Sensory Filtering and Sensory Memory in Breast Cancer Survivors
Breast cancer is at the top among the cancer types that are prevalent in women. It is reported that one out of every eight women is under the risk of breast cancer.
Former patients who survived breast cancer report that they still have difficulties with their sensory functions, and in carrying out duties that involve concentration and memory, even years after the completion of the treatment.
This study focuses on whether a history of cancer and treatment is associated with sensory gating (filtering) and deficiencies in the sensory memory. Sensory gating is known as the brain’s talent to inhibit/filter any unwanted sensory stimulus.
It helps prevent excessive stimulation and cognitive disarray. Component P50 is analyzed as a criterion of sensory gating. P50 occurs at -50 ms, as a response to an auditory stimulus. In healthy individuals, the first click (conditioned stimulus) is expected to activate the central inhibitor mechanism and to reduce the P50 response given to the second click (test stimulus).
While recording the electroencephalographic (EEG) signals of a group of cancer patients and healthy control participants with matched ages (mean age: 54), the double-click paradigm (component P50) and Oddball Paradigm were implemented.
The results show that cancer patients experienced significant problems both in sensory filtering (P50 suppression) and in sensory memory (MMN: mismatch negativity), compared to healthy controls.
The results indicate that the sensory gating mechanisms of cancer survivors are commonly impaired, and that this could subsequently trigger attention and memory deficiencies.
– Melara, R. D., Root, J. C., Bibi, R., & Ahles, T. A. (2020). Sensory Filtering and Sensory Memory in Breast Cancer Survivors. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience, 1550059420971120.
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