SAN2016 Blog

Bio-Neuroscientific Approaches of life in space and extreme environments (Part B)

Dr, Christos A. Frantzidis presented methodological steps towards a multi-parametric system of automated sleep scoring and the difficulties towards its realistic implementation. He also presented the identity of the RSL study which involved 23 healthy, young male volunteers. Then, he presented the Greek experiment which employed polysomnographic sleep recordings through 19 electrodes placed according to the 10-20 International System. Saliva measurement took also place.

Bio-Neuroscientific Approaches of life in space and extreme environments (Part B)

Msc Polyxeni Gkivogkli presented sleep macro-architecture features obtained from polysomnographic recordings obtained during  a 60 days 6o head down tilt bed-rest study which employed Reactive Sledge Jumping  (RSL) as a countermeasure to prevent the negative symptoms due to loss of gravity. Results may support the hypothesis that Reactive Jumping with a sledge may be a robust countermeasure in terms of sleep quality.

Bio-Neuroscientific Approaches of life in space and extreme environments (Part B)

Dr Athena Demertzi, presented an interesting research study regarding functional connectivity and neuroimaging after exposure to short-term microgravity - implications for long-duration spaceflight. Ιt provided evidence binding consciousness research on resting-state data and mental imagery tasks with findings derived from parabolic flights. Distinct network activations are evident at both cases. 



Neurofeedback Studies

Neurophenomenology and neurofeedback: a pilot study

Neurofeedback training and cognitive performance: a pilot study using an integrated cognitive and phenomenological approach

By Eddy J Davelaar

Differences in Insula and Pre-/Frontal Responses during Reappraisal of Food in Lean and Obese Humans

Dr. Saurabh Kumar closed the session Schizophrenia, Empathy and Addiction”. He presented an interesting talk regarding obesity from the view of addictive behaviors and specifically the decision making processes followed by obese subjects when food is offered. Dr. Kumar reported results from two EEG studies presenting sweet and savory food or food pictures to obese vs. lean individuals.  The different mental strategies of obese vs. lean subjects in regulating food desire were highlighted and correlated to cortical activations as measured via the EEG data.

Impulsivities and addictions: Similarities and differences between opiates and stimulants

Dr. Jasmin Vassileva was the next presenter of the session “Schizophrenia, Empathy and Addiction”. Dr. Vassileva focused on impulsivity investigated in cross-sectional studies involving human addicted vs. non-addicted subjects, modeling the role of opiates in increasing impulsivity as a neurocognitive characteristic related with decision making instead of simply a personality characteristic. She also highlighted the variable endophenotypic markers for stimulant and opiate addictive behaviors.

Understanding drug addiction-depression comorbidity: Underlining neurobiology and development of novel targeted pharmacotherapy

Dr. Alexis Bailey was the second presenter of the session “Schizophrenia, Empathy and Addiction”. Dr. Bailey presented a talk regarding a sub-population of addicted persons, and specifically people that have mental health comorbidities. He highlighted the crucial impact of social network on drug addiction. Dr. Bailey presented new data acquired from mice that modeled the role of Oxytocin in the CNS, and the amygdala specifically, for the growing of the social network of addictive persons.

Decreased Functional Connectivity in Schizophrenia: The Relationship Between Social Functioning and Graph Theoretical Network Measures

Andreas Ioannides & Jasmin Vassileva chaired the session “Schizophrenia, Empathy and Addiction” and ensured the smooth transmission of the talks. The first speaker, Burak Erdeniz presented an interesting talk including new fMRI data on functional brain connectivity in schizophrenia.  Importantly, the study presented connectivity deficits between specific ROIs in schizophrenic patients that are related to social functioning. The talk was presented via Skype as the speaker could not attend the conference in person. No questions were asked from the audience.

Brain Training and Dementia: New Results from the ACTIVE Study

Dr. Henry Mahncke has bad news... ageing worsens every aspect of brain health but...don't worry there are brain training programs. Thus, he described new results from the large-study called "ACTIVE". All cognitive training groups (speed, memory, resoning) and control group improved across years. Additionally, speed training seems to be more beneficial long-term. The promising findings suggest that gains induced by brain training could be projected to daily-life functions. Furthemore, the study was readjusted to be used as risk reduction program for dementia.