Test of A Model of Representational Knowledge Stored in the Human Prefrontal Cortex
This study will examine the underlying mental processes that determine how people understand social behavior, remember information, and think. Language, planning, problem solving, reasoning, social behavior, and memory are the critical parts of cognition that make up daily life. This study will explore the association between performance on various experimental tasks and day-to-day functioning.
Healthy normal volunteers and patients with certain kinds of brain damage (primarily focal or degenerative lesions of the human prefrontal cortex) or psychiatric disorders may be eligible for this study. Candidates with central nervous system trauma, disease or dysfunction will be screened with a routine neurological examination and history.
Participants may be asked to complete written tests, sit in front of a computer monitor and press a key to indicate a decision about what appears on the screen (for example, whether a statement is accurate) and answer questions from a test examiner. A skin conductance response (SCR) test may be done along with some of the cognitive tests. SCR uses electrodes (pieces of metal attached to wires) placed on the fingers to measure the subject's emotional reaction to a test. Participants may also do an evoked response test, in which the subject watches words or scenes on a TV screen while his or her responses are recorded from electrodes placed on the scalp (similar to an electroencephalogram). The tests will be scheduled for an average of one session a week, with each session lasting from 30 minutes to 3 hours. Generally, 15 sessions will be scheduled over a 1-year period. Special arrangements will be made to accommodate participants from out-of-town.
Participants may have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain. This test uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to picture structural and chemical changes in tissue. For the procedure, the subject lies on a table in a space enclosed by a metal cylinder (the scanner) for about 1 hour.
In addition, some study subjects will be invited to participate in a training study designed to improve their planning or social behavior. Participation requires coming to NIH daily over a 1- to 2-month period for 1 to 2 hours each visit.
Intracranial Central Nervous System Disorder
|Official Title:||Testing A Model of the Representational Knowledge Stored in the Human Prefrontal Cortex|
|Study Start Date:||October 2001|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||April 2010|
The purpose of this protocol is to test a comprehensive model of the underlying knowledge representations stored in the human prefrontal cortex developed by the principal investigator. Utilizing a variety of standardized and experimental neuropsychological tasks and techniques, we will investigate hypotheses regarding the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in planning, problem-solving, and reasoning and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in social cognition and emotional processing. We will ascertain the relationship between so-called "cold" cognitive processes such as planning and "hot" social processes such as attitude formation and specific brain regions within the prefrontal cortex. Besides cognitive paradigms, we will use skin conductance and event-related EEG recording techniques when subjects are performing selected cognitive tasks in order to determine the relationship between autonomic and central nervous system markers of emotional modulation and speed/duration of processing and task performance. The data we collect in this protocol will be of value in 1) Developing a model of the forms of knowledge representation stored in the human prefrontal cortex; 2) Developing outcome measures for drug and behavioral treatments for disorders of prefrontal cortex functions; and, 3) Developing biologically plausible computer models of the cognitive sub-components stored in the human prefrontal cortex that compose the complex skills referred to above.
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|