Study 2: 437 healthy participants (201 M, 236 F; age range = 5-54 years) underwent MRI scanning. The basal ganglia nuclei (striatum, globuspallidus) were automatically segmented. Developmental trajectories were based on a mixed-effects polynomial regression model.

Results: Study 1: Distinct structure-function relations were found: Motor processes localised to the ventral putamen, affective processes to the anterior caudate, cognitive processes to the head of the caudate and anterior putamen, somatosensory to the dorsal putamen.
Study 2: Striatum and globuspallidus volumes across the age range were best fit by cubic models. The striatum volume peaked at ~12 years and the globuspallidus ~14 years followed by a decline in the 5th decade.

Conclusions: Understanding the functional topography and structural development of the basal ganglia in healthy individuals will improve our insight into deficits associated with neurological diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Affiliation details:
1. Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2. Kimel Family Translational Imaging-Genetics Research Laboratory, Research Imaging Centre, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
3. Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4. Program in Neurosciences & Mental Health, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Presenting author's contact details:
Emma G. Duerden, PhD
Hospital for Sick Children; Department of Diagnostic Imaging555 University Avenue
Toronto, ONCANADAM5G 1X8

Correspondence: emma.duerden@sickkids.ca




MEASURING BRAIN ACTIVITY WITH THE BOLD: A PRACTICAL OVERVIEW OF ANALYSIS APPROACHES BASED ON REGIONAL RESPONSES

Piotr Bogorodzki, PhD

Summary: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods have been successfully employed to study regional brain activity in various stimulation tasks. Task evoked change of MR signal is called a blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD). The BOLD signal reflects imbalance between cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) and cerebral blood flow parameters: cerebral blood flow (CBF), and cerebral blood volume (CBV). An off-line analysis of the BOLD responses from cerebral voxels allows detection and inference about task-activated regions. A large number of techniques from signal processing and statistics have been applied to the fMRI analysis. In this talk a group of analysis methods, which measures differences between groups of subjects based on subject's BOLD responses in chosen regions will be presented. A two methodologies will be presented and illustrated on practical examples: 1. BOLD balloon model where relations between model parameters and their influence on the modeled BOLD response are in interest; 2. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analysis - a connectivity analysis that models interactions among brain regions using cross-correlation matrix. These methods can extend traditional General Linear Model (GLM) analyses targeted on detection of the most significant areas of brain activation in a single subject giving additional measures for higher-level analysis. This may allow subtle group difference using either model - based methods include analysis of variance (ANOVA) or data-driven methods include principal component analysis (PCA) and independent component analysis (ICA).

Correspondence: piotr@ire.pw.edu.pl
Institute of Radioelectronics
ul. Nowowiejska 15/19, 00-665 Warsaw




ASSESSING NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL AND NEUROIMAGING (fMRI) CHANGES IN PATIENTS WITH EARLY STAGE OF UNILATERAL THALAMIC STROKE

Katarzyna Kucharska-Pietura1,2 , Roman Stefański1 , Ksenia Sławińska1 , Piotr Bogorodzki3 , Danuta Ryglewicz1
Presenting author: Katarzyna Kucharska-Pietura, PhD


Introduction: While a number of stroke studies have examined both cognitive and emotional functioning in subcortical lesions, mostly amygdale and basal ganglia, few have attempted to untangle mysterious knot around thalamus role in relation to treatment provided. A stroke occurs within small amount of time only, however its consequences can be felt for the rest of life. Undoubtedly, a short-term blood interruption in thalamus can result not only in sensorimotor impairment but also in cognitive and emotional impairments.

Methods: The aim of the study is to examine neurocognition (visuospatial, attention, executive functioning/spatial problem solving, and learning & memory) following lesions in the thalamus and social cognitive (emotion recognition, emotion discrimination, theory of mind/empathy) functioning at early stage of thalamic stroke and compare it with healthy controls. Additionally, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to determine neurobiological correlates of both emotional and cognitive processing in the context of both facial and cognitive task paradigm at the early stage of thalamic stroke treatment and to find out whether behavioural defficits correlate with functional brain abnormalities (fMRI).

Results: The collected data has shown that combining the fMRI and lesion approaches can help reveal the source of functional modulatory influences between distant but interconnected brain regions; structural and functional connectivity analyses will contribute to our understanding of these inter-regional associations and how they are impacted by specific lesions.

Affiliation details:
1. Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw
2. Hull York Medical School, Grimsby, UK
3. Warsaw University of Technology, Poland

Correspondence: kate.kucharska-pietura@nhs.net