Chapman, Sandra Bond

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Sandra Chapman holds the Dee Wyly Distinguished Chair and is the founder and director of the Center for BrainHealth. Dr. Chapman's research is committed to optimizing brain performance in brain health, brain injury and brain disease, and giving specific focus to frontal lobe function.

Read more about her research at her BBS, Endowed Professorships and Chairs, Center for BrainHealth, and Research Explorer pages.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 13 of 13
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    Event-Related Neural Oscillation Changes Following Reasoning Training in Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment
    (Elsevier Science B.V., 2018-10-17) Mudar, Raksha A.; Nguyen, Lydia T.; Eroh, Justin; Chiang, Hsueh-Sheng; Rackley, Audette; Chapman, Sandra B.; Eroh, Justin; Rackley, Audette; Chapman, Sandra B.
    Emerging evidence suggests cognitive training programs targeting higher-order reasoning may strengthen not only cognitive, but also neural functions in individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). However, research on direct measures of training-induced neural changes, derivable from electroencephalography (EEG), is limited. The current pilot study examined effects of Gist Reasoning training (n = 16) compared to New Learning training (n = 16) in older adults with amnestic MCI on measures of event-related neural oscillations (theta and alpha band power) corresponding to Go/NoGo tasks during basic and superordinate semantic categorization. EEG data were recorded while participants performed the Go/NoGo task pre- and post-training, and power in theta and alpha frequency bands was examined. Both groups were comparable at pre-training on all measures and both groups showed greater event-related theta synchronization post-training. Furthermore, the Gist Reasoning group had enhanced event-related desynchronization in low-frequency alpha band (8-10 Hz)on response inhibition (NoGo) trials and high-frequency alpha band (11-13 Hz) on response execution (Go) trials during superordinate categorization, relative to the New Learning group. These findings suggest that Gist Reasoning training in MCI impacted neural processing linked to strategic processing of Go and NoGo trials during the more complex superordinate categorization task. Targeting higher-order top-down cognitive processing seems to better harness residual neuroplastic potential in MCI.
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    Neural Mechanisms of Behavioral Change in Young Adults with High-Functioning Autism Receiving Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training: A Pilot Study
    (Wiley) Yang, Y. J. Daniel; Allen, Tandra; Abdullahi, Sebiha M.; Pelphrey, Kevin A.; Volkmar, Fred R.; Chapman, Sandra Bond; Allen, Tandra; Chapman, Sandra Bond
    Measuring treatment efficacy in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) relies primarily on behaviors, with limited evidence as to the neural mechanisms underlying these behavioral gains. This pilot study addresses this void by investigating neural and behavioral changes in a Phase I trial in young adults with high-functioning ASD who received an evidence-based behavioral intervention, Virtual Reality-Social Cognition Training over 5 weeks for a total of 10 hr. The participants were tested pre- and post-training with a validated biological/social versus scrambled/nonsocial motion neuroimaging task, previously shown to activate regions within the social brain networks. Three significant brain-behavior changes were identified. First, the right posterior superior temporal sulcus, a hub for socio-cognitive processing, showed increased brain activation to social versus nonsocial stimuli in individuals with greater gains on a theory-of-mind measure. Second, the left inferior frontal gyrus, a region for socio- emotional processing, tracked individual gains in emotion recognition with decreased activation to social versus nonsocial stimuli. Finally, the left superior parietal lobule, a region for visual attention, showed significantly decreased activation to nonsocial versus social stimuli across all participants, where heightened attention to nonsocial contingencies has been considered a disabling aspect of ASD. This study provides, albeit preliminary, some of the first evidence of the harnessable neuroplasticity in adults with ASD through an age-appropriate intervention in brain regions tightly linked to social abilities. This pilot trial motivates future efforts to develop and test social interventions to improve behaviors and supporting brain networks in adults with ASD. Autism Res2018, 11: 713-725. (c) 2018 The Authors Autism Research published by International Society for Autism Research and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Lay SummaryThis study addresses how the behavioral changes after treatment for ASD reflect underlying brain changes. Before and after receiving VR-SCT, young adults with high-functioning ASD passively viewed biological motion stimuli in a MRI scanner, tapping changes in the social brain network. The results reveal neuroplasticity in this age population, extending the window of opportunity for interventions to impact social competency in adults with ASD.
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    Neuroplasticity of Cognitive Control Networks Following Cognitive Training for Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury
    (Elsevier Sci Ltd) Han, Kihwan; Chapman, Sandra Bond; Krawczyk, Daniel C.; Han, Kihwan; Chapman, Sandra Bond; Krawczyk, Daniel C.
    Cognitive control is the ability to coordinate thoughts and actions to achieve goals. Cognitive control impairments are one of the most persistent and devastating sequalae of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). There have been efforts to improve cognitive control in individuals with post-acute TBI. Several studies have reported changes in neuropsychological measures suggesting the efficacy of cognitive training in improving cognitive control. Yet, the neural substrates of improved cognitive control after training remains poorly understood. In the current study, we identified neural plasticity induced by cognitive control training for TBI using resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC). Fifty-six individuals with chronic mild TBI (9 years post- injury on average) were randomized into either a strategy-based cognitive training group (N = 26) or a knowledge-based training group (active control condition; N = 30) for 8 weeks. We acquired a total of 109 resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging from 45 individuals before training, immediately post-training, and 3 months post- training. Relative to the controls, the strategy-based cognitive training group showed monotonic increases in connectivity in two cognitive control networks (i.e., cingulo-opercular and fronto-parietal networks) across time points in multiple brain regions (p(voxel) < 0.001, p(cluster) < 0.05). Analyses of brain-behavior relationships revealed that frontoparietal network connectivity over three time points within the strategy-based cognitive training group was positively associated with the trail making scores (p(voxel) < 0.001, p(cluster) < 0.05). These findings suggest that training-induced neuroplasticity continues through chronic phases of TBI and that rsFC can serve as a neuroimaging biomarker of evaluating the efficacy of cognitive training for TBI.
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    Higher-Order Cognitive Training Effects on Processing Speed-Related Neural Activity: A Randomized Trial
    (Elsevier) Yezhuvath, Uma S.; Aslan, Sina; Motes, Michael A.; Spence, Jeffrey S.; Rypma, Bart; Chapman, Sandra Bond; 0000 0003 5170 3614 (Chapman, SB); Motes, Michael A.; Aslan, Sina; Spence, Jeffrey S.; Rypma, Bart; Chapman, Sandra Bond
    Higher-order cognitive training has shown to enhance performance in older adults, but the neural mechanisms underlying performance enhancement have yet to be fully disambiguated. This randomized trial examined changes in processing speed and processing speed-related neural activity in older participants (57-71years of age) who underwent cognitive training (CT, N= 12) compared with wait-listed (WLC, N= 15) or exercise-training active (AC, N= 14) controls. The cognitive training taught cognitive control functions of strategic attention, integrative reasoning, and innovation over 12weeks. All 3 groups worked through a functional magnetic resonance imaging processing speed task during 3 sessions (baseline, mid-training, and post-training). Although all groups showed faster reaction times (RTs) across sessions, the CT group showed a significant increase, and the WLC and AC groups showed significant decreases across sessions in the association between RT and BOLD signal change within the left prefrontal cortex (PFC). Thus, cognitive training led to a change in processing speed-related neural activity where faster processing speed was associated with reduced PFC activation, fitting previously identified neural efficiency profiles.
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    Influential Cognitive Processes on Framing Biases in Aging
    (Frontiers) Perez, Alison M.; Spence, Jeffrey Scott; Kiel, L. D.; Venza, Erin A.; Chapman, Sandra Bond; 0000 0003 5170 3614 (Chapman, SB); Spence, Jeffrey Scott; Kiel, L. D.; Venza, Erin A.; Chapman, Sandra Bond
    Factors that contribute to overcoming decision-making biases in later life pose an important investigational question given the increasing older adult population. Limited empirical evidence exists and the literature remains equivocal of whether increasing age is associated with elevated susceptibility to decision-making biases such as framing effects. Research into the individual differences contributing to decision-making ability may offer better understanding of the influence of age in decision-making ability. Changes in cognition underlying decision-making have been shown with increased age and may contribute to individual variability in decision-making abilities. This study had three aims; (1) to understand the influence of age on susceptibility to decision-making biases as measured by framing effects across a large, continuous age range; (2) to examine influence of cognitive abilities that change with age; and (3) to understand the influence of individual factors such as gender and education on susceptibility to framing effects. 200 individuals (28–79 years of age) were tested on a large battery of cognitive measures in the domains of executive function, memory and complex attention. Findings from this study demonstrated that cognitive abilities such as strategic control and delayed memory better predicted susceptibility to framing biases than age. The current findings demonstrate that age may not be as influential a factor in decision-making as cognitive ability and cognitive reserve. These findings motivate future studies to better characterize cognitive ability to determine decision-making susceptibilities in aging populations.
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    Enhancing Innovation and Underlying Neural Mechanisms via Cognitive Training in Healthy Older Adults
    (Frontiers Media SA) Chapman, Sandra Bond; Spence, Jeffrey S.; Aslan, Sina; Keebler, Molly W.; Chapman, Sandra Bond; Spence, Jeffrey S.; Aslan, Sina; Keebler, Molly W.
    Non-invasive interventions, such as cognitive training (CT) and physical exercise, are gaining momentum as ways to augment both cognitive and brain function throughout life. One of the most fundamental yet little studied aspects of human cognition is innovative thinking, especially in older adults. In this study, we utilize a measure of innovative cognition that examines both the quantity and quality of abstracted interpretations. This randomized pilot trial in cognitively normal adults (56-75 years) compared the effect of cognitive reasoning training (SMART) on innovative cognition as measured by Multiple Interpretations Measure (MIM). We also examined brain changes in relation to MIM using two MRI-based measurement of arterial spin labeling (ASL) to measure cerebral blood flow (CBF) and functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) to measure default mode and central executive network (CEN) synchrony at rest. Participants (N = 58) were randomized to the CT, physical exercise (physical training, PT) or control (CN) group where CT and PT groups received training for 3 h/week over 12 weeks. They were assessed at baseline-, mid-and post-training using innovative cognition and MRI measures. First, the CT group showed significant gains pre- to post-training on the innovation measure whereas the physical exercise and control groups failed to show significant gains. Next, the CT group showed increased CBF in medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) and bilateral posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), two nodes within the Default Mode Network (DMN) compared to physical exercise and control groups. Last, significant correlations were found between innovation performance and connectivity of two major networks: CEN (positive correlation) and DMN (negative correlation). These results support the view that both the CEN and DMN are important for enhancement of innovative cognition. We propose that neural mechanisms in healthy older adults can be modified through reasoning training to better subserve enhanced innovative cognition.
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    Enhancing Executive Function and Neural Health in Bipolar Disorder Through Reasoning Training
    (Frontiers Research Foundation) Venza, Erin E.; Chapman, Sandra Bond; Aslan, Sina; Zientz, Jennifer E.; Tyler, David L.; Spence, Jeffrey S.; 0000 0003 5170 3614 (Chapman, SB); Venza, Erin E.; Chapman, Sandra Bond; Aslan, Sina; Zientz, Jennifer E.; Tyler, David L.; Spence, Jeffrey S.
    Cognitive deficits in executive function and memory among individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) are well-documented; however, only recently have efforts begun to address whether such cognitive deficits can be ameliorated through cognitive training. This pilot study examined the effects of a top–down, cognitive reasoning training program in adults with BD on both brain and cognitive measures. Twenty-seven participants (11 males, 16 females), aged 21–70 years old, completed the study. Participants completed neurocognitive testing and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before and after training, consisting of 8 h (2 h/week) of training in small groups. The training delivered information processing strategies that were implemented and applicable to a variety of daily living contexts. Results indicated that participants showed significant gains in the primary outcome measure of complex abstraction, also referred to as gist reasoning, as well as in untrained domains of executive function and memory. We found a significant increase in resting cerebral blood flow (CBF) in left inferior frontal gyrus after cognitive training. We also found that resting CBF in the right frontal middle gyrus correlated positively with performance on the measure of complex abstraction. This feasibility study provides promising evidence that short-term reasoning training can enhance cognitive performance and brain health in adults with BD. These data motivate further efforts to explore adjuvant therapeutics to improve cognitive performance and underlying brain systems in bipolar, as well as other psychiatric disorders.
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    Altered Amygdala Connectivity in Individuals with Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury and Comorbid Depressive Symptoms
    (Frontiers Media S.A.) Han, Kihwan; Chapman, Sandra Bond; Krawczyk, Daniel C.; 0000 0003 5170 3614 (Chapman, SB); 0000-0002-4574-7306 (Han, K); Han, Kihwan; Chapman, Sandra Bond; Krawczyk, Daniel C.
    Depression is one of the most common psychiatric conditions in individuals with chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI). Though depression has detrimental effects in TBI and network dysfunction is a "hallmark" of TBI and depression, there have not been any prior investigations of connectivity-based neuroimaging biomarkers for comorbid depression in TBI. We utilized resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify altered amygdala connectivity in individuals with chronic TBI (8 years post injury on average) exhibiting comorbid depressive symptoms (N = 31), relative to chronic TBI individuals having minimal depressive symptoms (N = 23). Connectivity analysis of these participant sub-groups revealed that the TBI-plus-depressive symptoms group showed relative increases in amygdala connectivity primarily in the regions that are part of the salience, somatomotor, dorsal attention, and visual networks P(voxel) < 0.01, P(cluster) < 0.025). Relative increases in amygdala connectivity in the TBI-plus-depressive symptoms group were also observed within areas of the limbic cortical mood regulating circuit (the left dorsomedial and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortices and thalamus) and the brainstem. Further analysis revealed that spatially dissociable patterns of correlation between amygdala connectivity and symptom severity according to subtypes (Cognitive and Affective) of depressive symptoms (p(voxel) < 0.01, p(duster) < 0.025). Taken together, these results suggest that amygdala connectivity may be a potentially effective neuroimaging biomarker for comorbid depressive symptoms in chronic TBI.
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    Enhancing Inferential Abilities in Adolescence: New Hope for Students in Poverty
    (Frontiers Research Foundation) Gamino, Jacquelyn F.; Motes, Michael M.; Riddle, Russell; Lyon, G. Reid; Spence, Jeffrey S.; Chapman, Sandra Bond; 0000 0003 5170 3614 (Chapman, SB); 2012043141‏ (Chapman, SB); Gamino, Jacquelyn F.; Motes, Michael M.; Riddle, Russell; Lyon, G. Reid; Spence, Jeffrey S.; Chapman, Sandra Bond
    The ability to extrapolate essential gist through the analysis and synthesis of information, prediction of potential outcomes, abstraction of ideas, and integration of relationships with world knowledge is critical for higher-order learning. The present study investigated the efficacy of cognitive training to elicit improvements in gist reasoning and fact recall ability in 556 public middle school students (grades seven and eight), vs. a sample of 357 middle school students who served as a comparison group, to determine if changes in gist reasoning and fact recall were demonstrated without cognitive training. The results showed that, in general, cognitive training increased gist reasoning and fact recall abilities in students from families in poverty as well as students from families living above poverty. However, the magnitude of gains in gist reasoning varied as a function of gender and grade level. Our primary findings were that seventh and eighth grade girls and eighth grade boys showed significant increases in gist reasoning after training regardless of socioeconomic status (SES). There were no significant increases in gist reasoning or fact recall ability for the 357 middle school students who served as a comparison group. We postulate that cognitive training in middle school is efficacious for improving gist reasoning ability and fact recall in students from all socioeconomic levels.
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    Cognitive Gains from Gist Reasoning Training in Adolescents with Chronic-Stage Traumatic Brain Injury
    (Frontiers Research Foundation) Cook, Lori G.; Chapman, Sandra Bond; Elliott, Alan C.; Evenson, Nellie N.; Vinton, Kami; 0000 0003 5170 3614 (Chapman, SB); 2012043141‏ (Chapman, SB)
    Adolescents with traumatic brain injury (TBI) typically demonstrate good recovery of previously acquired skills. However, higher-order and later emergent cognitive functions are often impaired and linked to poor outcomes in academic and social/behavioral domains. Few control trials exist that test cognitive treatment effectiveness at chronic recovery stages. The current pilot study compared the effects of two forms of cognitive training, gist reasoning (top-down) versus rote memory learning (bottom-up), on ability to abstract meanings, recall facts, and utilize core executive functions (i.e., working memory, inhibition) in 20 adolescents (ages 12-20) who were 6 months or longer post-TBI. Participants completed eight 45-min sessions over 1 month. After training, the gist reasoning group (n = 10) exhibited significant improvement in ability to abstract meanings and increased fact recall. This group also showed significant generalizations to untrained executive functions of working memory and inhibition. The memory training group (n = 10) failed to show significant gains in ability to abstract meaning or on other untrained specialized executive functions, although improved fact recall approached significance. These preliminary results suggest that relatively short-term training (6 h) utilizing a top-down reasoning approach is more effective than a bottom-up rote learning approach in achieving gains in higher-order cognitive abilities in adolescents at chronic stages of TBI. These findings need to be replicated in a larger study; nonetheless, the preliminary data suggest that traditional cognitive intervention schedules need to extend to later-stage training opportunities. Chronic-stage, higher-order cognitive trainings may serve to elevate levels of cognitive performance in adolescents with TBI. ;
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    Enhancement of Cognitive and Neural Functions through Complex Reasoning Training: Evidence from Normal and Clinical Populations
    (Frontiers Research Foundation) Chapman, Sandra Bond; Mudar, Raksha A.; 0000 0003 5170 3614 (Chapman, SB); 2012043141‏ (Chapman, SB); Center for BrainHealth
    Public awareness of cognitive health is fairly recent compared to physical health. Growing evidence suggests that cognitive training offers promise in augmenting cognitive brain performance in normal and clinical populations. Targeting higher-order cognitive functions, such as reasoning in particular, may promote generalized cognitive changes necessary for supporting the complexities of daily life. This data-driven perspective highlights cognitive and brain changes measured in randomized clinical trials that trained gist reasoning strategies in populations ranging from teenagers to healthy older adults, individuals with brain injury to those at-risk for Alzheimer's disease. The evidence presented across studies support the potential for Gist reasoning training to strengthen cognitive performance in trained and untrained domains and to engage more efficient communication across widespread neural networks that support higher-order cognition. The meaningful benefits of Gist training provide compelling motivation to examine optimal dose for sustained benefits as well as to explore additive benefits of meditation, physical exercise, and/or improved sleep in future studies. ;
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    Shorter Term Aerobic Exercise Improves Brain, Cognition, and Cardiovascular Fitness in Aging
    Chapman, Sandra Bond; Aslan, Sina; Spence, Jeffrey S.; Defina, Laura F.; Keebler, Molly W.; Didehbani, Nyaz; Lu, Hanzhang; 0000 0003 5170 3614 (Chapman, SB); 2012043141‏ (Chapman, SB); Center for BrainHealth
    Physical exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, is documented as providing a low cost regimen to counter well-documented cognitive declines including memory, executive function, visuospatial skills, and processing speed in normally aging adults. Prior aging studies focused largely on the effects of medium to long term (>6 months) exercise training; however, the shorter term effects have not been studied. In the present study, we examined changes in brain blood flow, cognition, and fitness in 37 cognitively healthy sedentary adults (57-75 years of age) who were randomized into physical training or a wait-list control group. The physical training group received supervised aerobic exercise for 3 sessions per week 1 h each for 12 weeks. Participants' cognitive, cardiovascular fitness and resting cerebral blood flow (CBF) were assessed at baseline (T1), mid (T2), and post-training (T3). We found higher resting CBF in the anterior cingulate region in the physical training group as compared to the control group from T1 to T3. Cognitive gains were manifested in the exercise group's improved immediate and delayed memory performance from T1 to T3 which also showed a significant positive association with increases in both left and right hippocampal CBF identified earlier in the time course at T2. Additionally, the two cardiovascular parameters, VO2 max and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) showed gains, compared to the control group. These data suggest that even shorter term aerobic exercise can facilitate neuroplasticity to reduce both the biological and cognitive consequences of aging to benefit brain health in sedentary adults.;
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    Recommendations for the Use of Common Outcome Measures in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Research
    McCauley, Stephen R.; Wilde, Elisabeth A.; Anderson, Vicki A.; Bedell, Gary; Beers, Sue R.; Campbell, Thomas F.; Chapman, Sandra Bond; 0000 0003 5170 3614 (Chapman, SB); 2012043141‏ (Chapman, SB); Callier Center for Communication Disorders; Center for BrainHealth
    This article addresses the need for age-relevant outcome measures for traumatic brain injury (TBI) research and summarizes the recommendations by the inter-agency Pediatric TBI Outcomes Workgroup. The Pediatric Workgroup's recommendations address primary clinical research objectives including characterizing course of recovery from TBI, prediction of later outcome, measurement of treatment effects, and comparison of outcomes across studies. Consistent with other Common Data Elements (CDE) Workgroups, the Pediatric TBI Outcomes Workgroup adopted the standard three-tier system in its selection of measures. In the first tier, core measures included valid, robust, and widely applicable outcome measures with proven utility in pediatric TBI from each identified domain including academics, adaptive and daily living skills, family and environment, global outcome, health-related quality of life, infant and toddler measures, language and communication, neuropsychological impairment, physical functioning, psychiatric and psychological functioning, recovery of consciousness, social role participation and social competence, social cognition, and TBI-related symptoms. In the second tier, supplemental measures were recommended for consideration in TBI research focusing on specific topics or populations. In the third tier, emerging measures included important instruments currently under development, in the process of validation, or nearing the point of published findings that have significant potential to be superior to measures in the core and supplemental lists and may eventually replace them as evidence for their utility emerges.