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      Increased Hippocampus–Medial Prefrontal Cortex Resting-State Functional Connectivity and Memory Function after Tai Chi Chuan Practice in Elder Adults

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          Previous studies provide evidence that aging is associated with the decline of memory function and alterations in the hippocampal (HPC) function, including functional connectivity to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In this study, we investigated if longitudinal (12-week) Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin practice can improve memory function and modulate HPC resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC). Memory function measurements and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) were applied at the beginning and the end of the experiment. The results showed that (1) the memory quotient (MQ) measured by the Wechsler Memory Scale-Chinese Revision significantly increased after Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin practice as compared with the control group, and no significant difference was observed in MQ between the Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin groups; (2) rs-FC between the bilateral hippocampus and mPFC significantly increased in the Tai Chi Chuan group compared to the control group (also in the Baduanjin group compared to the control group, albeit at a lower threshold), and no significant difference between the Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin groups was observed; (3) rs-FC increases between the bilateral hippocampus and mPFC were significantly associated with corresponding memory function improvement across all subjects. Similar results were observed using the left or right hippocampus as seeds. Our results suggest that both Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin may be effective exercises to prevent memory decline during aging.

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          Most cited references 70

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          "Mini-mental state". A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician.

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            Automated anatomical labeling of activations in SPM using a macroscopic anatomical parcellation of the MNI MRI single-subject brain.

            An anatomical parcellation of the spatially normalized single-subject high-resolution T1 volume provided by the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) (D. L. Collins et al., 1998, Trans. Med. Imag. 17, 463-468) was performed. The MNI single-subject main sulci were first delineated and further used as landmarks for the 3D definition of 45 anatomical volumes of interest (AVOI) in each hemisphere. This procedure was performed using a dedicated software which allowed a 3D following of the sulci course on the edited brain. Regions of interest were then drawn manually with the same software every 2 mm on the axial slices of the high-resolution MNI single subject. The 90 AVOI were reconstructed and assigned a label. Using this parcellation method, three procedures to perform the automated anatomical labeling of functional studies are proposed: (1) labeling of an extremum defined by a set of coordinates, (2) percentage of voxels belonging to each of the AVOI intersected by a sphere centered by a set of coordinates, and (3) percentage of voxels belonging to each of the AVOI intersected by an activated cluster. An interface with the Statistical Parametric Mapping package (SPM, J. Ashburner and K. J. Friston, 1999, Hum. Brain Mapp. 7, 254-266) is provided as a freeware to researchers of the neuroimaging community. We believe that this tool is an improvement for the macroscopical labeling of activated area compared to labeling assessed using the Talairach atlas brain in which deformations are well known. However, this tool does not alleviate the need for more sophisticated labeling strategies based on anatomical or cytoarchitectonic probabilistic maps.
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              The brain's default network: anatomy, function, and relevance to disease.

              Thirty years of brain imaging research has converged to define the brain's default network-a novel and only recently appreciated brain system that participates in internal modes of cognition. Here we synthesize past observations to provide strong evidence that the default network is a specific, anatomically defined brain system preferentially active when individuals are not focused on the external environment. Analysis of connectional anatomy in the monkey supports the presence of an interconnected brain system. Providing insight into function, the default network is active when individuals are engaged in internally focused tasks including autobiographical memory retrieval, envisioning the future, and conceiving the perspectives of others. Probing the functional anatomy of the network in detail reveals that it is best understood as multiple interacting subsystems. The medial temporal lobe subsystem provides information from prior experiences in the form of memories and associations that are the building blocks of mental simulation. The medial prefrontal subsystem facilitates the flexible use of this information during the construction of self-relevant mental simulations. These two subsystems converge on important nodes of integration including the posterior cingulate cortex. The implications of these functional and anatomical observations are discussed in relation to possible adaptive roles of the default network for using past experiences to plan for the future, navigate social interactions, and maximize the utility of moments when we are not otherwise engaged by the external world. We conclude by discussing the relevance of the default network for understanding mental disorders including autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease.

                Author and article information

                Front Aging Neurosci
                Front Aging Neurosci
                Front. Aging Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                16 February 2016
                : 8
                1College of Rehabilitation Medicine, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine , Fuzhou, China
                2Fujian Key Laboratory of Rehabilitation of Technology , Fuzhou, China
                3Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School , Boston, MA, USA
                4The School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh , Edinburgh, UK
                5Affiliated Rehabilitation Hospital, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine , Fuzhou, China
                Author notes

                Edited by: Gemma Casadesus, Kent State University, USA

                Reviewed by: Daniel Ortuño-Sahagún, Centro Universitario de Ciencias de la Salud, Mexico; Manuel De Vega, Universidad de La Laguna, Spain; Xiaochu Zhang, University of Science and Technology of China, China

                *Correspondence: Lidian Chen, cld@ ; Jian Kong, kongj@
                Copyright © 2016 Tao, Liu, Egorova, Chen, Sun, Xue, Huang, Zheng, Wang, Chen and Kong.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 74, Pages: 9, Words: 7233
                Funded by: The Special Scientific Research Fund of Public Welfare Profession of China
                Award ID: No. 201307004
                Funded by: National Rehabilitation Research Center of Traditional Chinese Medicine
                Award ID: No. X2012007-Collaboration
                Funded by: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health 10.13039/100008460
                Award ID: R01AT006364, R01AT008563, R21AT008707 (NIH/NCCIH), P01 AT006663 (NIH/NCCIH)
                Funded by: Fujian Rehabilitation Tech Co-Innovation Center
                Award ID: No: X2012007-Collaboration
                Funded by: Fujian Provincial Rehabilitation Industrial Institution
                Award ID: No: X2012007-Collaboration
                Funded by: Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China 10.13039/501100002855
                Award ID: No: 201307004
                Funded by: Ministry of Finance 10.13039/501100005045
                Award ID: No: 201307004
                Original Research


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