Abstract Objective To determine whether physical activity may affect cognitive performance in patients with Parkinson's disease by measuring reaction times in patients participating in the Berlin BIG study. Design Randomized controlled trial, rater-blinded. Setting Ambulatory care. Participants Patients with mild to moderate Parkinson's disease (N=60) were randomly allocated to 3 treatment arms. Outcome was measured at the termination of training and at follow-up 16 weeks after baseline in 58 patients (completers). Interventions Patients received 16 hours of individual Lee Silverman Voice Treatment-BIG training (BIG; duration of treatment, 4wk), 16 hours of group training with Nordic Walking (WALK; duration of treatment, 8wk), or nonsupervised domestic exercise (HOME; duration of instruction, 1hr). Main Outcome Measures Cued reaction time (cRT) and noncued reaction time (nRT). Results Differences between treatment groups in improvement in reaction times from baseline to intermediate and baseline to follow-up assessments were observed for cRT but not for nRT. Pairwise t test comparisons revealed differences in change in cRT at both measurements between BIG and HOME groups (intermediate: −52ms; 95% confidence interval [CI], −84/−20; P =.002; follow-up: 55ms; CI, −105/−6; P =.030) and between WALK and HOME groups (intermediate: −61ms; CI, −120/−2; P =.042; follow-up: −78ms; CI, −136/−20; P =.010). There was no difference between BIG and WALK groups (intermediate: 9ms; CI, −49/67; P =.742; follow-up: 23ms; CI, −27/72; P =.361). Conclusion Supervised physical exercise with Lee Silverman Voice Treatment-BIG or Nordic Walking is associated with improvement in cognitive aspects of movement preparation.
Convergent results from animal and human studies suggest that reducing serotonin neurotransmission promotes impulsive behavior. Here, serotonin depletion was induced by the dietary tryptophan depletion procedure (TD) in healthy volunteers to examine the role of serotonin in impulsive action and impulsive choice. We used a novel translational analog of a rodent 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) the human 4-CSRTT and a reward delay-discounting questionnaire to measure effects on these different forms of 'waiting impulsivity'. There was no effect of TD on impulsive choice as indexed by the reward delay-discounting questionnaire. However, TD significantly increased 4-CSRTT premature responses (or impulsive action), which is remarkably similar to the previous findings of effect of serotonin depletion on rodent 5-CSRTT performance. Moreover, the increased premature responding in TD correlated significantly with individual differences on the motor impulsivity subscale of the Barratt Impulsivity Scale. TD also improved the accuracy of performance and speeded responding, possibly indicating enhanced attention and reward processing. The results suggest: (i) the 4-CSRTT will be a valuable addition to the tests already available to measure impulsivity in humans in a direct translational analog of a test extensively used in rodents; (ii) TD in humans produces a qualitatively similar profile of effects to those in rodents (ie, enhancing premature responding), hence supporting the conclusion that TD in humans exerts at least some of its effects on central serotonin; and (iii) this manipulation of serotonin produces dissociable effects on different measures of impulsivity, suggesting considerable specificity in its modulatory role.
Background Premature responding is a form of motor impulsivity that preclinical evidence has shown to predict compulsive drug seeking but has not yet been studied in humans. We developed a novel translation of the task, based on the rodent 5-choice serial reaction time task, testing premature responding in disorders of drug and natural food rewards. Methods Abstinent alcohol- ( n = 30) and methamphetamine-dependent ( n = 23) subjects, recreational cannabis users ( n = 30), and obese subjects with ( n = 30) and without ( n = 30) binge eating disorder (BED) were compared with matched healthy volunteers and tested on the premature responding task. Results Compared with healthy volunteers, alcohol- and methamphetamine-dependent subjects and cannabis users showed greater premature responding with no differences observed in obese subjects with or without BED. Current smokers exhibited greater premature responding versus ex-smokers and nonsmokers. Alcohol-dependent subjects also had lower motivation for explicit monetary incentives. A Motivation Index correlated negatively with alcohol use and binge eating severity. Conclusions Premature responding on a novel translation of a serial reaction time task was more evident in substance use disorders but not in obese subjects with or without BED. Lower motivation for monetary incentives linked alcohol use and binge eating severity. Our findings add to understanding the relationship between drug and natural food rewards.
Background: Intraindividual variability in reaction time (RT) has received extensive discussion as an indicator of cognitive performance, a putative intermediate phenotype of many clinical disorders, and a possible trans-diagnostic phenotype that may elucidate shared risk factors for mechanisms of psychiatric illnesses. Scope and Methodology: Using the examples of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), we discuss RT variability. We first present a new meta-analysis of RT variability in ASD with and without comorbid ADHD. We then discuss potential mechanisms that may account for RT variability and statistical models that disentangle the cognitive processes affecting RTs. We then report a second meta-analysis comparing ADHD and non-ADHD children on diffusion model parameters. We consider how findings inform the search for neural correlates of RT variability. Findings: Results suggest that RT variability is increased in ASD only when children with comorbid ADHD are included in the sample. Furthermore, RT variability in ADHD is explained by moderate to large increases (d = 0.63-0.99) in the ex-Gaussian parameter τ and the diffusion parameter drift rate, as well as by smaller differences (d = 0.32) in the diffusion parameter of nondecision time. The former may suggest problems in state regulation or arousal and difficulty detecting signal from noise, whereas the latter may reflect contributions from deficits in motor organization or output. The neuroimaging literature converges with this multicomponent interpretation and also highlights the role of top-down control circuits. Conclusion: We underscore the importance of considering the interactions between top-down control, state regulation (e.g. arousal), and motor preparation when interpreting RT variability and conclude that decomposition of the RT signal provides superior interpretive power and suggests mechanisms convergent with those implicated using other cognitive paradigms. We conclude with specific recommendations for the field for next steps in the study of RT variability in neurodevelopmental disorders.
Background Reaction time (RT) is a valuable component of the sport concussion assessment battery. RT is typically measured using computers running specialised software, which limits its applicability in some athletic settings and populations. To address this, we developed a simple clinical test of RT (RTclin) that involves grasping a falling measuring stick. Purpose To determine the effect of concussion on RTclin and its sensitivity and specificity for concussion. Materials and methods Concussed athletes (n=28) and non-concussed control team-mates (n=28) completed RTclin assessments at baseline and within 48 h of injury. Repeated measures analysis of variance compared mean baseline and follow-up RTclin values between groups. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated over a range of reliable change confidence levels. Results RTclin differed significantly between groups (p<0.001): there was significant prolongation from baseline to postinjury in the concussed group (p=0.003), with a trend towards improvement in the control group (p=0.058). Sensitivity and specificity were maximised when a critical change value of 0 ms was applied (ie, any increase in RTclin from baseline was interpreted as abnormal), which corresponded to a sensitivity of 75%, specificity of 68% and a 65% reliable change confidence level. Conclusions RTclin appears sensitive to the effects of concussion and distinguished concussed and non-concussed athletes with similar sensitivity and specificity to other commonly used concussion assessment tools. Given its simplicity, low cost and minimal time requirement, RTclin should be considered a viable component of the sports medicine provider's multifaceted concussion assessment battery.
Increased reaction time variability (RTV) emerged, for many of us in the field, initially as more of an ‘irritant’: a strong correlate of ADHD in particular that persisted when our pet hypotheses on other cognitive constructs withered. But the persistence of this now widespread observation – with high RTV reported across many disorders – has led to investigators paying increasingly more attention to this initially uncool concept. Time is ripe, it seems, for listening to what the ‘noise’ in our reaction time (RT) data may tell us. It is against this background that the accompanying Annual Research Review by Karalunas and colleagues captures the current enthusiasm in trying to elucidate whether RTV reflects ‘a trans‐diagnostic phenotype that is associated with shared risk for several disorders or with symptom domains that cut across several disorder categories’ or whether RTV could be ‘decomposed into distinct processes that differ among psychiatric conditions’. Focusing on two neurodevelopmental disorders, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Karalunas et al. performed two new meta‐analyses and provide an additional review of the literature, which lead to helpful interim conclusions and open a discussion (which this Commentary preludes) on the next steps in our attempts to make sense of the RT ‘noise’.
Background: very few studies have examined the association between intra-individual reaction time variability and subsequent mortality. Furthermore, the ability of simple measures of variability to predict mortality has not been compared with more complex measures. Method: a prospective cohort study of 896 community-based Australian adults aged 70+ were interviewed up to four times from 1990 to 2002, with vital status assessed until June 2007. From this cohort, 770-790 participants were included in Cox proportional hazards regression models of survival. Vital status and time in study were used to conduct survival analyses. The mean reaction time and three measures of intra-individual reaction time variability were calculated separately across 20 trials of simple and choice reaction time tasks. Models were adjusted for a range of demographic, physical health and mental health measures. Results: greater intra-individual simple reaction time variability, as assessed by the raw standard deviation (raw SD), coefficient of variation (CV) or the intra-individual standard deviation (ISD), was strongly associated with an increased hazard of all-cause mortality in adjusted Cox regression models. The mean reaction time had no significant association with mortality. Conclusion: intra-individual variability in simple reaction time appears to have a robust association with mortality over 17 years. Health professionals such as neuropsychologists may benefit in their detection of neuropathology by supplementing neuropsychiatric testing with the straightforward process of testing simple reaction time and calculating raw SD or CV.
Recently, the Dynavision (TM) D2 Visuomotor Training Device (D2) has emerged as a tool in the assessment of reaction time (RT); however, information regarding the reliability of the D2 have been limited, and to date, reliability data have been limited to non-generalizable samples. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to establish intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC2,1) for the D2 that are generalizable across a population of recreationally active young adults. Forty-two recreationally active men and women (age: 23.41 +/- 4.84 years; height: 1.72 +/- 0.11 m; mass: 76.62 +/- 18.26 Kg) completed 6 trials for three RT tasks of increasing complexity. Each trial was separated by at least 48-hours. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to detect differences in performance across the six trials. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC2,1) standard error of measurement (SEM), and minimal differences (MD) were used to determine the reliability of the D2 from the two sessions with the least significant difference score. Moderate to strong reliability was demonstrated for visual RT (ICC2,1: 0.84, SEM: 0.033), and reactive ability in both Mode A and Mode B tasks (Mode A hits: ICC2,1: 0.75, SEM: 5.44; Mode B hits: ICC2,1: 0.73, SEM: 8.57). Motor RT (ICC2,1: 0.63, SEM: 0.035s) showed fair reliability, while average RT per hit for Modes A and B showed moderate reliability (ICC2,1: 0.68, SEM: 0.43 s and ICC2,1: 0.72, SEM: 0.03 s respectively). It appears that one familiarization trial is necessary for the choice reaction time (CRT) task while three familiarization trials are necessary for reactive RT tasks. In conclusion, results indicate that the Dynavision (TM) D2 is a reliable device to assess neuromuscular reactivity given that an adequate practice is provided. The data presented are generalizable to a population of recreationally active young adults.
We present an exact and efficient algorithm for reaction–diffusion–nucleation processes on a 2D-lattice. The algorithm makes use of first passage time (FPT) to replace the computationally intensive simulation of diffusion hops in KMC by larger jumps when particles are far away from step-edges or other particles. Our approach computes exact probability distributions of jump times and target locations in a closed-form formula, based on the eigenvectors and eigenvalues of the corresponding 1D transition matrix, maintaining atomic-scale resolution of resulting shapes of deposit islands. We have applied our method to three different test cases of electrodeposition: pure diffusional aggregation for large ranges of diffusivity rates and for simulation domain sizes of up to 4096×4096 sites, the effect of diffusivity on island shapes and sizes in combination with a KMC edge diffusion, and the calculation of an exclusion zone in front of a step-edge, confirming statistical equivalence to standard KMC simulations. The algorithm achieves significant speedup compared to standard KMC for cases where particles diffuse over long distances before nucleating with other particles or being captured by larger islands.