A key aspect of cognitive control is the management of conflicting incoming information to achieve a goal, termed 'interference control'. Although the role of the right frontal lobe in interference control is evident, the white matter tracts subserving this cognitive process remain unclear. To investigate this, we studied the effect of transient network disruption (by means of direct electrical stimulation) and permanent disconnection (resulting from neurosurgical resection) on interference control processes, using the Stroop test in the intraoperative and extraoperative neurosurgical setting. We evaluated the sites at which errors could be produced by direct electrical stimulation during an intraoperative Stroop test in 34 patients with frontal right hemisphere glioma. Lesion-symptom mapping was used to evaluate the relationship between the resection cavities and postoperative performance on the Stroop test of this group compared with an additional 29 control patients who did not perform the intraoperative test (63 patients in total aged 17-77 years; 28 female). We then examined tract disruption and disconnection in a subset of eight patients who underwent both the intraoperative Stroop test and high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) tractography. The results showed that, intraoperatively, the majority of sites associated with errors during Stroop test performance and concurrent subcortical stimulation clustered in a region of white matter medial to the right inferior frontal gyrus, lateral and superior to the striatum. Patients who underwent the intraoperative test maintained cognitive control ability at the 1-month follow-up (P = 0.003). Lesion-symptom analysis showed resection of the right inferior frontal gyrus was associated with slower postoperative Stroop test ability (corrected for multiple comparisons, 5000 permutations). The stimulation sites associated with intraoperative errors most commonly corresponded with the inferior fronto-striatal tracts and anterior thalamic radiation (over 75% of patients), although the latter was commonly resected without postoperative deficits on the Stroop test (in 60% of patients). Our results show converging evidence to support a critical role for the inferior frontal gyrus in interference control processes. The intraoperative data combined with tractography suggests that cortico-subcortical tracts, over cortico-cortical connections, may be vital in maintaining efficiency of cognitive control processes. This suggests the importance of their preservation during resection of right frontal tumours.

Frontal pathways in cognitive control: direct evidence from intraoperative stimulation and diffusion tractography / Puglisi, Guglielmo; Howells, Henrietta; Sciortino, Tommaso; Leonetti, Antonella; Rossi, Marco; Conti Nibali, Marco; Gabriel Gay, Lorenzo; Fornia, Luca; Bellacicca, Andrea; Viganò, Luca; Simone, Luciano; Catani, Marco; Cerri, Gabriella; Bello, Lorenzo. - In: BRAIN. - ISSN 1460-2156. - 142:8(2019), pp. 2451-2465. [10.1093/brain/awz178]

Frontal pathways in cognitive control: direct evidence from intraoperative stimulation and diffusion tractography

Luca Fornia;Luciano Simone;
2019

Abstract

A key aspect of cognitive control is the management of conflicting incoming information to achieve a goal, termed 'interference control'. Although the role of the right frontal lobe in interference control is evident, the white matter tracts subserving this cognitive process remain unclear. To investigate this, we studied the effect of transient network disruption (by means of direct electrical stimulation) and permanent disconnection (resulting from neurosurgical resection) on interference control processes, using the Stroop test in the intraoperative and extraoperative neurosurgical setting. We evaluated the sites at which errors could be produced by direct electrical stimulation during an intraoperative Stroop test in 34 patients with frontal right hemisphere glioma. Lesion-symptom mapping was used to evaluate the relationship between the resection cavities and postoperative performance on the Stroop test of this group compared with an additional 29 control patients who did not perform the intraoperative test (63 patients in total aged 17-77 years; 28 female). We then examined tract disruption and disconnection in a subset of eight patients who underwent both the intraoperative Stroop test and high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) tractography. The results showed that, intraoperatively, the majority of sites associated with errors during Stroop test performance and concurrent subcortical stimulation clustered in a region of white matter medial to the right inferior frontal gyrus, lateral and superior to the striatum. Patients who underwent the intraoperative test maintained cognitive control ability at the 1-month follow-up (P = 0.003). Lesion-symptom analysis showed resection of the right inferior frontal gyrus was associated with slower postoperative Stroop test ability (corrected for multiple comparisons, 5000 permutations). The stimulation sites associated with intraoperative errors most commonly corresponded with the inferior fronto-striatal tracts and anterior thalamic radiation (over 75% of patients), although the latter was commonly resected without postoperative deficits on the Stroop test (in 60% of patients). Our results show converging evidence to support a critical role for the inferior frontal gyrus in interference control processes. The intraoperative data combined with tractography suggests that cortico-subcortical tracts, over cortico-cortical connections, may be vital in maintaining efficiency of cognitive control processes. This suggests the importance of their preservation during resection of right frontal tumours.
Frontal pathways in cognitive control: direct evidence from intraoperative stimulation and diffusion tractography / Puglisi, Guglielmo; Howells, Henrietta; Sciortino, Tommaso; Leonetti, Antonella; Rossi, Marco; Conti Nibali, Marco; Gabriel Gay, Lorenzo; Fornia, Luca; Bellacicca, Andrea; Viganò, Luca; Simone, Luciano; Catani, Marco; Cerri, Gabriella; Bello, Lorenzo. - In: BRAIN. - ISSN 1460-2156. - 142:8(2019), pp. 2451-2465. [10.1093/brain/awz178]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2915867
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