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Sample records for enhances synaptic communication

  1. Network response synchronization enhanced by synaptic plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobov, S.; Simonov, A.; Kastalskiy, I.; Kazantsev, V.

    2016-02-01

    Synchronization of neural network response on spatially localized periodic stimulation was studied. The network consisted of synaptically coupled spiking neurons with spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP). Network connectivity was defined by time evolving matrix of synaptic weights. We found that the steady-state spatial pattern of the weights could be rearranged due to locally applied external periodic stimulation. A method for visualization of synaptic weights as vector field was introduced to monitor the evolving connectivity matrix. We demonstrated that changes in the vector field and associated weight rearrangements underlay an enhancement of synchronization range.

  2. Attention Enhances Synaptic Efficacy and Signal-to-Noise in Neural Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Briggs, Farran; Mangun, George R.; Usrey, W. Martin

    2013-01-01

    Summary Attention is a critical component of perception. However, the mechanisms by which attention modulates neuronal communication to guide behavior are poorly understood. To elucidate the synaptic mechanisms of attention, we developed a sensitive assay of attentional modulation of neuronal communication. In alert monkeys performing a visual spatial attention task, we probed thalamocortical communication by electrically stimulating neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus while simultaneously recording shock-evoked responses from monosynaptically connected neurons in primary visual cortex. We found that attention enhances neuronal communication by (1) increasing the efficacy of presynaptic input in driving postsynaptic responses, (2) increasing synchronous responses among ensembles of postsynaptic neurons receiving independent input, and (3) decreasing redundant signals between postsynaptic neurons receiving common input. These results demonstrate that attention finely tunes neuronal communication at the synaptic level by selectively altering synaptic weights, enabling enhanced detection of salient events in the noisy sensory milieu. PMID:23803766

  3. Synaptic plasticity can produce and enhance direction selectivity.

    PubMed

    Carver, Sean; Roth, Eatai; Cowan, Noah J; Fortune, Eric S

    2008-02-01

    The discrimination of the direction of movement of sensory images is critical to the control of many animal behaviors. We propose a parsimonious model of motion processing that generates direction selective responses using short-term synaptic depression and can reproduce salient features of direction selectivity found in a population of neurons in the midbrain of the weakly electric fish Eigenmannia virescens. The model achieves direction selectivity with an elementary Reichardt motion detector: information from spatially separated receptive fields converges onto a neuron via dynamically different pathways. In the model, these differences arise from convergence of information through distinct synapses that either exhibit or do not exhibit short-term synaptic depression--short-term depression produces phase-advances relative to nondepressing synapses. Short-term depression is modeled using two state-variables, a fast process with a time constant on the order of tens to hundreds of milliseconds, and a slow process with a time constant on the order of seconds to tens of seconds. These processes correspond to naturally occurring time constants observed at synapses that exhibit short-term depression. Inclusion of the fast process is sufficient for the generation of temporal disparities that are necessary for direction selectivity in the elementary Reichardt circuit. The addition of the slow process can enhance direction selectivity over time for stimuli that are sustained for periods of seconds or more. Transient (i.e., short-duration) stimuli do not evoke the slow process and therefore do not elicit enhanced direction selectivity. The addition of a sustained global, synchronous oscillation in the gamma frequency range can, however, drive the slow process and enhance direction selectivity to transient stimuli. This enhancement effect does not, however, occur for all combinations of model parameters. The ratio of depressing and nondepressing synapses determines the

  4. Mutual and intermittent enhancements of synchronization transitions by autaptic and synaptic delay in scale-free neuron networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qi; Gong, Yubing; Xie, Huijuan

    2016-05-01

    In neural networks, there exist both synaptic delays among different neurons and autaptic self-feedback delays in a neuron itself. In this paper, we study synchronization transitions induced by synaptic and autaptic delays in scale-free neuron networks, mainly exploring how these two time delays affect synchronization transitions induced by each other. It is found that the synchronization transitions induced by synaptic (autaptic) delay are intermittently enhanced when autaptic (synaptic) delay is varied. There are optimal autaptic strength and synaptic coupling strength by which the synchronization transitions induced by autaptic and synaptic delays become strongest. The underlying mechanisms are briefly discussed in terms of the relationships of autaptic delay, synaptic delay, and inter-burst interval. These results show that synaptic and autaptic delays could contribute to each other and enhance synchronization transitions in the neuronal networks. This implies that autaptic and synaptic delays could play a vital role for the information transmission in neural systems.

  5. Excitability and synaptic communication within the oligodendrocyte lineage.

    PubMed

    De Biase, Lindsay M; Nishiyama, Akiko; Bergles, Dwight E

    2010-03-10

    The mammalian CNS contains an abundant, widely distributed population of glial cells that serve as oligodendrocyte progenitors. It has been reported that these NG2-immunoreactive cells (NG2(+) cells) form synapses and generate action potentials, suggesting that neural-evoked excitation of these progenitors may regulate oligodendrogenesis. However, recent studies also suggest that NG2(+) cells are comprised of functionally distinct groups that differ in their ability to respond to neuronal activity, undergo differentiation, and experience injury following ischemia. To better define the physiological properties of NG2(+) cells, we used transgenic mice that allowed an unbiased sampling of this population and unambiguous identification of cells in discrete states of differentiation. Using acute brain slices prepared from developing and mature mice, we found that NG2(+) cells in diverse brain regions share a core set of physiological properties, including expression of voltage-gated Na(+) (NaV) channels and ionotropic glutamate receptors, and formation of synapses with glutamatergic neurons. Although small amplitude Na(+) spikes could be elicited in some NG2(+) cells during the first postnatal week, they were not capable of generating action potentials. Transition of these progenitors to the premyelinating stage was accompanied by the rapid removal of synaptic input, as well as downregulation of AMPA and NMDA receptors and NaV channels. Thus, prior reports of physiological heterogeneity among NG2(+) cells may reflect analysis of cells in later stages of maturation. These results suggest that NG2(+) cells are uniquely positioned within the oligodendrocyte lineage to monitor the firing patterns of surrounding neurons. PMID:20219994

  6. Facilitation of AMPA Receptor Synaptic Delivery as a Molecular Mechanism for Cognitive Enhancement

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Puelles, Cristina; Pereda-Peréz, Inmaculada; Franco, Ana; Sandi, Carmen; Suárez, Luz M.; Solís, José M.; Alonso-Nanclares, Lidia; Martín, Eduardo D.; Merino-Serrais, Paula; Borcel, Erika; Li, Shizhong; Chen, Yongshuo; Gonzalez-Soriano, Juncal; Berezin, Vladimir; Bock, Elisabeth; DeFelipe, Javier; Esteban, José A.

    2012-01-01

    Cell adhesion molecules and downstream growth factor-dependent signaling are critical for brain development and synaptic plasticity, and they have been linked to cognitive function in adult animals. We have previously developed a mimetic peptide (FGL) from the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) that enhances spatial learning and memory in rats. We have now investigated the cellular and molecular basis of this cognitive enhancement, using biochemical, morphological, electrophysiological, and behavioral analyses. We have found that FGL triggers a long-lasting enhancement of synaptic transmission in hippocampal CA1 neurons. This effect is mediated by a facilitated synaptic delivery of AMPA receptors, which is accompanied by enhanced NMDA receptor-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP). Both LTP and cognitive enhancement are mediated by an initial PKC activation, which is followed by persistent CaMKII activation. These results provide a mechanistic link between facilitation of AMPA receptor synaptic delivery and improved hippocampal-dependent learning, induced by a pharmacological cognitive enhancer. PMID:22363206

  7. Communication Enhancement: Principles and Practices.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shane, Howard

    1988-01-01

    A physician discusses the work of the Communications Enhancement Clinic at Children's Hospital-Boston in providing assistance to children with severe speech problems. He describes the process of evaluating and matching a child's strengths and weaknesses to available technology, including educational software, speech or print output devices, and…

  8. Peripherally restricted viral challenge elevates extracellular glutamate and enhances synaptic transmission in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Hunsberger, Holly C; Wang, Desheng; Petrisko, Tiffany J; Alhowail, Ahmad; Setti, Sharay E; Suppiramaniam, Vishnu; Konat, Gregory W; Reed, Miranda N

    2016-07-01

    Peripheral infections increase the propensity and severity of seizures in susceptible populations. We have previously shown that intraperitoneal injection of a viral mimic, polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (PIC), elicits hypersusceptibility of mice to kainic acid (KA)-induced seizures. This study was undertaken to determine whether this seizure hypersusceptibility entails alterations in glutamate signaling. Female C57BL/6 mice were intraperitoneally injected with PIC, and after 24 h, glutamate homeostasis in the hippocampus was monitored using the enzyme-based microelectrode arrays. PIC challenge robustly increased the level of resting extracellular glutamate. While pre-synaptic potassium-evoked glutamate release was not affected, glutamate uptake was profoundly impaired and non-vesicular glutamate release was augmented, indicating functional alterations of astrocytes. Electrophysiological examination of hippocampal slices from PIC-challenged mice revealed a several fold increase in the basal synaptic transmission as compared to control slices. PIC challenge also increased the probability of pre-synaptic glutamate release as seen from a reduction of paired-pulse facilitation and synaptic plasticity as seen from an enhancement of long-term potentiation. Altogether, our results implicate a dysregulation of astrocytic glutamate metabolism and an alteration of excitatory synaptic transmission as the underlying mechanism for the development of hippocampal hyperexcitability, and consequently seizure hypersusceptibility following peripheral PIC challenge. Peripheral infections/inflammations enhance seizure susceptibility. Here, we explored the effect of peritoneal inflammation induced by a viral mimic on glutamate homeostasis and glutamatergic neurotransmission in the mouse hippocampus. We found that peritoneal inflammation elevated extracellular glutamate concentration and enhanced the probability of pre-synaptic glutamate release resulting in hyperexcitability of

  9. Enhanced synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse by artificial seawater based on physically modified saline

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Soonwook; Yu, Eunah; Rabello, Guilherme; Merlo, Suelen; Zemmar, Ajmal; Walton, Kerry D.; Moreno, Herman; Moreira, Jorge E.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2014-01-01

    Superfusion of the squid giant synapse with artificial seawater (ASW) based on isotonic saline containing oxygen nanobubbles (RNS60 ASW) generates an enhancement of synaptic transmission. This was determined by examining the postsynaptic response to single and repetitive presynaptic spike activation, spontaneous transmitter release, and presynaptic voltage clamp studies. In the presence of RNS60 ASW single presynaptic stimulation elicited larger postsynaptic potentials (PSP) and more robust recovery from high frequency stimulation than in control ASW. Analysis of postsynaptic noise revealed an increase in spontaneous transmitter release with modified noise kinetics in RNS60 ASW. Presynaptic voltage clamp demonstrated an increased EPSP, without an increase in presynaptic ICa++ amplitude during RNS60 ASW superfusion. Synaptic release enhancement reached stable maxima within 5–10 min of RNS60 ASW superfusion and was maintained for the entire recording time, up to 1 h. Electronmicroscopic morphometry indicated a decrease in synaptic vesicle density and the number at active zones with an increase in the number of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCV) and large endosome-like vesicles near junctional sites. Block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by presynaptic injection of oligomycin reduced spontaneous release and prevented the synaptic noise increase seen in RNS60 ASW. After ATP block the number of vesicles at the active zone and CCV was reduced, with an increase in large vesicles. The possibility that RNS60 ASW acts by increasing mitochondrial ATP synthesis was tested by direct determination of ATP levels in both presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. This was implemented using luciferin/luciferase photon emission, which demonstrated a marked increase in ATP synthesis following RNS60 administration. It is concluded that RNS60 positively modulates synaptic transmission by up-regulating ATP synthesis, thus leading to synaptic transmission enhancement. PMID:24575037

  10. Enhanced synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse by artificial seawater based on physically modified saline.

    PubMed

    Choi, Soonwook; Yu, Eunah; Rabello, Guilherme; Merlo, Suelen; Zemmar, Ajmal; Walton, Kerry D; Moreno, Herman; Moreira, Jorge E; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R

    2014-01-01

    Superfusion of the squid giant synapse with artificial seawater (ASW) based on isotonic saline containing oxygen nanobubbles (RNS60 ASW) generates an enhancement of synaptic transmission. This was determined by examining the postsynaptic response to single and repetitive presynaptic spike activation, spontaneous transmitter release, and presynaptic voltage clamp studies. In the presence of RNS60 ASW single presynaptic stimulation elicited larger postsynaptic potentials (PSP) and more robust recovery from high frequency stimulation than in control ASW. Analysis of postsynaptic noise revealed an increase in spontaneous transmitter release with modified noise kinetics in RNS60 ASW. Presynaptic voltage clamp demonstrated an increased EPSP, without an increase in presynaptic ICa(++) amplitude during RNS60 ASW superfusion. Synaptic release enhancement reached stable maxima within 5-10 min of RNS60 ASW superfusion and was maintained for the entire recording time, up to 1 h. Electronmicroscopic morphometry indicated a decrease in synaptic vesicle density and the number at active zones with an increase in the number of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCV) and large endosome-like vesicles near junctional sites. Block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by presynaptic injection of oligomycin reduced spontaneous release and prevented the synaptic noise increase seen in RNS60 ASW. After ATP block the number of vesicles at the active zone and CCV was reduced, with an increase in large vesicles. The possibility that RNS60 ASW acts by increasing mitochondrial ATP synthesis was tested by direct determination of ATP levels in both presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. This was implemented using luciferin/luciferase photon emission, which demonstrated a marked increase in ATP synthesis following RNS60 administration. It is concluded that RNS60 positively modulates synaptic transmission by up-regulating ATP synthesis, thus leading to synaptic transmission enhancement. PMID:24575037

  11. A robust and scalable neuromorphic communication system by combining synaptic time multiplexing and MIMO-OFDM.

    PubMed

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Zhang, Deying; Grigorian, Beayna

    2014-03-01

    This paper describes a novel architecture for enabling robust and efficient neuromorphic communication. The architecture combines two concepts: 1) synaptic time multiplexing (STM) that trades space for speed of processing to create an intragroup communication approach that is firing rate independent and offers more flexibility in connectivity than cross-bar architectures and 2) a wired multiple input multiple output (MIMO) communication with orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) techniques to enable a robust and efficient intergroup communication for neuromorphic systems. The MIMO-OFDM concept for the proposed architecture was analyzed by simulating large-scale spiking neural network architecture. Analysis shows that the neuromorphic system with MIMO-OFDM exhibits robust and efficient communication while operating in real time with a high bit rate. Through combining STM with MIMO-OFDM techniques, the resulting system offers a flexible and scalable connectivity as well as a power and area efficient solution for the implementation of very large-scale spiking neural architectures in hardware. PMID:24807453

  12. Epsin 1 Promotes Synaptic Growth by Enhancing BMP Signal Levels in Motoneuron Nuclei

    PubMed Central

    Chastain, Lerin R.; Royer, Suzanne M.; Bao, Hong; Reist, Noreen E.; Zhang, Bing

    2013-01-01

    Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) retrograde signaling is crucial for neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. However, how the BMP effector phospho-Mother against decapentaplegic (pMad) is processed following receptor activation remains poorly understood. Here we show that Drosophila Epsin1/Liquid facets (Lqf) positively regulates synaptic growth through post-endocytotic processing of pMad signaling complex. Lqf and the BMP receptor Wishful thinking (Wit) interact genetically and biochemically. lqf loss of function (LOF) reduces bouton number whereas overexpression of lqf stimulates bouton growth. Lqf-stimulated synaptic overgrowth is suppressed by genetic reduction of wit. Further, synaptic pMad fails to accumulate inside the motoneuron nuclei in lqf mutants and lqf suppresses synaptic overgrowth in spinster (spin) mutants with enhanced BMP signaling by reducing accumulation of nuclear pMad. Interestingly, lqf mutations reduce nuclear pMad levels without causing an apparent blockage of axonal transport itself. Finally, overexpression of Lqf significantly increases the number of multivesicular bodies (MVBs) in the synapse whereas lqf LOF reduces MVB formation, indicating that Lqf may function in signaling endosome recycling or maturation. Based on these observations, we propose that Lqf plays a novel endosomal role to ensure efficient retrograde transport of BMP signaling endosomes into motoneuron nuclei. PMID:23840387

  13. Dopamine and norepinephrine receptors participate in methylphenidate enhancement of in vivo hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Jenson, Daniel; Yang, Kechun; Acevedo-Rodriguez, Alexandra; Levine, Amber; Broussard, John I; Tang, Jianrong; Dani, John A

    2015-03-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly studied and diagnosed psychiatric disorder in children. Methylphenidate (MPH, e.g., Ritalin) has been used to treat ADHD for over 50 years. It is the most commonly prescribed treatment for ADHD, and in the past decade it was the drug most commonly prescribed to teenagers. In addition, MPH has become one of the most widely abused drugs on college campuses. In this study, we examined the effects of MPH on hippocampal synaptic plasticity, which serves as a measurable quantification of memory mechanisms. Field potentials were recorded with permanently implanted electrodes in freely-moving mice to quantify MPH modulation of perforant path synaptic transmission onto granule cells of the dentate gyrus. Our hypothesis was that MPH affects hippocampal synaptic plasticity underlying learning because MPH boosts catecholamine signaling by blocking the dopamine and norepinephrine transporters (DAT and NET respectively). In vitro hippocampal slice experiments indicated MPH enhances perforant path plasticity, and this MPH enhancement arose from action via D1-type dopamine receptors and β-type adrenergic receptors. Similarly, MPH boosted in vivo initiation of long-term potentiation (LTP). While there was an effect via both dopamine and adrenergic receptors in vivo, LTP induction was more dependent on the MPH-induced action via D1-type dopamine receptors. Under biologically reasonable experimental conditions, MPH enhances hippocampal synaptic plasticity via catecholamine receptors. PMID:25445492

  14. Autonomous CaMKII requires further stimulation by Ca2+/calmodulin for enhancing synaptic strength

    PubMed Central

    Barcomb, Kelsey; Buard, Isabelle; Coultrap, Steven J.; Kulbe, Jacqueline R.; O'Leary, Heather; Benke, Timothy A.; Bayer, K. Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    A hallmark feature of Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is generation of autonomous (Ca2+-independent) activity by T286 autophosphorylation. Biochemical studies have shown that “autonomous” CaMKII is ∼5-fold further stimulated by Ca2+/CaM, but demonstration of a physiological function for such regulation within cells has remained elusive. In this study, CaMKII-induced enhancement of synaptic strength in rat hippocampal neurons required both autonomous activity and further stimulation. Synaptic strength was decreased by CaMKIIα knockdown and rescued by reexpression, but not by mutants impaired for autonomy (T286A) or binding to NMDA-type glutamate receptor subunit 2B (GluN2B; formerly NR2B; I205K). Full rescue was seen with constitutively autonomous mutants (T286D), but only if they could be further stimulated (additional T305/306A mutation), and not with two other mutations that additionally impair Ca2+/CaM binding. Compared to rescue with wild-type CaMKII, the CaM-binding-impaired mutants even had reduced synaptic strength. One of these mutants (T305/306D) mimicked an inhibitory autophosphorylation of CaMKII, whereas the other one (Δstim) abolished CaM binding without introducing charged residues. Inhibitory T305/306 autophosphorylation also reduced GluN2B binding, but this effect was independent of reduced Ca2+/CaM binding and was not mimicked by T305/306D mutation. Thus, even autonomous CaMKII activity must be further stimulated by Ca2+/CaM for enhancement of synaptic strength.—Barcomb, K., Buard, I., Coultrap, S. J., Kulbe, J. R., O'Leary, H., Benke, T. A., Bayer, K. U. Autonomous CaMKII requires further stimulation by Ca2+/calmodulin for enhancing synaptic strength. PMID:24843070

  15. Nootropic dipeptide noopept enhances inhibitory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Povarov, I S; Kondratenko, R V; Derevyagin, V I; Ostrovskaya, R U; Skrebitskii, V G

    2015-01-01

    Application of nootropic agent Noopept on hippocampal slices from Wistar rats enhanced the inhibitory component of total current induced by stimulation of Shaffer collaterals in CA1 pyramidal neurons, but did not affect the excitatory component. A direct correlation between the increase in the amplitude of inhibitory current and agent concentration was found. The substance did not affect the release of inhibitory transmitters from terminals in the pyramidal neurons, which indicated changes in GABAergic interneurons. PMID:25573367

  16. GluN3A promotes NMDA spiking by enhancing synaptic transmission in Huntington's disease models.

    PubMed

    Mahfooz, Kashif; Marco, Sonia; Martínez-Turrillas, Rebeca; Raja, Mathan K; Pérez-Otaño, Isabel; Wesseling, John F

    2016-09-01

    Age-inappropriate expression of juvenile NMDA receptors (NMDARs) containing GluN3A subunits has been linked to synapse loss and death of spiny projection neurons of the striatum (SPNs) in Huntington's disease (HD). Here we show that suppressing GluN3A expression prevents a multivariate synaptic transmission phenotype that precedes morphological signs at early prodromal stages. We start by confirming that afferent fiber stimulation elicits larger synaptic responses mediated by both AMPA receptors and NMDARs in SPNs in the YAC128 mouse model of HD. We then show that the enhancement mediated by both is fully prevented by suppressing GluN3A expression. Strong fiber-stimulation unexpectedly elicited robust NMDAR-mediated electrogenic events (termed "upstates" or "NMDA spikes"), and the effective threshold for induction was more than 2-fold lower in YAC128 SPNs because of the enhanced synaptic transmission. The threshold could be restored to control levels by suppressing GluN3A expression or by applying the weak NMDAR blocker memantine. However, the threshold was not affected by preventing glutamate spillover from synaptic clefts. Instead, long-lasting NMDAR responses interpreted previously as activation of extrasynaptic receptors by spilled-over glutamate were caused by NMDA spikes occurring in voltage clamp mode as escape potentials. Together, the results implicate GluN3A reactivation in a broad spectrum of early-stage synaptic transmission deficits in YAC128 mice; question the current concept that NMDAR mislocalization is the pathological trigger in HD; and introduce NMDA spikes as a new candidate mechanism for coupling NMDARs to neurodegeneration. PMID:27072890

  17. Short-term environmental enrichment enhances synaptic plasticity in hippocampal slices from aged rats.

    PubMed

    Stein, Liana R; O'Dell, Kazuko A; Funatsu, Michiyo; Zorumski, Charles F; Izumi, Yukitoshi

    2016-08-01

    Age-associated changes in cognition are mirrored by impairments in cellular models of memory and learning, such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). In young rodents, environmental enrichment (EE) can enhance memory, alter LTP and LTD, as well as reverse cognitive deficits induced by aging. Whether short-term EE can benefit cognition and synaptic plasticity in aged rodents is unclear. Here, we tested if short-term EE could overcome age-associated impairments in induction of LTP and LTD. LTP and LTD could not be induced in the CA1 region of hippocampal slices in control, aged rats using standard stimuli that are highly effective in young rats. However, exposure of aged littermates to EE for three weeks enabled successful induction of LTP and LTD. EE-facilitated LTP was dependent upon N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs). These alterations in synaptic plasticity occurred with elevated levels of phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein and vascular endothelial growth factor, but in the absence of changes in several other synaptic and cellular markers. Importantly, our study suggests that even a relatively short period of EE is sufficient to alter synaptic plasticity and molecular markers linked to cognitive function in aged animals. PMID:27208617

  18. Vortioxetine disinhibits pyramidal cell function and enhances synaptic plasticity in the rat hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hong; Leiser, Steven C; Xiao, Yixin; Lu, Dunguo; Yang, Charles R; Plath, Niels; Sanchez, Connie

    2014-01-01

    Vortioxetine, a novel antidepressant with multimodal action, is a serotonin (5-HT)3, 5-HT7 and 5-HT1D receptor antagonist, a 5-HT1B receptor partial agonist, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist and a 5-HT transporter (SERT) inhibitor. Vortioxetine has been shown to improve cognitive performance in several preclinical rat models and in patients with major depressive disorder. Here we investigated the mechanistic basis for these effects by studying the effect of vortioxetine on synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation (LTP), a cellular correlate of learning and memory, and theta oscillations in the rat hippocampus and frontal cortex. Vortioxetine was found to prevent the 5-HT-induced increase in inhibitory post-synaptic potentials recorded from CA1 pyramidal cells, most likely by 5-HT3 receptor antagonism. Vortioxetine also enhanced LTP in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, vortioxetine increased fronto-cortical theta power during active wake in whole animal electroencephalographic recordings. In comparison, the selective SERT inhibitor escitalopram showed no effect on any of these measures. Taken together, our results indicate that vortioxetine can increase pyramidal cell output, which leads to enhanced synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Given the central role of the hippocampus in cognition, these findings may provide a cellular correlate to the observed preclinical and clinical cognition-enhancing effects of vortioxetine. PMID:25122043

  19. Vortioxetine disinhibits pyramidal cell function and enhances synaptic plasticity in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Dale, Elena; Zhang, Hong; Leiser, Steven C; Xiao, Yixin; Lu, Dunguo; Yang, Charles R; Plath, Niels; Sanchez, Connie

    2014-10-01

    Vortioxetine, a novel antidepressant with multimodal action, is a serotonin (5-HT)3, 5-HT7 and 5-HT1D receptor antagonist, a 5-HT1B receptor partial agonist, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist and a 5-HT transporter (SERT) inhibitor. Vortioxetine has been shown to improve cognitive performance in several preclinical rat models and in patients with major depressive disorder. Here we investigated the mechanistic basis for these effects by studying the effect of vortioxetine on synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation (LTP), a cellular correlate of learning and memory, and theta oscillations in the rat hippocampus and frontal cortex. Vortioxetine was found to prevent the 5-HT-induced increase in inhibitory post-synaptic potentials recorded from CA1 pyramidal cells, most likely by 5-HT3 receptor antagonism. Vortioxetine also enhanced LTP in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, vortioxetine increased fronto-cortical theta power during active wake in whole animal electroencephalographic recordings. In comparison, the selective SERT inhibitor escitalopram showed no effect on any of these measures. Taken together, our results indicate that vortioxetine can increase pyramidal cell output, which leads to enhanced synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Given the central role of the hippocampus in cognition, these findings may provide a cellular correlate to the observed preclinical and clinical cognition-enhancing effects of vortioxetine. PMID:25122043

  20. Taurine-Induced Long-Lasting Enhancement of Synaptic Transmission in Mice: Role of Transporters

    PubMed Central

    Sergeeva, O A; Chepkova, A N; Doreulee, N; Eriksson, K S; Poelchen, W; Mönnighoff, I; Heller-Stilb, B; Warskulat, U; Häussinger, D; Haas, H L

    2003-01-01

    Taurine, a major osmolyte in the brain evokes a long-lasting enhancement (LLETAU) of synaptic transmission in hippocampal and cortico-striatal slices. Hippocampal LLETAU was abolished by the GABA uptake blocker nipecotic acid (NPA) but not by the taurine-uptake inhibitor guanidinoethyl sulphonate (GES). Striatal LLETAU was sensitive to GES but not to NPA. Semiquantitative PCR analysis and immunohistochemistry revealed that taurine transporter expression is significantly higher in the striatum than in the hippocampus. Taurine transporter-deficient mice displayed very low taurine levels in both structures and a low ability to develop LLETAU in the striatum, but not in the hippocampus. The different mechanisms of taurine-induced synaptic plasticity may reflect the different vulnerabilities of these brain regions under pathological conditions that are accompanied by osmotic changes such as hepatic encephalopathy. PMID:12824447

  1. Enhancement of synaptic transmission induced by BDNF in cultured cortical neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Jun; Gong, Hui; Zeng, Shaoqun; Li, Yanling; Luo, Qingming

    2005-03-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), like other neurotrophins, has long-term effects on neuronal survival and differentiation; furthermore, BDNF has been reported to exert an acute potentiation of synaptic activity and are critically involved in long-term potentiation (LTP). We found that BDNF rapidly induced potentiation of synaptic activity and an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in cultured cortical neurons. Within minutes of BDNF application to cultured cortical neurons, spontaneous firing rate was dramatically increased as were the frequency and amplitude of excitatory spontaneous postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Fura-2 recordings showed that BDNF acutely elicited an increase in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]c). This effect was partially dependent on [Ca2+]o; The BDNF-induced increase in [Ca2+]c can not be completely blocked by Ca2+-free solution. It was completely blocked by K252a and partially blocked by Cd2+ and TTX. The results demonstrate that BDNF can enhances synaptic transmission and that this effect is accompanied by a rise in [Ca2+]c that requires two route: the release of Ca2+ from intracellular calcium stores and influx of extracellular Ca2+ through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels in cultured cortical neurons.

  2. Previous ethanol experience enhances synaptic plasticity of NMDA receptors in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Bernier, Brian E; Whitaker, Leslie R; Morikawa, Hitoshi

    2011-04-01

    Alcohol addiction (alcoholism) is one of the most prevalent substance abuse disorders worldwide. Addiction is thought to arise, in part, from a maladaptive learning process in which enduring memories of drug experiences are formed. However, alcohol (ethanol) generally interferes with synaptic plasticity mechanisms in the CNS and thus impairs various types of learning and memory. Therefore, it is unclear how powerful memories associated with alcohol experience are formed during the development of alcoholism. Here, using brain slice electrophysiology in mice, we show that repeated in vivo ethanol exposure (2 g/kg, i.p., three times daily for 7 d) causes increased susceptibility to the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated transmission in mesolimbic dopamine neurons, a form of synaptic plasticity that may drive the learning of stimuli associated with rewards, including drugs of abuse. Enhancement of NMDAR plasticity results from an increase in the potency of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3)) in producing facilitation of action potential-evoked Ca(2+) signals, which is critical for LTP induction. This increase in IP(3) effect, which lasts for a week but not a month after ethanol withdrawal, occurs through a protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent mechanism. Corticotropin-releasing factor, a stress-related neuropeptide implicated in alcoholism and other addictions, further amplifies the PKA-mediated increase in IP(3) effect in ethanol-treated mice. Finally, we found that ethanol-treated mice display enhanced place conditioning induced by the psychostimulant cocaine. These data suggest that repeated ethanol experience may promote the formation of drug-associated memories by enhancing synaptic plasticity of NMDARs in dopamine neurons. PMID:21471355

  3. Tenuigenin treatment improves behavioral Y-maze learning by enhancing synaptic plasticity in mice.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jun-ni; Wang, Chun-yang; Wang, Xiu-li; Wu, Bo-zhi; Gu, Xing-yang; Liu, Wen-xiao; Gong, Liang-wei; Xiao, Peng; Li, Chu-hua

    2013-06-01

    Polygala tenuifolia root has been used to improve memory and cognitive function in Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than 2000 years. Since tenuigenin (TEN) is one of the most utilized P. tenuifolia root extracts, it is surprising there is no evidence for the effects of TEN on learning and memory so far. In the present study, we investigated the effects of TEN on learning and memory with Y-maze test in mice. We found that oral administration of 4mg/kg TEN significantly improved learning and memory in Y-maze task. Treatment with 4mg/kg TEN markedly reduced the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) level, and increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in hippocampus. In the electrophysiological test of hippocampal brain slice, 2μg/ml TEN perfusion substantially enhanced field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP) amplitude both in basic synaptic transmission and after high frequency stimulation (HFS) in Schaffer to CA1 pathway (Scha-CA1). These results indicate that TEN enhancing learning and memory may result from inhibiting AChE activity, improving antioxidation and enhancing synaptic plasticity in mice. Therefore, TEN shows promise as a potential nootropic product in improving learning and memory. PMID:23499702

  4. Can Communicative Principles Enhance Classical Language Acquisition?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Overland, Paul; Fields, Lee; Noonan, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

    Is it feasible for nonfluent instructors to teach Biblical Hebrew by communicative principles? If it is feasible, will communicative instruction enhance postsecondary learning of a classical language? To begin answering these questions, two consultants representing second language acquisition (SLA) and technology-assisted language learning led 8…

  5. Smaller Dendritic Spines, Weaker Synaptic Transmission, but Enhanced Spatial Learning in Mice Lacking Shank1

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Albert Y.; Futai, Kensuke; Sala, Carlo; Valtschanoff, Juli G.; Ryu, Jubin; Woodworth, Mollie A.; Kidd, Fleur L.; Sung, Clifford C.; Miyakawa, Tsuyoshi; Bear, Mark F.; Weinberg, Richard J.; Sheng, Morgan

    2009-01-01

    Experience-dependent changes in the structure of dendritic spines may contribute to learning and memory. Encoded by three genes, the Shank family of postsynaptic scaffold proteins are abundant and enriched in the postsynaptic density (PSD) of central excitatory synapses. When expressed in cultured hippocampal neurons, Shank promotes the maturation and enlargement of dendritic spines. Recently, Shank3 has been genetically implicated in human autism, suggesting an important role for Shank proteins in normal cognitive development. Here, we report the phenotype of Shank1 knock-out mice. Shank1 mutants showed altered PSD protein composition; reduced size of dendritic spines; smaller, thinner PSDs; and weaker basal synaptic transmission. Standard measures of synaptic plasticity were normal. Behaviorally, they had increased anxiety-related behavior and impaired contextual fear memory. Remarkably, Shank1-deficient mice displayed enhanced performance in a spatial learning task; however, their long-term memory retention in this task was impaired. These results affirm the importance of Shank1 for synapse structure and function in vivo, and they highlight a differential role for Shank1 in specific cognitive processes, a feature that may be relevant to human autism spectrum disorders. PMID:18272690

  6. The Enhanced Rise and Delayed Fall of Memory in a Model of Synaptic Integration: Extension to Discrete State Synapses.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Terry

    2016-09-01

    Integrate-and-express models of synaptic plasticity propose that synapses may act as low-pass filters, integrating synaptic plasticity induction signals in order to discern trends before expressing synaptic plasticity. We have previously shown that synaptic filtering strongly controls destabilizing fluctuations in developmental models. When applied to palimpsest memory systems that learn new memories by forgetting old ones, we have also shown that with binary-strength synapses, integrative synapses lead to an initial memory signal rise before its fall back to equilibrium. Such an initial rise is in dramatic contrast to nonintegrative synapses, in which the memory signal falls monotonically. We now extend our earlier analysis of palimpsest memories with synaptic filters to consider the more general case of discrete state, multilevel synapses. We derive exact results for the memory signal dynamics and then consider various simplifying approximations. We show that multilevel synapses enhance the initial rise in the memory signal and then delay its subsequent fall by inducing a plateau-like region in the memory signal. Such dynamics significantly increase memory lifetimes, defined by a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). We derive expressions for optimal choices of synaptic parameters (filter size, number of strength states, number of synapses) that maximize SNR memory lifetimes. However, we find that with memory lifetimes defined via mean-first-passage times, such optimality conditions do not exist, suggesting that optimality may be an artifact of SNRs. PMID:27391686

  7. Age-dependent enhancement of inhibitory synaptic transmission in CA1 pyramidal neurons via GluR5 kainate receptors.

    PubMed

    Xu, Changqing; Cui, Changhai; Alkon, Daniel L

    2009-08-01

    Changes in hippocampal synaptic networks during aging may contribute to age-dependent compromise of cognitive functions such as learning and memory. Previous studies have demonstrated that GABAergic synaptic transmission exhibits age-dependent changes. To better understand such age-dependent changes of GABAergic synaptic inhibition, we performed whole-cell recordings from pyramidal cells in the CA1 area of acute hippocampal slices on aged (24-26 months old) and young (2-4 months old) Brown-Norway rats. We found that the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic current (IPSCs) were significantly increased in aged rats, but the frequency and amplitude of mIPSCs were decreased. Furthermore, the regulation of GABAergic synaptic transmission by GluR5 containing kainate receptors was enhanced in aged rats, which was revealed by using LY382884 (a GluR5 kainate receptor antagonist) and ATPA (a GluR5 kainate receptor agonist). Moreover, we demonstrated that vesicular glutamate transporters are involved in the kainate receptor dependent regulation of sIPSCs. Taken together, these results suggest that GABAergic synaptic transmission is potentiated in aged rats, and GluR5 containing kainate receptors regulate the inhibitory synaptic transmission through endogenous glutamate. These alterations of GABAergic input with aging could contribute to age-dependent cognitive decline. PMID:19123252

  8. Creative Methodologies to Enhance Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennedy, Lucille; Brewer, Gayle

    2016-01-01

    The experiences and opinions of people with learning disabilities are often ignored or devalued. Oral and life history projects allow individuals to communicate their own opinions and experiences. This process can lead to more meaningful interactions between those with learning disabilities and support workers. Whilst the interview techniques…

  9. Acute lipopolysaccharide exposure facilitates epileptiform activity via enhanced excitatory synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Fei; Liu, Zhiqiang; Ren, Wei; Jiang, Wen

    2014-01-01

    Growing evidence indicates brain inflammation has been involved in the genesis of seizures. However, the direct effect of acute inflammation on neuronal circuits is not well known. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been used extensively to stimulate brain inflammatory responses both in vivo and in vitro. Here, we observed the contribution of inflammation induced by 10 μg/mL LPS to the excitability of neuronal circuits in acute hippocampal slices. When slices were incubated with LPS for 30 minutes, significant increased concentration of tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 1β were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In electrophysiological recordings, we found that frequency of epileptiform discharges and spikes per burst increased 30 minutes after LPS application. LPS enhanced evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents but did not modify evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents. In addition, exposure to LPS enhanced the excitability of CA1 pyramidal neurons, as demonstrated by a decrease in rheobase and an increase in action potential frequency elicited by depolarizing current injection. Our observations suggest that acute inflammation induced by LPS facilitates epileptiform activity in vitro and that enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability may contribute to this facilitation. These results may provide new clues for treating seizures associated with brain inflammatory disease. PMID:25170268

  10. Enhanced susceptibility to spontaneous seizures of noda epileptic rats by loss of synaptic zn(2+).

    PubMed

    Takeda, Atsushi; Iida, Masashi; Ando, Masaki; Nakamura, Masatoshi; Tamano, Haruna; Oku, Naoto

    2013-01-01

    Zinc homeostasis in the brain is associated with the etiology and manifestation of epileptic seizures. Adult Noda epileptic rats (NER, >12-week-old) exhibit spontaneously generalized tonic-clonic convulsion about once a day. To pursue the involvement of synaptic Zn(2+) signal in susceptibility to spontaneous seizures, in the present study, the effect of zinc chelators on epileptogenesis was examined using adult NER. Clioquinol (CQ) and TPEN are lipophilic zinc chelotors, transported into the brain and reduce the levels of synaptic Zn(2+). The incidence of tonic-clonic convulsion was markedly increased after i.p. injection of CQ (30-100 mg/kg) and TPEN (1 mg/kg). The basal levels of extracellular Zn(2+) measured by ZnAF-2 were decreased before tonic-clonic convulsion was induced with zinc chelators. The hippocampal electroencephalograms during CQ (30 mg/kg)-induced convulsions were similar to those during sound-induced convulsions in NER reported previously. Exocytosis of hippocampal mossy fibers, which was measured with FM4-64, was significantly increased in hippocampal slices from CQ-injected NER that did not show tonic-clonic convulsion yet. These results indicate that the abnormal excitability of mossy fibers is induced prior to epileptic seizures by injection of zinc chelators into NER. The incidence of tonic-clonic convulsion induced with CQ (30 mg/kg) was significantly reduced by co-injection with aminooxyacetic acid (5-10 mg/kg), an anticonvulsant drug enhancing GABAergic activity, which did not affect locomotor activity. The present paper demonstrates that the abnormal excitability in the brain, especially in mossy fibers, which is potentially associated with the insufficient GABAergic neuron activity, may be a factor to reduce the threshold for epileptogenesis in NER. PMID:23951148

  11. Enhanced Susceptibility to Spontaneous Seizures of Noda Epileptic Rats by Loss of Synaptic Zn2+

    PubMed Central

    Takeda, Atsushi; Iida, Masashi; Ando, Masaki; Nakamura, Masatoshi; Tamano, Haruna; Oku, Naoto

    2013-01-01

    Zinc homeostasis in the brain is associated with the etiology and manifestation of epileptic seizures. Adult Noda epileptic rats (NER, >12-week-old) exhibit spontaneously generalized tonic-clonic convulsion about once a day. To pursue the involvement of synaptic Zn2+ signal in susceptibility to spontaneous seizures, in the present study, the effect of zinc chelators on epileptogenesis was examined using adult NER. Clioquinol (CQ) and TPEN are lipophilic zinc chelotors, transported into the brain and reduce the levels of synaptic Zn2+. The incidence of tonic-clonic convulsion was markedly increased after i.p. injection of CQ (30–100 mg/kg) and TPEN (1 mg/kg). The basal levels of extracellular Zn2+ measured by ZnAF-2 were decreased before tonic-clonic convulsion was induced with zinc chelators. The hippocampal electroencephalograms during CQ (30 mg/kg)-induced convulsions were similar to those during sound-induced convulsions in NER reported previously. Exocytosis of hippocampal mossy fibers, which was measured with FM4-64, was significantly increased in hippocampal slices from CQ-injected NER that did not show tonic-clonic convulsion yet. These results indicate that the abnormal excitability of mossy fibers is induced prior to epileptic seizures by injection of zinc chelators into NER. The incidence of tonic-clonic convulsion induced with CQ (30 mg/kg) was significantly reduced by co-injection with aminooxyacetic acid (5–10 mg/kg), an anticonvulsant drug enhancing GABAergic activity, which did not affect locomotor activity. The present paper demonstrates that the abnormal excitability in the brain, especially in mossy fibers, which is potentially associated with the insufficient GABAergic neuron activity, may be a factor to reduce the threshold for epileptogenesis in NER. PMID:23951148

  12. Platelet Activating Factor Enhances Synaptic Vesicle Exocytosis Via PKC, Elevated Intracellular Calcium, and Modulation of Synapsin 1 Dynamics and Phosphorylation

    PubMed Central

    Hammond, Jennetta W.; Lu, Shao-Ming; Gelbard, Harris A.

    2016-01-01

    Platelet activating factor (PAF) is an inflammatory phospholipid signaling molecule implicated in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory and neurotoxicity during neuroinflammation. However, little is known about the intracellular mechanisms mediating PAF’s physiological or pathological effects on synaptic facilitation. We show here that PAF receptors are localized at the synapse. Using fluorescent reporters of presynaptic activity we show that a non-hydrolysable analog of PAF (cPAF) enhances synaptic vesicle release from individual presynaptic boutons by increasing the size or release of the readily releasable pool and the exocytosis rate of the total recycling pool. cPAF also activates previously silent boutons resulting in vesicle release from a larger number of terminals. The underlying mechanism involves elevated calcium within presynaptic boutons and protein kinase C activation. Furthermore, cPAF increases synapsin I phosphorylation at sites 1 and 3, and increases dispersion of synapsin I from the presynaptic compartment during stimulation, freeing synaptic vesicles for subsequent release. These findings provide a conceptual framework for how PAF, regardless of its cellular origin, can modulate synapses during normal and pathologic synaptic activity. PMID:26778968

  13. Abnormal Synaptic Vesicle Biogenesis in Drosophila Synaptogyrin Mutants

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Robin J.; Akbergenova, Yulia; Jorquera, Ramon A.; Littleton, J. Troy

    2012-01-01

    Sustained neuronal communication relies on the coordinated activity of multiple proteins that regulate synaptic vesicle biogenesis and cycling within the presynaptic terminal. Synaptogyrin and synaptophysin are conserved MARVEL domain-containing transmembrane proteins that are among the most abundant synaptic vesicle constituents, although their role in the synaptic vesicle cycle has remained elusive. To further investigate the function of these proteins, we generated and characterized a synaptogyrin (gyr) null mutant in Drosophila, whose genome encodes a single synaptogyrin isoform and lacks a synaptophysin homolog. We demonstrate that Drosophila synaptogyrin plays a modulatory role in synaptic vesicle biogenesis at larval neuromuscular junctions. Drosophila lacking synaptogyrin are viable and fertile and have no overt deficits in motor function. However, ultrastructural analysis of gyr larvae revealed increased synaptic vesicle diameter and enhanced variability in the size of synaptic vesicles. In addition, the resolution of endocytic cisternae into synaptic vesicles in response to strong stimulation is defective in gyr mutants. Electrophysiological analysis demonstrated an increase in quantal size and a concomitant decrease in quantal content, suggesting functional consequences for transmission caused by the loss of synaptogyrin. Furthermore, high-frequency stimulation resulted in increased facilitation and a delay in recovery from synaptic depression, indicating that synaptic vesicle exo-endocytosis is abnormally regulated during intense stimulation conditions. These results suggest that synaptogyrin modulates the synaptic vesicle exo-endocytic cycle and is required for the proper biogenesis of synaptic vesicles at nerve terminals. PMID:23238721

  14. Reelin Supplementation Enhances Cognitive Ability, Synaptic Plasticity, and Dendritic Spine Density

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Justin T.; Rusiana, Ian; Trotter, Justin; Zhao, Lisa; Donaldson, Erika; Pak, Daniel T.S.; Babus, Lenard W.; Peters, Melinda; Banko, Jessica L.; Chavis, Pascale; Rebeck, G. William; Hoe, Hyang-Sook; Weeber, Edwin J.

    2011-01-01

    Apolipoprotein receptors belong to an evolutionarily conserved surface receptor family that has intimate roles in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and is necessary for proper hippocampal-dependent memory formation. The known lipoprotein receptor ligand Reelin is important for normal synaptic plasticity, dendritic morphology, and cognitive…

  15. Enhancing Disease Surveillance Event Communication Among Jurisdictions

    PubMed Central

    Tabernero, Nathaniel R.; Loschen, Wayne A.; Jorgensen, Joel; Suereth, Joshua; Coberly, Jacqueline S.; Holtry, Rekha S.; Sikes, Marvin L.; Babin, Steven M.; Lewis, Sheryl L. Happel

    2009-01-01

    Automated disease surveillance systems are becoming widely used by the public health community. However, communication among non-collocated and widely dispersed users still needs improvement. A web-based software tool for enhancing user communications was completely integrated into an existing automated disease surveillance system and was tested during two simulated exercises and operational use involving multiple jurisdictions. Evaluation of this tool was conducted by user meetings, anonymous surveys, and web logs. Public health officials found this tool to be useful, and the tool has been modified further to incorporate features suggested by user responses. Features of the automated disease surveillance system, such as alerts and time series plots, can be specifically referenced by user comments. The user may also indicate the alert response being considered by adding a color indicator to their comment. The web-based event communication tool described in this article provides a common ground for collaboration and communication among public health officials at different locations. PMID:27325909

  16. Monitoring Synaptic Vesicle Protein Sorting with Enhanced Horseradish Peroxidase in the Electron Microscope.

    PubMed

    Schikorski, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Protein sorting is the fundamental cellular process that creates and maintains cell organelles and subcellular structures. The synaptic vesicle (SV) is a unique cell organelle that contains a plethora of specific SV proteins and its protein composition is crucial for its function. Thus understanding the mechanisms that sort proteins to SVs and other cell organelles is central to neuroscience and cell biology.While in the past protein sorting was studied in the fluorescence and confocal microscope, we here present a protocol that reveals SV protein trafficking and sorting in the electron microscope (EM). The protocol exploits tagging SV proteins with a new genetically encoded label for EM: enhanced horseradish peroxidase (eHRP). eHRP gained its high sensitivity through direct evolution of its catalytic activity and is detectable in the EM and LM after expression in neurons and other mammalian cells. The protocol describes the use of eHRP, labeling of SVs in cultured hippocampal neurons, and analysis via serial section reconstruction. PMID:27515091

  17. Enhanced quantum communication via optical refocusing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lupo, Cosmo; Giovannetti, Vittorio; Pirandola, Stefano; Mancini, Stefano; Lloyd, Seth

    2011-07-01

    We consider the problem of quantum communication mediated by a passive optical refocusing system. The model captures the basic features of all those situations in which a signal is either refocused by a repeater for long-distance communication, or it is focused on a detector prior to the information decoding process. Introducing a general method for linear passive optical systems, we determine the conditions under which optical refocusing implies information transmission gain. Although the finite aperture of the repeater may cause loss of information, we show that the presence of the refocusing system can substantially enhance the rate of reliable communication with respect to the free-space propagation. We explicitly address the transferring of classical messages over the quantum channel, but the results can be easily extended to include the case of transferring quantum messages as well.

  18. Neurotrophin-3 Enhances the Synaptic Organizing Function of TrkC-Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase σ in Rat Hippocampal Neurons.

    PubMed

    Ammendrup-Johnsen, Ina; Naito, Yusuke; Craig, Ann Marie; Takahashi, Hideto

    2015-09-01

    Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and its high-affinity receptor TrkC play crucial trophic roles in neuronal differentiation, axon outgrowth, and synapse development and plasticity in the nervous system. We demonstrated previously that postsynaptic TrkC functions as a glutamatergic synapse-inducing (synaptogenic) cell adhesion molecule trans-interacting with presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase σ (PTPσ). Given that NT-3 and PTPσ bind distinct domains of the TrkC extracellular region, here we tested the hypothesis that NT-3 modulates TrkC/PTPσ binding and synaptogenic activity. NT-3 enhanced PTPσ binding to cell surface-expressed TrkC and facilitated the presynapse-inducing activity of TrkC in rat hippocampal neurons. Imaging of recycling presynaptic vesicles combined with TrkC knockdown and rescue approaches demonstrated that NT-3 rapidly potentiates presynaptic function via binding endogenous postsynaptic TrkC in a tyrosine kinase-independent manner. Thus, NT-3 positively modulates the TrkC-PTPσ complex for glutamatergic presynaptic assembly and function independently from TrkC kinase activation. Our findings provide new insight into synaptic roles of neurotrophin signaling and mechanisms controlling synaptic organizing complexes. Significance statement: Although many synaptogenic adhesion complexes have been identified in recent years, little is known about modulatory mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate a novel role of neurotrophin-3 in synaptic assembly and function as a positive modulator of the TrkC-protein tyrosine phosphatase σ complex. This study provides new insight into the involvement of neurotrophin signaling in synapse development and plasticity, presenting a molecular mechanism that may underlie previous observations of short- and long-term enhancement of presynaptic function by neurotrophin. Given the links of synaptogenic adhesion molecules to autism and schizophrenia, this study might also contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of

  19. Lycopene oxidation product enhances gap junctional communication.

    PubMed

    Aust, O; Ale-Agha, N; Zhang, L; Wollersen, H; Sies, H; Stahl, W

    2003-10-01

    Carotenoids as well as their metabolites and oxidation products stimulate gap junctional communication (GJC) between cells, which is thought to be one of the protective mechanisms related to cancer-preventive activities of these compounds. Increased intake of lycopene by consumption of tomatoes or tomato products has been epidemiologically associated with a diminished risk of prostate cancer. Here, we report a stimulatory effect of a lycopene oxidation product on GJC in rat liver epithelial WB-F344 cells. The active compound was obtained by complete in vitro oxidation of lycopene with hydrogen peroxide/osmium tetroxide. For structural analysis high performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, ultraviolet/visible-, and infrared spectrophotometry were applied. The biologically active oxidation product was identified as 2,7,11-trimethyl-tetradecahexaene-1,14-dial. The present data indicate a potential role of lycopene degradation products in cell signaling enhancing cell-to-cell communication via gap junctions. PMID:12909274

  20. Long-Term Exercise Is Needed to Enhance Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patten, Anna R.; Sickmann, Helle; Hryciw, Brett N.; Kucharsky, Tessa; Parton, Roberta; Kernick, Aimee; Christie, Brian R.

    2013-01-01

    Exercise can have many benefits for the body, but it also benefits the brain by increasing neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and performance on learning and memory tasks. The period of exercise needed to realize the structural and functional benefits for the brain have not been well delineated, and previous studies have used periods of exercise…

  1. Spinal cord explants use carbon nanotube interfaces to enhance neurite outgrowth and to fortify synaptic inputs.

    PubMed

    Fabbro, Alessandra; Villari, Ambra; Laishram, Jummi; Scaini, Denis; Toma, Francesca M; Turco, Antonio; Prato, Maurizio; Ballerini, Laura

    2012-03-27

    New developments in nanotechnology are increasingly designed to modulate relevant interactions between nanomaterials and neurons, with the aim of exploiting the physical properties of synthetic materials to tune desired and specific biological processes. Carbon nanotubes have been applied in several areas of nerve tissue engineering to study cell behavior or to instruct the growth and organization of neural networks. Recent reports show that nanotubes can sustain and promote electrical activity in networks of cultured neurons. However, such results are usually limited to carbon nanotube/neuron hybrids formed on a monolayer of dissociated brain cells. In the present work, we used organotypic spinal slices to model multilayer tissue complexity, and we interfaced such spinal segments to carbon nanotube scaffolds for weeks. By immunofluorescence, scanning and transmission electronic microscopy, and atomic force microscopy, we investigated nerve fiber growth when neuronal processes exit the spinal explant and develop in direct contact to the substrate. By single-cell electrophysiology, we investigated the synaptic activity of visually identified ventral interneurons, within the ventral area of the explant, thus synaptically connected, but located remotely, to the substrate/network interface. Here we show that spinal cord explants interfaced for weeks to purified carbon nanotube scaffolds expand more neuronal fibers, characterized by different mechanical properties and displaying higher growth cones activity. On the other hand, exploring spontaneous and evoked synaptic activity unmasks an increase in synaptic efficacy in neurons located at as far as 5 cell layers from the cell-substrate interactions. PMID:22339712

  2. Enhancing the Communication of Climate Change Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somerville, R. C.; Hassol, S. J.

    2011-12-01

    Climate scientists have an important role to play in the critical task of informing the public, media and policymakers. Scientists can help in publicizing and illuminating climate science. However, this task requires combining climate science expertise with advanced communication skills. For example, it is entirely possible to convey scientific information accurately without using jargon or technical concepts unfamiliar to non-scientists. However, making this translation into everyday language is a job that few scientists have been trained to do. In this talk, we give examples from our recent experience working with scientists to enhance their ability to communicate well. Our work includes providing training, technical assistance, and communications tools to climate scientists and universities, government agencies, and research centers. Our experience ranges from preparing Congressional testimony to writing major climate science reports to appearing on television. We have also aided journalists in gathering reliable scientific information and identifying trustworthy experts. Additionally, we are involved in developing resources freely available online at climatecommunication.org. These include a feature on the links between climate change and extreme weather, a climate science primer, and graphics and video explaining key developments in climate change science.

  3. Enhanced Store-Operated Calcium Entry Leads to Striatal Synaptic Loss in a Huntington's Disease Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jun; Ryskamp, Daniel A.; Liang, Xia; Egorova, Polina; Zakharova, Olga; Hung, Gene

    2016-01-01

    prepared from YAC128 HD mice feature age-dependent MSN spine loss, mirroring YAC128 MSN spine loss in vivo. This finding establishes a system for mechanistic studies of synaptic instability in HD. We use it to demonstrate that sensitization of type 1 inositol (1,4,5)-trisphosphate receptors by mHtt, which depletes endoplasmic reticulum calcium, contributes to synaptotoxic enhancement of STIM2-dependent store-operated calcium (SOC) entry. Treatment with EVP4593, a neuroprotective inhibitor of neuronal SOC channels, rescues YAC128 MSN spine loss both in vitro and in vivo. These results suggest that enhanced neuronal SOC causes synaptic loss in HD-afflicted MSNs. PMID:26740655

  4. Low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation is beneficial for enhancing synaptic plasticity in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhan-chi; Luan, Feng; Xie, Chun-yan; Geng, Dan-dan; Wang, Yan-yong; Ma, Jun

    2015-01-01

    In the aging brain, cognitive function gradually declines and causes a progressive reduction in the structural and functional plasticity of the hippocampus. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an emerging and novel neurological and psychiatric tool used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (≤1 Hz) ameliorates synaptic plasticity and spatial cognitive deficits in learning-impaired mice. However, the mechanisms by which this treatment improves these deficits during normal aging are still unknown. Therefore, the current study investigated the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor signal pathway, synaptic protein markers, and spatial memory behavior in the hippocampus of normal aged mice. The study also investigated the downstream regulator, Fyn kinase, and the downstream effectors, synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 (both synaptic markers), to determine the possible mechanisms by which transcranial magnetic stimulation regulates cognitive capacity. Transcranial magnetic stimulation with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1 Hz) increased mRNA and protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B, and Fyn in the hippocampus of aged mice. The treatment also upregulated the mRNA and protein expression of synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 in the hippocampus of these mice. In conclusion, brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling may play an important role in sustaining and regulating structural synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation in the hippocampus of aging mice, and Fyn may be critical during this regulation. These responses may change the structural plasticity of the aging hippocampus, thereby improving cognitive function. PMID:26199608

  5. Enhanced Faraday effect and its application to optical communication.

    PubMed

    Bomke, H A; Harmatz, M

    1977-03-01

    This paper shows that the enhanced Faraday effect of optical resonance lines can be applied to optical communication. A secure optical communication system was designed and successfully tested. It used the integrated enhanced Faraday effect at low fields to produce polarization modulation and the high dispersion of the enhanced effect at high fields to scramble and unscramble the transmitted messages. PMID:20168574

  6. Enhancing GRASS data communication with videographic technology

    SciTech Connect

    Sullivan, R.G. ); Gerdes, D.; Youngs, D. )

    1992-01-01

    Research at Argonne National Laboratory and the US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory has shown that computer videographic technology can be used to assist visualization and communication of GIS-generated geographic information. Videographic tools can be used to make results of GRASS analyses clear to decision-makers and to public interest groups, as well as to help GRASS users visualize geographic data more easily. Useful videographic visualization tools include graphic overlay of GRASS layers onto panchromatic images, allowing landscape features to be associated with GIS classifications; draping of GIS layers onto terrain models to create shaded relief maps; and incorporation of photographic imagery into GIS graphics. Useful videographic communications capabilities include convenient, direct interface to video formats, allowing incorporation of live video into GRASS graphics and output of GRASS graphics to video; convenient output of high-quality slides and prints; and enhanced labeling and editing of GRASS images. Conversion of GRASS imagery to standard videographic file formats also facilitates incorporation of GRASS images into other software programs, such as database and work-processing packages.

  7. Enhancing GRASS data communication with videographic technology

    SciTech Connect

    Sullivan, R.G.; Gerdes, D.; Youngs, D.

    1992-07-01

    Research at Argonne National Laboratory and the US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory has shown that computer videographic technology can be used to assist visualization and communication of GIS-generated geographic information. Videographic tools can be used to make results of GRASS analyses clear to decision-makers and to public interest groups, as well as to help GRASS users visualize geographic data more easily. Useful videographic visualization tools include graphic overlay of GRASS layers onto panchromatic images, allowing landscape features to be associated with GIS classifications; draping of GIS layers onto terrain models to create shaded relief maps; and incorporation of photographic imagery into GIS graphics. Useful videographic communications capabilities include convenient, direct interface to video formats, allowing incorporation of live video into GRASS graphics and output of GRASS graphics to video; convenient output of high-quality slides and prints; and enhanced labeling and editing of GRASS images. Conversion of GRASS imagery to standard videographic file formats also facilitates incorporation of GRASS images into other software programs, such as database and work-processing packages.

  8. Enhanced GABAergic synaptic transmission at VLPAG neurons and potent modulation by oxycodone in a bone cancer pain model

    PubMed Central

    Takasu, Keiko; Ogawa, Koichi; Nakamura, Atsushi; Kanbara, Tomoe; Ono, Hiroko; Tomii, Takako; Morioka, Yasuhide; Hasegawa, Minoru; Shibasaki, Masahiro; Mori, Tomohisa; Suzuki, Tsutomu; Sakaguchi, Gaku

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose We demonstrated previously that oxycodone has potent antinociceptive effects at supraspinal sites. In this study, we investigated changes in neuronal function and antinociceptive mechanisms of oxycodone at ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (VLPAG) neurons, which are a major site of opioid action, in a femur bone cancer (FBC) model with bone cancer-related pain. Experimental Approach We characterized the supraspinal antinociceptive profiles of oxycodone and morphine on mechanical hypersensitivity in the FBC model. Based on the disinhibition mechanism underlying supraspinal opioid antinociception, the effects of oxycodone and morphine on GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in VLPAG neurons were evaluated in slices from the FBC model. Key Results The supraspinal antinociceptive effects of oxycodone, but not morphine, were abolished by blocking G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium1 (Kir3.1) channels. In slices from the FBC model, GABAergic synaptic transmission at VLPAG neurons was enhanced, as indicated by a leftward shift of the input–output relationship curve of evoked IPSCs, the increased paired-pulse facilitation and the enhancement of miniature IPSC frequency. Following treatment with oxycodone and morphine, IPSCs were reduced in the FBC model, and the inhibition of presynaptic GABA release by oxycodone, but not morphine was enhanced and dependent on Kir3.1 channels. Conclusion and Implications Our results demonstrate that Kir3.1 channels are important for supraspinal antinociception and presynaptic GABA release inhibition by oxycodone in the FBC model. Enhanced GABAergic synaptic transmission at VLPAG neurons in the FBC model is an important site of supraspinal antinociception by oxycodone via Kir3.1 channel activation. PMID:25521524

  9. Intracellular Zn2+ accumulation enhances suppression of synaptic activity following spreading depolarization.

    PubMed

    Carter, Russell E; Seidel, Jessica L; Lindquist, Britta E; Sheline, Christian T; Shuttleworth, C William

    2013-06-01

    Spreading depolarization (SD) is a feed-forward wave that propagates slowly throughout brain tissue and recovery from SD involves substantial metabolic demand. Presynaptic Zn(2+) release and intracellular accumulation occurs with SD, and elevated intracellular Zn(2+) ([Zn(2+) ]i ) can impair cellular metabolism through multiple pathways. We tested here whether increased [Zn(2+) ]i could exacerbate the metabolic challenge of SD, induced by KCl, and delay recovery in acute murine hippocampal slices. [Zn(2+) ]i loading prior to SD, by transient ZnCl2 application with the Zn(2+) ionophore pyrithione (Zn/Pyr), delayed recovery of field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSPs) in a concentration-dependent manner, prolonged DC shifts, and significantly increased extracellular adenosine accumulation. These effects could be due to metabolic inhibition, occurring downstream of pyruvate utilization. Prolonged [Zn(2+) ]i accumulation prior to SD was required for effects on fEPSP recovery and consistent with this, endogenous synaptic Zn(2+) release during SD propagation did not delay recovery from SD. The effects of exogenous [Zn(2+) ]i loading were also lost in slices preconditioned with repetitive SDs, implying a rapid adaptation. Together, these results suggest that [Zn(2+) ]i loading prior to SD can provide significant additional challenge to brain tissue, and could contribute to deleterious effects of [Zn(2+) ]i accumulation in a range of brain injury models. PMID:23495967

  10. Mutation of the Dyslexia-Associated Gene Dcdc2 Enhances Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission Between Layer 4 Neurons in Mouse Neocortex.

    PubMed

    Che, Alicia; Truong, Dongnhu T; Fitch, R Holly; LoTurco, Joseph J

    2016-09-01

    Variants in DCDC2 have been associated with reading disability in humans, and targeted mutation of Dcdc2 in mice causes impairments in both learning and sensory processing. In this study, we sought to determine whether Dcdc2 mutation affects functional synaptic circuitry in neocortex. We found mutation in Dcdc2 resulted in elevated spontaneous and evoked glutamate release from neurons in somatosensory cortex. The probability of release was decreased to wild-type level by acute application of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonists when postsynaptic NMDARs were blocked by intracellular MK-801, and could not be explained by elevated ambient glutamate, suggesting altered, nonpostsynaptic NMDAR activation in the mutants. In addition, we determined that the increased excitatory transmission was present at layer 4-layer 4 but not thalamocortical connections in Dcdc2 mutants, and larger evoked synaptic release appeared to enhance the NMDAR-mediated effect. These results demonstrate an NMDAR activation-gated, increased functional excitatory connectivity between layer 4 lateral connections in somatosensory neocortex of the mutants, providing support for potential changes in cortical connectivity and activation resulting from mutation of dyslexia candidate gene Dcdc2. PMID:26250775

  11. Mice Overexpressing Type 1 Adenylyl Cyclase Show Enhanced Spatial Memory Flexibility in the Absence of Intact Synaptic Long-Term Depression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Ming; Wang, Hongbing

    2013-01-01

    There is significant interest in understanding the contribution of intracellular signaling and synaptic substrates to memory flexibility, which involves new learning and suppression of obsolete memory. Here, we report that enhancement of Ca[superscript 2+]-stimulated cAMP signaling by overexpressing type 1 adenylyl cyclase (AC1) facilitated…

  12. Orofacial Neuropathic Pain Leads to a Hyporesponsive Barrel Cortex with Enhanced Structural Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Thibault, Karine; Rivière, Sébastien; Lenkei, Zsolt

    2016-01-01

    Chronic pain is a long-lasting debilitating condition that is particularly difficult to treat due to the lack of identified underlying mechanisms. Although several key contributing processes have been described at the level of the spinal cord, very few studies have investigated the supraspinal mechanisms underlying chronic pain. Using a combination of approaches (cortical intrinsic imaging, immunohistochemical and behavioural analysis), our study aimed to decipher the nature of functional and structural changes in a mouse model of orofacial neuropathic pain, focusing on cortical areas involved in various pain components. Our results show that chronic neuropathic orofacial pain is associated with decreased haemodynamic responsiveness to whisker stimulation in the barrel field cortex. This reduced functional activation is likely due to the increased basal neuronal activity (measured indirectly using cFos and phospho-ERK immunoreactivity) observed in several cortical areas, including the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. In the same animals, immunohistochemical analysis of markers for active pre- or postsynaptic elements (Piccolo and phospho-Cofilin, respectively) revealed an increased immunofluorescence in deep cortical layers of the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. These results suggest that long-lasting orofacial neuropathic pain is associated with exacerbated neuronal activity and synaptic plasticity at the cortical level. PMID:27548330

  13. Orofacial Neuropathic Pain Leads to a Hyporesponsive Barrel Cortex with Enhanced Structural Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Thibault, Karine; Rivière, Sébastien; Lenkei, Zsolt; Férézou, Isabelle; Pezet, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    Chronic pain is a long-lasting debilitating condition that is particularly difficult to treat due to the lack of identified underlying mechanisms. Although several key contributing processes have been described at the level of the spinal cord, very few studies have investigated the supraspinal mechanisms underlying chronic pain. Using a combination of approaches (cortical intrinsic imaging, immunohistochemical and behavioural analysis), our study aimed to decipher the nature of functional and structural changes in a mouse model of orofacial neuropathic pain, focusing on cortical areas involved in various pain components. Our results show that chronic neuropathic orofacial pain is associated with decreased haemodynamic responsiveness to whisker stimulation in the barrel field cortex. This reduced functional activation is likely due to the increased basal neuronal activity (measured indirectly using cFos and phospho-ERK immunoreactivity) observed in several cortical areas, including the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. In the same animals, immunohistochemical analysis of markers for active pre- or postsynaptic elements (Piccolo and phospho-Cofilin, respectively) revealed an increased immunofluorescence in deep cortical layers of the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. These results suggest that long-lasting orofacial neuropathic pain is associated with exacerbated neuronal activity and synaptic plasticity at the cortical level. PMID:27548330

  14. Human enhancement and communication: on meaning and shared understanding.

    PubMed

    Cabrera, Laura; Weckert, John

    2013-09-01

    Our technologies have enabled us to change both the world and our perceptions of the world, as well as to change ourselves and to find new ways to fulfil the human desire for improvement and for having new capacities. The debate around using technology for human enhancement has already raised many ethical concerns, however little research has been done in how human enhancement can affect human communication. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether some human enhancements could change our shared lifeworld so radically that human communication as we know it would not be possible any longer. After exploring the kinds of communication problems we are concerned with as well as mentioning some possible enhancement interventions that could bring about such problems, we will address some of the ethical implications that follow from these potential communication problems. We argue that because of the role that communication plays in human society, this issue deserves attention. PMID:23054673

  15. Enhanced corticosteroid signaling alters synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus in mice lacking the fragile X mental retardation protein.

    PubMed

    Ghilan, M; Hryciw, B N; Brocardo, P S; Bostrom, C A; Gil-Mohapel, J; Christie, B R

    2015-05-01

    The fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is an important regulator of protein translation, and a lack of FMRP expression leads to a cognitive disorder known as fragile X syndrome (FXS). Clinical symptoms characterizing FXS include learning impairments and heightened anxiety in response to stressful situations. Here, we report that, in response to acute stress, mice lacking FMRP show a faster elevation of corticosterone and a more immediate impairment in N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) in the dentate gyrus (DG). These stress-induced LTP impairments were rescued by administering the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist RU38486. Administration of RU38486 also enhanced LTP in Fmr1(-/y) mice in the absence of acute stress to wild-type levels, and this enhancement was blocked by application of the NMDAR antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid. These results suggest that a loss of FMPR results in enhanced GR signaling that may adversely affect NMDAR dependent synaptic plasticity in the DG. PMID:25731748

  16. Effective Perioperative Communication to Enhance Patient Care.

    PubMed

    Garrett, J Hudson

    2016-08-01

    Breakdowns in health care communication are a significant cause of sentinel events and associated patient morbidity and mortality. Effective communication is a necessary component of a patient safety program, which enables all members of the interdisciplinary health care team to effectively manage their individual roles and responsibilities in the perioperative setting; set expectations for safe, high-reliability care; and measure and assess outcomes. To sustain a culture of safety, effective communication should be standardized, complete, clear, brief, and timely. Executive leadership and support helps remove institutional barriers and address challenges to support the engagement of patients in health care communication, which has been shown to improve outcomes, reduce costs, and improve the patient experience. PMID:27472971

  17. Enhancing Mathematical Communication: "Bag of Tricks" Game

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patahuddin, Sitti Maesuri; Ramful, Ajay; Greenlees, Jane

    2015-01-01

    An engaging activity which prompts students to listen, talk, reason and write about geometrical properties. The "Bag of Tricks" encourages students to clarify their thoughts and communicate precisely using accurate mathematical language.

  18. Rabies Virus CVS-N2c(ΔG) Strain Enhances Retrograde Synaptic Transfer and Neuronal Viability.

    PubMed

    Reardon, Thomas R; Murray, Andrew J; Turi, Gergely F; Wirblich, Christoph; Croce, Katherine R; Schnell, Matthias J; Jessell, Thomas M; Losonczy, Attila

    2016-02-17

    Virally based transsynaptic tracing technologies are powerful experimental tools for neuronal circuit mapping. The glycoprotein-deletion variant of the SAD-B19 vaccine strain rabies virus (RABV) has been the reagent of choice in monosynaptic tracing, since it permits the mapping of synaptic inputs to genetically marked neurons. Since its introduction, new helper viruses and reagents that facilitate complementation have enhanced the efficiency of SAD-B19(ΔG) transsynaptic transfer, but there has been little focus on improvements to the core RABV strain. Here we generate a new deletion mutant strain, CVS-N2c(ΔG), and examine its neuronal toxicity and efficiency in directing retrograde transsynaptic transfer. We find that by comparison with SAD-B19(ΔG), the CVS-N2c(ΔG) strain exhibits a reduction in neuronal toxicity and a marked enhancement in transsynaptic neuronal transfer. We conclude that the CVS-N2c(ΔG) strain provides a more effective means of mapping neuronal circuitry and of monitoring and manipulating neuronal activity in vivo in the mammalian CNS. PMID:26804990

  19. Enhancing flood resilience through improved risk communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Sullivan, J. J.; Bradford, R. A.; Bonaiuto, M.; De Dominicis, S.; Rotko, P.; Aaltonen, J.; Waylen, K.; Langan, S. J.

    2012-07-01

    A framework of guiding recommendations for effective pre-flood and flood warning communications derived from the URFlood project (2nd ERA-Net CRUE Research Funding Initiative) from extensive quantitative and qualitative research in Finland, Ireland, Italy and Scotland is presented. Eleven case studies in fluvial, pluvial, coastal, residual and "new" flood risk locations were undertaken. The recommendations were developed from questionnaire surveys by exploring statistical correlations of actions and understandings of individuals in flood risk situations to low, moderate and high resilience groupings. Groupings were based on a conceptual relationship of self-assessed levels of awareness, preparedness and worry. Focus groups and structured interviews were used to discuss barriers in flood communications, explore implementation of the recommendations and to rank the recommendations in order of perceived importance. Results indicate that the information deficit model for flood communications that relies on the provision of more and better information to mitigate risk in flood-prone areas is insufficient, and that the communications process is very much multi-dimensional. The recommendations are aimed at addressing this complexity and their careful implementation is likely to improve the penetration of flood communications. The recommendations are applicable to other risks and are transferrable to jurisdictions beyond the project countries.

  20. Relationship-Enhancing Communication Skills in "The Cosby Show."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aust, Charles F.

    A study examined the parenting behaviors portrayed on "The Cosby Show" to determine the use of specific parenting skills and family relationship-enhancing communication techniques. Videotapes of nine randomly chosen broadcast episodes were content analyzed according to family communication models of Thomas P. Gordon (1970), Bernard J. Guerney…

  1. Carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine, but not eslicarbazepine, enhance excitatory synaptic transmission onto hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells through an antagonist action at adenosine A1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Booker, Sam A; Pires, Nuno; Cobb, Stuart; Soares-da-Silva, Patrício; Vida, Imre

    2015-06-01

    This study assessed the anticonvulsant and seizure generation effects of carbamazepine (CBZ), oxcarbazepine (OXC) and eslicarbazepine (S-Lic) in wild-type mice. Electrophysiological recordings were made to discriminate potential cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying anti- and pro-epileptic actions. The anticonvulsant and pro-convulsant effects were evaluated in the MES, the 6-Hz and the Irwin tests. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were used to investigate the effects on fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in hippocampal area CA1. The safety window for CBZ, OXC and eslicarbazepine (ED50 value against the MES test and the dose that produces grade 5 convulsions in all mice), was 6.3, 6.0 and 12.5, respectively. At high concentrations the three drugs reduced synaptic transmission. CBZ and OXC enhanced excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) at low, therapeutically-relevant concentrations. These effects were associated with no change in inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) resulting in altered balance between excitation and inhibition. S-Lic had no effect on EPSC or IPSC amplitudes over the same concentration range. The CBZ mediated enhancement of EPSCs was blocked by DPCPX, a selective antagonist, and occluded by CCPA, a selective agonist of the adenosine A1 receptor. Furthermore, reduction of endogenous adenosine by application of the enzyme adenosine deaminase also abolished the CBZ- and OXC-induced increase of EPSCs, indicating that the two drugs act as antagonists at native adenosine receptors. In conclusion, CBZ and OXC possess pro-epileptic actions at clinically-relevant concentrations through the enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission. S-Lic by comparison has no such effect on synaptic transmission, explaining its lack of seizure exacerbation. PMID:25656478

  2. Iowa Communications Network Enhancing Education in Iowa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivanovic, Greta

    1995-01-01

    Describes the Iowa Communications Network, a statewide fiber optic network capable of transporting interactive, two-way audio, video, voice, and data signals. Topics include statewide cooperation among educational and state organizations; classroom design, including interactive classrooms; access to the Internet; and use by noneducational…

  3. Enhancing Communication through Gesture and Naming Therapy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caute, Anna; Pring, Tim; Cocks, Naomi; Cruice, Madeline; Best, Wendy; Marshall, Jane

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors investigated whether gesture, naming, and strategic treatment improved the communication skills of 14 people with severe aphasia. Method: All participants received 15 hr of gesture and naming treatment (reported in a companion article [Marshall et al., 2012]). Half the group received a further 15 hr of strategic…

  4. Repeated social defeat stress enhances glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the VTA and cocaine place conditioning.

    PubMed

    Stelly, Claire E; Pomrenze, Matthew B; Cook, Jason B; Morikawa, Hitoshi

    2016-01-01

    Enduring memories of sensory cues associated with drug intake drive addiction. It is well known that stressful experiences increase addiction vulnerability. However, it is not clear how repeated stress promotes learning of cue-drug associations, as repeated stress generally impairs learning and memory processes unrelated to stressful experiences. Here, we show that repeated social defeat stress in rats causes persistent enhancement of long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDA receptor-mediated glutamatergic transmission in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Protein kinase A-dependent increase in the potency of inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate-induced Ca(2+) signaling underlies LTP facilitation. Notably, defeated rats display enhanced learning of contextual cues paired with cocaine experience assessed using a conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Enhancement of LTP in the VTA and cocaine CPP in behaving rats both require glucocorticoid receptor activation during defeat episodes. These findings suggest that enhanced glutamatergic plasticity in the VTA may contribute, at least partially, to increased addiction vulnerability following repeated stressful experiences. PMID:27374604

  5. Repeated social defeat stress enhances glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the VTA and cocaine place conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Stelly, Claire E; Pomrenze, Matthew B; Cook, Jason B; Morikawa, Hitoshi

    2016-01-01

    Enduring memories of sensory cues associated with drug intake drive addiction. It is well known that stressful experiences increase addiction vulnerability. However, it is not clear how repeated stress promotes learning of cue-drug associations, as repeated stress generally impairs learning and memory processes unrelated to stressful experiences. Here, we show that repeated social defeat stress in rats causes persistent enhancement of long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDA receptor-mediated glutamatergic transmission in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Protein kinase A-dependent increase in the potency of inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate-induced Ca2+ signaling underlies LTP facilitation. Notably, defeated rats display enhanced learning of contextual cues paired with cocaine experience assessed using a conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Enhancement of LTP in the VTA and cocaine CPP in behaving rats both require glucocorticoid receptor activation during defeat episodes. These findings suggest that enhanced glutamatergic plasticity in the VTA may contribute, at least partially, to increased addiction vulnerability following repeated stressful experiences. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15448.001 PMID:27374604

  6. Isoflurane enhances both fast and slow synaptic inhibition in the hippocampus at amnestic concentrations

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Shuiping; Perouansky, Misha; Pearce, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    Background Inhibition mediated by γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors has long been considered an important target for a variety of general anesthetics. In the hippocampus, two types of phasic GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition coexist: GABAA,fast, which is expressed primarily at peri-somatic sites, and GABAA,slow, which is expressed primarily in the dendrites. Their spatial segregation suggests distinct functions: GABAA,slow may control plasticity of dendritic synapses, while GABAA,fast controls action potential initiation at the soma. We examined modulation of GABAA,fast and GABAA,slow inhibition by isoflurane at amnesic concentrations, and compared it to modulation by behaviorally equivalent doses of the GABAA receptor-selective drug etomidate. Methods Whole-cell recordings were conducted at near-physiological temperature from pyramidal cells in organotypic hippocampal cultures obtained from C57BL/6 x 129/SvJ F1 hybrid mice. GABAA receptor-mediated currents were isolated using glutamate receptor antagonists. GABAA,slow currents were evoked by electrical stimulation in the stratum lacunosum-moleculare. Miniature GABAA,fast currents were recorded in the presence of tetrodotoxin. Results 100 µM isoflurane (approximately EC50,amnesia) slowed fast and slow inhibitory postsynaptic current decay by approximately 25%. Higher concentrations, up to 400 µM, produced proportionally greater effects without altering current amplitudes. The effects on GABAA,slow were approximately one-half those produced by equi-amnesic concentrations of etomidate. Conclusions Isoflurane enhances both types of phasic GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition to similar degrees at amnesic concentrations. This pattern differs from etomidate, which at low concentrations selectively enhances slow inhibition. These effects of isoflurane are sufficiently large that they may contribute substantially to its suppression of hippocampal learning and memory. PMID:22343472

  7. Efficacy Enhancing Communication within the Online Courseroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kasitz, Christine M.

    2013-01-01

    Online learning is becoming more prevalent in high schools especially with at-risk students who may need to recover credits to meet graduation requirements. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an online courseroom design that delivers performance-based efficacy enhancing feedback at regular intervals, rather than relying on the…

  8. Mobile Seamless Technology Enhanced CSL Oral Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lan, Yu-Ju; Lin, Yen-Ting

    2016-01-01

    The current study aimed at investigating how mobile seamless technology can be used to enhance the pragmatic competence of learners of Chinese as a second language (CSL). 34 overseas CSL learners participated in this study. They were randomly assigned into two groups: the classroom group, executing language tasks in fake contexts in a traditional…

  9. Entanglement enhances security in quantum communication

    SciTech Connect

    Demkowicz-Dobrzanski, Rafal; Sen, Aditi; Sen, Ujjwal; Lewenstein, Maciej

    2009-07-15

    Secret sharing is a protocol in which a 'boss' wants to send a classical message secretly to two 'subordinates', such that none of the subordinates is able to know the message alone, while they can find it if they cooperate. Quantum mechanics is known to allow for such a possibility. We analyze tolerable quantum bit error rates in such secret sharing protocols in the physically relevant case when the eavesdropping is local with respect to the two channels of information transfer from the boss to the two subordinates. We find that using entangled encoding states is advantageous to legitimate users of the protocol. We therefore find that entanglement is useful for secure quantum communication. We also find that bound entangled states with positive partial transpose are not useful as a local eavesdropping resource. Moreover, we provide a criterion for security in secret sharing--a parallel of the Csiszar-Koerner criterion in single-receiver classical cryptography.

  10. Willed-movement training reduces brain damage and enhances synaptic plasticity related proteins synthesis after focal ischemia.

    PubMed

    Nie, Jingjing; Yang, Xiaosu; Tang, Qingping; Shen, Qin; Li, Simin

    2016-01-01

    It has been wildly accepted that willed movement(WM) training promotes neurological rehabilitation in patients with stroke. However, it was not clear whether the effect of WM is better than other forms of exercise. The purpose of this study is to assess different effects of WM and other forms of exercise on rats with focal ischemia. The subjects are all had right middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) surgery and randomly allocated to three groups of training and one control group with no training. Infarct volume by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) dye, expression of PICK1 and synaptophysin in cerebral cortex and striatum of injured side by western blotting and immunofluorescence performed are analyzed. Exercise has done respectively on rats in each group for 15 days and 30 days. Compared with the control group, the brain damage is reduced in other groups after 15 days exercise. The protein expressions levels of synaptophysin and PICK1 are upregulated after exercise. Concentration of PICK1 protein in WM is greater than other exercise groups, and the expression of synaptophysin in WM and SM groups are higher than EM groups. The number of PICK1 positive cells, synaptophysin and PICK1 co-positive cells are increased by exercise. Synaptophysin is widely distributed in cortex surrounding the injury area in WM and EM. It is indicated in our result that willed-movement training is the most effective intervention in enhancing the PICK1-mediated synaptic plasticity in the area adjacent to the damage region of ischemic rats. PMID:26556240

  11. Enhancing Mediated Interpersonal Communication through Affective Haptics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsetserukou, Dzmitry; Neviarouskaya, Alena; Prendinger, Helmut; Kawakami, Naoki; Ishizuka, Mitsuru; Tachi, Susumu

    Driven by the motivation to enhance emotionally immersive experience of real-time messaging in 3D virtual world Second Life, we are proposing a conceptually novel approach to reinforcing (intensifying) own feelings and reproducing (simulating) the emotions felt by the partner through specially designed system, iFeel_IM!. In the paper we are describing the development of novel haptic devices (HaptiHeart, HaptiHug, HaptiTickler, HaptiCooler, and HaptiWarmer) integrated into iFeel_IM! system, which architecture is presented in detail.

  12. Alert signals enhance animal communication in “noisy” environments

    PubMed Central

    Ord, Terry J.; Stamps, Judy A.

    2008-01-01

    Environmental noise that reduces the probability that animals will detect communicative signals poses a special challenge for long-range communication. The application of signal-detection theory to animal communication lead to the prediction that signals directed at distant receivers in noisy environments will begin with conspicuous “alerting” components to attract the attention of receivers, before delivery of the information-rich portion of the signal. Whether animals actually adopt this strategy is not clear, despite suggestions that alerts might exist in a variety of taxa. By using a combination of behavioral observations and experimental manipulations with robotic lizard “playbacks,” we show that free-living territorial Anolis lizards add an “alert” to visual displays when communicating to distant receivers in situations of poor visibility, and that these introductory alerts in turn enhance signal detection in adverse signaling conditions. Our results show that Anolis lizards are able to evaluate environmental conditions that affect the degradation of long-distance signals and adjust their behavior accordingly. This study demonstrates that free-living animals enhance the efficiency of long-range communication through the modulation of signal design and the facultative addition of an alert. Our findings confirm that alert signals are an important strategy for communicating in “noisy” conditions and suggest a reexamination of the existence of alerts in other animals relying on long-range communication. PMID:19033197

  13. Entanglement enhances security in quantum communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demkowicz-Dobrzański, Rafał; Sen(de), Aditi; Sen, Ujjwal; Lewenstein, Maciej

    2009-07-01

    Secret sharing is a protocol in which a “boss” wants to send a classical message secretly to two “subordinates,” such that none of the subordinates is able to know the message alone, while they can find it if they cooperate. Quantum mechanics is known to allow for such a possibility. We analyze tolerable quantum bit error rates in such secret sharing protocols in the physically relevant case when the eavesdropping is local with respect to the two channels of information transfer from the boss to the two subordinates. We find that using entangled encoding states is advantageous to legitimate users of the protocol. We therefore find that entanglement is useful for secure quantum communication. We also find that bound entangled states with positive partial transpose are not useful as a local eavesdropping resource. Moreover, we provide a criterion for security in secret sharing—a parallel of the Csiszár-Körner criterion in single-receiver classical cryptography.

  14. Privacy enhanced group communication in clinical environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Mingyan; Narayanan, Sreeram; Poovendran, Radha

    2005-04-01

    Privacy protection of medical records has always been an important issue and is mandated by the recent Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards. In this paper, we propose security architectures for a tele-referring system that allows electronic group communication among professionals for better quality treatments, while protecting patient privacy against unauthorized access. Although DICOM defines the much-needed guidelines for confidentiality of medical data during transmission, there is no provision in the existing medical security systems to guarantee patient privacy once the data has been received. In our design, we address this issue by enabling tracing back to the recipient whose received data is disclosed to outsiders, using watermarking technique. We present security architecture design of a tele-referring system using a distributed approach and a centralized web-based approach. The resulting tele-referring system (i) provides confidentiality during the transmission and ensures integrity and authenticity of the received data, (ii) allows tracing of the recipient who has either distributed the data to outsiders or whose system has been compromised, (iii) provides proof of receipt or origin, and (iv) can be easy to use and low-cost to employ in clinical environment.

  15. Zipper mast for enhanced communications and surveillance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodruff, George; Muench, Paul; Witus, Gary

    2011-05-01

    In this project, we further developed and tested a "ZipperMast" for small robots and legacy manned vehicles. The ZipperMast knits three coiled bands of spring steel together to form a rigid mast. As the mast is extended, it draws up a cable connecting the host platform to the payload, typically antennas and sensors. Elevating the payload improves line of sight, and thus improves radio communication and surveillance situation awareness. When the mast is retracted, the interior cable slides into a horizontal tray. The ZipperMast is a scaleable design. We have made systems that elevate to 8 and 20 feet. The 8 foot ZipperMast collapses to less that 8 inches high and 8 inches wide. The 20 foot ZipperMast collapses to less that 12 inches high and 18 inches wide. In this paper we report on tests of the mechanical properties of the mast, specifically the strength and stiffness under quasi-static and impulsive loading. These properties are important for specifying constraints on height as a function of speed and payload and on speed as a function of height and payload in order to ensure that the mast will not fail in the event of sudden stop, as in the event of a collision.

  16. Novel technology for enhanced security and trust in communication networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milovanov, Alexander; Bukshpun, Leonid; Pradhan, Ranjit; Jannson, Tomasz

    2011-06-01

    A novel technology that significantly enhances security and trust in wireless and wired communication networks has been developed. It is based on integration of a novel encryption mechanism and novel data packet structure with enhanced security tools. This novel data packet structure results in an unprecedented level of security and trust, while at the same time reducing power consumption and computing/communication overhead in networks. As a result, networks are provided with protection against intrusion, exploitation, and cyber attacks and posses self-building, self-awareness, self-configuring, self-healing, and self-protecting intelligence.

  17. Enhancing Students' Communication Skills through Treffinger Teaching Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alhaddad, Idrus; Kusumah, Yaya S.; Sabandar, Jozua; Dahlan, Jarnawi A.

    2015-01-01

    This research aims to investigate, compare, and describe the achievement and enhancement of students' mathematical communication skills (MCS). It based on the prior mathematical knowledge (PMK) category (high, medium and low) by using Treffinger models (TM) and conventional learning (CL). This research is an experimental study with the population…

  18. The Team Boat Exercise: Enhancing Team Communication Midsemester

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cox, Pamela L.; Friedman, Barry A.

    2009-01-01

    This paper discusses the Team Boat Exercise, which was developed to provide students with a mechanism for addressing team problems and enhancing team communication midsemester. The inspiration for the exercise came from a video by Prentice Hall, Inc. (2001). Part III of the video, entitled "Corporate Coaching," shows senior staff members from the…

  19. Neutralization of Nogo-A Enhances Synaptic Plasticity in the Rodent Motor Cortex and Improves Motor Learning in Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Weinmann, Oliver; Kellner, Yves; Yu, Xinzhu; Vicente, Raul; Gullo, Miriam; Kasper, Hansjörg; Lussi, Karin; Ristic, Zorica; Luft, Andreas R.; Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia; Zuo, Yi; Zagrebelsky, Marta; Schwab, Martin E.

    2014-01-01

    The membrane protein Nogo-A is known as an inhibitor of axonal outgrowth and regeneration in the CNS. However, its physiological functions in the normal adult CNS remain incompletely understood. Here, we investigated the role of Nogo-A in cortical synaptic plasticity and motor learning in the uninjured adult rodent motor cortex. Nogo-A and its receptor NgR1 are present at cortical synapses. Acute treatment of slices with function-blocking antibodies (Abs) against Nogo-A or against NgR1 increased long-term potentiation (LTP) induced by stimulation of layer 2/3 horizontal fibers. Furthermore, anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment increased LTP saturation levels, whereas long-term depression remained unchanged, thus leading to an enlarged synaptic modification range. In vivo, intrathecal application of Nogo-A-blocking Abs resulted in a higher dendritic spine density at cortical pyramidal neurons due to an increase in spine formation as revealed by in vivo two-photon microscopy. To investigate whether these changes in synaptic plasticity correlate with motor learning, we trained rats to learn a skilled forelimb-reaching task while receiving anti-Nogo-A Abs. Learning of this cortically controlled precision movement was improved upon anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment. Our results identify Nogo-A as an influential molecular modulator of synaptic plasticity and as a regulator for learning of skilled movements in the motor cortex. PMID:24966370

  20. Activation of Exchange Protein Activated by Cyclic-AMP Enhances Long-Lasting Synaptic Potentiation in the Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gelinas, Jennifer N.; Banko, Jessica L.; Peters, Melinda M.; Klann, Eric; Weeber, Edwin J.; Nguyen, Peter V.

    2008-01-01

    cAMP is a critical second messenger implicated in synaptic plasticity and memory in the mammalian brain. Substantial evidence links increases in intracellular cAMP to activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and subsequent phosphorylation of downstream effectors (transcription factors, receptors, protein kinases) necessary for long-term…

  1. Acetyl-l-carnitine restores synaptic transmission and enhances the inducibility of stable LTP after oxygen-glucose deprivation.

    PubMed

    Kocsis, Kitti; Frank, Rita; Szabó, József; Knapp, Levente; Kis, Zsolt; Farkas, Tamás; Vécsei, László; Toldi, József

    2016-09-22

    Hypoxic circumstances result in functional and structural impairments of the brain. Oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) on hippocampal slices is a technique widely used to investigate the consequences of ischemic stroke and the potential neuroprotective effects of different drugs. Acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC) is a naturally occurring substance in the body, and it can therefore be administered safely even in relatively high doses. In previous experiments, ALC pretreatment proved to be effective against global hypoperfusion. In the present study, we investigated whether ALC can be protective in an OGD model. We are not aware of any earlier study in which the long-term potentiation (LTP) function on hippocampal slices was measured after OGD. Therefore, we set out to determine whether an effective ALC concentration has an effect on synaptic plasticity after OGD in the hippocampal CA1 subfield of rats. A further aim was to investigate the mechanism underlying the protective effect of this compound. The experiments revealed that ALC is neuroprotective against OGD in a dose-dependent manner, which is manifested not only in the regeneration of the impaired synaptic transmission after the OGD, but also in the inducibility and stability of the LTP. In the case of the most effective concentration of ALC (500μM), use of a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor (LY294002) revealed that the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway has a key role in the restoration of the synaptic transmission and plasticity reached by ALC treatment. PMID:27378558

  2. TARP phosphorylation regulates synaptic AMPA receptors through lipid bilayers

    PubMed Central

    Sumioka, Akio; Yan, Dan; Tomita, Susumu

    2010-01-01

    Summary Neurons use neurotransmitters to communicate across synapses, constructing neural circuits in the brain. AMPA-type glutamate receptors are the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter receptors mediating fast synaptic transmission. AMPA receptors localize at synapses by forming protein complexes with transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) and PSD-95-like MAGUKs. Among the three classes of ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPA-, NMDA, kainate-type), AMPA receptor activity is most regulatable by neuronal activity to adjust synaptic strength. Here, we mutated the prototypical TARP, stargazin, and found that TARP phosphorylation regulates synaptic AMPA receptor activity in vivo. We also found that stargazin interacts with negatively-charged lipid bilayers in its phosphorylation dependent manner, and that the lipid interaction inhibited stargazin binding to PSD-95. Cationic lipids dissociated stargazin from lipid bilayers and enhanced synaptic AMPA receptor activity in a stargazin phosphorylation-dependent manner. Thus, TARP phosphorylation plays a critical role in regulating AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission via a lipid bilayer interaction. PMID:20547132

  3. Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Exposure Enhances the Excitability and Synaptic Plasticity of Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex Neurons and Induces a Tolerance to the Acute Inhibitory Actions of Ethanol.

    PubMed

    Nimitvilai, Sudarat; Lopez, Marcelo F; Mulholland, Patrick J; Woodward, John J

    2016-03-01

    Alcoholism is associated with changes in brain reward and control systems, including the prefrontal cortex. In prefrontal areas, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been suggested to have an important role in the development of alcohol-abuse disorders and studies from this laboratory demonstrate that OFC-mediated behaviors are impaired in alcohol-dependent animals. However, it is not known whether chronic alcohol (ethanol) exposure alters the fundamental properties of OFC neurons. In this study, mice were exposed to repeated cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure to induce dependence and whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology was used to examine the effects of CIE treatment on lateral OFC (lOFC) neuron excitability, synaptic transmission, and plasticity. Repeated cycles of CIE exposure and withdrawal enhanced current-evoked action potential (AP) spiking and this was accompanied by a reduction in the after-hyperpolarization and a decrease in the functional activity of SK channels. CIE mice also showed an increase in the AMPA/NMDA ratio, and this was associated with an increase in GluA1/GluA2 AMPA receptor expression and a decrease in GluN2B NMDA receptor subunits. Following CIE treatment, lOFC neurons displayed a persistent long-term potentiation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission following a spike-timing-dependent protocol. Lastly, CIE treatment diminished the inhibitory effect of acute ethanol on AP spiking of lOFC neurons and reduced expression of the GlyT1 transporter. Taken together, these results suggest that chronic exposure to ethanol leads to enhanced intrinsic excitability and glutamatergic synaptic signaling of lOFC neurons. These alterations may contribute to the impairment of OFC-dependent behaviors in alcohol-dependent individuals. PMID:26286839

  4. Reactive oxygen species enhance excitatory synaptic transmission in rat spinal dorsal horn neurons by activating TRPA1 and TRPV1 channels.

    PubMed

    Nishio, N; Taniguchi, W; Sugimura, Y K; Takiguchi, N; Yamanaka, M; Kiyoyuki, Yasukuni; Yamada, H; Miyazaki, N; Yoshida, M; Nakatsuka, T

    2013-09-01

    Central neuropathic pain (CNP) in the spinal cord, such as chronic pain after spinal cord injury (SCI), is an incurable ailment. However, little is known about the spinal cord mechanisms underlying CNP. Recently, reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been recognized to play an important role in CNP of the spinal cord. However, it is unclear how ROS affect synaptic transmission in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. To clarify how ROS impact on synaptic transmission, we investigated the effects of ROS on synaptic transmission in rat spinal cord substantia gelatinosa (SG) neurons using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. Administration of tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BOOH), an ROS donor, into the spinal cord markedly increased the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) in SG neurons. This t-BOOH-induced enhancement was not suppressed by the Na(+) channel blocker tetrodotoxin. However, in the presence of a non-N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptor antagonist, 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione, t-BOOH did not generate any sEPSCs. Furthermore, in the presence of a transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) channel antagonist (HC-030031) or a transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel antagonist (capsazepine or AMG9810), the t-BOOH-induced increase in the frequency of sEPSCs was inhibited. These results indicate that ROS enhance the spontaneous release of glutamate from presynaptic terminals onto SG neurons through TRPA1 and TRPV1 channel activation. Excessive activation of these ion channels by ROS may induce central sensitization in the spinal cord and result in chronic pain such as that following SCI. PMID:23707800

  5. Coupled Electromagnetic Resonators for Enhanced Communications and Telemetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dimmock, John O.

    2005-01-01

    Future NASA missions will require the collection of an increasing quantity and quality of data which, in turn, will place increasing demands on advanced sensors and advanced high bandwidth telemetry and communications systems. The capabilities of communication and telemetry systems depend, among other factors, on the stability, controllability and spectral purity of the carrier wave. These, in turn, depend on the quality of the oscillator, or resonator, or the Q of the system. Recent work on high Q optical resonators has indicated that the Q, or quality factor, of optical microsphere resonators can be substantially enhanced by coupling several such resonators together.1-3 In addition to the possibility of enhanced Q and increased energy storage capacity, the coupled optical resonators indicate that a wide variety of interesting and potentially useful phenomena such as induced transparency and interactive mode splitting can be observed depending critically on the morphology and configuration of the microresonators. The purpose of this SFFP has been to examine several different coupled electromagnetic oscillator configurations in order to evaluate their potential for enhanced electromagnetic communications.

  6. Communication Labs Enhance Student Learning and Promote Awareness of the Discipline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morreale, Sherwyn P.

    The use of a communication laboratory to support instruction in higher education is increasing in popularity. While enhancing communication education for majors and non-majors, a "comm lab" also promotes campus awareness and enhances the reputation of the communication department. The communication discipline lends itself to this form of pedagogy,…

  7. Reciprocity-enhanced optical communication through atmospheric turbulence - part II: communication architectures and performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puryear, Andrew L.; Shapiro, Jeffrey H.; Parenti, Ronald R.

    2012-10-01

    Free-space optical communication provides rapidly deployable, dynamic communication links that are capable of very high data rates compared with those of radio-frequency systems. As such, free-space optical communication is ideal for mobile platforms, for platforms that require the additional security afforded by the narrow divergence of a laser beam, and for systems that must be deployed in a relatively short time frame. In clear-weather conditions the data rate and utility of free-space optical communication links are primarily limited by fading caused by micro-scale atmospheric temperature variations that create parts-per-million refractive-index fluctuations known as atmospheric turbulence. Typical communication techniques to overcome turbulence-induced fading, such as interleavers with sophisticated codes, lose viability as the data rate is driven higher or the delay requirement is driven lower. This paper, along with its companion [J. H. Shapiro and A. Puryear, "Reciprocity-Enhanced Optical Communication through Atmospheric Turbulence-Part I: Reciprocity Proofs and Far-Field Power Transfer"], present communication systems and techniques that exploit atmospheric reciprocity to overcome turbulence which are viable for high data rate and low delay requirement systems. Part I proves that reciprocity is exhibited under rather general conditions, and derives the optimal power-transfer phase compensation for far-field operation. The Part II paper presents capacity-achieving architectures that exploit reciprocity to overcome the complexity and delay issues that limit state-of-the art free-space optical communications. Further, this paper uses theoretical turbulence models to determine the performance—delay, throughput, and complexity—of the proposed architectures.

  8. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demming, Anna; Gimzewski, James K.; Vuillaume, Dominique

    2013-09-01

    Conventional computers excel in logic and accurate scientific calculations but make hard work of open ended problems that human brains handle easily. Even von Neumann—the mathematician and polymath who first developed the programming architecture that forms the basis of today's computers—was already looking to the brain for future developments before his death in 1957 [1]. Neuromorphic computing uses approaches that better mimic the working of the human brain. Recent developments in nanotechnology are now providing structures with very accommodating properties for neuromorphic approaches. This special issue, with guest editors James K Gimzewski and Dominique Vuillaume, is devoted to research at the serendipitous interface between the two disciplines. 'Synaptic electronics', looks at artificial devices with connections that demonstrate behaviour similar to synapses in the nervous system allowing a new and more powerful approach to computing. Synapses and connecting neurons respond differently to incident signals depending on the history of signals previously experienced, ultimately leading to short term and long term memory behaviour. The basic characteristics of a synapse can be replicated with around ten simple transistors. However with the human brain having around 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses, artificial neurons and synapses from basic transistors are unlikely to accommodate the scalability required. The discovery of nanoscale elements that function as 'memristors' has provided a key tool for the implementation of synaptic connections [2]. Leon Chua first developed the concept of the 'The memristor—the missing circuit element' in 1971 [3]. In this special issue he presents a tutorial describing how memristor research has fed into our understanding of synaptic behaviour and how they can be applied in information processing [4]. He also describes, 'The new principle of local activity, which uncovers a minuscule life-enabling "Goldilocks zone", dubbed the

  9. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demming, Anna; Gimzewski, James K.; Vuillaume, Dominique

    2013-09-01

    Conventional computers excel in logic and accurate scientific calculations but make hard work of open ended problems that human brains handle easily. Even von Neumann—the mathematician and polymath who first developed the programming architecture that forms the basis of today's computers—was already looking to the brain for future developments before his death in 1957 [1]. Neuromorphic computing uses approaches that better mimic the working of the human brain. Recent developments in nanotechnology are now providing structures with very accommodating properties for neuromorphic approaches. This special issue, with guest editors James K Gimzewski and Dominique Vuillaume, is devoted to research at the serendipitous interface between the two disciplines. 'Synaptic electronics', looks at artificial devices with connections that demonstrate behaviour similar to synapses in the nervous system allowing a new and more powerful approach to computing. Synapses and connecting neurons respond differently to incident signals depending on the history of signals previously experienced, ultimately leading to short term and long term memory behaviour. The basic characteristics of a synapse can be replicated with around ten simple transistors. However with the human brain having around 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses, artificial neurons and synapses from basic transistors are unlikely to accommodate the scalability required. The discovery of nanoscale elements that function as 'memristors' has provided a key tool for the implementation of synaptic connections [2]. Leon Chua first developed the concept of the 'The memristor—the missing circuit element' in 1971 [3]. In this special issue he presents a tutorial describing how memristor research has fed into our understanding of synaptic behaviour and how they can be applied in information processing [4]. He also describes, 'The new principle of local activity, which uncovers a minuscule life-enabling "Goldilocks zone", dubbed the

  10. Fingolimod (FTY720) enhances hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory in Huntington's disease by preventing p75NTR up-regulation and astrocyte-mediated inflammation.

    PubMed

    Miguez, Andrés; García-Díaz Barriga, Gerardo; Brito, Verónica; Straccia, Marco; Giralt, Albert; Ginés, Silvia; Canals, Josep M; Alberch, Jordi

    2015-09-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a hereditary neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor and cognitive impairments, involving striatum, cortex and hippocampus. Synaptic and memory dysfunction in HD mouse models have been related to low levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and imbalance between TrkB and p75(NTR) receptors. In addition, astrocyte over-activation has also been suggested to contribute to HD cognitive deficits. Fingolimod (FTY720), a modulator of sphingosine-1 phosphate (S1P) receptors, has been shown to increase BDNF levels and to reduce astrogliosis, proving its potential to regulate trophic support and inflammatory response. In this view, we have investigated whether FTY720 improves synaptic plasticity and memory in the R6/1 mouse model of HD, through regulation of BDNF signaling and astroglial reactivity. Chronic administration of FTY720 from pre-symptomatic stages ameliorated long-term memory deficits and dendritic spine loss in CA1 hippocampal neurons from R6/1 mice. Furthermore, FTY720 delivery prevented astrogliosis and over-activation of nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-κB) signaling in the R6/1 hippocampus, reducing tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and induced nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) levels. TNFα decrease correlated with the normalization of p75(NTR) expression in the hippocampus of FTY720-treated R6/1 mice, thus preventing p75(NTR)/TrkB imbalance. In addition, FTY720 increased cAMP levels and promoted phosphorylation of CREB and RhoA in the hippocampus of R6/1 mice, further supporting its role in the enhancement of synaptic plasticity. Our findings provide new insights into the mechanism of action of FTY720 and reveal a novel therapeutic strategy to treat memory deficits in HD. PMID:26063761

  11. Molecular underpinnings of synaptic vesicle pool heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Devon C; Kavalali, Ege T

    2015-04-01

    Neuronal communication relies on chemical synaptic transmission for information transfer and processing. Chemical neurotransmission is initiated by synaptic vesicle fusion with the presynaptic active zone resulting in release of neurotransmitters. Classical models have assumed that all synaptic vesicles within a synapse have the same potential to fuse under different functional contexts. In this model, functional differences among synaptic vesicle populations are ascribed to their spatial distribution in the synapse with respect to the active zone. Emerging evidence suggests, however, that synaptic vesicles are not a homogenous population of organelles, and they possess intrinsic molecular differences and differential interaction partners. Recent studies have reported a diverse array of synaptic molecules that selectively regulate synaptic vesicles' ability to fuse synchronously and asynchronously in response to action potentials or spontaneously irrespective of action potentials. Here we discuss these molecular mediators of vesicle pool heterogeneity that are found on the synaptic vesicle membrane, on the presynaptic plasma membrane, or within the cytosol and consider some of the functional consequences of this diversity. This emerging molecular framework presents novel avenues to probe synaptic function and uncover how synaptic vesicle pools impact neuronal signaling. PMID:25620674

  12. Molecular Underpinnings of Synaptic Vesicle Pool Heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Devon C.; Kavalali, Ege T.

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal communication relies on chemical synaptic transmission for information transfer and processing. Chemical neurotransmission is initiated by synaptic vesicle fusion with the presynaptic active zone resulting in release of neurotransmitters. Classical models have assumed that all synaptic vesicles within a synapse have the same potential to fuse under different functional contexts. In this model, functional differences among synaptic vesicle populations are ascribed to their spatial distribution in the synapse with respect to the active zone. Emerging evidence suggests, however, that synaptic vesicles are not a homogenous population of organelles, and they possess intrinsic molecular differences and differential interaction partners. Recent studies have reported a diverse array of synaptic molecules that selectively regulate synaptic vesicles' ability to fuse synchronously and asynchronously in response to action potentials or spontaneously irrespective of action potentials. Here we discuss these molecular mediators of vesicle pool heterogeneity that are found on the synaptic vesicle membrane, on the presynaptic plasma membrane, or within the cytosol and consider some of the functional consequences of this diversity. This emerging molecular framework presents novel avenues to probe synaptic function and uncover how synaptic vesicle pools impact neuronal signaling. PMID:25620674

  13. Enhancement of Global Communication Skill at the School of Engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morimura, Kumiko

    Globalization is one of the most important challenges for universities. Especially for the School of Engineering, it is crucial to foster researchers or engineers with broader perspective. International communication competency is essential for them in order to deal with other professionals from overseas. Center for Innovation in Engineering Education established in the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo in 2005 started two programs for graduate and undergraduate students to enhance their international communication competency and to increase international competitiveness. ‘English for Scientists and Engineers A, B’ are for the graduate students to learn how to write papers in English and how to make good presentations. Special English Lessons are for the undergraduate students to have a chance to practice English conversation or prepare for TOEFL test. In this paper, the authors discuss the details of the programs, their purpose and the future tasks.

  14. Multiple personalities: synaptic target cells as introverts and extroverts.

    PubMed

    Ritzenthaler, S; Chiba, A

    2001-10-01

    The intricate process of wiring a neuronetwork requires a high degree of accuracy in the communication between pre- and post-synaptic cells. While presynaptic cells have been widely recognized for their dynamic role in synaptic matchmaking, post-synaptic cells have historically been overlooked as passive targets. Recent studies in the Drosophila embryonic neuromuscular system provide compelling evidence that post-synaptic cells participate actively in the synaptogenic process. Endocytosis allows them to quickly modify the array of molecular cues they provide on their surfaces and the extension of dynamic filopodia allows post-synaptic cells to engage in direct long-distance communication. By making use of familiar cellular mechanisms such as endocytosis and filopodia formation, post-synaptic cells may be able to communicate more effectively with potential synaptic partners. PMID:11576167

  15. Synaptic plasticity and phosphorylation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2009-01-01

    A number of neuronal functions, including synaptic plasticity, depend on proper regulation of synaptic proteins, many of which can be rapidly regulated by phosphorylation. Neuronal activity controls the function of these synaptic proteins by exquisitely regulating the balance of various protein kinase and protein phosphatase activity. Recent understanding of synaptic plasticity mechanisms underscores important roles that these synaptic phosphoproteins play in regulating both pre- and post-synaptic functions. This review will focus on key postsynaptic phosphoproteins that have been implicated to play a role in synaptic plasticity. PMID:16904750

  16. Synaptic view of eukaryotic cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baluška, František; Mancuso, Stefano

    2014-10-01

    Synapses are stable adhesive domains between two neighbouring cells of the multicellular organisms which serve for cell-cell communication as well as for information processing and storing. The synaptic concept was developed over more than 100 years specifically for neuronal cell-cell communication. In the last ten years, this concept was adapted to embrace other cell-cell communication phenomena. Here, we focus on the recently emerged phagocytic synapse and propose new endosymbiotic synapses and "intracellular organellar synapses". All these synapses of eukaryotic cells are in a good position to explain the high capacity of eukaryotic cells for integration of diverse signalling inputs into coherent cellular behaviour.

  17. Prenatal Stress Enhances Excitatory Synaptic Transmission and Impairs Long-Term Potentiation in the Frontal Cortex of Adult Offspring Rats

    PubMed Central

    Sowa, Joanna; Bobula, Bartosz; Glombik, Katarzyna; Slusarczyk, Joanna; Basta-Kaim, Agnieszka; Hess, Grzegorz

    2015-01-01

    The effects of prenatal stress procedure were investigated in 3 months old male rats. Prenatally stressed rats showed depressive-like behavior in the forced swim test, including increased immobility, decreased mobility and decreased climbing. In ex vivo frontal cortex slices originating from prenatally stressed animals, the amplitude of extracellular field potentials (FPs) recorded in cortical layer II/III was larger, and the mean amplitude ratio of pharmacologically-isolated NMDA to the AMPA/kainate component of the field potential—smaller than in control preparations. Prenatal stress also resulted in a reduced magnitude of long-term potentiation (LTP). These effects were accompanied by an increase in the mean frequency, but not the mean amplitude, of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) in layer II/III pyramidal neurons. These data demonstrate that stress during pregnancy may lead not only to behavioral disturbances, but also impairs the glutamatergic transmission and long-term synaptic plasticity in the frontal cortex of the adult offspring. PMID:25749097

  18. Enhancing Environmental Communication and Products Through Qualitative Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeLorme, D.; Hagen, S. C.

    2014-12-01

    This presentation discusses two ongoing interdisciplinary case studies that are using qualitative research to design and enhance environmental communication and science products for outreach and decision making purposes. Both cases demonstrate the viability and practical value of qualitative social science methodology, specifically focus group interviews, to better understand the viewpoints of target audiences, improve deliverables, and support project goals. The first case is a NOAA-funded project to conduct process-based modeling to project impact from climate change in general and sea level rise in particular to the natural and built environment. The project spans the Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida Panhandle coasts with concentration on the three National Estuarine Research Reserves. As part of the broader project, four annual focus groups were conducted with a purposive sample of coastal resource managers to capture their perspectives and suggestions to better meet their informational and operational needs. The second case is a Florida Sea Grant-funded project that is developing, implementing, and testing a cohesive outreach campaign to promote voluntary careful and responsible recreational boating to help protect sensitive marine life and habitats (especially seagrasses and oyster reefs) in the Mosquito Lagoon. Six focus groups were conducted with a purposive sample of the target audience of boaters to gain insights, feedback, and ideas on the direction of the campaign and design of the messages and products. The campaign materials created include a branded website, Facebook page, mobile app, information packets, brochures, pledge forms, and promotional items. A comparison of these two case studies will be provided and will explain how the qualitative findings were/are being implemented to tailor and refine the respective communication strategies and techniques including the emerging outreach products. The resulting outcomes are messages and tools that are

  19. Enhanced TCP for maritime communications over satellite network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zong, Liang; Du, Wencai; Bai, Yong

    2014-10-01

    For maritime communications over satellite network, TCP performance is essential for data transmissions. TCP ADaLR is congestion control algorithm that the sender judgments the relevant window change and measures roundtrip time to control congestion window. It can adapt to the characteristics of the satellite link and improve the performance of TCP than conventional TCP. However, it does not take into account distinction of random packet loss and congestion loss like TCP Veno. In this paper, we propose further enhancement of TCP ADaLR, called TCP ADaLR+, that can distinguish between random packet loss and congestion loss. The improved performance of proposed TCP ADaLR+ is demonstrated by simulations.

  20. Synaptic Vesicle Proteins and Active Zone Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kittel, Robert J.; Heckmann, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Neurotransmitter is released from synaptic vesicles at the highly specialized presynaptic active zone (AZ). The complex molecular architecture of AZs mediates the speed, precision and plasticity of synaptic transmission. Importantly, structural and functional properties of AZs vary significantly, even for a given connection. Thus, there appear to be distinct AZ states, which fundamentally influence neuronal communication by controlling the positioning and release of synaptic vesicles. Vice versa, recent evidence has revealed that synaptic vesicle components also modulate organizational states of the AZ. The protein-rich cytomatrix at the active zone (CAZ) provides a structural platform for molecular interactions guiding vesicle exocytosis. Studies in Drosophila have now demonstrated that the vesicle proteins Synaptotagmin-1 (Syt1) and Rab3 also regulate glutamate release by shaping differentiation of the CAZ ultrastructure. We review these unexpected findings and discuss mechanistic interpretations of the reciprocal relationship between synaptic vesicles and AZ states, which has heretofore received little attention. PMID:27148040

  1. YAC128 Huntington's disease transgenic mice show enhanced short-term hippocampal synaptic plasticity early in the course of the disease.

    PubMed

    Ghilan, Mohamed; Bostrom, Crystal A; Hryciw, Brett N; Simpson, Jessica M; Christie, Brian R; Gil-Mohapel, Joana

    2014-09-18

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the gene encoding the protein huntingtin. The disease progresses over decades, but often patients develop cognitive impairments that precede the onset of the classical motor symptoms. Similar to the disease progression in humans, the yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) 128 HD mouse model also exhibits cognitive dysfunction that precedes the onset of the neuropathological and motor impairments characteristic of HD. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate whether short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, two related biological models of learning and memory processes, were altered in YAC128 mice in early stages of disease progression. We show that the YAC128 hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) displays marked reductions in paired-pulse depression both at 3 and 6 months of age. In addition, significantly enhanced post-tetanic and short-term potentiation are apparent in YAC128 mice after high-frequency stimulation at this time. Early and late forms of long-term plasticity were not altered at this stage. Together these findings indicate that there may be elevated neurotransmitter release in response to synaptic stimulation in YAC128 mice during the initial phase of disease progression. These abnormalities in short-term plasticity detected at this stage in YAC128 HD transgenic mice indicate that aberrant information processing at the level of the synapses may contribute, at least in part, to the early onset of cognitive deficits that are characteristic of this devastating neurodegenerative disorder. PMID:24949563

  2. Learning and reconsolidation implicate different synaptic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan; Meloni, Edward G; Carlezon, William A; Milad, Mohammed R; Pitman, Roger K; Nader, Karim; Bolshakov, Vadim Y

    2013-03-19

    Synaptic mechanisms underlying memory reconsolidation after retrieval are largely unknown. Here we report that synapses in projections to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala implicated in auditory fear conditioning, which are potentiated by learning, enter a labile state after memory reactivation, and must be restabilized through a postsynaptic mechanism implicating the mammalian target of rapamycin kinase-dependent signaling. Fear-conditioning-induced synaptic enhancements were primarily presynaptic in origin. Reconsolidation blockade with rapamycin, inhibiting mammalian target of rapamycin kinase activity, suppressed synaptic potentiation in slices from fear-conditioned rats. Surprisingly, this reduction of synaptic efficacy was mediated by post- but not presynaptic mechanisms. These findings suggest that different plasticity rules may apply to the processes underlying the acquisition of original fear memory and postreactivational stabilization of fear-conditioning-induced synaptic enhancements mediating fear memory reconsolidation. PMID:23487762

  3. Learning and reconsolidation implicate different synaptic mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yan; Meloni, Edward G.; Carlezon, William A.; Milad, Mohammed R.; Pitman, Roger K.; Nader, Karim; Bolshakov, Vadim Y.

    2013-01-01

    Synaptic mechanisms underlying memory reconsolidation after retrieval are largely unknown. Here we report that synapses in projections to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala implicated in auditory fear conditioning, which are potentiated by learning, enter a labile state after memory reactivation, and must be restabilized through a postsynaptic mechanism implicating the mammalian target of rapamycin kinase-dependent signaling. Fear-conditioning–induced synaptic enhancements were primarily presynaptic in origin. Reconsolidation blockade with rapamycin, inhibiting mammalian target of rapamycin kinase activity, suppressed synaptic potentiation in slices from fear-conditioned rats. Surprisingly, this reduction of synaptic efficacy was mediated by post- but not presynaptic mechanisms. These findings suggest that different plasticity rules may apply to the processes underlying the acquisition of original fear memory and postreactivational stabilization of fear-conditioning–induced synaptic enhancements mediating fear memory reconsolidation. PMID:23487762

  4. Selective Activation of Microglia Facilitates Synaptic Strength

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Anna K.; Gruber-Schoffnegger, Doris; Drdla-Schutting, Ruth; Gerhold, Katharina J.; Malcangio, Marzia

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is thought to be initiated by neurons only, with the prevailing view assigning glial cells mere specify supportive functions for synaptic transmission and plasticity. We now demonstrate that glial cells can control synaptic strength independent of neuronal activity. Here we show that selective activation of microglia in the rat is sufficient to rapidly facilitate synaptic strength between primary afferent C-fibers and lamina I neurons, the first synaptic relay in the nociceptive pathway. Specifically, the activation of the CX3CR1 receptor by fractalkine induces the release of interleukin-1β from microglia, which modulates NMDA signaling in postsynaptic neurons, leading to the release of an eicosanoid messenger, which ultimately enhances presynaptic neurotransmitter release. In contrast to the conventional view, this form of plasticity does not require enhanced neuronal activity to trigger the events leading to synaptic facilitation. Augmentation of synaptic strength in nociceptive pathways represents a cellular model of pain amplification. The present data thus suggest that, under chronic pain states, CX3CR1-mediated activation of microglia drives the facilitation of excitatory synaptic transmission in the dorsal horn, which contributes to pain hypersensitivity in chronic pain states. PMID:25788673

  5. In vivo trans-synaptic tract tracing from the murine striatum and amygdala utilizing manganese enhanced MRI (MEMRI).

    PubMed

    Pautler, Robia G; Mongeau, Raymond; Jacobs, Russell E

    2003-07-01

    Small focal injections of manganese ion (Mn(2+)) deep within the mouse central nervous system combined with in vivo high-resolution MRI delineate neuronal tracts originating from the site of injection. Previous work has shown that Mn(2+) can be taken up through voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels, transported along axons, and across synapses. Moreover, Mn(2+) is a paramagnetic MRI contrast agent, causing positive contrast enhancement in tissues where it has accumulated. These combined properties allow for its use as an effective MRI detectable neuronal tract tracer. Injections of low concentrations of MnCl(2) into either the striatum or amygdala produced significant contrast enhancement along the known neuronal circuitry. The observed enhancement pattern is different at each injection site and enhancement of the homotopic areas was observed in both cases. Ten days postinjection, the Mn(2+) had washed out, as evidenced by the absence of positive contrast enhancement within the brain. This methodology allows imaging of neuronal tracts long after the injection of the ion because Mn(2+) concentrates in active neurons and resides for extended periods of time. With appropriate controls, differentiation of subsets of neuronal pathways associated with behavioral and pharmacological paradigms should be feasible. PMID:12815676

  6. Digital photography: enhancing communication between burn therapists and nurses.

    PubMed

    Van, Lan B; Sicotte, K M; Lassiter, R R; Jablonski, K A; Crean, D A; Jeng, J C; Jordan, M H

    2004-01-01

    Burn rehabilitation therapists rely on nursing staff to follow through with the positioning and splinting programs. To communicate more effectively, a communication tool that consisted of digital photos and written instructions was created. Microsoft Word and Nikon View software were used to design the communication tool. The purpose of the study was to assess the perceived effectiveness of a communication tool between burn therapists and burn nurses for splinting and positioning. Thirty-two surveys were distributed to burn nursing staff to assess their perception of the communication tool (digital photographs with written instructions) compared with previous methods of instructions (without digital photographs). Seventy-three percent of nurses felt the communication tool with verbal instructions were the best methods of communicating splinting and positioning needs. All respondents felt that the rehabilitation staff should continue to use the communication tool. PMID:14726739

  7. Enhancing Distant Learning through Email Communication: A Case of BOU

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rahman, K. M. Rezanur; Anwar, Sadat; Numan, Sharker Md.

    2008-01-01

    Today computer has replaced all means of traditional communication significantly. Many distant learning tools claim to be interactive, but few can offer two-way communication. Email is the most popular means of communication medium now-a-days. Therefore, it may be used as an educational tool for learning. In present socioeconomic condition of…

  8. Dendritic spikes amplify the synaptic signal to enhance detection of motion in a simulation of the direction-selective ganglion cell.

    PubMed

    Schachter, Michael J; Oesch, Nicholas; Smith, Robert G; Taylor, W Rowland

    2010-01-01

    The On-Off direction-selective ganglion cell (DSGC) in mammalian retinas responds most strongly to a stimulus moving in a specific direction. The DSGC initiates spikes in its dendritic tree, which are thought to propagate to the soma with high probability. Both dendritic and somatic spikes in the DSGC display strong directional tuning, whereas somatic PSPs (postsynaptic potentials) are only weakly directional, indicating that spike generation includes marked enhancement of the directional signal. We used a realistic computational model based on anatomical and physiological measurements to determine the source of the enhancement. Our results indicate that the DSGC dendritic tree is partitioned into separate electrotonic regions, each summing its local excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to initiate spikes. Within each local region the local spike threshold nonlinearly amplifies the preferred response over the null response on the basis of PSP amplitude. Using inhibitory conductances previously measured in DSGCs, the simulation results showed that inhibition is only sufficient to prevent spike initiation and cannot affect spike propagation. Therefore, inhibition will only act locally within the dendritic arbor. We identified the role of three mechanisms that generate directional selectivity (DS) in the local dendritic regions. First, a mechanism for DS intrinsic to the dendritic structure of the DSGC enhances DS on the null side of the cell's dendritic tree and weakens it on the preferred side. Second, spatially offset postsynaptic inhibition generates robust DS in the isolated dendritic tips but weak DS near the soma. Third, presynaptic DS is apparently necessary because it is more robust across the dendritic tree. The pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms together can overcome the local intrinsic DS. These local dendritic mechanisms can perform independent nonlinear computations to make a decision, and there could be analogous mechanisms within cortical circuitry

  9. Dendritic Spikes Amplify the Synaptic Signal to Enhance Detection of Motion in a Simulation of the Direction-Selective Ganglion Cell

    PubMed Central

    Schachter, Michael J.; Oesch, Nicholas; Smith, Robert G.; Taylor, W. Rowland

    2010-01-01

    The On-Off direction-selective ganglion cell (DSGC) in mammalian retinas responds most strongly to a stimulus moving in a specific direction. The DSGC initiates spikes in its dendritic tree, which are thought to propagate to the soma with high probability. Both dendritic and somatic spikes in the DSGC display strong directional tuning, whereas somatic PSPs (postsynaptic potentials) are only weakly directional, indicating that spike generation includes marked enhancement of the directional signal. We used a realistic computational model based on anatomical and physiological measurements to determine the source of the enhancement. Our results indicate that the DSGC dendritic tree is partitioned into separate electrotonic regions, each summing its local excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to initiate spikes. Within each local region the local spike threshold nonlinearly amplifies the preferred response over the null response on the basis of PSP amplitude. Using inhibitory conductances previously measured in DSGCs, the simulation results showed that inhibition is only sufficient to prevent spike initiation and cannot affect spike propagation. Therefore, inhibition will only act locally within the dendritic arbor. We identified the role of three mechanisms that generate directional selectivity (DS) in the local dendritic regions. First, a mechanism for DS intrinsic to the dendritic structure of the DSGC enhances DS on the null side of the cell's dendritic tree and weakens it on the preferred side. Second, spatially offset postsynaptic inhibition generates robust DS in the isolated dendritic tips but weak DS near the soma. Third, presynaptic DS is apparently necessary because it is more robust across the dendritic tree. The pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms together can overcome the local intrinsic DS. These local dendritic mechanisms can perform independent nonlinear computations to make a decision, and there could be analogous mechanisms within cortical circuitry

  10. Do Enhanced Communication Technologies Inhibit or Facilitate Self-Regulated Learning?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banyard, Philip; Underwood, Jean; Twiner, Alison

    2006-01-01

    The assumption tested here is whether the introduction of enhanced communication technologies in the form of high-speed broadband connectivity has removed or ameliorated any of the barriers to efficient and effective teaching and learning. Evidence is presented of how enhanced communication technologies have facilitated self-regulated learning.…

  11. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Saheki, Yasunori; De Camilli, Pietro

    2012-01-01

    Neurons can sustain high rates of synaptic transmission without exhausting their supply of synaptic vesicles. This property relies on a highly efficient local endocytic recycling of synaptic vesicle membranes, which can be reused for hundreds, possibly thousands, of exo-endocytic cycles. Morphological, physiological, molecular, and genetic studies over the last four decades have provided insight into the membrane traffic reactions that govern this recycling and its regulation. These studies have shown that synaptic vesicle endocytosis capitalizes on fundamental and general endocytic mechanisms but also involves neuron-specific adaptations of such mechanisms. Thus, investigations of these processes have advanced not only the field of synaptic transmission but also, more generally, the field of endocytosis. This article summarizes current information on synaptic vesicle endocytosis with an emphasis on the underlying molecular mechanisms and with a special focus on clathrin-mediated endocytosis, the predominant pathway of synaptic vesicle protein internalization. PMID:22763746

  12. Mechanism underlying unaltered cortical inhibitory synaptic transmission in contrast with enhanced excitatory transmission in CaV2.1 knockin migraine mice.

    PubMed

    Vecchia, Dania; Tottene, Angelita; van den Maagdenberg, Arn M J M; Pietrobon, Daniela

    2014-09-01

    Familial hemiplegic migraine type 1 (FHM1), a monogenic subtype of migraine with aura, is caused by gain-of-function mutations in CaV2.1 (P/Q-type) calcium channels. In FHM1 knockin mice, excitatory neurotransmission at cortical pyramidal cell synapses is enhanced, but inhibitory neurotransmission at connected pairs of fast-spiking (FS) interneurons and pyramidal cells is unaltered, despite being initiated by CaV2.1 channels. The mechanism underlying the unaltered GABA release at cortical FS interneuron synapses remains unknown. Here, we show that the FHM1 R192Q mutation does not affect inhibitory transmission at autapses of cortical FS and other types of multipolar interneurons in microculture from R192Q knockin mice, and investigate the underlying mechanism. Lowering the extracellular [Ca(2+)] did not reveal gain-of-function of evoked transmission neither in control nor after prolongation of the action potential (AP) with tetraethylammonium, indicating unaltered AP-evoked presynaptic calcium influx at inhibitory autapses in FHM1 KI mice. Neither saturation of the presynaptic calcium sensor nor short duration of the AP can explain the unaltered inhibitory transmission in the mutant mice. Recordings of the P/Q-type calcium current in multipolar interneurons in microculture revealed that the current density and the gating properties of the CaV2.1 channels expressed in these interneurons are barely affected by the FHM1 mutation, in contrast with the enhanced current density and left-shifted activation gating of mutant CaV2.1 channels in cortical pyramidal cells. Our findings suggest that expression of specific CaV2.1 channels differentially sensitive to modulation by FHM1 mutations in inhibitory and excitatory cortical neurons underlies the gain-of-function of excitatory but unaltered inhibitory synaptic transmission and the likely consequent dysregulation of the cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance in FHM1. PMID:24907493

  13. Does communication enhance pedestrians transport in the dark?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cirillo, Emilio N. M.; Colangeli, Matteo; Muntean, Adrian

    2016-01-01

    We study the motion of pedestrians through an obscure tunnel where the lack of visibility hides the exits. Using a lattice model, we explore the effects of communication on the effective transport properties of the crowd of pedestrians. More precisely, we study the effect of two thresholds on the structure of the effective nonlinear diffusion coefficient. One threshold models pedestrian communication efficiency in the dark, while the other one describes the tunnel capacity. Essentially, we note that if the evacuees show a maximum trust (leading to a fast communication), they tend to quickly find the exit and hence the collective action tends to prevent the occurrence of disasters.

  14. Functional diversity on synaptic plasticity mediated by endocannabinoids

    PubMed Central

    Cachope, Roger

    2012-01-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) act as modulators of synaptic transmission through activation of a number of receptors, including, but not limited to, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1). eCBs share CB1 receptors as a common target with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Although THC has been used for recreational and medicinal purposes for thousands of years, little was known about its effects at the cellular level or on neuronal circuits. Identification of CB1 receptors and the subsequent development of its specific ligands has therefore enhanced our ability to study and bring together a substantial amount of knowledge regarding how marijuana and eCBs modify interneuronal communication. To date, the eCB system, composed of cannabinoid receptors, ligands and the relevant enzymes, is recognized as the best-described retrograde signalling system in the brain. Its impact on synaptic transmission is widespread and more diverse than initially thought. The aim of this review is to succinctly present the most common forms of eCB-mediated modulation of synaptic transmission, while also illustrating the multiplicity of effects resulting from specializations of this signalling system at the circuital level. PMID:23108543

  15. Using Communication Technology to Enhance Interprofessional Education Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Shrader, Sarah; Shin, Tiffany; Heble, Annie; Kempin, Brian; Miller, Astyn; Patykiewicz, Nick

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To determine the impact of simulations using an alternative method of communication on students’ satisfaction, attitudes, confidence, and performance related to interprofessional communication. Design. One hundred sixty-three pharmacy students participated in a required applications-based capstone course. Students were randomly assigned to one of three interprofessional education (IPE) simulations with other health professions students using communication methods such as telephone, e-mail, and video conferencing. Assessment. Pharmacy students completed a validated survey instrument, Attitude Toward Healthcare Teams Scale (ATHCTS) prior to and after course participation. Significant positive changes occurred for 5 out of 20 items. Written reflection papers and student satisfaction surveys completed after participation showed positive themes and satisfaction. Course instructors evaluated student performance using rubrics for formative feedback. Conclusion. Implementation of IPE simulations using various methods of communication technology is an effective way for pharmacy schools to incorporate IPE into their curriculum. PMID:26941439

  16. Conditioned taste aversion prevents the long-lasting BDNF-induced enhancement of synaptic transmission in the insular cortex: A metaplastic effect.

    PubMed

    Rivera-Olvera, Alejandro; Rodríguez-Durán, Luis F; Escobar, Martha L

    2016-04-01

    Homeostatic plasticity mechanisms dynamically adjust synaptic strengths to promote stability that is crucial for memory storage. Metaplasticity is an example of these forms of plasticity that modify the capacity of synapses to experience subsequent Hebbian modifications. In particular, training in several behavioral tasks modifies the ability to induce long-term potentiation (LTP). Recently, we have reported that prior training in conditioned taste aversion (CTA) prevents the subsequent induction of LTP generated by high frequency stimulation in the projection from the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (Bla) to the insular cortex (IC). One of the key molecular players that underlie long-term synaptic plasticity is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Previous studies from our group reported that acute microinfusion of BDNF in the IC induces a lasting potentiation of synaptic efficacy at the Bla-IC projection. Thus, the aim of the present study was to analyze whether CTA training modifies the ability to induce subsequent BDNF-induced potentiation of synaptic transmission in the Bla-IC projection in vivo. Accordingly, CTA trained rats received intracortical microinfusion of BDNF in order to induce lasting potentiation 48h after the aversion test. Our results show that CTA training prevents the induction of in vivo BDNF-LTP in the Bla-IC projection. The present results provide evidence that CTA modulates BDNF-dependent changes in IC synaptic strength. PMID:26854904

  17. MAGUKs, Synaptic Development, and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Chan-Ying; Seabold, Gail K.; Horak, Martin; Petralia, Ronald S.

    2011-01-01

    MAGUKs are proteins that act as key scaffolds in surface complexes containing receptors, adhesion proteins, and various signaling molecules. These complexes evolved prior to the appearance of multicellular animals and play key roles in cell-cell intercommunication. A major example of this is the neuronal synapse, which contains several presynaptic and postsynaptic MAGUKs including PSD-95, SAP102, SAP97, PSD-93, CASK, and MAGIs. Here, they play roles in both synaptic development and in later synaptic plasticity events. During development, MAGUKs help to organize the postsynaptic density via associations with other scaffolding proteins, such as Shank, and the actin cytoskeleton. They affect the clustering of glutamate receptors and other receptors, and these associations change with development. MAGUKs are involved in long-term potentiation and depression (e.g., via their phosphorylation by kinases and phosphorylation of other proteins associated with MAGUKs). Importantly, synapse development and function are dependent on the kind of MAGUK present. For example, SAP102 shows high mobility and is present in early synaptic development. Later, much of SAP102 is replaced by PSD-95, a more stable synaptic MAGUK; this is associated with changes in glutamate receptor types that are characteristic of synaptic maturation. PMID:21498811

  18. Synaptic Ribbons Require Ribeye for Electron Density, Proper Synaptic Localization, and Recruitment of Calcium Channels.

    PubMed

    Lv, Caixia; Stewart, William J; Akanyeti, Otar; Frederick, Courtney; Zhu, Jie; Santos-Sacchi, Joseph; Sheets, Lavinia; Liao, James C; Zenisek, David

    2016-06-21

    Synaptic ribbons are structures made largely of the protein Ribeye that hold synaptic vesicles near release sites in non-spiking cells in some sensory systems. Here, we introduce frameshift mutations in the two zebrafish genes encoding for Ribeye and thus remove Ribeye protein from neuromast hair cells. Despite Ribeye depletion, vesicles collect around ribbon-like structures that lack electron density, which we term "ghost ribbons." Ghost ribbons are smaller in size but possess a similar number of smaller vesicles and are poorly localized to synapses and calcium channels. These hair cells exhibit enhanced exocytosis, as measured by capacitance, and recordings from afferent neurons post-synaptic to hair cells show no significant difference in spike rates. Our results suggest that Ribeye makes up most of the synaptic ribbon density in neuromast hair cells and is necessary for proper localization of calcium channels and synaptic ribbons. PMID:27292637

  19. Coaching and feedback: enhancing communication teaching and learning in veterinary practice settings.

    PubMed

    Adams, Cindy L; Kurtz, Suzanne

    2012-01-01

    Communication is a critical clinical skill closely linked to clinical reasoning, medical problem solving, and significant outcomes of care such as accuracy, efficiency, supportiveness, adherence to treatment plans, and client and veterinarian satisfaction. More than 40 years of research on communication and communication education in human medicine and, more recently, in veterinary medicine provide a substantive rationale for formal communication teaching in veterinary education. As a result, veterinary schools are beginning to invest in communication training. However, if communication training is to result in development of veterinary communication skills to a professional level of competence, there must be follow-through with effective communication modeling and coaching in practice settings. The purpose of this article is to move the communication modeling and coaching done in the "real world" of clinical practice to the next level. The development of skills for communication coaching and feedback is demanding. We begin by comparing communication coaching with what is required for teaching other clinical skills in practice settings. Examining both, what it takes to teach others (whether DVM students or veterinarians in practice for several years) and what it takes to enhance one's own communication skills and capacities, we consider the why, what, and how of communication coaching. We describe the use of teaching instruments to structure this work and give particular attention to how to engage in feedback sessions, since these elements are so critical in communication teaching and learning. We consider the preconditions necessary to initiate and sustain communication skills training in practice, including the need for a safe and supportive environment within which to implement communication coaching and feedback. Finally we discuss the challenges and opportunities unique to coaching and to building and delivering communication skills training in practice

  20. Using Virtual Interactions to Enhance the Teaching of Communication Skills to Information Technology Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pineteh, Ernest A.

    2012-01-01

    This paper examines the use of virtual interactions in a Communication class at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)-South Africa. It demonstrates how synthesising virtual and other computer-assisted exercises as well as traditional classroom-based activities can enhance the teaching and learning of communication concepts. The paper is…

  1. Computer Mediated Communication (CMC): Technology for Enhancing Foreign Language/Culture Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singhal, Meena

    1998-01-01

    Describes various studies and projects on computer-mediated communication for enhancing second language learning and culture education, examining their impact on participating elementary, secondary, and college students. Results indicate that e-mail and teleconferencing provide authentic communication and foster awareness of languages and…

  2. Cooperative Learning and Enhanced Communication: Effects on Student Performance, Retention, and Attitudes in General Chemistry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dougherty, R. C.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Examines the effects of cooperative learning and enhanced communication on student performance, retention, and attitudes in general chemistry. Results indicate that cooperative homework, cooperative quizzes, electronic-mail communication, and open office hours were associated with significantly higher student retention and higher performance on…

  3. Facilitation of health care delivery through enhanced communications.

    PubMed

    Buffone, G J; Beck, J R

    1994-01-01

    To realize the advantages of advanced computing technology in medicine we will have to blend computing and communications facilities into a seamless entity that can support ubiquitous computing for medical use. Work-group computing applications, high speed networks linking a multiplicity of servers, and mobile computing platforms can provide the next generation of devices and services for the physician. Ultimately, the biggest challenge for communications and computing in medicine will be found in the requirement for standards in semantics and syntax in the highest levels of the OSI model. We present here our view of the functional requirements for physician communications and computing to meet standard medical practice in Western societies. PMID:8125649

  4. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Covelo, A; Araque, A

    2016-05-26

    Fifteen years ago the concept of the "tripartite synapse" was proposed to conceptualize the functional view that astrocytes are integral elements of synapses. The signaling exchange between astrocytes and neurons within the tripartite synapse results in the synaptic regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity through an autocrine form of communication. However, recent evidence indicates that the astrocyte synaptic regulation is not restricted to the active tripartite synapse but can be manifested through astrocyte signaling at synapses relatively distant from active synapses, a process termed lateral astrocyte synaptic regulation. This phenomenon resembles the classical heterosynaptic modulation but is mechanistically different because it involves astrocytes and its properties critically depend on the morphological and functional features of astrocytes. Therefore, the functional concept of the tripartite synapse as a fundamental unit must be expanded to include the interaction between tripartite synapses. Through lateral synaptic regulation, astrocytes serve as an active processing bridge for synaptic interaction and crosstalk between synapses with no direct neuronal connectivity, supporting the idea that neural network function results from the coordinated activity of astrocytes and neurons. PMID:25732135

  5. Strategic Interaction: A Method That Enhances Communicative Competence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Khanji, Rajai

    The Strategic Interaction method has been found to be effective in developing oral skills among students in an intensive English language program at the University of Jordan, and holds promise for language instruction in other contexts. The method, which is predominantly communicative in nature, stresses language use and interaction in discourse…

  6. Language Training for Enhanced Horizontal Communication: A Challenge for MNCs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Charles, Mirjaliisa; Marschan-Piekkari, Rebecca

    2002-01-01

    Identifies and examines the problems that staff in multinational corporations (MNCs) experience in horizontal communication with other units and discusses the implications of these problems for in-company language training. Concludes that illustrative interview data suggests that corporate training schemes should focus on the broad spectrum of…

  7. Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Enhancing Teacher-Student Communications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Childers, John H., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    Defines Neurolinguistic Programming (NCP) and discusses specific dimensions of the model that have applications for classroom teaching. Describes five representational systems individuals use to process information and gives examples of effective and ineffective teacher-student communication for each system. (MCF)

  8. Enhanced Communication Network Solution for Positive Train Control Implementation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fatehi, M. T.; Simon, J.; Chang, W.; Chow, E. T.; Burleigh, S. C.

    2011-01-01

    The commuter and freight railroad industry is required to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) by 2015 (2012 for Metrolink), a challenging network communications problem. This paper will discuss present technologies developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to overcome comparable communication challenges encountered in deep space mission operations. PTC will be based on a new cellular wireless packet Internet Protocol (IP) network. However, ensuring reliability in such a network is difficult due to the "dead zones" and transient disruptions we commonly experience when we lose calls in commercial cellular networks. These disruptions make it difficult to meet PTC s stringent reliability (99.999%) and safety requirements, deployment deadlines, and budget. This paper proposes innovative solutions based on space-proven technologies that would help meet these challenges: (1) Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) technology, designed for use in resource-constrained, embedded systems and currently in use on the International Space Station, enables reliable communication over networks in which timely data acknowledgments might not be possible due to transient link outages. (2) Policy-Based Management (PBM) provides dynamic management capabilities, allowing vital data to be exchanged selectively (with priority) by utilizing alternative communication resources. The resulting network may help railroads implement PTC faster, cheaper, and more reliably.

  9. Synaptic pathology: A shared mechanism in neurological disease.

    PubMed

    Henstridge, Christopher M; Pickett, Eleanor; Spires-Jones, Tara L

    2016-07-01

    Synaptic proteomes have evolved a rich and complex diversity to allow the exquisite control of neuronal communication and information transfer. It is therefore not surprising that many neurological disorders are associated with alterations in synaptic function. As technology has advanced, our ability to study the anatomical and physiological function of synapses in greater detail has revealed a critical role for both central and peripheral synapses in neurodegenerative disease. Synapse loss has a devastating effect on cellular communication, leading to wide ranging effects such as network disruption within central neural systems and muscle wastage in the periphery. These devastating effects link synaptic pathology to a diverse range of neurological disorders, spanning Alzheimer's disease to multiple sclerosis. This review will highlight some of the current literature on synaptic integrity in animal models of disease and human post-mortem studies. Synaptic changes in normal brain ageing will also be discussed and finally the current and prospective treatments for neurodegenerative disorders will be summarised. PMID:27108053

  10. Enhanced nitric oxide production during lead (Pb²⁺) exposure recovers protein expression but not presynaptic localization of synaptic proteins in developing hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Neal, April P; Stansfield, Kirstie H; Guilarte, Tomás R

    2012-02-23

    We have previously reported that lead (Pb(2+)) exposure results in both presynaptic and postsynaptic changes in developing neurons as a result of inhibition of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR). NMDAR inhibition by Pb(2+) during synaptogenesis disrupts downstream trans-synaptic signaling of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and exogenous addition of BDNF can recover the effects of Pb(2+) on both presynaptic protein expression and presynaptic vesicular release. NMDAR activity can modulate other trans-synaptic signaling pathways, such as nitric oxide (NO) signaling. Thus, it is possible that other trans-synaptic pathways in addition to BDNF signaling may be disrupted by Pb(2+) exposure. The current study investigated whether exogenous addition of NO could recover the presynaptic vesicular proteins lost as a result of Pb(2+) exposure during synaptogenesis, namely Synaptophysin (Syn) and Synaptobrevin (Syb). We observed that exogenous addition of NO during Pb(2+) exposure results in complete recovery of whole-cell Syn levels and partial recovery of Syn and Syb synaptic targeting in Pb(2+)-exposed neurons. PMID:22265330

  11. SPECS: Secure and Privacy Enhancing Communications Schemes for VANETs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chim, T. W.; Yiu, S. M.; Hui, L. C. K.; Jiang, Zoe L.; Li, Victor O. K.

    Vehicular ad hoc network (VANET) is an emerging type of networks which facilitates vehicles on roads to communicate for driving safety. The basic idea is to allow arbitrary vehicles to broadcast ad hoc messages (e.g. traffic accidents) to other vehicles. However, this raises the concern of security and privacy. Messages should be signed and verified before they are trusted while the real identity of vehicles should not be revealed, but traceable by authorized party. Existing solutions either rely heavily on a tamper-proof hardware device, or cannot satisfy the privacy requirement and do not have an effective message verification scheme. In this paper, we provide a software-based solution which makes use of only two shared secrets to satisfy the privacy requirement and gives lower message overhead and at least 45% higher successful rate than previous solutions in the message verification phase using the bloom filter and the binary search techniques. We also provide the first group communication protocol to allow vehicles to authenticate and securely communicate with others in a group of known vehicles.

  12. Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strauss, Andre

    The following essays on communication are presented: communication as a condition of survival, communication for special purposes, the means of transmission of communication, communication within social and economic structures, the teaching of communication through the press, the teaching of modern languages, communication as a point of departure,…

  13. Astrocytes: Orchestrating synaptic plasticity?

    PubMed

    De Pittà, M; Brunel, N; Volterra, A

    2016-05-26

    Synaptic plasticity is the capacity of a preexisting connection between two neurons to change in strength as a function of neural activity. Because synaptic plasticity is the major candidate mechanism for learning and memory, the elucidation of its constituting mechanisms is of crucial importance in many aspects of normal and pathological brain function. In particular, a prominent aspect that remains debated is how the plasticity mechanisms, that encompass a broad spectrum of temporal and spatial scales, come to play together in a concerted fashion. Here we review and discuss evidence that pinpoints to a possible non-neuronal, glial candidate for such orchestration: the regulation of synaptic plasticity by astrocytes. PMID:25862587

  14. COMMUNICATION: Folate and S-adenosylmethionine modulate synaptic activity in cultured cortical neurons: acute differential impact on normal and apolipoprotein-deficient mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serra, Michael; Chan, Amy; Dubey, Maya; Gilman, Vladimir; Shea, Thomas B.

    2008-12-01

    Folate deficiency is accompanied by a decline in the cognitive neurotransmitter acetylcholine and a decline in cognitive performance in mice lacking apolipoprotein E (ApoE-/- mice), a low-density lipoprotein that regulates aspects of lipid metabolism. One direct consequence of folate deficiency is a decline in S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). Since dietary SAM supplementation maintains acetylcholine levels and cognitive performance in the absence of folate, we examined herein the impact of folate and SAM on neuronal synaptic activity. Embryonic cortical neurons from mice expressing or lacking ApoE (ApoE+/+ or -/-, respectively) were cultured for 1 month on multi-electrode arrays, and signaling was recorded. ApoE+/+ cultures displayed significantly more frequent spontaneous signals than ApoE-/- cultures. Supplementation with 166 µm SAM (not normally present in culture medium) increased signal frequency and decreased signal amplitude in ApoE+/+ cultures. SAM also increased the frequency of tightly clustered signal bursts. Folate deprivation reversibly reduced signal frequency in ApoE+/+ cultures; SAM supplementation maintained signal frequency despite folate deprivation. These findings support the importance of dietary supplementation with folate and SAM on neuronal health. Supplementation with 166 µm SAM did not alter signaling in ApoE-/- cultures, which may be a reflection of the reduced SAM levels in ApoE-/- mice. The differential impact of SAM on ApoE+/+ and -/- neurons underscores the combined impact of nutritional and genetic deficiencies on neuronal homeostasis.

  15. Enhancing risk communication for more effective epidemic control in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Ou, Shih-Ming; Liu, Li-Ling; Chin, Ko-Chien

    2014-01-01

    This article investigates how to more effectively conduct risk communication to increase the probability of successful control of an epidemic in Taiwan. The epidemic control of H1N1 in Taiwan in 2010 was studied. We used factor analysis and Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) to obtain the total influence for each factor and to determine the critical factors among them. After being processed using proposed operational procedures, we obtained the critical factors and found that the government plays the key role in successful epidemic control. To reduce the resistance to efforts that seek to prevent pandemic crises, some necessary intervention activities, such as fairly and honorably exploring the complete relevant information and revealing the side effects of vaccines in a manner that is easily understood, were recommended. These could lead to an increase in immunizations among Taiwanese people by gaining their trust and commitment, thus achieving control of this epidemic. PMID:23239748

  16. Learning with two sites of synaptic integration.

    PubMed

    Körding, K P; König, P

    2000-02-01

    Since the classical work of D O Hebb 1949 The Organization of Behaviour (New York: Wiley) it is assumed that synaptic plasticity solely depends on the activity of the pre- and the postsynaptic cells. Synapses influence the plasticity of other synapses exclusively via the post-synaptic activity. This confounds effects on synaptic plasticity and neuronal activation and, thus, makes it difficult to implement networks which optimize global measures of performance. Exploring solutions to this problem, inspired by recent research on the properties of apical dendrites, we examine a network of neurons with two sites of synaptic integration. These communicate in such a way that one set of synapses mainly influences the neurons' activity; the other set gates synaptic plasticity. Analysing the system with a constant set of parameters reveals: (1) the afferents that gate plasticity act as supervisors, individual to every cell. (2) While the neurons acquire specific receptive fields the net activity remains constant for different stimuli. This ensures that all stimuli are represented and, thus, contributes to information maximization. (3) Mechanisms for maximization of coherent information can easily be implemented. Neurons with non-overlapping receptive fields learn to fire correlated and preferentially transmit information that is correlated over space. (4) We demonstrate how a new measure of performance can be implemented: cells learn to represent only the part of the input that is relevant to the processing at higher stages. This criterion is termed 'relevant infomax'. PMID:10735527

  17. Enhancing the Performance of Medical Implant Communication Systems through Cooperative Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Hegyi, Barnabás; Levendovszky, János

    2010-01-01

    Battery-operated medical implants—such as pacemakers or cardioverter-defibrillators—have already been widely used in practical telemedicine and telecare applications. However, no solution has yet been found to mitigate the effect of the fading that the in-body to off-body communication channel is subject to. In this paper, we reveal and assess the potential of cooperative diversity to combat fading—hence to improve system performance—in medical implant communication systems. In the particular cooperative communication scenario we consider, multiple cooperating receiver units are installed across the room accommodating the patient with a medical implant inside his/her body. Our investigations have shown that the application of cooperative diversity is a promising approach to enhance the performance of medical implant communication systems in various aspects such as implant lifetime and communication link reliability. PMID:20379346

  18. Activity-dependent synaptic GRIP1 accumulation drives synaptic scaling up in response to action potential blockade

    PubMed Central

    Gainey, Melanie A.; Tatavarty, Vedakumar; Nahmani, Marc; Lin, Heather; Turrigiano, Gina G.

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic scaling is a form of homeostatic plasticity that stabilizes neuronal firing in response to changes in synapse number and strength. Scaling up in response to action-potential blockade is accomplished through increased synaptic accumulation of GluA2-containing AMPA receptors (AMPAR), but the receptor trafficking steps that drive this process remain largely obscure. Here, we show that the AMPAR-binding protein glutamate receptor-interacting protein-1 (GRIP1) is essential for regulated synaptic AMPAR accumulation during scaling up. Synaptic abundance of GRIP1 was enhanced by activity deprivation, directly increasing synaptic GRIP1 abundance through overexpression increased the amplitude of AMPA miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs), and shRNA-mediated GRIP1 knockdown prevented scaling up of AMPA mEPSCs. Furthermore, knockdown and replace experiments targeting either GRIP1 or GluA2 revealed that scaling up requires the interaction between GRIP1 and GluA2. Finally, GRIP1 synaptic accumulation during scaling up did not require GluA2 binding. Taken together, our data support a model in which activity-dependent trafficking of GRIP1 to synaptic sites drives the forward trafficking and enhanced synaptic accumulation of GluA2-containing AMPAR during synaptic scaling up. PMID:26109571

  19. Extracellular ATP Hydrolysis Inhibits Synaptic Transmission by Increasing pH Buffering in the Synaptic Cleft

    PubMed Central

    Vroman, Rozan; Klaassen, Lauw J.; Howlett, Marcus H.C.; Cenedese, Valentina; Klooster, Jan; Sjoerdsma, Trijntje; Kamermans, Maarten

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal computations strongly depend on inhibitory interactions. One such example occurs at the first retinal synapse, where horizontal cells inhibit photoreceptors. This interaction generates the center/surround organization of bipolar cell receptive fields and is crucial for contrast enhancement. Despite its essential role in vision, the underlying synaptic mechanism has puzzled the neuroscience community for decades. Two competing hypotheses are currently considered: an ephaptic and a proton-mediated mechanism. Here we show that horizontal cells feed back to photoreceptors via an unexpected synthesis of the two. The first one is a very fast ephaptic mechanism that has no synaptic delay, making it one of the fastest inhibitory synapses known. The second one is a relatively slow (τ≈200 ms), highly intriguing mechanism. It depends on ATP release via Pannexin 1 channels located on horizontal cell dendrites invaginating the cone synaptic terminal. The ecto-ATPase NTPDase1 hydrolyses extracellular ATP to AMP, phosphate groups, and protons. The phosphate groups and protons form a pH buffer with a pKa of 7.2, which keeps the pH in the synaptic cleft relatively acidic. This inhibits the cone Ca2+ channels and consequently reduces the glutamate release by the cones. When horizontal cells hyperpolarize, the pannexin 1 channels decrease their conductance, the ATP release decreases, and the formation of the pH buffer reduces. The resulting alkalization in the synaptic cleft consequently increases cone glutamate release. Surprisingly, the hydrolysis of ATP instead of ATP itself mediates the synaptic modulation. Our results not only solve longstanding issues regarding horizontal cell to photoreceptor feedback, they also demonstrate a new form of synaptic modulation. Because pannexin 1 channels and ecto-ATPases are strongly expressed in the nervous system and pannexin 1 function is implicated in synaptic plasticity, we anticipate that this novel form of synaptic modulation

  20. Extracellular ATP hydrolysis inhibits synaptic transmission by increasing ph buffering in the synaptic cleft.

    PubMed

    Vroman, Rozan; Klaassen, Lauw J; Howlett, Marcus H C; Cenedese, Valentina; Klooster, Jan; Sjoerdsma, Trijntje; Kamermans, Maarten

    2014-05-01

    Neuronal computations strongly depend on inhibitory interactions. One such example occurs at the first retinal synapse, where horizontal cells inhibit photoreceptors. This interaction generates the center/surround organization of bipolar cell receptive fields and is crucial for contrast enhancement. Despite its essential role in vision, the underlying synaptic mechanism has puzzled the neuroscience community for decades. Two competing hypotheses are currently considered: an ephaptic and a proton-mediated mechanism. Here we show that horizontal cells feed back to photoreceptors via an unexpected synthesis of the two. The first one is a very fast ephaptic mechanism that has no synaptic delay, making it one of the fastest inhibitory synapses known. The second one is a relatively slow (τ≈200 ms), highly intriguing mechanism. It depends on ATP release via Pannexin 1 channels located on horizontal cell dendrites invaginating the cone synaptic terminal. The ecto-ATPase NTPDase1 hydrolyses extracellular ATP to AMP, phosphate groups, and protons. The phosphate groups and protons form a pH buffer with a pKa of 7.2, which keeps the pH in the synaptic cleft relatively acidic. This inhibits the cone Ca²⁺ channels and consequently reduces the glutamate release by the cones. When horizontal cells hyperpolarize, the pannexin 1 channels decrease their conductance, the ATP release decreases, and the formation of the pH buffer reduces. The resulting alkalization in the synaptic cleft consequently increases cone glutamate release. Surprisingly, the hydrolysis of ATP instead of ATP itself mediates the synaptic modulation. Our results not only solve longstanding issues regarding horizontal cell to photoreceptor feedback, they also demonstrate a new form of synaptic modulation. Because pannexin 1 channels and ecto-ATPases are strongly expressed in the nervous system and pannexin 1 function is implicated in synaptic plasticity, we anticipate that this novel form of synaptic

  1. Communication: Enhanced dissociative chemisorption of CO2 via vibrational excitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Bin; Guo, Hua

    2016-03-01

    A fully coupled global nine-dimensional potential energy surface for the dissociative chemisorption of CO2 on Ni(100) is constructed from ˜18 000 density functional points. It reveals a complex reaction pathway dominated by two near iso-energetic transition states. The dissociation probabilities obtained by quasi-classical trajectories on the potential energy surface reproduced experimental trends, and indicate that vibrational excitations of CO2 significantly promote the dissociation. Using the sudden vector projection model, the behavior of the reactivity is rationalized by couplings with the reaction coordinate at each transition state. These results offer plausible rationalization for the observed enhancement of CO2 dissociation in non-thermal plasmas by metal surfaces.

  2. Communication: Enhanced dissociative chemisorption of CO2 via vibrational excitation.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Bin; Guo, Hua

    2016-03-01

    A fully coupled global nine-dimensional potential energy surface for the dissociative chemisorption of CO2 on Ni(100) is constructed from ∼18,000 density functional points. It reveals a complex reaction pathway dominated by two near iso-energetic transition states. The dissociation probabilities obtained by quasi-classical trajectories on the potential energy surface reproduced experimental trends, and indicate that vibrational excitations of CO2 significantly promote the dissociation. Using the sudden vector projection model, the behavior of the reactivity is rationalized by couplings with the reaction coordinate at each transition state. These results offer plausible rationalization for the observed enhancement of CO2 dissociation in non-thermal plasmas by metal surfaces. PMID:26957149

  3. AMPKα1 knockout enhances nociceptive behaviors and spinal glutamatergic synaptic activities via production of reactive oxygen species in the spinal dorsal horn.

    PubMed

    Maixner, Dylan W; Yan, Xisheng; Hooks, Shelley B; Weng, Han-Rong

    2016-06-21

    Emerging studies have shown that pharmacological activation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) produces potent analgesic effects in different animal pain models. Currently, the spinal molecular and synaptic mechanism by which AMPK regulates the pain signaling system remains unclear. To address this issue, we utilized the Cre-LoxP system to conditionally knockout the AMPKα1 gene in the nervous system of mice. We demonstrated that AMPKα1 is imperative for maintaining normal nociception, and mice deficient for AMPKα1 exhibit mechanical allodynia. This is concomitantly associated with increased glutamatergic synaptic activities in neurons located in the superficial spinal dorsal horn, which results from the increased glutamate release from presynaptic terminals and function of ligand-gated glutamate receptors at the postsynaptic neurons. Additionally, AMPKα1 knockout mice have increased activities of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (p38), as well as elevated levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) in the spinal dorsal horn. Systemic administration of a non-specific ROS scavenger (phenyl-N-tert-butylnitrone, PBN) or a HO-1 activator (Cobalt protoporphyrin IX, CoPP) attenuated allodynia in AMPKα1 knockout mice. Bath-perfusion of the ROS scavenger or HO-1 activator effectively attenuated the increased ROS levels and glutamatergic synaptic activities in the spinal dorsal horn. Our findings suggest that ROS are the key down-stream signaling molecules mediating the behavioral hypersensitivity in AMPKα1 knockout mice. Thus, targeting AMPKα1 may represent an effective approach for the treatment of pathological pain conditions associated with neuroinflammation at the spinal dorsal horn. PMID:27058143

  4. Transgenic Expression of Glud1 (Glutamate Dehydrogenase 1) in Neurons: In Vivo Model of Enhanced Glutamate Release, Altered Synaptic Plasticity, and Selective Neuronal Vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Xiaodong; Pal, Ranu; Hascup, Kevin N.; Wang, Yongfu; Wang, Wen-Tung; Xu, Wenhao; Hui, Dongwei; Agbas, Abdulbaki; Wang, Xinkun; Michaelis, Mary L.; Choi, In-Young; Belousov, Andrei B.; Gerhardt, Greg A.; Michaelis, Elias K.

    2010-01-01

    The effects of lifelong, moderate excess release of glutamate (Glu) in the CNS have not been previously characterized. We created a transgenic (Tg) mouse model of lifelong excess synaptic Glu release in the CNS by introducing the gene for glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (Glud1) under the control of the neuron-specific enolase promoter. Glud1 is, potentially, an important enzyme in the pathway of Glu synthesis in nerve terminals. Increased levels of GLUD protein and activity in CNS neurons of hemizygous Tg mice were associated with increases in the in vivo release of Glu after neuronal depolarization in striatum and in the frequency and amplitude of miniature EPSCs in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Despite overexpression of Glud1 in all neurons of the CNS, the Tg mice suffered neuronal losses in select brain regions (e.g., the CA1 but not the CA3 region). In vulnerable regions, Tg mice had decreases in MAP2A labeling of dendrites and in synaptophysin labeling of presynaptic terminals; the decreases in neuronal numbers and dendrite and presynaptic terminal labeling increased with advancing age. In addition, the Tg mice exhibited decreases in long-term potentiation of synaptic activity and in spine density in dendrites of CA1 neurons. Behaviorally, the Tg mice were significantly more resistant than wild-type mice to induction and duration of anesthesia produced by anesthetics that suppress Glu neurotransmission. The Glud1 mouse might be a useful model for the effects of lifelong excess synaptic Glu release on CNS neurons and for age-associated neurodegenerative processes. PMID:19890003

  5. Synaptic Basis for Cross-modal Plasticity: Enhanced Supragranular Dendritic Spine Density in Anterior Ectosylvian Auditory Cortex of the Early Deaf Cat.

    PubMed

    Clemo, H Ruth; Lomber, Stephen G; Meredith, M Alex

    2016-04-01

    In the cat, the auditory field of the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (FAES) is sensitive to auditory cues and its deactivation leads to orienting deficits toward acoustic, but not visual, stimuli. However, in early deaf cats, FAES activity shifts to the visual modality and its deactivation blocks orienting toward visual stimuli. Thus, as in other auditory cortices, hearing loss leads to cross-modal plasticity in the FAES. However, the synaptic basis for cross-modal plasticity is unknown. Therefore, the present study examined the effect of early deafness on the density, distribution, and size of dendritic spines in the FAES. Young cats were ototoxically deafened and raised until adulthood when they (and hearing controls) were euthanized, the cortex stained using Golgi-Cox, and FAES neurons examined using light microscopy. FAES dendritic spine density averaged 0.85 spines/μm in hearing animals, but was significantly higher (0.95 spines/μm) in the early deaf. Size distributions and increased spine density were evident specifically on apical dendrites of supragranular neurons. In separate tracer experiments, cross-modal cortical projections were shown to terminate predominantly within the supragranular layers of the FAES. This distributional correspondence between projection terminals and dendritic spine changes indicates that cross-modal plasticity is synaptically based within the supragranular layers of the early deaf FAES. PMID:25274986

  6. Coping and Communication-Enhancing Intervention versus Supportive Counseling for Women Diagnosed with Gynecological Cancers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manne, Sharon L.; Rubin, Stephen; Edelson, Mitchell; Rosenblum, Norman; Bergman, Cynthia; Hernandez, Enrique; Carlson, John; Rocereto, Thomas; Winkel, Gary

    2007-01-01

    This study compared the efficacy of 2 psychological interventions, a coping and communication-enhancing intervention (CCI) and supportive counseling (SC), in reducing depressive symptoms and cancer-specific distress of women diagnosed with gynecological cancer. Demographic, medical, and psychological moderators of intervention effects were…

  7. Communication Enhancement Project. Manitoba Pool Elevators and United Grain Growers. Phase One Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howell, Sandi

    In 1992, United Grain Growers (UGG) and Manitoba Pool (MP) formed a partnership to examine the literacy and numeracy needs of their rural grain elevator operators and the potential of delivering a communications enhancement program in the rural areas. During part 1, the committee held a series of initial planning meetings. Both companies held…

  8. NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT TO ENHANCE AND IMPROVE COMMUNICATIONS AT USEPA'S NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

    EPA Science Inventory

    New media technology (NT) interactive applications are currently being developed in house at ORD/NRMRL to enhance and improve communication of NRMRL's 1) research projects, 2) workshops/conferences and 3) specialized training. NT is an exciting mix of cutting-edge information tec...

  9. Enhancing Willingness to Communicate: Relative Effects of Visualization and Goal Setting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munezane, Yoko

    2015-01-01

    This article examines the relative effects of two treatments--goal setting and visualization--on enhancing Willingness to Communicate (WTC) among a group of 373 Japanese university EFL learners. Although longitudinal studies in both EFL and ESL settings have been conducted to examine the developmental aspect of WTC, no solid results of enhancing…

  10. 77 FR 40072 - Assessment of the Program for Enhanced Review Transparency and Communication for New Molecular...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-06

    ...The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the statement of work for an assessment of the Program for Enhanced Review Transparency and Communication for New Molecular Entity (NME) New Drug Applications (NDAs) and Original Biologics License Applications (BLAs) (the Program). The Program is part of the FDA performance commitments under the proposed......

  11. Enhancing the Utilization of Information Communication Technology (ICT) among Home Economics Lecturers in South Eastern Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ejinkeonye, Uju Bridget; Usoroh, Comfort I.

    2016-01-01

    The study was on enhancing the utilization of information communication Technology (ICT) among Home Economics lecturers in south Eastern Nigeria. The study adopted a survey method. The area of the study is south eastern Nigeria. Three research questions guided the study. The population was made up of 63 Home Economics lecturers from the six…

  12. Enhancing Learning with Information and Communication Technologies in Pre-School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stephen, Christine; Plowman, Lydia

    2008-01-01

    Earlier observations suggested that young children's engagement with information and communication technologies (ICT) could be unproductive. Interplay: Play, Learning and ICT in Pre-school Settings set out to explore how practitioners can enhance three-year-olds' to four-year-olds' encounters with new technologies in the playroom. The study took…

  13. Use of Information and Communication Technology to Enhance the Information Literacy Skills of Distance Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pastula, Matthew

    2010-01-01

    Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become an integral tool in enhancing library services worldwide. This article looks at ways technology is utilized at Massey University to bridge the gap between distance students and traditional library services. There are a variety of software providers, formats and implementation practices…

  14. Music and Sign Language to Promote Infant and Toddler Communication and Enhance Parent-Child Interaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colwell, Cynthia; Memmott, Jenny; Meeker-Miller, Anne

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of using music and/or sign language to promote early communication in infants and toddlers (6-20 months) and to enhance parent-child interactions. Three groups used for this study were pairs of participants (care-giver(s) and child) assigned to each group: 1) Music Alone 2) Sign Language…

  15. Grade/Study-Performance Contracts, Enhanced Communication, Cooperative Learning, and Student Performance in Undergraduate Organic Chemistry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dougherty, Ralph C.

    1997-01-01

    Describes and evaluates a teaching strategy, designed to increase student retention while maintaining academic performance levels in undergraduate organic chemistry, that uses grade/study-performance contracts, enhanced communication using electronic mail, and cooperative learning. Concludes that a series of interventions can substantially…

  16. Enhancing Intercultural Communication and Understanding: Team Translation Project as a Student Engagement Learning Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Ping

    2015-01-01

    This paper reflects on a team translation project on Aboriginal culture designed to enhance university students' intercultural communication competence and understanding through engaging in an interactive team translation project funded by the Australia-China Council. A selected group of Chinese speaking translation students participated in the…

  17. Enhancing HIV Communication between Parents and Children: Efficacy of the Parents Matter! Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Kim S.; Lin, Carol Y.; Poulsen, Melissa N.; Fasula, Amy; Wyckoff, Sarah C.; Forehand, Rex; Long, Nicholas; Armistead, Lisa

    2011-01-01

    We examine efficacy of the Parents Matter! Program (PMP), a program to teach African-American parents of preadolescents sexual communication and HIV-prevention skills, through a multicenter, randomized control trial. A total of 1115 parent-child participants were randomized to one of three intervention arms (enhanced, brief, control). Percentages…

  18. A Review of Information and Communication Technology Enhanced Social Work Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chan, Chitat; Holosko, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Information and communications technology (ICT) has impacted almost all human service disciplines and currently is evolving in social work. This study provides a systematic review of ICT-enhanced social work interventions, with particular reference to their intervention fidelity (IF), validity, and the role of ICT in the helping…

  19. Relationship-Enhancing Communication Skills in Prime-Time Family-Oriented Situation Comedies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aust, Charles F.

    Television situation comedies have been criticized for their portrayal of dysfunctional family behavior. An exploratory content analysis study assessed the extent of relationship-enhancing communication skills in family-oriented, prime-time situation comedies, a genre frequently targeted for both scorn and praise. Three episodes each of five shows…

  20. How Can Mobile SMS Communication Support and Enhance a First Year Undergraduate Learning Environment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Geraldine; Edwards, Gabriele; Reid, Alan

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we discuss a case study investigating how the academic and personal development of first year students on an undergraduate sports education degree can be supported and enhanced with mobile SMS (Short Message Service) communication. SMS-based technologies were introduced in response to students' particular needs (in transition to…

  1. Method of Enhancing On-Board State Estimation Using Communication Signals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anzalone, Evan J. (Inventor); Chuang, Jason C. H. (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    A method of enhancing on-board state estimation for a spacecraft utilizes a network of assets to include planetary-based assets and space-based assets. Communication signals transmitted from each of the assets into space are defined by a common protocol. Data is embedded in each communication signal transmitted by the assets. The data includes a time-of-transmission for a corresponding one of the communication signals and a position of a corresponding one of the assets at the time-of-transmission. A spacecraft is equipped to receive the communication signals, has a clock synchronized to the space-wide time reference frame, and has a processor programmed to generate state estimates of the spacecraft. Using its processor, the spacecraft determines a one-dimensional range from itself to at least one of the assets and then updates its state estimates using each one-dimensional range.

  2. NMDA Receptors Mediate Synaptic Competition in Culture

    PubMed Central

    She, Kevin; Craig, Ann Marie

    2011-01-01

    Background Activity through NMDA type glutamate receptors sculpts connectivity in the developing nervous system. This topic is typically studied in the visual system in vivo, where activity of inputs can be differentially regulated, but in which individual synapses are difficult to visualize and mechanisms governing synaptic competition can be difficult to ascertain. Here, we develop a model of NMDA-receptor dependent synaptic competition in dissociated cultured hippocampal neurons. Methodology/Principal Findings GluN1 -/- (KO) mouse hippocampal neurons lacking the essential NMDA receptor subunit were cultured alone or cultured in defined ratios with wild type (WT) neurons. The absence of functional NMDA receptors did not alter neuron survival. Synapse development was assessed by immunofluorescence for postsynaptic PSD-95 family scaffold and apposed presynaptic vesicular glutamate transporter VGlut1. Synapse density was specifically enhanced onto minority wild type neurons co-cultured with a majority of GluN1 -/- neighbour neurons, both relative to the GluN1 -/- neighbours and relative to sister pure wild type cultures. This form of synaptic competition was dependent on NMDA receptor activity and not conferred by the mere physical presence of GluN1. In contrast to these results in 10% WT and 90% KO co-cultures, synapse density did not differ by genotype in 50% WT and 50% KO co-cultures or in 90% WT and 10% KO co-cultures. Conclusions/Significance The enhanced synaptic density onto NMDA receptor-competent neurons in minority coculture with GluN1 -/- neurons represents a cell culture paradigm for studying synaptic competition. Mechanisms involved may include a retrograde ‘reward’ signal generated by WT neurons, although in this paradigm there was no ‘punishment’ signal against GluN1 -/- neurons. Cell culture assays involving such defined circuits may help uncover the rules and mechanisms of activity-dependent synaptic competition in the developing nervous

  3. Synaptic vesicle pools: an update.

    PubMed

    Denker, Annette; Rizzoli, Silvio O

    2010-01-01

    During the last few decades synaptic vesicles have been assigned to a variety of functional and morphological classes or "pools". We have argued in the past (Rizzoli and Betz, 2005) that synaptic activity in several preparations is accounted for by the function of three vesicle pools: the readily releasable pool (docked at active zones and ready to go upon stimulation), the recycling pool (scattered throughout the nerve terminals and recycling upon moderate stimulation), and finally the reserve pool (occupying most of the vesicle clusters and only recycling upon strong stimulation). We discuss here the advancements in the vesicle pool field which took place in the ensuing years, focusing on the behavior of different pools under both strong stimulation and physiological activity. Several new findings have enhanced the three-pool model, with, for example, the disparity between recycling and reserve vesicles being underlined by the observation that the former are mobile, while the latter are "fixed". Finally, a number of altogether new concepts have also evolved such as the current controversy on the identity of the spontaneously recycling vesicle pool. PMID:21423521

  4. Synaptic Vesicle Pools: An Update

    PubMed Central

    Denker, Annette; Rizzoli, Silvio O.

    2010-01-01

    During the last few decades synaptic vesicles have been assigned to a variety of functional and morphological classes or “pools”. We have argued in the past (Rizzoli and Betz, 2005) that synaptic activity in several preparations is accounted for by the function of three vesicle pools: the readily releasable pool (docked at active zones and ready to go upon stimulation), the recycling pool (scattered throughout the nerve terminals and recycling upon moderate stimulation), and finally the reserve pool (occupying most of the vesicle clusters and only recycling upon strong stimulation). We discuss here the advancements in the vesicle pool field which took place in the ensuing years, focusing on the behavior of different pools under both strong stimulation and physiological activity. Several new findings have enhanced the three-pool model, with, for example, the disparity between recycling and reserve vesicles being underlined by the observation that the former are mobile, while the latter are “fixed”. Finally, a number of altogether new concepts have also evolved such as the current controversy on the identity of the spontaneously recycling vesicle pool. PMID:21423521

  5. A synaptic mechanism for network synchrony

    PubMed Central

    Alford, Simon T.; Alpert, Michael H.

    2014-01-01

    Within neural networks, synchronization of activity is dependent upon the synaptic connectivity of embedded microcircuits and the intrinsic membrane properties of their constituent neurons. Synaptic integration, dendritic Ca2+ signaling, and non-linear interactions are crucial cellular attributes that dictate single neuron computation, but their roles promoting synchrony and the generation of network oscillations are not well understood, especially within the context of a defined behavior. In this regard, the lamprey spinal central pattern generator (CPG) stands out as a well-characterized, conserved vertebrate model of a neural network (Smith et al., 2013a), which produces synchronized oscillations in which neural elements from the systems to cellular level that control rhythmic locomotion have been determined. We review the current evidence for the synaptic basis of oscillation generation with a particular emphasis on the linkage between synaptic communication and its cellular coupling to membrane processes that control oscillatory behavior of neurons within the locomotor network. We seek to relate dendritic function found in many vertebrate systems to the accessible lamprey central nervous system in which the relationship between neural network activity and behavior is well understood. This enables us to address how Ca2+ signaling in spinal neuron dendrites orchestrate oscillations that drive network behavior. PMID:25278839

  6. CPP-TRS(C): On using visual cognitive symbols to enhance communication effectiveness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tonfoni, Graziella

    1994-01-01

    Communicative Positioning Program/Text Representation Systems (CPP-TRS) is a visual language based on a system of 12 canvasses, 10 signals and 14 symbols. CPP-TRS is based on the fact that every communication action is the result of a set of cognitive processes and the whole system is based on the concept that you can enhance communication by visually perceiving text. With a simple syntax, CPP-TRS is capable of representing meaning and intention as well as communication functions visually. Those are precisely invisible aspects of natural language that are most relevant to getting the global meaning of a text. CPP-TRS reinforces natural language in human machine interaction systems. It complements natural language by adding certain important elements that are not represented by natural language by itself. These include communication intention and function of the text expressed by the sender, as well as the role the reader is supposed to play. The communication intention and function of a text and the reader's role are invisible in natural language because neither specific words nor punctuation conveys them sufficiently and unambiguously; they are therefore non-transparent.

  7. CPP-TRS(C): On using visual cognitive symbols to enhance communication effectiveness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonfoni, Graziella

    1994-11-01

    Communicative Positioning Program/Text Representation Systems (CPP-TRS) is a visual language based on a system of 12 canvasses, 10 signals and 14 symbols. CPP-TRS is based on the fact that every communication action is the result of a set of cognitive processes and the whole system is based on the concept that you can enhance communication by visually perceiving text. With a simple syntax, CPP-TRS is capable of representing meaning and intention as well as communication functions visually. Those are precisely invisible aspects of natural language that are most relevant to getting the global meaning of a text. CPP-TRS reinforces natural language in human machine interaction systems. It complements natural language by adding certain important elements that are not represented by natural language by itself. These include communication intention and function of the text expressed by the sender, as well as the role the reader is supposed to play. The communication intention and function of a text and the reader's role are invisible in natural language because neither specific words nor punctuation conveys them sufficiently and unambiguously; they are therefore non-transparent.

  8. Communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stouffer, Donald D.

    1990-01-01

    Communication in its many forms is a critical component for an effective Space Grant Program. Good communication is needed within individual Space Grant College/Consortia, for example between consortium affiliates and the consortium program office. Effective communication between the several programs, NASA Headquarters, and NASA field centers also is required. Further, communication among the above program elements, industry, local and state government, and the public also are necessary for meeting program objectives.

  9. An Evaluation of Protocol Enhancing Proxies and File Transport Protocols for Satellite Communication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finch, Patrick Eugene; Sullivan, Donald; Ivancic, William D.

    2012-01-01

    NASA is utilizing Global Hawk aircraft in high-altitude, long-duration Earth science missions. Communications with the onboard research equipment and sensors (the science payload) is via Ku-Band radio utilizing satellites in geostationary orbits. All payload communications use standard Internet Protocols and routing, and much of the data to be transferred is comprised of very large files. The science community is interested in fully utilizing these communication links to retrieve data as quickly and reliably as possible. A test bed was developed at NASA Ames to evaluate modern transport protocols as well as Protocol Enhancing Proxies (PEPs) to determine what tools best fit the needs of the science community. This paper describes the test bed used, the protocols, the PEPs that were evaluated, the particular tests performed and the results and conclusions.

  10. Roles for short-term synaptic plasticity in behavior.

    PubMed

    Fortune, Eric S; Rose, Gary J

    2002-01-01

    Short-term synaptic plasticity is phylogenetically widespread in ascending sensory systems of vertebrate brains. Such plasticity is found at all levels of sensory processing, including in sensory cortices. The functional roles of this apparently ubiquitous short-term synaptic plasticity, however, are not well understood. Data obtained in midbrain electrosensory neurons of Eigenmannia suggest that this plasticity has at least two roles in sensory processing; enhancing low-pass temporal filtering and generating phase shifts used in processing moving sensory images. Short-term synaptic plasticity may serve similar roles in other sensory modalities, including vision. PMID:14692501

  11. Retinal synaptic regeneration via microfluidic guiding channels.

    PubMed

    Su, Ping-Jung; Liu, Zongbin; Zhang, Kai; Han, Xin; Saito, Yuki; Xia, Xiaojun; Yokoi, Kenji; Shen, Haifa; Qin, Lidong

    2015-01-01

    In vitro culture of dissociated retinal neurons is an important model for investigating retinal synaptic regeneration (RSR) and exploring potentials in artificial retina. Here, retinal precursor cells were cultured in a microfluidic chip with multiple arrays of microchannels in order to reconstruct the retinal neuronal synapse. The cultured retinal cells were physically connected through microchannels. Activation of electric signal transduction by the cells through the microchannels was demonstrated by administration of glycinergic factors. In addition, an image-based analytical method was used to quantify the synaptic connections and to assess the kinetics of synaptic regeneration. The rate of RSR decreased significantly below 100 μM of inhibitor glycine and then approached to a relatively constant level at higher concentrations. Furthermore, RSR was enhanced by chemical stimulation with potassium chloride. Collectively, the microfluidic synaptic regeneration chip provides a novel tool for high-throughput investigation of RSR at the cellular level and may be useful in quality control of retinal precursor cell transplantation. PMID:26314276

  12. Cholesterol and synaptic vesicle exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Fratangeli, Alessandra

    2010-01-01

    Lipids may affect synaptic function in at least two ways: by acting as ligands for effector proteins [e.g., phosphatidylinositol (4,5) bisphosphate, diacylglycerol-mediated signaling] or by modifying the physicochemical properties and molecular organization of synaptic membranes. One that acts in the latter manner is cholesterol, an essential structural component of plasma membranes that is largely enriched in the membranes of synapses and synaptic vesicles, in which it may be involved in lipid-lipid and protein-lipid interactions. Cholesterol is an important constituent of the “membrane rafts” that may play a role in recruiting and organizing the specific proteins of the exocytic pathways. Furthermore, many synaptic proteins bind directly to cholesterol. The regulation of cholesterol and lipid levels may therefore influence the specific interactions and activity of synaptic proteins, and have a strong impact on synaptic functions. PMID:20798824

  13. Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Online-Offline, 1998

    1998-01-01

    This theme issue on communication includes annotated listings of Web sites, CD-ROM and computer software, videos, books, and professional resources that deal with various methods of communication. Sidebars discuss mythology, photojournalism, sharing ideas on the Web, and songs of protest. Suggestions for class activities are also included. (LRW)

  14. Cell–cell communication enhances the capacity of cell ensembles to sense shallow gradients during morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Ellison, David; Mugler, Andrew; Brennan, Matthew D.; Lee, Sung Hoon; Huebner, Robert J.; Shamir, Eliah R.; Woo, Laura A.; Kim, Joseph; Amar, Patrick; Nemenman, Ilya; Ewald, Andrew J.; Levchenko, Andre

    2016-01-01

    Collective cell responses to exogenous cues depend on cell–cell interactions. In principle, these can result in enhanced sensitivity to weak and noisy stimuli. However, this has not yet been shown experimentally, and little is known about how multicellular signal processing modulates single-cell sensitivity to extracellular signaling inputs, including those guiding complex changes in the tissue form and function. Here we explored whether cell–cell communication can enhance the ability of cell ensembles to sense and respond to weak gradients of chemotactic cues. Using a combination of experiments with mammary epithelial cells and mathematical modeling, we find that multicellular sensing enables detection of and response to shallow epidermal growth factor (EGF) gradients that are undetectable by single cells. However, the advantage of this type of gradient sensing is limited by the noisiness of the signaling relay, necessary to integrate spatially distributed ligand concentration information. We calculate the fundamental sensory limits imposed by this communication noise and combine them with the experimental data to estimate the effective size of multicellular sensory groups involved in gradient sensing. Functional experiments strongly implicated intercellular communication through gap junctions and calcium release from intracellular stores as mediators of collective gradient sensing. The resulting integrative analysis provides a framework for understanding the advantages and limitations of sensory information processing by relays of chemically coupled cells. PMID:26792522

  15. Communication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griner, James

    2010-01-01

    NASA s communication work for the UAS Command and Control area will build upon work currently being conducted under NASA Recovery Act funds. Communication portions of UAS NextGen ConOps, Stateof- the-Art assessment, and Gap Analysis. Preliminary simulations for UAS CNPC link scalability assessment. Surrogate UAS aircraft upgrades. This work will also leverage FY10 in-guide funding for communication link model development. UAS are currently managed through exceptions and are operating using DoD frequencies for line-of-sight (LOS) and satellite-based communications links, low-power LOS links in amateur bands, or unlicensed Instrument/Scientific/Medical (ISM) frequencies. None of these frequency bands are designated for Safety and Regularity of Flight. No radio-frequency (RF) spectrum has been allocated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) specifically for UAS command and control links, for either LOS or Beyond LOS (BLOS) communication.

  16. Cost effective optical coupling for enhanced rate polymer optical fiber communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandrappan, Jayakrishnan; Zhang, Jing; Ramana, Pamidighantam V.; Lau, John Hon Shing; Kwong, Dim Lee

    2008-02-01

    Recent developments in the short distance communication have made polymer optical fibers (POF) an attractive product in the high speed data communication market. The requirement of a large bandwidth, low cost, light weight and flexibility in installation have placed them over the copper cables especially in applications like home networking and automotives. Since POFs are large core multimoded fibers, their band width is limited by intermodal dispersion. This confines POFs application to low data rate short distance communications. Restrictive mode launchers (RML) and higher order mode strippers placed in the data link helps to reduce the intermodal dispersion. The techniques used to implement these signal conditioners should be simple and cost effective to keep POFs attractive in the short distance communication. In this paper we explore the possibility of integrating the RML and mode stripping elements in the transmitter and receiver package itself. The pre-designed optical signal conditioning elements are projected to get molded in the plastic packages and are fiber plug in modules. This connector less package design, universal to any light source proposes to enhance the data rate and is widely manufacturable at an ease of installation and low cost.

  17. Improving Outcomes for Children with Developmental Disabilities through Enhanced Communication and Collaboration between School Psychologists and Physicians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ritzema, Anne M.; Sladeczek, Ingrid E.; Ghosh, Shuvo; Karagiannakis, Anastasia; Manay-Quian, Natalia

    2014-01-01

    A renewed call for enhanced communication and collaboration between school psychology and medicine is envisioned, in light of a transdisciplinary model, where school psychologists, family physicians, and other health professionals transcend disciplinary boundaries. Recommendations for optimal communication and collaboration are described, as well…

  18. Synaptic plasticity with discrete state synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abarbanel, Henry D. I.; Talathi, Sachin S.; Gibb, Leif; Rabinovich, M. I.

    2005-09-01

    Experimental observations on synaptic plasticity at individual glutamatergic synapses from the CA3 Shaffer collateral pathway onto CA1 pyramidal cells in the hippocampus suggest that the transitions in synaptic strength occur among discrete levels at individual synapses [C. C. H. Petersen , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85, 4732 (1998); O’Connor, Wittenberg, and Wang, D. H. O’Connor , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (to be published); J. M. Montgomery and D. V. Madison, Trends Neurosci. 27, 744 (2004)]. This happens for both long term potentiation (LTP) and long term depression (LTD) induction protocols. O’Connor, Wittenberg, and Wang have argued that three states would account for their observations on individual synapses in the CA3-CA1 pathway. We develop a quantitative model of this three-state system with transitions among the states determined by a competition between kinases and phosphatases shown by D. H. O’Connor , to be determinant of LTP and LTD, respectively. Specific predictions for various plasticity protocols are given by coupling this description of discrete synaptic α -amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor ligand gated ion channel conductance changes to a model of postsynaptic membrane potential and associated intracellular calcium fluxes to yield the transition rates among the states. We then present various LTP and LTD induction protocols to the model system and report the resulting whole cell changes in AMPA conductance. We also examine the effect of our discrete state synaptic plasticity model on the synchronization of realistic oscillating neurons. We show that one-to-one synchronization is enhanced by the plasticity we discuss here and the presynaptic and postsynaptic oscillations are in phase. Synaptic strength saturates naturally in this model and does not require artificial upper or lower cutoffs, in contrast to earlier models of plasticity.

  19. Pannexin 1 regulates bidirectional hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult mice

    PubMed Central

    Ardiles, Alvaro O.; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; Toro-Ayala, Gabriela; Cárdenas, Ana M.; Palacios, Adrian G.; Muñoz, Pablo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Sáez, Juan C.; Martínez, Agustín D.

    2014-01-01

    The threshold for bidirectional modification of synaptic plasticity is known to be controlled by several factors, including the balance between protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, postsynaptic free Ca2+ concentration and NMDA receptor (NMDAR) composition of GluN2 subunits. Pannexin 1 (Panx1), a member of the integral membrane protein family, has been shown to form non-selective channels and to regulate the induction of synaptic plasticity as well as hippocampal-dependent learning. Although Panx1 channels have been suggested to play a role in excitatory long-term potentiation (LTP), it remains unknown whether these channels also modulate long-term depression (LTD) or the balance between both types of synaptic plasticity. To study how Panx1 contributes to excitatory synaptic efficacy, we examined the age-dependent effects of eliminating or blocking Panx1 channels on excitatory synaptic plasticity within the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. By using different protocols to induce bidirectional synaptic plasticity, Panx1 channel blockade or lack of Panx1 were found to enhance LTP, whereas both conditions precluded the induction of LTD in adults, but not in young animals. These findings suggest that Panx1 channels restrain the sliding threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity and underlying brain mechanisms of learning and memory. PMID:25360084

  20. Active music classes in infancy enhance musical, communicative and social development.

    PubMed

    Gerry, David; Unrau, Andrea; Trainor, Laurel J

    2012-05-01

    Previous studies suggest that musical training in children can positively affect various aspects of development. However, it remains unknown as to how early in development musical experience can have an effect, the nature of any such effects, and whether different types of music experience affect development differently. We found that random assignment to 6 months of active participatory musical experience beginning at 6 months of age accelerates acquisition of culture-specific knowledge of Western tonality in comparison to a similar amount of passive exposure to music. Furthermore, infants assigned to the active musical experience showed superior development of prelinguistic communicative gestures and social behaviour compared to infants assigned to the passive musical experience. These results indicate that (1) infants can engage in meaningful musical training when appropriate pedagogical approaches are used, (2) active musical participation in infancy enhances culture-specific musical acquisition, and (3) active musical participation in infancy impacts social and communication development. PMID:22490179

  1. Surface-plasmon enhanced photodetection at communication band based on hot electrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Kai; Zhan, Yaohui; Wu, Shaolong; Deng, Jiajia; Li, Xiaofeng

    2015-08-01

    Surface plasmons can squeeze light into a deep-subwavelength space and generate abundant hot electrons in the nearby metallic regions, enabling a new paradigm of photoconversion by the way of hot electron collection. Unlike the visible spectral range concerned in previous literatures, we focus on the communication band and design the infrared hot-electron photodetectors with plasmonic metal-insulator-metal configuration by using full-wave finite-element method. Titanium dioxide-silver Schottky interface is employed to boost the low-energy infrared photodetection. The photodetection sensitivity is strongly improved by enhancing the plasmonic excitation from a rationally engineered metallic grating, which enables a strong unidirectional photocurrent. With a five-step electrical simulation, the optimized device exhibits an unbiased responsivity of ˜0.1 mA/W and an ultra-narrow response band (FWHM = 4.66 meV), which promises to be a candidate as the compact photodetector operating in communication band.

  2. Reflections on learning and enhancing communication skills through community engagement: a student perspective.

    PubMed

    Hanks, S; Marples, C; Wall, E

    2016-07-22

    Students in Peninsula School of Dentistry (PSD), Plymouth, undertake community engagement projects during the first two years of their undergraduate curriculum. These projects involve interaction with a variety of specific community groups and the planning and delivery of an appropriate and meaningful oral health intervention. Many of the project outcomes are based on enhancing communication skills and encouraging students to transfer these into their patient treatment sessions. This report draws on the experience of students who undertook two specific projects to demonstrate how they feel this is achieved. PMID:27444599

  3. Technology and Research Requirements for Combating Human Trafficking: Enhancing Communication, Analysis, Reporting, and Information Sharing

    SciTech Connect

    Kreyling, Sean J.; West, Curtis L.; Olson, Jarrod

    2011-03-17

    DHS’ Science & Technology Directorate directed PNNL to conduct an exploratory study on the domain of human trafficking in the Pacific Northwest in order to examine and identify technology and research requirements for enhancing communication, analysis, reporting, and information sharing – activities that directly support efforts to track, identify, deter, and prosecute human trafficking – including identification of potential national threats from smuggling and trafficking networks. This effort was conducted under the Knowledge Management Technologies Portfolio as part of the Integrated Federal, State, and Local/Regional Information Sharing (RISC) and Collaboration Program.

  4. Synaptic Activity Regulates the Abundance and Binding of Complexin

    PubMed Central

    Wragg, Rachel T.; Gouzer, Géraldine; Bai, Jihong; Arianna, Gianluca; Ryan, Timothy A.; Dittman, Jeremy S.

    2015-01-01

    Nervous system function relies on precise chemical communication between neurons at specialized junctions known as synapses. Complexin (CPX) is one of a small number of cytoplasmic proteins that are indispensable in controlling neurotransmitter release through SNARE and synaptic vesicle interactions. However, the mechanisms that recruit and stabilize CPX are poorly understood. The mobility of CPX tagged with photoactivatable green fluorescent protein (pGFP) was quantified in vivo using Caenorhabditis elegans. Although pGFP escaped the synapse within seconds, CPX-pGFP displayed both fast and slow decay components, requiring minutes for complete exchange of the synaptic pool. The longer synaptic residence time of CPX arose from both synaptic vesicle and SNARE interactions, and surprisingly, CPX mobility depended on synaptic activity. Moreover, mouse CPX-GFP reversibly dispersed out of hippocampal presynaptic terminals during stimulation, and blockade of vesicle fusion prevented CPX dispersion. Hence, synaptic CPX can rapidly redistribute and this exchange is influenced by neuronal activity, potentially contributing to use-dependent plasticity. PMID:25809246

  5. Synaptic Plasticity and Translation Initiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klann, Eric; Antion, Marcia D.; Banko, Jessica L.; Hou, Lingfei

    2004-01-01

    It is widely accepted that protein synthesis, including local protein synthesis at synapses, is required for several forms of synaptic plasticity. Local protein synthesis enables synapses to control synaptic strength independent of the cell body via rapid protein production from pre-existing mRNA. Therefore, regulation of translation initiation is…

  6. Synaptic plasticity in the pathophysiology and treatment of bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Du, Jing; Machado-Vieira, Rodrigo; Khairova, Rushaniya

    2011-01-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that synaptic plasticity is intimately involved in the pathophysiology and treatment of bipolar disorder (BPD). Under certain conditions, over-strengthened and/or weakened synapses at different circuits in the brain could disturb brain functions in parallel, causing manic-like or depressive-like behaviors in animal models. In this chapter, we summarize the regulation of synaptic plasticity by medications, psychological conditions, hormones, and neurotrophic factors, and their correlation with mood-associated animal behaviors. We conclude that increased serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), acute corticosterone, and antidepressant treatments lead to enhanced synaptic strength in the hippocampus and also correlate with antidepressant-like behaviors. In contrast, inhibiting monoaminergic signaling, long-term stress, and pathophysiological concentrations of cytokines weakens glutamatergic synaptic strength in the hippocampus and is associated with depressive-like symptoms. PMID:25236555

  7. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    PubMed

    Kuzum, Duygu; Yu, Shimeng; Wong, H-S Philip

    2013-09-27

    In this paper, the recent progress of synaptic electronics is reviewed. The basics of biological synaptic plasticity and learning are described. The material properties and electrical switching characteristics of a variety of synaptic devices are discussed, with a focus on the use of synaptic devices for neuromorphic or brain-inspired computing. Performance metrics desirable for large-scale implementations of synaptic devices are illustrated. A review of recent work on targeted computing applications with synaptic devices is presented. PMID:23999572

  8. Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Specificity

    PubMed Central

    Margeta, Milica A.; Shen, Kang

    2011-01-01

    Synapses are specialized junctions that mediate information flow between neurons and their targets. A striking feature of the nervous system is the specificity of its synaptic connections: an individual neuron will form synapses only with a small subset of available presynaptic and postsynaptic partners. Synaptic specificity has been classically thought to arise from homophilic or heterophilic interactions between adhesive molecules acting across the synaptic cleft. Over the past decade, many new mechanisms giving rise to synaptic specificity have been identified. Synapses can be specified by secreted molecules that promote or inhibit synaptogenesis, and their source can be a neighboring guidepost cell, not just presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons. Furthermore, lineage, fate, and timing of development can also play critical roles in shaping neural circuits. Future work utilizing large-scale screens will aim to elucidate the full scope of cellular mechanisms and molecular players that can give rise to synaptic specificity. PMID:19969086

  9. A Model of Synaptic Reconsolidation

    PubMed Central

    Kastner, David B.; Schwalger, Tilo; Ziegler, Lorric; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2016-01-01

    Reconsolidation of memories has mostly been studied at the behavioral and molecular level. Here, we put forward a simple extension of existing computational models of synaptic consolidation to capture hippocampal slice experiments that have been interpreted as reconsolidation at the synaptic level. The model implements reconsolidation through stabilization of consolidated synapses by stabilizing entities combined with an activity-dependent reservoir of stabilizing entities that are immune to protein synthesis inhibition (PSI). We derive a reduced version of our model to explore the conditions under which synaptic reconsolidation does or does not occur, often referred to as the boundary conditions of reconsolidation. We find that our computational model of synaptic reconsolidation displays complex boundary conditions. Our results suggest that a limited resource of hypothetical stabilizing molecules or complexes, which may be implemented by protein phosphorylation or different receptor subtypes, can underlie the phenomenon of synaptic reconsolidation. PMID:27242410

  10. Improving multidisciplinary communication at ward board rounds using video enhanced reflective practice

    PubMed Central

    Hellier, Cyril; Tully, Vicki; Forrest, Sandra; Jaggard, Pamela; MacRae, Morag; Habicht, Dirk; Greene, Alexandra; Collins, Karen

    2015-01-01

    The priority to ensure patient safety and use resources effectively, demands attention and innovation. Video enhanced reflective practice (VERP) provides training based upon analysis of film clips of one's professional practice to develop practical insight into the processes of communication, so that effective changes can be made to ongoing behaviour and practice. In this case the focus was on multi-disciplinary communication within daily board rounds on an acute medicine and care of the elderly ward. Baseline assessment and post intervention testing of perceptions of change by both full and core team were undertaken to establish the impact of VERP training. In addition pre and post focus group discussion and film analysis supplemented evaluation. The findings support the view that after VERP training of a core team, board rounds were seen as consistently easier to participate in, providing improved focus, were more efficient in goal setting and resulting in better care for patients as well as improved pathways to discharge. This suggests benefits to the communication “culture” of a multidisciplinary team resulting in increased benefits for the wider team. It is concluded that the use of tailored VERP training for personal, professional and team development is relevant, feasible, and worthy of further testing and investigation. PMID:26734342

  11. Modulation bandwidth enhancement of white-LED-based visible light communications using electrical equalizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwon, D. H.; Yang, S. H.; Han, S. K.

    2015-01-01

    Utilizing the modulation capability of LEDs, there have been many studies about convergence technology to combine illumination and communication. The visible light communication (VLC) system has several advantages such as high security, immunity to RF interference and lower additional cost than comparing to LEDs just for illumination. However, modulation bandwidth of LEDs is not enough for various wireless communication systems. Since the commercial LEDs are designed only for lighting systems; we need an effort to enhance the modulation characteristics of LEDs. When the area of LED is increased, internal junction capacitance of LED is also increased depending on the area of LEDs and then the RC delay time of LED is increased. As a result, the modulation bandwidth of LEDs is limited by large RC delay time. In addition, frequency response of commercial white LED is degraded by the slow response time of the used yellow phosphor. Thus, modulation bandwidth of VLC system is limited to several MHz which is not enough to accommodate high data rate transmission. In this paper, we designed equalization circuit using RLC component for compensating the white LEDs frequency response. Also, we used blue filtering to improve frequency response of white LEDs, which is degraded by yellow phosphorescent component. Power loss by optical filtering and distance is compensated by convex lens. Consequently, we extend the modulation bandwidth of VLC system from 3 MHz to more than 180 MHz, and it allows NRZ-OOK data transmission up to 400 Mbps at 50 cm.

  12. Classification: Molecular & Synaptic Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Lussier, Marc P.; Gu, Xinglong; Lu, Wei; Roche, Katherine W.

    2014-01-01

    Controlling the density of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) at synapses is essential for regulating the strength of excitatory neurotransmission. In particular, the phosphorylation of AMPARs is important for defining both synaptic expression and intracellular routing of receptors. Phosphorylation is a posttranslational modification known to regulate many cellular events and the C-termini of glutamate receptors are important targets. Recently, the first intracellular loop1 region of the GluA1 subunit of AMPARs was reported to regulate synaptic targeting through phosphorylation of S567 by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). Intriguingly, the loop1 region of all four AMPAR subunits contains many putative phosphorylation sites (S/T/Y), leaving the possibility that other kinases may regulate AMPAR surface expression via phosphorylation of the loop regions. To explore this hypothesis, we used in vitro phosphorylation assays with a small panel of purified kinases and found that casein kinase 2 (CK2) phosphorylates the GluA1 and GluA2 loop1 regions, but not GluA3 or GluA4. Interestingly, when we reduced the endogenous expression of CK2 using a specific shRNA against the regulatory subunit CK2β, we detected a reduction of GluA1 surface expression, whereas GluA2 was unchanged. Furthermore, we identified S579 of GluA1 as a substrate of CK2, and the expression of GluA1 phospho-deficient mutants in hippocampal neurons displayed reduced surface expression. Therefore, our study identifies CK2 as a regulator of GluA1 surface expression by phosphorylating the intracellular loop1 region. PMID:24712994

  13. Communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hathorn, S.

    1985-01-01

    An overview of NASA's Thin Route satellite telecommunication project is presented. Thin Route employs applications technology satellites (ATS) in place of more costly commercial multi- transponder telecommunications satellites. This system allows remote and underdeveloped areas to communicate with the outside world for purposes of obtaining medical assistance among other things. The system represents a substantial cost saving over commercial systems.

  14. Communications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailenson, Jeremy; Buzzanell, Patrice; Deetz, Stanley; Tewksbury, David; Thompson, Robert J.; Turow, Joseph; Bichelmeyer, Barbara; Bishop, M. J.; Gayeski, Diane

    2013-01-01

    Scholars representing the field of communications were asked to identify what they considered to be the most exciting and imaginative work currently being done in their field, as well as how that work might change our understanding. The scholars included Jeremy Bailenson, Patrice Buzzanell, Stanley Deetz, David Tewksbury, Robert J. Thompson, and…

  15. proBDNF negatively regulates neuronal remodeling, synaptic transmission, and synaptic plasticity in hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jianmin; Harte-Hargrove, Lauren C; Siao, Chia-Jen; Marinic, Tina; Clarke, Roshelle; Ma, Qian; Jing, Deqiang; Lafrancois, John J; Bath, Kevin G; Mark, Willie; Ballon, Douglas; Lee, Francis S; Scharfman, Helen E; Hempstead, Barbara L

    2014-05-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity shapes postnatal development of neural circuits, but the mechanisms that refine dendritic arbors, remodel spines, and impair synaptic activity are poorly understood. Mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP) via TrkB activation. BDNF is initially translated as proBDNF, which binds p75(NTR). In vitro, recombinant proBDNF modulates neuronal structure and alters hippocampal long-term plasticity, but the actions of endogenously expressed proBDNF are unclear. Therefore, we generated a cleavage-resistant probdnf knockin mouse. Our results demonstrate that proBDNF negatively regulates hippocampal dendritic complexity and spine density through p75(NTR). Hippocampal slices from probdnf mice exhibit depressed synaptic transmission, impaired LTP, and enhanced long-term depression (LTD) in area CA1. These results suggest that proBDNF acts in vivo as a biologically active factor that regulates hippocampal structure, synaptic transmission, and plasticity, effects that are distinct from those of mature BDNF. PMID:24746813

  16. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G

    2016-01-01

    Circadian rhythms refer to oscillations in biological processes with a period of approximately 24 h. In addition to the sleep/wake cycle, there are circadian rhythms in metabolism, body temperature, hormone output, organ function and gene expression. There is also evidence of circadian rhythms in synaptic plasticity, in some cases driven by a master central clock and in other cases by peripheral clocks. In this article, I review the evidence for circadian influences on synaptic plasticity. I also discuss ways to disentangle the effects of brain state and rhythms on synaptic plasticity. PMID:27420105

  17. Synaptic Tagging During Memory Allocation

    PubMed Central

    Rogerson, Thomas; Cai, Denise; Frank, Adam; Sano, Yoshitake; Shobe, Justin; Aranda, Manuel L.; Silva, Alcino J.

    2014-01-01

    There is now compelling evidence that the allocation of memory to specific neurons (neuronal allocation) and synapses (synaptic allocation) in a neurocircuit is not random and that instead specific mechanisms, such as increases in neuronal excitability and synaptic tagging and capture, determine the exact sites where memories are stored. We propose an integrated view of these processes, such that neuronal allocation, synaptic tagging and capture, spine clustering and metaplasticity reflect related aspects of memory allocation mechanisms. Importantly, the properties of these mechanisms suggest a set of rules that profoundly affect how memories are stored and recalled. PMID:24496410

  18. Visible light communications using predistortion signal to enhance the response of passive optical receiver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yang; Chen, Hung-Yu; Liang, Kevin; Wei, Liang-Yu; Chow, Chi-Wai; Yeh, Chien-Hung

    2016-01-01

    Traditional visible light communication (VLC) uses positive-intrinsic-negative photodiode (PD) or avalanche PD as the optical receivers (Rx). We demonstrate using a solar cell as the VLC Rx. The solar cell is flexible and low cost and converts the optical signal into an electrical signal directly without the need of external power supply. In addition to acting as the VLC passive Rx, the converted electrical signal from the solar cell can charge up the battery of the Rx nodes. Hence, the proposed scheme can be a promising candidate for the future Internet of Things network. However, a solar cell acting as a VLC Rx is very challenging, since the response of the solar cell is limited. Here, we propose and demonstrate using predistortion to significantly enhance the solar cell Rx response for the first time up to the authors' knowledge. Experimental results show that the response of the solar cell Rx is significantly enhanced; and the original 2-kHz detection bandwidth of the solar cell can be enhanced by 250 times for receiving 500-kbit/s VLC signal at a transmission distance of 1 m. The operation principle, the generated voltage by the solar cell, and the maximum data rates achieved at different transmission distances are also studied.

  19. Baicalein increases the cytotoxicity of cisplatin by enhancing gap junction intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yiwen; Wang, Qin; Zhang, Suzhi; Zhang, Yuan; Tao, Liang

    2014-07-01

    Drug resistance limits the clinical application of cisplatin, a widely used chemotherapeutic agent. Gap junction (GJ) is a channel that enhances cytotoxicity of certain chemotherapeutic agents. Baicalein is well known for its antitumor activity. This study investigated the effect of baicalein on cisplatin cytotoxicity and the relationship between this effect and the modulation of the GJ function in connexin 26 (Cx26)‑transfected HeLa cells. The sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay was used to examine the effect of baicalein on cell viability. A 'parachute' assay was used to investigate the effect of baicalein on GJ function. The effects of baicalein on cisplatin cytotoxicity and GJ function were assayed by standard colony‑forming assays. The expression of Cx26 was monitored by western blotting. It was observed that exposure of Cx26‑transfected cells to cisplatin reduced the number of colonies formed in low‑density cultures (no GJ formation) and in high‑density cultures (GJ formation), but the toxic effect was greater when cells were seeded at a high density. In the absence of connexin expression or with blockage of connexin channels however, cell density had no effect on cisplatin toxicity. Baicalein significantly enhanced cisplatin cytotoxicity, but this effect required the presence of functional GJs between the cells. In conclusion, the dependence of cisplatin toxicity on cell density is mediated by GJs. Baicalein increases cisplatin cytotoxicity through enhancing GJ intercellular communication. PMID:24736991

  20. Enhancement of the assessment of physician-patient communication skills in the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

    PubMed

    Hoppe, Ruth B; King, Ann M; Mazor, Kathleen M; Furman, Gail E; Wick-Garcia, Penelope; Corcoran-Ponisciak, Heather; Katsufrakis, Peter J

    2013-11-01

    The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) reviewed all components of the United States Medical Licensing Examination as part of a strategic planning activity. One recommendation generated from the review called for enhancements of the communication skills component of the Step 2 Clinical Skills (Step 2 CS) examination. To address this recommendation, the NBME created a multidisciplinary team that comprised experts in communication content, communication measurement, and implementation of standardized patient (SP)-based examinations. From 2007 through 2012, the team reviewed literature in physician-patient communication, examined performance characteristics of the Step 2 CS exam, observed case development and quality assurance processes, interviewed SPs and their trainers, and reviewed video recordings of examinee-SP interactions. The authors describe perspectives gained by their team from the review process and outline the resulting enhancements to the Step 2 CS exam, some of which were rolled out in June 2012. PMID:24072122

  1. Synaptic dynamics in analog VLSI.

    PubMed

    Bartolozzi, Chiara; Indiveri, Giacomo

    2007-10-01

    Synapses are crucial elements for computation and information transfer in both real and artificial neural systems. Recent experimental findings and theoretical models of pulse-based neural networks suggest that synaptic dynamics can play a crucial role for learning neural codes and encoding spatiotemporal spike patterns. Within the context of hardware implementations of pulse-based neural networks, several analog VLSI circuits modeling synaptic functionality have been proposed. We present an overview of previously proposed circuits and describe a novel analog VLSI synaptic circuit suitable for integration in large VLSI spike-based neural systems. The circuit proposed is based on a computational model that fits the real postsynaptic currents with exponentials. We present experimental data showing how the circuit exhibits realistic dynamics and show how it can be connected to additional modules for implementing a wide range of synaptic properties. PMID:17716003

  2. Diversity climate enhances work outcomes through trust and openness in workgroup communication.

    PubMed

    Hofhuis, Joep; van der Rijt, Pernill G A; Vlug, Martijn

    2016-01-01

    Diversity climate, defined as an organizational climate characterized by openness towards and appreciation of individual differences, has been shown to enhance outcomes in culturally diverse teams. To date, it remains unclear which processes are responsible for these findings. This paper presents two quantitative studies (n = 91; 246) that identify trust and openness in workgroup communication as possible mediators. We replicate earlier findings that perceived diversity climate positively relates to job satisfaction, sense of inclusion, work group identification and knowledge sharing in teams. In study 1, trust is shown to mediate the effects of perceived diversity climate on team members' sense of inclusion. In study 2, trust mediates the relationship between perceived diversity climate and workgroup identification and openness mediates its relationship with knowledge sharing. PMID:27375983

  3. Security-enhanced chaos communication with time-delay signature suppression and phase encryption.

    PubMed

    Xue, Chenpeng; Jiang, Ning; Lv, Yunxin; Wang, Chao; Li, Guilan; Lin, Shuqing; Qiu, Kun

    2016-08-15

    A security-enhanced chaos communication scheme with time delay signature (TDS) suppression and phase-encrypted feedback light is proposed, in virtue of dual-loop feedback with independent high-speed phase modulation. We numerically investigate the property of TDS suppression in the intensity and phase space and quantitatively discuss security of the proposed system by calculating the bit error rate of eavesdroppers who try to crack the system by directly filtering the detected signal or by using a similar semiconductor laser to synchronize the link signal and extract the data. The results show that TDS embedded in the chaotic carrier can be well suppressed by properly setting the modulation frequency, which can keep the time delay a secret from the eavesdropper. Moreover, because the feedback light is encrypted, without the accurate time delay and key, the eavesdropper cannot reconstruct the symmetric operation conditions and decode the correct data. PMID:27519064

  4. Time reversal multiple-input/multiple-output acoustic communication enhanced by parallel interference cancellation.

    PubMed

    Song, Aijun; Badiey, Mohsen

    2012-01-01

    Multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) techniques can lead to significant improvements of underwater acoustic communication capabilities. In this paper, receivers based on time reversal processing are developed for high frequency underwater MIMO channels. Time reversal followed by a single channel decision feedback equalizer, aided by frequent channel updates, is used to compensate for the time-varying inter-symbol interference. A parallel interference cancellation method is incorporated to suppress the co-channel interference in the MIMO system. The receiver performance is demonstrated by a 2008 shallow water experiment in Kauai, Hawaii. In the experiment, high frequency MIMO signals centered at 16 kHz were transmitted every hour during a 35 h period from an 8-element source array to a wide aperture 16-element vertical receiving array at 4 km range. The interference cancellation method is shown to generate significant performance enhancement, on average 2-4 dB in the output signal-to-noise ratio per data stream, throughout the 35 h MIMO transmissions. Further, communication performance and achieved data rates exhibit significant changes over the 35 h period as a result of stratification of the water column. PMID:22280591

  5. Surface-plasmon enhanced photodetection at communication band based on hot electrons

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Kai; Zhan, Yaohui E-mail: xfli@suda.edu.cn; Wu, Shaolong; Deng, Jiajia; Li, Xiaofeng E-mail: xfli@suda.edu.cn

    2015-08-14

    Surface plasmons can squeeze light into a deep-subwavelength space and generate abundant hot electrons in the nearby metallic regions, enabling a new paradigm of photoconversion by the way of hot electron collection. Unlike the visible spectral range concerned in previous literatures, we focus on the communication band and design the infrared hot-electron photodetectors with plasmonic metal-insulator-metal configuration by using full-wave finite-element method. Titanium dioxide-silver Schottky interface is employed to boost the low-energy infrared photodetection. The photodetection sensitivity is strongly improved by enhancing the plasmonic excitation from a rationally engineered metallic grating, which enables a strong unidirectional photocurrent. With a five-step electrical simulation, the optimized device exhibits an unbiased responsivity of ∼0.1 mA/W and an ultra-narrow response band (FWHM = 4.66 meV), which promises to be a candidate as the compact photodetector operating in communication band.

  6. Fbxo45, a Novel Ubiquitin Ligase, Regulates Synaptic Activity*

    PubMed Central

    Tada, Hirobumi; Okano, Hirotaka James; Takagi, Hiroshi; Shibata, Shinsuke; Yao, Ikuko; Matsumoto, Masaki; Saiga, Toru; Nakayama, Keiichi I.; Kashima, Haruo; Takahashi, Takuya; Setou, Mitsutoshi; Okano, Hideyuki

    2010-01-01

    Neurons communicate with each other through synapses. To establish the precise yet flexible connections that make up neural networks in the brain, continuous synaptic modulation is required. The ubiquitin-proteasome system of protein degradation is one of the critical mechanisms that underlie this process, playing crucial roles in the regulation of synaptic structure and function. We identified a novel ubiquitin ligase, Fbxo45, that functions at synapses. Fbxo45 is evolutionarily conserved and selectively expressed in the nervous system. We demonstrated that the knockdown of Fbxo45 in primary cultured hippocampal neurons resulted in a greater frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. We also found that Fbxo45 induces the degradation of a synaptic vesicle-priming factor, Munc13-1. We propose that Fbxo45 plays an important role in the regulation of neurotransmission by modulating Munc13-1 at the synapse. PMID:19996097

  7. Communications and Control for Enhanced Autonomy in Underwater Vehicles for Deep Oceanographic Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakuba, M.; Kinsey, J. C.; Yoerger, D. R.; Whitcomb, L. L.; Camilli, R.; Murphy, C.; Bowen, A.; German, C. R.

    2010-12-01

    NASA’s Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) program is a science-driven program to produce advances in scientific and technological capabilities for planetary exploration. Oceanographic robotic vehicles and planetary exploration robots have proven to be highly effective scientific tools for performing scientific research in remote, extreme, and hostile environments that preclude direct human presence. In both domains, the planets and the world’s oceans, human oversight of remote robotic exploration can dramatically enhance scientific return in comparison to purely pre-planned missions by combining the perception, intelligence, and domain knowledge of the human operators with the super-human physical and sensory capabilities of robots. The degree of human oversight, however, is restricted in sea and space by physical limits on the bandwidth and time delay of communications between human operators and remote robotic platforms. Enhanced robotic autonomy can alleviate this obstacle. We present a communications and control architecture for underwater oceanographic robot vehicles that has permitted us to introduce elements of enhanced autonomy into operations with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) Nereus and Sentry. Our architecture is designed to facilitate: (1) autonomous distillation of scientific data and transmission of salient synopses from the remote vehicle to its human operators; (2) high-level near real-time human supervision and control of mission programming; (3) semi-supervised learning of environmental models for enhanced survey and search mission effectiveness. Specific capabilities our group has demonstrated include selective data delivery via acoustic link; near real-time reprogramming of vehicle mission programs during otherwise preplanned dives; and validation of autonomous decision-making processes with human-supervision. These elements have been recently demonstrated

  8. Communicative social capital and collective efficacy as determinants of access to health-enhancing resources in residential communities.

    PubMed

    Matsaganis, Matthew D; Wilkin, Holley A

    2015-04-01

    This article contributes to the burgeoning literature on the social determinants of health disparities. The authors investigate how communication resources and collective efficacy, independently and in combination, shape residents' access to health enhancing resources (including healthcare services, sources of healthier food options, and public recreation spaces) in their communities. Using random digit dial telephone survey data from 833 residents of South Los Angeles communities the authors show that communicative social capital-that is, an information and problem-solving resource that accrues to residents as they become more integrated into their local communication network of neighbors, community organizations, and local media-plays a significant role in access to health resources. This relationship is complicated by individuals' health insurance and health status, as communicative social capital magnifies the sense of absence of resources for those who are in worse health and lack insurance. Communicative social capital builds collective efficacy, which is positively related to access to health-enhancing resources, but it also mediates the negative relationship between communicative social capital and access to health resources. Residents with richer stores of communicative social capital and collective efficacy report better access to health resources. The authors conclude with a discussion of implications of these findings and suggestions for future research. PMID:25529115

  9. Persistent ERK Activation Maintains Learning-Induced Long-Lasting Modulation of Synaptic Connectivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen-Matsliah, Sivan Ida; Seroussi, Yaron; Rosenblum, Kobi; Barkai, Edi

    2008-01-01

    Pyramidal neurons in the piriform cortex from olfactory-discrimination (OD) trained rats undergo synaptic modifications that last for days after learning. A particularly intriguing modification is reduced paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) in the synapses interconnecting these cells; a phenomenon thought to reflect enhanced synaptic release. The…

  10. Molecular Motors and Synaptic Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Qian; Sheng, Zu-Hang

    2016-01-01

    Proper synaptic function requires the seamless integration of the transport, assembly, and regulation of synaptic components and structures. Inasmuch as the synapse is often distant from the neuronal cell body, newly synthesized synaptic proteins, the precursors of synaptic vesicles, active zone compartments, channels and receptors, and mitochondria, must be transported along lengthy neuronal processes to participate in synaptogenesis. Neuronal transport is mediated by motor proteins that associate with their cargoes via adaptors (or receptors) and that travel along the cytoskeleton network within the neuronal processes. Thus, the identity of membranous protein cargoes and the specificity of motor-cargo interactions are critical for correctly targeting cargoes and properly assembling synapses in developing neurons and in remodeling synapses of mature neurons in response to neuronal activity. In this article, the authors review recent progress in characterizing microtubule- and actin-based motor proteins that are involved in delivering synaptic components and discuss potential mechanisms underlying the formation of motor- receptor-cargo complexes that contribute to synaptogenesis and activity-induced synaptic plasticity. PMID:19218232

  11. Theoretical models of synaptic short term plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hennig, Matthias H.

    2013-01-01

    Short term plasticity is a highly abundant form of rapid, activity-dependent modulation of synaptic efficacy. A shared set of mechanisms can cause both depression and enhancement of the postsynaptic response at different synapses, with important consequences for information processing. Mathematical models have been extensively used to study the mechanisms and roles of short term plasticity. This review provides an overview of existing models and their biological basis, and of their main properties. Special attention will be given to slow processes such as calcium channel inactivation and the effect of activation of presynaptic autoreceptors. PMID:23626536

  12. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Rial, Daniel; Lemos, Cristina; Pinheiro, Helena; Duarte, Joana M; Gonçalves, Francisco Q; Real, Joana I; Prediger, Rui D; Gonçalves, Nélio; Gomes, Catarina A; Canas, Paula M; Agostinho, Paula; Cunha, Rodrigo A

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies combining pharmacological, behavioral, electrophysiological and molecular approaches indicate that depression results from maladaptive neuroplastic processes occurring in defined frontolimbic circuits responsible for emotional processing such as the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and ventral striatum. However, the exact mechanisms controlling synaptic plasticity that are disrupted to trigger depressive conditions have not been elucidated. Since glial cells (astrocytes and microglia) tightly and dynamically interact with synapses, engaging a bi-directional communication critical for the processing of synaptic information, we now revisit the role of glial cells in the etiology of depression focusing on a dysfunction of the "quad-partite" synapse. This interest is supported by the observations that depressive-like conditions are associated with a decreased density and hypofunction of astrocytes and with an increased microglia "activation" in frontolimbic regions, which is expected to contribute for the synaptic dysfunction present in depression. Furthermore, the traditional culprits of depression (glucocorticoids, biogenic amines, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF) affect glia functioning, whereas antidepressant treatments (serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs, electroshocks, deep brain stimulation) recover glia functioning. In this context of a quad-partite synapse, systems modulating glia-synapse bidirectional communication-such as the purinergic neuromodulation system operated by adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine-emerge as promising candidates to "re-normalize" synaptic function by combining direct synaptic effects with an ability to also control astrocyte and microglia function. This proposed triple action of purines to control aberrant synaptic function illustrates the rationale to consider the interference with glia dysfunction as a mechanism of action driving the design of future pharmacological tools to

  13. Synaptic Mechanisms of Blast-Induced Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Przekwas, Andrzej; Somayaji, Mahadevabharath R; Gupta, Raj K

    2016-01-01

    Blast wave-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common injuries to military personnel. Brain tissue compression/tension due to blast-induced cranial deformations and shear waves due to head rotation may generate diffuse micro-damage to neuro-axonal structures and trigger a cascade of neurobiological events culminating in cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders. Although diffuse axonal injury is regarded as a signature wound of mild TBI (mTBI), blast loads may also cause synaptic injury wherein neuronal synapses are stretched and sheared. This synaptic injury may result in temporary disconnect of the neural circuitry and transient loss in neuronal communication. We hypothesize that mTBI symptoms such as loss of consciousness or dizziness, which start immediately after the insult, could be attributed to synaptic injury. Although empirical evidence is beginning to emerge; the detailed mechanisms underlying synaptic injury are still elusive. Coordinated in vitro-in vivo experiments and mathematical modeling studies can shed light into the synaptic injury mechanisms and their role in the potentiation of mTBI symptoms. PMID:26834697

  14. Synaptic Mechanisms of Blast-Induced Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Przekwas, Andrzej; Somayaji, Mahadevabharath R.; Gupta, Raj K.

    2016-01-01

    Blast wave-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common injuries to military personnel. Brain tissue compression/tension due to blast-induced cranial deformations and shear waves due to head rotation may generate diffuse micro-damage to neuro-axonal structures and trigger a cascade of neurobiological events culminating in cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders. Although diffuse axonal injury is regarded as a signature wound of mild TBI (mTBI), blast loads may also cause synaptic injury wherein neuronal synapses are stretched and sheared. This synaptic injury may result in temporary disconnect of the neural circuitry and transient loss in neuronal communication. We hypothesize that mTBI symptoms such as loss of consciousness or dizziness, which start immediately after the insult, could be attributed to synaptic injury. Although empirical evidence is beginning to emerge; the detailed mechanisms underlying synaptic injury are still elusive. Coordinated in vitro–in vivo experiments and mathematical modeling studies can shed light into the synaptic injury mechanisms and their role in the potentiation of mTBI symptoms. PMID:26834697

  15. Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecules in Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Leshchyns'ka, Iryna

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder associated with the loss of synapses between neurons in the brain. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules are cell surface glycoproteins which are expressed at the synaptic plasma membranes of neurons. These proteins play key roles in formation and maintenance of synapses and regulation of synaptic plasticity. Genetic studies and biochemical analysis of the human brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid, and sera from AD patients indicate that levels and function of synaptic cell adhesion molecules are affected in AD. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules interact with Aβ, a peptide accumulating in AD brains, which affects their expression and synaptic localization. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules also regulate the production of Aβ via interaction with the key enzymes involved in Aβ formation. Aβ-dependent changes in synaptic adhesion affect the function and integrity of synapses suggesting that alterations in synaptic adhesion play key roles in the disruption of neuronal networks in AD. PMID:27242933

  16. Balance and stability of synaptic structures during synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Daniel; Bonhoeffer, Tobias; Scheuss, Volker

    2014-04-16

    Subsynaptic structures such as bouton, active zone, postsynaptic density (PSD) and dendritic spine, are highly correlated in their dimensions and also correlate with synapse strength. Why this is so and how such correlations are maintained during synaptic plasticity remains poorly understood. We induced spine enlargement by two-photon glutamate uncaging and examined the relationship between spine, PSD, and bouton size by two-photon time-lapse imaging and electron microscopy. In enlarged spines the PSD-associated protein Homer1c increased rapidly, whereas the PSD protein PSD-95 increased with a delay and only in cases of persistent spine enlargement. In the case of nonpersistent spine enlargement, the PSD proteins remained unchanged or returned to their original level. The ultrastructure at persistently enlarged spines displayed matching dimensions of spine, PSD, and bouton, indicating their correlated enlargement. This supports a model in which balancing of synaptic structures is a hallmark for the stabilization of structural modifications during synaptic plasticity. PMID:24742464

  17. Efficacy of Information and Communication Technology in Enhancing Learning Outcomes of Students with Hearing Impairment in Ibadan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Egaga, Patrick I.; Aderibigbe, S. Akinwumi

    2015-01-01

    The study aimed at examining the efficacy of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in enhancing learning outcomes of students with hearing impairment in Ibadan. The study adopted a pretest, post-test, control group quasi-experimental research design. Purposive sampling techniques was used for the selection of thirty participants…

  18. Mediators of a Coping and Communication-Enhancing Intervention and a Supportive Counseling Intervention among Women Diagnosed with Gynecological Cancers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manne, Sharon L.; Winkel, Gary; Rubin, Stephen; Edelson, Mitchell; Rosenblum, Norman; Bergman, Cynthia; Hernandez, Enrique; Carlson, John; Rocereto, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    The authors evaluated mechanisms of change for a coping and communication-enhancing intervention (CCI) and supportive counseling (SC). They proposed that the effects of CCI on depressive symptoms would be mediated by psychological processes targeted by CCI, namely increases in the following: positive reappraisal, acceptance, planful problem…

  19. Dephosphorylated synapsin I anchors synaptic vesicles to actin cytoskeleton: an analysis by videomicroscopy.

    PubMed

    Ceccaldi, P E; Grohovaz, F; Benfenati, F; Chieregatti, E; Greengard, P; Valtorta, F

    1995-03-01

    Synapsin I is a synaptic vesicle-associated protein which inhibits neurotransmitter release, an effect which is abolished upon its phosphorylation by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II). Based on indirect evidence, it was suggested that this effect on neurotransmitter release may be achieved by the reversible anchoring of synaptic vesicles to the actin cytoskeleton of the nerve terminal. Using video-enhanced microscopy, we have now obtained experimental evidence in support of this model: the presence of dephosphorylated synapsin I is necessary for synaptic vesicles to bind actin; synapsin I is able to promote actin polymerization and bundling of actin filaments in the presence of synaptic vesicles; the ability to cross-link synaptic vesicles and actin is specific for synapsin I and is not shared by other basic proteins; the cross-linking between synaptic vesicles and actin is specific for the membrane of synaptic vesicles and does not reflect either a non-specific binding of membranes to the highly surface active synapsin I molecule or trapping of vesicles within the thick bundles of actin filaments; the formation of the ternary complex is virtually abolished when synapsin I is phosphorylated by CaM kinase II. The data indicate that synapsin I markedly affects synaptic vesicle traffic and cytoskeleton assembly in the nerve terminal and provide a molecular basis for the ability of synapsin I to regulate the availability of synaptic vesicles for exocytosis and thereby the efficiency of neurotransmitter release. PMID:7876313

  20. Communication and Intimacy-Enhancing Interventions for Men Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and Their Partners

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Christian J.; Kenowitz, Joslyn

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The sexual dysfunction following prostate cancer treatments often leads to a reduction in intimate contact for couples. A number of psychosocial interventions have been developed to enhance intimacy in these couples. This paper reviews three of these interventions and is a summary of a presentation given as part of a symposium at the 2011 Cancer Survivorship and Sexual Health Meeting. Aim The goal of this presentation was to: (i) review three types of psychosocial interventions; and (ii) describe the methodological issues highlighted by these interventions. Main Outcome Measures Validated measures of relationship intimacy and communication. Methods To be selected, the interventions had to be: a randomized control trial, focus on a couples approach to therapy, and report at least one relationship outcome. Results The results were not consistent within or across studies, and suggest that some specific aspects of the interventions may be helpful for the patient, while other aspects of the studies may be helpful for the partner. The Northouse et al. study suggests that partners may benefit from a focus on couple work, as compared to the patient. The Canada et al. study indicates that when focusing on sexual functioning, working with a couple did not show significant benefit compared to working with a man alone. The study did show, however, that a sexual-based intervention can improve the use of erectile dysfunction treatments and suggests patients may benefit from specific focus on side effects of treatment. The Manne et al. study highlights the importance of targeting these interventions to couples who report distress, and for distressed couples, an intervention can show positive results. Conclusions Intimacy enhancing interventions can be effective for couples, while the partners may benefit more from couples work; the patients may benefit more from focus on specific side effects. PMID:23387918

  1. MPTP-meditated hippocampal dopamine deprivation modulates synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu Guoqi; Chen Ying; Huang Yuying; Li Qinglin; Behnisch, Thomas

    2011-08-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD)-like symptoms including learning deficits are inducible by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Therefore, it is possible that MPTP may disturb hippocampal memory processing by modulation of dopamine (DA)- and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. We demonstrate here that intraperitoneal (i.p.) MPTP injection reduces the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) within 7 days. Subsequently, the TH expression level in SN and hippocampus and the amount of DA and its metabolite DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus decrease. DA depletion does not alter basal synaptic transmission and changes pair-pulse facilitation (PPF) of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) only at the 30 ms inter-pulse interval. In addition, the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) is impaired whereas the duration of long-term depression (LTD) becomes prolonged. Since both LTP and LTD depend critically on activation of NMDA and DA receptors, we also tested the effect of DA depletion on NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. Seven days after MPTP injection, the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSPs are decreased by about 23%. Blocking the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSP does not mimic the MPTP-LTP. Only co-application of D1/D5 and NMDA receptor antagonists during tetanization resembled the time course of fEPSP potentiation as observed 7 days after i.p. MPTP injection. Together, our data demonstrate that MPTP-induced degeneration of DA neurons and the subsequent hippocampal DA depletion alter NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. - Highlights: > I.p. MPTP-injection mediates death of dopaminergic neurons. > I.p. MPTP-injection depletes DA and DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus. > I.p. MPTP-injection does not alter basal synaptic transmission. > Reduction of LTP and enhancement of LTD after i.p. MPTP-injection. > Attenuation of NMDA-receptors mediated f

  2. Synaptic representation of locomotion in single cerebellar granule cells

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Kate; Mathy, Alexandre; Duguid, Ian; Häusser, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The cerebellum plays a crucial role in the regulation of locomotion, but how movement is represented at the synaptic level is not known. Here, we use in vivo patch-clamp recordings to show that locomotion can be directly read out from mossy fiber synaptic input and spike output in single granule cells. The increase in granule cell spiking during locomotion is enhanced by glutamate spillover currents recruited during movement. Surprisingly, the entire step sequence can be predicted from input EPSCs and output spikes of a single granule cell, suggesting that a robust gait code is present already at the cerebellar input layer and transmitted via the granule cell pathway to downstream Purkinje cells. Thus, synaptic input delivers remarkably rich information to single neurons during locomotion. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07290.001 PMID:26083712

  3. Long-term Synaptic Plasticity: Circuit Perturbation and Stabilization

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Sung-Cherl; Eun, Su-Yong

    2014-01-01

    At central synapses, activity-dependent synaptic plasticity has a crucial role in information processing, storage, learning, and memory under both physiological and pathological conditions. One widely accepted model of learning mechanism and information processing in the brain is Hebbian Plasticity: long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). LTP and LTD are respectively activity-dependent enhancement and reduction in the efficacy of the synapses, which are rapid and synapse-specific processes. A number of recent studies have a strong focal point on the critical importance of another distinct form of synaptic plasticity, non-Hebbian plasticity. Non-Hebbian plasticity dynamically adjusts synaptic strength to maintain stability. This process may be very slow and occur cell-widely. By putting them all together, this mini review defines an important conceptual difference between Hebbian and non-Hebbian plasticity. PMID:25598658

  4. Cell-specific synaptic plasticity induced by network oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Zarnadze, Shota; Bäuerle, Peter; Santos-Torres, Julio; Böhm, Claudia; Schmitz, Dietmar; Geiger, Jörg RP

    2016-01-01

    Gamma rhythms are known to contribute to the process of memory encoding. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and network levels. Using local field potential recording in awake behaving mice and concomitant field potential and whole-cell recordings in slice preparations we found that gamma rhythms lead to activity-dependent modification of hippocampal networks, including alterations in sharp wave-ripple complexes. Network plasticity, expressed as long-lasting increases in sharp wave-associated synaptic currents, exhibits enhanced excitatory synaptic strength in pyramidal cells that is induced postsynaptically and depends on metabotropic glutamate receptor-5 activation. In sharp contrast, alteration of inhibitory synaptic strength is independent of postsynaptic activation and less pronounced. Further, we found a cell type-specific, directionally biased synaptic plasticity of two major types of GABAergic cells, parvalbumin- and cholecystokinin-expressing interneurons. Thus, we propose that gamma frequency oscillations represent a network state that introduces long-lasting synaptic plasticity in a cell-specific manner. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14912.001 PMID:27218453

  5. Cell-specific synaptic plasticity induced by network oscillations.

    PubMed

    Zarnadze, Shota; Bäuerle, Peter; Santos-Torres, Julio; Böhm, Claudia; Schmitz, Dietmar; Geiger, Jörg Rp; Dugladze, Tamar; Gloveli, Tengis

    2016-01-01

    Gamma rhythms are known to contribute to the process of memory encoding. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and network levels. Using local field potential recording in awake behaving mice and concomitant field potential and whole-cell recordings in slice preparations we found that gamma rhythms lead to activity-dependent modification of hippocampal networks, including alterations in sharp wave-ripple complexes. Network plasticity, expressed as long-lasting increases in sharp wave-associated synaptic currents, exhibits enhanced excitatory synaptic strength in pyramidal cells that is induced postsynaptically and depends on metabotropic glutamate receptor-5 activation. In sharp contrast, alteration of inhibitory synaptic strength is independent of postsynaptic activation and less pronounced. Further, we found a cell type-specific, directionally biased synaptic plasticity of two major types of GABAergic cells, parvalbumin- and cholecystokinin-expressing interneurons. Thus, we propose that gamma frequency oscillations represent a network state that introduces long-lasting synaptic plasticity in a cell-specific manner. PMID:27218453

  6. Sumoylation in Synaptic Function and Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Schorova, Lenka; Martin, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Sumoylation has recently emerged as a key post-translational modification involved in many, if not all, biological processes. Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) polypeptides are covalently attached to specific lysine residues of target proteins through a dedicated enzymatic pathway. Disruption of the SUMO enzymatic pathway in the developing brain leads to lethality indicating that this process exerts a central role during embryonic and post-natal development. However, little is still known regarding how this highly dynamic protein modification is regulated in the mammalian brain despite an increasing number of data implicating sumoylated substrates in synapse formation, synaptic communication and plasticity. The aim of this review is therefore to briefly describe the enzymatic SUMO pathway and to give an overview of our current knowledge on the function and dysfunction of protein sumoylation at the mammalian synapse. PMID:27199730

  7. Grade/Performance Contracts, Enhanced Communication, Cooperative Learning and Student Performance in Undergraduate Organic Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougherty, Ralph C.

    1997-06-01

    This paper describes a grade/study-performance contract that was designed to increase student retention while maintaining academic performance levels in undergraduate organic chemistry. The experimental course included enhanced communication using electronic mail, and cooperative learning in addition to grade/study-performance contracts. The objective of the grade/study-performance contract was the development of learning skills with creation of a basis for unobtrusive auditing of performance. The retention rate in the experimental course was 0.82 for the first term and 0.93 for the second term. The overall retention was 0.76. This value was 3.8 times the average retention for the same sequence in the previous five years at the same institution. It was seven standard deviations away from the previous mean. The ACS Organic Chemistry Examination percentile score for the control section was 46+25 (n=117). The corresponding data for the experimental section was 53+23 (n=143). When the course was offered with the same instructor, cooperative learning, e-mail, but no grade/study-performance contract the ACS Exam percentile average 37+29. This represents a drop of 9.9 standard deviations for comparison of the means. We conclude that grade/study-performance contracts can be effective in increasing both student performance and retention in undergraduate organic chemistry.

  8. Clinical Decision Support System to Enhance Quality Control of Spirometry Using Information and Communication Technologies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background We recently demonstrated that quality of spirometry in primary care could markedly improve with remote offline support from specialized professionals. It is hypothesized that implementation of automatic online assessment of quality of spirometry using information and communication technologies may significantly enhance the potential for extensive deployment of a high quality spirometry program in integrated care settings. Objective The objective of the study was to elaborate and validate a Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) for automatic online quality assessment of spirometry. Methods The CDSS was done through a three step process including: (1) identification of optimal sampling frequency; (2) iterations to build-up an initial version using the 24 standard spirometry curves recommended by the American Thoracic Society; and (3) iterations to refine the CDSS using 270 curves from 90 patients. In each of these steps the results were checked against one expert. Finally, 778 spirometry curves from 291 patients were analyzed for validation purposes. Results The CDSS generated appropriate online classification and certification in 685/778 (88.1%) of spirometry testing, with 96% sensitivity and 95% specificity. Conclusions Consequently, only 93/778 (11.9%) of spirometry testing required offline remote classification by an expert, indicating a potential positive role of the CDSS in the deployment of a high quality spirometry program in an integrated care setting. PMID:25600957

  9. SynProt: A Database for Proteins of Detergent-Resistant Synaptic Protein Preparations

    PubMed Central

    Pielot, Rainer; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Müller, Anke; Landgraf, Peter; Lehmann, Anne-Christin; Eisenschmidt, Elke; Haus, Utz-Uwe; Weismantel, Robert; Gundelfinger, Eckart D.; Dieterich, Daniela C.

    2012-01-01

    Chemical synapses are highly specialized cell–cell contacts for communication between neurons in the CNS characterized by complex and dynamic protein networks at both synaptic membranes. The cytomatrix at the active zone (CAZ) organizes the apparatus for the regulated release of transmitters from the presynapse. At the postsynaptic side, the postsynaptic density constitutes the machinery for detection, integration, and transduction of the transmitter signal. Both pre- and postsynaptic protein networks represent the molecular substrates for synaptic plasticity. Their function can be altered both by regulating their composition and by post-translational modification of their components. For a comprehensive understanding of synaptic networks the entire ensemble of synaptic proteins has to be considered. To support this, we established a comprehensive database for synaptic junction proteins (SynProt database) primarily based on proteomics data obtained from biochemical preparations of detergent-resistant synaptic junctions. The database currently contains 2,788 non-redundant entries of rat, mouse, and some human proteins, which mainly have been manually extracted from 12 proteomic studies and annotated for synaptic subcellular localization. Each dataset is completed with manually added information including protein classifiers as well as automatically retrieved and updated information from public databases (UniProt and PubMed). We intend that the database will be used to support modeling of synaptic protein networks and rational experimental design. PMID:22737123

  10. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A enters a non-recycling pool of synaptic vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Harper, Callista B.; Papadopulos, Andreas; Martin, Sally; Matthews, Daniel R.; Morgan, Garry P.; Nguyen, Tam H.; Wang, Tong; Nair, Deepak; Choquet, Daniel; Meunier, Frederic A.

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal communication relies on synaptic vesicles undergoing regulated exocytosis and recycling for multiple rounds of fusion. Whether all synaptic vesicles have identical protein content has been challenged, suggesting that their recycling ability may differ greatly. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A) is a highly potent neurotoxin that is internalized in synaptic vesicles at motor nerve terminals and induces flaccid paralysis. Recently, BoNT/A was also shown to undergo retrograde transport, suggesting it might enter a specific pool of synaptic vesicles with a retrograde trafficking fate. Using high-resolution microscopy techniques including electron microscopy and single molecule imaging, we found that the BoNT/A binding domain is internalized within a subset of vesicles that only partially co-localize with cholera toxin B-subunit and have markedly reduced VAMP2 immunoreactivity. Synaptic vesicles loaded with pHrodo-BoNT/A-Hc exhibited a significantly reduced ability to fuse with the plasma membrane in mouse hippocampal nerve terminals when compared with pHrodo-dextran-containing synaptic vesicles and pHrodo-labeled anti-GFP nanobodies bound to VAMP2-pHluorin or vGlut-pHluorin. Similar results were also obtained at the amphibian neuromuscular junction. These results reveal that BoNT/A is internalized in a subpopulation of synaptic vesicles that are not destined to recycle, highlighting the existence of significant molecular and functional heterogeneity between synaptic vesicles. PMID:26805017

  11. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A enters a non-recycling pool of synaptic vesicles.

    PubMed

    Harper, Callista B; Papadopulos, Andreas; Martin, Sally; Matthews, Daniel R; Morgan, Garry P; Nguyen, Tam H; Wang, Tong; Nair, Deepak; Choquet, Daniel; Meunier, Frederic A

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal communication relies on synaptic vesicles undergoing regulated exocytosis and recycling for multiple rounds of fusion. Whether all synaptic vesicles have identical protein content has been challenged, suggesting that their recycling ability may differ greatly. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A) is a highly potent neurotoxin that is internalized in synaptic vesicles at motor nerve terminals and induces flaccid paralysis. Recently, BoNT/A was also shown to undergo retrograde transport, suggesting it might enter a specific pool of synaptic vesicles with a retrograde trafficking fate. Using high-resolution microscopy techniques including electron microscopy and single molecule imaging, we found that the BoNT/A binding domain is internalized within a subset of vesicles that only partially co-localize with cholera toxin B-subunit and have markedly reduced VAMP2 immunoreactivity. Synaptic vesicles loaded with pHrodo-BoNT/A-Hc exhibited a significantly reduced ability to fuse with the plasma membrane in mouse hippocampal nerve terminals when compared with pHrodo-dextran-containing synaptic vesicles and pHrodo-labeled anti-GFP nanobodies bound to VAMP2-pHluorin or vGlut-pHluorin. Similar results were also obtained at the amphibian neuromuscular junction. These results reveal that BoNT/A is internalized in a subpopulation of synaptic vesicles that are not destined to recycle, highlighting the existence of significant molecular and functional heterogeneity between synaptic vesicles. PMID:26805017

  12. Spiritual Coping: A Gateway to Enhancing Family Communication During Cancer Treatment.

    PubMed

    Prouty, Anne M; Fischer, Judith; Purdom, Ann; Cobos, Everardo; Helmeke, Karen B

    2016-02-01

    The researchers examined the spiritual coping, family communication, and family functioning of 95 participants in 34 families by an online survey. Multilevel linear regression was used to test whether individuals' and families' higher endorsement of more use of spiritual coping strategies to deal with a member's cancer would be associated with higher scores on family communication and family functioning, and whether better communication would also be associated with higher family functioning scores. Results revealed that spiritual coping was positively associated with family communication, and family communication was positively associated with healthier family functioning. The researchers provide suggestions for further research. PMID:26311053

  13. Effectively using communication to enhance the provision of pediatric palliative care in an acute care setting

    PubMed Central

    Hubble, Rosemary; Trowbridge, Kelly; Hubbard, Claudia; Ahsens, Leslie; Ward-Smith, Peggy

    2008-01-01

    The capability of effectively communicating is crucial when providing palliative care, especially when the patient is a child. Communication among healthcare professionals with the child and family members must be clear, concise, and consistent. Use of a communication tool provides documentation for conversations, treatment plans, and specific desires related to care. This paper describes communication theory, portrays the use of this theory to develop a communication tool, and illustrates the use of this tool by multidisciplinary members of a healthcare team to provide pediatric palliative care. PMID:21197332

  14. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Rial, Daniel; Lemos, Cristina; Pinheiro, Helena; Duarte, Joana M.; Gonçalves, Francisco Q.; Real, Joana I.; Prediger, Rui D.; Gonçalves, Nélio; Gomes, Catarina A.; Canas, Paula M.; Agostinho, Paula; Cunha, Rodrigo A.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies combining pharmacological, behavioral, electrophysiological and molecular approaches indicate that depression results from maladaptive neuroplastic processes occurring in defined frontolimbic circuits responsible for emotional processing such as the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and ventral striatum. However, the exact mechanisms controlling synaptic plasticity that are disrupted to trigger depressive conditions have not been elucidated. Since glial cells (astrocytes and microglia) tightly and dynamically interact with synapses, engaging a bi-directional communication critical for the processing of synaptic information, we now revisit the role of glial cells in the etiology of depression focusing on a dysfunction of the “quad-partite” synapse. This interest is supported by the observations that depressive-like conditions are associated with a decreased density and hypofunction of astrocytes and with an increased microglia “activation” in frontolimbic regions, which is expected to contribute for the synaptic dysfunction present in depression. Furthermore, the traditional culprits of depression (glucocorticoids, biogenic amines, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF) affect glia functioning, whereas antidepressant treatments (serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs, electroshocks, deep brain stimulation) recover glia functioning. In this context of a quad-partite synapse, systems modulating glia-synapse bidirectional communication—such as the purinergic neuromodulation system operated by adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine—emerge as promising candidates to “re-normalize” synaptic function by combining direct synaptic effects with an ability to also control astrocyte and microglia function. This proposed triple action of purines to control aberrant synaptic function illustrates the rationale to consider the interference with glia dysfunction as a mechanism of action driving the design of future

  15. Membrane-derived phospholipids control synaptic neurotransmission and plasticity.

    PubMed

    García-Morales, Victoria; Montero, Fernando; González-Forero, David; Rodríguez-Bey, Guillermo; Gómez-Pérez, Laura; Medialdea-Wandossell, María Jesús; Domínguez-Vías, Germán; García-Verdugo, José Manuel; Moreno-López, Bernardo

    2015-05-01

    Synaptic communication is a dynamic process that is key to the regulation of neuronal excitability and information processing in the brain. To date, however, the molecular signals controlling synaptic dynamics have been poorly understood. Membrane-derived bioactive phospholipids are potential candidates to control short-term tuning of synaptic signaling, a plastic event essential for information processing at both the cellular and neuronal network levels in the brain. Here, we showed that phospholipids affect excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission by different degrees, loci, and mechanisms of action. Signaling triggered by lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) evoked rapid and reversible depression of excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents. At excitatory synapses, LPA-induced depression depended on LPA1/Gαi/o-protein/phospholipase C/myosin light chain kinase cascade at the presynaptic site. LPA increased myosin light chain phosphorylation, which is known to trigger actomyosin contraction, and reduced the number of synaptic vesicles docked to active zones in excitatory boutons. At inhibitory synapses, postsynaptic LPA signaling led to dephosphorylation, and internalization of the GABAAγ2 subunit through the LPA1/Gα12/13-protein/RhoA/Rho kinase/calcineurin pathway. However, LPA-induced depression of GABAergic transmission was correlated with an endocytosis-independent reduction of GABAA receptors, possibly by GABAAγ2 dephosphorylation and subsequent increased lateral diffusion. Furthermore, endogenous LPA signaling, mainly via LPA1, mediated activity-dependent inhibitory depression in a model of experimental synaptic plasticity. Finally, LPA signaling, most likely restraining the excitatory drive incoming to motoneurons, regulated performance of motor output commands, a basic brain processing task. We propose that lysophospholipids serve as potential local messengers that tune synaptic strength to precedent activity of the neuron. PMID:25996636

  16. Synaptic potentiation onto habenula neurons in the learned helplessness model of depression.

    PubMed

    Li, Bo; Piriz, Joaquin; Mirrione, Martine; Chung, ChiHye; Proulx, Christophe D; Schulz, Daniela; Henn, Fritz; Malinow, Roberto

    2011-02-24

    The cellular basis of depressive disorders is poorly understood. Recent studies in monkeys indicate that neurons in the lateral habenula (LHb), a nucleus that mediates communication between forebrain and midbrain structures, can increase their activity when an animal fails to receive an expected positive reward or receives a stimulus that predicts aversive conditions (that is, disappointment or anticipation of a negative outcome). LHb neurons project to, and modulate, dopamine-rich regions, such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA), that control reward-seeking behaviour and participate in depressive disorders. Here we show that in two learned helplessness models of depression, excitatory synapses onto LHb neurons projecting to the VTA are potentiated. Synaptic potentiation correlates with an animal's helplessness behaviour and is due to an enhanced presynaptic release probability. Depleting transmitter release by repeated electrical stimulation of LHb afferents, using a protocol that can be effective for patients who are depressed, markedly suppresses synaptic drive onto VTA-projecting LHb neurons in brain slices and can significantly reduce learned helplessness behaviour in rats. Our results indicate that increased presynaptic action onto LHb neurons contributes to the rodent learned helplessness model of depression. PMID:21350486

  17. Synaptic potentiation onto habenula neurons in the learned helplessness model of depression

    SciTech Connect

    Li, B.; Schulz, D.; Li, B; Piriz, J.; Mirrione, M.; Chung, C.H.; Proulx, C.D.; Schulz, D.; Henn, F.; Malinow, R.

    2011-02-24

    The cellular basis of depressive disorders is poorly understood. Recent studies in monkeys indicate that neurons in the lateral habenula (LHb), a nucleus that mediates communication between forebrain and midbrain structures, can increase their activity when an animal fails to receive an expected positive reward or receives a stimulus that predicts aversive conditions (that is, disappointment or anticipation of a negative outcome). LHb neurons project to, and modulate, dopamine-rich regions, such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA), that control reward-seeking behaviour and participate in depressive disorders. Here we show that in two learned helplessness models of depression, excitatory synapses onto LHb neurons projecting to the VTA are potentiated. Synaptic potentiation correlates with an animal's helplessness behaviour and is due to an enhanced presynaptic release probability. Depleting transmitter release by repeated electrical stimulation of LHb afferents, using a protocol that can be effective for patients who are depressed, markedly suppresses synaptic drive onto VTA-projecting LHb neurons in brain slices and can significantly reduce learned helplessness behaviour in rats. Our results indicate that increased presynaptic action onto LHb neurons contributes to the rodent learned helplessness model of depression.

  18. Enhanced interprocessor communication strategies for parallel TMS320C40 digital signal processor systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartley, David A.; Harvey, David M.

    1993-11-01

    The Texas Instruments' TMS320C40 digital signal processor contains communication hardware which enables processors to be connected together to form multiprocessing systems. Analysis of the devices communication channels suggests that it would be beneficial to use additional communication hardware to maximize system performance. The use of mesh routing chips in conjunction with the processors has been investigated. The two devices are interfaced using two TMS320C40 communication channels. Lower message latencies can be achieved by using TMS320C40 communication channels to perform nearest neighbor communications while using the routing chips to perform all other message routing. However, the use of additional TMS320C40 channels can degrade the rate at which packets are injected and consumed from the network, resulting in under utilization of the network bandwidth.

  19. Synaptic dysfunction in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Picconi, Barbara; Piccoli, Giovanni; Calabresi, Paolo

    2012-01-01

    Activity-dependent modifications in synaptic efficacy, such as long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP), represent key cellular substrates for adaptive motor control and procedural memory. The impairment of these two forms of synaptic plasticity in the nucleus striatum could account for the onset and the progression of motor and cognitive symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), characterized by the massive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. In fact, both LTD and LTP are peculiarly controlled and modulated by dopaminergic transmission coming from nigrostriatal terminals. Changes in corticostriatal and nigrostriatal neuronal excitability may influence profoundly the threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity, and changes in striatal synaptic transmission efficacy are supposed to play a role in the occurrence of PD symptoms. Understanding of these maladaptive forms of synaptic plasticity has mostly come from the analysis of experimental animal models of PD. A series of cellular and synaptic alterations occur in the striatum of experimental parkinsonism in response to the massive dopaminergic loss. In particular, dysfunctions in trafficking and subunit composition of glutamatergic NMDA receptors on striatal efferent neurons contribute to the clinical features of the experimental parkinsonism. Interestingly, it has become increasingly evident that in striatal spiny neurons, the correct assembly of NMDA receptor complex at the postsynaptic site is a major player in early phases of PD, and it is sensitive to distinct degrees of DA denervation. The molecular defects at the basis of PD progression may be not confined just at the postsynaptic neuron: accumulating evidences have recently shown that the genes linked to PD play a critical role at the presynaptic site. DA release into the synaptic cleft relies on a proper presynaptic vesicular transport; impairment of SV trafficking, modification of DA flow, and altered presynaptic plasticity have

  20. Cortical Synaptic Inhibition Declines during Auditory Learning

    PubMed Central

    von Trapp, Gardiner; Mowery, Todd M.; Kotak, Vibhakar C.; Sanes, Dan H.

    2015-01-01

    Auditory learning is associated with an enhanced representation of acoustic cues in primary auditory cortex, and modulation of inhibitory strength is causally involved in learning. If this inhibitory plasticity is associated with task learning and improvement, its expression should emerge and persist until task proficiency is achieved. We tested this idea by measuring changes to cortical inhibitory synaptic transmission as adult gerbils progressed through the process of associative learning and perceptual improvement. Using either of two procedures, aversive or appetitive conditioning, animals were trained to detect amplitude-modulated noise and then tested daily. Following each training session, a thalamocortical brain slice was generated, and inhibitory synaptic properties were recorded from layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons. Initial associative learning was accompanied by a profound reduction in the amplitude of spontaneous IPSCs (sIPSCs). However, sIPSC amplitude returned to control levels when animals reached asymptotic behavioral performance. In contrast, paired-pulse ratios decreased in trained animals as well as in control animals that experienced unpaired conditioned and unconditioned stimuli. This latter observation suggests that inhibitory release properties are modified during behavioral conditioning, even when an association between the sound and reinforcement cannot occur. These results suggest that associative learning is accompanied by a reduction of postsynaptic inhibitory strength that persists for several days during learning and perceptual improvement. PMID:25904785

  1. Enhancing medical students' communication skills: development and evaluation of an undergraduate training program

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background There is a relative lack of current research on the effects of specific communication training offered at the beginning of the medical degree program. The newly developed communication training "Basics and Practice in Communication Skills" was pilot tested in 2008 and expanded in the following year at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany. The goal was to promote and improve the communicative skills of participants and show the usefulness of an early offered intervention on patient-physician communication within the medical curriculum. Methods The students participating in the project and a comparison group of students from the standard degree program were surveyed at the beginning and end of the courses. The survey consisted of a self-assessment of their skills as well as a standardised expert rating and an evaluation of the modules by means of a questionnaire. Results Students who attended the communication skills course exhibited a considerable increase of communication skills in this newly developed training. It was also observed that students in the intervention group had a greater degree of self-assessed competence following training than the medical students in the comparison group. This finding is also reflected in the results from a standardised objective measure. Conclusions The empirical results of the study showed that the training enabled students to acquire specialised competence in communication through the course of a newly developed training program. These findings will be used to establish new communication training at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf. PMID:22443807

  2. Investigating interactional competence using video recordings in ESL classrooms to enhance communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishnasamy, Hariharan N.

    2016-08-01

    Interactional competence, or knowing and using the appropriate skills for interaction in various communication situations within a given speech community and culture is important in the field of business and professional communication [1], [2]. Similar to many developing countries in the world, Malaysia is a growing economy and undergraduates will have to acquire appropriate communication skills. In this study, two aspects of the interactional communicative competence were investigated, that is the linguistic and paralinguistic behaviors in small group communication as well as conflict management in small group communication. Two groups of student participants were given a problem-solving task based on a letter of complaint. The two groups of students were video recorded during class hours for 40 minutes. The videos and transcription of the group discussions were analyzed to examine the use of language and interaction in small groups. The analysis, findings and interpretations were verified with three lecturers in the field of communication. The results showed that students were able to accomplish the given task using verbal and nonverbal communication. However, participation was unevenly distributed with two students talking for less than a minute. Negotiation was based more on alternative views and consensus was easily achieved. In concluding, suggestions are given on ways to improve English language communication.

  3. Synaptic dysfunction in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Bagetta, Vincenza; Ghiglieri, Veronica; Sgobio, Carmelo; Calabresi, Paolo; Picconi, Barbara

    2010-04-01

    In neuronal circuits, memory storage depends on activity-dependent modifications in synaptic efficacy, such as LTD (long-term depression) and LTP (long-term potentiation), the two main forms of synaptic plasticity in the brain. In the nucleus striatum, LTD and LTP represent key cellular substrates for adaptive motor control and procedural memory. It has been suggested that their impairment could account for the onset and progression of motor symptoms of PD (Parkinson's disease), a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the massive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons projecting to the striatum. In fact, a peculiar aspect of striatal plasticity is the modulation exerted by DA (dopamine) on LTP and LTD. Our understanding of these maladaptive forms of plasticity has mostly come from the electrophysiological, molecular and behavioural analyses of experimental animal models of PD. In PD, a host of cellular and synaptic changes occur in the striatum in response to the massive loss of DA innervation. Chronic L-dopa therapy restores physiological synaptic plasticity and behaviour in treated PD animals, but most of them, similarly to patients, exhibit a reduction in the efficacy of the drug and disabling AIMs (abnormal involuntary movements) defined, as a whole, as L-dopa-induced dyskinesia. In those animals experiencing AIMs, synaptic plasticity is altered and is paralleled by modifications in the postsynaptic compartment. In particular, dysfunctions in trafficking and subunit composition of NMDARs [NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors] on striatal efferent neurons result from chronic non-physiological dopaminergic stimulation and contribute to the pathogenesis of dyskinesias. According to these pathophysiological concepts, therapeutic strategies targeting signalling proteins coupled to NMDARs within striatal spiny neurons could represent new pharmaceutical interventions for PD and L-dopa-induced dyskinesia. PMID:20298209

  4. Non-communicable diseases and global health governance: enhancing global processes to improve health development

    PubMed Central

    Magnusson, Roger S

    2007-01-01

    This paper assesses progress in the development of a global framework for responding to non-communicable diseases, as reflected in the policies and initiatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and the UN: the institutions most capable of shaping a coherent global policy. Responding to the global burden of chronic disease requires a strategic assessment of the global processes that are likely to be most effective in generating commitment to policy change at country level, and in influencing industry behaviour. WHO has adopted a legal process with tobacco (the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control), but a non-legal, advocacy-based approach with diet and physical activity (the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health). The paper assesses the merits of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the FCTC as distinct global processes for advancing health development, before considering what lessons might be learned for enhancing the implementation of the Global Strategy on Diet. While global partnerships, economic incentives, and international legal instruments could each contribute to a more effective global response to chronic diseases, the paper makes a special case for the development of international legal standards in select areas of diet and nutrition, as a strategy for ensuring that the health of future generations does not become dependent on corporate charity and voluntary commitments. A broader frame of reference for lifestyle-related chronic diseases is needed: one that draws together WHO's work in tobacco, nutrition and physical activity, and that envisages selective use of international legal obligations, non-binding recommendations, advocacy and policy advice as tools of choice for promoting different elements of the strategy. PMID:17519005

  5. Non-communicable diseases and global health governance: enhancing global processes to improve health development.

    PubMed

    Magnusson, Roger S

    2007-01-01

    This paper assesses progress in the development of a global framework for responding to non-communicable diseases, as reflected in the policies and initiatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and the UN: the institutions most capable of shaping a coherent global policy. Responding to the global burden of chronic disease requires a strategic assessment of the global processes that are likely to be most effective in generating commitment to policy change at country level, and in influencing industry behaviour. WHO has adopted a legal process with tobacco (the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control), but a non-legal, advocacy-based approach with diet and physical activity (the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health). The paper assesses the merits of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the FCTC as distinct global processes for advancing health development, before considering what lessons might be learned for enhancing the implementation of the Global Strategy on Diet. While global partnerships, economic incentives, and international legal instruments could each contribute to a more effective global response to chronic diseases, the paper makes a special case for the development of international legal standards in select areas of diet and nutrition, as a strategy for ensuring that the health of future generations does not become dependent on corporate charity and voluntary commitments. A broader frame of reference for lifestyle-related chronic diseases is needed: one that draws together WHO's work in tobacco, nutrition and physical activity, and that envisages selective use of international legal obligations, non-binding recommendations, advocacy and policy advice as tools of choice for promoting different elements of the strategy. PMID:17519005

  6. Finite Post Synaptic Potentials Cause a Fast Neuronal Response

    PubMed Central

    Helias, Moritz; Deger, Moritz; Rotter, Stefan; Diesmann, Markus

    2011-01-01

    A generic property of the communication between neurons is the exchange of pulses at discrete time points, the action potentials. However, the prevalent theory of spiking neuronal networks of integrate-and-fire model neurons relies on two assumptions: the superposition of many afferent synaptic impulses is approximated by Gaussian white noise, equivalent to a vanishing magnitude of the synaptic impulses, and the transfer of time varying signals by neurons is assessable by linearization. Going beyond both approximations, we find that in the presence of synaptic impulses the response to transient inputs differs qualitatively from previous predictions. It is instantaneous rather than exhibiting low-pass characteristics, depends non-linearly on the amplitude of the impulse, is asymmetric for excitation and inhibition and is promoted by a characteristic level of synaptic background noise. These findings resolve contradictions between the earlier theory and experimental observations. Here we review the recent theoretical progress that enabled these insights. We explain why the membrane potential near threshold is sensitive to properties of the afferent noise and show how this shapes the neural response. A further extension of the theory to time evolution in discrete steps quantifies simulation artifacts and yields improved methods to cross check results. PMID:21427776

  7. Presynaptic clathrin levels are a limiting factor for synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    López-Murcia, Francisco J; Royle, Stephen J; Llobet, Artur

    2014-06-18

    To maintain communication, neurons must recycle their synaptic vesicles with high efficiency. This process places a huge burden on the clathrin-mediated endocytic machinery, but the consequences of this are poorly understood. We found that the amount of clathrin in a presynaptic terminal is not fixed. During stimulation, clathrin moves out of synapses as a function of stimulus strength and neurotransmitter release probability, which, together with membrane coat formation, transiently reduces the available pool of free clathrin triskelia. Correlative functional and morphological experiments in cholinergic autapses established by superior cervical ganglion neurons in culture show that presynaptic terminal function is compromised if clathrin levels fall by 20% after clathrin heavy chain knock down using RNAi. Synaptic transmission is depressed due to a reduction of cytoplasmic and readily releasable pools of vesicles. However, synaptic depression reverts after dialysis of exogenous clathrin, thus compensating RNAi-induced depletion. Lowering clathrin levels also reduces quantal size, which occurs concomitantly with a decrease in the size of synaptic vesicles. Large dense-core vesicles are unaffected by clathrin knock down. Together, our results show that clathrin levels are a dynamic property of presynaptic terminals that can influence short-term plasticity in a stimulus-dependent manner. PMID:24948816

  8. Reelin supplementation recovers synaptic plasticity and cognitive deficits in a mouse model for Angelman syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Hethorn, Whitney R; Ciarlone, Stephanie L; Filonova, Irina; Rogers, Justin T; Aguirre, Daniela; Ramirez, Raquel A; Grieco, Joseph C; Peters, Melinda M; Gulick, Danielle; Anderson, Anne E; L Banko, Jessica; Lussier, April L; Weeber, Edwin J

    2015-01-01

    The Reelin signaling pathway is implicated in processes controlling synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. A single direct in vivo application of Reelin enhances long-term potentiation, increases dendritic spine density and improves associative and spatial learning and memory. Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurological disorder that presents with an overall defect in synaptic function, including decreased long-term potentiation, reduced dendritic spine density, and deficits in learning and memory, making it an attractive model in which to examine the ability of Reelin to recover synaptic function and cognitive deficits. In this study, we investigated the effects of Reelin administration on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function in a mouse model of AS and demonstrated that bilateral, intraventricular injections of Reelin recover synaptic function and corresponding hippocampus-dependent associative and spatial learning and memory. Additionally, we describe alteration of the Reelin profile in tissue from both the AS mouse and post-mortem human brain. PMID:25864922

  9. LRRK2 regulates retrograde synaptic compensation at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction

    PubMed Central

    Penney, Jay; Tsurudome, Kazuya; Liao, Edward H.; Kauwe, Grant; Gray, Lindsay; Yanagiya, Akiko; R. Calderon, Mario; Sonenberg, Nahum; Haghighi, A. Pejmun

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease gene leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) has been implicated in a number of processes including the regulation of mitochondrial function, autophagy and endocytic dynamics; nevertheless, we know little about its potential role in the regulation of synaptic plasticity. Here we demonstrate that postsynaptic knockdown of the fly homologue of LRRK2 thwarts retrograde, homeostatic synaptic compensation at the larval neuromuscular junction. Conversely, postsynaptic overexpression of either the fly or human LRRK2 transgene induces a retrograde enhancement of presynaptic neurotransmitter release by increasing the size of the release ready pool of vesicles. We show that LRRK2 promotes cap-dependent translation and identify Furin 1 as its translational target, which is required for the synaptic function of LRRK2. As the regulation of synaptic homeostasis plays a fundamental role in ensuring normal and stable synaptic function, our findings suggest that aberrant function of LRRK2 may lead to destabilization of neural circuits. PMID:27432119

  10. Teaching Communication Ethics and Diversity: Using Technology and Community Engagement to Enhance Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swenson-Lepper, Tammy

    2012-01-01

    The workforce in the United States is becoming more diverse. To help students prepare to work and live in a diverse society, the author developed a lower-division course called "Communication Ethics and Diversity." After this course, students should be able to: (1) define diversity and communication ethics; (2) understand a variety of approaches…