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Sample records for aspect prefrontal area

  1. Age Differences in Prefrontal Surface Area and Thickness in Middle Aged to Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Dotson, Vonetta M.; Szymkowicz, Sarah M.; Sozda, Christopher N.; Kirton, Joshua W.; Green, Mackenzie L.; O’Shea, Andrew; McLaren, Molly E.; Anton, Stephen D.; Manini, Todd M.; Woods, Adam J.

    2016-01-01

    Age is associated with reductions in surface area and cortical thickness, particularly in prefrontal regions. There is also evidence of greater thickness in some regions at older ages. Non-linear age effects in some studies suggest that age may continue to impact brain structure in later decades of life, but relatively few studies have examined the impact of age on brain structure within middle-aged to older adults. We investigated age differences in prefrontal surface area and cortical thickness in healthy adults between the ages of 51 and 81 years. Participants received a structural 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scan. Based on a priori hypotheses, primary analyses focused on surface area and cortical thickness in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and orbitofrontal cortex. We also performed exploratory vertex-wise analyses of surface area and cortical thickness across the entire cortex. We found that older age was associated with smaller surface area in the dorsolateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices but greater cortical thickness in the dorsolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. Vertex-wise analyses revealed smaller surface area in primarily frontal regions at older ages, but no age effects were found for cortical thickness. Results suggest age is associated with reduced surface area but greater cortical thickness in prefrontal regions during later decades of life, and highlight the differential effects age has on regional surface area and cortical thickness. PMID:26834623

  2. Glucocorticoid receptors in the prefrontal cortex regulate stress-evoked dopamine efflux and aspects of executive function

    PubMed Central

    Butts, Kelly A.; Weinberg, Joanne; Young, Allan H.; Phillips, Anthony G.

    2011-01-01

    Enhanced dopamine efflux in the prefrontal cortex is a well-documented response to acute stress. However, the underlying mechanism(s) for this response is unknown. Using in vivo microdialysis, we demonstrate that blocking glucocorticoid receptors locally within the rat prefrontal cortex results in a reduction in stress-evoked dopamine efflux. In contrast, blocking glucocorticoid receptors in the ventral tegmental area did not affect stress-evoked dopamine efflux in the prefrontal cortex. Additionally, local administration of corticosterone into the prefrontal cortex increased prefrontal dopamine efflux. The functional impact of enhanced dopamine efflux evoked by acute stress was demonstrated using a cognitive task dependent on the prefrontal cortex and sensitive to impairment in working memory. Notably, stress-induced impairments in cognition were attenuated by blockade of glucocorticoid receptors in the prefrontal cortex. Taken together, these data demonstrate that glucocorticoids act locally within the prefrontal cortex to modulate mesocortical dopamine efflux leading to the cognitive impairments observed during acute stress. PMID:22032926

  3. Relationship of prefrontal connections to inhibitory systems in superior temporal areas in the rhesus monkey.

    PubMed

    Barbas, H; Medalla, M; Alade, O; Suski, J; Zikopoulos, B; Lera, P

    2005-09-01

    The prefrontal cortex selects relevant signals and suppresses irrelevant signals in behavior, as exemplified by its functional interaction with superior temporal cortices. We addressed the structural basis of this process by investigating quantitatively the relationship of prefrontal pathways to inhibitory interneurons in superior temporal cortices. Pathways were labeled with neural tracers, and two neurochemical classes of inhibitory interneurons were labeled with parvalbumin (PV) and calbindin (CB), which differ in mode of inhibitory control. Both markers varied significantly and systematically across superior temporal areas. Calbindin neurons were more prevalent than PV neurons, with the highest densities found in posterior high-order auditory association cortices. Axons from anterior lateral, medial prefrontal and orbitofrontal areas terminated in the anterior half of the superior temporal gyrus, targeting mostly the superficial layers (I to upper III), where CB neurons predominated. Reciprocal projection neurons were intermingled with PV neurons, and emanated mostly from the deep part of layer III and to a lesser extent from layers V-VI, in proportions matching the laminar density of inhibitory interneurons. In marked contrast, prefrontal connections in temporal polar cortex were found mostly in the deep layers, showing mismatch with the predominant upper laminar distribution of interneurons. Differences in the relationship of connections to inhibitory neurons probably affect the dynamics in distinct superior temporal cortices. These findings may help explain the reduced efficacy of inhibitory control in superior temporal areas after prefrontal cortical damage. PMID:15635060

  4. Morphological abnormalities in prefrontal surface area and thalamic volume in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    PubMed Central

    Batty, Martin J.; Palaniyappan, Lena; Scerif, Gaia; Groom, Madeleine J.; Liddle, Elizabeth B.; Liddle, Peter F.; Hollis, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Although previous morphological studies have demonstrated abnormalities in prefrontal cortical thickness in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), studies investigating cortical surface area are lacking. As the development of cortical surface is closely linked to the establishment of thalam-ocortical connections, any abnormalities in the structure of the thalamus are likely to relate to altered cortical surface area. Using a clinically well-defined sample of children with ADHD (n=25, 1 female) and typically developing controls (n=24, 1 female), we studied surface area across the cortex to determine whether children with ADHD had reduced thalamic volume that related to prefrontal cortical surface area. Relative to controls, children with ADHD had a significant reduction in thalamic volume and dorsolateral prefrontal cortical area in both hemispheres. Furthermore, children with ADHD with smaller thalamic volumes were found to have greater reductions in surface area, a pattern not evident in the control children. Our results are further evidence of reduced lateral prefrontal cortical area in ADHD. Moreover, for the first time, we have also shown a direct association between thalamic anatomy and frontal anatomy in ADHD, suggesting the pathophysiological process that alters surface area maturation is likely to be linked to the development of the thalamus. PMID:26190555

  5. Co-Activation-Based Parcellation of the Lateral Prefrontal Cortex Delineates the Inferior Frontal Junction Area.

    PubMed

    Muhle-Karbe, Paul S; Derrfuss, Jan; Lynn, Margaret T; Neubert, Franz X; Fox, Peter T; Brass, Marcel; Eickhoff, Simon B

    2016-05-01

    The inferior frontal junction (IFJ) area, a small region in the posterior lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), has received increasing interest in recent years due to its central involvement in the control of action, attention, and memory. Yet, both its function and anatomy remain controversial. Here, we employed a meta-analytic parcellation of the left LPFC to show that the IFJ can be isolated based on its specific functional connections. A seed region, oriented along the left inferior frontal sulcus (IFS), was subdivided via cluster analyses of voxel-wise whole-brain co-activation patterns. The ensuing clusters were characterized by their unique connections, the functional profiles of associated experiments, and an independent topic mapping approach. A cluster at the posterior end of the IFS matched previous descriptions of the IFJ in location and extent and could be distinguished from a more caudal cluster involved in motor control, a more ventral cluster involved in linguistic processing, and 3 more rostral clusters involved in other aspects of cognitive control. Overall, our findings highlight that the IFJ constitutes a core functional unit within the frontal lobe and delineate its borders. Implications for the IFJ's role in human cognition and the organizational principles of the frontal lobe are discussed. PMID:25899707

  6. Glutamatergic plasticity in medial prefrontal cortex and ventral tegmental area following extended-access cocaine self-administration.

    PubMed

    Ghasemzadeh, M Behnam; Vasudevan, Preethi; Giles, Chad; Purgianto, Anthony; Seubert, Chad; Mantsch, John R

    2011-09-21

    Glutamate signaling in prefrontal cortex and ventral tegmental area plays an important role in the molecular and behavioral plasticity associated with addiction to drugs of abuse. The current study investigated the expression and postsynaptic density redistribution of glutamate receptors and synaptic scaffolding proteins in dorsomedial and ventromedial prefrontal cortex and ventral tegmental area after cocaine self-administration. After 14 days of extended-access (6h/day) cocaine self-administration, rats were exposed to one of three withdrawal regimen for 10 days. Animals either stayed in home cages (Home), returned to self-administration boxes with the levers withdrawn (Box), or underwent extinction training (Extinction). Extinction training was associated with significant glutamatergic plasticity. In dorsomedial prefrontal cortex of the Extinction group, there was an increase in postsynaptic density GluR1, PSD95, and actin proteins; while postsynaptic density mGluR5 protein decreased and there was no change in NMDAR1, Homer1b/c, or PICK1 proteins. These changes were not observed in ventromedial prefrontal cortex or ventral tegmental area. In ventral tegmental area, Extinction training reversed the decreased postsynaptic density NMDAR1 protein in the Home and Box withdrawal groups. These data suggest that extinction of drug seeking is associated with selective glutamatergic plasticity in prefrontal cortex and ventral tegmental area that include modulation of receptor trafficking to postsynaptic density. PMID:21855055

  7. Activation of the pre-supplementary motor area but not inferior prefrontal cortex in association with short stop signal reaction time – an intra-subject analysis

    PubMed Central

    Chao, Herta HA; Luo, Xi; Chang, Jeremy LK; Li, Chiang-shan R

    2009-01-01

    Background Our previous work described the neural processes of motor response inhibition during a stop signal task (SST). Employing the race model, we computed the stop signal reaction time (SSRT) to index individuals' ability in inhibitory control. The pre-supplementary motor area (preSMA), which shows greater activity in individuals with short as compared to those with long SSRT, plays a role in mediating response inhibition. In contrast, the right inferior prefrontal cortex (rIFC) showed greater activity during stop success as compared to stop error. Here we further pursued this functional differentiation of preSMA and rIFC on the basis of an intra-subject approach. Results Of 65 subjects who participated in four sessions of the SST, we identified 30 individuals who showed a difference in SSRT but were identical in other aspects of stop signal performance between the first ("early") and last two ("late") sessions. By comparing regional brain activation between the two sessions, we confirmed greater preSMA but not rIFC activity during short as compared to long SSRT session within individuals. Furthermore, putamen, anterior cerebellum and middle/posterior cingulate cortex also showed greater activity in association with short SSRT. Conclusion These results are consistent with a role of medial prefrontal cortex in controlled action and inferior frontal cortex in orienting attention. We discussed these findings with respect to the process of attentional monitoring and inhibitory motor control during stop signal inhibition. PMID:19602259

  8. Performance-Related Activity in Medial Rostral Prefrontal Cortex (Area 10) during Low-Demand Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbert, Sam J.; Simons, Jon S.; Frith, Christopher D.; Burgess, Paul W.

    2006-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have frequently observed relatively high activity in medial rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC) during rest or baseline conditions. Some accounts have attributed this high activity to the occurrence of unconstrained stimulus-independent and task-unrelated thought processes during baseline conditions. Here, the authors investigated…

  9. Glucocorticoid receptors in the prefrontal cortex regulate dopamine efflux to stress via descending glutamatergic feedback to the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Butts, Kelly A; Phillips, Anthony G

    2013-09-01

    Enhanced dopamine (DA) efflux in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is a well-documented response to acute stress. We have previously shown that glucocorticoid receptors in the mPFC regulate stress-evoked DA efflux but the underlying mechanism is unknown. DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) receive excitatory input from and send reciprocal projections to the mPFC. We hypothesize that blockade of prefrontal glucocorticoid receptors can reduce activity of descending glutamatergic input to the VTA, thereby attenuating stress-evoked DA efflux in the mPFC. Using in vivo microdialysis, we demonstrate that acute tail-pinch stress leads to a significant increase in glutamate efflux in the VTA. Blockade of prefrontal glucocorticoid receptors with the selective antagonist CORT 108297 attenuates stress-evoked glutamate efflux in the VTA together with DA efflux in the mPFC. Furthermore, blockade of ionotrophic glutamate receptors in the VTA attenuates stress-evoked DA efflux in the mPFC. We also examine the possible role of glucocorticoid-induced synthesis and release of endocannabinoids acting presynaptically via cannabinoid CB1 receptors to inhibit GABA release onto prefrontal pyramidal cells, thus enhancing descending glutamatergic input to the VTA leading to an increase in mPFC DA efflux during stress. However, administration of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist into the mPFC does not attenuate stress-evoked DA efflux in the mPFC. Taken together, our data indicate that glucocorticoids act locally within the mPFC to modulate mesocortical DA efflux by potentiation of glutamatergic drive onto DA neurons in the VTA. PMID:23590841

  10. The Cortical Connectivity of the Prefrontal Cortex in the Monkey Brain

    PubMed Central

    Yeterian, Edward H.; Pandya, Deepak N.; Tomaiuolo, Francesco; Petrides, Michael

    2011-01-01

    One dimension of understanding the functions of the prefrontal cortex is knowledge of cortical connectivity. We have surveyed three aspects of prefrontal cortical connections: local projections (within the frontal lobe), the termination patterns of long association (post-Rolandic) projections, and the trajectories of major fiber pathways. The local connections appear to be organized in relation to dorsal (hippocampal origin) and ventral (paleocortical origin) architectonic trends. According to the proposal of a dual origin of the cerebral cortex, cortical areas can be traced as originating from archicortex (hippocampus) on the one hand, and paleocortex, on the other hand, in a stepwise manner (e.g., Sanides, 1969; Pandya and Yeterian, 1985). Prefrontal areas within each trend are connected with less architectonically differentiated areas, and, on the other hand, with more differentiated areas. Such organization may allow for the systematic exchange of information within each architectonic trend. The long connections of the prefrontal cortex with post-Rolandic regions seem to be organized preferentially in relation to dorsal and ventral prefrontal architectonic trends. Prefrontal areas are connected with post-Rolandic auditory, visual and somatosensory association areas, and with multimodal and paralimbic regions. This long connectivity likely works in conjunction with local connections to serve prefrontal cortical functions. The afferent and efferent connections of the prefrontal cortex with post-Rolandic regions are conveyed by specific long association pathways. These pathways as well appear to be organized in relation to dorsal and ventral prefrontal architectonic trends. Finally, although prefrontal areas have preferential connections in relation to dual architectonic trends, it is clear that there are interconnections between and among areas in each trend, which may provide a substrate for the overall integrative function of the prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal

  11. Structure of Spike Count Correlations Reveals Functional Interactions between Neurons in Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Area 8a of Behaving Primates

    PubMed Central

    Leavitt, Matthew L.; Pieper, Florian; Sachs, Adam; Joober, Ridha; Martinez-Trujillo, Julio C.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons within the primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) are clustered in microcolumns according to their visuospatial tuning. One issue that remains poorly investigated is how this anatomical arrangement influences functional interactions between neurons during behavior. To investigate this question we implanted 4 mm×4 mm multielectrode arrays in two macaques' dlPFC area 8a and measured spike count correlations (rsc) between responses of simultaneously recorded neurons when animals maintained stationary gaze. Positive and negative rsc were significantly higher than predicted by chance across a wide range of inter-neuron distances (from 0.4 to 4 mm). Positive rsc were stronger between neurons with receptive fields (RFs) separated by ≤90° of angular distance and progressively decreased as a function of inter-neuron physical distance. Negative rsc were stronger between neurons with RFs separated by >90° and increased as a function of inter-neuron distance. Our results show that short- and long-range functional interactions between dlPFC neurons depend on the physical distance between them and the relationship between their visuospatial tuning preferences. Neurons with similar visuospatial tuning show positive rsc that decay with inter-neuron distance, suggestive of excitatory interactions within and between adjacent microcolumns. Neurons with dissimilar tuning from spatially segregated microcolumns show negative rsc that increase with inter-neuron distance, suggestive of inhibitory interactions. This pattern of results shows that functional interactions between prefrontal neurons closely follow the pattern of connectivity reported in anatomical studies. Such interactions may be important for the role of the prefrontal cortex in the allocation of attention to targets in the presence of competing distracters. PMID:23630595

  12. The Influence of rTMS over Prefrontal and Motor Areas in a Morphological Task: Grammatical vs. Semantic Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LoGerfo, Emanuele; Oliveri, Massimiliano; Torriero, Sara; Salerno, Silvia; Koch, Giacomo; Caltagirone, Carlo

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the differential role of two frontal regions in the processing of grammatical and semantic knowledge. Given the documented specificity of the prefrontal cortex for the grammatical class of verbs, and of the primary motor cortex for the semantic class of action words, we sought to investigate whether the prefrontal cortex is also…

  13. Connecting to create: expertise in musical improvisation is associated with increased functional connectivity between premotor and prefrontal areas.

    PubMed

    Pinho, Ana Luísa; de Manzano, Örjan; Fransson, Peter; Eriksson, Helene; Ullén, Fredrik

    2014-04-30

    Musicians have been used extensively to study neural correlates of long-term practice, but no studies have investigated the specific effects of training musical creativity. Here, we used human functional MRI to measure brain activity during improvisation in a sample of 39 professional pianists with varying backgrounds in classical and jazz piano playing. We found total hours of improvisation experience to be negatively associated with activity in frontoparietal executive cortical areas. In contrast, improvisation training was positively associated with functional connectivity of the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, dorsal premotor cortices, and presupplementary areas. The effects were significant when controlling for hours of classical piano practice and age. These results indicate that even neural mechanisms involved in creative behaviors, which require a flexible online generation of novel and meaningful output, can be automated by training. Second, improvisational musical training can influence functional brain properties at a network level. We show that the greater functional connectivity seen in experienced improvisers may reflect a more efficient exchange of information within associative networks of importance for musical creativity. PMID:24790186

  14. Connecting to Create: Expertise in Musical Improvisation Is Associated with Increased Functional Connectivity between Premotor and Prefrontal Areas

    PubMed Central

    Pinho, Ana Luísa; de Manzano, Örjan; Fransson, Peter; Eriksson, Helene

    2014-01-01

    Musicians have been used extensively to study neural correlates of long-term practice, but no studies have investigated the specific effects of training musical creativity. Here, we used human functional MRI to measure brain activity during improvisation in a sample of 39 professional pianists with varying backgrounds in classical and jazz piano playing. We found total hours of improvisation experience to be negatively associated with activity in frontoparietal executive cortical areas. In contrast, improvisation training was positively associated with functional connectivity of the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, dorsal premotor cortices, and presupplementary areas. The effects were significant when controlling for hours of classical piano practice and age. These results indicate that even neural mechanisms involved in creative behaviors, which require a flexible online generation of novel and meaningful output, can be automated by training. Second, improvisational musical training can influence functional brain properties at a network level. We show that the greater functional connectivity seen in experienced improvisers may reflect a more efficient exchange of information within associative networks of importance for musical creativity. PMID:24790186

  15. Ventral tegmental area afferents to the prefrontal cortex maintain membrane potential 'up' states in pyramidal neurons via D(1) dopamine receptors.

    PubMed

    Lewis, B L; O'Donnell, P

    2000-12-01

    The electrophysiological nature of dopamine actions has been controversial for years, with data supporting both inhibitory and excitatory actions. In this study, we tested whether stimulation of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the source of the dopamine innervation of the prefrontal cortex, would exert different responses depending on the membrane potential states that pyramidal neurons exhibit when recorded in vivo, and whether VTA stimulation would have a role in controlling transitions between these states. Prefrontal cortical neurons have a very negative resting membrane potential (down state) interrupted by plateau depolarizations (up state). Although the up state had been shown to be dependent on hippocampal afferents in nucleus accumbens neurons, our results indicate that neither hippocampal nor thalamic inputs are sufficient to drive up events in prefrontal cortical neurons. Electrical VTA stimulation resulted in a variety of actions, in many cases depending on the neuron membrane potential state. Trains of stimuli resembling burst firing evoked a long-lasting transition to the up state, an effect blocked by a D(1) antagonist and mimicked by chemical VTA stimulation. These results indicate that projections from the VTA to the prefrontal cortex may be involved in controlling membrane potential states that define assemblies of activable pyramidal neurons in this region. PMID:11073866

  16. Functional brain measurements within the prefrontal area on pseudo-"blindsight" induced by extremely low frequency electromagnetic stimulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakagawa, Hidenori; Ueno, Shoogo

    2015-05-01

    For evaluating the effects of phosphene as pseudo-blindsight closely, we used functional near-infrared spectroscopy to investigate whether or not the phosphene appearance itself substantially affects the hemodynamic responses of the prefrontal area. Seven healthy volunteers ranging in age from 22 to 72 participated in the visual stimulation experiments. First, we examined the influences of electromagnetic stimulations at around the threshold (10 mT) for a blindsight-like phosphene on the responses. According to the results of the aged volunteers, we found the possibility that the delay in the phosphene perception might be caused by aging beyond a certain age. In the results of our measurements using the stimulation of 50 mT, no significant difference in the perception delay for all the volunteers could be detected. When the field strength was decreased from 50 mT to the threshold in steps of 10 mT, the results obtained at the threshold are equivalent to that obtained at 50 mT. Our data strongly support the hypothesis that pseudo-blindsight induced by electromagnetic stimulation of above 50 mT is able to excite all the volunteers' retinal photoreceptor cells provisionally. Hence the continuous stimulations for a long period of time might gradually activate synaptic plasticity on the neural network of the retina.

  17. Anatomical and pharmacological characterization of catecholamine transients in the medial prefrontal cortex evoked by ventral tegmental area stimulation.

    PubMed

    Shnitko, Tatiana A; Robinson, Donita L

    2014-04-01

    Voltammetric measurements of catecholamines in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are infrequent because of lack of chemical selectivity between dopamine and norepinephrine and their overlapping anatomical inputs. Here, we examined the contribution of norepinephrine to the catecholamine release in the mPFC evoked by electrical stimulation of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Initially, electrical stimulation was delivered in the midbrain at incremental depths of -5 to -9.4 mm from bregma while catecholamine release was monitored in the mPFC. Although catecholamine release was observed at dorsal stimulation sites that may correspond to the dorsal noradrenergic bundle (DNB, containing noradrenergic axonal projections to the mPFC), maximal release was evoked by stimulation of the VTA (the source of dopaminergic input to the mPFC). Next, VTA-evoked catecholamine release was monitored in the mPFC before and after knife incision of the DNB, and no significant changes in the evoked catecholamine signals were found. These data indicated that DNB fibers did not contribute to the VTA-evoked catecholamine release observed in the mPFC. Finally, while the D2-receptor antagonist raclopride significantly altered VTA-evoked catecholamine release, the α₂-adrenergic receptor antagonist idazoxan did not. Specifically, raclopride reduced catecholamine release in the mPFC, opposite to that observed in the striatum, indicating differential autoreceptor regulation of mesocortical and mesostriatal neurons. Together, these findings suggest that the catecholamine release in the mPFC arising from VTA stimulation was predominately dopaminergic rather than noradrenergic. PMID:24285555

  18. Investigating Conceptual, Procedural, and Intuitive Aspects of Area Measurement with Non-Square Area Units

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Amanda L.

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation reports the results of a qualitative research project on area measurement. The study utilized structured, task-based interviews with students to (a) investigate the ways students enumerate and structure two-dimensional space with a variety of area units; (b) identify conceptual, procedural, and intuitive aspects of area…

  19. HOW MOTIVATIONAL AND CALM MUSIC MAY AFFECT THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX AREA AND EMOTIONAL RESPONSES: A FUNCTIONAL NEAR-INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY (fNIRS) STUDY.

    PubMed

    Bigliassi, Marcelo; Barreto-Silva, Vinícius; Altimari, Leandro R; Vandoni, Matteo; Codrons, Erwan; Buzzachera, Cosme F

    2015-02-01

    Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, the present study investigated how listening to differently valenced music is associated with changes in hemoglobin concentrations in the prefrontal cortex area, indicating changes in neural activity. Thirty healthy people (15 men; M age = 24.8 yr., SD = 2.4; 15 women; M age = 25.2 yr., SD = 3.1) participated. Prefrontal cortex activation, emotional responses (heart rate variability), and self-reported affective ratings were measured while listening to calm and motivational music. The songs were presented in a random counterbalanced order and separated by periods of white noise. Mixed-model repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) evaluated the relationships for main effects and interactions. The results showed that music was associated with increased activation of the prefrontal cortex area. For both sexes, listening to the motivational song was associated with higher vagal withdrawal (lower HR) than the calm song. As expected, participants rated the motivational song with greater affective valence and higher arousal. Effects persisted longer in men than in women. These findings suggest that both the characteristics of music and sex differences may significantly affect the results of emotional neuroimaging in samples of young adults. PMID:25650505

  20. Acoustic black holes and universal aspects of area products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anacleto, M. A.; Brito, F. A.; Passos, E.

    2016-03-01

    In this paper we derive acoustic metrics in the (3 + 1)-dimensional Abelian Higgs model with higher derivative terms. We have found acoustic metrics that are conformally related to the Reissner-Nordström and Kerr-Newman metrics. The universal aspects of area products which depend only on quantized quantities such as conserved electric charge and angular momentum are also addressed. We relate these areas with entanglement entropy of acoustic black holes in BEC systems. We also have shown there is an equivalence between microscopic descriptions of axisymmetric acoustic black hole entropy in a BEC system in four and two dimensions. Particularly, the system seems to develop an analogue of the Kerr/CFT correspondence.

  1. Emotional and Utilitarian Appraisals of Moral Dilemmas Are Encoded in Separate Areas and Integrated in Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Montaser-Kouhsari, Leila; Woodward, James; Rangel, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Moral judgment often requires making difficult tradeoffs (e.g., is it appropriate to torture to save the lives of innocents at risk?). Previous research suggests that both emotional appraisals and more deliberative utilitarian appraisals influence such judgments and that these appraisals often conflict. However, it is unclear how these different types of appraisals are represented in the brain, or how they are integrated into an overall moral judgment. We addressed these questions using an fMRI paradigm in which human subjects provide separate emotional and utilitarian appraisals for different potential actions, and then make difficult moral judgments constructed from combinations of these actions. We found that anterior cingulate, insula, and superior temporal gyrus correlated with emotional appraisals, whereas temporoparietal junction and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex correlated with utilitarian appraisals. Overall moral value judgments were represented in an anterior portion of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Critically, the pattern of responses and functional interactions between these three sets of regions are consistent with a model in which emotional and utilitarian appraisals are computed independently and in parallel, and passed to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex where they are integrated into an overall moral value judgment. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Popular accounts of moral judgment often describe it as a battle for control between two systems, one intuitive and emotional, the other rational and utilitarian, engaged in winner-take-all inhibitory competition. Using a novel fMRI paradigm, we identified distinct neural signatures of emotional and utilitarian appraisals and used them to test different models of how they compete for the control of moral behavior. Importantly, we find little support for competitive inhibition accounts. Instead, moral judgments resembled the architecture of simple economic choices: distinct regions represented emotional

  2. Emotional and Utilitarian Appraisals of Moral Dilemmas Are Encoded in Separate Areas and Integrated in Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Hutcherson, Cendri A; Montaser-Kouhsari, Leila; Woodward, James; Rangel, Antonio

    2015-09-01

    Moral judgment often requires making difficult tradeoffs (e.g., is it appropriate to torture to save the lives of innocents at risk?). Previous research suggests that both emotional appraisals and more deliberative utilitarian appraisals influence such judgments and that these appraisals often conflict. However, it is unclear how these different types of appraisals are represented in the brain, or how they are integrated into an overall moral judgment. We addressed these questions using an fMRI paradigm in which human subjects provide separate emotional and utilitarian appraisals for different potential actions, and then make difficult moral judgments constructed from combinations of these actions. We found that anterior cingulate, insula, and superior temporal gyrus correlated with emotional appraisals, whereas temporoparietal junction and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex correlated with utilitarian appraisals. Overall moral value judgments were represented in an anterior portion of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Critically, the pattern of responses and functional interactions between these three sets of regions are consistent with a model in which emotional and utilitarian appraisals are computed independently and in parallel, and passed to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex where they are integrated into an overall moral value judgment. Significance statement: Popular accounts of moral judgment often describe it as a battle for control between two systems, one intuitive and emotional, the other rational and utilitarian, engaged in winner-take-all inhibitory competition. Using a novel fMRI paradigm, we identified distinct neural signatures of emotional and utilitarian appraisals and used them to test different models of how they compete for the control of moral behavior. Importantly, we find little support for competitive inhibition accounts. Instead, moral judgments resembled the architecture of simple economic choices: distinct regions represented emotional

  3. Area-Specific Information Processing in Prefrontal Cortex during a Probabilistic Inference Task: A Multivariate fMRI BOLD Time Series Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Demanuele, Charmaine; Kirsch, Peter; Esslinger, Christine; Zink, Mathias; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Durstewitz, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Discriminating spatiotemporal stages of information processing involved in complex cognitive processes remains a challenge for neuroscience. This is especially so in prefrontal cortex whose subregions, such as the dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC), anterior cingulate (ACC) and orbitofrontal (OFC) cortices are known to have differentiable roles in cognition. Yet it is much less clear how these subregions contribute to different cognitive processes required by a given task. To investigate this, we use functional MRI data recorded from a group of healthy adults during a “Jumping to Conclusions” probabilistic reasoning task. Methods We used a novel approach combining multivariate test statistics with bootstrap-based procedures to discriminate between different task stages reflected in the fMRI blood oxygenation level dependent signal pattern and to unravel differences in task-related information encoded by these regions. Furthermore, we implemented a new feature extraction algorithm that selects voxels from any set of brain regions that are jointly maximally predictive about specific task stages. Results Using both the multivariate statistics approach and the algorithm that searches for maximally informative voxels we show that during the Jumping to Conclusions task, the DLPFC and ACC contribute more to the decision making phase comprising the accumulation of evidence and probabilistic reasoning, while the OFC is more involved in choice evaluation and uncertainty feedback. Moreover, we show that in presumably non-task-related regions (temporal cortices) all information there was about task processing could be extracted from just one voxel (indicating the unspecific nature of that information), while for prefrontal areas a wider multivariate pattern of activity was maximally informative. Conclusions/Significance We present a new approach to reveal the different roles of brain regions during the processing of one task from multivariate activity patterns

  4. Dissociation in prefrontal cortex of affective and attentional shifts.

    PubMed

    Dias, R; Robbins, T W; Roberts, A C

    1996-03-01

    The prefrontal cortex is implicated in such human characteristics as volition, planning, abstract reasoning and affect. Frontal-lobe damage can cause disinhibition such that the behaviour of a subject is guided by previously acquired responses that are inappropriate to the current situation. Here we demonstrate that disinhibition, or a loss of inhibitory control, can be selective for particular cognitive functions and that different regions of the prefrontal cortex provide inhibitory control in different aspects of cognitive processing. Thus, whereas damage to the lateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann's area 9) in monkeys causes a loss of inhibitory control in attentional selection, damage to the orbito-frontal cortex in monkeys causes a loss of inhibitory control in 'affective' processing, thereby impairing the ability to alter behaviour in response to fluctuations in the emotional significance of stimuli. These findings not only support the view that the prefrontal cortex has multiple functions, but also provide evidence for the distribution of different cognitive functions within specific regions of prefrontal cortex. PMID:8598908

  5. Dissociable effects of natural image structure and color on LFP and spiking activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex and extrastriate visual area V4.

    PubMed

    Liebe, Stefanie; Logothetis, Nikos K; Rainer, Gregor

    2011-07-13

    Visual perception is mediated by unique contributions of the numerous brain regions that constitute the visual system. We performed simultaneous recordings of local field potentials (LFPs) and single unit activity (SUA) in areas V4 and lateral prefrontal cortex to characterize their contribution to visual processing. Here, we trained monkeys to identify natural images at different degradation levels in a visual recognition task. We parametrically varied color and structural information of natural images while the animals were performing the task. We show that the visual-evoked potential (VEP) of the LFP in V4 is highly sensitive to color, whereas the VEP in prefrontal cortex predominantly depends on image structure. When examining the relationship between VEP and SUA, we found that stimulus sensitivity for SUA was well predicted by the VEP in PF cortex but not in V4. Our results first reveal a functional specialization in both areas at the level of the LFP and further suggest that the degree to which mesoscopic signals, such as the VEP, are representative of the underlying SUA neural processing may be brain region specific within the context of visual recognition. PMID:21752998

  6. Projections from caudal ventrolateral prefrontal areas to brainstem preoculomotor structures and to Basal Ganglia and cerebellar oculomotor loops in the macaque.

    PubMed

    Borra, Elena; Gerbella, Marzio; Rozzi, Stefano; Luppino, Giuseppe

    2015-03-01

    The caudal part of the macaque ventrolateral prefrontal (VLPF) cortex hosts several distinct areas or fields--45B, 45A, 8r, caudal 46vc, and caudal 12r--connected to the frontal eye field (area 8/FEF). To assess whether these areas/fields also display subcortical projections possibly mediating a role in controlling oculomotor behavior, we examined their descending projections, based on anterograde tracer injections in each area/field, and compared them with those of area 8/FEF. All the studied areas/fields displayed projections to brainstem preoculomotor structures, precerebellar centers, and striatal sectors that are also targets of projections originating from area 8/FEF. Specifically, these projections involved: (1) the intermediate and superficial layers of the superior colliculus; (2) the mesencephalic and pontine reticular formation; (3) the dorsomedial and lateral pontine nuclei and the reticularis tegmenti pontis; and (4) the body of the caudate nucleus. Furthermore, area 45B projected also to the regions around the trochlear nucleus and to the raphe interpositus. The present data provide evidence for a role of the caudal VLPF areas/fields in controlling oculomotor behavior not only through their connections to area 8/FEF, but also in parallel through a direct access to preoculomotor brainstem structures and to the cerebellar and basal ganglia oculomotor loops. PMID:24068552

  7. Anatomical insights into the interaction of emotion and cognition in the prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Rebecca; Zald, David H.

    2011-01-01

    Ray, R. and D. Zald. Anatomical insights into the interaction of emotion and cognition in the prefrontal cortex. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV 36(X) XXX-XXX, 2011. -Psychological research increasingly indicates that emotional processes interact with other aspects of cognition. Studies have demonstrated both the ability of emotional stimuli to influence a broad range of cognitive operations, and the ability of humans to use top-down cognitive control mechanisms to regulate emotional responses. Portions of the prefrontal cortex appear to play a significant role in these interactions. However, the manner in which these interactions are implemented remains only partially elucidated. In the present review we describe the anatomical connections between ventral and dorsal prefrontal areas as well as their connections with limbic regions. Only a subset of prefrontal areas are likely to directly influence amygdalar processing, and as such models of prefrontal control of emotions and models of emotional regulation should be constrained to plausible pathways of influence. We also focus on how the specific pattern of feedforward and feedback connections between these regions may dictate the nature of information flow between ventral and dorsal prefrontal areas and the amygdala. These patterns of connections are inconsistent with several commonly expressed assumptions about the nature of communications between emotion and cognition. PMID:21889953

  8. Tics are caused by alterations in prefrontal areas, thalamus and putamen, while changes in the cingulate gyrus reflect secondary compensatory mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Despite strong evidence that the pathophysiology of Tourette syndrome (TS) involves structural and functional disturbances of the basal ganglia and cortical frontal areas, findings from in vivo imaging studies have provided conflicting results. In this study we used whole brain diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate the microstructural integrity of white matter pathways and brain tissue in 19 unmedicated, adult, male patients with TS “only” (without comorbid psychiatric disorders) and 20 age- and sex-matched control subjects. Results Compared to normal controls, TS patients showed a decrease in the fractional anisotropy index (FA) bilaterally in the medial frontal gyrus, the pars opercularis of the left inferior frontal gyrus, the middle occipital gyrus, the right cingulate gyrus, and the medial premotor cortex. Increased apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps were detected in the left cingulate gyrus, prefrontal areas, left precentral gyrus, and left putamen. There was a negative correlation between tic severity and FA values in the left superior frontal gyrus, medial frontal gyrus bilaterally, cingulate gyrus bilaterally, and ventral posterior lateral nucleus of the right thalamus, and a positive correlation in the body of the corpus callosum, left thalamus, right superior temporal gyrus, and left parahippocampal gyrus. There was also a positive correlation between regional ADC values and tic severity in the left cingulate gyrus, putamen bilaterally, medial frontal gyrus bilaterally, left precentral gyrus, and ventral anterior nucleus of the left thalamus. Conclusions Our results confirm prior studies suggesting that tics are caused by alterations in prefrontal areas, thalamus and putamen, while changes in the cingulate gyrus seem to reflect secondary compensatory mechanisms. Due to the study design, influences from comorbidities, gender, medication and age can be excluded. PMID:24397347

  9. Claustrum projections to prefrontal cortex in the capuchin monkey (Cebus apella)

    PubMed Central

    Reser, David H.; Richardson, Karyn E.; Montibeller, Marina O.; Zhao, Sherry; Chan, Jonathan M. H.; Soares, Juliana G. M.; Chaplin, Tristan A.; Gattass, Ricardo; Rosa, Marcello G. P.

    2014-01-01

    We examined the pattern of retrograde tracer distribution in the claustrum following intracortical injections into the frontal pole (area 10), and in dorsal (area 9), and ventral lateral (area 12) regions of the rostral prefrontal cortex in the tufted capuchin monkey (Cebus apella). The resulting pattern of labeled cells was assessed in relation to the three-dimensional geometry of the claustrum, as well as recent reports of claustrum-prefrontal connections in other primates. Claustrum-prefrontal projections were extensive, and largely concentrated in the ventral half of the claustrum, especially in the rostral 2/3 of the nucleus. Our data are consistent with a topographic arrangement of claustrum-cortical connections in which prefrontal and association cortices receive connections largely from the rostral and medial claustrum. Comparative aspects of claustrum-prefrontal topography across primate species and the implications of claustrum connectivity for understanding of cortical functional networks are explored, and we hypothesize that the claustrum may play a role in controlling or switching between resting state and task-associated cortical networks. PMID:25071475

  10. Larger mid-dorsolateral prefrontal gray matter volume in young binge drinkers revealed by voxel-based morphometry.

    PubMed

    Doallo, Sonia; Cadaveira, Fernando; Corral, Montserrat; Mota, Nayara; López-Caneda, Eduardo; Holguín, Socorro Rodríguez

    2014-01-01

    Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking is a high prevalent pattern of alcohol consumption among young people in several countries. Despite increasing evidence that binge drinking is associated with impairments in executive aspects of working memory (i.e. self-ordered working memory), processes known to depend on the mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann areas 46 and 9), less is known about the impact of binge drinking on prefrontal gray matter integrity. Here, we investigated the effects of binge drinking on gray matter volume of mid- dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in youths. We used voxel-based morphometry on the structural magnetic resonance images of subjects reporting a persistent (at least three years) binge drinking pattern of alcohol use (n = 11; age 22.43 ± 1.03) and control subjects (n = 21; age 22.18 ± 1.08) to measure differences in gray matter volume between both groups. In a region of interest analysis of the mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, after co-varying for age and gender, we observed significantly larger gray matter volume in the left mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann areas 46 and 9) in binge drinkers in comparison with control subjects. Furthermore, there was a significant positive correlation between left mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex volume and Self-Ordered Pointing Test (SOPT) total errors score in binge drinkers. The left mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex volume also correlated with the quantity and speed of alcohol intake. These findings indicate that a repeated exposure to alcohol -that does not meet criteria for alcohol dependence- throughout post-adolescent years and young adulthood is linked with structural anomalies in mid-dorsolateral prefrontal regions critically involved in executive aspects of working memory. PMID:24789323

  11. Larger Mid-Dorsolateral Prefrontal Gray Matter Volume in Young Binge Drinkers Revealed by Voxel-Based Morphometry

    PubMed Central

    Doallo, Sonia; Cadaveira, Fernando; Corral, Montserrat; Mota, Nayara; López-Caneda, Eduardo; Holguín, Socorro Rodríguez

    2014-01-01

    Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking is a high prevalent pattern of alcohol consumption among young people in several countries. Despite increasing evidence that binge drinking is associated with impairments in executive aspects of working memory (i.e. self-ordered working memory), processes known to depend on the mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann areas 46 and 9), less is known about the impact of binge drinking on prefrontal gray matter integrity. Here, we investigated the effects of binge drinking on gray matter volume of mid- dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in youths. We used voxel-based morphometry on the structural magnetic resonance images of subjects reporting a persistent (at least three years) binge drinking pattern of alcohol use (n = 11; age 22.43±1.03) and control subjects (n = 21; age 22.18±1.08) to measure differences in gray matter volume between both groups. In a region of interest analysis of the mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, after co-varying for age and gender, we observed significantly larger gray matter volume in the left mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann areas 46 and 9) in binge drinkers in comparison with control subjects. Furthermore, there was a significant positive correlation between left mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex volume and Self-Ordered Pointing Test (SOPT) total errors score in binge drinkers. The left mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex volume also correlated with the quantity and speed of alcohol intake. These findings indicate that a repeated exposure to alcohol −that does not meet criteria for alcohol dependence− throughout post-adolescent years and young adulthood is linked with structural anomalies in mid-dorsolateral prefrontal regions critically involved in executive aspects of working memory. PMID:24789323

  12. Local circuit neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (areas 24a,b,c, 25 and 32) in the monkey: I. Cell morphology and morphometrics.

    PubMed

    Gabbott, P L; Bacon, S J

    1996-01-22

    This paper provides a comprehensive morphological description of local circuit neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC: areas 24a, 24b, 24c, 25 and 32) of the monkey. Cortical interneurons were identified immunocytochemically by the expression of the calcium binding proteins calretinin (CR), parvalbumin (PV) and calbindin D-28k (CB). Interneurons were also identified using GABA immunocytochemistry. The areal and laminar distributions of CR, PV, and CB cells were consistent across mPFC; their morphological characteristics identified them as local circuit neurons. Throughout layers 2-6: CR immunoreactivity labelled double bouquet and bipolar neurons, PV was localised in large and small basket neurons and in chandelier (axoaxonic) cells, while CB immunoreactivity was present in double bouquet, Martinotti, and neurogliaform neurons. In addition, some cells in layer 1 (including Cajal-Retzius neurons) were CR immunoreactive. Calbindin immunoreactivity also labelled a population of large nonpyramidal neurons deep in the cortex. Other types of CR, PV and CB cells were also immunolabelled. A small population of layer 3 pyramidal cells was weakly CB immunoreactive. Peak cell densities occurred in layer 2/upper layer 3 for CR+ neurons and in upper to midlayer 3 for CB+ cells. PV+ neuron density peaked in midcortex. These observations support and extend a similar study of monkey prefrontal cortex (Condé et al. [1994] J. Comp. Neurol. 341:95-116). The morphologies and combined cortical depth distributions of CR+, PV+, and CB+ neurons were similar to GABA-immunolabelled cells. Local circuit neurons in mPFC displaying NADPH diaphorase activity composed less than 0.25% of the total neuron population, and were distributed in two horizontal strata, in mid- to lower layer 3 and in lower layer 5/upper layer 6. CR, PV and CB immunoreactivity was colocalised in NADPH diaphorase-reactive neurons. The interrelationships between CR+, PV+ and CB+ neurons were investigated using dual

  13. Pyramidal Neurons in Rat Prefrontal Cortex Projecting to Ventral Tegmental Area and Dorsal Raphe Nucleus Express 5-HT2A Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez-Borsetti, Pablo; Cortés, Roser

    2009-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in higher brain functions altered in schizophrenia. Classical antipsychotics modulate cortico-limbic circuits mainly through subcortical D2 receptor blockade, whereas second generation (atypical) antipsychotics preferentially target cortical 5-HT receptors. Anatomical and functional evidence supports a PFC-based control of the brainstem monoaminergic nuclei. Using a combination of retrograde tracing experiments and in situ hybridization we report that a substantial proportion of PFC pyramidal neurons projecting to the dorsal raphe (DR) and/or ventral tegmental area (VTA) express 5-HT2A receptors. Cholera-toxin B application into the DR and the VTA retrogradely labeled projection neurons in the medial PFC (mPFC) and in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). In situ hybridization of 5-HT2A receptor mRNA in the same tissue sections labeled a large neuronal population in mPFC and OFC. The percentage of DR-projecting neurons expressing 5-HT2A receptor mRNA was ∼60% in mPFC and ∼75% in OFC (n = 3). Equivalent values for VTA-projecting neurons were ∼55% in both mPFC and ventral OFC. Thus, 5-HT2A receptor activation/blockade in PFC may have downstream effects on dopaminergic and serotonergic systems via direct descending pathways. Atypical antipsychotics may distally modulate monoaminergic cells through PFC 5-HT2A receptor blockade, presumably decreasing the activity of neurons receiving direct cortical inputs. PMID:19029064

  14. c-Fos immunoreactivity in prefrontal, basal ganglia and limbic areas of the rat brain after central and peripheral administration of ethanol and its metabolite acetaldehyde

    PubMed Central

    Segovia, Kristen N.; Vontell, Regina; López-Cruz, Laura; Salamone, John D.; Correa, Mercè

    2013-01-01

    Considerable evidence indicates that the metabolite of ethanol (EtOH), acetaldehyde, is biologically active. Acetaldehyde can be formed from EtOH peripherally mainly by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), and also centrally by catalase. EtOH and acetaldehyde show differences in their behavioral effects depending upon the route of administration. In terms of their effects on motor activity and motivated behaviors, when administered peripherally acetaldehyde tends to be more potent than EtOH but shows very similar potency administered centrally. Since dopamine (DA) rich areas have an important role in regulating both motor activity and motivation, the present studies were undertaken to compare the effects of central (intraventricular, ICV) and peripheral (intraperitoneal, IP) administration of EtOH and acetaldehyde on a cellular marker of brain activity, c-Fos immunoreactivity, in DA innervated areas. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received an IP injection of vehicle, EtOH (0.5 or 2.5 g/kg) or acetaldehyde (0.1 or 0.5 g/kg) or an ICV injection of vehicle, EtOH or acetaldehyde (2.8 or 14.0 μmoles). IP administration of EtOH minimally induced c-Fos in some regions of the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia, mainly at the low dose (0.5 g/kg), while IP acetaldehyde induced c-Fos in virtually all the structures studied at both doses. Acetaldehyde administered centrally increased c-Fos in all areas studied, a pattern that was very similar to EtOH. Thus, IP administered acetaldehyde was more efficacious than EtOH at inducing c-Fos expression. However, the general pattern of c-Fos induction promoted by ICV EtOH and acetaldehyde was similar. These results are consistent with the pattern observed in behavioral studies in which both substances produced the same magnitude of effect when injected centrally, and produced differences in potency after peripheral administration. PMID:23745109

  15. Dopamine alters AMPA receptor synaptic expression and subunit composition in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area cultured with prefrontal cortex neurons.

    PubMed

    Gao, Can; Wolf, Marina E

    2007-12-26

    Excitatory synapses onto dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) represent a critical site of psychostimulant-induced synaptic plasticity. This plasticity involves alterations in synaptic strength through AMPA receptor (AMPAR) redistribution. Here, we report an in vitro model for studying regulation of AMPAR trafficking in DA neurons under control conditions and after elevation of DA levels, mimicking cocaine exposure. We used cocultures containing rat VTA neurons and prefrontal cortex (PFC) neurons from enhanced cyan fluorescent protein-expressing mice. In VTA-PFC cocultures, D1 receptor activation (10 min) increased synaptic and nonsynaptic glutamate receptor subunit 1 (GluR1) and GluR2 surface expression on DA neurons. NMDA or AMPA receptor antagonists blocked this effect, and it was not observed in pure VTA cultures, suggesting that DA agonists acted on D1 receptors on PFC neurons, altering their excitatory transmission onto VTA DA neurons and, thus, influencing AMPARs. To mimic the longer elevation in extracellular DA levels produced by systemic cocaine, cocultures were incubated with DA for 1 h. Synaptic GluR1 was increased 24 h later, reminiscent of the increased AMPA/NMDA ratio at excitatory synapses onto VTA DA neurons 24 h after cocaine injection (Ungless et al., 2001). In contrast, GluR2 was unchanged. Analysis of colocalization of surface GluR1-3 labeling suggested that control DA neurons express a substantial number of GluR1/2, GluR2/3, and homomeric GluR1 receptors and that the increase in surface AMPARs 24 h after DA exposure may in part reflect increased GluR1/3-containing receptors. These results help define the cellular basis for plasticity underlying the development of behavioral sensitization. PMID:18160635

  16. Local-circuit neurones in the medial prefrontal cortex (areas 25, 32 and 24b) in the rat: morphology and quantitative distribution.

    PubMed

    Gabbott, P L; Dickie, B G; Vaid, R R; Headlam, A J; Bacon, S J

    1997-01-27

    This paper is a light microscopical study describing the detailed morphology and quantitative distribution of local circuit neurones in areas 25, 32, and 24b of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in the rat. Cortical interneurones were identified immunocytochemically by their expression of calretinin (CR), parvalbumin (PV), and calbindin D-28k (CB) immunoreactivity. Neurones immunoreactive for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) were also investigated, as were interneurones containing reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) diaphorase activity. Several distinct classes of CR+, PV+, and CB+ neurones were identified; the most frequent were: bipolar/bitufted CR+ cells in upper layer 3; multipolar PV+ neurones in layers 3 and 5; and bitufted/multipolar CB+ neurones in lower layer 3. CB+ neurones resembling Martinotti and neurogliaform cells were also present in layers 5/6. The morphologies and depth distributions of each cell type were consistent across the three areas of mPFC studied. Seven classes of diaphorase-reactive mPFC neurone are described; these cells were composed about 0.8% of the total neurone population and had a peak distribution located in mid- to lower layer 5 in each area. In areas 32 and 25, three defined bands of diffuse NADPH diaphorase staining were located in layer 2 and in upper and deep layer 5. Diaphorase reactivity was very infrequently colocalised with either CR, PV, or CB immunoreactivities. The numerical densities of neurones (N(V), number of cells per mm3) in each layer were calculated stereologically. The mean total neuronal N(V) estimate for areas 25, 32, and 24b was 51,603 +/- 3,324 (mean +/- S.D.; n = 8). Significant interareal differences were detected. From cortical thickness data and neuronal N(V) estimates, the absolute number of neurones under 1 mm2 of cortical surface (N(C)) have been derived. The mean N(C) value for areas 25, 32, and 24b was 57,328 +/- 7,505 neurones. In immunolabelled Nissl-stained sections, CR

  17. Selective memory retrieval of auditory what and auditory where involves the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kostopoulos, Penelope; Petrides, Michael

    2016-01-01

    There is evidence from the visual, verbal, and tactile memory domains that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in the top–down modulation of activity within posterior cortical areas for the selective retrieval of specific aspects of a memorized experience, a functional process often referred to as active controlled retrieval. In the present functional neuroimaging study, we explore the neural bases of active retrieval for auditory nonverbal information, about which almost nothing is known. Human participants were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a task in which they were presented with short melodies from different locations in a simulated virtual acoustic environment within the scanner and were then instructed to retrieve selectively either the particular melody presented or its location. There were significant activity increases specifically within the midventrolateral prefrontal region during the selective retrieval of nonverbal auditory information. During the selective retrieval of information from auditory memory, the right midventrolateral prefrontal region increased its interaction with the auditory temporal region and the inferior parietal lobule in the right hemisphere. These findings provide evidence that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortical region interacts with specific posterior cortical areas in the human cerebral cortex for the selective retrieval of object and location features of an auditory memory experience. PMID:26831102

  18. Selective memory retrieval of auditory what and auditory where involves the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Kostopoulos, Penelope; Petrides, Michael

    2016-02-16

    There is evidence from the visual, verbal, and tactile memory domains that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in the top-down modulation of activity within posterior cortical areas for the selective retrieval of specific aspects of a memorized experience, a functional process often referred to as active controlled retrieval. In the present functional neuroimaging study, we explore the neural bases of active retrieval for auditory nonverbal information, about which almost nothing is known. Human participants were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a task in which they were presented with short melodies from different locations in a simulated virtual acoustic environment within the scanner and were then instructed to retrieve selectively either the particular melody presented or its location. There were significant activity increases specifically within the midventrolateral prefrontal region during the selective retrieval of nonverbal auditory information. During the selective retrieval of information from auditory memory, the right midventrolateral prefrontal region increased its interaction with the auditory temporal region and the inferior parietal lobule in the right hemisphere. These findings provide evidence that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortical region interacts with specific posterior cortical areas in the human cerebral cortex for the selective retrieval of object and location features of an auditory memory experience. PMID:26831102

  19. Auditory connections and functions of prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Plakke, Bethany; Romanski, Lizabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    The functional auditory system extends from the ears to the frontal lobes with successively more complex functions occurring as one ascends the hierarchy of the nervous system. Several areas of the frontal lobe receive afferents from both early and late auditory processing regions within the temporal lobe. Afferents from the early part of the cortical auditory system, the auditory belt cortex, which are presumed to carry information regarding auditory features of sounds, project to only a few prefrontal regions and are most dense in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). In contrast, projections from the parabelt and the rostral superior temporal gyrus (STG) most likely convey more complex information and target a larger, widespread region of the prefrontal cortex. Neuronal responses reflect these anatomical projections as some prefrontal neurons exhibit responses to features in acoustic stimuli, while other neurons display task-related responses. For example, recording studies in non-human primates indicate that VLPFC is responsive to complex sounds including vocalizations and that VLPFC neurons in area 12/47 respond to sounds with similar acoustic morphology. In contrast, neuronal responses during auditory working memory involve a wider region of the prefrontal cortex. In humans, the frontal lobe is involved in auditory detection, discrimination, and working memory. Past research suggests that dorsal and ventral subregions of the prefrontal cortex process different types of information with dorsal cortex processing spatial/visual information and ventral cortex processing non-spatial/auditory information. While this is apparent in the non-human primate and in some neuroimaging studies, most research in humans indicates that specific task conditions, stimuli or previous experience may bias the recruitment of specific prefrontal regions, suggesting a more flexible role for the frontal lobe during auditory cognition. PMID:25100931

  20. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex mediates visual attention during facial emotion recognition

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Richard C.; Philippi, Carissa L.; Motzkin, Julian C.; Baskaya, Mustafa K.

    2014-01-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is known to play a crucial role in regulating human social and emotional behaviour, yet the precise mechanisms by which it subserves this broad function remain unclear. Whereas previous neuropsychological studies have largely focused on the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in higher-order deliberative processes related to valuation and decision-making, here we test whether ventromedial prefrontal cortex may also be critical for more basic aspects of orienting attention to socially and emotionally meaningful stimuli. Using eye tracking during a test of facial emotion recognition in a sample of lesion patients, we show that bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage impairs visual attention to the eye regions of faces, particularly for fearful faces. This finding demonstrates a heretofore unrecognized function of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex—the basic attentional process of controlling eye movements to faces expressing emotion. PMID:24691392

  1. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex mediates visual attention during facial emotion recognition.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Richard C; Philippi, Carissa L; Motzkin, Julian C; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael

    2014-06-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is known to play a crucial role in regulating human social and emotional behaviour, yet the precise mechanisms by which it subserves this broad function remain unclear. Whereas previous neuropsychological studies have largely focused on the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in higher-order deliberative processes related to valuation and decision-making, here we test whether ventromedial prefrontal cortex may also be critical for more basic aspects of orienting attention to socially and emotionally meaningful stimuli. Using eye tracking during a test of facial emotion recognition in a sample of lesion patients, we show that bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage impairs visual attention to the eye regions of faces, particularly for fearful faces. This finding demonstrates a heretofore unrecognized function of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex-the basic attentional process of controlling eye movements to faces expressing emotion. PMID:24691392

  2. Geologic and hydrologic aspects of tunneling in the Twin Cities area, Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Norvitch, Ralph F.; Walton, Matt S.

    1979-01-01

    This report presents the results of a pilot study of geologic and hydrologic aspects of tunneling in part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul (Twin Cities) metropolitan area, Minnesota. The Minnesota Geological Survey collected, compiled and interpreted geologic and engineering-test data and the U.S. Geological Survey complies and interpreted hydrologic data. The report was prepared on behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation and funding was provided by that agency. A similar pilot study was recently made in the Los Angeles area, California (Yerkes and others, 1977).

  3. The Cortical Signature of Central Poststroke Pain: Gray Matter Decreases in Somatosensory, Insular, and Prefrontal Cortices.

    PubMed

    Krause, T; Asseyer, S; Taskin, B; Flöel, A; Witte, A V; Mueller, K; Fiebach, J B; Villringer, K; Villringer, A; Jungehulsing, G J

    2016-01-01

    It has been proposed that cortical structural plasticity plays a crucial role in the emergence and maintenance of chronic pain. Various distinct pain syndromes have accordingly been linked to specific patterns of decreases in regional gray matter volume (GMV). However, it is not known whether central poststroke pain (CPSP) is also associated with cortical structural plasticity. To determine this, we employed T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T and voxel-based morphometry in 45 patients suffering from chronic subcortical sensory stroke with (n = 23) and without CPSP (n = 22), and healthy matched controls (n = 31). CPSP patients showed decreases in GMV in comparison to healthy controls, involving secondary somatosensory cortex (S2), anterior as well as posterior insular cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex, temporal cortex, and nucleus accumbens. Comparing CPSP patients to nonpain patients revealed a similar but more restricted pattern of atrophy comprising S2, ventrolateral prefrontal and temporal cortex. Additionally, GMV in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex negatively correlated to pain intensity ratings. This shows for the first time that CPSP is accompanied by a unique pattern of widespread structural plasticity, which involves the sensory-discriminative areas of insular/somatosensory cortex, but also expands into prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum, where emotional aspects of pain are processed. PMID:25129889

  4. Increased Functional Connectivity between Prefrontal Cortex and Reward System in Pathological Gambling

    PubMed Central

    Koehler, Saskia; Ovadia-Caro, Smadar; van der Meer, Elke; Villringer, Arno; Heinz, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Pathological gambling (PG) shares clinical characteristics with substance-use disorders and is thus discussed as a behavioral addiction. Recent neuroimaging studies on PG report functional changes in prefrontal structures and the mesolimbic reward system. While an imbalance between these structures has been related to addictive behavior, whether their dysfunction in PG is reflected in the interaction between them remains unclear. We addressed this question using functional connectivity resting-state fMRI in male subjects with PG and controls. Seed-based functional connectivity was computed using two regions-of-interest, based on the results of a previous voxel-based morphometry study, located in the prefrontal cortex and the mesolimbic reward system (right middle frontal gyrus and right ventral striatum). PG patients demonstrated increased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to the right striatum as compared to controls, which was also positively correlated with nonplanning aspect of impulsiveness, smoking and craving scores in the PG group. Moreover, PG patients demonstrated decreased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to other prefrontal areas as compared to controls. The right ventral striatum demonstrated increased connectivity to the right superior and middle frontal gyrus and left cerebellum in PG patients as compared to controls. The increased connectivity to the cerebellum was positively correlated with smoking in the PG group. Our results provide further evidence for alterations in functional connectivity in PG with increased connectivity between prefrontal regions and the reward system, similar to connectivity changes reported in substance use disorder. PMID:24367675

  5. Developmental Outcomes after Early Prefrontal Cortex Damage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eslinger, Paul J.; Flaherty-Craig, Claire V.; Benton, Arthur L.

    2004-01-01

    The neuropsychological bases of cognitive, social, and moral development are minimally understood, with a seemingly wide chasm between developmental theories and brain maturation models. As one approach to bridging ideas in these areas, we review 10 cases of early prefrontal cortex damage from the clinical literature, highlighting overall clinical…

  6. Intentional signal in prefrontal cortex generalizes across different sensory modalities.

    PubMed

    Choi, Kyuwan; Torres, Elizabeth B

    2014-07-01

    Biofeedback-EEG training to learn the mental control of an external device (e.g., a cursor on the screen) has been an important paradigm to attempt to understand the involvements of various areas of the brain in the volitional control and the modulation of intentional thought processes. Often the areas to adapt and to monitor progress are selected a priori. Less explored, however, has been the notion of automatically emerging activation in a particular area or subregions within that area recruited above and beyond the rest of the brain. Likewise, the notion of evoking such a signal as an amodal, abstract one remaining robust across different sensory modalities could afford some exploration. Here we develop a simple binary control task in the context of brain-computer interface (BCI) and use a Bayesian sparse probit classification algorithm to automatically uncover brain regional activity that maximizes task performance. We trained and tested 19 participants using the visual modality for instructions and feedback. Across training blocks we quantified coupling of the frontoparietal nodes and selective involvement of visual and auditory regions as a function of the real-time sensory feedback. The testing phase under both forms of sensory feedback revealed automatic recruitment of the prefrontal cortex with a parcellation of higher strength levels in Brodmann's areas 9, 10, and 11 significantly above those in other brain areas. We propose that the prefrontal signal may be a neural correlate of externally driven intended direction and discuss our results in the context of various aspects involved in the cognitive control of our thoughts. PMID:24259543

  7. Complementary Patterns of Direct Amygdala and Hippocampal Projections to the Macaque Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Aggleton, John P.; Wright, Nicholas F.; Rosene, Douglas L.; Saunders, Richard C.

    2015-01-01

    The projections from the amygdala and hippocampus (including subiculum and presubiculum) to prefrontal cortex were compared using anterograde tracers injected into macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis, Macaca mulatta). Almost all prefrontal areas were found to receive some amygdala inputs. These connections, which predominantly arose from the intermediate and magnocellular basal nucleus, were particularly dense in parts of the medial and orbital prefrontal cortex. Contralateral inputs were not, however, observed. The hippocampal projections to prefrontal areas were far more restricted, being confined to the ipsilateral medial and orbital prefrontal cortex (within areas 11, 13, 14, 24a, 32, and 25). These hippocampal projections principally arose from the subiculum, with the fornix providing the sole route. Thus, while the lateral prefrontal cortex essentially receives only amygdala inputs, the orbital prefrontal cortex receives both amygdala and hippocampal inputs, though these typically target different areas. Only in medial prefrontal cortex do direct inputs from both structures terminate in common sites. But, even when convergence occurs within an area, the projections predominantly terminate in different lamina (hippocampal inputs to layer III and amygdala inputs to layers I, II, and VI). The resulting segregation of prefrontal inputs could enable the parallel processing of different information types in prefrontal cortex. PMID:25715284

  8. Large area UV casting using diverse polyacrylates of microchannels separated by high aspect ratio microwalls.

    PubMed

    Zhou, W X; Chan-Park, Mary B

    2005-05-01

    Large area molding of long and deep microchannels separated by high aspect ratio microwalls is important for high sensitivity and high throughput microfluidic devices. Ultraviolet (UV) casting is a feasible, economical and convenient method of replication of such microstructures in plastics. It is shown that a wide variety of polyacrylates with diverse properties such as those made from epoxy (EP), polyurethane (UR), polyester (ES), poly (ethylene glycol) (EG) and poly(propylene glycol) (PG) can be used for the high aspect ratio (7-9) UV casting of such linear microstructures over a 100 mm diameter, enlarging the range of applications of the replicated microstructures. Some challenges arise. With the EG formulation, wavy microstructures were observed; this can be overcome by stress relaxation. With non-polar PG formulation, poor adhesion between the polyester substrate and resin can lead to delamination of the casting from the substrate during demolding; this can be overcome by pre-coating a partially cured same resin on the polyester substrate. An optimum UV irradiation time was important for cure at the deepest end of the microstructure without excessive crosslinking leading to much increased demolding forces. The viscosity and wetting capability of the formulations were found to affect replication fidelity. PMID:15856087

  9. The Effects of Vision-Related Aspects on Noise Perception of Wind Turbines in Quiet Areas

    PubMed Central

    Maffei, Luigi; Iachini, Tina; Masullo, Massimiliano; Aletta, Francesco; Sorrentino, Francesco; Senese, Vincenzo Paolo; Ruotolo, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    Preserving the soundscape and geographic extension of quiet areas is a great challenge against the wide-spreading of environmental noise. The E.U. Environmental Noise Directive underlines the need to preserve quiet areas as a new aim for the management of noise in European countries. At the same time, due to their low population density, rural areas characterized by suitable wind are considered appropriate locations for installing wind farms. However, despite the fact that wind farms are represented as environmentally friendly projects, these plants are often viewed as visual and audible intruders, that spoil the landscape and generate noise. Even though the correlations are still unclear, it is obvious that visual impacts of wind farms could increase due to their size and coherence with respect to the rural/quiet environment. In this paper, by using the Immersive Virtual Reality technique, some visual and acoustical aspects of the impact of a wind farm on a sample of subjects were assessed and analyzed. The subjects were immersed in a virtual scenario that represented a situation of a typical rural outdoor scenario that they experienced at different distances from the wind turbines. The influence of the number and the colour of wind turbines on global, visual and auditory judgment were investigated. The main results showed that, regarding the number of wind turbines, the visual component has a weak effect on individual reactions, while the colour influences both visual and auditory individual reactions, although in a different way. PMID:23624578

  10. The effects of vision-related aspects on noise perception of wind turbines in quiet areas.

    PubMed

    Maffei, Luigi; Iachini, Tina; Masullo, Massimiliano; Aletta, Francesco; Sorrentino, Francesco; Senese, Vincenzo Paolo; Ruotolo, Francesco

    2013-05-01

    Preserving the soundscape and geographic extension of quiet areas is a great challenge against the wide-spreading of environmental noise. The E.U. Environmental Noise Directive underlines the need to preserve quiet areas as a new aim for the management of noise in European countries. At the same time, due to their low population density, rural areas characterized by suitable wind are considered appropriate locations for installing wind farms. However, despite the fact that wind farms are represented as environmentally friendly projects, these plants are often viewed as visual and audible intruders, that spoil the landscape and generate noise. Even though the correlations are still unclear, it is obvious that visual impacts of wind farms could increase due to their size and coherence with respect to the rural/quiet environment. In this paper, by using the Immersive Virtual Reality technique, some visual and acoustical aspects of the impact of a wind farm on a sample of subjects were assessed and analyzed. The subjects were immersed in a virtual scenario that represented a situation of a typical rural outdoor scenario that they experienced at different distances from the wind turbines. The influence of the number and the colour of wind turbines on global, visual and auditory judgment were investigated. The main results showed that, regarding the number of wind turbines, the visual component has a weak effect on individual reactions, while the colour influences both visual and auditory individual reactions, although in a different way. PMID:23624578

  11. Static Footprint Local Forces, Areas, and Aspect Ratios for Three Type 7 Aircraft Tires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howell, William E.; Perez, Sharon E.; Vogler, William A.

    1991-01-01

    The National Tire Modeling Program (NTMP) is a joint NASA/industry effort to improve the understanding of tire mechanics and develop accurate analytical design tools. This effort includes fundamental analytical and experimental research on the structural mechanics of tires. Footprint local forces, areas, and aspect ratios were measured. Local footprint forces in the vertical, lateral, and drag directions were measured with a special footprint force transducer. Measurements of the local forces in the footprint were obtained by positioning the transducer at specified locations within the footprint and externally loading the tires. Three tires were tested: (1) one representative of those used on the main landing gear of B-737 and DC-9 commercial transport airplanes, (2) a nose landing gear tire for the Space Shuttle Orbiter, and (3) a main landing gear tire for the Space Shuttle Orbiter. Data obtained for various inflation pressures and vertical loads are presented for two aircraft tires. The results are presented in graphical and tabulated forms.

  12. Large-area thermoelectric high-aspect-ratio nanostructures by atomic layer deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruoho, Mikko; Juntunen, Taneli; Tittonen, Ilkka

    2016-09-01

    We report on the thermoelectric properties of large-area high-aspect-ratio nanostructures. We fabricate the structures by atomic layer deposition of conformal ZnO thin films on track-etched polycarbonate substrate. The resulting structure consists of ZnO tubules which continue through the full thickness of the substrate. The electrical and thermal properties of the structures are studied both in-plane and out-of-plane. They exhibit very low out-of-plane thermal conductivity down to 0.15 W m‑1 K‑1 while the in-plane sheet resistance of the films was found to be half that of the same film on glass substrate, allowing material-independent doubling of output power of any planar thin-film thermoelectric generator. The wall thickness of the fabricated nanotubes was varied within a range of up to 100 nm. The samples show polycrystalline nature with (002) preferred crystal orientation.

  13. Finding prefrontal cortex in the rat.

    PubMed

    Leonard, Christiana M

    2016-08-15

    The prefrontal cortex of the rat. I. Cortical projection of the mediodorsal nucleus. II. Efferent connections The cortical projection field of the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus (MD) was identified in the rat using the Fink-Heimer silver technique for tracing degenerating fibers. Small stereotaxic lesions confined to MD were followed by terminal degeneration in the dorsal bank of the rhinal sulcus (sulcal cortex) and the medial wall of the hemisphere anterior and dorsal to the genu of the corpus callosum (medial cortex). No degenerating fibers were traced to the convexity of the hemisphere. The cortical formation receiving a projection from MD is of a relatively undifferentiated type which had been previously classified as juxtallocortex. A study of the efferent fiber connections of the rat׳s MD-projection cortex demonstrated some similarities to those of monkey prefrontal cortex. A substantial projection to the pretectal area and deep layers of the superior colliculus originates in medial cortex, a connection previously reported for caudal prefrontal (area 8) cortex in the monkey. Sulcal cortex projects to basal olfactory structures and lateral hypothalamus, as does orbital frontal cortex in the monkey. The rat׳s MD-projection cortex differs from that in the monkey in that it lacks a granular layer and appears to have no prominent direct associations with temporal and juxtahippocampal areas. Furthermore, retrograde degeneration does not appear in the rat thalamus after damage to MD-projection areas, suggesting that the striatum or thalamus receives a proportionally larger share of the MD-projection in this animal than it does in the monkey. Comparative behavioral investigations are in progress to investigate functional differences between granular prefrontal cortex in the primate and the relatively primitive MD-projection cortex in the rat. © 1969. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:50th Anniversary Issue. PMID:26867704

  14. The effect of area aspect ratio on the yawing moments of rudders at large angles of pitch on three fuselages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dryden, Hugh L; Monish, B H

    1933-01-01

    This reports presents the results of measurements made of yawing moments produced by rudder displacement for seven rudders mounted on each of three fuselages at angles of pitch of 0 degree, 8 degrees, 12 degrees, 20 degrees, 30 degrees and 40 degrees. The dimensions of the rudders were selected to cover the range of areas and aspect ratios commonly used, while the ratios of rudder area to fin area and of rudder chord to fin chord were kept approximately constant. An important result of the measurements is to show that increased aspect ratio gives increased yawing moments for a given area, provided the maximum rudder displacement does not exceed 25 degrees. If large rudder displacements are used, the effect of aspect ratio is not so great.

  15. Differential balance of prefrontal synaptic activity in successful versus unsuccessful cognitive aging.

    PubMed

    Bories, Cyril; Husson, Zoé; Guitton, Matthieu J; De Koninck, Yves

    2013-01-23

    Normal aging is associated with a variable decline in cognitive functions. Among these, executive function, decision-making, and working memory are primarily associated with the prefrontal cortex. Although a number of studies have examined the structural substrates of cognitive decline associated with aging within this cortical area, their functional correlates remain poorly understood. To fill this gap, we aimed to identify functional synaptic substrates of age-associated frontal-dependent deficits in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of medial prefrontal cortex of 3-, 9-, and ≥ 23-month-old Fischer 344 rats. We combined, in the same animals, novelty recognition and exploratory behavioral tasks with assessment of structural and functional aspects of prefrontal synaptic properties. We found that subsets of aged animals displayed stereotyped exploratory behavior or memory deficits. Despite an age-dependent dendritic spine loss, patch-clamp recording of synaptic activity revealed an increase in miniature EPSC frequency restricted to aged animals with preserved exploratory behavior. In contrast, we found a strong positive relationship between miniature IPSC frequency and the occurrence of both stereotyped exploratory behavior and novelty-related memory deficits. The enhanced miniature inhibitory tone was accompanied by a deficit in activity-driven inhibition, also suggesting an impaired dynamic range for modulation of inhibition in the aged, cognitively impaired animals. Together, our data indicate that differential changes in the balance of inhibitory to excitatory synaptic tone may underlie distinct trajectories in the evolution of cognitive performance during aging. PMID:23345211

  16. Preliminary appraisal of the geohydrologic aspects of drainage wells, Orlando area, central Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kimrey, Joel O.

    1978-01-01

    The Floridan aquifer contains two highly transmissive cavernous zones in the Orlando area: an upper producing zone about 150-600 feet below land surface and a lower producing zone about 1,100-1 ,500 feet below land surface. Natural head differences are downward and there is hydraulic connection between the two producing zones. Drainage wells are finished open-end into the upper producing zone and emplace surface waters directly into that zone by gravity. Quantitatively, their use constitutes an effective method of artificial recharge. Their negative aspects relate to the probably poor, but unknown, quality of the recharge water. Caution is suggested in drawing definite and final conclusions on the overall geohydrologic and environmental effects of drainage wells prior to the collection and interpretation of a considerable quantity of new data. Though few ground-water pollution problems have been documented, the potential for pollution should be seriously considered in light of the probable continuing need to use drainage wells; the probable volumes and quality of water involved; and the hydraulic relations between the two producing zones. (Woodard-USGS)

  17. Large-area thermoelectric high-aspect-ratio nanostructures by atomic layer deposition.

    PubMed

    Ruoho, Mikko; Juntunen, Taneli; Tittonen, Ilkka

    2016-09-01

    We report on the thermoelectric properties of large-area high-aspect-ratio nanostructures. We fabricate the structures by atomic layer deposition of conformal ZnO thin films on track-etched polycarbonate substrate. The resulting structure consists of ZnO tubules which continue through the full thickness of the substrate. The electrical and thermal properties of the structures are studied both in-plane and out-of-plane. They exhibit very low out-of-plane thermal conductivity down to 0.15 W m(-1) K(-1) while the in-plane sheet resistance of the films was found to be half that of the same film on glass substrate, allowing material-independent doubling of output power of any planar thin-film thermoelectric generator. The wall thickness of the fabricated nanotubes was varied within a range of up to 100 nm. The samples show polycrystalline nature with (002) preferred crystal orientation. PMID:27454037

  18. Thiamine deficiency decreases glutamate uptake in the prefrontal cortex and impairs spatial memory performance in a water maze test.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Fabiana M; Pereira, Silvia R C; Pires, Rita G W; Ferraz, Vany P; Romano-Silva, Marco Aurélio; Oliveira-Silva, Ieda F; Ribeiro, Angela M

    2006-04-01

    Using an animal model of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, in which rats were submitted to a chronic ethanol treatment with or without a thiamine deficiency episode, the glutamate uptake in the prefrontal cortex and spatial memory aspects were studied. It was found that (i) thiamine deficiency, but not chronic ethanol consumption, induced a significant decrease of glutamate uptake; (ii) thiamine-deficient subjects showed an impaired performance in the water maze spatial memory test though these animals were able to learn the task during the acquisition. In spite of the fact that thiamine deficiency affects both glutamate uptake and spatial reference memory, there was no significant correlation between these two data. The present results show that, although prefrontal cortex is considered by some authors a not vulnerable area to lesions caused by thiamine deficiency, this vitamin deficiency does cause a neurochemistry dysfunction in that region. PMID:16687165

  19. From sensorimotor learning to memory cells in prefrontal and temporal association cortex: a neurocomputational study of disembodiment.

    PubMed

    Pulvermüller, Friedemann; Garagnani, Max

    2014-08-01

    Memory cells, the ultimate neurobiological substrates of working memory, remain active for several seconds and are most commonly found in prefrontal cortex and higher multisensory areas. However, if correlated activity in "embodied" sensorimotor systems underlies the formation of memory traces, why should memory cells emerge in areas distant from their antecedent activations in sensorimotor areas, thus leading to "disembodiment" (movement away from sensorimotor systems) of memory mechanisms? We modelled the formation of memory circuits in six-area neurocomputational architectures, implementing motor and sensory primary, secondary and higher association areas in frontotemporal cortices along with known between-area neuroanatomical connections. Sensorimotor learning driven by Hebbian neuroplasticity led to formation of cell assemblies distributed across the different areas of the network. These action-perception circuits (APCs) ignited fully when stimulated, thus providing a neural basis for long-term memory (LTM) of sensorimotor information linked by learning. Subsequent to ignition, activity vanished rapidly from APC neurons in sensorimotor areas but persisted in those in multimodal prefrontal and temporal areas. Such persistent activity provides a mechanism for working memory for actions, perceptions and symbols, including short-term phonological and semantic storage. Cell assembly ignition and "disembodied" working memory retreat of activity to multimodal areas are documented in the neurocomputational models' activity dynamics, at the level of single cells, circuits, and cortical areas. Memory disembodiment is explained neuromechanistically by APC formation and structural neuroanatomical features of the model networks, especially the central role of multimodal prefrontal and temporal cortices in bridging between sensory and motor areas. These simulations answer the "where" question of cortical working memory in terms of distributed APCs and their inner structure

  20. Prefrontal parvalbumin interneurons shape neuronal activity to drive fear expression.

    PubMed

    Courtin, Julien; Chaudun, Fabrice; Rozeske, Robert R; Karalis, Nikolaos; Gonzalez-Campo, Cecilia; Wurtz, Hélène; Abdi, Azzedine; Baufreton, Jerome; Bienvenu, Thomas C M; Herry, Cyril

    2014-01-01

    Synchronization of spiking activity in neuronal networks is a fundamental process that enables the precise transmission of information to drive behavioural responses. In cortical areas, synchronization of principal-neuron spiking activity is an effective mechanism for information coding that is regulated by GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid)-ergic interneurons through the generation of neuronal oscillations. Although neuronal synchrony has been demonstrated to be crucial for sensory, motor and cognitive processing, it has not been investigated at the level of defined circuits involved in the control of emotional behaviour. Converging evidence indicates that fear behaviour is regulated by the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC). This control over fear behaviour relies on the activation of specific prefrontal projections to the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA), a structure that encodes associative fear memories. However, it remains to be established how the precise temporal control of fear behaviour is achieved at the level of prefrontal circuits. Here we use single-unit recordings and optogenetic manipulations in behaving mice to show that fear expression is causally related to the phasic inhibition of prefrontal parvalbumin interneurons (PVINs). Inhibition of PVIN activity disinhibits prefrontal projection neurons and synchronizes their firing by resetting local theta oscillations, leading to fear expression. Our results identify two complementary neuronal mechanisms mediated by PVINs that precisely coordinate and enhance the neuronal activity of prefrontal projection neurons to drive fear expression. PMID:24256726

  1. Deficits in prospective memory following damage to the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Umeda, Satoshi; Kurosaki, Yoshiko; Terasawa, Yuri; Kato, Motoichiro; Miyahara, Yasuyuki

    2011-07-01

    Neuropsychological investigations of prospective memory (PM), representing memory of future intentions or plans, have evolved over the past two decades. The broadly accepted divisions involved in PM consist of a prospective memory component (PMC), a process for remembering to remember, and a retrospective memory component, a process for remembering the content of the intended action. Previous functional neuroimaging studies have provided some evidence that the rostral prefrontal cortex (BA10) is one of areas that is critical for prospective remembering. However, the question of whether damage to part of the prefrontal cortex affects attenuated performance for PMC remains unresolved. In this study, 74 participants with traumatic brain injury (TBI) including focal damage to frontal or temporal lobe areas were administered thirteen standard neuropsychological tests and the PM task. To identify influential areas contributing to PM performance, discriminant function analysis was conducted. The results indicated that the following three areas are highly contributory to PM performance: the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex; and the left dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. Comparing differences in neuropsychological test scores showed that orientation scores were significantly higher in the greater PM performance group, suggesting that PMC represents an integrated memory function associated with awareness of current status. These data contribute to our understanding of the neural substrates and functional characteristics of the PMC. PMID:21477605

  2. MRI volumetry of prefrontal cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheline, Yvette I.; Black, Kevin J.; Lin, Daniel Y.; Pimmel, Joseph; Wang, Po; Haller, John W.; Csernansky, John G.; Gado, Mokhtar; Walkup, Ronald K.; Brunsden, Barry S.; Vannier, Michael W.

    1995-05-01

    Prefrontal cortex volumetry by brain magnetic resonance (MR) is required to estimate changes postulated to occur in certain psychiatric and neurologic disorders. A semiautomated method with quantitative characterization of its performance is sought to reliably distinguish small prefrontal cortex volume changes within individuals and between groups. Stereological methods were tested by a blinded comparison of measurements applied to 3D MR scans obtained using an MPRAGE protocol. Fixed grid stereologic methods were used to estimate prefrontal cortex volumes on a graphic workstation, after the images are scaled from 16 to 8 bits using a histogram method. In addition images were resliced into coronal sections perpendicular to the bicommissural plane. Prefrontal cortex volumes were defined as all sections of the frontal lobe anterior to the anterior commissure. Ventricular volumes were excluded. Stereological measurement yielded high repeatability and precision, and was time efficient for the raters. The coefficient of error was prefrontal cortex boundaries on 3D images was critical to obtaining accurate measurements. MR prefrontal cortex volumetry by stereology can yield accurate and repeatable measurements. Small frontal lobe volume reductions in patients with brain disorders such as depression and schizophrenia can be efficiently assessed using this method.

  3. Reduced Prefrontal Connectivity in Psychopathy

    PubMed Central

    Motzkin, Julian C.; Newman, Joseph P.; Kiehl, Kent A.; Koenigs, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Linking psychopathy to a specific brain abnormality could have significant clinical, legal, and scientific implications. Theories on the neurobiological basis of the disorder typically propose dysfunction in a circuit involving ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). However, to date there is limited brain imaging data to directly test whether psychopathy may indeed be associated with any structural or functional abnormality within this brain area. In this study, we employ two complementary imaging techniques to assess the structural and functional connectivity of vmPFC in psychopathic and non-psychopathic criminals. Using diffusion tensor imaging, we show that psychopathy is associated with reduced structural integrity in the right uncinate fasciculus, the primary white matter connection between vmPFC and anterior temporal lobe. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show that psychopathy is associated with reduced functional connectivity between vmPFC and amygdala as well as between vmPFC and medial parietal cortex. Together, these data converge to implicate diminished vmPFC connectivity as a characteristic neurobiological feature of psychopathy. PMID:22131397

  4. Synapse plasticity in motor, sensory, and limbo-prefrontal cortex areas as measured by degrading axon terminals in an environment model of gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus).

    PubMed

    Neufeld, Janina; Teuchert-Noodt, Gertraud; Grafen, Keren; Winter, York; Witte, A Veronica

    2009-01-01

    Still little is known about naturally occurring synaptogenesis in the adult neocortex and related impacts of epigenetic influences. We therefore investigated (pre)synaptic plasticity in various cortices of adult rodents, visualized by secondary lysosome accumulations (LA) in remodeling axon terminals. Twenty-two male gerbils from either enriched (ER) or impoverished rearing (IR) were used for quantification of silver-stained LA. ER-animals showed rather low LA densities in most primary fields, whereas barrel and secondary/associative cortices exhibited higher densities and layer-specific differences. In IR-animals, these differences were evened out or even inverted. Basic plastic capacities might be linked with remodeling of local intrinsic circuits in the context of cortical map adaptation in both IR- and ER-animals. Frequently described disturbances due to IR in multiple corticocortical and extracortical afferent systems, including the mesocortical dopamine projection, might have led to maladaptations in the plastic capacities of prefronto-limbic areas, as indicated by different LA densities in IR- compared with ER-animals. PMID:19809517

  5. Child Rearing in Lesotho: Some Aspects of Child Rearing in the Teyateyaneng Area.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bam, Edna E.

    This study presents first-hand information on aspects of the developmental process during the first five years of life in rural Teyateyaneng in Lesotho, a small country surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. Implicit in the study is the assumption that a relationship exists between informal education at home and formal education at school.…

  6. Identification and distribution of projections from monoaminergic and cholinergic nuclei to functionally differentiated subregions of prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Chandler, Daniel J.; Lamperski, Carolyn S.; Waterhouse, Barry D.

    2013-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is implicated in a variety of cognitive and executive functions and is composed of several distinct networks, including anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). These regions serve dissociable cognitive functions, and are heavily innervated by acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine systems. In this study, fluorescently labeled retrograde tracers were injected into the ACC, mPFC, and OFC, and labeled cells were identified in the nucleus basalis (NB), ventral tegmental area (VTA), dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) and locus coeruleus (LC). DRN and LC showed similar distributions of retrogradely labeled neurons such that most were single labeled and the largest population projected to mPFC. VTA showed a slightly greater proportion of double and triple labeled neurons, with the largest population projecting to OFC. NB, on the other hand, showed mostly double and triple labeled neurons projecting to multiple subregions. Therefore, subsets of VTA, DRN and LC neurons may be capable of modulating individual prefrontal subregions independently, whereas NB cells may exert a more unified influence on the three areas simultaneously. These findings emphasize the unique aspects of the cholinergic and monoaminergic projections to functionally and anatomically distinct subregions of PFC. PMID:23665053

  7. Feeling Present in Arousing Virtual Reality Worlds: Prefrontal Brain Regions Differentially Orchestrate Presence Experience in Adults and Children

    PubMed Central

    Baumgartner, Thomas; Speck, Dominique; Wettstein, Denise; Masnari, Ornella; Beeli, Gian; Jäncke, Lutz

    2008-01-01

    Virtual reality (VR) is a powerful tool for simulating aspects of the real world. The success of VR is thought to depend on its ability to evoke a sense of “being there”, that is, the feeling of “Presence”. In view of the rapid progress in the development of increasingly more sophisticated virtual environments (VE), the importance of understanding the neural underpinnings of presence is growing. To date however, the neural correlates of this phenomenon have received very scant attention. An fMRI-based study with 52 adults and 25 children was therefore conducted using a highly immersive VE. The experience of presence in adult subjects was found to be modulated by two major strategies involving two homologous prefrontal brain structures. Whereas the right DLPFC controlled the sense of presence by down-regulating the activation in the egocentric dorsal visual processing stream, the left DLPFC up-regulated widespread areas of the medial prefrontal cortex known to be involved in self-reflective and stimulus-independent thoughts. In contrast, there was no evidence of these two strategies in children. In fact, anatomical analyses showed that these two prefrontal areas have not yet reached full maturity in children. Taken together, this study presents the first findings that show activation of a highly specific neural network orchestrating the experience of presence in adult subjects, and that the absence of activity in this neural network might contribute to the generally increased susceptibility of children for the experience of presence in VEs. PMID:18958209

  8. Interplay of hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in memory

    PubMed Central

    Preston, Alison R.; Eichenbaum, Howard

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies on the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex have considerably advanced our understanding of the distinct roles of these brain areas in the encoding and retrieval of memories, and of how they interact in the prolonged process by which new memories are consolidated into our permanent storehouse of knowledge. These studies have led to a new model of how the hippocampus forms and replays memories and how the prefrontal cortex engages representations of the meaningful contexts in which related memories occur, as well as how these areas interact during memory retrieval. Furthermore, they have provided new insights into how interactions between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex support the assimilation of new memories into pre-existing networks of knowledge, called schemas, and how schemas are modified in this process as the foundation of memory consolidation. PMID:24028960

  9. Hydrogeological aspects of groundwater drainage of the urban areas in Kuwait City

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Rashed, Muhammad F.; Sherif, Mohsen M.

    2001-04-01

    Residential areas in Kuwait City have witnessed a dramatic rise in subsurface water tables over the last three decades. This water rise phenomenon is attributed mainly to over irrigation practices of private gardens along with leakage from domestic and sewage networks. This paper presents a comprehensive study for urban drainage in two selected areas representing the two hydrogeological settings encountered in Kuwait City. In the first area, a vertical drainage scheme was applied successfully over an area of 1 km2. The system has been under continuous operation and monitoring for more than 4 years without problems, providing a permanent solution for the water rise problem in this area. The hydrogeological system has approached steady state conditions and the water levels have dropped to about 3·5 m below the ground surface. In the second area a dual drainage scheme, composing of horizontal and vertical elements, is proposed. Horizontal elements are suggested in the areas where the deep groundwater contains hazardous gases that may pose environmental problems. The proposed drainage scheme in the second area has not yet been implemented. Field tests were conducted to assess the aquifer parameters in both areas and a numerical model has been developed to predict the long-term response of the hydrogeological system in the two areas under consideration.

  10. Role of Prefrontal Persistent Activity in Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Riley, Mitchell R.; Constantinidis, Christos

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is activated during working memory, as evidenced by fMRI results in human studies and neurophysiological recordings in animal models. Persistent activity during the delay period of working memory tasks, after the offset of stimuli that subjects are required to remember, has traditionally been thought of as the neural correlate of working memory. In the last few years several findings have cast doubt on the role of this activity. By some accounts, activity in other brain areas, such as the primary visual and posterior parietal cortex, is a better predictor of information maintained in visual working memory and working memory performance; dynamic patterns of activity may convey information without requiring persistent activity at all; and prefrontal neurons may be ill-suited to represent non-spatial information about the features and identity of remembered stimuli. Alternative interpretations about the role of the prefrontal cortex have thus been suggested, such as that it provides a top-down control of information represented in other brain areas, rather than maintaining a working memory trace itself. Here we review evidence for and against the role of prefrontal persistent activity, with a focus on visual neurophysiology. We show that persistent activity predicts behavioral parameters precisely in working memory tasks. We illustrate that prefrontal cortex represents features of stimuli other than their spatial location, and that this information is largely absent from early cortical areas during working memory. We examine memory models not dependent on persistent activity, and conclude that each of those models could mediate only a limited range of memory-dependent behaviors. We review activity decoded from brain areas other than the prefrontal cortex during working memory and demonstrate that these areas alone cannot mediate working memory maintenance, particularly in the presence of distractors. We finally discuss the discrepancy between

  11. Impact of topographic aspect and vegetation (native and reforested areas) on soil organic carbon and nitrogen budgets in Mediterranean natural areas.

    PubMed

    Lozano-García, Beatriz; Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Brevik, Eric C

    2016-02-15

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays a critical role in the global carbon (C) cycle, and C sequestration in forest soils can represent a C sink. A relevant question is how does SOC changes in space and time; consequently, the study of the influence of topographic aspect on SOC stocks (SOCS) is very important to build a complete understanding of the soil system. In this line, four topographic aspects, north (N), south (S), east (E) and west (W) were studied under two different plant communities; native forests (NF) and reforested areas (RF) in the Despeñaperros Natural Park (S Spain). Five soil profiles were sampled at each of six different sites, 2 sites for NF (N and E) and 4 sites for RF (N, S, E and W). Soil properties were studied at different depths using soil control sections (S1: 0-25 cm; S2: 25-50 cm; S3: 50-75 cm). The results indicate that RF (N: 147.1 Mg ha(-1); E: 137.3 Mg ha(-1); W: 124.9 Mg ha(-1) and S: 87.0 Mg ha(-1)) had increased total SOCS compared to NF (N: 110.4 Mg ha(-1) and E: 80.9 Mg ha(-1)), and that SOCS in the N position were higher than in the other topographic aspects. Therefore, the results suggest that topographic aspect should be included in SOCS models and estimations at local and regional scales. PMID:26706767

  12. Neurodynamics of the prefrontal cortex during conditional visuomotor associations.

    PubMed

    Loh, Marco; Pasupathy, Anitha; Miller, Earl K; Deco, Gustavo

    2008-03-01

    The prefrontal cortex is believed to be important for cognitive control, working memory, and learning. It is known to play an important role in the learning and execution of conditional visuomotor associations, a cognitive task in which stimuli have to be associated with actions by trial-and-error learning. In our modeling study, we sought to integrate several hypotheses on the function of the prefrontal cortex using a computational model, and compare the results to experimental data. We constructed a module of prefrontal cortex neurons exposed to two different inputs, which we envision to originate from the inferotemporal cortex and the basal ganglia. We found that working memory properties do not describe the dominant dynamics in the prefrontal cortex, but the activation seems to be transient, probably progressing along a pathway from sensory to motor areas. During the presentation of the cue, the dynamics of the prefrontal cortex is bistable, yielding a distinct activation for correct and error trails. We find that a linear change in network parameters relates to the changes in neural activity in consecutive correct trials during learning, which is important evidence for the underlying learning mechanisms. PMID:18004947

  13. Development of Rostral Prefrontal Cortex and Cognitive and Behavioural Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dumontheil, Iroise; Burgess, Paul W.; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2008-01-01

    Information on the development and functions of rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC), or Brodmann area 10, has been gathered from different fields, from anatomical development to functional neuroimaging in adults, and put forward in relation to three particular cognitive and behavioural disorders. Rostral PFC is larger and has a lower cell density in…

  14. Hydrogeologic aspects of the Knippa Gap area in eastern Uvalde and western Medina counties, Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lambert, Rebecca B.; Clark, Allan K.; Pedraza, Diana E.; Morris, Robert R.

    2014-01-01

    The Edwards aquifer is the primary source of potable water for the San Antonio area in south-central Texas. The Knippa Gap area is a structural low (trough) postulated to channel or restrict flow in the Edwards aquifer in eastern Uvalde and western Medina Counties, Tex. To better understand the function of the Knippa Gap, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, developed the first detailed surficial geologic map of the Knippa Gap area with data and information obtained from previous investigations and field observations. A simplified version of the detailed geologic map depicting the hydrologic units, faulting, and structural dips of the Knippa Gap area is provided in this fact sheet. The map shows that groundwater flow in the Edwards aquifer is influenced by the Balcones Fault Zone, a structurally complex area of the aquifer that contains relay ramps that have formed in extensional fault systems and allowed for deformational changes along fault blocks. Faulting in southeast Uvalde and southwest Medina Counties has produced relay-ramp structures that dip downgradient to the structural low (trough) of the Knippa Gap.

  15. Neurochemical changes in the rat prefrontal cortex following acute phencyclidine treatment: an in vivo localized (1)H MRS study.

    PubMed

    Iltis, Isabelle; Koski, Dee M; Eberly, Lynn E; Nelson, Christopher D; Deelchand, Dinesh K; Valette, Julien; Ugurbil, Kamil; Lim, Kelvin O; Henry, Pierre-Gilles

    2009-08-01

    Acute phencyclidine (PCP) administration mimics some aspects of schizophrenia in rats, such as behavioral alterations, increased dopaminergic activity and prefrontal cortex dysfunction. In this study, we used single-voxel (1)H-MRS to investigate neurochemical changes in rat prefrontal cortex in vivo before and after an acute injection of PCP. A short-echo time sequence (STEAM) was used to acquire spectra in a 32-microL voxel positioned in the prefrontal cortex area of 12 rats anesthetized with isoflurane. Data were acquired for 30 min before and for 140 min after a bolus of PCP (10 mg/kg, n = 6) or saline (n = 6). Metabolites were quantified with the LCModel. Time courses for 14 metabolites were obtained with a temporal resolution of 10 min. The glutamine/glutamate ratio was significantly increased after PCP injection (p < 0.0001, pre- vs. post-injection), while the total concentration of these two metabolites remained constant. Glucose was transiently increased (+70%) while lactate decreased after the injection (both p < 0.0001). Lactate, but not glucose and glutamine, returned to baseline levels after 140 min. These results show that an acute injection of PCP leads to changes in glutamate and glutamine concentrations, similar to what has been observed in schizophrenic patients, and after ketamine administration in humans. MRS studies of this pharmacological rat model may be useful for assessing the effects of potential anti-psychotic drugs in vivo. PMID:19338025

  16. Bio-nanotextured high aspect ratio micropillar arrays for high surface area energy storage devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, S.; Gerasopoulos, K.; Ghodssi, R.

    2015-12-01

    This paper presents fabrication and characterization of bio-nanotextured hierarchical nickel oxide (NiO) supercapacitor electrodes. The hierarchical electrode structure is created through self-assembly of Tobacco mosaic viruses (TMVs) on high aspect-ratio micropillar arrays. Enhanced assembly of the bio-nanoparticles was achieved by increasing TMV solution accessibility into the deep microcavities of the pillar arrays. Electrochemical characterization of the hierarchical NiO supercapacitor electrodes revealed a 25-fold increase in charge capacity compared to a planar NiO, and demonstrated excellent cycle stability over 1500 charge/discharge cycles at 2 mA/cm2. This study leverages the unique bio-nanoscaffolds for small scale energy storage devices through further optimization of the hierarchical structures and wetting techniques for significant improvements in micro/nano scale energy storage devices.

  17. Prefrontal and midline interactions mediating behavioural control

    PubMed Central

    Fassbender, Catherine; Hester, Robert; Murphy, Kevin; Foxe, John J.; Foxe, Deirdre M.; Garavan, Hugh

    2011-01-01

    Top-down control processes are thought to interact with bottom-up stimulus-driven task demands to facilitate the smooth execution of behaviour. Frontal and midline areas are believed to subserve these control processes but their distinct roles and the interactions between them remain to be fully elucidated. In this fMRI study, we utilised a GO/NO-GO task with cued and uncued inhibitory events to investigate the effect of cue-induced levels of top-down control on NO-GO trial response conflict. We found that on a within-subjects, trial-for-trial basis, high levels of top-down control, as indexed by left dorsolateral prefrontal activation prior to the NO-GO, resulted in lower levels of activation on the NO-GO trial in the pre-supplementary motor area. These results suggest that prefrontal and midline regions work together to implement cognitive control and reveal that intra-subject variability is reflected in these lateral and midline interactions. PMID:19120444

  18. Implicitly perceived vocal attractiveness modulates prefrontal cortex activity.

    PubMed

    Bestelmeyer, Patricia E G; Latinus, Marianne; Bruckert, Laetitia; Rouger, Julien; Crabbe, Frances; Belin, Pascal

    2012-06-01

    Social interactions involve more than "just" language. As important is a more primitive nonlinguistic mode of communication acting in parallel with linguistic processes and driving our decisions to a much higher degree than is generally suspected. Amongst the "honest signals" that influence our behavior is perceived vocal attractiveness. Not only does vocal attractiveness reflect important biological characteristics of the speaker, it also influences our social perceptions according to the "what sounds beautiful is good" phenomenon. Despite the widespread influence of vocal attractiveness on social interactions revealed by behavioral studies, its neural underpinnings are yet unknown. We measured brain activity while participants listened to a series of vocal sounds ("ah") and performed an unrelated task. We found that voice-sensitive auditory and inferior frontal regions were strongly correlated with implicitly perceived vocal attractiveness. While the involvement of auditory areas reflected the processing of acoustic contributors to vocal attractiveness ("distance to mean" and spectrotemporal regularity), activity in inferior prefrontal regions (traditionally involved in speech processes) reflected the overall perceived attractiveness of the voices despite their lack of linguistic content. These results suggest the strong influence of hidden nonlinguistic aspects of communication signals on cerebral activity and provide an objective measure of this influence. PMID:21828348

  19. [Human health in the space rocket-making areas: medical and environmental aspects].

    PubMed

    Sidorov, P I; Skrebtsova, N V; Sovershaeva, S L

    2006-01-01

    The paper deals with the problems of medical and ecological escorts of space rocket-making activities. The properties of one of the highly toxic components of propellant - asymmetric dimethylhydrazine as a substance assigned to a class of ecological toxicants, are considered. The data obtained on implementing the program for a study of the health status in the population living not far from the asymmetric dimethylhydrazine-polluted areas are presented. The authors propose to consider a package of measures that can apply the systems approach to securing the safety of the population to live and work in areas under space-rocket making activities, which is based on the prevention principle provided by the Rio de Janeiro Environment and Development Declaration. PMID:16808395

  20. Geologic aspects of the surficial aquifer in the upper East Coast planning area, Southeast Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Wesley L.

    1980-01-01

    The Upper East Coast Planning Area, as designated by the South Florida Water Management District, consists of St. Lucie County, Martin County, and eastern Okeechobee County. The surficial aquifer is the main source of freshwater for agricultural and urban uses in the area. The geologic framework of the aquifer is displayed by contour mapping and lithologic cross sections to provide water managers with a better understanding of the natural restraints that may be imposed on future development. The surficial aquifer is primarily sand, limestone, shell, silt, and clay deposited during the Pleistocene and Pliocene Epochs. The aquifer is unconfined and under water-table conditions in most of the area, but locally, artesian conditions exits where discontinuous clay layers act as confining units. Impermeable and semipermeable clays and marls of the Tamiami (lower Pliocene) and Hawthorn Formations (Miocene) unconformably underlie the surficial aquifer and form its base. Contour lines showing the altitude of the base of the aquifer indicate extensive erosion of the Miocene sediments prior to deposition of the aquifer materials. (USGS)

  1. Distinct Roles of the Prefrontal and Posterior Parietal Cortices in Response Inhibition.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xin; Qi, Xue-Lian; Constantinidis, Christos

    2016-03-29

    The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex have been implicated in the planning of movements and inhibition of inappropriate responses, though their precise roles in these functions are not known. To address this question, we trained monkeys to perform memory-guided saccade and anti-saccade tasks and compared neural responses in the same animals. A population of neurons with no motor responses was also activated by a stimulus appearing out of the receptive field and could therefore mediate vector inversion. These neurons were found almost exclusively in the prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal cortical activity better predicted the level of performance in the task. Representation of the saccade goal also peaked in the prefrontal cortex at a time that was predictive of reaction time. These results suggest that the prefrontal cortex is the primary site of vector inversion in the cerebral cortex and explain the importance of this area in response inhibition. PMID:26997283

  2. Distinct Roles of the Prefrontal and Posterior Parietal Cortices in Response Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Xin; Qi, Xue-Lian; Constantinidis, Christos

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY The dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex have been implicated in planning of movements and inhibition of inappropriate responses, though their precise roles in these functions are not known. To address this question we trained monkeys to perform memory guided saccade and anti-saccade tasks and compared neural responses in the same animals. A population of neurons with no motor responses was also activated by a stimulus appearing out of the receptive field and could therefore mediate vector inversion. These neurons were found almost exclusively in the prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal cortical activity better predicted the level of performance in the task. Representation of the saccade goal also peaked in the prefrontal cortex at a time that was predictive of reaction time. These results suggest that prefrontal cortex is the primary site of vector inversion in the cerebral cortex and explain the importance of this area in response inhibition. PMID:26997283

  3. The obesity‐associated gene Negr1 regulates aspects of energy balance in rat hypothalamic areas

    PubMed Central

    Boender, Arjen J.; van Gestel, Margriet A.; Garner, Keith M.; Luijendijk, Mieneke C. M.; Adan, Roger A. H.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Neural growth regulator 1 (Negr1) is among the first common variants that have been associated with the regulation of body mass index. Using AAV technology directed to manipulate Negr1 expression in vivo, we find that decreased expression of Negr1 in periventricular hypothalamic areas leads to increases in body weight, presumably via increased food intake. Moreover, we observed that both increased and decreased levels of Negr1 lead to reduced locomotor activity and body temperature. In sum, our results provide further support for a role of hypothalamic expressed Negr1 in the regulation of energy balance. PMID:25077509

  4. An investigation of vehicle dependent aspects of terminal area ATC operation.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Britt, C. L., Jr.; Modi, J. A.; Baxa, E. G., Jr.; Walsh, T. M.

    1972-01-01

    Description of a terminal area simulation which permits analysis and synthesis of current and advanced air traffic management system configurations including ground and airborne instrumentation and new and modified aircraft characteristics. Ground elements in the simulation include navigation aids, surveillance radars, communication links, air-route structuring, ATC procedures, airport geometries, and runway handling constraints. Airborne elements include traffic samples with individual aircraft performance and operating characteristics and aircraft navigation equipment. The simulation also contains algorithms for conflict detection, conflict resolution, sequencing and pilot-controller data links.

  5. A dorsolateral prefrontal cortex semi-automatic segmenter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Hakim, Ramsey; Fallon, James; Nain, Delphine; Melonakos, John; Tannenbaum, Allen

    2006-03-01

    Structural, functional, and clinical studies in schizophrenia have, for several decades, consistently implicated dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex in the etiology of the disease. Functional and structural imaging studies, combined with clinical, psychometric, and genetic analyses in schizophrenia have confirmed the key roles played by the prefrontal cortex and closely linked "prefrontal system" structures such as the striatum, amygdala, mediodorsal thalamus, substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area, and anterior cingulate cortices. The nodal structure of the prefrontal system circuit is the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), or Brodmann area 46, which also appears to be the most commonly studied and cited brain area with respect to schizophrenia. 1, 2, 3, 4 In 1986, Weinberger et. al. tied cerebral blood flow in the DLPFC to schizophrenia.1 In 2001, Perlstein et. al. demonstrated that DLPFC activation is essential for working memory tasks commonly deficient in schizophrenia. 2 More recently, groups have linked morphological changes due to gene deletion and increased DLPFC glutamate concentration to schizophrenia. 3, 4 Despite the experimental and clinical focus on the DLPFC in structural and functional imaging, the variability of the location of this area, differences in opinion on exactly what constitutes DLPFC, and inherent difficulties in segmenting this highly convoluted cortical region have contributed to a lack of widely used standards for manual or semi-automated segmentation programs. Given these implications, we developed a semi-automatic tool to segment the DLPFC from brain MRI scans in a reproducible way to conduct further morphological and statistical studies. The segmenter is based on expert neuroanatomist rules (Fallon-Kindermann rules), inspired by cytoarchitectonic data and reconstructions presented by Rajkowska and Goldman-Rakic. 5 It is semi-automated to provide essential user interactivity. We present our results and provide details on

  6. Epidemiologic aspects of the malaria transmission cycle in an area of very low incidence in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Cerutti, Crispim; Boulos, Marcos; Coutinho, Arnídio F; Hatab, Maria do Carmo LD; Falqueto, Aloísio; Rezende, Helder R; Duarte, Ana Maria RC; Collins, William; Malafronte, Rosely S

    2007-01-01

    Background Extra-Amazonian autochthonous Plasmodium vivax infections have been reported in mountainous regions surrounded by the Atlantic Forest in Espírito Santo state, Brazil. Methods Sixty-five patients and 1,777 residents were surveyed between April 2001 and March 2004. Laboratory methods included thin and thick smears, multiplex-PCR, immunofluorescent assay (IFA) against P. vivax and Plasmodium malariae crude blood-stage antigens and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for antibodies against the P. vivax-complex (P. vivax and variants) and P. malariae/Plasmodium brasilianum circumsporozoite-protein (CSP) antigens. Results Average patient age was 35.1 years. Most (78.5%) were males; 64.6% lived in rural areas; 35.4% were farmers; and 12.3% students. There was no relevant history of travel. Ninety-five per cent of the patients were experiencing their first episode of malaria. Laboratory data from 51 patients were consistent with P. vivax infection, which was determined by thin smear. Of these samples, 48 were assayed by multiplex-PCR. Forty-five were positive for P. vivax, confirming the parasitological results, while P. malariae was detected in one sample and two gave negative results. Fifty percent of the 50 patients tested had IgG antibodies against the P. vivax-complex or P. malariae CSP as determined by ELISA. The percentages of residents with IgM and IgG antibodies detected by IFA for P. malariae, P. vivax and Plasmodium falciparum who did not complain of malaria symptoms at the time blood was collected were 30.1% and 56.5%, 6.2% and 37.7%, and 13.5% and 13%, respectively. The same sera that reacted to P. vivax also reacted to P. malariae. The following numbers of samples were positive in multiplex-PCR: 23 for P. vivax; 15 for P. malariae; 9 for P. falciparum and only one for P. falciparum and P. malariae. All thin and thick smears were negative. ELISA against CSP antigens was positive in 25.4%, 6.3%, 10.7% and 15.1% of the samples tested for

  7. Meningococcal meningitis in an industrial area adjoining Surat City--some clinico-epidemiological aspects.

    PubMed

    Bhavsar, B S; Saxena, D M; Kantharia, S L; Somasunderam, C; Mehta, N R

    1989-06-01

    An industrial area with poor sanitation and inhabited by migrant, male predominant population, situated South to Surat City, experienced an outbreak of pyogenic meningitis during 1985-87. A total of 197 cases of meningitis with 34 deaths were reported during a period of 1 1/2 years. Neisseria meningitidis was the predominant pathogen isolated from 66 out of 138 CSF samples. Recently migrated males of productive age groups drawn from the States of Uttar Pradesh and Orissa were predominantly affected. Male to female ratio was found to be 7.2:1. Nearly 2/3rd of the cases were reported during the dry colder months of winter and spring. Pregnancy and childbirth appeared to be important predisposing factors in females. Nine cases were reported from the family contacts of cases. Majority of the cases were labourers doing manual work. PMID:2809153

  8. [Snakes from the urban area of Cuiabá, Mato Grosso: ecological aspects and associated snakebites].

    PubMed

    de Carvalho, M A; Nogueira, F N

    1998-01-01

    This study presents data on snakes recorded in the urban area of Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Sources of information included specimens captured by local residents (1986-1993) and turned over to the Mato Grosso Regional Ophiological Center (Normat), and data from the Anti-Venom Information Center (Ciave), regarding urban snake bites (1988-1993). Thirty-seven species of snakes from 25 genera and three families were recorded. Diurnal and terrestrial habits predominated, as well as a diet based on amphibians and/or lizards. From a total of 307 snake bites recorded, some 56% were of no clinical importance, caused by non-venomous snakes, whereas 44% were clinically relevant. Approximately 99% of the latter were attributed to vipers of the genus Bothrops, and especially the Bothrops moojeni and Bothrops neuwiedi species The colubrids Philodryas olfersii and Waglerophis merremii were probably responsible for most of the non-venomous snake bites. PMID:9878908

  9. Linking trait-based phenotypes to prefrontal cortex activation during inhibitory control.

    PubMed

    Rodrigo, Achala H; Di Domenico, Stefano I; Graves, Bryanna; Lam, Jaeger; Ayaz, Hasan; Bagby, R Michael; Ruocco, Anthony C

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory control is subserved in part by discrete regions of the prefrontal cortex whose functionality may be altered according to specific trait-based phenotypes. Using a unified model of normal range personality traits, we examined activation within lateral and medial aspects of the prefrontal cortex during a manual go/no-go task. Evoked hemodynamic oxygenation within the prefrontal cortex was measured in 106 adults using a 16-channel continuous-wave functional near-infrared spectroscopy system. Within lateral regions of the prefrontal cortex, greater activation was associated with higher trait levels of extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness, and lower neuroticism. Higher agreeableness was also related to more activation in the medial prefrontal cortex during inhibitory control. These results suggest that personality traits reflecting greater emotional stability, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness may be associated with more efficient recruitment of control processes subserved by lateral regions of the prefrontal cortex. These findings highlight key links between trait-based phenotypes and neural activation patterns in the prefrontal cortex underlying inhibitory control. PMID:26163672

  10. Legal and Technical Aspects of Modernization of Land and Buildings Cadastre in Selected Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siejka, Monika; Ślusarski, Marek; Mika, Monika

    2015-12-01

    Modernization of the land and buildings cadastre is a set of actions aimed at improving the quality of data collected there. Application in the process of modernization of the sources of information from the land surveying, gives fully satisfactory results. On the other hand the use of photogrammetric measurements is the solution more economical in terms of financial and time. However, there is a danger of obtaining the results which do not meet the standards of accuracy of the border points position. The paper presents an example of the results of the influence of the process of modernizing the land and buildings cadastre for the areas where the source material are cadastral maps in the scale 1: 2000, created on the basis of photomaps or cadastral maps in the scale 1: 2880. An assessment of the suitability of these materials in the process of modernization and their impact on the current form of the land and building cadastre as a public register was made.

  11. Dietary aspects of pregnant women in rural areas of Northern India.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Virender P; Taneja, Devender K; Sharma, Nandini; Gupta, Vimal K; Ingle, Gopal K

    2008-04-01

    The aim of this article is to document the current dietary profile of pregnant women in rural areas of Delhi. In order to explore the diet the combination of quantitative (24-h recall method) and qualitative methods (food frequency method) were used. The mean intake of macronutrients and micronutrients, namely, iron, folic acid and Vitamin C which play an important role in the pathophysiology of nutritional anaemia during pregnancy was calculated from the foodstuffs, using Nutritive Value of Indian Foods. The preferences and avoidance of various foods by the pregnant women were also elicited. The data were analysed using Epi Info 3.4. The intake of calories, protein, iron, folic acid and Vitamin C was found to be less than the recommended dietary allowance in 100%, 91.2%, 98.2%, 99.1% and 65.8% of pregnant women respectively. Folic acid intakes were significantly lower in younger, primiparous and poorly educated women from low-income families. Vitamin C intake was lower among non-Hindus only. The overall data suggested the presence of food gap rather than isolated deficiency of any particular nutrient. PMID:18336642

  12. A methodology for evacuation design for urban areas: theoretical aspects and experimentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russo, F.; Vitetta, A.

    2009-04-01

    This paper proposes an unifying approach for the simulation and design of a transportation system under conditions of incoming safety and/or security. Safety and security are concerned with threats generated by very different factors and which, in turn, generate emergency conditions, such as the 9/11, Madrid and London attacks, the Asian tsunami, and the Katrina hurricane; just considering the last five years. In transportation systems, when exogenous events happen and there is a sufficient interval time between the instant when the event happens and the instant when the event has effect on the population, it is possible to reduce the negative effects with the population evacuation. For this event in every case it is possible to prepare with short and long term the evacuation. For other event it is possible also to plan the real time evacuation inside the general risk methodology. The development of models for emergency conditions in transportation systems has not received much attention in the literature. The main findings in this area are limited to only a few public research centres and private companies. In general, there is no systematic analysis of the risk theory applied in the transportation system. Very often, in practice, the vulnerability and exposure in the transportation system are considered as similar variables, or in other worse cases the exposure variables are treated as vulnerability variables. Models and algorithms specified and calibrated in ordinary conditions cannot be directly applied in emergency conditions under the usual hypothesis considered. This paper is developed with the following main objectives: (a) to formalize the risk problem with clear diversification (for the consequences) in the definition of the vulnerability and exposure in a transportation system; thus the book offers improvements over consolidated quantitative risk analysis models, especially transportation risk analysis models (risk assessment); (b) to formalize a system

  13. Social cognition in patients following surgery to the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Lisanne Michelle; Andrewes, David Gordon; Nicholas, Christian Luke; Drummond, Katharine Jann; Moffat, Bradford Armstrong; Phal, Pramit; Desmond, Patricia; Kessels, Roy Peter Caspar

    2014-12-30

    Impaired social cognition, including emotion recognition, may explain dysfunctional emotional and social behaviour in patients with lesions to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). However, the VMPFC is a large, poorly defined area that can be sub-divided into orbital and medial sectors. We sought to investigate social cognition in patients with discrete, surgically circumscribed prefrontal lesions. Twenty-seven patients between 1 and 12 months post-neurosurgery were divided into groups based on Brodmann areas resected, determined by post-surgical magnetic resonance imaging. We hypothesised that patients with lesions to the VMPFC (n=5), anterior cingulate cortex (n=4), orbitofrontal cortex (n=7) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, n=11) would perform worse than a control group of 26 extra-cerebral neurosurgery patients on measures of dynamic facial emotion recognition, theory of mind (ToM) and empathy. Results indicated the VMPFC-lesioned group performed significantly worse than the control group on the facial emotion recognition task overall, and for fear specifically, and performed worse on the ToM measure. The DLPFC group also performed worse on the ToM and empathy measures, but DLPFC lesion location was not a predictor of performance in hierarchical multiple regressions that accounted for other variables, including the reduced estimated verbal IQ in this group. It was concluded that isolated orbital or medial prefrontal lesions are not sufficient to produce impairments in social cognition. This is the first study to demonstrate that it is the combination of lesions to both areas that affect social cognition, irrespective of lesion volume. While group sizes were similar to other comparable studies that included patients with discrete, surgically circumscribed lesions to the prefrontal cortex, future large, multi-site studies are needed to collect larger samples and confirm these results. PMID:25284626

  14. Effects of repeated cocaine on medial prefrontal cortical GABAB receptor modulation of neurotransmission in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system.

    PubMed

    Jayaram, Prathiba; Steketee, Jeffery D

    2004-08-01

    Increased excitatory output from medial prefrontal cortex is an important component in the development of cocaine sensitization. Activation of GABAergic systems in the prefrontal cortex can decrease glutamatergic activity. A recent study suggested that sensitization might be associated with a decrease in GABAB receptor responsiveness in the medial prefrontal cortex. Therefore, the present study examined whether repeated exposure to cocaine-modified neurochemical changes in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system induced by infusion of baclofen into the medial prefrontal cortex. In vivo microdialysis studies were conducted to monitor dopamine, glutamate and GABA levels in the medial prefrontal cortex and glutamate levels in the ipsilateral nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area during the infusion of baclofen into medial prefrontal cortex. Baclofen minimally affected glutamate levels in the medial prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens or ventral tegmental area of control animals, but dose-dependently increased glutamate levels in each of these regions in animals sensitized to cocaine. This effect was not the result of changes in GABAB receptor-mediated modulation of dopamine or GABA in the medial prefrontal cortex. The data suggest that alterations in GABAB receptor modulation of medial prefrontal cortical excitatory output may play an important role in the development of sensitization to cocaine. PMID:15287889

  15. Successful Face Recognition is Associated with Increased Prefrontal Cortex Activation in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Herrington, John D.; Riley, Meghan E.; Grupe, Daniel W.; Schultz, Robert T.

    2014-01-01

    This study examines whether deficits in visual information processing in ASD can be offset by the recruitment of brain structures involved in selective attention. During functional MRI, 12 children with ASD and 19 control participants completed a selective attention one-back task in which images of faces and houses were superimposed. When attending to faces, the ASD group showed increased activation relative to control participants within multiple prefrontal cortex areas, including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). DLPFC activation in ASD was associated with increased response times for faces. These data suggest that prefrontal cortex activation may represent a compensatory mechanism for diminished visual information processing abilities. PMID:25234479

  16. Multisynaptic projections from the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex to hand and mouth representations of the monkey primary motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Miyachi, Shigehiro; Hirata, Yoshihiro; Inoue, Ken-ichi; Lu, Xiaofeng; Nambu, Atsushi; Takada, Masahiko

    2013-07-01

    Different sectors of the prefrontal cortex have distinct neuronal connections with higher-order sensory areas and/or limbic structures and are related to diverse aspects of cognitive functions, such as visual working memory and reward-based decision-making. Recent studies have revealed that the prefrontal cortex (PF), especially the lateral PF, is also involved in motor control. Hence, different sectors of the PF may contribute to motor behaviors with distinct body parts. To test this hypothesis anatomically, we examined the patterns of multisynaptic projections from the PF to regions of the primary motor cortex (MI) that represent the arm, hand, and mouth, using retrograde transsynaptic transport of rabies virus. Four days after rabies injections into the hand or mouth region, particularly dense neuron labeling was observed in the ventrolateral PF, including the convexity part of ventral area 46. After the rabies injections into the mouth region, another dense cluster of labeled neurons was seen in the orbitofrontal cortex (area 13). By contrast, rabies labeling of PF neurons was rather sparse in the arm-injection cases. The present results suggest that the PF-MI multisynaptic projections may be organized such that the MI hand and mouth regions preferentially receive cognitive information for execution of elaborate motor actions. PMID:23664864

  17. Mapping Prefrontal Cortex Functions in Human Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grossmann, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    It has long been thought that the prefrontal cortex, as the seat of most higher brain functions, is functionally silent during most of infancy. This review highlights recent work concerned with the precise mapping (localization) of brain activation in human infants, providing evidence that prefrontal cortex exhibits functional activation much…

  18. Influence of monkey dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal activity on behavioral choice during attention tasks.

    PubMed

    Katsuki, Fumi; Saito, Mizuki; Constantinidis, Christos

    2014-09-01

    The dorsolateral prefrontal and the posterior parietal cortex have both been implicated in the guidance of visual attention. Traditionally, posterior parietal cortex has been thought to guide visual bottom-up attention and prefrontal cortex to bias attention through top-down information. More recent studies suggest a parallel time course of activation of the two areas in bottom-up attention tasks, suggesting a common involvement, though these results do not necessarily imply identical roles. To address the specific roles of the two areas, we examined the influence of neuronal activity recorded from the prefrontal and parietal cortex of monkeys as they performed attention tasks based on choice probability and on correlation between reaction time and neuronal activity. The results revealed that posterior parietal but not dorsolateral prefrontal activity correlated with behavioral choice during the fixation period, prior to the appearance of the stimulus, resembling a bias factor. This preferential influence of posterior parietal activity on behavior was transient, so that dorsolateral prefrontal activity predicted choice after the appearance of the stimulus. Additionally, reaction time was better predicted by posterior parietal activity. These findings confirm the involvement of both dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex in the bottom-up guidance of visual attention, but indicate different roles of the two areas in the guidance of attention and a dynamic time course of their effects, influencing behavior at different stages of the task. PMID:24964224

  19. Synaptic Cytoskeletal Plasticity in the Prefrontal Cortex Following Psychostimulant Exposure.

    PubMed

    DePoy, Lauren M; Gourley, Shannon L

    2015-09-01

    Addiction is characterized by maladaptive decision-making, a loss of control over drug consumption and habit-like drug seeking despite adverse consequences. These cognitive changes may reflect the effects of drugs of abuse on prefrontal cortical neurobiology. Here, we review evidence that amphetamine and cocaine fundamentally remodel the structure of excitatory neurons in the prefrontal cortex. We summarize evidence in particular that these psychostimulants have opposing effects in the medial and orbital prefrontal cortices ('mPFC' and 'oPFC', respectively). For example, amphetamine and cocaine increase dendrite length and spine density in the mPFC, while dendrites are impoverished and dendritic spines are eliminated in the oPFC. We will discuss evidence that certain cytoskeletal regulatory proteins expressed in the oPFC and implicated in postnatal (adolescent) neural development also regulate behavioral sensitivity to cocaine. These findings potentially open a window of opportunity for the identification of novel pharmacotherapeutic targets in the treatment of drug abuse disorders in adults, as well as in drug-vulnerable adolescent populations. Finally, we will discuss the behavioral implications of drug-related dendritic spine elimination in the oPFC, with regard to reversal learning tasks and tasks that assess the development of reward-seeking habits, both used to model aspects of addiction in rodents. PMID:25951902

  20. Dual streams of auditory afferents target multiple domains in the primate prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Romanski, L. M.; Tian, B.; Fritz, J.; Mishkin, M.; Goldman-Rakic, P. S.; Rauschecker, J. P.

    2009-01-01

    ‘What’ and ‘where’ visual streams define ventrolateral object and dorsolateral spatial processing domains in the prefrontal cortex of nonhuman primates. We looked for similar streams for auditory–prefrontal connections in rhesus macaques by combining microelectrode recording with anatomical tract-tracing. Injection of multiple tracers into physiologically mapped regions AL, ML and CL of the auditory belt cortex revealed that anterior belt cortex was reciprocally connected with the frontal pole (area 10), rostral principal sulcus (area 46) and ventral prefrontal regions (areas 12 and 45), whereas the caudal belt was mainly connected with the caudal principal sulcus (area 46) and frontal eye fields (area 8a). Thus separate auditory streams originate in caudal and rostral auditory cortex and target spatial and non-spatial domains of the frontal lobe, respectively. PMID:10570492

  1. Molecular underpinnings of prefrontal cortex development in rodents provide insights into the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders

    PubMed Central

    Schubert, D; Martens, G J M; Kolk, S M

    2015-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC), seat of the highest-order cognitive functions, constitutes a conglomerate of highly specialized brain areas and has been implicated to have a role in the onset and installation of various neurodevelopmental disorders. The development of a properly functioning PFC is directed by transcription factors, guidance cues and other regulatory molecules and requires the intricate and temporal orchestration of a number of developmental processes. Disturbance or failure of any of these processes causing neurodevelopmental abnormalities within the PFC may contribute to several of the cognitive deficits seen in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. In this review, we elaborate on the specific processes underlying prefrontal development, such as induction and patterning of the prefrontal area, proliferation, migration and axonal guidance of medial prefrontal progenitors, and their eventual efferent and afferent connections. We furthermore integrate for the first time the available knowledge from genome-wide studies that have revealed genes linked to neurodevelopmental disorders with experimental molecular evidence in rodents. The integrated data suggest that the pathogenic variants in the neurodevelopmental disorder-associated genes induce prefrontal cytoarchitectonical impairments. This enhances our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of prefrontal (mis)development underlying the four major neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, that is, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia, and may thus provide clues for the development of novel therapies. PMID:25450230

  2. Molecular underpinnings of prefrontal cortex development in rodents provide insights into the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders.

    PubMed

    Schubert, D; Martens, G J M; Kolk, S M

    2015-07-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC), seat of the highest-order cognitive functions, constitutes a conglomerate of highly specialized brain areas and has been implicated to have a role in the onset and installation of various neurodevelopmental disorders. The development of a properly functioning PFC is directed by transcription factors, guidance cues and other regulatory molecules and requires the intricate and temporal orchestration of a number of developmental processes. Disturbance or failure of any of these processes causing neurodevelopmental abnormalities within the PFC may contribute to several of the cognitive deficits seen in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. In this review, we elaborate on the specific processes underlying prefrontal development, such as induction and patterning of the prefrontal area, proliferation, migration and axonal guidance of medial prefrontal progenitors, and their eventual efferent and afferent connections. We furthermore integrate for the first time the available knowledge from genome-wide studies that have revealed genes linked to neurodevelopmental disorders with experimental molecular evidence in rodents. The integrated data suggest that the pathogenic variants in the neurodevelopmental disorder-associated genes induce prefrontal cytoarchitectonical impairments. This enhances our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of prefrontal (mis)development underlying the four major neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, that is, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia, and may thus provide clues for the development of novel therapies. PMID:25450230

  3. Human ventromedial prefrontal lesions alter incentivisation by reward

    PubMed Central

    Manohar, Sanjay G.; Husain, Masud

    2016-01-01

    Although medial frontal brain regions are implicated in valuation of rewards, evidence from focal lesions to these areas is scant, with many conflicting results regarding motivation and affect, and no human studies specifically examining incentivisation by reward. Here, 19 patients with isolated, focal damage in ventral and medial prefrontal cortex were selected from a database of 453 individuals with subarachnoid haemorrhage. Using a speeded saccadic task based on the oculomotor capture paradigm, we manipulated the maximum reward available on each trial using an auditory incentive cue. Modulation of behaviour by motivation permitted quantification of reward sensitivity. At the group level, medial frontal damage was overall associated with significantly reduced effects of reward on invigorating saccadic velocity and autonomic (pupil) responses compared to age-matched, healthy controls. Crucially, however, some individuals instead showed abnormally strong incentivisation effects for vigour. Increased sensitivity to rewards within the lesion group correlated with damage in subgenual ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) areas, which have recently become the target for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in depression. Lesion correlations with clinical apathy suggested that the apathy associated with prefrontal damage is in fact reduced by damage at those coordinates. Reduced reward sensitivity showed a trend to correlate with damage near nucleus accumbens. Lesions did not, on the other hand, influence reward sensitivity of cognitive control, as measured by distractibility. Thus, although medial frontal lesions may generally reduce reward sensitivity, damage to key subregions paradoxically protect from this effect. PMID:26874940

  4. Unconscious activation of the prefrontal no-go network.

    PubMed

    van Gaal, Simon; Ridderinkhof, K Richard; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2010-03-17

    Cognitive control processes involving prefrontal cortex allow humans to overrule and inhibit habitual responses to optimize performance in new and challenging situations, and traditional views hold that cognitive control is tightly linked with consciousness. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate to what extent unconscious "no-go" stimuli are capable of reaching cortical areas involved in inhibitory control, particularly the inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA). Participants performed a go/no-go task that included conscious (weakly masked) no-go trials, unconscious (strongly masked) no-go trials, as well as go trials. Replicating typical neuroimaging findings, response inhibition on conscious no-go stimuli was associated with a (mostly right-lateralized) frontoparietal "inhibition network." Here, we demonstrate, however, that an unconscious no-go stimulus also can activate prefrontal control networks, most prominently the IFC and the pre-SMA. Moreover, if it does so, it brings about a substantial slowdown in the speed of responding, as if participants attempted to inhibit their response but just failed to withhold it completely. Interestingly, overall activation in this "unconscious inhibition network" correlated positively with the amount of slowdown triggered by unconscious no-go stimuli. In addition, neural differences between conscious and unconscious control are revealed. These results expand our understanding of the limits and depths of unconscious information processing in the human brain and demonstrate that prefrontal cognitive control functions are not exclusively influenced by conscious information. PMID:20237284

  5. Prefrontal hyperactivity in older people during motor planning.

    PubMed

    Berchicci, Marika; Lucci, Giuliana; Pesce, Caterina; Spinelli, Donatella; Di Russo, Francesco

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the influence of age-related changes in cortical activity related to the motor preparation involved in simple- and discriminative-reaction tasks. To distinguish between age effects on motor planning and stimulus processing, both movement- and stimulus-locked event related potentials (ERPs) were investigated in 14 younger, 14 middle-aged, and 14 older adults (mean ages 24.4, 49, and 70 years, respectively). The novel results of the present study are the prefrontal over-recruitment observed in older adults in movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs) and the differential pattern of aging effects observed at behavioral and at electrophysiological level between middle-aged and older adults. Overall, the following results were observed: (i) behavioral results confirmed the well-known slowing of responses in aging people, which were associated with optimal accuracy; (ii) the age-related differences in cortical activity underlying the generation of voluntary movements in response to external stimuli were more pronounced for the motor planning than the stimulus processing stage; (iii) the source and the time-course analysis of the over-recruitment in the older adults indicated tonic involvement of prefrontal areas regardless of task complexity; and (iv) middle-aged adults showed a 'young adult-like' behavioral speed, but an 'older adult-like' overactivation of prefrontal areas. In summary, to reach the same accuracy, older subjects prepared the action with greater anticipation and higher cost, as indexed by the earlier latency onset and larger prefrontal cortical activation. PMID:22732557

  6. Lower neuronal variability in the monkey dorsolateral prefrontal than posterior parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Qi, Xue-Lian; Constantinidis, Christos

    2015-10-01

    The dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex are two brain areas involved in cognitive functions such as spatial attention and working memory. When tested with identical tasks, only subtle differences in firing rate are present between neurons recorded in the two areas. In this article we report that major differences in neuronal variability characterize the two areas during working memory. The Fano factors of spike counts in dorsolateral prefrontal neurons were consistently lower than those of the posterior parietal cortex across a range of tasks, epochs, and conditions in the same monkeys. Variability differences were observed despite minor differences in firing rates between the two areas in the tasks tested and higher overall firing rate in the prefrontal than in the posterior parietal sample. Other measures of neuronal discharge variability, such as the coefficient of variation of the interspike interval, displayed the same pattern of lower prefrontal variability. Fano factor values were negatively correlated with performance in the working memory task, suggesting that higher neuronal variability was associated with diminished task performance. The results indicate that information involving remembered stimuli is more reliably represented in the prefrontal than the posterior parietal cortex based on the variability of neuronal responses, and suggest functional differentiation between the two areas beyond differences in firing rate. PMID:26269556

  7. The medial prefrontal cortex exhibits money illusion

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Bernd; Rangel, Antonio; Wibral, Matthias; Falk, Armin

    2009-01-01

    Behavioral economists have proposed that money illusion, which is a deviation from rationality in which individuals engage in nominal evaluation, can explain a wide range of important economic and social phenomena. This proposition stands in sharp contrast to the standard economic assumption of rationality that requires individuals to judge the value of money only on the basis of the bundle of goods that it can buy—its real value—and not on the basis of the actual amount of currency—its nominal value. We used fMRI to investigate whether the brain's reward circuitry exhibits money illusion. Subjects received prizes in 2 different experimental conditions that were identical in real economic terms, but differed in nominal terms. Thus, in the absence of money illusion there should be no differences in activation in reward-related brain areas. In contrast, we found that areas of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), which have been previously associated with the processing of anticipatory and experienced rewards, and the valuation of goods, exhibited money illusion. We also found that the amount of money illusion exhibited by the vmPFC was correlated with the amount of money illusion exhibited in the evaluation of economic transactions. PMID:19307555

  8. Activation of AMPA Receptors Mediates the Antidepressant Action of Deep Brain Stimulation of the Infralimbic Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Sánchez, Laura; Castañé, Anna; Pérez-Caballero, Laura; Grifoll-Escoda, Marc; López-Gil, Xavier; Campa, Leticia; Galofré, Mireia; Berrocoso, Esther; Adell, Albert

    2016-06-01

    Although deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been used with success in treatment-resistant depression, little is known about its mechanism of action. We examined the antidepressant-like activity of short (1 h) DBS applied to the infralimbic prefrontal cortex in the forced swim test (FST) and the novelty-suppressed feeding test (NSFT). We also used in vivo microdialysis to evaluate the release of glutamate, γ-aminobutyric acid, serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline in the prefrontal cortex and c-Fos immunohistochemistry to determine the brain regions activated by DBS. One hour of DBS of the infralimbic prefrontal cortex has antidepressant-like effects in FST and NSFT, and increases prefrontal efflux of glutamate, which would activate AMPA receptors (AMPARs). This effect is specific of the infralimbic area since it is not observed after DBS of the prelimbic subregion. The activation of prefrontal AMPARs would result in a stimulation of prefrontal output to the brainstem, thus increasing serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline in the prefrontal cortex. Further, the activation of prefrontal AMPARs is necessary and sufficient condition for the antidepressant response of 1 h DBS. PMID:26088969

  9. Mindful attention to breath regulates emotions via increased amygdala-prefrontal cortex connectivity.

    PubMed

    Doll, Anselm; Hölzel, Britta K; Mulej Bratec, Satja; Boucard, Christine C; Xie, Xiyao; Wohlschläger, Afra M; Sorg, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Mindfulness practice is beneficial for emotion regulation; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The current study focuses on effects of attention-to-breath (ATB) as a basic mindfulness practice on aversive emotions at behavioral and brain levels. A key finding across different emotion regulation strategies is the modulation of amygdala and prefrontal activity. It is unclear how ATB relevant brain areas in the prefrontal cortex integrate with amygdala activation during emotional stimulation. We proposed that, during emotional stimulation, ATB down-regulates activation in the amygdala and increases its integration with prefrontal regions. To address this hypothesis, 26 healthy controls were trained in mindfulness-based attention-to-breath meditation for two weeks and then stimulated with aversive pictures during both attention-to-breath and passive viewing while undergoing fMRI. Data were controlled for breathing frequency. Results indicate that (1) ATB was effective in regulating aversive emotions. (2) Left dorso-medial prefrontal cortex was associated with ATB in general. (3) A fronto-parietal network was additionally recruited during emotional stimulation. (4) ATB down regulated amygdala activation and increased amygdala-prefrontal integration, with such increased integration being associated with mindfulness ability. Results suggest amygdala-dorsal prefrontal cortex integration as a potential neural pathway of emotion regulation by mindfulness practice. PMID:27033686

  10. Prefrontal D1 dopamine signaling is necessary for temporal expectation during reaction time performance

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Krystal L.; Alberico, Stephanie L.; Miller, Adam D.; Narayanan, Nandakumar S.

    2013-01-01

    Responses during a simple reaction time task are influenced by temporal expectation, or the ability to anticipate when a stimulus occurs in time. Here, we test the hypothesis that prefrontal D1 dopamine signaling is necessary for temporal expectation during simple reaction time task performance. We depleted dopamine projections to the medial prefrontal circuits by infusing 6-hydroxidopamine, a selective neurotoxin, into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of rats, and studied their performance on a simple reaction time task with two delays. VTA dopamine depletion did not change movements or learning of the reaction time task. However, VTA dopamine-depleted animals did not develop delay-dependent speeding of reaction times, suggesting that mesocortical dopamine signaling is required for temporal expectation. Next, we manipulated dopamine signaling within the medial prefrontal cortex using local pharmacology. We found that SCH23390, a D1-type dopamine receptor antagonist, specifically attenuated delay-dependent speeding, while sulpiride, a D2-type receptor antagonist, did not. These data suggest that prefrontal D1 dopamine signaling is necessary for temporal expectation during performance of a simple reaction time task. Our findings provide insight into temporal processing of the prefrontal cortex, and how dopamine signaling influences prefrontal circuits that guide goal-directed behavior. PMID:24120554

  11. Prefrontal D1 dopamine signaling is necessary for temporal expectation during reaction time performance.

    PubMed

    Parker, K L; Alberico, S L; Miller, A D; Narayanan, N S

    2013-01-01

    Responses during a simple reaction time task are influenced by temporal expectation, or the ability to anticipate when a stimulus occurs in time. Here, we test the hypothesis that prefrontal D1 dopamine signaling is necessary for temporal expectation during simple reaction time task performance. We depleted dopamine projections to the medial prefrontal circuits by infusing 6-hydroxidopamine, a selective neurotoxin, into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of rats, and studied their performance on a simple reaction time task with two delays. VTA dopamine depletion did not change movements or learning of the reaction time task. However, VTA dopamine-depleted animals did not develop delay-dependent speeding of reaction times, suggesting that mesocortical dopamine signaling is required for temporal expectation. Next, we manipulated dopamine signaling within the medial prefrontal cortex using local pharmacology. We found that SCH23390, a D1-type dopamine receptor antagonist, specifically attenuated delay-dependent speeding, while sulpiride, a D2-type receptor antagonist, did not. These data suggest that prefrontal D1 dopamine signaling is necessary for temporal expectation during performance of a simple reaction time task. Our findings provide insight into temporal processing of the prefrontal cortex, and how dopamine signaling influences prefrontal circuits that guide goal-directed behavior. PMID:24120554

  12. Prefrontal Brain Activation During Emotional Processing: A Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Study (fNIRS)

    PubMed Central

    Glotzbach, Evelyn; Mühlberger, Andreas; Gschwendtner, Kathrin; Fallgatter, Andreas J; Pauli, Paul; Herrmann, Martin J

    2011-01-01

    The limbic system and especially the amygdala have been identified as key structures in emotion induction and regulation. Recently research has additionally focused on the influence of prefrontal areas on emotion processing in the limbic system and the amygdala. Results from fMRI studies indicate that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved not only in emotion induction but also in emotion regulation. However, studies using fNIRS only report prefrontal brain activation during emotion induction. So far it lacks the attempt to compare emotion induction and emotion regulation with regard to prefrontal activation measured with fNIRS, to exclude the possibility that the reported prefrontal brain activation in fNIRS studies are mainly caused by automatic emotion regulation processes. Therefore this work tried to distinguish emotion induction from regulation via fNIRS of the prefrontal cortex. 20 healthy women viewed neutral pictures as a baseline condition, fearful pictures as induction condition and reappraised fearful pictures as regulation condition in randomized order. As predicted, the view-fearful condition led to higher arousal ratings than the view-neutral condition with the reappraise-fearful condition in between. For the fNIRS results the induction condition showed an activation of the bilateral PFC compared to the baseline condition (viewing neutral). The regulation condition showed an activation only of the left PFC compared to the baseline condition, although the direct comparison between induction and regulation condition revealed no significant difference in brain activation. Therefore our study underscores the results of previous fNIRS studies showing prefrontal brain activation during emotion induction and rejects the hypothesis that this prefrontal brain activation might only be a result of automatic emotion regulation processes. PMID:21673974

  13. Fast Left Prefrontal rTMS Acutely Suppresses Analgesic Effects of Perceived Controllability on the Emotional Component of Pain Experience

    PubMed Central

    Borckardt, Jeffrey J.; Reeves, Scott T.; Frohman, Heather; Madan, Alok; Jensen, Mark P.; Patterson, David; Barth, Kelly; Smith, A. Richard; Gracely, Richard; George, Mark S.

    2010-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex may be a promising target for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the management of pain. It is not clear how prefrontal TMS affects pain perception, but previous findings suggest that ventral lateral and medial prefrontal circuits may comprise an important part of a circuit of ‘perceived controllability’ regarding pain, stress and learned helplessness. While the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is a common TMS target for treating clinical depression as well as modulating pain, little is known about whether TMS over this area may affect perceived controllability. The present study explored the immediate effects of fast TMS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on the analgesic effects of perceived pain controllability. Twenty-four healthy volunteers underwent a laboratory pain task designed to manipulate perception of pain controllability. Real TMS, compared to sham, suppressed the analgesic benefits of perceived-control on the emotional dimension of pain, but not the sensory/discriminatory dimension. Findings suggest that, at least acutely, fast TMS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex may interrupt the perceived-controllability effect on the emotional dimension of pain experience. While it is not clear whether this cortical area is directly involved with modulating perceived controllability or whether downstream effects are responsible for the present findings, it appears possible that left dorsolateral prefrontal TMS may produce analgesic effects by acting through a cortical ‘perceived control’ circuit regulating limbic and brainstem areas of the pain circuit. PMID:21122992

  14. Task Dependence of Visual and Category Representations in Prefrontal and Inferior Temporal Cortices

    PubMed Central

    McKee, Jillian L.; Riesenhuber, Maximilian; Miller, Earl K.

    2014-01-01

    Visual categorization is an essential perceptual and cognitive process for assigning behavioral significance to incoming stimuli. Categorization depends on sensory processing of stimulus features as well as flexible cognitive processing for classifying stimuli according to the current behavioral context. Neurophysiological studies suggest that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the inferior temporal cortex (ITC) are involved in visual shape categorization. However, their precise roles in the perceptual and cognitive aspects of the categorization process are unclear, as the two areas have not been directly compared during changing task contexts. To address this, we examined the impact of task relevance on categorization-related activity in PFC and ITC by recording from both areas as monkeys alternated between a shape categorization and passive viewing tasks. As monkeys viewed the same stimuli in both tasks, the impact of task relevance on encoding in each area could be compared. While both areas showed task-dependent modulations of neuronal activity, the patterns of results differed markedly. PFC, but not ITC, neurons showed a modest increase in firing rates when stimuli were task relevant. PFC also showed significantly stronger category selectivity during the task compared with passive viewing, while task-dependent modulations of category selectivity in ITC were weak and occurred with a long latency. Finally, both areas showed an enhancement of stimulus selectivity during the task compared with passive viewing. Together, this suggests that the ITC and PFC show differing degrees of task-dependent flexibility and are preferentially involved in the perceptual and cognitive aspects of the categorization process, respectively. PMID:25429147

  15. Prefrontal dopamine in associative learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Puig, M V; Antzoulatos, E G; Miller, E K

    2014-12-12

    Learning to associate specific objects or actions with rewards and remembering the associations are everyday tasks crucial for our flexible adaptation to the environment. These higher-order cognitive processes depend on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and frontostriatal circuits that connect areas in the frontal lobe with the striatum in the basal ganglia. Both structures are densely innervated by dopamine (DA) afferents that originate in the midbrain. Although the activity of DA neurons is thought to be important for learning, the exact role of DA transmission in frontostriatal circuits during learning-related tasks is still unresolved. Moreover, the neural substrates of this modulation are poorly understood. Here, we review our recent work in monkeys utilizing local pharmacology of DA agents in the PFC to investigate the cellular mechanisms of DA modulation of associative learning and memory. We show that blocking both D1 and D2 receptors in the lateral PFC impairs learning of new stimulus-response associations and cognitive flexibility, but not the memory of highly familiar associations. In addition, D2 receptors may also contribute to motivation. The learning deficits correlated with reductions of neural information about the associations in PFC neurons, alterations in global excitability and spike synchronization, and exaggerated alpha and beta neural oscillations. Our findings provide new insights into how DA transmission modulates associative learning and memory processes in frontostriatal systems. PMID:25241063

  16. Norepinephrine versus dopamine and their interaction in modulating synaptic function in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Xing, Bo; Li, Yan-Chun; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2016-06-15

    Among the neuromodulators that regulate prefrontal cortical circuit function, the catecholamine transmitters norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) stand out as powerful players in working memory and attention. Perturbation of either NE or DA signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and drug addiction. Although the precise mechanisms employed by NE and DA to cooperatively control prefrontal functions are not fully understood, emerging research indicates that both transmitters regulate electrical and biochemical aspects of neuronal function by modulating convergent ionic and synaptic signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review summarizes previous studies that investigated the effects of both NE and DA on excitatory and inhibitory transmissions in the prefrontal cortical circuitry. Specifically, we focus on the functional interaction between NE and DA in prefrontal cortical local circuitry, synaptic integration, signaling pathways, and receptor properties. Although it is clear that both NE and DA innervate the PFC extensively and modulate synaptic function by activating distinctly different receptor subtypes and signaling pathways, it remains unclear how these two systems coordinate their actions to optimize PFC function for appropriate behavior. Throughout this review, we provide perspectives and highlight several critical topics for future studies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Noradrenergic System. PMID:26790349

  17. Emotional and temporal aspects of situation model processing during text comprehension: an event-related fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Ferstl, Evelyn C; Rinck, Mike; von Cramon, D Yves

    2005-05-01

    Language comprehension in everyday life requires the continuous integration of prior discourse context and general world knowledge with the current utterance or sentence. In the neurolinguistic literature, these so-called situation model building processes have been ascribed to the prefrontal cortex or to the right hemisphere. In this study, we use whole-head event-related fMRI to directly map the neural correlates of narrative comprehension in context. While being scanned using a spin-echo sequence, 20 participants listened to 32 short stories, half of which contained globally inconsistent information. The inconsistencies concerned either temporal or chronological information or the emotional status of the protagonist. Hearing an inconsistent word elicited activation in the right anterior temporal lobe. The comparison of different information aspects revealed activation in the left precuneus and a bilateral frontoparietal network for chronological information. Emotional information elicited activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the extended amygdaloid complex. In addition, the integration of inconsistent emotional information engaged the dorsal frontomedial cortex (Brodmann's area 8/9), whereas the integration of inconsistent temporal information required the lateral prefrontal cortex bilaterally. These results indicate that listening to stories can elicit activation reflecting content-specific processes. Furthermore, updating of the situation model is not a unitary process but it also depends on the particular requirements of the text. The right hemisphere contributes to language processing in context, but equally important are the left medial and bilateral prefrontal cortices. PMID:15904540

  18. Double Virus Vector Infection to the Prefrontal Network of the Macaque Brain

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Shingo; Koizumi, Masashi; Kikusui, Takefumi; Ichihara, Nobutsune; Kato, Shigeki; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Sakagami, Masamichi

    2015-01-01

    To precisely understand how higher cognitive functions are implemented in the prefrontal network of the brain, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic methods to manipulate the signal transmission of a specific neural pathway are required. The application of these methods, however, has been mostly restricted to animals other than the primate, which is the best animal model to investigate higher cognitive functions. In this study, we used a double viral vector infection method in the prefrontal network of the macaque brain. This enabled us to express specific constructs into specific neurons that constitute a target pathway without use of germline genetic manipulation. The double-infection technique utilizes two different virus vectors in two monosynaptically connected areas. One is a vector which can locally infect cell bodies of projection neurons (local vector) and the other can retrogradely infect from axon terminals of the same projection neurons (retrograde vector). The retrograde vector incorporates the sequence which encodes Cre recombinase and the local vector incorporates the “Cre-On” FLEX double-floxed sequence in which a reporter protein (mCherry) was encoded. mCherry thus came to be expressed only in doubly infected projection neurons with these vectors. We applied this method to two macaque monkeys and targeted two different pathways in the prefrontal network: The pathway from the lateral prefrontal cortex to the caudate nucleus and the pathway from the lateral prefrontal cortex to the frontal eye field. As a result, mCherry-positive cells were observed in the lateral prefrontal cortex in all of the four injected hemispheres, indicating that the double virus vector transfection is workable in the prefrontal network of the macaque brain. PMID:26193102

  19. Disruption of columnar and laminar cognitive processing in primate prefrontal cortex following cocaine exposure

    PubMed Central

    Opris, Ioan; Gerhardt, Greg A.; Hampson, Robert E.; Deadwyler, Sam A.

    2015-01-01

    Prefrontal cortical activity in primate brain plays a critical role in cognitive processes involving working memory and the executive control of behavior. Groups of prefrontal cortical neurons within specified cortical layers along cortical minicolumns differentially generate inter- and intra-laminar firing to process relevant information for goal oriented behavior. However, it is not yet understood how cocaine modulates such differential firing in prefrontal cortical layers. Rhesus macaque nonhuman primates (NHPs) were trained in a visual delayed match-to-sample (DMS) task while the activity of prefrontal cortical neurons (areas 46, 8 and 6) was recorded simultaneously with a custom multielectrode array in cell layers 2/3 and 5. Animals were reinforced with juice for correct responses. The first half of the recording session (control) was conducted following saline injection and in the second half of the same session cocaine was administered. Prefrontal neuron activity with respect to inter- and intra-laminar firing in layers 2/3 and 5 was assessed in the DMS task before and after the injection of cocaine. Results showed that firing rates of both pyramidal cells and interneurons increased on Match phase presentation and the Match Response (MR) in both control and cocaine halves of the session. Differential firing under cocaine vs. control in the Match phase was increased for interneurons but decreased for pyramidal cells. In addition, functional’ interactions between prefrontal pyramidal cells in layer 2/3 and 5 decreased while intra-laminar cross-correlations in both layers increased. These neural recordings demonstrate that prefrontal neurons differentially encode and process information within and between cortical cell layers via cortical columns which is disrupted in a differential manner by cocaine: administration. PMID:26074787

  20. Prefrontal neuronal assemblies temporally control fear behaviour.

    PubMed

    Dejean, Cyril; Courtin, Julien; Karalis, Nikolaos; Chaudun, Fabrice; Wurtz, Hélène; Bienvenu, Thomas C M; Herry, Cyril

    2016-07-21

    Precise spike timing through the coordination and synchronization of neuronal assemblies is an efficient and flexible coding mechanism for sensory and cognitive processing. In cortical and subcortical areas, the formation of cell assemblies critically depends on neuronal oscillations, which can precisely control the timing of spiking activity. Whereas this form of coding has been described for sensory processing and spatial learning, its role in encoding emotional behaviour remains unknown. Fear behaviour relies on the activation of distributed structures, among which the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) is known to be critical for fear memory expression. In the dmPFC, the phasic activation of neurons to threat-predicting cues, a spike-rate coding mechanism, correlates with conditioned fear responses and supports the discrimination between aversive and neutral stimuli. However, this mechanism does not account for freezing observed outside stimuli presentations, and the contribution of a general spike-time coding mechanism for freezing in the dmPFC remains to be established. Here we use a combination of single-unit and local field potential recordings along with optogenetic manipulations to show that, in the dmPFC, expression of conditioned fear is causally related to the organization of neurons into functional assemblies. During fear behaviour, the development of 4 Hz oscillations coincides with the activation of assemblies nested in the ascending phase of the oscillation. The selective optogenetic inhibition of dmPFC neurons during the ascending or descending phases of this oscillation blocks and promotes conditioned fear responses, respectively. These results identify a novel phase-specific coding mechanism, which dynamically regulates the development of dmPFC assemblies to control the precise timing of fear responses. PMID:27409809

  1. Study the left prefrontal cortex activity of Chinese children with dyslexia in phonological processing by NIRS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhili; Li, Ting; Zheng, Yi; Luo, Qingming; Song, Ranran; Gong, Hui

    2006-02-01

    Developmental dyslexia, a kind of prevalent psychological disease, represents that dyslexic children have unexpected difficulties in phonological processing and recognition test of Chinese characters. Some functional imaging technologies, such as fMRI and PET, have been used to study the brain activities of the children with dyslexia whose first language is English. In this paper, a portable, 16-channel, continuous-wave (CW) NIRS instrument was used to monitor the concentration changes of each hemoglobin species when Chinese children did the task of phonological processing and recognition test. The NIRS recorded the hemodynamic changes in the left prefrontal cortex of the children. 20 dyslexia-reading children (10~12 years old) and 20 normal-reading children took part in the phonological processing of Chinese characters including the phonological awareness section and the phonological decoding section. During the phonological awareness section, the changed concentration of deoxy-hemoglobin in dyslexia-reading children were significantly higher (p<0.05) than normal-reading children in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). While in the phonological decoding section, both normal and dyslexic reading children had more activity in the left VLPFC, but only normal-reading children had activity in the left middorsal prefrontal cortex. In conclusion, both dyslexic and normal-reading children have activity in the left prefrontal cortex, but the degree and the areas of the prefrontal cortex activity are different between them when they did phonological processing.

  2. fNIRS evidence of prefrontal regulation of frustration in early childhood.

    PubMed

    Perlman, Susan B; Luna, Beatriz; Hein, Tyler C; Huppert, Theodore J

    2014-01-15

    The experience of frustration is common in early childhood, yet some children seem to possess a lower tolerance for frustration than others. Characterizing the biological mechanisms underlying a wide range of frustration tolerance observed in early childhood may inform maladaptive behavior and psychopathology that is associated with this construct. The goal of this study was to measure prefrontal correlates of frustration in 3-5-year-old children, who are not readily adaptable for typical neuroimaging approaches, using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). fNIRS of frontal regions were measured as frustration was induced in children through a computer game where a desired and expected prize was "stolen" by an animated dog. A fNIRS general linear model (GLM) was used to quantify the correlation of brain regions with the task and identify areas that were statistically different between the winning and frustrating test conditions. A second-level voxel-based ANOVA analysis was then used to correlate the amplitude of each individual's brain activation with measure of parent-reported frustration. Experimental results indicated increased activity in the middle prefrontal cortex during winning of a desired prize, while lateral prefrontal cortex activity increased during frustration. Further, activity increase in lateral prefrontal cortex during frustration correlated positively with parent-reported frustration tolerance. These findings point to the role of the lateral prefrontal cortex as a potential region supporting the regulation of emotion during frustration. PMID:23624495

  3. Recency gets larger as lesions move from anterior to posterior locations within the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Hochman, Guy; Yechiam, Eldad; Bechara, Antoine

    2010-11-12

    In the past two decades neuroimaging research has substantiated the important role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in decision-making. In the current study, we use the complementary lesion based approach to deepen our knowledge concerning the specific cognitive mechanisms modulated by prefrontal activity. Specifically, we assessed the brain substrates implicated in two decision making dimensions in a sample of prefrontal cortex patients: (a) the tendency to differently weigh recent compared to past experience; and (b) the tendency to differently weigh gains compared to losses. The participants performed the Iowa Gambling Task, a complex experience-based decision-making task, which was analyzed with a formal cognitive model (the Expectancy-Valance model). The results indicated that decisions become influenced by more recent, as opposed to older, events when the damage reaches the posterior sectors of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC). Furthermore, the degree of this recency deficit was related to the size of the lesion. These results suggest that the posterior area of the prefrontal cortex directly modulates the capacity to use time-delayed information. In contrast, we did not find similar modulation for the sensitivity to gains versus losses. PMID:20412820

  4. Aspects of the bottom sediment of Lake Nakaumi and Honjo area ~ featuring with organic matter and the Sulfides ~

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shinohara, R.

    2015-12-01

    Lake Nakaumi is a brackish water located at southwest Japan. Seawater from the Sea of Japan inflows through Sakai-strait, and river water flows through the Oohashi River into this lake. Lake Nakaumi is characterized with hypoxic and/or anoxic condition of bottom water derived with the distinct stratification of salinity in summer season. In this lake, a public project had been carried out for land reclamation since 1963. Honjo Area located to the north part of Lake Nakaumi, was semi-separated from Lake Nakaumi by reclamation dikes constructed for this project at 1981. However, this public project was aborted with the change of social conditions. To the effective utilization of the area, the partial removal of dike was carried out. Seawater from Sakai-strait flows directly into Honjo Area again. Environmental change of the lake is expected by this inflow of the seawater in Lake Nakaumi and Honjo Area after this restoration. It is well known that the surface sediment reflects the environment of lake bottom. The organic matter and the sulfides in sediment are good indicators of sedimentation environment. In this study, we analyzed them by several methods and grasped the bottom environment of both areas after the removal of dikes. We examined the impact of the restoration to both areas by comparing the observations with the past data. Surface sediment samples in Lake Nakaumi and Honjo Area were obtained at 77 and 40 stations, respectively. We collected surface sediment (about 1cm) were for each station, and analyzed total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN) as organic matter, and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in pore water, total sulfide (TS) and acid volatile sulfide (AVS) as sulfides. TOC contents of Lake Nakaumi and Honjo Area range within 0.0-5.1% and 0.2-4.9%, respectively. TN contents range within 0.0-0.6 % and 0.1-0.6 %. TS contents range within 0.1-2.6% and 0.0-2.0 %. H2S contents range within 0.3-119.0 ppm and 0.5-140.4 ppm. AVS contents range within 0

  5. Successful face recognition is associated with increased prefrontal cortex activation in autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Herrington, John D; Riley, Meghan E; Grupe, Daniel W; Schultz, Robert T

    2015-04-01

    This study examines whether deficits in visual information processing in autism-spectrum disorder (ASD) can be offset by the recruitment of brain structures involved in selective attention. During functional MRI, 12 children with ASD and 19 control participants completed a selective attention one-back task in which images of faces and houses were superimposed. When attending to faces, the ASD group showed increased activation relative to control participants within multiple prefrontal cortex areas, including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). DLPFC activation in ASD was associated with increased response times for faces. These data suggest that prefrontal cortex activation may represent a compensatory mechanism for diminished visual information processing abilities in ASD. PMID:25234479

  6. Category-dependent and category-independent goal-value codes in human ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    McNamee, Daniel; Rangel, Antonio; O'Doherty, John P

    2013-04-01

    To choose between manifestly distinct options, it is suggested that the brain assigns values to goals using a common currency. Although previous studies have reported activity in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) correlating with the value of different goal stimuli, it remains unclear whether such goal-value representations are independent of the associated stimulus categorization, as required by a common currency. Using multivoxel pattern analyses on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data, we found a region of medial prefrontal cortex to contain a distributed goal-value code that is independent of stimulus category. More ventrally in the vmPFC, we found spatially distinct areas of the medial orbitofrontal cortex to contain unique category-dependent distributed value codes for food and consumer items. These results implicate the medial prefrontal cortex in the implementation of a common currency and suggest a ventral versus dorsal topographical organization of value signals in the vmPFC. PMID:23416449

  7. Differing contributions of inferior prefrontal and anterior temporal cortex to concrete and abstract conceptual knowledge.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Paul; Binney, Richard J; Lambon Ralph, Matthew A

    2015-02-01

    Semantic cognition is underpinned by regions involved in representing conceptual knowledge and executive control areas that provide regulation of this information according to current task requirements. Using distortion-corrected fMRI, we investigated the contributions of these two systems to abstract and concrete word comprehension. We contrasted semantic decisions made either with coherent contextual support, which encouraged retrieval of a rich conceptual representation, or with irrelevant contextual information, which instead maximised demands on control processes. Inferior prefrontal cortex was activated more when decisions were made in the presence of irrelevant context, suggesting that this region is crucial for the semantic control functions required to select appropriate aspects of meaning in the face of competing information. It also exhibited greater activation for abstract words, which reflects the fact that abstract words tend to have variable, context-dependent meanings that place higher demands on control processes. In contrast, anterior temporal regions (ATL) were most active when decisions were made with the benefit of a coherent context, suggesting a representational role. There was a graded shift in concreteness effects in this region, with dorsolateral areas particularly active for abstract words and ventromedial areas preferentially activated by concrete words. This supports the idea that concrete concepts are closely associated with visual experience and abstract concepts with auditory-verbal information; and that sub-regions of the ATL display graded specialisation for these two types of knowledge. Between these two extremes, we identified significant activations for both word types in ventrolateral ATL. This area is known to be involved in representing knowledge for concrete concepts; here we established that it is also activated by abstract concepts. These results converge with data from rTMS and neuropsychological investigations in

  8. Attention, Emotion, and Deactivation of Default Activity in Inferior Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geday, Jacob; Gjedde, Albert

    2009-01-01

    Attention deactivates the inferior medial prefrontal cortex (IMPC), but it is uncertain if emotions can attenuate this deactivation. To test the extent to which common emotions interfere with attention, we measured changes of a blood flow index of brain activity in key areas of the IMPC with positron emission tomography (PET) of labeled water…

  9. A Model of Amygdala-Hippocampal-Prefrontal Interaction in Fear Conditioning and Extinction in Animals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Gilbertson, Mark W.; Orr, Scott P.; Herzallah, Mohammad M.; Servatius, Richard J.; Myers, Catherine E.

    2013-01-01

    Empirical research has shown that the amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are involved in fear conditioning. However, the functional contribution of each brain area and the nature of their interactions are not clearly understood. Here, we extend existing neural network models of the functional roles of the hippocampus…

  10. Social and Nonsocial Functions of Rostral Prefrontal Cortex: Implications for Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbert, Sam J.; Burgess, Paul W.

    2008-01-01

    In this article, we discuss the role of rostral prefrontal cortex (approximating Brodmann Area 10) in two domains relevant to education: executive function (particularly prospective memory, our ability to realize delayed intentions) and social cognition (particularly our ability to reflect on our own mental states and the mental states of others).…

  11. Prefrontal Activity Predicts Monkeys' Decisions During an Auditory Category Task

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jung H.; Russ, Brian E.; Orr, Lauren E.; Cohen, Yale E.

    2009-01-01

    The neural correlates that relate auditory categorization to aspects of goal-directed behavior, such as decision-making, are not well understood. Since the prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays an important role in executive function and the categorization of auditory objects, we hypothesized that neural activity in the PFC should predict an animal's behavioral reports (decisions) during a category task. To test this hypothesis, we tested PFC activity that was recorded while monkeys categorized human spoken words (Russ et al., 2008b). We found that activity in the ventrolateral PFC, on average, correlated best with the monkeys' choices than with the auditory stimuli. This finding demonstrates a direct link between PFC activity and behavioral choices during a non-spatial auditory task. PMID:19587846

  12. Visual space is compressed in prefrontal cortex before eye movements.

    PubMed

    Zirnsak, Marc; Steinmetz, Nicholas A; Noudoost, Behrad; Xu, Kitty Z; Moore, Tirin

    2014-03-27

    We experience the visual world through a series of saccadic eye movements, each one shifting our gaze to bring objects of interest to the fovea for further processing. Although such movements lead to frequent and substantial displacements of the retinal image, these displacements go unnoticed. It is widely assumed that a primary mechanism underlying this apparent stability is an anticipatory shifting of visual receptive fields (RFs) from their presaccadic to their postsaccadic locations before movement onset. Evidence of this predictive 'remapping' of RFs has been particularly apparent within brain structures involved in gaze control. However, critically absent among that evidence are detailed measurements of visual RFs before movement onset. Here we show that during saccade preparation, rather than remap, RFs of neurons in a prefrontal gaze control area massively converge towards the saccadic target. We mapped the visual RFs of prefrontal neurons during stable fixation and immediately before the onset of eye movements, using multi-electrode recordings in monkeys. Following movements from an initial fixation point to a target, RFs remained stationary in retinocentric space. However, in the period immediately before movement onset, RFs shifted by as much as 18 degrees of visual angle, and converged towards the target location. This convergence resulted in a threefold increase in the proportion of RFs responding to stimuli near the target region. In addition, like in human observers, the population of prefrontal neurons grossly mislocalized presaccadic stimuli as being closer to the target. Our results show that RF shifts do not predict the retinal displacements due to saccades, but instead reflect the overriding perception of target space during eye movements. PMID:24670771

  13. Social and economic aspects of the introduction of gasification technology in rural areas of developing countries (Tanzania)

    SciTech Connect

    Groeneveld, M.J.; Westerterp, K.R.

    1980-01-01

    The development of third world rural areas depends largely on the availability of energy and for an improvement in agricultural production; an increase in energy consumption is required. It seems attractive to replace the fossil liquid fuels needed for machinery by locally produced fuels. The thermal gasification of agricultural waste which produces gas that can be used directly to drive engines is suggested. A study to identify the social and economic advantages of this process and its applicability in rural areas of Tanzania has been made.

  14. Perseverative Interference with Object-in-Place Scene Learning in Rhesus Monkeys with Bilateral Ablation of Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baxter, Mark G.; Browning, Philip G. F.; Mitchell, Anna S.

    2008-01-01

    Surgical disconnection of the frontal cortex and inferotemporal cortex severely impairs many aspects of visual learning and memory, including learning of new object-in-place scene memory problems, a monkey model of episodic memory. As part of a study of specialization within prefrontal cortex in visual learning and memory, we tested monkeys with…

  15. Calbindin Knockout Alters Sex-Specific Regulation of Behavior and Gene Expression in Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Harris, Erin P; Abel, Jean M; Tejada, Lucia D; Rissman, Emilie F

    2016-05-01

    Calbindin-D(28K) (Calb1), a high-affinity calcium buffer/sensor, shows abundant expression in neurons and has been associated with a number of neurobehavioral diseases, many of which are sexually dimorphic in incidence. Behavioral and physiological end points are affected by experimental manipulations of calbindin levels, including disruption of spatial learning, hippocampal long-term potentiation, and circadian rhythms. In this study, we investigated novel aspects of calbindin function on social behavior, anxiety-like behavior, and fear conditioning in adult mice of both sexes by comparing wild-type to littermate Calb1 KO mice. Because Calb1 mRNA and protein are sexually dimorphic in some areas of the brain, we hypothesized that sex differences in behavioral responses of these behaviors would be eliminated or revealed in Calb1 KO mice. We also examined gene expression in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, two areas of the brain intimately connected with limbic system control of the behaviors tested, in response to sex and genotype. Our results demonstrate that fear memory and social behavior are altered in male knockout mice, and Calb1 KO mice of both sexes show less anxiety. Moreover, gene expression studies of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex revealed several significant genotype and sex effects in genes related to brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling, hormone receptors, histone deacetylases, and γ-aminobutyric acid signaling. Our findings are the first to directly link calbindin with affective and social behaviors in rodents; moreover, the results suggest that sex differences in calbindin protein influence behavior. PMID:27010449

  16. Environmental quality of a semi-natural area of the Po Valley (northern Italy): aspects of soil and vegetation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manfredi, Paolo; Giupponi, Luca; Cassinari, Chiara; Trevisan, Marco

    2014-05-01

    This work, originating in the preliminary analyses of a Life project and co-financed by the European Union ("Environmental recovery of degraded soils and desertified by a new treatment technology for land reconstruction", Life 10 ENV IT 400 "New Life"; http://www.lifeplusecosistemi.eu), aims to evaluate the environmental quality of a semi-natural area of the Po Valley (northern Italy) by analysing the characteristics of soil and vegetation. The area of study is located in the municipal territory of Piacenza (Emilia-Romagna, Italy) along the eastern shores of the river Trebbia and is made up of the closed landfill of Solid Urban Waste of Borgotrebbia (active from 1972 to 1985) and of the neighbouring areas (in North-South order: riverside area, northern borders of the landfill, landfill disposal, southern borders and cultivated corn fields). For each area pedological and vegetational analyses were carried out and in particular, as regards the soil, various chemical-physical analyses were done among which: pH, organic carbon, total nitrogen, salinity, exchangeable bases and granulometry. The ground vegetation data were collected using phytosociological relevés according to the method of the Zurich-Montpellier Sigmatist School, (Braun-Blanquet, 1964). For the analysis of the environmental quality of each area, the floristic-vegetation indexes system was applied as proposed by Taffetani & Rismondo (2009) (updated by Rismondo et al., 2011) conveniently created for analysing the ecological functionality of the agro-ecosystems. The results obtained by such applications drew attention to a dynamic vegetation mass in the landfill which, despite a value of the floristic biodiversity index (IFB) comparable to that of the borders, shows a much lower value of the maturity index (IM). This is due to the elevated percentage of annual species (index of the therophytic component = 52.78%) belonging to the phytosociological class Stellarietea mediae Tüxen, Lohmeyer & Preising ex

  17. Monogamous and promiscuous rodent species exhibit discrete variation in the size of the medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Kingsbury, Marcy A; Gleason, Erin D; Ophir, Alexander G; Phelps, Steven M; Young, Larry J; Marler, Catherine A

    2012-01-01

    Limbic-associated cortical areas, such as the medial prefrontal and retrosplenial cortex (mPFC and RS, respectively), are involved in the processing of emotion, motivation, and various aspects of working memory and have been implicated in mating behavior. To determine whether the independent evolution of mating systems is associated with a convergence in cortical mechanisms, we compared the size of mPFC and RS between the monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) and the promiscuous meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus), and between the monogamous California mouse (Peromyscus californicus) and the promiscuous white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus). For both promiscuous mice and voles, the mPFC occupied a significantly larger percentage of total cortex than in the monogamous species. No significant differences were observed for the RS or overall cortex size with respect to mating system, supporting the convergent evolution of mPFC size, specifically. Individual differences in the mating behavior of male prairie voles (wandering versus pair-bonding), presumably facultative tactics, were not reflected in the relative size of the mPFC, which is likely a heritable trait. Given the importance of the mPFC for complex working memory, particularly object-place and temporal order memory, we hypothesize that the relatively greater size of the mPFC in promiscuous species reflects a greater need to remember multiple individuals and the times and locations in which they have been encountered in the home range. PMID:22759599

  18. Neural correlates of script event knowledge: a neuropsychological study following prefrontal injury.

    PubMed

    Wood, Jacqueline N; Tierney, Michael; Bidwell, Laura A; Grafman, Jordan

    2005-12-01

    Scripts sequentially link information about daily activities and event knowledge. Patients have difficulty sequencing script events following lesions of the prefrontal cortex while showing intact access to selective aspects of script knowledge. It has been suggested that the sequencing impairment is due to a deficit in an inhibitory gating mechanisms that usually enables selection of an item from competing alternatives. If this is the case, then an inhibitory task should reveal script processing impairments on a script categorization task that is not normally associated with poor performance following prefrontal damage. To test this hypothesis, we administered a simple untimed classification task and a modified Go/NoGo task in which subjects classified events from social and non-social activities (e.g., read the menu, order the food) and related semantic items (e.g., menu, order) in terms of whether they belonged to a target activity. Participants were patients with lesions of the prefrontal cortex and matched controls. The results showed that damage to the right orbitofrontal cortex was associated with social item classification errors in the simple untimed classification task. In addition, the damage to the right prefrontal cortex was associated with increased response times to respond correctly to Go trials in the modified Go/NoGo task. The data demonstrate that damage to the right orbitofrontal cortex results in impairment in the accessibility of script and semantic representations of social activities. This impairment is exacerbated by an inefficient inhibitory gating mechanism. PMID:16350660

  19. The aspect of ultrastructural changes of the osteoblasts and surface areas of alveolar bone appearing in experimental tooth movement.

    PubMed

    Hirashita, A

    1976-12-01

    Molars of mature Wistar rats were moved experimentally by orthodontic elastic for four days. Then, the aspects of ultrastructural changes of the osteoblasts and structure of the alveolar bone surface which appeared in experimental tooth movement were studied. The following results were obtained. 1) These osteoblasts are classified into three groups according to their position. 2) The most active response to the orthodontic force is exhibited by the second group of cells with the ability of rapid production of abundant acid polysaccharide; i) Abundant rough surfaced endoplasmic reticulum with markedly dilated cisternae. ii) Well developed Golgi apparatus and electron opaque granules with a limiting membrane are found in the cytoplasm. Large granules are frequently seen to be secreted out of the cell. iii) The mitochondria are of large size and round shape with well developed cristae. 3) The surface of the new alveolar bone is covered with a belt-shaped structure consisting of small dense spherical-shaped structures. 4) Osteoclasts are rarely seen, but the original function of the cells appears to be almost inactive. PMID:1072189

  20. Social and economic aspects of the introduction of gasification technology in rural areas of developing countries (Tanzania)

    SciTech Connect

    Groeneveld, M.J.; Westerterp, K.R.

    1980-01-01

    According to the evaluation criteria presented, the gasification of corn cobs is acceptable from the economical and agricultural point of view in the rural areas around Arusha (Tanzania). The gasification system is of relatively simple construction and local maintenance is possible. If the system is connected to the already existing corn mills in the villages, it is appropriate to the existing socio-cultural system. The economic calculations made clear that the use of gasification is attractive for both the owners of the corn mill and the government. The advantages for the government are the savings on imported oil and the extra income created for the users of the corn mill (inhabitants of the rural villages). The government loses income from taxes and from the production and transport of diesel oil. Evaluation methods presented can and should be used for gasification projects in other areas.

  1. Hydrogeological aspects and environmental concerns of the New Valley Project, Western Desert, Egypt, with special emphasis on the southern area

    SciTech Connect

    Assaad, F.A. )

    1988-12-01

    The New Valley Project has been given much attention in the past 20 years especially from the hydrogeological point of view concerning groundwater utilization for the reclamation of a large area of the Western Desert. Lithological, petrophysical, and petrographical studies were conducted on four wells south of Beris Oasis. The Nubian sandstones in the area south of Beris Oasis contain hematitic stains and/or fine granular authigenic hematite, thin laminae of brown ferruginous quartzite is also recorded denoting oxidizing conditions in the basin of deposition. Thin streaks of carbonaceous shales are met with in different depths to the south of Beris area, may be taken to denote oscillations in the sea level and accordingly its depths, and are responsible for the change in the oxidation-reduction potential during the deposition of the corresponding beds. Petrographic examination of a thin section of the subsurface Nubia sandstones in the South of Beris Oasis showed that the lithified rocks fail into three types depending on the nature of cement being, silicious or ferruginous, and on the amount of primary matrix, which at present is reorganized into iron oxides, microquartz, and muscovite flakes, thus reaching the phyllomorphic stage of diagenesis. Rounding of the quartz grains shows that transportation had a minor effect on the grain morphology and favor a fluviatile transporting agent.

  2. Multiple Effects of Prefrontal Lesions on Task-Switching

    PubMed Central

    Shallice, Tim; Stuss, Donald T.; Picton, Terence W.; Alexander, Michael P.; Gillingham, Susan

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the performance of 41 patients with focal prefrontal cortical lesions and 38 healthy controls on a task-switching procedure. Three different conditions were evaluated: single tasks without switches and two switching tasks with the currently relevant task signalled either 1500 ms (Long Cue) or 200 ms (Short Cue) before the stimulus. Patients with Superior Medial lesions showed both a general slowing of reaction time (RT) and a significantly increased switch cost as measured by RT. No other prefrontal group showed this increased reaction time switch cost. Increased error rates in the switching conditions, on the other hand, were observed in patients with Inferior Medial lesions and, to a lesser extent, ones with Superior Medial lesions. Patients with left dorsolateral lesions (9/46v) showed slower learning of the task as indicated by a high error rate early on. Several different processes are involved in task-switching and these are selectively disrupted by lesions to specific areas of the frontal lobes. PMID:18958216

  3. Prefrontal/accumbal catecholamine system processes high motivational salience

    PubMed Central

    Puglisi-Allegra, Stefano; Ventura, Rossella

    2012-01-01

    Motivational salience regulates the strength of goal seeking, the amount of risk taken, and the energy invested from mild to extreme. Highly motivational experiences promote highly persistent memories. Although this phenomenon is adaptive in normal conditions, experiences with extremely high levels of motivational salience can promote development of memories that can be re-experienced intrusively for long time resulting in maladaptive outcomes. Neural mechanisms mediating motivational salience attribution are, therefore, very important for individual and species survival and for well-being. However, these neural mechanisms could be implicated in attribution of abnormal motivational salience to different stimuli leading to maladaptive compulsive seeking or avoidance. We have offered the first evidence that prefrontal cortical norepinephrine (NE) transmission is a necessary condition for motivational salience attribution to highly salient stimuli, through modulation of dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain area involved in all motivated behaviors. Moreover, we have shown that prefrontal-accumbal catecholamine (CA) system determines approach or avoidance responses to both reward- and aversion-related stimuli only when the salience of the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) is high enough to induce sustained CA activation, thus affirming that this system processes motivational salience attribution selectively to highly salient events. PMID:22754514

  4. Medial prefrontal theta phase coupling during spatial memory retrieval.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Raphael; Bush, Daniel; Bonnefond, Mathilde; Bandettini, Peter A; Barnes, Gareth R; Doeller, Christian F; Burgess, Neil

    2014-06-01

    Memory retrieval is believed to involve a disparate network of areas, including medial prefrontal and medial temporal cortices, but the mechanisms underlying their coordination remain elusive. One suggestion is that oscillatory coherence mediates inter-regional communication, implicating theta phase and theta-gamma phase-amplitude coupling in mnemonic function across species. To examine this hypothesis, we used non-invasive whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) as participants retrieved the location of objects encountered within a virtual environment. We demonstrate that, when participants are cued with the image of an object whose location they must subsequently navigate to, there is a significant increase in 4-8 Hz theta power in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and the phase of this oscillation is coupled both with ongoing theta phase in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and perceptually induced 65-85 Hz gamma amplitude in medial parietal cortex. These results suggest that theta phase coupling between mPFC and MTL and theta-gamma phase-amplitude coupling between mPFC and neocortical regions may play a role in human spatial memory retrieval. PMID:24497013

  5. Evidence for a dysfunctional prefrontal circuit in patients with an impulsive aggressive disorder

    PubMed Central

    Best, Mary; Williams, J. Michael; Coccaro, Emil F.

    2002-01-01

    Humans with lesions to the orbital/medial prefrontal cortex and interconnected areas display impulsive aggressive behavior. To examine further the relationship between impulsive aggression and orbital/medial prefrontal dysfunction, we measured the behavioral performance of psychiatric patients with a disorder characterized by impulsive aggression, Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). Presently, no evidence exists for a localized brain lesion in IED subjects. However, on the basis of the location of brain lesions that produce acquired impulsive aggression, we hypothesized that IED subjects would exhibit test performance similar to patients with lesions to the orbital/medial prefrontal cortex. Subjects with IED and controls were administered three tests sensitive to lesions of the orbital/medial prefrontal circuit: the Iowa Gambling Task, facial emotion recognition, and odor identification, and two control tests of working memory. On the gambling task, IED subjects continued to make disadvantageous decisions throughout the 100 trials, whereas controls learned to avoid disadvantageous decisions. On the facial recognition test, IED subjects were impaired at recognizing “anger,” “disgust,” and “surprise,” and they were biased to label neutral faces with “disgust” and “fear.” On odor identification, IED subjects were mildly anosmic and were impaired relative to controls. However, on the working memory control tests, both groups performed similarly. Across tests, the performance of IED subjects resembles the performance of patients with orbital/medial prefrontal lesions in previous studies. These results extend the link between dysfunction of the orbital/medial prefrontal circuit and impulsive aggressive behavior. PMID:12034876

  6. Land use effects on quality and quantity aspects of water resources in headwater areas of the Jaguari River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueiredo, R. D. O.; Camargo, P. B. D.; Piccolo, M. C.; Zuccari, M. L.; Ferracini, V. L.; Cruz, P. P. N. D.; Green, T. R.; Costa, C. F. G. D.; Reis, L. D. C.

    2015-12-01

    In the context of the recent drought conditions in southeastern Brazil, EMBRAPA (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) in partnership with two Brazilian universities (USP/CENA and UNIFAL) planned a research project, called BaCaJa, to understand the hydrobiogeochemistry processes that occur in small catchments (<1,000 ha) at the upper portions of the Jaguari River Basin situated on both states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. The approach of this study is based on the fact that the evaluation of stream water quality and quantity is an efficient tool to characterize the sustainability of the agriculture production at a catchment level. Its goal is, therefore, to survey the land use effects on the hydrobiogeochemistry in headwaters areas of the Jaguari River Basin to support sustainable management of water resources in this region. Sampling stations were established on rivers and streams ranging from one to five order channels as well as selected small catchments to conduct studies on overland flow, soil solution, soil quality, aquatic biota and pesticide dynamic. The research team is huge and their goals are specific, diverse and complementary, being summed up as: characterize land use, topography and soils; evaluate erosive potential in agriculture areas; measure soil carbon and nitrogen contents; characterize hydrogeochemistry fluxes; apply hydrological modeling and simulate different land use and management scenarios; monitor possible pesticides contamination; and survey macro invertebrates as indicators of water quality. Based on a synthesis of the results, the project team intends to point out the environmental impacts and contribute recommendations of management for the focused region to conserve water resources in terms of quality and quantity.

  7. Review of historiographic aspects of geothermal energy in the Mediterranean and Mesoamerican areas prior to the Modern Age

    SciTech Connect

    Cataldi, R. )

    1993-08-01

    This investigation aims not only to gain greater insight into the ancient uses of natural heat and its by-products, but also to gather elements for comprehending what kind of impact the presence of geothermal manifestations and the occurrence of volcanic eruptions may have produced on the ancient inhabitants of the Mediterranean and Mesoamerican regions. The first part of the paper discusses what may have occurred in the time period from the Lower Paleolithic (10[sup 5]--10[sup 6] years ago) until the end of the Neolithic. Throughout this period, the relationship of man with the various manifestations of terrestrial heat and its associated products was quite close and intense. In addition to the initial development of direct uses, this relationship with geothermal energy also involved man's cultural sphere. The second part of the paper discusses the development of direct uses and the importance that thermal balneology attained in some regions of the Mediterranean area in historical times. The exploitation and processing of hydrothermal products by the Etruscans, the blossoming of balneotherapy and the multiple functions of the spas in Roman times, the decline of all direct uses between the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. following the collapse of the Roman Empire, and the intensive exploitation of the manifestations of Larderello between the 11th and 16th centuries are discussed. The third part of the work refers to the Mesoamerican area (Mexico and neighboring regions) and covers the period extending from several millennia before the Christian era until the time of the voyages of Columbus. The last part of the paper attempts to reconstruct the birth and initial development of scientific thought regarding the various types of geothermal phenomena, starting from the oldest known illustration of a volcanic eruption until the end of the Middle Ages. 2 figs., 1 tab.

  8. Semi-guiding high-aspect-ratio core (SHARC) fiber providing single-mode operation and an ultra-large core area in a compact coilable package.

    PubMed

    Rockwell, David A; Shkunov, Vladimir V; Marciante, John R

    2011-07-18

    A new class of optical fiber is presented that departs from the circular-core symmetry common to conventional fibers. By using a high-aspect-ratio (~30:1) rectangular core, the mode area can be significantly expanded well beyond 10,000 μm2. Moreover, by also specifying a very small refractive-index step at the narrow core edges, the core becomes "semi-guiding," i.e. it guides in the narrow dimension and is effectively un-guiding in the wide mm-scale dimension. The mode dependence of the resulting Fresnel leakage loss in the wide dimension strongly favors the fundamental mode, promoting single-mode operation. Since the modal loss ratios are independent of mode area, this core structure offers nearly unlimited scalability. The implications of using such a fiber in fiber laser and amplifier systems are also discussed. PMID:21934837

  9. Prefrontal neuronal circuits of contextual fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Rozeske, R R; Valerio, S; Chaudun, F; Herry, C

    2015-01-01

    Over the past years, numerous studies have provided a clear understanding of the neuronal circuits and mechanisms involved in the formation, expression and extinction phases of conditioned cued fear memories. Yet, despite a strong clinical interest, a detailed understanding of these memory phases for contextual fear memories is still missing. Besides the well-known role of the hippocampus in encoding contextual fear behavior, growing evidence indicates that specific regions of the medial prefrontal cortex differentially regulate contextual fear acquisition and storage in both animals and humans that ultimately leads to expression of contextual fear memories. In this review, we provide a detailed description of the recent literature on the role of distinct prefrontal subregions in contextual fear behavior and provide a working model of the neuronal circuits involved in the acquisition, expression and generalization of contextual fear memories. PMID:25287656

  10. The role of prefrontal cortex in psychopathy

    PubMed Central

    Koenigs, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by remorseless and impulsive antisocial behavior. Given the significant societal costs of the recidivistic criminal activity associated with the disorder, there is a pressing need for more effective treatment strategies, and hence, a better understanding of the psychobiological mechanisms underlying the disorder. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is likely to play an important role in psychopathy. In particular, the ventromedial and anterior cingulate sectors of PFC are theorized to mediate a number of social and affective decision-making functions that appear to be disrupted in psychopathy. This article provides a critical summary of human neuroimaging data implicating prefrontal dysfunction in psychopathy. A growing body of evidence associates psychopathy with structural and functional abnormalities in ventromedial PFC and anterior cingulate cortex. Although this burgeoning field still faces a number of methodological challenges and outstanding questions that will need to be resolved by future studies, the research to date has established a link between psychopathy and PFC. PMID:22752782

  11. Prefrontal system dysfunction and credit card debt.

    PubMed

    Spinella, Marcello; Yang, Bijou; Lester, David

    2004-10-01

    Credit card use often involves a disadvantageous allocation of finances because they allow for spending beyond means and buying on impulse. Accordingly they are associated with increased bankruptcy, anxiety, stress, and health problems. Mounting evidence from functional neuroimaging and clinical studies implicates prefrontal-subcortical systems in processing financial information. This study examined the relationship of credit card debt and executive functions using the Frontal System Behavior Scale (FRSBE). After removing the influences of demographic variables (age, sex, education, and income), credit card debt was associated with the Executive Dysfunction scale, but not the Apathy or Disinhibition scales. This suggests that processes of conceptualizing and organizing finances are most relevant to credit card debt, and implicates dorsolateral prefrontal dysfunction. PMID:15370189

  12. Incidence of primary liver cancer and aetiological aspects: a study of a defined population from a low-endemicity area.

    PubMed Central

    Kaczynski, J.; Hansson, G.; Wallerstedt, S.

    1996-01-01

    The prevalence of primary liver cancer (PLC) varies throughout the world. It has been attributed to variations in incidence of the predominant histological type, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The incidence of PLC types other than HCC such as cholangiocellular carcinoma (CCC) is far less known, especially in low-incidence areas. The aetiology of HCC and other PLC types is obscure, with the exception of the association between HCC and cirrhosis as well as chronic viral hepatitis. The present retrospective incidence and aetiology study concerns a well-defined population from a period with a high autopsy frequency. Preserved biopsy specimens were re-evaluated histopathologically and patient records were studied. Among 590 histologically verified cases of PLC, HCC constituted 90%, CCC 8% and a mixed form of these types 1%. At the end of the study period the annual age-standardised incidence rate of HCC was 3.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Other PLC types were hepatoblastoma (n = 3), fibrolamellar carcinoma (n = 2), angiosarcoma (n = 1) and infantile haemangioendothelioma (n = 1), each constituting less than 1% of the PLC cases. Comparing HCC with CCC we found that cirrhosis (70%) and alcoholism (21%) was significantly more frequent in HCC, and cholelithiasis was significantly more common (60%) in patients with CCC. In the majority of the PLC cases with liver cirrhosis this disorder was unknown before diagnosis of the tumour. PMID:8554975

  13. Structural Aspects of the Iquique Area With Possible Influence on the Mw 8.2, 2014, Pisagua Earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobiesiak, M.; Schaller, T.; Meneses, G.; Goetze, H. J.; Satriano, C.; Poiata, N.; Ruiz, S.; Comte, D.; Bernard, P.; Vilotte, J. P.; Métois, M.; Olcay, M.; Tassera, C.; Campos, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    The Mw 8.2, 2014, Pisagua earthquake in Northern Chile did not come as a complete surprise as it was anticipated that in the "near future" a large earthquake could happen in the North Chile seismic gap. Whether the gap would rupture in a single M~9 event or in several M 7-8 events has been subject of debate. Now it is clear that the Pisagua earthquake ruptured the shallower part of one segment of the North Chilean seismogenic subduction interface and leaves the questions why the new rupture started here and what could be a future scenario for the failure of the seismic gaps' residuals. To identify seismogenic structures which define areas where large events might nucleate, asperities develop or segment boundaries form, we need large catalogues of accurately located seismic events in all magnitude ranges. Therefore, we apply a new method to automatically detect and locate seismic events based on the backprojection algorithm and multi-band kurtosis signal representation (see also abstracts Satriano et al. and Poiata et al.) using the data basis of the Iquique Local Network and the Integrated Plate Boundary Observatory in North Chile. Precise earthquake locations, seismicity rate changes and spatial b-value distributions can then refer to material boundaries, and distinguish between locked and creeping sections, which lead to the sites where actual deformation also on small scales is taking place.While seismicity distribution and its temporal changes help to identify the outlines of seismogenic structures, congruent gravity isostatic residual anomalies and modeled density distributions tell us something about the physical nature of earthquake nucleation zones and asperities. We present new results from density modeling on narrow profiles over the entire Pisagua earthquake rupture plane revealing dense bodies which we suggest have influenced the start of the main shock rupture as well as its propagation by linking spatial background and aftershock distributions.

  14. Perception of floods as an important aspect of quality of life and territorial changes in flood areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klemešová, Kamila; Andráško, Ivan

    2014-05-01

    The quality of life in many municipalities in the Czech Republic is affected by coming floods. Since 1997 when a great part of Moravia was affected by an extreme flood situation, much closer attention is paid to floods and flood protection. Flood management is based, besides others, on European flood legislation but it still does not reflect the social perception of flood situations as a common part of the evaluation of flood risk. However, this very perception strongly influences future implementation of flood measures, territorial and social development of the municipality and indirectly the quality of life in the municipality. One of the main problems in flood issue is the financing of anti-flood measures. In view of the fact that financial resources in environmental sphere are limited, preventive anti-flood measures, that can eliminate the impacts of future floods and are not so expensive, assume more importance. Such kind of measures is often suggested for local needs. The necessity to research the social perception of flood in this context is supported by some studies pointing out a still insufficient use of preventive anti-flood measures in the Czech Republic in spite of several extreme floods in the past 20 years. This paper aims at presenting the results of a research which has been done in a model area affected by floods. The aim of this research was to point out the main factors that influence the life in the municipality after flood (including suggested anti-flood measures) and the possibilities and willingness of the inhabitants to change them. The research results have subsequently been supplemented with the same evaluation by the members of local administrations who are important players in post-flood development of the municipality and in dealings with citizens about the suggested anti-flood measures.

  15. Power spectrum scale invariance identifies prefrontal dysregulation in paranoid schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Radulescu, Anca R; Rubin, Denis; Strey, Helmut H; Mujica-Parodi, Lilianne R

    2012-07-01

    Theory and experimental evidence suggest that complex living systems function close to the boundary of chaos, with erroneous organization to an improper dynamical range (too stiff or chaotic) underlying system-wide dysregulation and disease. We hypothesized that erroneous organization might therefore also characterize paranoid schizophrenia, via optimization abnormalities in the prefrontal-limbic circuit regulating emotion. To test this, we acquired fMRI scans from 35 subjects (N = 9 patients with paranoid schizophrenia and N = 26 healthy controls), while they viewed affect-valent stimuli. To quantify dynamic regulation, we analyzed the power spectrum scale invariance (PSSI) of fMRI time-courses and computed the geometry of time-delay (Poincaré) maps, a measure of variability. Patients and controls showed distinct PSSI in two clusters (k(1) : Z = 4.3215, P = 0.00002 and k(2) : Z = 3.9441, P = 0.00008), localized to the orbitofrontal/medial prefrontal cortex (Brodmann Area 10), represented by β close to white noise in patients (β ≈ 0) and in the pink noise range in controls (β ≈ -1). Interpreting the meaning of PSSI differences, the Poincaré maps indicated less variability in patients than controls (Z = -1.9437, P = 0.05 for k(1) ; Z = -2.5099, P = 0.01 for k(2) ). That the dynamics identified Brodmann Area 10 is consistent with previous schizophrenia research, which implicates this area in deficits of working memory, executive functioning, emotional regulation and underlying biological abnormalities in synaptic (glutamatergic) transmission. Our results additionally cohere with a large body of work finding pink noise to be the normal range of central function at the synaptic, cellular, and small network levels, and suggest that patients show less supple responsivity of this region. PMID:21567663

  16. Rapid breakdown anodization technique for the synthesis of high aspect ratio and high surface area anatase TiO{sub 2} nanotube powders

    SciTech Connect

    Antony, Rajini P.; Mathews, Tom; Dasgupta, Arup; Dash, S.; Tyagi, A.K.; Raj, Baldev

    2011-03-15

    Clusters of high aspect ratio, high surface area anatase-TiO{sub 2} nanotubes with a typical nanotube outer diameter of about 18 nm, wall thickness of approximately 5 nm and length of 5-10 {mu}m were synthesized, in powder form, by breakdown anodization of Ti foils in 0.1 M perchloric acid, at 10 V (299 K) and 20 V ({approx}275 and 299 K). The surface area, morphology, structure and band gap were determined from Brunauer Emmet Teller method, field emmission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman, photoluminescence and diffuse reflectance spectroscopic studies. The tubular morphology and anatase phase were found to be stable up to 773 K and above 773 K anatase phase gradually transformed to rutile phase with disintegration of tubular morphology. At 973 K, complete transformation to rutile phase and disintegration of tubular morphology were observed. The band gap of the as prepared and the annealed samples varied from 3.07 to 2.95 eV with increase in annealing temperature as inferred from photoluminescence and diffuse reflectance studies. -- Graphical abstract: Display Omitted Research highlights: {yields} High aspect ratio anatase-titania nanotube powders were synthesized electrochemically. {yields} The surface area of the nanotubes were much higher than those reported. {yields} The annealing temperature limit for maintaining tubular morphology was established. {yields} The photoluminiscence spectroscopy reflected the presence of defects, annealing of defects and phase transformation. {yields} The nanotubes were of {approx}5 nm wall thickness as revealed by TEM studies.

  17. Network resets in medial prefrontal cortex mark the onset of behavioral uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Mattias P; Tervo, Dougal G R; Karpova, Alla Y

    2012-10-01

    Regions within the prefrontal cortex are thought to process beliefs about the world, but little is known about the circuit dynamics underlying the formation and modification of these beliefs. Using a task that permits dissociation between the activity encoding an animal's internal state and that encoding aspects of behavior, we found that transient increases in the volatility of activity in the rat medial prefrontal cortex accompany periods when an animal's belief is modified after an environmental change. Activity across the majority of sampled neurons underwent marked, abrupt, and coordinated changes when prior belief was abandoned in favor of exploration of alternative strategies. These dynamics reflect network switches to a state of instability, which diminishes over the period of exploration as new stable representations are formed. PMID:23042898

  18. Prefrontal dopamine signaling and cognitive symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Narayanan, Nandakumar S.; Rodnitzky, Robert L.; Uc, Ergun

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive dysfunction is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease that causes significant morbidity and mortality. The severity of these symptoms ranges from minor executive symptoms to frank dementia involving multiple domains. In the present review, we will concentrate on the aspects of cognitive impairment associated with prefrontal dopaminergic dysfunction seen in non-demented patients with PD. These symptoms include executive dysfunction and disorders of thought such as hallucinations and psychosis. Such symptoms may go on to predict dementia related to Parkinson’s disease, which involves amnestic dysfunction and is typically seen later in the disease. Cognitive symptoms are associated with dysfunction in cholinergic circuits in addition to the abnormalities in the prefrontal dopaminergic system. These circuits can be carefully studied and evaluated in Parkinson’s disease, and could be leveraged to treat difficult clinical problems related to cognitive symptoms of PD. PMID:23729617

  19. Parvalbumin-positive interneurons of the prefrontal cortex support working memory and cognitive flexibility

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Andrew J.; Woloszynowska-Fraser, Marta U.; Ansel-Bollepalli, Laura; Cole, Katy L. H.; Foggetti, Angelica; Crouch, Barry; Riedel, Gernot; Wulff, Peer

    2015-01-01

    Dysfunction of parvalbumin (PV)-positive GABAergic interneurons (PVIs) within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated in schizophrenia pathology. It is however unclear, how impaired signaling of these neurons may contribute to PFC dysfunction. To identify how PVIs contribute to PFC-dependent behaviors we inactivated PVIs in the PFC in mice using region- and cell-type-selective expression of tetanus toxin light chain (TeLC) and compared the functional consequences of this manipulation with non-cell-type-selective perturbations of the same circuitry. By sampling for behavioral alterations that map onto distinct symptom categories in schizophrenia, we show that dysfunction of PVI signaling in the PFC specifically produces deficits in the cognitive domain, but does not give rise to PFC-dependent correlates of negative or positive symptoms. Our results suggest that distinct aspects of the complex symptomatology of PFC dysfunction in schizophrenia can be attributed to specific prefrontal circuit elements. PMID:26608841

  20. Theta coupling between V4 and prefrontal cortex predicts visual short-term memory performance.

    PubMed

    Liebe, Stefanie; Hoerzer, Gregor M; Logothetis, Nikos K; Rainer, Gregor

    2012-03-01

    Short-term memory requires communication between multiple brain regions that collectively mediate the encoding and maintenance of sensory information. It has been suggested that oscillatory synchronization underlies intercortical communication. Yet, whether and how distant cortical areas cooperate during visual memory remains elusive. We examined neural interactions between visual area V4 and the lateral prefrontal cortex using simultaneous local field potential (LFP) recordings and single-unit activity (SUA) in monkeys performing a visual short-term memory task. During the memory period, we observed enhanced between-area phase synchronization in theta frequencies (3-9 Hz) of LFPs together with elevated phase locking of SUA to theta oscillations across regions. In addition, we found that the strength of intercortical locking was predictive of the animals' behavioral performance. This suggests that theta-band synchronization coordinates action potential communication between V4 and prefrontal cortex that may contribute to the maintenance of visual short-term memories. PMID:22286175

  1. Bidirectional prefrontal-hippocampal interactions support context-guided memory.

    PubMed

    Place, Ryan; Farovik, Anja; Brockmann, Marco; Eichenbaum, Howard

    2016-08-01

    We compared the dynamics of hippocampal and prefrontal interactions in rats as they used spatial contexts to guide the retrieval of object memories. Functional connectivity analysis indicated a flow of contextual information from the hippocampus to prefrontal cortex upon the rat's entry into the spatial context. Conversely, upon the onset of object sampling, the direction of information flow reversed, consistent with prefrontal control over the retrieval of context-appropriate hippocampal memory representations. PMID:27322417

  2. Abstract context representations in primate amygdala and prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Saez, A.; Rigotti, M.; Ostojic, S.; Fusi, S.; Salzman, C. D.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Neurons in prefrontal cortex (PFC) encode rules, goals and other abstract information thought to underlie cognitive, emotional, and behavioral flexibility. Here we show that the amygdala, a brain area traditionally thought to mediate emotions, also encodes abstract information that could underlie this flexibility. Monkeys performed a task in which stimulus-reinforcement contingencies varied between two sets of associations, each defining a context. Reinforcement prediction required identifying a stimulus and knowing the current context. Behavioral evidence indicated that monkeys utilized this information to perform inference and adjust their behavior. Neural representations in both amygdala and PFC reflected the linked sets of associations implicitly defining each context, a process requiring a level of abstraction characteristic of cognitive operations. Surprisingly, when errors were made, the context signal weakened substantially in the amygdala. These data emphasize the importance of maintaining abstract cognitive information in the amygdala to support flexible behavior. PMID:26291167

  3. Involvement of prefrontal cortex in scalar implicatures: evidence from magnetoencephalography

    PubMed Central

    Politzer-Ahles, Stephen; Gwilliams, Laura

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated the neural correlates of the realisation of scalar inferences, i.e., the interpretation of some as meaning some but not all. We used magnetoencephalography, which has high temporal resolution, to measure neural activity while participants heard stories that included the scalar inference trigger some in contexts that either provide strong cues for a scalar inference or provide weaker cues. The middle portion of the lateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 46) showed an increased response to some in contexts with fewer cues to the inference, suggesting that this condition elicited greater effort. While the results are not predicted by traditional all-or-nothing accounts of scalar inferencing that assume the process is always automatic or always effortful, they are consistent with more recent gradient accounts which predict that the speed and effort of scalar inferences is strongly modulated by numerous contextual factors. PMID:26247054

  4. The Behavioral Relevance of Task Information in Human Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Cole, Michael W; Ito, Takuya; Braver, Todd S

    2016-06-01

    Human lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) is thought to play a critical role in enabling cognitive flexibility, particularly when performing novel tasks. However, it remains to be established whether LPFC representation of task-relevant information in such situations actually contributes to successful performance. We utilized pattern classification analyses of functional MRI activity to identify novelty-sensitive brain regions as participants rapidly switched between performance of 64 complex tasks, 60 of which were novel. In three of these novelty-sensitive regions-located within distinct areas of left anterior LPFC-trial-evoked activity patterns discriminated correct from error trials. Further, these regions also contained information regarding the task-relevant decision rule, but only for successfully performed trials. This suggests that left anterior LPFC may be particularly important for representing task information that contributes to the cognitive flexibility needed to perform successfully in novel task situations. PMID:25870233

  5. Insights into Human Behavior from Lesions to the Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Szczepanski, Sara M.; Knight, Robert T.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The prefrontal cortex (PFC), a cortical region that was once thought to be functionally insignificant, is now known to play an essential role in the organization and control of goal-directed thought and behavior. Neuroimaging, neurophysiological, and modeling techniques have lead to tremendous advances in our understanding of PFC functions over the last few decades. It should be noted, however, that neurological, neuropathological, and neuropsychological studies have contributed some of the most essential, historical, and often prescient, conclusions regarding the functions of this region. Importantly, examination of patients with brain damage allows one to draw conclusions about whether a brain area is necessary for a particular function. Here, we provide a broad overview of PFC functions based upon behavioral and neural changes resulting from damage to PFC in both human patients and non-human primates. PMID:25175878

  6. Abstract Context Representations in Primate Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Saez, A; Rigotti, M; Ostojic, S; Fusi, S; Salzman, C D

    2015-08-19

    Neurons in prefrontal cortex (PFC) encode rules, goals, and other abstract information thought to underlie cognitive, emotional, and behavioral flexibility. Here we show that the amygdala, a brain area traditionally thought to mediate emotions, also encodes abstract information that could underlie this flexibility. Monkeys performed a task in which stimulus-reinforcement contingencies varied between two sets of associations, each defining a context. Reinforcement prediction required identifying a stimulus and knowing the current context. Behavioral evidence indicated that monkeys utilized this information to perform inference and adjust their behavior. Neural representations in both amygdala and PFC reflected the linked sets of associations implicitly defining each context, a process requiring a level of abstraction characteristic of cognitive operations. Surprisingly, when errors were made, the context signal weakened substantially in the amygdala. These data emphasize the importance of maintaining abstract cognitive information in the amygdala to support flexible behavior. PMID:26291167

  7. Dopaminergic modulation of distracter-resistance and prefrontal delay period signal.

    PubMed

    Bloemendaal, Mirjam; van Schouwenburg, Martine R; Miyakawa, Asako; Aarts, Esther; D'Esposito, Mark; Cools, Roshan

    2015-03-01

    Dopamine has long been implicated in the online maintenance of information across short delays. Specifically, dopamine has been proposed to modulate the strength of working memory representations in the face of intervening distracters. This hypothesis has not been tested in humans. We fill this gap using pharmacological neuroimaging. Healthy young subjects were scanned after intake of the dopamine receptor agonist bromocriptine or placebo (in a within-subject, counterbalanced, and double-blind design). During scanning, subjects performed a delayed match-to-sample task with face stimuli. A face or scene distracter was presented during the delay period (between the cue and the probe). Bromocriptine altered distracter-resistance, such that it impaired performance after face relative to scene distraction. Individual differences in the drug effect on distracter-resistance correlated negatively with drug effects on delay period signal in the prefrontal cortex, as well as on functional connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and the fusiform face area. These results provide evidence for the hypothesis that dopaminergic modulation of the prefrontal cortex alters resistance of working memory representations to distraction. Moreover, we show that the effects of dopamine on the distracter-resistance of these representations are accompanied by modulation of the functional strength of connections between the prefrontal cortex and stimulus-specific posterior cortex. PMID:25300902

  8. Delayed-alternation performance after selective lesions within the prefrontal cortex of the cat.

    PubMed

    Markowitsch, H J; Pritzel, M; Kessler, J; Guldin, W; Freeman, R B

    1980-02-01

    On the basis of new neuroanatomical findings on relationships between subregions of the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus and the prefrontal cortex of the cat, it was attempted to investigate the relative importance of prefrontal subfields with the aim of obtaining evidence in favor of a functional inequality of different prefrontal subfields. Four areas, named presylvian (PRS), proreal (PR), dorsomedial (DM), and orbito-insular (OI) sectors, were ablated successfully in 30 adult animals. Performance of a 10-sec delayed-alternation task was compared pre- and postoperatively. Furthermore, most of the cats had to learn an extension of this task postoperatively, using a 20-sec delay period, and lastly, these animals were subjected to an extinction test. Significant performance differences were obtained between cats of different groups in all three tasks. Lesions of subregion PR, and even more of subregion PRS, led to severe behavioral deterioration, whereas lesions of subregion OI were without effect, when compared with the behavior of a sham-operated control group. PRS-cats, furthermore, showed motor disturbances during the first postoperative week. The results obtained suggest that it is possible to subdivide the cat's prefrontal cortex functionally. In addition, it is hypothesized that behavioral changes in cats of groups PRS and PR are due to an inability to use kinesthetic information properly. PMID:7284081

  9. Prefrontal Cortex Haemodynamics and Affective Responses during Exercise: A Multi-Channel Near Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    PubMed Central

    Tempest, Gavin D.; Eston, Roger G.; Parfitt, Gaynor

    2014-01-01

    The dose-response effects of the intensity of exercise upon the potential regulation (through top-down processes) of affective (pleasure-displeasure) responses in the prefrontal cortex during an incremental exercise protocol have not been explored. This study examined the functional capacity of the prefrontal cortex (reflected by haemodynamics using near infrared spectroscopy) and affective responses during exercise at different intensities. Participants completed an incremental cycling exercise test to exhaustion. Changes (Δ) in oxygenation (O2Hb), deoxygenation (HHb), blood volume (tHb) and haemoglobin difference (HbDiff) were measured from bilateral dorsal and ventral prefrontal areas. Affective responses were measured every minute during exercise. Data were extracted at intensities standardised to: below ventilatory threshold, at ventilatory threshold, respiratory compensation point and the end of exercise. During exercise at intensities from ventilatory threshold to respiratory compensation point, ΔO2Hb, ΔHbDiff and ΔtHb were greater in mostly ventral than dorsal regions. From the respiratory compensation point to the end of exercise, ΔO2Hb remained stable and ΔHbDiff declined in dorsal regions. As the intensity increased above the ventilatory threshold, inverse associations between affective responses and oxygenation in (a) all regions of the left hemisphere and (b) lateral (dorsal and ventral) regions followed by the midline (ventral) region in the right hemisphere were observed. Differential activation patterns occur within the prefrontal cortex and are associated with affective responses during cycling exercise. PMID:24788166

  10. Prefrontal cortex haemodynamics and affective responses during exercise: a multi-channel near infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Tempest, Gavin D; Eston, Roger G; Parfitt, Gaynor

    2014-01-01

    The dose-response effects of the intensity of exercise upon the potential regulation (through top-down processes) of affective (pleasure-displeasure) responses in the prefrontal cortex during an incremental exercise protocol have not been explored. This study examined the functional capacity of the prefrontal cortex (reflected by haemodynamics using near infrared spectroscopy) and affective responses during exercise at different intensities. Participants completed an incremental cycling exercise test to exhaustion. Changes (Δ) in oxygenation (O2Hb), deoxygenation (HHb), blood volume (tHb) and haemoglobin difference (HbDiff) were measured from bilateral dorsal and ventral prefrontal areas. Affective responses were measured every minute during exercise. Data were extracted at intensities standardised to: below ventilatory threshold, at ventilatory threshold, respiratory compensation point and the end of exercise. During exercise at intensities from ventilatory threshold to respiratory compensation point, ΔO2Hb, ΔHbDiff and ΔtHb were greater in mostly ventral than dorsal regions. From the respiratory compensation point to the end of exercise, ΔO2Hb remained stable and ΔHbDiff declined in dorsal regions. As the intensity increased above the ventilatory threshold, inverse associations between affective responses and oxygenation in (a) all regions of the left hemisphere and (b) lateral (dorsal and ventral) regions followed by the midline (ventral) region in the right hemisphere were observed. Differential activation patterns occur within the prefrontal cortex and are associated with affective responses during cycling exercise. PMID:24788166

  11. Textural aspects of high T-low P polymetamorphism in the Rangeley area, western Maine: General implications for studies of Acadian metamorphic rocks in New England

    SciTech Connect

    Guidotti, C.V. . Dept. of Geology)

    1993-03-01

    High T-Low P polymetamorphism in W. Maine results from overlapping, regionally extensive thermal aureoles around sheet-like granitic plutons. At least five metamorphic events have been recognized. The Rangeley-Oquossoc (R-O) area was affected by two high T, static events (M[sub 2] and M[sub 3]). M[sub 2], (400 Ma) developed and + St + Bt regionally. M[sub 3] (370 Ma), due to heating by the sheet-like Mooselookmeguntic Pluton (MP), is superimposed on M[sub 2] such that near the MP, M[sub 2] rocks were prograded to upper sillimanite zone, migmatitic gneisses. To the E., M[sub 2] rocks have been downgraded to garnet zone. Mineral chemistry and assemblage data strongly suggest that M[sub 3] parageneses closely approximated a new equilibrium. These temporally separate superimposed events produced pseudomorphic replacement textures; in the E. by downgrade reactions; in the W. by prograde reactions. The nature of the downgrade or prograde pseudomorphs reflects where they occur in the M[sub 3] range of metamorphic grades. Some authors have interpreted these textures as due to continuous PTt paths or K-metasomatism. Even worse, in some studies the textures are simply ignored and mineral assemblages merely assumed to be the result of a single, equilibrium metamorphic event. The three Al-silicate rocks in the Littleton-Mooselauke area of New Hampshire probably fall in this latter category. It is suggested that in most cases such textures are best interpreted as the R-O area. Metamorphic textures probably are unique in some aspects related to the details of the metamorphism(s) of the given area. However, in New England the commonness in Acadian metamorphic rocks of textures similar to those found in the fortuitously well displayed example of temporally separated polymetamorphism in the R-O area suggests a basis to recognize similar histories elsewhere.

  12. Circuits for multisensory integration and attentional modulation through the prefrontal cortex and the thalamic reticular nucleus in primates

    PubMed Central

    Zikopoulos, Basilis; Barbas, Helen

    2008-01-01

    Converging evidence from anatomic and physiologic studies suggests that the interaction of high-order association cortices with the thalamus is necessary to focus attention on a task in a complex environment with multiple distractions. Interposed between the thalamus and cortex, the inhibitory thalamic reticular nucleus intercepts and regulates communication between the two structures. Recent findings demonstrate that a unique circuitry links the prefrontal cortex with the reticular nucleus and may underlie the process of selective attention to enhance salient stimuli and suppress irrelevant stimuli in behavior. Unlike other cortices, some prefrontal areas issue widespread projections to the reticular nucleus, extending beyond the frontal sector to the sensory sectors of the nucleus and may influence the flow of sensory information from the thalamus to the cortex. Unlike other thalamic nuclei, the mediodorsal nucleus, which is the principal thalamic nucleus for the prefrontal cortex, has similarly widespread connections with the reticular nucleus. Unlike sensory association cortices, some terminations from prefrontal areas to the reticular nucleus are large, suggesting efficient transfer of information. We propose a model showing that the specialized features of prefrontal pathways in the reticular nucleus may allow selection of relevant information and override distractors, in processes that are deranged in schizophrenia. PMID:18330211

  13. Suppressing Emotions Impairs Subsequent Stroop Performance and Reduces Prefrontal Brain Activation

    PubMed Central

    Luechinger, Roger; Boesiger, Peter; Rasch, Björn

    2013-01-01

    Abundant behavioral evidence suggests that the ability to self-control is limited, and that any exertion of self-control will increase the likelihood of subsequent self-control failures. Here we investigated the neural correlates underlying the aftereffects of self-control on future control processes using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). An initial act of self-control (suppressing emotions) impaired subsequent performance in a second task requiring control (Stroop task). On the neural level, increased activity during emotion suppression was followed by a relative decrease in activity during the Stroop task in a cluster in the right lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), an area engaged in the effortful implementation of control. There was no reliable evidence for reduced activity in the medial frontal cortex (MFC) including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which is involved in conflict detection processes and has previously also been implicated in self-control. Follow-up analyses showed that the detected cluster in the right lateral PFC and an area in the MFC were involved in both the emotion suppression task and the Stroop task, but only the cluster in the right lateral PFC showed reduced activation after emotion suppression during the Stroop task. Reduced activity in lateral prefrontal areas relevant for the implementation of control may be a critical consequence of prior self-control exertion if the respective areas are involved in both self-control tasks. PMID:23565239

  14. Rostral and caudal prefrontal contribution to creativity: a meta-analysis of functional imaging data

    PubMed Central

    Gonen-Yaacovi, Gil; de Souza, Leonardo Cruz; Levy, Richard; Urbanski, Marika; Josse, Goulven; Volle, Emmanuelle

    2013-01-01

    Creativity is of central importance for human civilization, yet its neurocognitive bases are poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to integrate existing functional imaging data by using the meta-analysis approach. We reviewed 34 functional imaging studies that reported activation foci during tasks assumed to engage creative thinking in healthy adults. A coordinate-based meta-analysis using Activation Likelihood Estimation (ALE) first showed a set of predominantly left-hemispheric regions shared by the various creativity tasks examined. These regions included the caudal lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), the medial and lateral rostral PFC, and the inferior parietal and posterior temporal cortices. Further analyses showed that tasks involving the combination of remote information (combination tasks) activated more anterior areas of the lateral PFC than tasks involving the free generation of unusual responses (unusual generation tasks), although both types of tasks shared caudal prefrontal areas. In addition, verbal and non-verbal tasks involved the same regions in the left caudal prefrontal, temporal, and parietal areas, but also distinct domain-oriented areas. Taken together, these findings suggest that several frontal and parieto-temporal regions may support cognitive processes shared by diverse creativity tasks, and that some regions may be specialized for distinct types of processes. In particular, the lateral PFC appeared to be organized along a rostro-caudal axis, with rostral regions involved in combining ideas creatively and more posterior regions involved in freely generating novel ideas. PMID:23966927

  15. Prefrontal Cortex Glutamate Correlates with Mental Perspective-Taking

    PubMed Central

    Montag, Christiane; Schubert, Florian; Heinz, Andreas; Gallinat, Jürgen

    2008-01-01

    Background Dysfunctions in theory of mind and empathic abilities have been suggested as core symptoms in major psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and autism. Since self monitoring, perspective taking and empathy have been linked to prefrontal (PFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) function, neurotransmitter variations in these areas may account for normal and pathological variations of these functions. Converging evidence indicates an essential role of glutamatergic neurotransmission in psychiatric diseases with pronounced deficits in empathy. However, the role of the glutamate system for different dimensions of empathy has not been investigated so far. Methodology/Principal Findings Absolute concentrations of cerebral glutamate in the ACC, left dorsolateral PFC and left hippocampus were determined by 3-tesla proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) in 17 healthy individuals. Three dimensions of empathy were estimated by a self-rating questionnaire, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). Linear regression analysis showed that dorsolateral PFC glutamate concentration was predicted by IRI factor “perspective taking” (T = −2.710, p = 0.018; adjusted alpha-level of 0.017, Bonferroni) but not by “empathic concern” or “personal distress”. No significant relationship between IRI subscores and the glutamate levels in the ACC or left hippocampus was detected. Conclusions/Significance This is the first study to investigate the role of the glutamate system for dimensions of theory of mind and empathy. Results are in line with recent concepts that executive top-down control of behavior is mediated by prefrontal glutamatergic projections. This is a preliminary finding that needs a replication in an independent sample. PMID:19060949

  16. Discourse Production Following Injury to the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coelho, Carl; Le, Karen; Mozeiko, Jennifer; Krueger, Frank; Grafman, Jordan

    2012-01-01

    Individuals with damage to the prefrontal cortex, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in particular, often demonstrate difficulties with the formulation of complex language not attributable to aphasia. The present study employed a discourse analysis procedure to characterize the language of individuals with left (L) or right (R) DLPFC…

  17. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Lesions Abolish Contextual Control of Competing Responses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haddon, J. E.; Killcross, A. S.

    2005-01-01

    There is much debate as to the extent and nature of functional specialization within the different subregions of the prefrontal cortex. The current study was undertaken to investigate the effect of damage to medial prefrontal cortex subregions in the rat. Rats were trained on two biconditional discrimination tasks, one auditory and one visual, in…

  18. Lucid Dreaming and Ventromedial versus Dorsolateral Prefrontal Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Neider, Michelle; Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Forselius, Erica; Pittman, Brian; Morgan, Peter T.

    2010-01-01

    Activity in the prefrontal cortex may distinguish the meta-awareness experienced during lucid dreams from its absence in normal dreams. To examine a possible relationship between dream lucidity and prefrontal task performance, we carried out a prospective study in 28 high school students. Participants performed the Wisconsin Card Sort and Iowa Gambling tasks, then for one week kept dream journals and reported sleep quality and lucidity-related dream characteristics. Participants who exhibited a greater degree of lucidity performed significantly better on the task that engages the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (the Iowa Gambling Task), but degree of lucidity achieved did not distinguish performance on the task that engages the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the Wisconsin Card Sort Task), nor did it distinguish self-reported sleep quality or baseline characteristics. The association between performance on the Iowa Gambling Task and lucidity suggests a connection between lucid dreaming and ventromedial prefrontal function. PMID:20829072

  19. Lucid dreaming and ventromedial versus dorsolateral prefrontal task performance.

    PubMed

    Neider, Michelle; Pace-Schott, Edward F; Forselius, Erica; Pittman, Brian; Morgan, Peter T

    2011-06-01

    Activity in the prefrontal cortex may distinguish the meta-awareness experienced during lucid dreams from its absence in normal dreams. To examine a possible relationship between dream lucidity and prefrontal task performance, we carried out a prospective study in 28 high school students. Participants performed the Wisconsin Card Sort and Iowa Gambling tasks, then for 1 week kept dream journals and reported sleep quality and lucidity-related dream characteristics. Participants who exhibited a greater degree of lucidity performed significantly better on the task that engages the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (the Iowa Gambling Task), but degree of lucidity achieved did not distinguish performance on the task that engages the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the Wisconsin Card Sort Task), nor did it distinguish self-reported sleep quality or baseline characteristics. The association between performance on the Iowa Gambling Task and lucidity suggests a connection between lucid dreaming and ventromedial prefrontal function. PMID:20829072

  20. Differential neuronal changes in medial prefrontal cortex, basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens after postweaning social isolation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu-Chun; Ho, Ue-Cheung; Ko, Meng-Ching; Liao, Chun-Chieh; Lee, Li-Jen

    2012-04-01

    The mesocorticolimbic system contains dopamine (DA)-producing neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and their projection targets, including the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), amygdala (AMY) and nucleus accumbens (NAc). Disruption of this system might attribute to mental illnesses. In the present study, we adopted the postweaning social isolation paradigm to model neuropsychiatric disorders and studied the functional and structural changes of the mesocorticolimbic system. After 8-9 weeks of isolation, rats exhibited hyperlocomotor activity and impaired sensorimotor gating compared to group-reared controls. However, the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive VTA neurons and the volume of VTA were not affected. Comparing with group-reared controls, the DA levels in the isolation-reared were not altered in the VTA, mPFC and NAc but decreased in the AMY. In the structural aspect, dendritic features of layer II/III pyramidal mPFC neurons; pyramidal neurons in the basolateral nucleus of amygdala (BLA) and medium spiny neurons in the core region of the NAc (NAcc) were examined. Interestingly, the neuronal changes were region-specific. The mPFC neurons had reduced dendritic complexity, spine density and elongated terminal branches. The BLA neurons had extensive dendritic arbors with short branches but unchanged spine density. The NAcc neurons had reduced total dendritic length but the segment length and spine density remained the same. Together, the results demonstrated the structural and functional changes in the mesocorticolimbic DA system of socially isolated rats. These changes may account for the behavioral impairments in these rats and attribute to the susceptibility to mental disorders related to schizophrenia and depression. PMID:22002740

  1. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in social categorization.

    PubMed

    Molenberghs, Pascal; Morrison, Samantha

    2014-03-01

    Group membership is an important aspect of our everyday behavior. Recently, we showed that existing relevant in-group labels increased activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) compared with out-group labels, suggesting a role of the MPFC in social categorization. However, the question still remains whether this increase in MPFC activation for in-group representation is solely related with previous experience with the in-group. To test this, we randomly assigned participants to a red or blue team and in a subsequent functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment they categorized red and blue team words as belonging to either the in-group or the out-group. Results showed that even under these minimal conditions increased activation was found in the MPFC when participants indicated that they belonged to a group, as compared with when they did not. This effect was found to be associated with the level of group identification. These results confirm the role of MPFC in social categorization. PMID:23175678

  2. Regulation of prefrontal cortex myelination by the microbiota.

    PubMed

    Hoban, A E; Stilling, R M; Ryan, F J; Shanahan, F; Dinan, T G; Claesson, M J; Clarke, G; Cryan, J F

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a key region implicated in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and autism. In parallel, the role of the gut microbiota in contributing to these disorders is emerging. Germ-free (GF) animals, microbiota-deficient throughout life, have been instrumental in elucidating the role of the microbiota in many aspects of physiology, especially the role of the microbiota in anxiety-related behaviours, impaired social cognition and stress responsivity. Here we aim to further elucidate the mechanisms of the microbial influence by investigating changes in the homeostatic regulation of neuronal transcription of GF mice within the PFC using a genome-wide transcriptome profiling approach. Our results reveal a marked, concerted upregulation of genes linked to myelination and myelin plasticity. This coincided with upregulation of neural activity-induced pathways, potentially driving myelin plasticity. Subsequent investigation at the ultrastructural level demonstrated the presence of hypermyelinated axons within the PFC of GF mice. Notably, these changes in myelin and activity-related gene expression could be reversed by colonization with a conventional microbiota following weaning. In summary, we believe we demonstrate for the first time that the microbiome is necessary for appropriate and dynamic regulation of myelin-related genes with clear implications for cortical myelination at an ultrastructural level. The microbiota is therefore a potential therapeutic target for psychiatric disorders involving dynamic myelination in the PFC. PMID:27045844

  3. Cumulative genetic risk and prefrontal activity in patients with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Walton, Esther; Turner, Jessica; Gollub, Randy L; Manoach, Dara S; Yendiki, Anastasia; Ho, Beng-Choon; Sponheim, Scott R; Calhoun, Vince D; Ehrlich, Stefan

    2013-05-01

    The lack of consistency of genetic associations in highly heritable mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, remains a challenge in molecular psychiatry. Because clinical phenotypes for psychiatric disorders are often ill defined, considerable effort has been made to relate genetic polymorphisms to underlying physiological aspects of schizophrenia (so called intermediate phenotypes), that may be more reliable. Given the polygenic etiology of schizophrenia, the aim of this work was to form a measure of cumulative genetic risk and study its effect on neural activity during working memory (WM) using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Neural activity during the Sternberg Item Recognition Paradigm was measured in 79 schizophrenia patients and 99 healthy controls. Participants were genotyped, and a genetic risk score (GRS), which combined the additive effects of 41 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 34 risk genes for schizophrenia, was calculated. These risk SNPs were chosen according to the continuously updated meta-analysis of genetic studies on schizophrenia available at www.schizophreniaresearchforum.org. We found a positive relationship between GRS and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex inefficiency during WM processing. GRS was not correlated with age, performance, intelligence, or medication effects and did not differ between acquisition sites, gender, or diagnostic groups. Our study suggests that cumulative genetic risk, combining the impact of many genes with small effects, is associated with a known brain-based intermediate phenotype for schizophrenia. The GRS approach could provide an advantage over studying single genes in studies focusing on the genetic basis of polygenic conditions such as neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:22267534

  4. Medial prefrontal cortex subserves diverse forms of self-reflection.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Adrianna C; Mitchell, Jason P

    2011-01-01

    The ability to think about oneself--to self--reflect--is one of the defining features of the human mind. Recent research has suggested that this ability may be subserved by a particular brain region: the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). However, although humans can contemplate a variety of different aspects of themselves, including their stable personality traits, current feelings, and physical attributes, no research has directly examined the extent to which these different forms of self-reflection are subserved by common mechanisms. To address this question, participants were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while making judgments about their own personality traits, current mental states, and physical attributes as well as those of another person. Whereas some brain regions responded preferentially during only one form of self-reflection, a robust region of MPFC was engaged preferentially during self-reflection across all three types of judgment. These results suggest that--although dissociable--diverse forms of self-referential thought draw on a shared cognitive process subserved by MPFC. PMID:20711940

  5. Regulation of prefrontal cortex myelination by the microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Hoban, A E; Stilling, R M; Ryan, F J; Shanahan, F; Dinan, T G; Claesson, M J; Clarke, G; Cryan, J F

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a key region implicated in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and autism. In parallel, the role of the gut microbiota in contributing to these disorders is emerging. Germ-free (GF) animals, microbiota-deficient throughout life, have been instrumental in elucidating the role of the microbiota in many aspects of physiology, especially the role of the microbiota in anxiety-related behaviours, impaired social cognition and stress responsivity. Here we aim to further elucidate the mechanisms of the microbial influence by investigating changes in the homeostatic regulation of neuronal transcription of GF mice within the PFC using a genome-wide transcriptome profiling approach. Our results reveal a marked, concerted upregulation of genes linked to myelination and myelin plasticity. This coincided with upregulation of neural activity-induced pathways, potentially driving myelin plasticity. Subsequent investigation at the ultrastructural level demonstrated the presence of hypermyelinated axons within the PFC of GF mice. Notably, these changes in myelin and activity-related gene expression could be reversed by colonization with a conventional microbiota following weaning. In summary, we believe we demonstrate for the first time that the microbiome is necessary for appropriate and dynamic regulation of myelin-related genes with clear implications for cortical myelination at an ultrastructural level. The microbiota is therefore a potential therapeutic target for psychiatric disorders involving dynamic myelination in the PFC. PMID:27045844

  6. Self-Reported Sleep Correlates with Prefrontal-Amygdala Functional Connectivity and Emotional Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Killgore, William D. S.

    2013-01-01

    Study Objectives: Prior research suggests that sleep deprivation is associated with declines in some aspects of emotional intelligence and increased severity on indices of psychological disturbance. Sleep deprivation is also associated with reduced prefrontal-amygdala functional connectivity, potentially reflecting impaired top-down modulation of emotion. It remains unknown whether this modified connectivity may be observed in relation to more typical levels of sleep curtailment. We examined whether self-reported sleep duration the night before an assessment would be associated with these effects. Design: Participants documented their hours of sleep from the previous night, completed the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i), Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), and Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Setting: Outpatient neuroimaging center at a private psychiatric hospital. Participants: Sixty-five healthy adults (33 men, 32 women), ranging in age from 18-45 y. Interventions: N/A. Measurements and Results: Greater self-reported sleep the preceding night was associated with higher scores on all scales of the EQ-i but not the MSCEIT, and with lower symptom severity scores on half of the psychopathology scales of the PAI. Longer sleep was also associated with stronger negative functional connectivity between the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Moreover, greater negative connectivity between these regions was associated with higher EQ-i and lower symptom severity on the PAI. Conclusions: Self-reported sleep duration from the preceding night was negatively correlated with prefrontal-amygdala connectivity and the severity of subjective psychological distress, while positively correlated with higher perceived emotional intelligence. More sleep was associated with higher emotional and psychological strength. Citation: Killgore WDS. Self

  7. Resolution enhancement and performance characteristics of large-area a-Si:H x-ray imager with a high-aspect-ratio SU-8 micromold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Ye; Avila-Munoz, Alfredo; Tao, Sheng; Gu, Zhihua; Nathan, Arokia; Rowlands, John A.

    2002-09-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon is known for its large area imaging applications because of its high photoconductivity and high absorption coefficient in the visible light range. This material can be also applied to X-ray imaging when coupled with a uniform scintillation (e.g. Gd2O2S phosphor) film integrated on top of a 2-D detection array. A thick phosphor layer is the prerequisite for high X-ray conversion efficiency. In reality, however, there may be significant crosstalk between adjacent pixels thus undermining spatial resolution. This paper introduces a high aspect ratio microstructure with the new photoresist SU-8 epoxy, which limits the phosphor to regions above the photodiodes. The differences between the above scheme and that of a continuous phosphor layer are compared in terms of the absorption efficiency, the conversion efficiency, and the modulation transfer function (MTF). The measurements are carried out in a medical testing environment with X-ray source voltages of 40-120kVp. The results show a great improvement in the spatial resolution.

  8. Autonomic and prefrontal events during moral elevation.

    PubMed

    Piper, Walter T; Saslow, Laura R; Saturn, Sarina R

    2015-05-01

    Moral elevation, or elevation, is a specific emotional state triggered by witnessing displays of profound virtue and moral beauty. This study set out to characterize the physiology underlying elevation with measurements of heart rate (HR), respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) activity. During elevation, HR and RSA increased. These findings illustrate that elevation involves an uncommon combination of both sympathetic and parasympathetic activation, which is present in circumstances where arousal and social engagement are both required. In addition, we show evidence of content-dependent alterations of mPFC activity during elevation peaks. Altogether, this study shows that the induction of moral elevation recruits an uncommon autonomic and neural pattern that is consistent with previous understanding of socioemotional-induced allostasis. PMID:25813121

  9. Prefrontal cortical dopamine from an evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Lee, Young-A; Goto, Yukiori

    2015-04-01

    In this article, we propose the hypothesis that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) acquired neotenic development as a consequence of mesocortical dopamine (DA) innervation, which in turn drove evolution of the PFC into becoming a complex functional system. Accordingly, from the evolutionary perspective, decreased DA signaling in the PFC associated with such adverse conditions as chronic stress may be considered as an environmental adaptation strategy. Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder may also be understood as environmental adaptation or a by-product of such a process that has emerged through evolution in humans. To investigate the evolutionary perspective of DA signaling in the PFC, domestic animals such as dogs may be a useful model. PMID:25617024

  10. Psychosis-related matricide associated with a lesion of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Orellana, Gricel; Alvarado, Luis; Muñoz-Neira, Carlos; Ávila, Rodrigo; Méndez, Mario F; Slachevsky, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    Matricide, the killing of a mother by her biological child, is a rare event. We report a case of matricide associated with a woman who sustained a right ventromedial prefrontal lesion during surgery for nasal polyposis that was performed when she was 40 years old. After her surgery, she developed psychotic symptoms associated with the emergence of antisocial behavior. She committed matricide 22 years later. Neuropsychological evaluation showed decreased frontal-executive deficits, and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a lesion in the right gyrus rectus area of the ventromedial prefrontal region. This case suggests that a secondary psychotic syndrome associated with a lesion in the frontal neural network, which is disturbed in psychopathy, could facilitate homicidal behavior. Furthermore, this case has legal implications for the prosecution of murder associated with a brain lesion. PMID:24051593

  11. Identification of prefrontal cortex (BA10) activation while performing Stroop test using diffuse optical tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khadka, Sabin; Chityala, Srujan R.; Tian, Fenghua; Liu, Hanli

    2011-03-01

    Stroop test is commonly used as a behavior-testing tool for psychological examinations that are related to attention and cognitive control of the human brain. Studies have shown activations in Broadmann area 10 (BA10) of prefrontal cortex (PFC) during attention and cognitive process. The use of diffuse optical tomography (DOT) for human brain mapping is becoming more prevalent. In this study we expect to find neural correlates between the performed cognitive tasks and hemodynamic signals detected by a DOT system. Our initial observation showed activation of oxy-hemoglobin concentration in BA 10, which is consistent with some results seen by positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Our study demonstrates the possibility of combining DOT with Stroop test to quantitatively investigate cognitive functions of the human brain at the prefrontal cortex.

  12. Nicotine exposure during adolescence alters the rules for prefrontal cortical synaptic plasticity during adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Goriounova, Natalia A.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2012-01-01

    The majority of adolescents report to have smoked a cigarette at least once. Adolescence is a critical period of brain development during which maturation of areas involved in cognitive functioning, such as the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), is still ongoing. Tobacco smoking during this age may compromise the normal course of prefrontal development and lead to cognitive impairments in later life. In addition, adolescent smokers suffer from attention deficits, which progress with the years of smoking. Recent studies in rodents reveal the molecular changes induced by adolescent nicotine exposure that alter the functioning of synapses in the PFC and underlie the lasting effects on cognitive function. In particular, the expression and function of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are changed and this has an impact on short- and long-term plasticity of glutamatergic synapses in the PFC and ultimately on the attention performance. Here, we review and discuss these recent findings. PMID:22876231

  13. Prefrontal cortex involvement in creative problem solving in middle adolescence and adulthood.

    PubMed

    Kleibeuker, Sietske W; Koolschijn, P Cédric M P; Jolles, Dietsje D; Schel, Margot A; De Dreu, Carsten K W; Crone, Eveline A

    2013-07-01

    Creative cognition, defined as the generation of new yet appropriate ideas and solutions, serves important adaptive purposes. Here, we tested whether and how middle adolescence, characterized by transformations toward life independency and individuality, is a more profitable phase than adulthood for creative cognition. Behavioral and neural differences for creative problem solving in adolescents (15-17 years) and adults (25-30 years) were measured while performing a matchstick problem task (MPT) in the scanner and the creative ability test (CAT), a visuo-spatial divergent thinking task, outside the scanner. Overall performances were comparable, although MPT performance indicated an advantage for adolescents in creative problem solving. In addition, adolescents showed more activation in lateral prefrontal cortex (ventral and dorsal) during creative problem solving compared to adults. These areas correlated with performances on the MPT and the CAT performance. We discuss that extended prefrontal cortex activation in adolescence is important for exploration and aids in creative cognition. PMID:23624336

  14. Dissociation of the rostral and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during sequence learning in saccades: a TMS investigation.

    PubMed

    Burke, M R; Coats, R O

    2016-02-01

    This experiment sought to find whether differences exist between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the medial rostral prefrontal cortex (MRPFC) for performing stimulus-independent and stimulus-oriented tasks, respectively. To find a causal relationship in these areas, we employed the use of trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Prefrontal areas were stimulated whilst participants performed random or predictable sequence learning tasks at stimulus onset (1st presentation of the sequence only for both Random and Predictable), or during the inter-sequence interval. Overall, we found that during the predictable task a significant decrease in saccade latency, gain and duration was found when compared to the randomised conditions, as expected and observed previously. However, TMS stimulation in DLPFC during the delay in the predictive sequence learning task reduced this predictive ability by delaying the saccadic onset and generating abnormal reductions in saccadic gains during prediction. In contrast, we found that stimulation during a delay in MRPFC reversed the normal effects on peak velocity of the task with the predictive task revealing higher peak velocity than the randomised task. These findings provide causal evidence for independent functions of DLPFC and MRPFC in performing stimulus-independent processing during sequence learning in saccades. PMID:26563164

  15. Prefrontal Hemodynamic Functions during a Verbal Fluency Task in Blepharospasm Using Multi-Channel NIRS

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-Qian; Liu, Xiao-Min; Ren, Xia-Jin; Ma, Xiang-Yun; Sun, Jing-Jing; Feng, Kun; Sun, Gao-Xiang; Xu, Bo; Liu, Po-Zi

    2016-01-01

    Blepharospasm (BSP) has a morbidity of 16 to 133 per million and is characterized by orbicularis oculi spasms. BSP can severely impact daily life. However, to date, its pathophysiology has not been clearly demonstrated. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a portable, non-invasive, and high time resolution apparatus used to measure cerebral blood flow. This study aimed to investigate the hemodynamic response patterns of BSP patients and determine whether BSP alone can be an attributional factor to influence the function of the prefrontal area using a verbal fluency task (VFT) and NIRS. Twenty-three BSP patients (10 males and 13 females) and 13 healthy controls (HC; five males and eight females) matched by gender and education were examined using NIRS. BSP patients were divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of depression and anxiety symptoms. A covariance analysis was conducted to analyze differences between the three groups and reduce the influence of different ages and educational levels. Bonferroni was used to process the post hoc test. The bilateral orbitofrontal area (ch36, 39, and 41; P<0.01) exhibited a lower activation in BSP patients without psychiatric symptoms compared with HC. This study is the first report to identify the prefrontal function in BSP using NIRS. Our findings indicate that BSP alone may cause a hypoactive hemodynamic performance in the prefrontal cortex in the absence of psychiatric symptoms. These findings provide evidence to support novel pathophysiological mechanisms of BSP. PMID:26942579

  16. Prefrontal Hemodynamic Functions during a Verbal Fluency Task in Blepharospasm Using Multi-Channel NIRS.

    PubMed

    Shen, Chen-Yu; Wang, Yong-Jun; Zhang, Xiao-Qian; Liu, Xiao-Min; Ren, Xia-Jin; Ma, Xiang-Yun; Sun, Jing-Jing; Feng, Kun; Sun, Gao-Xiang; Xu, Bo; Liu, Po-Zi

    2016-01-01

    Blepharospasm (BSP) has a morbidity of 16 to 133 per million and is characterized by orbicularis oculi spasms. BSP can severely impact daily life. However, to date, its pathophysiology has not been clearly demonstrated. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a portable, non-invasive, and high time resolution apparatus used to measure cerebral blood flow. This study aimed to investigate the hemodynamic response patterns of BSP patients and determine whether BSP alone can be an attributional factor to influence the function of the prefrontal area using a verbal fluency task (VFT) and NIRS. Twenty-three BSP patients (10 males and 13 females) and 13 healthy controls (HC; five males and eight females) matched by gender and education were examined using NIRS. BSP patients were divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of depression and anxiety symptoms. A covariance analysis was conducted to analyze differences between the three groups and reduce the influence of different ages and educational levels. Bonferroni was used to process the post hoc test. The bilateral orbitofrontal area (ch36, 39, and 41; P<0.01) exhibited a lower activation in BSP patients without psychiatric symptoms compared with HC. This study is the first report to identify the prefrontal function in BSP using NIRS. Our findings indicate that BSP alone may cause a hypoactive hemodynamic performance in the prefrontal cortex in the absence of psychiatric symptoms. These findings provide evidence to support novel pathophysiological mechanisms of BSP. PMID:26942579

  17. A Programmer-Interpreter Neural Network Architecture for Prefrontal Cognitive Control.

    PubMed

    Donnarumma, Francesco; Prevete, Roberto; Chersi, Fabian; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2015-09-01

    There is wide consensus that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is able to exert cognitive control on behavior by biasing processing toward task-relevant information and by modulating response selection. This idea is typically framed in terms of top-down influences within a cortical control hierarchy, where prefrontal-basal ganglia loops gate multiple input-output channels, which in turn can activate or sequence motor primitives expressed in (pre-)motor cortices. Here we advance a new hypothesis, based on the notion of programmability and an interpreter-programmer computational scheme, on how the PFC can flexibly bias the selection of sensorimotor patterns depending on internal goal and task contexts. In this approach, multiple elementary behaviors representing motor primitives are expressed by a single multi-purpose neural network, which is seen as a reusable area of "recycled" neurons (interpreter). The PFC thus acts as a "programmer" that, without modifying the network connectivity, feeds the interpreter networks with specific input parameters encoding the programs (corresponding to network structures) to be interpreted by the (pre-)motor areas. Our architecture is validated in a standard test for executive function: the 1-2-AX task. Our results show that this computational framework provides a robust, scalable and flexible scheme that can be iterated at different hierarchical layers, supporting the realization of multiple goals. We discuss the plausibility of the "programmer-interpreter" scheme to explain the functioning of prefrontal-(pre)motor cortical hierarchies. PMID:25986752

  18. Microglia of Prefrontal White Matter in Suicide

    PubMed Central

    Schnieder, Tatiana P.; Trencevska, Iskra; Rosoklija, Gorazd; Stankov, Aleksandr; Mann, J. John; Smiley, John; Dwork, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    Immune functions in the brain are associated with psychiatric illness and with temporary alteration of mental state. Microglia, the principal brain immunological cells, respond to changes in the internal brain milieu through a sequence of activated states, each with characteristic function and morphology. To assess a possible association of frontal white matter pathology with suicide, autopsy brain tissue samples from 11 suicide and 25 non-suicide subjects were stained for ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba-1), CD68, and myelin. Groups were matched by age, sex, and psychiatric diagnosis. We classified Iba-1-immunoreactive cells on the basis of shape, immunoreactivity for CD68, and association with blood vessels to obtain stereologic estimates of densities of resting microglia, activated phagocytes, and perivascular cells. We found no effect of psychiatric diagnosis but 2 statistically significant effects of suicide: 1) the dorsal-ventral difference in activated microglial density was reversed such that with suicide, the density was greater in ventral than in dorsal prefrontal white matter, whereas in the absence of suicide, the opposite was true; and 2) with suicide there was a greater density of Iba-1-immunoreactive cells within or in contact with blood vessel walls in dorsal prefrontal white matter. These observations could reflect a mechanism for the stress/diathesis (state/trait) model of suicide whereby an acute stress activates a reactive process in the brain, either directly or by compromising the blood-brain barrier, and creates a suicidal state in an individual at risk. They also indicate the theoretical potential of imaging studies in live, vulnerable individuals for the assessment of suicide risk. Further studies are needed to investigate specific phenotypes of perivascular cells and blood-brain barrier changes associated with suicide. PMID:25101704

  19. The topology of connections between rat prefrontal and temporal cortices

    PubMed Central

    Bedwell, Stacey A.; Billett, E. Ellen; Crofts, Jonathan J.; MacDonald, Danielle M.; Tinsley, Chris J.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the structural organization of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is an important step toward determining its functional organization. Here we investigated the organization of PFC using different neuronal tracers. We injected retrograde (Fluoro-Gold, 100 nl) and anterograde [Biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) or Fluoro-Ruby, 100 nl] tracers into sites within PFC subdivisions (prelimbic, ventral orbital, ventrolateral orbital, dorsolateral orbital) along a coronal axis within PFC. At each injection site one injection was made of the anterograde tracer and one injection was made of the retrograde tracer. The projection locations of retrogradely labeled neurons and anterogradely labeled axon terminals were then analyzed in the temporal cortex: area Te, entorhinal and perirhinal cortex. We found evidence for an ordering of both the anterograde (anterior-posterior, dorsal-ventral, and medial-lateral axes: p < 0.001) and retrograde (anterior-posterior, dorsal-ventral, and medial-lateral axes: p < 0.001) connections of PFC. We observed that anterograde and retrograde labeling in ipsilateral temporal cortex (i.e., PFC inputs and outputs) often occurred reciprocally (i.e., the same brain region, such as area 35d in perirhinal cortex, contained anterograde and retrograde labeling). However, often the same specific columnar temporal cortex regions contained only either labeling of retrograde or anterograde tracer, indicating that PFC inputs and outputs are frequently non-matched. PMID:26042005

  20. Synergistic effect of 5-HT1A and σ1 receptor activation on prefrontal dopaminergic transmission under circulating steroid deficiency.

    PubMed

    Hiramatsu, Naoki; Ago, Yukio; Hasebe, Shigeru; Nishimura, Akira; Mori, Kazuya; Takuma, Kazuhiro; Matsuda, Toshio

    2013-12-01

    Serotonin (5-HT)1A and σ1 receptors have been implicated in psychiatric disorders. We previously found that combined 5-HT reuptake inhibition and σ1 receptor activation has a synergistic effect on prefrontal dopaminergic transmission in adrenalectomized/castrated mice lacking circulating steroid hormones. In the present study, we examined the mechanisms underlying this neurochemical synergism. Systemic administration of fluvoxamine, a selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor with agonistic activity towards the σ1 receptor, increased prefrontal dopamine (DA) levels, and adrenalectomy/castration potentiated this fluvoxamine-induced increase in DA. This enhancement of DA release was blocked by WAY100635 (a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist), but not by ritanserin (a 5-HT2 receptor antagonist), azasetron (a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist) or SB269970 (a 5-HT7 receptor antagonist). Individually, osemozotan (a 5-HT1A receptor agonist) and (+)-SKF-10,047 (a σ1 receptor agonist) did not alter prefrontal monoamine levels in adrenalectomized/castrated and sham-operated mice differentially. In contrast, co-administration of these drugs increased prefrontal DA levels to a greater extent in adrenalectomized/castrated mice than in sham-operated animals. Furthermore, co-administration of osemozotan and (+)-SKF-10,047 increased expression of the neuronal activity marker c-Fos in the ventral tegmental area of adrenalectomized/castrated mice, but not in sham-operated animals. These findings suggest that combined activation of 5-HT1A and σ1 receptors has a synergistic effect on prefrontal dopaminergic transmission under circulating steroid deficiency, and that this interaction may play an important role in the regulation of the prefrontal DA system. PMID:23851260

  1. Working Memory Performance Correlates with Prefrontal-Hippocampal Theta Interactions but not with Prefrontal Neuron Firing Rates

    PubMed Central

    Hyman, James M.; Zilli, Eric A.; Paley, Amanda M.; Hasselmo, Michael E.

    2009-01-01

    Performance of memory tasks is impaired by lesions to either the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) or the hippocampus (HPC); although how these two areas contribute to successful performance is not well understood. mPFC unit activity is temporally affected by hippocampal-theta oscillations, with almost half the mPFC population entrained to theta in behaving animals, pointing to theta interactions as the mechanism enabling collaborations between these two areas. mPFC neurons respond to sensory stimuli and responses in working memory tasks, though the function of these correlated firing rate changes remains unclear because similar responses are reported during mPFC dependent and independent tasks. Using a DNMS task we compared error trials vs. correct trials and found almost all mPFC cells fired at similar rates during both error and correct trials (92%), however theta-entrainment of mPFC neurons declined during error performance as only 17% of cells were theta-entrained (during correct trials 46% of the population was theta-entrained). Across the population, error and correct trials did not differ in firing rate, but theta-entrainment was impaired. Periods of theta-entrainment and firing rate changes appeared to be independent variables, and only theta-entrainment was correlated with successful performance, indicating mPFC-HPC theta-range interactions are the key to successful DNMS performance. PMID:20431726

  2. A parametric relief signal in human ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Fujiwara, Juri; Tobler, Philippe N; Taira, Masato; Iijima, Toshio; Tsutsui, Ken-Ichiro

    2009-02-01

    People experience relief whenever outcomes are better than they would have been, had an alternative course of action been chosen. Here we investigated the neuronal basis of relief with functional resonance imaging in a choice task in which the outcome of the chosen option and that of the unchosen option were revealed sequentially. We found parametric activation increases in anterior ventrolateral prefrontal cortex with increasing relief (chosen outcomes better than unchosen outcomes). Conversely, anterior ventrolateral prefrontal activation was unrelated to the opposite of relief, increasing regret (chosen outcomes worse than unchosen outcomes). Furthermore, the anterior ventrolateral prefrontal activation was unrelated to primary gains and increased with relief irrespective of whether the chosen outcome was a loss or a gain. These results suggest that the anterior ventrolateral prefrontal cortex encodes a higher-order reward signal that lies at the core of current theories of emotion. PMID:18992349

  3. Hippocampal-prefrontal input supports spatial encoding in working memory

    PubMed Central

    Spellman, Timothy; Rigotti, Mattia; Ahmari, Susanne E.; Fusi, Stefano; Gogos, Joseph A.; Gordon, Joshua A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Spatial working memory, the caching of behaviorally relevant spatial cues on a timescale of seconds, is a fundamental constituent of cognition. While the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus are known to jointly contribute to successful spatial working memory, the anatomical pathway and temporal window for interaction of these structures critical to spatial working memory has not yet been established. Here, we find that direct hippocampal-prefrontal afferents are critical for encoding, but not for maintenance or retrieval, of spatial cues. These cues are represented by the activity of individual prefrontal units in a manner that is dependent on hippocampal input only during the cue-encoding phase of a spatial working memory task. Successful encoding of these cues appears to be mediated by gamma-frequency synchrony between the two structures. These findings indicate a critical role for the direct hippocampal-prefrontal afferent pathway in the continuous updating of task-related spatial information during spatial working memory. PMID:26053122

  4. Developmental trajectories of abuse--an hypothesis for the effects of early childhood maltreatment on dorsolateral prefrontal cortical development.

    PubMed

    Burrus, Caley

    2013-11-01

    The United States has a high rate of child maltreatment, with nearly 12 in 1000 children being victims of abuse or neglect. Child abuse strongly predicts negative life outcomes, especially in areas of emotional and mental health. Abused children are also more likely than their peers to engage in violence and enter the juvenile justice system, as well as to become abusive parents themselves. Research has shown that child abuse and trauma can lead to decreased hippocampal volume, which could be indicative of abnormal hippocampal development. Hippocampal development appears to directly affect the development of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a brain area responsible for emotion regulation, cognitive reappraisal, and general executive function. Therefore, I hypothesize that if child abuse results in abnormal hippocampal development, which leads to abnormal dorsolateral prefrontal cortex development, many of the correlated risk factors of child abuse, such as emotionally-laden parenting and unfavorable cognitive distortions regarding children's behaviors, may be in part caused by underdevelopment or abnormal functioning of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, as a function of the individual's own experiences with abuse during childhood. If this hypothesis is supported with future research, more targeted, successful, and cost-effective prevention and treatment protocols could ensue. For instance, programs that have been empirically shown to increase the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, could be effective in decreasing the incidence of intergenerational transfer of abuse. PMID:24075592

  5. Anxiety and performance: the disparate roles of prefrontal subregions under maintained psychological stress.

    PubMed

    Takizawa, Ryu; Nishimura, Yukika; Yamasue, Hidenori; Kasai, Kiyoto

    2014-07-01

    Despite increasing interest in anxiety and psychological stress in daily life, little is known about neural correlates that underlie maintained psychological stress and their relationship with anxiety. In particular, the activation characteristics of lateral prefrontal subregions and their relationship with anxiety and cognitive performance under maintained psychological stress remain unknown. This study used near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), a noninvasive and "real-world" functional neuroimaging method, to investigate the hemodynamic responses in wide areas of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the influence of anxiety under conditions of maintained stress induced by a continuous arithmetic task (2 sets, 15 min each) performed in a natural sitting posture. Although anxiety and performance are not directly correlated, the hemodynamic response in the medial portion of the lateral PFC (dorsolateral and frontopolar PFC) was significantly associated with anxiety, while hemodynamic responses in the ventrolateral PFC were associated with performance. Additionally, in the same medial region of the lateral PFC, trait and state anxieties were related to changes in deoxy- and oxy-hemoglobin concentrations, respectively. This NIRS finding suggests disparate roles for prefrontal subregions in anxiety and performance under psychological stress and may lead to a better understanding of neural correlates for anxiety in everyday life. PMID:23425891

  6. Changes in Effective Connectivity Between Dorsal and Ventral Prefrontal Regions Moderate Emotion Regulation.

    PubMed

    Morawetz, Carmen; Bode, Stefan; Baudewig, Juergen; Kirilina, Evgeniya; Heekeren, Hauke R

    2016-05-01

    Reappraisal, the cognitive reevaluation of a potentially emotionally arousing event, has been proposed to be based upon top-down appraisal systems within the prefrontal cortex (PFC). It still remains unclear, however, how different prefrontal regions interact to control and regulate emotional responses. We used fMRI and dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to characterize the functional interrelationships among dorsal and ventral PFC regions involved in reappraisal. Specifically, we examined the effective connectivity between the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC), and other reappraisal-related regions (supplementary motor area, supramarginal gyrus) during the up- and downregulation of emotions in response to highly arousing extreme sports film clips. We found DLPFC to be the central node of the prefrontal emotion regulation network, strongly interconnected with the IFG. The DCM analysis further revealed excitatory changes of connection strength from the DLPFC to the IFG and strong inhibitory changes of connection strength between the IFG and DLPFC during reappraisal. These bidirectional changes in connectivity strength indicate a feedback mechanism by which the IFG may select one out of several possible goal-appropriate reappraisals held active in working memory (represented in the DLPFC) and inhibits the DLPFC once the selection process is completed. PMID:25631055

  7. Making working memory work: a computational model of learning in the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia.

    PubMed

    O'Reilly, Randall C; Frank, Michael J

    2006-02-01

    The prefrontal cortex has long been thought to subserve both working memory (the holding of information online for processing) and executive functions (deciding how to manipulate working memory and perform processing). Although many computational models of working memory have been developed, the mechanistic basis of executive function remains elusive, often amounting to a homunculus. This article presents an attempt to deconstruct this homunculus through powerful learning mechanisms that allow a computational model of the prefrontal cortex to control both itself and other brain areas in a strategic, task-appropriate manner. These learning mechanisms are based on subcortical structures in the midbrain, basal ganglia, and amygdala, which together form an actor-critic architecture. The critic system learns which prefrontal representations are task relevant and trains the actor, which in turn provides a dynamic gating mechanism for controlling working memory updating. Computationally, the learning mechanism is designed to simultaneously solve the temporal and structural credit assignment problems. The model's performance compares favorably with standard backpropagation-based temporal learning mechanisms on the challenging 1-2-AX working memory task and other benchmark working memory tasks. PMID:16378516

  8. Hyperresponsivity and impaired prefrontal control of the mesolimbic reward system in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Richter, Anja; Petrovic, Aleksandra; Diekhof, Esther K; Trost, Sarah; Wolter, Sarah; Gruber, Oliver

    2015-12-01

    Schizophrenia is characterized by substantial dysfunctions of reward processing, leading to detrimental consequences for decision-making. The neurotransmitter dopamine is responsible for the transmission of reward signals and also known to be involved in the mechanism of psychosis. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), sixteen medicated patients with schizophrenia and sixteen healthy controls performed the 'desire-reason dilemma' (DRD) paradigm. This paradigm allowed us to directly investigate reward-related brain activations depending on the interaction of bottom-up and top-down mechanisms, when a previously conditioned reward stimulus had to be rejected to achieve a superordinate long-term goal. Both patients and controls showed significant activations in the mesolimbic reward system. In patients with schizophrenia, however, we found a significant hyperactivation of the left ventral striatum (vStr) when they were allowed to accept the conditioned reward stimuli, and a reduced top-down regulation of activation in the ventral striatum (vStr) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) while having to reject the immediate reward to pursue the superordinate task-goal. Moreover, while healthy subjects exhibited a negative functional coupling of the vStr with both the anteroventral prefrontal cortex (avPFC) and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) in the dilemma situation, this functional coupling was significantly impaired in the patient group. These findings provide evidence for an increased ventral striatal activation to reward stimuli and an impaired top-down control of reward signals by prefrontal brain regions in schizophrenia. PMID:26522867

  9. Impaired Prefrontal Hemodynamic Maturation in Autism and Unaffected Siblings

    PubMed Central

    Kawakubo, Yuki; Kuwabara, Hitoshi; Watanabe, Kei-ichiro; Minowa, Michiko; Someya, Toshikazu; Minowa, Iwao; Kono, Toshiaki; Nishida, Hisami; Sugiyama, Toshiro; Kato, Nobumasa; Kasai, Kiyoto

    2009-01-01

    Background Dysfunctions of the prefrontal cortex have been previously reported in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Previous studies reported that first-degree relatives of individuals with ASD show atypical brain activity during tasks associated with social function. However, developmental changes in prefrontal dysfunction in ASD and genetic influences on the phenomena remain unclear. In the present study, we investigated the change in hemoglobin concentration in the prefrontal cortex as measured with near-infrared spectroscopy, in children and adults with ASD during the letter fluency test. Moreover, to clarify the genetic influences on developmental changes in the prefrontal dysfunction in ASD, unaffected siblings of the ASD participants were also assessed. Methodology/Principal Findings Study participants included 27 individuals with high-functioning ASD, age- and IQ-matched 24 healthy non-affected siblings, and 27 unrelated healthy controls aged 5 to 39 years. The relative concentration of hemoglobin ([Hb]) in the prefrontal cortex was measured during the letter fluency task. For children, neither the [oxy-Hb] change during the task nor task performances differed significantly among three groups. For adults, the [oxy-Hb] increases during the task were significantly smaller in the bilateral prefrontal cortex in ASD than those in control subjects, although task performances were similar. In the adult siblings the [oxy-Hb] change was intermediate between those in controls and ASDs. Conclusion/Significance Although indirectly due to a cross-sectional design, the results of this study indicate altered age-related change of prefrontal activity during executive processing in ASD. This is a first near-infrared spectroscopy study that implies alteration in the age-related changes of prefrontal activity in ASD and genetic influences on the phenomena. PMID:19727389

  10. Prefrontal Gray Matter and Motivation for Treatment in Cocaine-Dependent Individuals with and without Personality Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-López, Laura; Albein-Urios, Natalia; Martinez-Gonzalez, José Miguel; Soriano-Mas, Carles; Verdejo-García, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Addiction treatment is a long-term goal and therefore prefrontal–striatal regions regulating goal-directed behavior are to be associated with individual differences on treatment motivation. We aimed at examining the association between gray matter volumes in prefrontal cortices and striatum and readiness to change at treatment onset in cocaine users with and without personality disorders. Participants included 17 cocaine users without psychiatric comorbidities, 17 cocaine users with Cluster B disorders, and 12 cocaine users with Cluster C disorders. They completed the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment Scale, which measures four stages of treatment change (precontemplation, contemplation, action, and maintenance) and overall readiness to change, and were scanned in a 3 T MRI scanner. We defined three regions of interest (ROIs): the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (including medial orbitofrontal cortex and subgenual and rostral anterior cingulate cortex), the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (i.e., superior medial frontal cortex), and the neostriatum (caudate and putamen). We found that readiness to change correlated with different aspects of ventromedial prefrontal gray matter as a function of diagnosis. In cocaine users with Cluster C comorbidities, readiness to change positively correlated with gyrus rectus gray matter, whereas in cocaine users without comorbidities it negatively correlated with rostral anterior cingulate cortex gray matter. Moreover, maintenance scores positively correlated with dorsomedial prefrontal gray matter in cocaine users with Cluster C comorbidities, but negatively correlated with this region in cocaine users with Cluster B and cocaine users without comorbidities. Maintenance scores also negatively correlated with dorsal striatum gray matter in cocaine users with Cluster C comorbidities. We conclude that the link between prefrontal–striatal gray matter and treatment motivation is modulated by co-existence of personality

  11. Hippocampal-Prefrontal Interactions in Cognition, Behavior and Psychiatric Disease

    PubMed Central

    Sigurdsson, Torfi; Duvarci, Sevil

    2016-01-01

    The hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) have long been known to play a central role in various behavioral and cognitive functions. More recently, electrophysiological and functional imaging studies have begun to examine how interactions between the two structures contribute to behavior during various tasks. At the same time, it has become clear that hippocampal-prefrontal interactions are disrupted in psychiatric disease and may contribute to their pathophysiology. These impairments have most frequently been observed in schizophrenia, a disease that has long been associated with hippocampal and prefrontal dysfunction. Studies in animal models of the illness have also begun to relate disruptions in hippocampal-prefrontal interactions to the various risk factors and pathophysiological mechanisms of the illness. The goal of this review is to summarize what is known about the role of hippocampal-prefrontal interactions in normal brain function and compare how these interactions are disrupted in schizophrenia patients and animal models of the disease. Outstanding questions for future research on the role of hippocampal-prefrontal interactions in both healthy brain function and disease states are also discussed. PMID:26858612

  12. The hierarchical organization of the lateral prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Nee, Derek Evan; D'Esposito, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Higher-level cognition depends on the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), but its functional organization has remained elusive. An influential proposal is that the LPFC is organized hierarchically whereby progressively rostral areas of the LPFC process/represent increasingly abstract information facilitating efficient and flexible cognition. However, support for this theory has been limited. Here, human fMRI data revealed rostral/caudal gradients of abstraction in the LPFC. Dynamic causal modeling revealed asymmetrical LPFC interactions indicative of hierarchical processing. Contrary to dominant assumptions, the relative strength of efferent versus afferent connections positioned mid LPFC as the apex of the hierarchy. Furthermore, cognitive demands induced connectivity modulations towards mid LPFC consistent with a role in integrating information for control operations. Moreover, the strengths of these dynamics were related to trait-measured higher-level cognitive ability. Collectively, these results suggest that the LPFC is hierarchically organized with the mid LPFC positioned to synthesize abstract and concrete information to control behavior. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12112.001 PMID:26999822

  13. Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation

    PubMed Central

    Bratman, Gregory N.; Hamilton, J. Paul; Hahn, Kevin S.; Daily, Gretchen C.; Gross, James J.

    2015-01-01

    Urbanization has many benefits, but it also is associated with increased levels of mental illness, including depression. It has been suggested that decreased nature experience may help to explain the link between urbanization and mental illness. This suggestion is supported by a growing body of correlational and experimental evidence, which raises a further question: what mechanism(s) link decreased nature experience to the development of mental illness? One such mechanism might be the impact of nature exposure on rumination, a maladaptive pattern of self-referential thought that is associated with heightened risk for depression and other mental illnesses. We show in healthy participants that a brief nature experience, a 90-min walk in a natural setting, decreases both self-reported rumination and neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex (sgPFC), whereas a 90-min walk in an urban setting has no such effects on self-reported rumination or neural activity. In other studies, the sgPFC has been associated with a self-focused behavioral withdrawal linked to rumination in both depressed and healthy individuals. This study reveals a pathway by which nature experience may improve mental well-being and suggests that accessible natural areas within urban contexts may be a critical resource for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world. PMID:26124129

  14. The hierarchical organization of the lateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Nee, Derek Evan; D'Esposito, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Higher-level cognition depends on the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), but its functional organization has remained elusive. An influential proposal is that the LPFC is organized hierarchically whereby progressively rostral areas of the LPFC process/represent increasingly abstract information facilitating efficient and flexible cognition. However, support for this theory has been limited. Here, human fMRI data revealed rostral/caudal gradients of abstraction in the LPFC. Dynamic causal modeling revealed asymmetrical LPFC interactions indicative of hierarchical processing. Contrary to dominant assumptions, the relative strength of efferent versus afferent connections positioned mid LPFC as the apex of the hierarchy. Furthermore, cognitive demands induced connectivity modulations towards mid LPFC consistent with a role in integrating information for control operations. Moreover, the strengths of these dynamics were related to trait-measured higher-level cognitive ability. Collectively, these results suggest that the LPFC is hierarchically organized with the mid LPFC positioned to synthesize abstract and concrete information to control behavior. PMID:26999822

  15. Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation.

    PubMed

    Bratman, Gregory N; Hamilton, J Paul; Hahn, Kevin S; Daily, Gretchen C; Gross, James J

    2015-07-14

    Urbanization has many benefits, but it also is associated with increased levels of mental illness, including depression. It has been suggested that decreased nature experience may help to explain the link between urbanization and mental illness. This suggestion is supported by a growing body of correlational and experimental evidence, which raises a further question: what mechanism(s) link decreased nature experience to the development of mental illness? One such mechanism might be the impact of nature exposure on rumination, a maladaptive pattern of self-referential thought that is associated with heightened risk for depression and other mental illnesses. We show in healthy participants that a brief nature experience, a 90-min walk in a natural setting, decreases both self-reported rumination and neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex (sgPFC), whereas a 90-min walk in an urban setting has no such effects on self-reported rumination or neural activity. In other studies, the sgPFC has been associated with a self-focused behavioral withdrawal linked to rumination in both depressed and healthy individuals. This study reveals a pathway by which nature experience may improve mental well-being and suggests that accessible natural areas within urban contexts may be a critical resource for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world. PMID:26124129

  16. Anterior prefrontal cortex inhibition impairs control over social emotional actions.

    PubMed

    Volman, Inge; Roelofs, Karin; Koch, Saskia; Verhagen, Lennart; Toni, Ivan

    2011-10-25

    When dealing with emotional situations, we often need to rapidly override automatic stimulus-response mappings and select an alternative course of action [1], for instance, when trying to manage, rather than avoid, another's aggressive behavior. The anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) has been linked to the control of these social emotional behaviors [2, 3]. We studied how this control is implemented by inhibiting the left aPFC with continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS; [4]). The behavioral and cerebral consequences of this intervention were assessed with a task quantifying the control of social emotional actions and with concurrent measurements of brain perfusion. Inhibition of the aPFC led participants to commit more errors when they needed to select rule-driven responses overriding automatic action tendencies evoked by emotional faces. Concurrently, task-related perfusion decreased in bilateral aPFC and posterior parietal cortex and increased in amygdala and left fusiform face area. We infer that the aPFC controls social emotional behavior by upregulating regions involved in rule selection [5] and downregulating regions supporting the automatic evaluation of emotions [6]. These findings illustrate how exerting emotional control during social interactions requires the aPFC to coordinate rapid action selection processes, the detection of emotional conflicts, and the inhibition of emotionally-driven responses. PMID:22000109

  17. Dynamic Construction of Stimulus Values in the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Alison; Adolphs, Ralph; Camerer, Colin; Rangel, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    Signals representing the value assigned to stimuli at the time of choice have been repeatedly observed in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Yet it remains unknown how these value representations are computed from sensory and memory representations in more posterior brain regions. We used electroencephalography (EEG) while subjects evaluated appetitive and aversive food items to study how event-related responses modulated by stimulus value evolve over time. We found that value-related activity shifted from posterior to anterior, and from parietal to central to frontal sensors, across three major time windows after stimulus onset: 150–250 ms, 400–550 ms, and 700–800 ms. Exploratory localization of the EEG signal revealed a shifting network of activity moving from sensory and memory structures to areas associated with value coding, with stimulus value activity localized to vmPFC only from 400 ms onwards. Consistent with these results, functional connectivity analyses also showed a causal flow of information from temporal cortex to vmPFC. Thus, although value signals are present as early as 150 ms after stimulus onset, the value signals in vmPFC appear relatively late in the choice process, and seem to reflect the integration of incoming information from sensory and memory related regions. PMID:21695081

  18. Thalamic control of layer 1 circuits in prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Cruikshank, Scott J.; Ahmed, Omar J.; Stevens, Tanya R.; Patrick, Saundra L.; Gonzalez, Amalia N.; Elmaleh, Margot; Connors, Barry W.

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of thalamocortical (TC) processing comes mainly from studying core thalamic systems that project to middle layers of primary sensory cortices. However, most thalamic relay neurons comprise a matrix of cells that are densest in the “nonspecific” thalamic nuclei and usually target layer 1 of multiple cortical areas. A longstanding hypothesis is that matrix TC systems are crucial for regulating neocortical excitability during changing behavioral states, yet we know almost nothing about the mechanisms of such regulation. It is also unclear whether synaptic and circuit mechanisms that are well established for core sensory TC systems apply to matrix TC systems. Here we describe studies of thalamic matrix influences on mouse prefrontal cortex using optogenetic and in vitro electrophysiology techniques. Channelrhodopsin-2 was expressed in midline and paralaminar (matrix) thalamic neurons, and their layer 1-projecting TC axons were activated optically. Contrary to conventional views, we found that matrix TC projections to layer 1 could transmit relatively strong, fast, high-fidelity synaptic signals. Layer 1 TC projections preferentially drove inhibitory interneurons of layer 1, especially those of the late-spiking subtype, and often triggered feedforward inhibition in both layer 1 interneurons and pyramidal cells of layers 2/3. Responses during repetitive stimulation were far more sustained for matrix than for core sensory TC pathways. Thus, matrix TC circuits appear to be specialized for robust transmission over relatively extended periods, consistent with the sort of persistent activation observed during working memory and potentially applicable to state-dependent regulation of excitability. PMID:23223300

  19. Optogenetic dissection of medial prefrontal cortex circuitry

    PubMed Central

    Riga, Danai; Matos, Mariana R.; Glas, Annet; Smit, August B.; Spijker, Sabine; Van den Oever, Michel C.

    2014-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is critically involved in numerous cognitive functions, including attention, inhibitory control, habit formation, working memory and long-term memory. Moreover, through its dense interconnectivity with subcortical regions (e.g., thalamus, striatum, amygdala and hippocampus), the mPFC is thought to exert top-down executive control over the processing of aversive and appetitive stimuli. Because the mPFC has been implicated in the processing of a wide range of cognitive and emotional stimuli, it is thought to function as a central hub in the brain circuitry mediating symptoms of psychiatric disorders. New optogenetics technology enables anatomical and functional dissection of mPFC circuitry with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. This provides important novel insights in the contribution of specific neuronal subpopulations and their connectivity to mPFC function in health and disease states. In this review, we present the current knowledge obtained with optogenetic methods concerning mPFC function and dysfunction and integrate this with findings from traditional intervention approaches used to investigate the mPFC circuitry in animal models of cognitive processing and psychiatric disorders. PMID:25538574

  20. Divergent Plasticity of Prefrontal Cortex Networks

    PubMed Central

    Moghaddam, Bita; Homayoun, Houman

    2010-01-01

    The ‘executive’ regions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) such as the dorsolateral PFC (dlPFC) and its rodent equivalent medial PFC (mPFC) are thought to respond in concert with the ‘limbic’ regions of the PFC such as the orbitofrontal (OFC) cortex to orchestrate behavior that is consistent with context and expected outcome. Both groups of regions have been implicated in behavioral abnormalities associated with addiction and psychiatric disorders, in particular, schizophrenia and mood disorders. Theories about the pathophysiology of these disorders, however, incorporate abnormalities in discrete PFC regions independently of each other or assume they are one and the same and, thus, bunch them under umbrella of ‘PFC dysfunction.’ Emerging data from animal studies suggest that mPFC and OFC neurons display opposing patterns of plasticity during associative learning and in response to repeated exposure to psychostimulants. These data corroborate clinical studies reporting different patterns of activation in OFC versus dlPFC in individuals with schizophrenia or addictive disorders. These suggest that concomitant but divergent engagement of discrete PFC regions is critical for learning stimulus-outcome associations, and the execution of goal-directed behavior that is based on these associations. An atypical interplay between these regions may lead to abnormally high or low salience assigned to stimuli, resulting in symptoms that are fundamental to many psychiatric and addictive disorders, including attentional deficits, improper affective response to stimuli, and inflexible or impulsive behavior. PMID:17912252

  1. Prefrontal control of attention to threat.

    PubMed

    Peers, Polly V; Simons, Jon S; Lawrence, Andrew D

    2013-01-01

    Attentional control refers to the regulatory processes that ensure that our actions are in accordance with our goals. Dual-system accounts view temperament as consisting of both individual variation in emotionality (e.g., trait anxiety) and variation in regulatory attentional mechanisms that act to modulate emotionality. Increasing evidence links trait variation in attentional control to clinical mood and anxiety disorder symptoms, independent of trait emotionality. Attentional biases to threat have been robustly linked to mood and anxiety disorders. However, the role of variation in attentional control in influencing such biases, and the neural underpinnings of trait variation in attentional control, are unknown. Here, we show that individual differences in trait attentional control, even when accounting for trait and state anxiety, are related to the magnitude of an attentional blink (AB) following threat-related targets. Moreover, we demonstrate that activity in dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), is observed specifically in relation to control of attention over threatening stimuli, in line with neural theories of attentional control, such as guided activation theory. These results have key implications for neurocognitive theories of attentional bias and emotional resilience. PMID:23386824

  2. Prefrontal Parvalbumin Neurons in Control of Attention

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hoseok; Ährlund-Richter, Sofie; Wang, Xinming; Deisseroth, Karl; Carlén, Marie

    2016-01-01

    Summary While signatures of attention have been extensively studied in sensory systems, the neural sources and computations responsible for top-down control of attention are largely unknown. Using chronic recordings in mice, we found that fast-spiking parvalbumin (FS-PV) interneurons in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) uniformly show increased and sustained firing during goal-driven attentional processing, correlating to the level of attention. Elevated activity of FS-PV neurons on the timescale of seconds predicted successful execution of behavior. Successful allocation of attention was characterized by strong synchronization of FS-PV neurons, increased gamma oscillations, and phase locking of pyramidal firing. Phase-locked pyramidal neurons showed gamma-phase-dependent rate modulation during successful attentional processing. Optogenetic silencing of FS-PV neurons deteriorated attentional processing, while optogenetic synchronization of FS-PV neurons at gamma frequencies had pro-cognitive effects and improved goal-directed behavior. FS-PV neurons thus act as a functional unit coordinating the activity in the local mPFC circuit during goal-driven attentional processing. PMID:26771492

  3. Prefrontal glutamate correlates of methamphetamine sensitization and preference.

    PubMed

    Lominac, Kevin D; Quadir, Sema G; Barrett, Hannah M; McKenna, Courtney L; Schwartz, Lisa M; Ruiz, Paige N; Wroten, Melissa G; Campbell, Rianne R; Miller, Bailey W; Holloway, John J; Travis, Katherine O; Rajasekar, Ganesh; Maliniak, Dan; Thompson, Andrew B; Urman, Lawrence E; Kippin, Tod E; Phillips, Tamara J; Szumlinski, Karen K

    2016-03-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) is a widely misused, highly addictive psychostimulant that elicits pronounced deficits in neurocognitive function related to hypo-functioning of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Our understanding of how repeated MA impacts excitatory glutamatergic transmission within the PFC is limited, as is information about the relationship between PFC glutamate and addiction vulnerability/resiliency. In vivo microdialysis and immunoblotting studies characterized the effects of MA (ten injections of 2 mg/kg, i.p.) upon extracellular glutamate in C57BL/6J mice and upon glutamate receptor and transporter expression, within the medial PFC. Glutamatergic correlates of both genetic and idiopathic variance in MA preference/intake were determined through studies of high vs. low MA-drinking selectively bred mouse lines (MAHDR vs. MALDR, respectively) and inbred C57BL/6J mice exhibiting spontaneously divergent place-conditioning phenotypes. Repeated MA sensitized drug-induced glutamate release and lowered indices of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor expression in C57BL/6J mice, but did not alter basal extracellular glutamate content or total protein expression of Homer proteins, or metabotropic or α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid glutamate receptors. Elevated basal glutamate, blunted MA-induced glutamate release and ERK activation, as well as reduced protein expression of mGlu2/3 and Homer2a/b were all correlated biochemical traits of selection for high vs. low MA drinking, and Homer2a/b levels were inversely correlated with the motivational valence of MA in C57BL/6J mice. These data provide novel evidence that repeated, low-dose MA is sufficient to perturb pre- and post-synaptic aspects of glutamate transmission within the medial PFC and that glutamate anomalies within this region may contribute to both genetic and idiopathic variance in MA addiction vulnerability/resiliency. PMID:26742098

  4. Legal aspects.

    PubMed

    Escher, A

    1975-01-01

    The manufacture, application, use and disposal of fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) may give rise to legal questions relating mainly to environmental protection and the effects on man and animals. In addition to legal aspects, certain commercial aspects such as the law of competition and the obligations of industry, including compensation for damage caused by FWAs, are discussed. PMID:1064546

  5. Different forms of decision-making involve changes in the synaptic strength of the thalamic, hippocampal, and amygdalar afferents to the medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    López-Ramos, Juan Carlos; Guerra-Narbona, Rafael; Delgado-García, José M.

    2015-01-01

    Decision-making and other cognitive processes are assumed to take place in the prefrontal cortex. In particular, the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is identified in rodents by its dense connectivity with the mediodorsal (MD) thalamus, and because of its inputs from other sites, such as hippocampus and amygdala (Amyg). The aim of this study was to find a putative relationship between the behavior of mice during the performance of decision-making tasks that involve penalties as a consequence of induced actions, and the strength of field postsynaptic potentials (fPSPs) evoked in the prefrontal cortex from its thalamic, hippocampal, and amygdalar afferents. Mice were chronically implanted with stimulating electrodes in the MD thalamus, the hippocampal CA1 area, or the basolateral amygdala (BLA), and with recording electrodes in the prelimbic/infralimbic area of the prefrontal cortex. Additional stimulating electrodes aimed at evoking negative reinforcements were implanted on the trigeminal nerve. FPSPs evoked at the mPFC from the three selected projecting areas during the food/shock decision-making task decreased in amplitude with shock intensity and animals’ avoidance of the reward. FPSPs collected during the operant task also decreased in amplitude (but that evoked by amygdalar stimulation) when lever presses were associated with a trigeminal shock. Results showed a general decrease in the strength of these potentials when animals inhibited their natural or learned appetitive behaviors, suggesting an inhibition of the prefrontal cortex in these conflicting situations. PMID:25688195

  6. Variability in Prefrontal Hemodynamic Response during Exposure to Repeated Self-Selected Music Excerpts, a Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    PubMed Central

    Moghimi, Saba; Schudlo, Larissa; Chau, Tom; Guerguerian, Anne-Marie

    2015-01-01

    Music-induced brain activity modulations in areas involved in emotion regulation may be useful in achieving therapeutic outcomes. Clinical applications of music may involve prolonged or repeated exposures to music. However, the variability of the observed brain activity patterns in repeated exposures to music is not well understood. We hypothesized that multiple exposures to the same music would elicit more consistent activity patterns than exposure to different music. In this study, the temporal and spatial variability of cerebral prefrontal hemodynamic response was investigated across multiple exposures to self-selected musical excerpts in 10 healthy adults. The hemodynamic changes were measured using prefrontal cortex near infrared spectroscopy and represented by instantaneous phase values. Based on spatial and temporal characteristics of these observed hemodynamic changes, we defined a consistency index to represent variability across these domains. The consistency index across repeated exposures to the same piece of music was compared to the consistency index corresponding to prefrontal activity from randomly matched non-identical musical excerpts. Consistency indexes were significantly different for identical versus non-identical musical excerpts when comparing a subset of repetitions. When all four exposures were compared, no significant difference was observed between the consistency indexes of randomly matched non-identical musical excerpts and the consistency index corresponding to repetitions of the same musical excerpts. This observation suggests the existence of only partial consistency between repeated exposures to the same musical excerpt, which may stem from the role of the prefrontal cortex in regulating other cognitive and emotional processes. PMID:25837268

  7. Variability in prefrontal hemodynamic response during exposure to repeated self-selected music excerpts, a near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Moghimi, Saba; Schudlo, Larissa; Chau, Tom; Guerguerian, Anne-Marie

    2015-01-01

    Music-induced brain activity modulations in areas involved in emotion regulation may be useful in achieving therapeutic outcomes. Clinical applications of music may involve prolonged or repeated exposures to music. However, the variability of the observed brain activity patterns in repeated exposures to music is not well understood. We hypothesized that multiple exposures to the same music would elicit more consistent activity patterns than exposure to different music. In this study, the temporal and spatial variability of cerebral prefrontal hemodynamic response was investigated across multiple exposures to self-selected musical excerpts in 10 healthy adults. The hemodynamic changes were measured using prefrontal cortex near infrared spectroscopy and represented by instantaneous phase values. Based on spatial and temporal characteristics of these observed hemodynamic changes, we defined a consistency index to represent variability across these domains. The consistency index across repeated exposures to the same piece of music was compared to the consistency index corresponding to prefrontal activity from randomly matched non-identical musical excerpts. Consistency indexes were significantly different for identical versus non-identical musical excerpts when comparing a subset of repetitions. When all four exposures were compared, no significant difference was observed between the consistency indexes of randomly matched non-identical musical excerpts and the consistency index corresponding to repetitions of the same musical excerpts. This observation suggests the existence of only partial consistency between repeated exposures to the same musical excerpt, which may stem from the role of the prefrontal cortex in regulating other cognitive and emotional processes. PMID:25837268

  8. Prefrontal Neuronal Responses during Audiovisual Mnemonic Processing

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Jaewon

    2015-01-01

    During communication we combine auditory and visual information. Neurophysiological research in nonhuman primates has shown that single neurons in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) exhibit multisensory responses to faces and vocalizations presented simultaneously. However, whether VLPFC is also involved in maintaining those communication stimuli in working memory or combining stored information across different modalities is unknown, although its human homolog, the inferior frontal gyrus, is known to be important in integrating verbal information from auditory and visual working memory. To address this question, we recorded from VLPFC while rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) performed an audiovisual working memory task. Unlike traditional match-to-sample/nonmatch-to-sample paradigms, which use unimodal memoranda, our nonmatch-to-sample task used dynamic movies consisting of both facial gestures and the accompanying vocalizations. For the nonmatch conditions, a change in the auditory component (vocalization), the visual component (face), or both components was detected. Our results show that VLPFC neurons are activated by stimulus and task factors: while some neurons simply responded to a particular face or a vocalization regardless of the task period, others exhibited activity patterns typically related to working memory such as sustained delay activity and match enhancement/suppression. In addition, we found neurons that detected the component change during the nonmatch period. Interestingly, some of these neurons were sensitive to the change of both components and therefore combined information from auditory and visual working memory. These results suggest that VLPFC is not only involved in the perceptual processing of faces and vocalizations but also in their mnemonic processing. PMID:25609614

  9. Aspects of the Mother-Nanny Relationship: Some Concepts from Psychoanalytic Research to Understand Problem Areas Which Can Interfere with the Optimal Care for Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magagna, Jeanne

    Elaborating on two main styles of multiple caretaking, this paper discusses those aspects of the mother-nanny relationship which influence the optimal care of the child. A caretaking style based in denial involves obliterating, denying, and distracting the child from his painful emotional experiences, fostering "the stiff upper lip," and the "I…

  10. 4-Hz oscillations synchronize prefrontal-amygdala circuits during fear behavior.

    PubMed

    Karalis, Nikolaos; Dejean, Cyril; Chaudun, Fabrice; Khoder, Suzana; Rozeske, Robert R; Wurtz, Hélène; Bagur, Sophie; Benchenane, Karim; Sirota, Anton; Courtin, Julien; Herry, Cyril

    2016-04-01

    Fear expression relies on the coordinated activity of prefrontal and amygdala circuits, yet the mechanisms allowing long-range network synchronization during fear remain unknown. Using a combination of extracellular recordings, pharmacological and optogenetic manipulations, we found that freezing, a behavioral expression of fear, temporally coincided with the development of sustained, internally generated 4-Hz oscillations in prefrontal-amygdala circuits. 4-Hz oscillations predict freezing onset and offset and synchronize prefrontal-amygdala circuits. Optogenetic induction of prefrontal 4-Hz oscillations coordinates prefrontal-amygdala activity and elicits fear behavior. These results unravel a sustained oscillatory mechanism mediating prefrontal-amygdala coupling during fear behavior. PMID:26878674

  11. Unilateral deactivation of macaque dorsolateral prefrontal cortex induces biases in stimulus selection.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Kevin; Lomber, Stephen G; Everling, Stefan

    2016-03-01

    Following unilateral brain injury, patients are often unable to detect a stimulus presented in the contralesional field when another is presented simultaneously ipsilesionally. This phenomenon has been referred to as extinction and has been conceptualized as a deficit in selective attention. Although most commonly observed following damage to posterior parietal areas, extinction has been observed following lesions of prefrontal cortex (PFC) in both humans and nonhuman primates. To date, most studies in nonhuman primates have examined lesions of multiple PFC subregions, including the frontal eye fields (FEF). Theoretical accounts of attentional disturbances from human patients, however, also implicate other PFC areas, including the middle frontal gyrus. Here, we investigated the effects of deactivating PFC areas anterior to the FEF on stimulus selection using a free-choice task. Macaque monkeys were presented with two peripheral stimuli appearing either simultaneously, or at varying stimulus onset asynchronies, and their performance was evaluated during unilateral cryogenic deactivation of part of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex or the cortex lining the caudal principal sulcus, the likely homologue of the human middle frontal gyrus. A decreased proportion of saccades was made to stimuli presented in the hemifield contralateral to the deactivated PFC. We also observed increases in reaction times to contralateral stimuli and decreases for stimuli presented in the hemifield ipsilateral to the deactivated hemisphere. In both cases, these results were greatest when both PFC subregions were deactivated. These findings demonstrate that selection biases result from PFC deactivation and support a role of dorsolateral prefrontal subregions anterior to FEF in stimulus selection. PMID:26792881

  12. Transitions between Multiband Oscillatory Patterns Characterize Memory-Guided Perceptual Decisions in Prefrontal Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Wimmer, Klaus; Ramon, Marc; Pasternak, Tatiana

    2016-01-01

    frequencies rapid changes between sensory and cognitive processing. Here, we studied rhythmic electrical activity in the monkey prefrontal cortex, an area implicated in working memory, decision making, and executive control. Monkeys had to identify and remember a visual motion pattern and compare it to a second pattern. We found orderly transitions between rhythmic activity where the same frequency channels were active in all ongoing prefrontal computations. This supports prefrontal circuit dynamics that transitions rapidly between complex rhythmic patterns during structured cognitive tasks. PMID:26758840

  13. Survey of women׳s experiences of care in a new freestanding midwifery unit in an inner city area of London, England: 2. Specific aspects of care

    PubMed Central

    Macfarlane, Alison J.; Rocca-Ihenacho, Lucia; Turner, Lyle R.

    2014-01-01

    Objective to describe and compare women׳s experiences of specific aspects of maternity care before and after the opening of the Barkantine Birth Centre, a new freestanding midwifery unit in an inner city area. Design telephone surveys undertaken in late pregnancy and about six weeks after birth. Two separate waves of interviews were conducted, Phase 1 before the birth centre opened and Phase 2 after it had opened. Setting Tower Hamlets, a deprived inner city borough in east London, 2007–2010. Participants 620 women who were resident in Tower Hamlets and who satisfied the Barts and the London Trust’s eligibility criteria for using the birth centre. Of these, 259 women were recruited to Phase 1 and 361 to Phase 2. Measurements and findings the replies women gave show marked differences between the model of care in the birth centre and that at the obstetric unit at the Royal London Hospital with respect to experiences of care and specific practices. Women who initially booked for birth centre care were more likely to attend antenatal classes and find them useful and were less likely to be induced. Women who started labour care at the birth centre in spontaneous labour were more likely to use non-pharmacological methods of pain relief, most notably water and less likely to use pethidine than women who started care at the hospital. They were more likely to be able to move around in labour and less likely to have their membranes ruptured or have continuous CTG. They were more likely to be told to push spontaneously when they needed to rather than under directed pushing and more likely to report that they had been able to choose their position for birth and deliver in places other than the bed, in contrast to the situation at the hospital. The majority of women who had a spontaneous onset of labour delivered vaginally, with 28.6 per cent of women at the birth centre but no one at the hospital delivering in water. Primiparous women who delivered at the birth centre

  14. DISC1 Ser704Cys impacts thalamic-prefrontal connectivity.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bing; Fan, Lingzhong; Cui, Yue; Zhang, Xiaolong; Hou, Bing; Li, Yonghui; Qin, Wen; Wang, Dawei; Yu, Chunshui; Jiang, Tianzi

    2015-01-01

    The Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) gene has been thought as a putative susceptibility gene for various psychiatric disorders, and DISC1 Ser704Cys is associated with variations of brain morphology and function. Moreover, our recent diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) study reported that DISC1 Ser704Cys was associated with information transfer efficiency in the brain anatomical network. However, the effects of the DISC1 gene on functional brain connectivity and networks, especially for thalamic-prefrontal circuit, which are disrupted in various psychiatric disorders, are largely unknown. Using a functional connectivity density (FCD) mapping method based on functional magnetic resonance imaging data in a large sample of healthy Han Chinese subjects, we first investigated the association between DISC1 Ser704Cys and short- and long-range FCD hubs. Compared with Ser homozygotes, Cys-allele individuals had increased long-range FCD hubs in the bilateral thalami. The functional and anatomical connectivity of the thalamus to the prefrontal cortex was further analyzed. Significantly increased thalamic-prefrontal functional connectivity and decreased thalamic-prefrontal anatomical connectivity were found in DISC1 Cys-allele carriers. Our findings provide consistent evidence that the DISC1 Ser704Cys polymorphism influences the thalamic-prefrontal circuits in humans and may provide new insights into the neural mechanisms that link DISC1 and the risk for psychiatric disorders. PMID:24146131

  15. Reversible antisocial behavior in ventromedial prefrontal lobe epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Trebuchon, Agnès; Bartolomei, Fabrice; McGonigal, Aileen; Laguitton, Virginie; Chauvel, Patrick

    2013-11-01

    Frontal lobe dysfunction is known to be associated with impairment in social behavior. We investigated the link between severe pharmacoresistant frontal lobe epilepsy and antisocial trait. We studied four patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy involving the prefrontal cortex, presenting abnormal interictal social behavior. Noninvasive investigations (video-EEG, PET, MRI) and intracerebral recording (stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG)) were performed as part of a presurgical assessment. Comprehensive psychiatric and cognitive evaluation was performed pre- and postoperatively for frontal lobe epilepsy, with at least 7years of follow-up. All patients shared a characteristic epilepsy pattern: (1) chronic severe prefrontal epilepsy with daily seizures and (2) an epileptogenic zone as defined by intracerebral recording involving the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial PFC, and the posterior part of the orbitofrontal cortex, with early propagation to contralateral prefrontal and ipsilateral medial temporal structures. All patients fulfilled the diagnostic criteria (DSM-IV) of antisocial personality disorder, which proved to be reversible following seizure control. Pharmacoresistant epilepsy involving a prefrontal network is associated with antisocial personality. We hypothesize that the occurrence of frequent seizures in this region over a prolonged period produces functional damage leading to impaired prefrontal control of social behavior. This functional damage is reversible since successful epilepsy surgery markedly improved antisocial behavior in these patients. The results are in line with previous reports of impairment of social and moral behavior following ventromedial frontal lobe injury. PMID:24074892

  16. Reduced prefrontal gyrification in obsessive–compulsive disorder

    PubMed Central

    Gruber, Oliver; McIntosh, Andrew M.; Kraft, Susanne; Klinghardt, Anne; Scherk, Harald; Reith, Wolfgang; Schneider-Axmann, Thomas; Lawrie, Stephen M.; Falkai, Peter; Moorhead, Thomas William

    2010-01-01

    Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies reveal evidence for brain abnormalities in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), for instance, reduction of gray matter volume in the prefrontal cortex. Disturbances of gyrification in the prefrontal cortex have been described several times in schizophrenia pointing to a neurodevelopmental etiology, while gyrification has not been studied so far in OCD patients. In 26 OCD patients and 38 healthy control subjects MR-imaging was performed. Prefrontal cortical folding (gyrification) was measured bilaterally by an automated version of the automated-gyrification index (A-GI), a ratio reflecting the extent of folding, from the slice containing the inner genu of the corpus callosum up to the frontal pole. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA, independent factor diagnosis, covariates age, duration of education) demonstrated that compared with control subjects, patients with OCD displayed a significantly reduced A-GI in the left hemisphere (p = 0.021) and a trend for a decreased A-GI in the right hemisphere (p = 0.076). Significant correlations between prefrontal lobe volume and A-GI were only observed in controls, but not in OCD patients. In conclusion, prefrontal hypogyrification in OCD patients may be a structural correlate of the impairment in executive function of this patient group and may point to a neurodevelopmental origin of this disease. PMID:20112027

  17. Prefrontal cortical microcircuits bind perception to executive control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Opris, Ioan; Santos, Lucas; Gerhardt, Greg A.; Song, Dong; Berger, Theodore W.; Hampson, Robert E.; Deadwyler, Sam A.

    2013-07-01

    During the perception-to-action cycle, our cerebral cortex mediates the interactions between the environment and the perceptual-executive systems of the brain. At the top of the executive hierarchy, prefrontal cortical microcircuits are assumed to bind perceptual and executive control information to guide goal-driven behavior. Here, we tested this hypothesis by comparing simultaneously recorded neuron firing in prefrontal cortical layers and the caudate-putamen of rhesus monkeys, trained in a spatial-versus-object, rule-based match-to-sample task. We found that during the perception and executive selection phases, cell firing in the localized prefrontal layers and caudate-putamen region exhibited similar location preferences on spatial-trials, but less on object- trials. Then, we facilitated the perceptual-executive circuit by stimulating the prefrontal infra-granular-layers with patterns previously derived from supra-granular-layers, and produced stimulation-induced spatial preference in percent correct performance on spatial trials, similar to neural tuning. These results show that inter-laminar prefrontal microcircuits play causal roles to the perception-to-action cycle.

  18. Right prefrontal activation produced by arterial baroreceptor stimulation: a PET study.

    PubMed

    Weisz, J; Emri, M; Fent, J; Lengyel, Z; Márián, T; Horváth, G; Bogner, P; Trón, L; Adám, G

    2001-10-29

    This study was performed to test the hypothesis of greater right hemispheric involvement in the processing of baroreceptor stimuli. Carotid sinus baroreceptors were stimulated by rhythmically decreasing air pressure in a neck chamber, and under control conditions the thorax was stimulated in a similar manner. Changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) were measured by PET. Baroreceptor stimulation resulted in rCBF increase in the right anterior-inferior prefrontal cortex (Brodmann areas (BA) 10/44/47) and bilaterally in BA 6/8. We conclude that in at least some stages of baroreceptor information processing the right hemisphere plays a greater role than the left hemisphere. PMID:11711862

  19. Correlation between Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Activation to Food Aromas and Cue-driven Eating: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Eiler, William J.A.; Dzemidzic, Mario; Case, K. Rose; Considine, Robert V.; Kareken, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Food aromas are signals associated with both food's availability and pleasure. Previous research from this laboratory has shown that food aromas under fasting conditions evoke robust activation of medial prefrontal brain regions thought to reflect reward value (Bragulat, et al. 2010). In the current study, eighteen women (eleven normal-weight and seven obese) underwent a two-day imaging study (one after being fed, one while fasting). All were imaged on a 3T Siemens Trio-Tim scanner while sniffing two food (F; pasta and beef) odors, one non-food (NF; Douglas fir) odor, and an odorless control (CO). Prior to imaging, participants rated hunger and perceived odor qualities, and completed the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ) to assess “Externality” (the extent to which eating is driven by external food cues). Across all participants, both food and non-food odors (compared to CO) elicited large blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses in olfactory and reward-related areas, including the medial prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral orbitofrontal cortex, and bilateral piriform cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus. However, food odors produced greater activation of medial prefrontal cortex, left lateral orbitofrontal cortex and inferior insula than non-food odors. Moreover, there was a significant correlation between the [F > CO] BOLD response in ventromedial prefrontal cortex and “Externality” sub-scale scores of the DEBQ, but only under the fed condition; no such correlation was present with the [NF > CO] response. This suggests that in those with high Externality, ventromedial prefrontal cortex may inappropriately valuate external food cues in the absence of internal hunger. PMID:25485031

  20. Single Prolonged Stress Decreases Glutamate, Glutamine, and Creatine Concentrations In The Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Knox, Dayan; Perrine, Shane A.; George, Sophie A.; Galloway, Matthew P.; Liberzon, Israel

    2010-01-01

    Application of Single Prolonged Stress (SPS) in rats induces changes in neuroendocrine function and arousal that are characteristic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD, in humans, is associated with decreased neural activity in the prefrontal cortex, increased neural activity in the amygdala complex, and reduced neuronal integrity in the hippocampus. However, the extent to which SPS models these aspects of PTSD has not been established. In order to address this, we used high-resolution magic angle spinning proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HR-MAS 1H MRS) ex vivo to assay levels of neurochemicals critical for energy metabolism (creatine and lactate), excitatory (glutamate and glutamine) and inhibitory (gamma amino butyric acid (GABA)) neurotransmission, and neuronal integrity (N-acetyl aspartate (NAA)) in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), amygdala complex, and hippocampus of SPS and control rats. Glutamate, glutamine, and creatine levels were decreased in the mPFC of SPS rats when compared to controls, which suggests decreased excitatory tone in this region. SPS did not alter the neurochemical profiles of either the hippocampus or amygdala. These data suggest that SPS selectively attenuates excitatory tone, without a disruption of neuronal integrity, in the mPFC. PMID:20546834

  1. Age differences in medial prefrontal activity for subsequent memory of truth value

    PubMed Central

    Cassidy, Brittany S.; Hedden, Trey; Yoon, Carolyn; Gutchess, Angela H.

    2014-01-01

    Much research has demonstrated that aging is marked by decreased source memory relative to young adults, yet a smaller body of work has demonstrated that increasing the socioemotional content of source information may be one way to reduce age-related performance differences. Although dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) activity may support source memory among young and older adults, the extent to which one activates dorsal vs. ventral mPFC may reflect one's personal connection with incoming information. Because truth value may be one salient marker that impacts one's connection with information and allocation of attention toward incoming material, we investigated whether the perceived truth value of information differently impacts differences in mPFC activity associated with encoding source information, particularly with age. Twelve young (18–23 years) and 12 older adults (63–80 years) encoded true and false statements. Behavioral results showed similar memory performance between the age groups. With respect to neural activity associated with subsequent memory, young adults, relative to older adults, exhibited greater activity in dmPFC while older adults displayed enhanced ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and insula engagement relative to young. These results may potentially indicate that young adults focus on a general knowledge acquisition goal, while older adults focus on emotionally relevant aspects of the material. The findings demonstrate that age-related differences in recruitment of mPFC associated with encoding source information may in some circumstances underlie age-equivalent behavioral performance. PMID:24570672

  2. Development of abstract thinking during childhood and adolescence: the role of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Dumontheil, Iroise

    2014-10-01

    Rostral prefrontal cortex (RPFC) has increased in size and changed in terms of its cellular organisation during primate evolution. In parallel emerged the ability to detach oneself from the immediate environment to process abstract thoughts and solve problems and to understand other individuals' thoughts and intentions. Rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC) is thought to play an important role in supporting the integration of abstract, often self-generated, thoughts. Thoughts can be temporally abstract and relate to long term goals, or past or future events, or relationally abstract and focus on the relationships between representations rather than simple stimulus features. Behavioural studies have provided evidence of a prolonged development of the cognitive functions associated with RLPFC, in particular logical and relational reasoning, but also episodic memory retrieval and prospective memory. Functional and structural neuroimaging studies provide further support for a prolonged development of RLPFC during adolescence, with some evidence of increased specialisation of RLPFC activation for relational integration and aspects of episodic memory retrieval. Topics for future research will be discussed, such as the role of medial RPFC in processing abstract thoughts in the social domain, the possibility of training abstract thinking in the domain of reasoning, and links to education. PMID:25173960

  3. Repeated cocaine administration promotes long-term potentiation induction in rat medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chiung-Chun; Lin, Hsiao-Ju; Hsu, Kuei-Sen

    2007-08-01

    Although drug-induced adaptations in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) may contribute to several core aspects of addictive behaviors, it is not clear yet whether drugs of abuse elicit changes in synaptic plasticity at the PFC excitatory synapses. Here we report that, following repeated cocaine administration (15 mg/kg/day intraperitoneal injection for 5 consecutive days) with a 3-day withdrawal, excitatory synapses to layer V pyramidal neurons in rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) become highly sensitive to the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) by repeated correlated presynaptic and postsynaptic activity. This promoted LTP induction is caused by cocaine-induced reduction of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)(A) receptor-mediated inhibition of mPFC pyramidal neurons. In contrast, in slices from rats treated with saline or a single dose of cocaine, the same LTP induction protocol did not induce significant LTP unless the blockade of GABA(A) receptors. Blockade of the D1-like receptors specifically prevented the cocaine-induced enhancement of LTP. Repeated cocaine exposure reduced the GABA(A) receptor-mediated synaptic currents in mPFC pyramidal neurons. Biotinylation experiments revealed a significant reduction of surface GABA(A) receptor alpha1 subunit expression in mPFC slices from repeated cocaine-treated rats. These findings support an important role for cocaine-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity in the PFC in the development of drug-associated behavioral plasticity. PMID:17050645

  4. Prefrontal cortical blood flow and cognitive function in Huntington's disease.

    PubMed Central

    Weinberger, D R; Berman, K F; Iadarola, M; Driesen, N; Zec, R F

    1988-01-01

    To examine the relationship between cortical physiology and dementia in Huntington's disease, rCBF during three different behavioural conditions, one of which emphasised prefrontal cognition, was determined by xenon-133 inhalation in 14 patients with Huntington's disease and in matched controls. Cortical rCBF was not reduced in Huntington's disease patients even while they manifested overt prefrontal-type cognitive deficits. Caudate atrophy on CT and rCBF were significantly correlated, but only during the prefrontal behaviour where the correlation was positive. These results suggest a qualification of the subcortical dementia concept as applied to Huntington's disease and implicate an interaction between pathology that is subcortical and cognitive function that is cortical. Images PMID:2965218

  5. Functional connection between posterior superior temporal gyrus and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in human.

    PubMed

    Garell, P C; Bakken, H; Greenlee, J D W; Volkov, I; Reale, R A; Oya, H; Kawasaki, H; Howard, M A; Brugge, J F

    2013-10-01

    The connection between auditory fields of the temporal lobe and prefrontal cortex has been well characterized in nonhuman primates. Little is known of temporofrontal connectivity in humans, however, due largely to the fact that invasive experimental approaches used so successfully to trace anatomical pathways in laboratory animals cannot be used in humans. Instead, we used a functional tract-tracing method in 12 neurosurgical patients with multicontact electrode arrays chronically implanted over the left (n = 7) or right (n = 5) perisylvian temporal auditory cortex (area PLST) and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) for diagnosis and treatment of medically intractable epilepsy. Area PLST was identified by the distribution of average auditory-evoked potentials obtained in response to simple and complex sounds. The same sounds evoked little if there is any activity in VLPFC. A single bipolar electrical pulse (0.2 ms, charge-balanced) applied between contacts within physiologically identified PLST resulted in polyphasic evoked potentials clustered in VLPFC, with greatest activation being in pars triangularis of the IFG. The average peak latency of the earliest negative deflection of the evoked potential on VLPFC was 13.48 ms (range: 9.0-18.5 ms), providing evidence for a rapidly conducting pathway between area PLST and VLPFC. PMID:22879355

  6. Synapses with inhibitory neurons differentiate anterior cingulate from dorsolateral prefrontal pathways associated with cognitive control

    PubMed Central

    Medalla, M.; Barbas, H.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) focus attention on relevant signals and suppress noise in cognitive tasks. However, their synaptic interactions and unique roles in cognitive control are unknown. We report that two distinct pathways to DLPFC area 9, one from the neighboring area 46 and the other from the functionally distinct ACC, similarly innervate excitatory neurons associated with selecting relevant stimuli. However, ACC has more prevalent and larger synapses with inhibitory neurons and preferentially innervates calbindin inhibitory neurons, which reduce noise by inhibiting excitatory neurons. In contrast, area 46 mostly innervates calretinin inhibitory neurons, which disinhibit excitatory neurons. These synaptic specializations suggest that ACC has a greater impact in reducing noise in dorsolateral areas during challenging cognitive tasks involving conflict, error, or reversing decisions, mechanisms that are disrupted in schizophrenia. These observations highlight the unique roles of the DLPFC and ACC in cognitive control. PMID:19249280

  7. Evidence for inhibitory deficits in the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Radhu, Natasha; Garcia Dominguez, Luis; Farzan, Faranak; Richter, Margaret A.; Semeralul, Mawahib O.; Chen, Robert; Fitzgerald, Paul B.

    2015-01-01

    Abnormal gamma-aminobutyric acid inhibitory neurotransmission is a key pathophysiological mechanism underlying schizophrenia. Transcranial magnetic stimulation can be combined with electroencephalography to index long-interval cortical inhibition, a measure of GABAergic receptor-mediated inhibitory neurotransmission from the frontal and motor cortex. In previous studies we have reported that schizophrenia is associated with inhibitory deficits in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex compared to healthy subjects and patients with bipolar disorder. The main objective of the current study was to replicate and extend these initial findings by evaluating long-interval cortical inhibition from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in patients with schizophrenia compared to patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. A total of 111 participants were assessed: 38 patients with schizophrenia (average age: 35.71 years, 25 males, 13 females), 27 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (average age: 36.15 years, 11 males, 16 females) and 46 healthy subjects (average age: 33.63 years, 23 females, 23 males). Long-interval cortical inhibition was measured from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and motor cortex through combined transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography. In the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, long-interval cortical inhibition was significantly reduced in patients with schizophrenia compared to healthy subjects (P = 0.004) and not significantly different between patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and healthy subjects (P = 0.5445). Long-interval cortical inhibition deficits in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were also significantly greater in patients with schizophrenia compared to patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (P = 0.0465). There were no significant differences in long-interval cortical inhibition across all three groups in the motor cortex. These results demonstrate that long-interval cortical inhibition deficits in the

  8. Speed-accuracy strategy regulations in prefrontal tumor patients

    PubMed Central

    Campanella, Fabio; Skrap, Miran; Vallesi, Antonino

    2016-01-01

    The ability to flexibly switch between fast and accurate decisions is crucial in everyday life. Recent neuroimaging evidence suggested that left lateral prefrontal cortex plays a role in switching from a quick response strategy to an accurate one. However, the causal role of the left prefrontal cortex in this particular, non-verbal, strategy switch has never been demonstrated. To fill this gap, we administered a perceptual decision-making task to neuro-oncological prefrontal patients, in which the requirement to be quick or accurate changed randomly on a trial-by-trial basis. To directly assess hemispheric asymmetries in speed-accuracy regulation, patients were tested a few days before and a few days after surgical excision of a brain tumor involving either the left (N=13) or the right (N=12) lateral frontal brain region. A group of age- and education-matched healthy controls was also recruited. To gain more insight on the component processes implied in the task, performance data (accuracy and speed) were not only analyzed separately but also submitted to a diffusion model analysis. The main findings indicated that the left prefrontal patients were impaired in appropriately adopting stricter response criteria in speed-to-accuracy switching trials with respect to healthy controls and right prefrontal patients, who were not impaired in this condition. This study demonstrates that the prefrontal cortex in the left hemisphere is necessary for flexible behavioral regulations, in particular when setting stricter response criteria is required in order to successfully switch from a speedy strategy to an accurate one. PMID:26772144

  9. Speed-accuracy strategy regulations in prefrontal tumor patients.

    PubMed

    Campanella, Fabio; Skrap, Miran; Vallesi, Antonino

    2016-02-01

    The ability to flexibly switch between fast and accurate decisions is crucial in everyday life. Recent neuroimaging evidence suggested that left lateral prefrontal cortex plays a role in switching from a quick response strategy to an accurate one. However, the causal role of the left prefrontal cortex in this particular, non-verbal, strategy switch has never been demonstrated. To fill this gap, we administered a perceptual decision-making task to neuro-oncological prefrontal patients, in which the requirement to be quick or accurate changed randomly on a trial-by-trial basis. To directly assess hemispheric asymmetries in speed-accuracy regulation, patients were tested a few days before and a few days after surgical excision of a brain tumor involving either the left (N=13) or the right (N=12) lateral frontal brain region. A group of age- and education-matched healthy controls was also recruited. To gain more insight on the component processes implied in the task, performance data (accuracy and speed) were not only analyzed separately but also submitted to a diffusion model analysis. The main findings indicated that the left prefrontal patients were impaired in appropriately adopting stricter response criteria in speed-to-accuracy switching trials with respect to healthy controls and right prefrontal patients, who were not impaired in this condition. This study demonstrates that the prefrontal cortex in the left hemisphere is necessary for flexible behavioral regulations, in particular when setting stricter response criteria is required in order to successfully switch from a speedy strategy to an accurate one. PMID:26772144

  10. Lack of serotonin reuptake during brain development alters rostral raphe-prefrontal network formation

    PubMed Central

    Witteveen, Josefine S.; Middelman, Anthonieke; van Hulten, Josephus A.; Martens, Gerard J. M.; Homberg, Judith R.; Kolk, Sharon M.

    2013-01-01

    Besides its “classical” neurotransmitter function, serotonin (5-HT) has been found to also act as a neurodevelopmental signal. During development, the 5-HT projection system, besides an external placental source, represents one of the earliest neurotransmitter systems to innervate the brain. One of the targets of the 5-HT projection system, originating in the brainstem raphe nuclei, is the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), an area involved in higher cognitive functions and important in the etiology of many neurodevelopmental disorders. Little is known, however, about the exact role of 5-HT and its signaling molecules in the formation of the raphe-prefrontal network. Using explant essays, we here studied the role of the 5-HT transporter (5-HTT), an important modulator of the 5-HT signal, in rostral raphe-prefrontal network formation. We found that the chemotrophic nature of the interaction between the origin (rostral raphe cluster) and a target (mPFC) of the 5-HT projection system was affected in rats lacking the 5-HTT (5-HTT−/−). While 5-HTT deficiency did not affect the dorsal raphe 5-HT-positive outgrowing neurites, the median raphe 5-HT neurites switched from a strong repulsive to an attractive interaction when co-cultured with the mPFC. Furthermore, the fasciculation of the mPFC outgrowing neurites was dependent on the amount of 5-HTT. In the mPFC of 5-HTT−/− pups, we observed clear differences in 5-HT innervation and the identity of a class of projection neurons of the mPFC. In the absence of the 5-HTT, the 5-HT innervation in all subareas of the early postnatal mPFC increased dramatically and the number of Satb2-positive callosal projection neurons was decreased. Together, these results suggest a 5-HTT dependency during early development of these brain areas and in the formation of the raphe-prefrontal network. The tremendous complexity of the 5-HT projection system and its role in several neurodevelopmental disorders highlights the need for