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Abstract #1688

Training Induced Olfactory Network Changes in Master Sommeliers: Connectivity Analysis Using Granger Causality and Graph-theoretical Approach.

Karthik R Sreenivasan1, Xiaowei Zhuang1, Virendra Mishra1, Zhengshi Yang1, Gopikrishna Deshpande2, Sarah Banks1, and Dietmar Cordes1

1Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Las Vegas, NV, United States, 2AU MRI Research Center, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, United States

Current study used fMRI to investigate differences in effective connectivity and network topology between a group of trained master sommeliers and untrained control participants during olfactory tasks. Master sommeliers showed stronger connectivity originating from regions involved in higher-level cognitive processes than the controls. There was also increased small-world topology in the sommeliers. These findings provide unique insights into the neuroplasticity in adulthood in the olfactory network which may have added clinical importance in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s where early neurodegeneration is isolated to regions important in smell.

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