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In order to examine the effect of dopamine on semantic processing, we performed a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Healthy volunteers (n = 31) were tested in a lexical decision paradigm after ingestion of either L-dopa 100 mg with benserazide 25 mg or placebo. While direct semantic priming was influenced only marginally by L-dopa, the indirect(More)
The effects of a 3-week computerised alertness training on chronic (>3 months) visuospatial hemineglect were investigated prospectively in seven patients by means of neuropsychological tests and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Following the alertness training, the group showed improved alertness and a significant improvement in the performance(More)
PURPOSE It has been proposed that the right hemisphere alerting network co-activates, either directly or via the brainstem, the spatial attention system in the parietal cortex. The observation that measures of impaired alertness and sustained attention can be used to predict the outcome of neglect might suggest such a relationship, too. The aim of the(More)
Transcranial direct current stimulation is a painless, non-invasive brain stimulation technique that allows one to induce polarity-specific excitability changes in the human brain. Here, we investigated, for the first time in a 'proof of principle' study, the behavioural effect of transcranial direct current stimulation on visuospatial attention in both(More)
BACKGROUND Attention deficits belong to the main cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia and come along with altered neural activity in previously described cerebral networks. Given the high heritability of schizophrenia the question arises if impaired function of these networks is modulated by susceptibility genes and detectable in healthy risk allele(More)
The deficit to reorient attention from ipsilesional to contralesional space is one key feature of the spatial neglect syndrome. As previous studies suggest that reorienting of visuospatial attention is modulated by cholinergic neurotransmission, we investigated whether cholinergic stimulation with nicotine (Nicorette 2 mg, Pharmacia/Pfizer, Helsingborg,(More)
In patients with alertness deficits due to right hemispheric vascular brain damage, training induced changes in the individual functional networks involved in intrinsic alertness were assessed in a longitudinal positron emission tomography (PET)/fMRI activation study. Patients were trained by administering the alertness routine of the AIXTENT computerized(More)
We prospectively investigated by means of neuropsychological tests and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) the behavioural and neural effects of a 3-week optokinetic stimulation (OKS) training in 7 patients with chronic visuospatial neglect resulting from right-hemisphere lesions. Behaviourally, OKS caused both a short- and a long-term (4 weeks)(More)
BACKGROUND Recent genetic studies found the A allele of the variant rs1006737 in the alpha 1C subunit of the L-type voltage-gated calcium channel (CACNA1C) gene to be over-represented in patients with psychosis, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. In these disorders, attention deficits are among the main cognitive(More)
BACKGROUND In the last years, several susceptibility genes for psychiatric disorders have been identified, among others G72 (also named D-amino acid oxidase activator, DAOA). Typically, the high-risk variant of a vulnerability gene is associated with decreased cognitive functions already in healthy individuals. In a recent study however, a positive effect(More)