Researchers raved this week about a new tool called a polyneuro risk score (PNRS) that can characterize brain-behavior relationships. The technique is analogous to a polygenic risk score, which is used to describe relationships between genes and traits.
In a thread detailing the work, which was published 28 March in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, study investigator Gracie Grimsrud of the University of Minnesota explained that the team used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study to investigate the relationship between functional connectivity and three cognitive domains: general ability, executive function and learning and memory.
Using RSFC data from ABCD (N>6500), we investigate the underlying connectivity of three higher-order cognitive domains (general ability, executive function, learning & memory – derived by @wesstat et al.) using multivariate techniques and large, independent sample validation. pic.twitter.com/On8rYPVjoq
— Gracie Grimsrud (@graciegrimsrud) March 28, 2023
Grimsrud tweeted that the tool could address the “reproducibility crisis” in brain-wide association studies (BWAS), an issue Spectrum covered last year.
Study investigator Damien Fair called the new work a “tour de force” in a tweet urging his followers to check out the study.
You all have to check this out! @graciegrimsrud was my first @UMN_MIDB student and started as a freshman!! in @DCANLabs@NoraByington Lab Manager who started the lab and took this on with Gracie!
Tour de force…amazing talent.
Coming for you @smarek0502 @tervoclemmensb ! https://t.co/PgisECCycQ
— Damien Fair (@DrDamienFair) March 28, 2023
Two fellow scientists from the University of Minnesota, who were not involved in the study, also chimed in. “I’ve been playing around with the BWAS/PNRS tool myself as well and definitely see the utility it can have for the field,” tweeted Ekom Eyoh.
So happy to see that this work from @NoraByington and @graciegrimsrud is finally out! I’ve been playing around with the BWAS/PNRS tool myself as well and definitely see the utility it can have for the field. Check it out! https://t.co/DpEVWaA0o0
— Ekom Eyoh (@EkomOnPsych) March 28, 2023
“This technique allows scientists to get a single measure of cognitive function using only fMRI data. That’s pretty cool!” tweeted Robert Hermosillo.
This technique allows scientists to get a single measure of cognitive function using only fMRI data. That’s pretty cool! Great work from @graciegrimsrud and @NoraByington @BionicMicki @oscar_m_d_mex @EricFeczko @DrDamienFair @PerroneAnders https://t.co/BX2k2zuItZ
— Robert Hermosillo (@DrScienceMan1) March 28, 2023
Continuing the fMRI theme, another study that garnered attention this week debuted StandardRat, a standard protocol for imaging rat brains in controlled conditions.
Freshly out of the embargo < 10 min ago. ????
A big thank you to everyone who contributed!!! Together you make such a nice community, I feel proud to have my name listed along with yours ????https://t.co/YobJq8iVN4 https://t.co/FwCSo6MGhP
— Joanes Grandjean wants you to share your data (@grandjeanlab) March 27, 2023
More than 200 researchers examined data from 46 research centers to create the protocol, explained Joanes Grandjean of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in an April 2022 thread describing the work.
The researchers published the protocol 27 March in Nature Neuroscience and made the code for it available on github.
With the new StandardRat protocol, we improved the specificity outcome in our datasets by 50%
This has major implications. It means by using this protocol, you greatly enhance your chances to detect biologically-plausible signal.
— Joanes Grandjean wants you to share your data (@grandjeanlab) April 28, 2022
Study investigator Noam Shemesh of the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown called the work a “landmark in the field.”
Congrats @grandjeanlab for the herculean effort!!!! A landmark in the field. https://t.co/yMxem1YgW7
— Shemesh Lab (@ShemeshL) March 27, 2023
“This is what happens when a whole community takes action to improve itself,” tweeted study investigator Valerio Zerbi of EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.
This is what happens when a whole community takes action to improve itself – and when @grandjeanlab pushes it to do so! @NatureNeuro https://t.co/mgv3NtSidN
— Valerio Zerbi (@Valerio_Zerbi) March 28, 2023
“Never underestimate the power of @grandjeanlab’s judgement to bring a field together,” tweeted study investigator Eilidh MacNicol of King’s College London.
Never understimate the power of @grandjeanlab’s judgement to bring a field together ???? https://t.co/ablDORBtcQ
— Eilidh MacNicol (@[email protected]) (@eilidhmacnicol) March 28, 2023
Maximilian Friedrich of the University of Würzburg called the work a “crucial step” toward translational frameworks for brain-behavior studies. “Imagine the degrees of freedom of rodent connectomic imaging when in fact the lesions/stim sites can be introduced in a controlled way.”
A crucial step towards genuinely translational frameworks for beain behavior studies. Imagine the degrees of freedom of rodent connectomic imaging when in fact the lesions/stim sites can be introduced in a controlled way. https://t.co/LU3AZXU7nN
— Dr. Maximilian U. Friedrich (@vertigologist) March 28, 2023
That’s it for this week’s Community Newsletter! If you have any suggestions for interesting social posts you saw in the autism research sphere, feel free to send an email to [email protected].
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Cite this article: https://doi.org/10.53053/JENL6735