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Functional brain maps of Tower of London performance: a positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

Schall U, Johnston P, Lagopoulos J, Jüptner M, Jentzen W, Thienel R, Dittmann-Balçar A, Bender S, Ward PB


Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) contrasts represent different physiological measures of brain activation. The present study aimed to compare two functional brain imaging techniques (functional magnetic resonance imaging versus [(15)O] positron emission tomography) when using Tower of London (TOL) problems as the activation task. A categorical analysis (task versus baseline) revealed a significant BOLD increase bilaterally for the dorsolateral prefrontal and inferior parietal cortex and for the cerebellum. A parametric haemodynamic response model (or regression analysis) confirmed a task-difficulty-dependent increase of BOLD and rCBF for the cerebellum and the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In line with previous studies, a task-difficulty-dependent increase of left-hemispheric rCBF was also detected for the premotor cortex, cingulate, precuneus, and globus pallidus. These results imply consistency across the two neuroimaging modalities, particularly for the assessment of prefrontal brain function when using a parametric TOL adaptation.

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