Zamorano, Francisco

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Functional Dizziness as a Spatial Cognitive Dysfunction
    (2024) Breinbauer, Hayo; Stecher, Ximena; Zamorano, Francisco; Billeke, Pablo; Arévalo, Camilo; Villarroel, Karen; Lavin, Claudio; Faúndez, Felipe; Garrido, Rosario; Alarcón, Kevin; Delano, Paul
    (1) Background: Persistent postural-perceptual dizziness (PPPD) is a common chronic dizziness disorder with an unclear pathophysiology. It is hypothesized that PPPD may involve disrupted spatial cognition processes as a core feature. (2) Methods: A cohort of 19 PPPD patients underwent psycho-cognitive testing, including assessments for anxiety, depression, memory, attention, planning, and executive functions, with an emphasis on spatial navigation via a virtual Morris water maze. These patients were compared with 12 healthy controls and 20 individuals with other vestibular disorders but without PPPD. Vestibular function was evaluated using video head impulse testing and vestibular evoked myogenic potentials, while brain magnetic resonance imaging was used to exclude confounding pathology. (3) Results: PPPD patients demonstrated unique impairments in allocentric spatial navigation (as evidenced by the virtual Morris water maze) and in other high-demand visuospatial cognitive tasks that involve executive functions and planning, such as the Towers of London and Trail Making B tests. A factor analysis highlighted spatial navigation and advanced visuospatial functions as being central to PPPD, with a strong correlation to symptom severity. (4) Conclusions: PPPD may broadly impair higher cognitive functions, especially in spatial cognition. We discuss a disruption in the creation of enriched cognitive spatial maps as a possible pathophysiology for PPPD
  • Publication
    A real-time fMRI neurofeedback system for the clinical alleviation of depression with a subject-independent classification of brain states: A proof of principle study
    (2022) Pereira, Jaime A.; Ray, Andreas; Rana, Mohit; Silva, Claudio; Salinas, César; Zamorano, Francisco; Irani, Martín; Opazo, Patricia; Sitaram, Ranganatha; Ruíz, Sergio
    Most clinical neurofeedback studies based on functional magnetic resonance imaging use the patient's own neural activity as feedback. The objective of this study was to create a subject-independent brain state classifier as part of a real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rt-fMRI NF) system that can guide patients with depression in achieving a healthy brain state, and then to examine subsequent clinical changes. In a first step, a brain classifier based on a support vector machine (SVM) was trained from the neural information of happy autobiographical imagery and motor imagery blocks received from a healthy female participant during an MRI session. In the second step, 7 right-handed female patients with mild or moderate depressive symptoms were trained to match their own neural activity with the neural activity corresponding to the “happiness emotional brain state” of the healthy participant. The training (4 training sessions over 2 weeks) was carried out using the rt-fMRI NF system guided by the brain-state classifier we had created. Thus, the informative voxels previously obtained in the first step, using SVM classification and Effect Mapping, were used to classify the Blood-Oxygen-Level Dependent (BOLD) activity of the patients and converted into real-time visual feedback during the neurofeedback training runs. Improvements in the classifier accuracy toward the end of the training were observed in all the patients [Session 4–1 Median = 6.563%; Range = 4.10–27.34; Wilcoxon Test (0), 2-tailed p = 0.031]. Clinical improvement also was observed in a blind standardized clinical evaluation [HDRS CE2-1 Median = 7; Range 2 to 15; Wilcoxon Test (0), 2-tailed p = 0.016], and in self-report assessments [BDI-II CE2-1 Median = 8; Range 1–15; Wilcoxon Test (0), 2-tailed p = 0.031]. In addition, the clinical improvement was still present 10 days after the intervention [BDI-II CE3-2_Median = 0; Range −1 to 2; Wilcoxon Test (0), 2-tailed p = 0.50/ HDRS CE3-2 Median = 0; Range −1 to 2; Wilcoxon Test (0), 2-tailed p = 0.625]. Although the number of participants needs to be increased and a control group included to confirm these findings, the results suggest a novel option for neural modulation and clinical alleviation in depression using noninvasive stimulation technologies.
  • Publication
    Us versus them mentality in football fans: Significant social defeat engages the mentalization network and disengages cognitive control areas [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]
    (2023) Zamorano, Francisco; Patricio Carvajal-Paredes; Soto-Icaza, Patricia; Stecher, Ximena; Salinas, César; Muñoz Reyes, José Antonio; López, Vladimir; Méndez, Waldemar; Barrera, Joel; Aragón-Caqueo, Gonzalo; Billeke, Pablo; Carvajal Paredes, Francisco
    Background: Social affiliation is one of the building blocks that shapes cultures and communities. This motivation contributes to the development of social bonding among individuals within a group, enjoying rights, assuming obligations, and strengthening its identity. Evidence has shown that social affiliation has inspired different social phenomena, such as wars, political movements, social struggles, among others, based on two human motivations: the ingroup love and the outgroup hate. One contemporary group to study as a proxy of social affiliation, and ingroup and outgroup motivations is the sports competition. However, this affiliation model has been poorly considered in social neuroscience research. This research aimed to shed light on the neurobiological networks that are related to social affiliation in football fans of two of the most popular Chilean football teams. Methods: To this end, 43 male fans of two football rival teams watched videos of winning and losing goals of their favorite team while their brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Results: The results showed that while the activation of the reward system was observed in fans when their team scores goals against the rival, both the activation of the mentalization network and the inhibition of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex were associated with the emotional correlates of defeat in football fans. Conclusions: Taking these findings together could contribute to a deeper understanding of social affiliation, and more importantly, of extreme affiliation phenomena, and fanaticism.
  • Publication
    Theta and alpha oscillations may underlie improved attention and working memory in musically trained children
    (2024) Kausel, Leonie; Zamorano, Francisco; Billeke, Pablo; Sutherland, M.E.; Alliende, M. I.; Larrain-Valenzuela, J.; Soto-Icaza, Patricia; Aboitiz, F.
    Introduction: Attention and working memory are key cognitive functions that allow us to select and maintain information in our mind for a short time, being essential for our daily life and, in particular, for learning and academic performance. It has been shown that musical training can improve working memory performance, but it is still unclear if and how the neural mechanisms of working memory and particularly attention are implicated in this process. In this work, we aimed to identify the oscillatory signature of bimodal attention and working memory that contributes to improved working memory in musically trained children. Materials and methods: We recruited children with and without musical training and asked them to complete a bimodal (auditory/visual) attention and working memory task, whereas their brain activity was measured using electroencephalography. Behavioral, time–frequency, and source reconstruction analyses were made. Results: Results showed that, overall, musically trained children performed better on the task than children without musical training. When comparing musically trained children with children without musical training, we found modulations in the alpha band pre-stimuli onset and the beginning of stimuli onset in the frontal and parietal regions. These correlated with correct responses to the attended modality. Moreover, during the end phase of stimuli presentation, we found modulations correlating with correct responses independent of attention condition in the theta and alpha bands, in the left frontal and right parietal regions. Conclusions: These results suggest that musically trained children have improved neu ronal mechanisms for both attention allocation and memory encoding. Our results can be important for developing interventions for people with attention and working memory difficulties.