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Scripta Scientifica Medica

Structural plasticity in the adult brain during visual learning and memory tasks

F. Popova, A. Kovacheva, P. Garov, S. Sivkov


The human brain connectome is a new and rapidly developing project in neuroscience. The pattern of structural and functional connectivity in the brain is not fixed, but is continuously changing in response to experiences. Ex­ploring these phenomena opens a powerful arsenal of analyses and computational approaches that could provide important new insights into clinical and cognitive neuroscience.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the structural plasticity of the cortical areas of the brain during a memory task performance using functional MRI. Fifteen right-handed male subjects and fourteen right-handed female subjects were scanned during memory par­adigm performance. The scanning of the participants was performed with a 3Т MRI system - GE Discovery 750 w with a protocol including structural scan - Sag 3D T1 F-BRAVO FSPGR, slice thickness 1 mm, matrix 256Ñ…256, flip angle 10о and standard block design functional scan - 2D EPI, slice thickness 3 mm, matrix 64Ñ…64, TR (rep­etition time) - 3000 msec, TE (echo time) -30, flip angle 90о. Data were analysed using the SPM 12 (Statistical Paramertic Mapping) software running on MATLAB R2015 for Windows. The level of statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.

Statistical significance in brain cortical activation was not found between males and females. We found reliable occipital and temporal signal response across the block design contrasts with statistically significant differenc­es within the groups in both genders. The results highlighted several detailed differences between males and fe­males and potential future directions in brain activation studies.



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About The Authors

F. Popova
Medical University of Plovdiv

A. Kovacheva
Medical University of Plovdiv

P. Garov
Medical University of Plovdiv

S. Sivkov
Medical University of Plovdiv

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