Development of MEG data recording and signal processing methods has been very successful. Studies of working memory tasks and auditory processing tasks have shown the ability to localize brain activation and to address issues of phasic versus tonic activity. We are investigating phenotype measures that will be applicable in many related studies and specifically the sibling project. MEG recording during cognitive activation has shown the ability to localize in very comparable fashion to fMRI. Specifically beta desynchronization at the cortical level has been found to agree with BOLD activation results. However, the MEG/EEG allows for temporal information not possible with other imaging techniques. Phasic relationships across brain areas have been demonstrated using advanced signal processing techniques. Our results show that measures of brain structure and function represent powerful tools to find susceptibility genes. Further studies have demonstrated the ability to localize signals in deeper structures such as the amygdala and to investigate the relation of visual awareness to gamma band signals. We have also found that GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) concentration in the anterior cingulate cortex correlates with spatially localized resting MEG beta band power. We expect that further investigation will reveal addtional relationships between gamma power and GABA systems. Diffrerences in the degree of activation especially in frontal regions as indexed by beta desynchronization during a working memory task have been found between patients with schizophrenia compared to well siblings and normal control volunteers. Further investigation of this activation has revealed an interaction with genotype for the well studied COMT marker. We have found there is a modulation of prefrontal cortex activity that occurs in anticipation of the upcoming task demands. This preparatory signal may be important in investigating cognitive dysfunction in patient populations. Differences in network patterns and dynamics are key to understanding underlying pathology in clinical groups. Bassett et al have shown that functional network differences in patient groups can be demonstrated and related to behavioral outcomes on cognitive activities. Rutter et al have shown that even at rest patients with schizophrenia have gamma power reduction compared to normal subjects. It remains to be seen whether these finding relate to state or trait differences and if there are genetic associations. We have found distinct patterns of the temporal sequence of brain regions involved in these memory tasks that show a variety of individual differences across subjects. These differences will form the basis for genotypic patterns and dscrimination in patient groups.

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Altamura, Mario; ElvevÄg, Brita; Goldberg, Terry E et al. (2016) The impact of Val108/158Met polymorphism of catechol-O-methyltransferase on brain oscillations during working memory. Neurosci Lett 610:86-91
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Carver, Frederick W; Elvevag, Brita; Altamura, Mario et al. (2012) The neuromagnetic dynamics of time perception. PLoS One 7:e42618

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