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Sample records for functional brain plasticity

  1. Local inhibitory plasticity tunes macroscopic brain dynamics and allows the emergence of functional brain networks.

    PubMed

    Hellyer, Peter J; Jachs, Barbara; Clopath, Claudia; Leech, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Rich, spontaneous brain activity has been observed across a range of different temporal and spatial scales. These dynamics are thought to be important for efficient neural functioning. A range of experimental evidence suggests that these neural dynamics are maintained across a variety of different cognitive states, in response to alterations of the environment and to changes in brain configuration (e.g., across individuals, development and in many neurological disorders). This suggests that the brain has evolved mechanisms to maintain rich dynamics across a broad range of situations. Several mechanisms based around homeostatic plasticity have been proposed to explain how these dynamics emerge from networks of neurons at the microscopic scale. Here we explore how a homeostatic mechanism may operate at the macroscopic scale: in particular, focusing on how it interacts with the underlying structural network topology and how it gives rise to well-described functional connectivity networks. We use a simple mean-field model of the brain, constrained by empirical white matter structural connectivity where each region of the brain is simulated using a pool of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. We show, as with the microscopic work, that homeostatic plasticity regulates network activity and allows for the emergence of rich, spontaneous dynamics across a range of brain configurations, which otherwise show a very limited range of dynamic regimes. In addition, the simulated functional connectivity of the homeostatic model better resembles empirical functional connectivity network. To accomplish this, we show how the inhibitory weights adapt over time to capture important graph theoretic properties of the underlying structural network. Therefore, this work presents suggests how inhibitory homeostatic mechanisms facilitate stable macroscopic dynamics to emerge in the brain, aiding the formation of functional connectivity networks. PMID:26348562

  2. Brain plasticity and functionality explored by nonlinear optical microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacconi, L.; Allegra, L.; Buffelli, M.; Cesare, P.; D'Angelo, E.; Gandolfi, D.; Grasselli, G.; Lotti, J.; Mapelli, J.; Strata, P.; Pavone, F. S.

    2010-02-01

    In combination with fluorescent protein (XFP) expression techniques, two-photon microscopy has become an indispensable tool to image cortical plasticity in living mice. In parallel to its application in imaging, multi-photon absorption has also been used as a tool for the dissection of single neurites with submicrometric precision without causing any visible collateral damage to the surrounding neuronal structures. In this work, multi-photon nanosurgery is applied to dissect single climbing fibers expressing GFP in the cerebellar cortex. The morphological consequences are then characterized with time lapse 3-dimensional two-photon imaging over a period of minutes to days after the procedure. Preliminary investigations show that the laser induced fiber dissection recalls a regenerative process in the fiber itself over a period of days. These results show the possibility of this innovative technique to investigate regenerative processes in adult brain. In parallel with imaging and manipulation technique, non-linear microscopy offers the opportunity to optically record electrical activity in intact neuronal networks. In this work, we combined the advantages of second-harmonic generation (SHG) with a random access (RA) excitation scheme to realize a new microscope (RASH) capable of optically recording fast membrane potential events occurring in a wide-field of view. The RASH microscope, in combination with bulk loading of tissue with FM4-64 dye, was used to simultaneously record electrical activity from clusters of Purkinje cells in acute cerebellar slices. Complex spikes, both synchronous and asynchronous, were optically recorded simultaneously across a given population of neurons. Spontaneous electrical activity was also monitored simultaneously in pairs of neurons, where action potentials were recorded without averaging across trials. These results show the strength of this technique in describing the temporal dynamics of neuronal assemblies, opening promising perspectives in understanding the computations of neuronal networks.

  3. Functional Plasticity in Childhood Brain Disorders: When, What, How, and Whom to Assess

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Maureen; Spiegler, Brenda J.; Simic, Nevena; Sinopoli, Katia J.; Wilkinson, Amy; Yeates, Keith Owen; Taylor, H. Gerry; Bigler, Erin D.; Fletcher, Jack M.

    2014-01-01

    At every point in the lifespan, the brain balances malleable processes representing neural plasticity that promote change with homeostatic processes that promote stability. Whether a child develops typically or with brain injury, his or her neural and behavioral outcome is constructed through transactions between plastic and homeostatic processes and the environment. In clinical research with children in whom the developing brain has been malformed or injured, behavioral outcomes provide an index of the result of plasticity, homeostasis, and environmental transactions. When should we assess outcome in relation to age at brain insult, time since brain insult, and age of the child at testing? What should we measure? Functions involving reacting to the past and predicting the future, as well as social-affective skills, are important. How should we assess outcome? Information from performance variability, direct measures and informants, overt and covert measures, and laboratory and ecological measures should be considered. In whom are we assessing outcome? Assessment should be cognizant of individual differences in gene, socio-economic status (SES), parenting, nutrition, and interpersonal supports, which are moderators that interact with other factors influencing functional outcome. PMID:24821533

  4. Functional and Structural Brain Plasticity Enhanced by Motor and Cognitive Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Prosperini, Luca; Piattella, Maria Cristina

    2015-01-01

    Rehabilitation is recognized to be important in ameliorating motor and cognitive functions, reducing disease burden, and improving quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). In this systematic review, we summarize the existing evidences that motor and cognitive rehabilitation may enhance functional and structural brain plasticity in patients with MS, as assessed by means of the most advanced neuroimaging techniques, including diffusion tensor imaging and task-related and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In most cases, the rehabilitation program was based on computer-assisted/video game exercises performed in either an outpatient or home setting. Despite their heterogeneity, all the included studies describe changes in white matter microarchitecture, in task-related activation, and/or in functional connectivity following both task-oriented and selective training. When explored, relevant correlation between improved function and MRI-detected brain changes was often found, supporting the hypothesis that training-induced brain plasticity is specifically linked to the trained domain. Small sample sizes, lack of randomization and/or an active control group, as well as missed relationship between MRI-detected changes and clinical performance, are the major drawbacks of the selected studies. Knowledge gaps in this field of research are also discussed to provide a framework for future investigations. PMID:26064692

  5. Functional and Structural Brain Plasticity Enhanced by Motor and Cognitive Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Prosperini, Luca; Piattella, Maria Cristina; Giannì, Costanza; Pantano, Patrizia

    2015-01-01

    Rehabilitation is recognized to be important in ameliorating motor and cognitive functions, reducing disease burden, and improving quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). In this systematic review, we summarize the existing evidences that motor and cognitive rehabilitation may enhance functional and structural brain plasticity in patients with MS, as assessed by means of the most advanced neuroimaging techniques, including diffusion tensor imaging and task-related and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In most cases, the rehabilitation program was based on computer-assisted/video game exercises performed in either an outpatient or home setting. Despite their heterogeneity, all the included studies describe changes in white matter microarchitecture, in task-related activation, and/or in functional connectivity following both task-oriented and selective training. When explored, relevant correlation between improved function and MRI-detected brain changes was often found, supporting the hypothesis that training-induced brain plasticity is specifically linked to the trained domain. Small sample sizes, lack of randomization and/or an active control group, as well as missed relationship between MRI-detected changes and clinical performance, are the major drawbacks of the selected studies. Knowledge gaps in this field of research are also discussed to provide a framework for future investigations. PMID:26064692

  6. Brain functional plasticity associated with the emergence of expertise in extreme language control.

    PubMed

    Hervais-Adelman, Alexis; Moser-Mercer, Barbara; Golestani, Narly

    2015-07-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to longitudinally examine brain plasticity arising from long-term, intensive simultaneous interpretation training. Simultaneous interpretation is a bilingual task with heavy executive control demands. We compared brain responses observed during simultaneous interpretation with those observed during simultaneous speech repetition (shadowing) in a group of trainee simultaneous interpreters, at the beginning and at the end of their professional training program. Age, sex and language-proficiency matched controls were scanned at similar intervals. Using multivariate pattern classification, we found distributed patterns of changes in functional responses from the first to second scan that distinguished the interpreters from the controls. We also found reduced recruitment of the right caudate nucleus during simultaneous interpretation as a result of training. Such practice-related change is consistent with decreased demands on multilingual language control as the task becomes more automatized with practice. These results demonstrate the impact of simultaneous interpretation training on the brain functional response in a cerebral structure that is not specifically linguistic, but that is known to be involved in learning, in motor control, and in a variety of domain-general executive functions. Along with results of recent studies showing functional and structural adaptations in the caudate nuclei of experts in a broad range of domains, our results underline the importance of this structure as a central node in expertise-related networks. PMID:25869858

  7. Plasticity in the Developing Brain: Intellectual, Language and Academic Functions in Children with Ischaemic Perinatal Stroke

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ballantyne, Angela O.; Spilkin, Amy M.; Hesselink, John; Trauner, Doris A.

    2008-01-01

    The developing brain has the capacity for a great deal of plasticity. A number of investigators have demonstrated that intellectual and language skills may be in the normal range in children following unilateral perinatal stroke. Questions have been raised, however, about whether these skills can be maintained at the same level as the brain

  8. Zo Rebecca Hunter Plasticity of the adult human brain

    E-print Network

    Kallenrode, May-Britt

    Zoë Rebecca Hunter Plasticity of the adult human brain and motor recovery after stroke PICS © Institute of Cognitive Science #12;1 Bachelor's Thesis Plasticity of the adult human brain and motor of the adult human brain and the possibility of functional recovery through mechanisms of plasticity

  9. Augmentation-related brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Di Pino, Giovanni; Maravita, Angelo; Zollo, Loredana; Guglielmelli, Eugenio; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    Today, the anthropomorphism of the tools and the development of neural interfaces require reconsidering the concept of human-tools interaction in the framework of human augmentation. This review analyses the plastic process that the brain undergoes when it comes into contact with augmenting artificial sensors and effectors and, on the other hand, the changes that the use of external augmenting devices produces in the brain. Hitherto, few studies investigated the neural correlates of augmentation, but clues on it can be borrowed from logically-related paradigms: sensorimotor training, cognitive enhancement, cross-modal plasticity, sensorimotor functional substitution, use and embodiment of tools. Augmentation modifies function and structure of a number of areas, i.e., primary sensory cortices shape their receptive fields to become sensitive to novel inputs. Motor areas adapt the neuroprosthesis representation firing-rate to refine kinematics. As for normal motor outputs, the learning process recruits motor and premotor cortices and the acquisition of proficiency decreases attentional recruitment, focuses the activity on sensorimotor areas and increases the basal ganglia drive on the cortex. Augmentation deeply relies on the frontoparietal network. In particular, premotor cortex is involved in learning the control of an external effector and owns the tool motor representation, while the intraparietal sulcus extracts its visual features. In these areas, multisensory integration neurons enlarge their receptive fields to embody supernumerary limbs. For operating an anthropomorphic neuroprosthesis, the mirror system is required to understand the meaning of the action, the cerebellum for the formation of its internal model and the insula for its interoception. In conclusion, anthropomorphic sensorized devices can provide the critical sensory afferences to evolve the exploitation of tools through their embodiment, reshaping the body representation and the sense of the self. PMID:24966816

  10. Augmentation-related brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Di Pino, Giovanni; Maravita, Angelo; Zollo, Loredana; Guglielmelli, Eugenio; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    Today, the anthropomorphism of the tools and the development of neural interfaces require reconsidering the concept of human-tools interaction in the framework of human augmentation. This review analyses the plastic process that the brain undergoes when it comes into contact with augmenting artificial sensors and effectors and, on the other hand, the changes that the use of external augmenting devices produces in the brain. Hitherto, few studies investigated the neural correlates of augmentation, but clues on it can be borrowed from logically-related paradigms: sensorimotor training, cognitive enhancement, cross-modal plasticity, sensorimotor functional substitution, use and embodiment of tools. Augmentation modifies function and structure of a number of areas, i.e., primary sensory cortices shape their receptive fields to become sensitive to novel inputs. Motor areas adapt the neuroprosthesis representation firing-rate to refine kinematics. As for normal motor outputs, the learning process recruits motor and premotor cortices and the acquisition of proficiency decreases attentional recruitment, focuses the activity on sensorimotor areas and increases the basal ganglia drive on the cortex. Augmentation deeply relies on the frontoparietal network. In particular, premotor cortex is involved in learning the control of an external effector and owns the tool motor representation, while the intraparietal sulcus extracts its visual features. In these areas, multisensory integration neurons enlarge their receptive fields to embody supernumerary limbs. For operating an anthropomorphic neuroprosthesis, the mirror system is required to understand the meaning of the action, the cerebellum for the formation of its internal model and the insula for its interoception. In conclusion, anthropomorphic sensorized devices can provide the critical sensory afferences to evolve the exploitation of tools through their embodiment, reshaping the body representation and the sense of the self. PMID:24966816

  11. Evidence for potentials and limitations of brain plasticity using an atlas of functional resectability of WHO grade II gliomas: towards a "minimal common brain".

    PubMed

    Ius, Tamara; Angelini, Elsa; Thiebaut de Schotten, Michel; Mandonnet, Emmanuel; Duffau, Hugues

    2011-06-01

    Despite recent advances in non-invasive brain mapping imaging, the resectability of a given area in a patient harboring a WHO grade II glioma cannot be predicted preoperatively with high reliability, due to mechanisms of functional reorganization. Therefore, intraoperative mapping by direct electrical stimulation remains the gold standard for detection and preservation of eloquent areas during glioma surgery, because it enables to perform on-line anatomo-functional correlations. To study potentials and limitations of brain plasticity, we gathered 58 postoperative MRI of patients operated on for a WHO grade II glioma under direct electrical cortico-subcortical stimulation. Postoperative images were registered on the MNI template to construct an atlas of functional resectability for which each voxel represents the probability to observe residual non-resectable tumor, that is, non-compensable area. The resulting atlas offers a rigorous framework to identify areas with high plastic potential (i.e. with probabilities of residual tumor close to 0), with low compensatory capabilities (i.e. probabilities of residual tumor close to 1) and with intermediate level of resectability (probability around 0.5). The resulting atlas highlights the utmost importance of preserving a core of connectivity through the main associative pathways, namely, it supports the existence of a "minimal common brain" among patients. PMID:21414413

  12. Mapping plasticity in the forepaw digit barrel subfield of rat brains using functional MRI.

    PubMed

    Weng, Jun-Cheng; Chuang, Kai-Hsiang; Goloshevsky, Artem; Dodd, Stephen J; Sharer, Kathryn

    2011-01-15

    The topographic organization of the forepaw barrel subfield in layer IV of rat primary somatosensory cortex (S1) is a good model for studying neural function and plasticity. The goal of this study was to test the feasibility of functional MRI (fMRI) to map the forepaw digit representations in the S1 of the rat and its plasticity after digit amputation. Three dimensional echo-planar imaging with 300 micron isotropic resolution at 11.7 T was used to achieve high signal-to-noise ratios and laminar layer resolution. By alternating electrical stimulation of the 2nd (D2) and 4th (D4) digits, functional activation in layer IV of the barrel subfields could be distinguished using a differential analysis. Furthermore, 2 and a half months after the amputation of the 3rd digit in baby rats, the overlapping area between D2 and D4 representations was increased. This indicates that the forepaw barrel subfield previously associated with the ablated digit is now associated with the representation of nearby digits, which is consistent with studies using electrophysiology and cytochrome oxidase staining. PMID:20804851

  13. Morphological brain plasticity induced by musical expertise is accompanied by modulation of functional connectivity at rest.

    PubMed

    Fauvel, Baptiste; Groussard, Mathilde; Chételat, Gaël; Fouquet, Marine; Landeau, Brigitte; Eustache, Francis; Desgranges, Béatrice; Platel, Hervé

    2014-04-15

    The aim of this study was to explore whether musical practice-related gray matter increases in brain regions are accompanied by modifications in their resting-state functional connectivity. 16 young musically experienced adults and 17 matched nonmusicians underwent an anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a resting-state functional MRI (rsfMRI). A whole-brain two-sample t test run on the T1-weighted structural images revealed four clusters exhibiting significant increases in gray matter (GM) volume in the musician group, located within the right posterior and middle cingulate gyrus, left superior temporal gyrus and right inferior orbitofrontal gyrus. Each cluster was used as a seed region to generate and compare whole-brain resting-state functional connectivity maps. The two clusters within the cingulate gyrus exhibited greater connectivity for musicians with the right prefrontal cortex and left temporal pole, which play a role in autobiographical and semantic memory, respectively. The cluster in the left superior temporal gyrus displayed enhanced connectivity with several language-related areas (e.g., left premotor cortex, bilateral supramarginal gyri). Finally, the cluster in the right inferior frontal gyrus displayed more synchronous activity at rest with claustrum, areas thought to play a role in binding sensory and motor information. We interpreted these findings as the consequence of repeated collaborative use in general networks supporting some of the memory, perceptual-motor and emotional features of musical practice. PMID:24418502

  14. Neural prostheses and brain plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fallon, James B.; Irvine, Dexter R. F.; Shepherd, Robert K.

    2009-12-01

    The success of modern neural prostheses is dependent on a complex interplay between the devices' hardware and software and the dynamic environment in which the devices operate: the patient's body or 'wetware'. Over 120 000 severe/profoundly deaf individuals presently receive information enabling auditory awareness and speech perception from cochlear implants. The cochlear implant therefore provides a useful case study for a review of the complex interactions between hardware, software and wetware, and of the important role of the dynamic nature of wetware. In the case of neural prostheses, the most critical component of that wetware is the central nervous system. This paper will examine the evidence of changes in the central auditory system that contribute to changes in performance with a cochlear implant, and discuss how these changes relate to electrophysiological and functional imaging studies in humans. The relationship between the human data and evidence from animals of the remarkable capacity for plastic change of the central auditory system, even into adulthood, will then be examined. Finally, we will discuss the role of brain plasticity in neural prostheses in general.

  15. Chronic intermittent hypoxia-induced deficits in synaptic plasticity and neurocognitive functions: a role for brain-derived neurotrophic factor

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Hui; Yung, Wing-ho

    2012-01-01

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is well known for its metabolic as well as neurobehavioral consequences. Chronic intermittent hypoxia (IH) is a major component of OSA. In recent years, substantial advances have been made in elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the effect of chronic IH on neurocognitive functions, many of which are based on studies in animal models. A number of hypotheses have been put forward to explain chronic IH-induced neurological dysfunctions. Among these, the roles of oxidative stress and apoptosis-related neural injury are widely accepted. Here, focusing on results derived from animal studies, we highlight a possible role of reduced expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in causing impairment in long-term synaptic plasticity and neurocognitive functions during chronic IH. The possible relationship between BDNF and previous findings on this subject will be elucidated. PMID:22212429

  16. Ben's Plastic Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaplan, Susan L.

    2010-01-01

    This article shares a story of Ben who as a result of his premature birth, suffered a brain hemorrhage resulting in cerebral palsy, which affected his left side (left hemiparesis) and caused learning disabilities. Despite these challenges, he graduated from college and currently works doing information management for a local biotech start-up…

  17. Plasticity of cortical function related to voluntary movement motor learning and compensation following brain dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, K; Gemba, H

    1987-01-01

    Processes of motor learning and of compensation after localized brain dysfunction were studied in the monkey tasked with conditioned (visually-initiated, reaction-time) hand movements. Field potentials in various cortical areas of the cerebral hemisphere were recorded successively for many months with electrodes implanted on the surface and in the depth of the cortex. The potentials associated with the conditioned movement were found to change during processes of learning the movement and during courses of degradation as well as recovery after the brain dysfunction. Motor learning of the reaction-time movement can be categorized into "recognition" and "skill" learnings. The former is the process for associating the visual stimulus with the movement and accompanied mainly by increasing activities of prefrontal, premotor and prestriate cortices. The latter is attaining better performances in executing the movement, particularly with shorter and more fixed reaction time, and is accompanied by recruitment of the cerebro-cerebellar interaction. The conditioned movements which had been well established were experimentally disturbed by transient, local cooling of different cortical areas or by cerebellar hemispherectomy. Three possible mechanisms of compensation are proposed as follow: 1. Substitution: Compensation occurring immediately through substitutional neuronal circuits. On transient cooling of the forelimb motor cortex, the somatosensory cortex became predominant in motor function and replaced the disabled motor cortex in executing the reaction-time movement, although activity was weak and slow (paretic but not paralytic). Resection of the cerebellar hemisphere also induced the compensatory motor function of the somatosensory cortex so that the movement could be performed although it was weak, slow and clumsy. 2. Relearning: Compensation by relearning through normally unused neuronal circuits. Prolonged and variable reaction times after cerebellar hemispherectomy persisted when the operation included both dentate and interpositus nuclei but recovered within about three weeks when the interpositus nucleus was preserved. It is suggested that the information processing for the well accomplished reaction-time movement is mainly mediated by the cerebro-cerebellar neuronal circuit including the dentate nucleus but is gradually relearned through the normally unused circuits involving the interpositus nucleus after the dentate nucleus lesion. 3. Rebuilding: Compensation by rebuilt neuronal circuits, e.g., by sprouting and/or regeneration (see S. Kawaguchi in this book). PMID:3481936

  18. Brain plasticity and rehabilitation in stroke patients.

    PubMed

    Hara, Yukihiro

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, our understanding of motor learning, neuroplasticity and functional recovery after the occurrence of brain lesion has grown significantly. Novel findings in basic neuroscience have provided an impetus for research in motor rehabilitation. The brain reveals a spectrum of intrinsic capacities to react as a highly dynamic system which can change the properties of its neural circuits. This brain plasticity can lead to an extreme degree of spontaneous recovery and rehabilitative training may modify and boost the neuronal plasticity processes. Animal studies have extended these findings, providing insight into a broad range of underlying molecular and physiological events. Neuroimaging studies in human patients have provided observations at the systems level that often parallel findings in animals. In general, the best recoveries are associated with the greatest return toward the normal state of brain functional organization. Reorganization of surviving central nervous system elements supports behavioral recovery, for example, through changes in interhemispheric lateralization, activity of association cortices linked to injured zones, and organization of cortical representational maps. Evidence from animal models suggests that both motor learning and cortical stimulation alter intracortical inhibitory circuits and can facilitate long-term potentiation and cortical remodeling. Current researches on the physiology and use of cortical stimulation animal models and in humans with stroke related hemiplegia are reviewed in this article. In particular, electromyography (EMG) -controlled electrical muscle stimulation improves the motor function of the hemiparetic arm and hand. A multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) studies in which the hemoglobin levels in the brain were non-invasively and dynamically measured during functional activity found that the cerebral blood flow in the injured sensory-motor cortex area is greatest during an EMG-controlled FES session. Only a few idea is, however, known for the optimal timing of the different processes and therapeutic interventions and for their interactions in detail. Finding optimal rehabilitation paradigms requires an optimal organization of the internal processes of neural plasticity and the therapeutic interventions in accordance with defined plastic time windows. In this review the mechanisms of spontaneous plasticity after stroke and experimental interventions to enhance plasticity are summarized, with an emphasis on functional electrical stimulation therapy. PMID:25797869

  19. Structural Plasticity and Hippocampal Function

    PubMed Central

    Leuner, Benedetta; Gould, Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    The hippocampus is a region of the mammalian brain that shows an impressive capacity for structural reorganization. Preexisting neural circuits undergo modifications in dendritic complexity and synapse number, and entirely novel neural connections are formed through the process of neurogenesis. These types of structural change were once thought to be restricted to development. However, it is now generally accepted that the hippocampus remains structurally plastic throughout life. This article reviews structural plasticity in the hippocampus over the lifespan, including how it is investigated experimentally. The modulation of structural plasticity by various experiential factors as well as the possible role it may have in hippocampal functions such as learning and memory, anxiety, and stress regulation are also considered. Although significant progress has been made in many of these areas, we highlight some of the outstanding issues that remain. PMID:19575621

  20. Brain plasticity-based therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Merzenich, Michael M.; Van Vleet, Thomas M.; Nahum, Mor

    2014-01-01

    The primary objective of this review article is to summarize how the neuroscience of brain plasticity, exploiting new findings in fundamental, integrative and cognitive neuroscience, is changing the therapeutic landscape for professional communities addressing brain-based disorders and disease. After considering the neurological bases of training-driven neuroplasticity, we shall describe how this neuroscience-guided perspective distinguishes this new approach from (a) the more-behavioral, traditional clinical strategies of professional therapy practitioners, and (b) an even more widely applied pharmaceutical treatment model for neurological and psychiatric treatment domains. With that background, we shall argue that neuroplasticity-based treatments will be an important part of future best-treatment practices in neurological and psychiatric medicine. PMID:25018719

  1. Brain plasticity and cognitive functions after ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Stragier, E; Martin, V; Davenas, E; Poilbout, C; Mongeau, R; Corradetti, R; Lanfumey, L

    2015-01-01

    Acute or chronic administrations of high doses of ethanol in mice are known to produce severe cognitive deficits linked to hippocampal damage. However, we recently reported that chronic and moderate ethanol intake in C57BL/6J mice induced chromatin remodeling within the Bdnf promoters, leading to both enhanced brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and hippocampal neurogenesis under free-choice protocol. We performed here a series of cellular and behavioral studies to analyze the consequences of these modifications. We showed that a 3-week chronic free-choice ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J mice led to a decrease in DNA methylation of the Bdnf gene within the CA1 and CA3 subfields of the hippocampus, and upregulated hippocampal BDNF signaling pathways mediated by ERK, AKT and CREB. However, this activation did not affect long-term potentiation in the CA1. Conversely, ethanol intake impaired learning and memory capacities analyzed in the contextual fear conditioning test and the novel object recognition task. In addition, ethanol increased behavioral perseveration in the Barnes maze test but did not alter the mouse overall spatial capacities. These data suggested that in conditions of chronic and moderate ethanol intake, the chromatin remodeling leading to BDNF signaling upregulation is probably an adaptive process, engaged via epigenetic regulations, to counteract the cognitive deficits induced by ethanol. PMID:26670281

  2. Bridging from Cells to Cognition in Autism Pathophysiology: Biological Pathways to Defective Brain Function and Plasticity

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, Matthew; Hooker, Brian S.; Herbert, Martha

    2008-01-01

    We review evidence to support the model that autism may begin when a maternal environmental, infectious, or autoantibody insult causes inflammation which increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the fetus, leading to fetal DNA damage (nuclear and mitochondrial), and that these inflammatory and oxidative stressors persist beyond early development (with potential further exacerbations), producing ongoing functional consequences. In organs with a high metabolic demand such as the central nervous system, the continued use of mitochondria with DNA damage may generate additional ROS which will activate the innate immune system leading to more ROS production. Such a mechanism would self-sustain and possibly progressively worsen. The mitochondrial dysfunction and altered redox signal transduction pathways found in autism would conspire to activate both astroglia and microglia. These activated cells can then initiate a broad-spectrum proinflammatory gene response. Neurons may have acquired receptors for these inflammatory signals to inhibit neuronal signaling as a protection from excitotoxic damage during various pathologic insults (e.g., infection). In autism, over-zealous neuroinflammatory responses could not only influence neural developmental processes, but may more significantly impair neural signaling involved in cognition in an ongoing fashion. This model makes specific predictions in patients and experimental animal models and suggests a number of targets sites of intervention. Our model of potentially reversible pathophysiological mechanisms in autism motivates our hope that effective therapies may soon appear on the horizon.

  3. Hearing colors: an example of brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Alfaro, Arantxa; Bernabeu, Ángela; Agulló, Carlos; Parra, Jaime; Fernández, Eduardo

    2015-01-01

    Sensory substitution devices (SSDs) are providing new ways for improving or replacing sensory abilities that have been lost due to disease or injury, and at the same time offer unprecedented opportunities to address how the nervous system could lead to an augmentation of its capacities. In this work we have evaluated a color-blind subject using a new visual-to-auditory SSD device called "Eyeborg", that allows colors to be perceived as sounds. We used a combination of neuroimaging techniques including Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) to study potential brain plasticity in this subject. Our results suggest that after 8 years of continuous use of this device there could be significant adaptive and compensatory changes within the brain. In particular, we found changes in functional neural patterns, structural connectivity and cortical topography at the visual and auditive cortex of the Eyeborg user in comparison with a control population. Although at the moment we cannot claim that the continuous use of the Eyeborg is the only reason for these findings, our results may shed further light on potential brain changes associated with the use of other SSDs. This could help to better understand how the brain adapts to several pathologies and uncover adaptive resources such as cross-modal representations. We expect that the precise understanding of these changes will have clear implications for rehabilitative training, device development and for more efficient programs for people with disabilities. PMID:25926778

  4. Hearing colors: an example of brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Alfaro, Arantxa; Bernabeu, Ángela; Agulló, Carlos; Parra, Jaime; Fernández, Eduardo

    2015-01-01

    Sensory substitution devices (SSDs) are providing new ways for improving or replacing sensory abilities that have been lost due to disease or injury, and at the same time offer unprecedented opportunities to address how the nervous system could lead to an augmentation of its capacities. In this work we have evaluated a color-blind subject using a new visual-to-auditory SSD device called “Eyeborg”, that allows colors to be perceived as sounds. We used a combination of neuroimaging techniques including Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1H-MRS) to study potential brain plasticity in this subject. Our results suggest that after 8 years of continuous use of this device there could be significant adaptive and compensatory changes within the brain. In particular, we found changes in functional neural patterns, structural connectivity and cortical topography at the visual and auditive cortex of the Eyeborg user in comparison with a control population. Although at the moment we cannot claim that the continuous use of the Eyeborg is the only reason for these findings, our results may shed further light on potential brain changes associated with the use of other SSDs. This could help to better understand how the brain adapts to several pathologies and uncover adaptive resources such as cross-modal representations. We expect that the precise understanding of these changes will have clear implications for rehabilitative training, device development and for more efficient programs for people with disabilities. PMID:25926778

  5. Processing demands upon cognitive, linguistic, and articulatory functions promote grey matter plasticity in the adult multilingual brain: Insights from simultaneous interpreters.

    PubMed

    Elmer, Stefan; Hänggi, Jürgen; Jäncke, Lutz

    2014-05-01

    Until now, considerable effort has been made to determine structural brain characteristics related to exceptional multilingual skills. However, at least one important question has not yet been satisfactorily addressed in the previous literature, namely whether and to which extent the processing demands upon cognitive, linguistic, and articulatory functions may promote grey matter plasticity in the adult multilingual brain. Based on the premise that simultaneous interpretation is a highly demanding linguistic task that places strong demands on executive and articulatory functions, here we compared grey matter volumes between professional simultaneous interpreters (SI) and multilingual control subjects. Thereby, we focused on a specific set of a-priori defined bilateral brain regions that have previously been shown to support neurocognitional aspects of language control and linguistic functions in the multilingual brain. These regions are the cingulate gyrus, caudate nucleus, frontal operculum (pars triangularis and opercularis), inferior parietal lobe (IPL) (supramarginal and angular gyrus), and the insula. As a main result, we found reduced grey matter volumes in professional SI, compared to multilingual controls, in the left middle-anterior cingulate gyrus, bilateral pars triangularis, left pars opercularis, bilateral middle part of the insula, and in the left supramarginal gyrus (SMG). Interestingly, grey matter volume in left pars triangularis, right pars opercularis, middle-anterior cingulate gyrus, and in the bilateral caudate nucleus was negatively correlated with the cumulative number of interpreting hours. Hence, we provide first evidence for an expertise-related grey matter architecture that may reflect a composite of brain characteristics that were still present before interpreting training and training-related changes. PMID:24699036

  6. Construction of efficacious gait and upper limb functional interventions based on brain plasticity evidence and model-based measures for stroke patients.

    PubMed

    Daly, Janis J; Ruff, Robert L

    2007-01-01

    For neurorehabilitation to advance from art to science, it must become evidence-based. Historically, there has been a dearth of evidence from which to construct rehabilitation interventions that are properly framed, accurately targeted, and credibly measured. In many instances, evidence of treatment response has not been sufficiently robust to demonstrate a change in function that is clinically, statistically, and economically important. Research evidence of activity-dependent central nervous system (CNS) plasticity and the requisite motor learning principles can be used to construct an efficacious motor recovery intervention. Brain plasticity after stroke refers to the regeneration of brain neuronal structures and/or reorganization of the function of neurons. Not only can CNS structure and function change in response to injury, but also, the changes may be modified by "activity". For gait training or upper limb functional training for stroke survivors, the "activity" is motor behavior, including coordination and strengthening exercise and functional training that comprise motor learning. Critical principles of motor learning required for CNS activity-dependent plasticity include: close-to-normal movements, muscle activation driving practice of movement; focused attention, repetition of desired movements, and training specificity. The ultimate goal of rehabilitation is to restore function so that a satisfying quality of life can be experienced. Accurate measurement of dysfunction and its underlying impairments are critical to the development of accurately targeted interventions that are sufficiently robust to produce gains, not only in function, but also in quality of life. The Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health Model (ICF) model of disablement, put forth by the World Health Organization, can provide not only some guidance in measurement level selection, but also can serve as a guide to incorporate function and quality of life enhancement as the ultimate goals of rehabilitation interventions. Based on the evidence and principles of activity-dependent plasticity and motor learning, we developed gait training and upper limb functional training protocols. Guided by the ICF model, we selected and developed measures with characteristics rendering them most likely to capture change in the targeted aspects of intervention, as well as measures having membership not only in the impairment, but also in the functional or life role participation levels contained in the ICF model. We measured response to innovative gait training using a knee flexion coordination measure, coefficient of coordination consistency (ACC) of relative hip/knee (H/K) movement across multiple steps (H/K ACC), and milestones of participation in life role activities. We measured response to upper limb functional training according to measures designed to quantify functional gains in response to treatment targeted at wrist/hand or shoulder elbow training (Arm Motor Ability Test for wrist/hand (AMAT W/H) or shoulder/elbow (AMAT S/E)). We found that there was a statistically significant advantage for adding FES-IM gait training to an otherwise comparable and comprehensive gait training, according to the following measures: H/K ACC, the measure of consistently executed hip/knee coordination during walking; a specific measure of isolated joint knee flexion coordination; and a measure of multiple coordinated gait components. Further, enhanced gains in gait component coordination were robust enough to result in achievement of milestones in participation in life role activities. In the upper limb functional training study, we found that robotics + motor learning (ROB ML; shoulder/elbow robotics practice plus motor learning) produced a statistically significant gain in AMAT S/E; whereas functional electrical stimulation + motor learning (FES ML) did not. We found that FES ML (wrist/hand FES plus motor learning) produced a statistically significant gain in AMAT W/H; whereas ROB ML did not. These results together, support the phenome

  7. Brain plasticity and motor practice in cognitive aging

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Liuyang; Chan, John S. Y.; Yan, Jin H.; Peng, Kaiping

    2014-01-01

    For more than two decades, there have been extensive studies of experience-based neural plasticity exploring effective applications of brain plasticity for cognitive and motor development. Research suggests that human brains continuously undergo structural reorganization and functional changes in response to stimulations or training. From a developmental point of view, the assumption of lifespan brain plasticity has been extended to older adults in terms of the benefits of cognitive training and physical therapy. To summarize recent developments, first, we introduce the concept of neural plasticity from a developmental perspective. Secondly, we note that motor learning often refers to deliberate practice and the resulting performance enhancement and adaptability. We discuss the close interplay between neural plasticity, motor learning and cognitive aging. Thirdly, we review research on motor skill acquisition in older adults with, and without, impairments relative to aging-related cognitive decline. Finally, to enhance future research and application, we highlight the implications of neural plasticity in skills learning and cognitive rehabilitation for the aging population. PMID:24653695

  8. Human Functional Brain Imaging

    E-print Network

    Rambaut, Andrew

    Human Functional Brain Imaging 1990­2009 September 2011 Portfolio Review Summary Brain Imaging #12 three-fold: · to identify the key landmarks and influences on the human functional brain imaging Trust's impact on this landscape · to consider the future direction of human functional brain imaging

  9. Neural Plasticity in Human Brain Connectivity: The Effects of Long Term Deep Brain Stimulation of the

    E-print Network

    Deco, Gustavo

    Neural Plasticity in Human Brain Connectivity: The Effects of Long Term Deep Brain Stimulation in human neural plasticity after long-term deep brain stimulation and may help to identify the underlying. (2014) Neural Plasticity in Human Brain Connectivity: The Effects of Long Term Deep Brain Stimulation

  10. Brain imaging and brain function

    SciTech Connect

    Sokoloff, L.

    1985-01-01

    This book is a survey of the applications of imaging studies of regional cerebral blood flow and metabolism to the investigation of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Contributors review imaging techniques and strategies for measuring regional cerebral blood flow and metabolism, for mapping functional neural systems, and for imaging normal brain functions. They then examine the applications of brain imaging techniques to the study of such neurological and psychiatric disorders as: cerebral ischemia; convulsive disorders; cerebral tumors; Huntington's disease; Alzheimer's disease; depression and other mood disorders. A state-of-the-art report on magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and central nervous system rounds out the book's coverage.

  11. Searching for Factors Underlying Cerebral Plasticity in the Normal and Injured Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kolb, Bryan; Muhammad, Arif; Gibb, Robbin

    2011-01-01

    Brain plasticity refers to the capacity of the nervous system to change its structure and ultimately its function over a lifetime. There have been major advances in our understanding of the principles of brain plasticity and behavior in laboratory animals and humans. Over the past decade there have been advances in the application of these…

  12. Human Functional Brain Imaging

    E-print Network

    Rambaut, Andrew

    Human Functional Brain Imaging 1990­2009 September 2011 Portfolio Review #12;2 | Portfolio Review: Human Functional Brain ImagingThe Wellcome Trust is a charity registered in England and Wales, no's role in supporting human functional brain imaging and have informed `our' speculations for the future

  13. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2009-01-01

    It has long been suspected that the relative abundance of specific nutrients can affect cognitive processes and emotions. Newly described influences of dietary factors on neuronal function and synaptic plasticity have revealed some of the vital mechanisms that are responsible for the action of diet on brain health and mental function. Several gut hormones that can enter the brain, or that are produced in the brain itself, influence cognitive ability. In addition, well-established regulators of synaptic plasticity, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, can function as metabolic modulators, responding to peripheral signals such as food intake. Understanding the molecular basis of the effects of food on cognition will help us to determine how best to manipulate diet in order to increase the resistance of neurons to insults and promote mental fitness. PMID:18568016

  14. Age, Plasticity, and Homeostasis In Childhood Brain Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Maureen; Spiegler, Brenda J.; Juranek, Jenifer J.; Bigler, Erin D.; Snead, O. Carter; Fletcher, Jack M.

    2013-01-01

    It has been widely accepted that the younger the age and/or immaturity of the organism, the greater the brain plasticity, the young age plasticity privilege. This paper examines the relation of a young age to plasticity, reviewing human pediatric brain disorders, as well as selected animal models, human developmental and adult brain disorder studies. As well, we review developmental and childhood acquired disorders that involve a failure of regulatory homeostasis. Our core arguments are: Plasticity is neutral with respect to outcome. Although the effects of plasticity are often beneficial, the outcome of plasticity may be adaptive or maladaptive.The young age plasticity privilege has been overstated.Plastic change operates in concert with homeostatic mechanisms regulating change at every point in the lifespan.The same mechanisms that propel developmental change expose the immature brain to adverse events, making it more difficult for the immature than for the mature brain to sustain equilibrium between plasticity and homeostasis.Poor outcome in many neurodevelopmental disorders and childhood acquired brain insults is related to disequilibrium between plasticity and homeostasis. PMID:24096190

  15. Plasticity of Nonneuronal Brain Tissue: Roles in Developmental Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dong, Willie K.; Greenough, William T.

    2004-01-01

    Neuronal and nonneuronal plasticity are both affected by environmental and experiential factors. Remodeling of existing neurons induced by such factors has been observed throughout the brain, and includes alterations in dendritic field dimensions, synaptogenesis, and synaptic morphology. The brain loci affected by these plastic neuronal changes…

  16. Plasticity in the Developing Brain: Implications for Rehabilitation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Michael V.

    2009-01-01

    Neuronal plasticity allows the central nervous system to learn skills and remember information, to reorganize neuronal networks in response to environmental stimulation, and to recover from brain and spinal cord injuries. Neuronal plasticity is enhanced in the developing brain and it is usually adaptive and beneficial but can also be maladaptive…

  17. Plastic brains and the dialectics of dialectics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loxley, Andrew; Murphy, Colette; Seery, Aidan

    2014-09-01

    This article advances the thinking of Lima, Ostermann and Rezende's "Marxism in Vygotskian approaches to cultural studies of science education" and Mark Zuss' response to their paper. Firstly, it introduces Catherine Malabou's concept of plasticity, from which Hegel's dialectic can be re-read as historical materialist self-determination in a way that embraces science but non-reductively, and which leads to the possibility of challenging theoretical rigidity as a form of transformative action. Secondly, this response article provides political analysis of scientific concepts as they reproduce and reinforce particular interests and are expropriated by policy makers and unaware teacher educators whose understanding lies within a technical-instrumentalism and diluted humanism framework. Both arguments feature the human brain as an object of research in science education. From Malabou, the emancipatory conceptualisation of the brain as material, historical and sociocultural; whilst `Brain Gym' exemplifies a non-science and nonsensical misappropriation of scientific concepts for commercial gain via a para-educational intervention.

  18. Stress In Utero: Prenatal Programming of Brain Plasticity and Cognition.

    PubMed

    Bock, Joerg; Wainstock, Tamar; Braun, Katharina; Segal, Menahem

    2015-09-01

    Animal studies confirm earlier anecdotal observations in humans to indicate that early life experience has a profound impact on adult behavior, years after the original experience has vanished. These studies also highlight the role of early life adversaries in the shaping of a disordered brain. Evidence is accumulating to indicate that the epigenome, through which the environment regulates gene expression, is responsible for long-lasting effects of stress during pregnancy on brain and behavior. A possible differential effect of the environment on the epigenome may underlie the observation that only a small fraction of a population with similar genetic background deteriorates into mental disorders. Considerable progress has been made in the untangling of the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate emotional brain development. The present review focuses on the lasting effects of prenatal stress on brain plasticity and cognitive functions in human and rodent models. Although human studies stress the significance of early life experience in functional maturation, they lack the rigor inherent in controlled animal experiments. Furthermore, the analysis of molecular and cellular mechanisms affected by prenatal stress is possible only in experimental animals. The present review attempts to link human and animal studies while proposing molecular mechanisms that interfere with functional brain development. PMID:25863359

  19. Modulating Hippocampal Plasticity with In Vivo Brain Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Carhuatanta, Kim A.; McInturf, Shawn M.; Miklasevich, Molly K.; Jankord, Ryan

    2015-01-01

    Investigations into the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in relieving symptoms of neurological disorders and enhancing cognitive or motor performance have exhibited promising results. However, the mechanisms by which tDCS effects brain function remain under scrutiny. We have demonstrated that in vivo tDCS in rats produced a lasting effect on hippocampal synaptic plasticity, as measured using extracellular recordings. Ex vivo preparations of hippocampal slices from rats that have been subjected to tDCS of 0.10 or 0.25 mA for 30 min followed by 30 min of recovery time displayed a robust twofold enhancement in long-term potentiation (LTP) induction accompanied by a 30% increase in paired-pulse facilitation (PPF). The magnitude of the LTP effect was greater with 0.25 mA compared with 0.10 mA stimulations, suggesting a dose-dependent relationship between tDCS intensity and its effect on synaptic plasticity. To test the persistence of these observed effects, animals were stimulated in vivo for 30 min at 0.25 mA and then allowed to return to their home cage for 24 h. Observation of the enhanced LTP induction, but not the enhanced PPF, continued 24 h after completion of 0.25 mA of tDCS. Addition of the NMDA blocker AP-5 abolished LTP in both control and stimulated rats but maintained the PPF enhancement in stimulated rats. The observation of enhanced LTP and PPF after tDCS demonstrates that non-invasive electrical stimulation is capable of modifying synaptic plasticity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Researchers have used brain stimulation such as transcranial direct current stimulation on human subjects to alleviate symptoms of neurological disorders and enhance their performance. Here, using rats, we have investigated the potential mechanisms of how in vivo brain stimulation can produce such effect. We recorded directly on viable brain slices from rats after brain stimulation to detect lasting changes in pattern of neuronal activity. Our results showed that 30 min of brain stimulation in rats induced a robust enhancement in synaptic plasticity, a neuronal process critical for learning and memory. Understanding such molecular effects will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which brain stimulation produces its effects on cognition and performance. PMID:26377469

  20. Dynamic DNA methylation in the brain: a new epigenetic mark for experience-dependent plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Tognini, Paola; Napoli, Debora; Pizzorusso, Tommaso

    2015-01-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity is the ability of brain circuits to undergo molecular, structural and functional changes as a function of neural activity. Neural activity continuously shapes our brain during all the stages of our life, from infancy through adulthood and beyond. Epigenetic modifications of histone proteins and DNA seem to be a leading molecular mechanism to modulate the transcriptional changes underlying the fine-tuning of synaptic connections and circuitry rewiring during activity-dependent plasticity. The recent discovery that cytosine methylation is an epigenetic mark particularly dynamic in brain cells has strongly increased the interest of neuroscientists in understanding the role of covalent modifications of DNA in activity-induced remodeling of neuronal circuits. Here, we provide an overview of the role of DNA methylation and hydroxylmethylation in brain plasticity both during adulthood, with emphasis on learning and memory related processes, and during postnatal development, focusing specifically on experience-dependent plasticity in the visual cortex. PMID:26379502

  1. COPPER AND BRAIN FUNCTION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing evidence shows that brain development and function are impaired when the brain is deprived of copper either through dietary copper deficiency or through genetic defects in copper transport. A number of copper-dependent enzymes whose activities are lowered by copper deprivation form the ba...

  2. Measuring and Inducing Brain Plasticity in Chronic Aphasia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fridriksson, Julius

    2011-01-01

    Brain plasticity associated with anomia recovery in aphasia is poorly understood. Here, I review four recent studies from my lab that focused on brain modulation associated with long-term anomia outcome, its behavioral treatment, and the use of transcranial brain stimulation to enhance anomia treatment success in individuals with chronic aphasia…

  3. Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation: Teaching the New Brain Old Tricks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kleim, Jeffrey A.

    2011-01-01

    Following brain injury or disease there are widespread biochemical, anatomical and physiological changes that result in what might be considered a new, very different brain. This adapted brain is forced to reacquire behaviors lost as a result of the injury or disease and relies on neural plasticity within the residual neural circuits. The same…

  4. Regeneration, Plasticity, and Induced Molecular Programs in Adult Zebrafish Brain

    PubMed Central

    Cosacak, Mehmet Ilyas; Papadimitriou, Christos; Kizil, Caghan

    2015-01-01

    Regenerative capacity of the brain is a variable trait within animals. Aquatic vertebrates such as zebrafish have widespread ability to renew their brains upon damage, while mammals have—if not none—very limited overall regenerative competence. Underlying cause of such a disparity is not fully evident; however, one of the reasons could be activation of peculiar molecular programs, which might have specific roles after injury or damage, by the organisms that regenerate. If this hypothesis is correct, then there must be genes and pathways that (a) are expressed only after injury or damage in tissues, (b) are biologically and functionally relevant to restoration of neural tissue, and (c) are not detected in regenerating organisms. Presence of such programs might circumvent the initial detrimental effects of the damage and subsequently set up the stage for tissue redevelopment to take place by modulating the plasticity of the neural stem/progenitor cells. Additionally, if transferable, those “molecular mechanisms of regeneration” could open up new avenues for regenerative therapies of humans in clinical settings. This review focuses on the recent studies addressing injury/damage-induced molecular programs in zebrafish brain, underscoring the possibility of the presence of genes that could be used as biomarkers of neural plasticity and regeneration. PMID:26417601

  5. Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states.

    PubMed

    Liu, Kang K L; Bartsch, Ronny P; Lin, Aijing; Mantegna, Rosario N; Ivanov, Plamen Ch

    2015-01-01

    Neural plasticity transcends a range of spatio-temporal scales and serves as the basis of various brain activities and physiologic functions. At the microscopic level, it enables the emergence of brain waves with complex temporal dynamics. At the macroscopic level, presence and dominance of specific brain waves is associated with important brain functions. The role of neural plasticity at different levels in generating distinct brain rhythms and how brain rhythms communicate with each other across brain areas to generate physiologic states and functions remains not understood. Here we perform an empirical exploration of neural plasticity at the level of brain wave network interactions representing dynamical communications within and between different brain areas in the frequency domain. We introduce the concept of time delay stability (TDS) to quantify coordinated bursts in the activity of brain waves, and we employ a system-wide Network Physiology integrative approach to probe the network of coordinated brain wave activations and its evolution across physiologic states. We find an association between network structure and physiologic states. We uncover a hierarchical reorganization in the brain wave networks in response to changes in physiologic state, indicating new aspects of neural plasticity at the integrated level. Globally, we find that the entire brain network undergoes a pronounced transition from low connectivity in Deep Sleep and REM to high connectivity in Light Sleep and Wake. In contrast, we find that locally, different brain areas exhibit different network dynamics of brain wave interactions to achieve differentiation in function during different sleep stages. Moreover, our analyses indicate that plasticity also emerges in frequency-specific networks, which represent interactions across brain locations mediated through a specific frequency band. Comparing frequency-specific networks within the same physiologic state we find very different degree of network connectivity and link strength, while at the same time each frequency-specific network is characterized by a different signature pattern of sleep-stage stratification, reflecting a remarkable flexibility in response to change in physiologic state. These new aspects of neural plasticity demonstrate that in addition to dominant brain waves, the network of brain wave interactions is a previously unrecognized hallmark of physiologic state and function. PMID:26578891

  6. Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Kang K. L.; Bartsch, Ronny P.; Lin, Aijing; Mantegna, Rosario N.; Ivanov, Plamen Ch.

    2015-01-01

    Neural plasticity transcends a range of spatio-temporal scales and serves as the basis of various brain activities and physiologic functions. At the microscopic level, it enables the emergence of brain waves with complex temporal dynamics. At the macroscopic level, presence and dominance of specific brain waves is associated with important brain functions. The role of neural plasticity at different levels in generating distinct brain rhythms and how brain rhythms communicate with each other across brain areas to generate physiologic states and functions remains not understood. Here we perform an empirical exploration of neural plasticity at the level of brain wave network interactions representing dynamical communications within and between different brain areas in the frequency domain. We introduce the concept of time delay stability (TDS) to quantify coordinated bursts in the activity of brain waves, and we employ a system-wide Network Physiology integrative approach to probe the network of coordinated brain wave activations and its evolution across physiologic states. We find an association between network structure and physiologic states. We uncover a hierarchical reorganization in the brain wave networks in response to changes in physiologic state, indicating new aspects of neural plasticity at the integrated level. Globally, we find that the entire brain network undergoes a pronounced transition from low connectivity in Deep Sleep and REM to high connectivity in Light Sleep and Wake. In contrast, we find that locally, different brain areas exhibit different network dynamics of brain wave interactions to achieve differentiation in function during different sleep stages. Moreover, our analyses indicate that plasticity also emerges in frequency-specific networks, which represent interactions across brain locations mediated through a specific frequency band. Comparing frequency-specific networks within the same physiologic state we find very different degree of network connectivity and link strength, while at the same time each frequency-specific network is characterized by a different signature pattern of sleep-stage stratification, reflecting a remarkable flexibility in response to change in physiologic state. These new aspects of neural plasticity demonstrate that in addition to dominant brain waves, the network of brain wave interactions is a previously unrecognized hallmark of physiologic state and function. PMID:26578891

  7. Lutein and Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Erdman, John W.; Smith, Joshua W.; Kuchan, Matthew J.; Mohn, Emily S.; Johnson, Elizabeth J.; Rubakhin, Stanislav S.; Wang, Lin; Sweedler, Jonathan V.; Neuringer, Martha

    2015-01-01

    Lutein is one of the most prevalent carotenoids in nature and in the human diet. Together with zeaxanthin, it is highly concentrated as macular pigment in the foveal retina of primates, attenuating blue light exposure, providing protection from photo-oxidation and enhancing visual performance. Recently, interest in lutein has expanded beyond the retina to its possible contributions to brain development and function. Only primates accumulate lutein within the brain, but little is known about its distribution or physiological role. Our team has begun to utilize the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) model to study the uptake and bio-localization of lutein in the brain. Our overall goal has been to assess the association of lutein localization with brain function. In this review, we will first cover the evolution of the non-human primate model for lutein and brain studies, discuss prior association studies of lutein with retina and brain function, and review approaches that can be used to localize brain lutein. We also describe our approach to the biosynthesis of 13C-lutein, which will allow investigation of lutein flux, localization, metabolism and pharmacokinetics. Lastly, we describe potential future research opportunities. PMID:26566524

  8. Evidence for Impaired Plasticity after Traumatic Brain Injury in the Developing Brain

    PubMed Central

    Li, Nan; Yang, Ya; Glover, David P.; Zhang, Jiangyang; Saraswati, Manda; Robertson, Courtney

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The robustness of plasticity mechanisms during brain development is essential for synaptic formation and has a beneficial outcome after sensory deprivation. However, the role of plasticity in recovery after acute brain injury in children has not been well defined. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability among children, and long-term disability from pediatric TBI can be particularly devastating. We investigated the altered cortical plasticity 2–3 weeks after injury in a pediatric rat model of TBI. Significant decreases in neurophysiological responses across the depth of the noninjured, primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in TBI rats, compared to age-matched controls, were detected with electrophysiological measurements of multi-unit activity (86.4% decrease), local field potential (75.3% decrease), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (77.6% decrease). Because the corpus callosum is a clinically important white matter tract that was shown to be consistently involved in post-traumatic axonal injury, we investigated its anatomical and functional characteristics after TBI. Indeed, corpus callosum abnormalities in TBI rats were detected with diffusion tensor imaging (9.3% decrease in fractional anisotropy) and histopathological analysis (14% myelination volume decreases). Whole-cell patch clamp recordings further revealed that TBI results in significant decreases in spontaneous firing rate (57% decrease) and the potential to induce long-term potentiation in neurons located in layer V of the noninjured S1 by stimulation of the corpus callosum (82% decrease). The results suggest that post-TBI plasticity can translate into inappropriate neuronal connections and dramatic changes in the function of neuronal networks. PMID:24050267

  9. Neural Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis: The Functional and Molecular Background

    PubMed Central

    Ksiazek-Winiarek, Dominika Justyna; Szpakowski, Piotr; Glabinski, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune neurodegenerative disorder resulting in motor dysfunction and cognitive decline. The inflammatory and neurodegenerative changes seen in the brains of MS patients lead to progressive disability and increasing brain atrophy. The most common type of MS is characterized by episodes of clinical exacerbations and remissions. This suggests the presence of compensating mechanisms for accumulating damage. Apart from the widely known repair mechanisms like remyelination, another important phenomenon is neuronal plasticity. Initially, neuroplasticity was connected with the developmental stages of life; however, there is now growing evidence confirming that structural and functional reorganization occurs throughout our lifetime. Several functional studies, utilizing such techniques as fMRI, TBS, or MRS, have provided valuable data about the presence of neuronal plasticity in MS patients. CNS ability to compensate for neuronal damage is most evident in RR-MS; however it has been shown that brain plasticity is also preserved in patients with substantial brain damage. Regardless of the numerous studies, the molecular background of neuronal plasticity in MS is still not well understood. Several factors, like IL-1?, BDNF, PDGF, or CB1Rs, have been implicated in functional recovery from the acute phase of MS and are thus considered as potential therapeutic targets. PMID:26229689

  10. The Maternal Brain: An Organ with Peripartal Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hillerer, Katharina Maria; Jacobs, Volker Rudolf; Fischer, Thorsten; Aigner, Ludwig

    2014-01-01

    The time of pregnancy, birth, and lactation, is characterized by numerous specific alterations in several systems of the maternal body. Peripartum-associated changes in physiology and behavior, as well as their underlying molecular mechanisms, have been the focus of research since decades, but are still far from being entirely understood. Also, there is growing evidence that pregnancy and lactation are associated with a variety of alterations in neural plasticity, including adult neurogenesis, functional and structural synaptic plasticity, and dendritic remodeling in different brain regions. All of the mentioned changes are not only believed to be a prerequisite for the proper fetal and neonatal development, but moreover to be crucial for the physiological and mental health of the mother. The underlying mechanisms apparently need to be under tight control, since in cases of dysregulation, a certain percentage of women develop disorders like preeclampsia or postpartum mood and anxiety disorders during the course of pregnancy and lactation. This review describes common peripartum adaptations in physiology and behavior. Moreover, it concentrates on different forms of peripartum-associated plasticity including changes in neurogenesis and their possible underlying molecular mechanisms. Finally, consequences of malfunction in those systems are discussed. PMID:24883213

  11. Brain-machine interfaces can accelerate clarification of the principal mysteries and real plasticity of the brain

    PubMed Central

    Sakurai, Yoshio

    2014-01-01

    This perspective emphasizes that the brain-machine interface (BMI) research has the potential to clarify major mysteries of the brain and that such clarification of the mysteries by neuroscience is needed to develop BMIs. I enumerate five principal mysteries. The first is “how is information encoded in the brain?” This is the fundamental question for understanding what our minds are and is related to the verification of Hebb’s cell assembly theory. The second is “how is information distributed in the brain?” This is also a reconsideration of the functional localization of the brain. The third is “what is the function of the ongoing activity of the brain?” This is the problem of how the brain is active during no-task periods and what meaning such spontaneous activity has. The fourth is “how does the bodily behavior affect the brain function?” This is the problem of brain-body interaction, and obtaining a new “body” by a BMI leads to a possibility of changes in the owner’s brain. The last is “to what extent can the brain induce plasticity?” Most BMIs require changes in the brain’s neuronal activity to realize higher performance, and the neuronal operant conditioning inherent in the BMIs further enhances changes in the activity. PMID:24904323

  12. Consensus Paper: Probing Homeostatic Plasticity of Human Cortex With Non-invasive Transcranial Brain Stimulation.

    PubMed

    Karabanov, Anke; Ziemann, Ulf; Hamada, Masashi; George, Mark S; Quartarone, Angelo; Classen, Joseph; Massimini, Marcello; Rothwell, John; Siebner, Hartwig Roman

    2015-01-01

    Homeostatic plasticity is thought to stabilize neural activity around a set point within a physiologically reasonable dynamic range. Over the last ten years, a wide range of non-invasive transcranial brain stimulation (NTBS) techniques have been used to probe homeostatic control of cortical plasticity in the intact human brain. Here, we review different NTBS approaches to study homeostatic plasticity on a systems level and relate the findings to both, physiological evidence from in vitro studies and to a theoretical framework of homeostatic function. We highlight differences between homeostatic and other non-homeostatic forms of plasticity and we examine the contribution of sleep in restoring synaptic homeostasis. Finally, we discuss the growing number of studies showing that abnormal homeostatic plasticity may be associated to a range of neuropsychiatric diseases. PMID:26050599

  13. Consensus Paper: Probing Homeostatic Plasticity of Human Cortex With Non-invasive Transcranial Brain Stimulation.

    PubMed

    Karabanov, Anke; Ziemann, Ulf; Hamada, Masashi; George, Mark S; Quartarone, Angelo; Classen, Joseph; Massimini, Marcello; Rothwell, John; Siebner, Hartwig Roman

    2015-01-01

    Homeostatic plasticity is thought to stabilize neural activity around a set point within a physiologically reasonable dynamic range. Over the last ten years, a wide range of non-invasive transcranial brain stimulation (NTBS) techniques have been used to probe homeostatic control of cortical plasticity in the intact human brain. Here, we review different NTBS approaches to study homeostatic plasticity on a systems level and relate the findings to both, physiological evidence from in vitro studies and to a theoretical framework of homeostatic function. We highlight differences between homeostatic and other non-homeostatic forms of plasticity and we examine the contribution of sleep in restoring synaptic homeostasis. Finally, we discuss the growing number of studies showing that abnormal homeostatic plasticity may be associated to a range of neuropsychiatric diseases. PMID:26598772

  14. Effects of diet on brain plasticity in animal and human studies: mind the gap.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Tytus; Dias, Gisele Pereira; Thuret, Sandrine

    2014-01-01

    Dietary interventions have emerged as effective environmental inducers of brain plasticity. Among these dietary interventions, we here highlight the impact of caloric restriction (CR: a consistent reduction of total daily food intake), intermittent fasting (IF, every-other-day feeding), and diet supplementation with polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on markers of brain plasticity in animal studies. Moreover, we also discuss epidemiological and intervention studies reporting the effects of CR, IF and dietary polyphenols and PUFAs on learning, memory, and mood. In particular, we evaluate the gap in mechanistic understanding between recent findings from animal studies and those human studies reporting that these dietary factors can benefit cognition, mood, and anxiety, aging, and Alzheimer's disease-with focus on the enhancement of structural and functional plasticity markers in the hippocampus, such as increased expression of neurotrophic factors, synaptic function and adult neurogenesis. Lastly, we discuss some of the obstacles to harnessing the promising effects of diet on brain plasticity in animal studies into effective recommendations and interventions to promote healthy brain function in humans. Together, these data reinforce the important translational concept that diet, a modifiable lifestyle factor, holds the ability to modulate brain health and function. PMID:24900924

  15. Effects of Diet on Brain Plasticity in Animal and Human Studies: Mind the Gap

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Gisele Pereira

    2014-01-01

    Dietary interventions have emerged as effective environmental inducers of brain plasticity. Among these dietary interventions, we here highlight the impact of caloric restriction (CR: a consistent reduction of total daily food intake), intermittent fasting (IF, every-other-day feeding), and diet supplementation with polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on markers of brain plasticity in animal studies. Moreover, we also discuss epidemiological and intervention studies reporting the effects of CR, IF and dietary polyphenols and PUFAs on learning, memory, and mood. In particular, we evaluate the gap in mechanistic understanding between recent findings from animal studies and those human studies reporting that these dietary factors can benefit cognition, mood, and anxiety, aging, and Alzheimer's disease—with focus on the enhancement of structural and functional plasticity markers in the hippocampus, such as increased expression of neurotrophic factors, synaptic function and adult neurogenesis. Lastly, we discuss some of the obstacles to harnessing the promising effects of diet on brain plasticity in animal studies into effective recommendations and interventions to promote healthy brain function in humans. Together, these data reinforce the important translational concept that diet, a modifiable lifestyle factor, holds the ability to modulate brain health and function. PMID:24900924

  16. Modulating Brain Oscillations to Drive Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Thut, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Do neuronal oscillations play a causal role in brain function? In a study in this issue of PLOS Biology, Helfrich and colleagues address this long-standing question by attempting to drive brain oscillations using transcranial electrical current stimulation. Remarkably, they were able to manipulate visual perception by forcing brain oscillations of the left and right visual hemispheres into synchrony using oscillatory currents over both hemispheres. Under this condition, human observers more often perceived an inherently ambiguous visual stimulus in one of its perceptual instantiations. These findings shed light on the mechanisms underlying neuronal computation. They show that it is the neuronal oscillations that drive the visual experience, not the experience driving the oscillations. And they indicate that synchronized oscillatory activity groups brain areas into functional networks. This points to new ways for controlled experimental and possibly also clinical interventions for the study and modulation of brain oscillations and associated functions. PMID:25549340

  17. Spatiotemporal Computations of an Excitable and Plastic Brain: Neuronal Plasticity Leads to Noise-Robust and Noise-Constructive Computations

    PubMed Central

    Toutounji, Hazem; Pipa, Gordon

    2014-01-01

    It is a long-established fact that neuronal plasticity occupies the central role in generating neural function and computation. Nevertheless, no unifying account exists of how neurons in a recurrent cortical network learn to compute on temporally and spatially extended stimuli. However, these stimuli constitute the norm, rather than the exception, of the brain's input. Here, we introduce a geometric theory of learning spatiotemporal computations through neuronal plasticity. To that end, we rigorously formulate the problem of neural representations as a relation in space between stimulus-induced neural activity and the asymptotic dynamics of excitable cortical networks. Backed up by computer simulations and numerical analysis, we show that two canonical and widely spread forms of neuronal plasticity, that is, spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity and intrinsic plasticity, are both necessary for creating neural representations, such that these computations become realizable. Interestingly, the effects of these forms of plasticity on the emerging neural code relate to properties necessary for both combating and utilizing noise. The neural dynamics also exhibits features of the most likely stimulus in the network's spontaneous activity. These properties of the spatiotemporal neural code resulting from plasticity, having their grounding in nature, further consolidate the biological relevance of our findings. PMID:24651447

  18. High-fat diet transition reduces brain DHA levels associated with altered brain plasticity and behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Sandeep; Zhuang, Yumei; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    To assess how the shift from a healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids to a diet rich in saturated fatty acid affects the substrates for brain plasticity and function, we used pregnant rats fed with omega-3 supplemented diet from their 2nd day of gestation period as well as their male pups for 12 weeks. Afterwards, the animals were randomly assigned to either a group fed on the same diet or a group fed on a high-fat diet (HFD) rich in saturated fats for 3 weeks. We found that the HFD increased vulnerability for anxiety-like behavior, and that these modifications harmonized with changes in the anxiety-related NPY1 receptor and the reduced levels of BDNF, and its signalling receptor pTrkB, as well as the CREB protein. Brain DHA contents were significantly associated with the levels of anxiety-like behavior in these rats. PMID:22666534

  19. Rapid eye movement sleep promotes cortical plasticity in the developing brain

    PubMed Central

    Dumoulin Bridi, Michelle C.; Aton, Sara J.; Seibt, Julie; Renouard, Leslie; Coleman, Tammi; Frank, Marcos G.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid eye movement sleep is maximal during early life, but its function in the developing brain is unknown. We investigated the role of rapid eye movement sleep in a canonical model of developmental plasticity in vivo (ocular dominance plasticity in the cat) induced by monocular deprivation. Preventing rapid eye movement sleep after monocular deprivation reduced ocular dominance plasticity and inhibited activation of a kinase critical for this plasticity (extracellular signal–regulated kinase). Chronic single-neuron recording in freely behaving cats further revealed that cortical activity during rapid eye movement sleep resembled activity present during monocular deprivation. This corresponded to times of maximal extracellular signal–regulated kinase activation. These findings indicate that rapid eye movement sleep promotes molecular and network adaptations that consolidate waking experience in the developing brain. PMID:26601213

  20. Rapid eye movement sleep promotes cortical plasticity in the developing brain.

    PubMed

    Dumoulin Bridi, Michelle C; Aton, Sara J; Seibt, Julie; Renouard, Leslie; Coleman, Tammi; Frank, Marcos G

    2015-07-01

    Rapid eye movement sleep is maximal during early life, but its function in the developing brain is unknown. We investigated the role of rapid eye movement sleep in a canonical model of developmental plasticity in vivo (ocular dominance plasticity in the cat) induced by monocular deprivation. Preventing rapid eye movement sleep after monocular deprivation reduced ocular dominance plasticity and inhibited activation of a kinase critical for this plasticity (extracellular signal-regulated kinase). Chronic single-neuron recording in freely behaving cats further revealed that cortical activity during rapid eye movement sleep resembled activity present during monocular deprivation. This corresponded to times of maximal extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation. These findings indicate that rapid eye movement sleep promotes molecular and network adaptations that consolidate waking experience in the developing brain. PMID:26601213

  1. Is Being Plastic Fantastic? Mechanisms of Altered Plasticity after Developmental Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Giza, Christopher C.; Prins, Mayumi L.

    2014-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is predominantly a clinical problem of young persons, resulting in chronic cognitive and behavioral deficits. Specifically, the physiological response to a diffuse biomechanical injury in a maturing brain can clearly alter normal neuroplasticity. To properly evaluate and investigate developmental TBI requires an understanding of normal principles of cerebral maturation, as well as a consideration of experience-dependent changes. Changes in neuroplasticity may occur through many age-specific processes, and our understanding of these responses at a basic neuroscience level is only beginning. In this article, we will particularly discuss mechanisms of TBI-induced altered developmental plasticity such as altered neurotransmission, distinct molecular responses, cell death, perturbations in neuronal connectivity, experience-dependent ‘good plasticity’ enhancements and chronic ‘bad plasticity’ sequelae. From this summary, we can conclude that ‘young is not always better’ and that the developing brain manifests several crucial vulnerabilities to TBI. PMID:16943660

  2. Plasticity of Brain Networks in a Randomized Intervention Trial of Exercise Training in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Voss, Michelle W.; Prakash, Ruchika S.; Erickson, Kirk I.; Basak, Chandramallika; Chaddock, Laura; Kim, Jennifer S.; Alves, Heloisa; Heo, Susie; Szabo, Amanda N.; White, Siobhan M.; Wójcicki, Thomas R.; Mailey, Emily L.; Gothe, Neha; Olson, Erin A.; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.

    2010-01-01

    Research has shown the human brain is organized into separable functional networks during rest and varied states of cognition, and that aging is associated with specific network dysfunctions. The present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine low-frequency (0.008?brain networks in older adults who participated in a 1-year intervention trial, comparing the effects of aerobic and non-aerobic fitness training on brain function and cognition. Results showed that aerobic training improved the aging brain's resting functional efficiency in higher-level cognitive networks. One year of walking increased functional connectivity between aspects of the frontal, posterior, and temporal cortices within the Default Mode Network and a Frontal Executive Network, two brain networks central to brain dysfunction in aging. Length of training was also an important factor. Effects in favor of the walking group were observed only after 12 months of training, compared to non-significant trends after 6 months. A non-aerobic stretching and toning group also showed increased functional connectivity in the DMN after 6 months and in a Frontal Parietal Network after 12 months, possibly reflecting experience-dependent plasticity. Finally, we found that changes in functional connectivity were behaviorally relevant. Increased functional connectivity was associated with greater improvement in executive function. Therefore the study provides the first evidence for exercise-induced functional plasticity in large-scale brain systems in the aging brain, using functional connectivity techniques, and offers new insight into the role of aerobic fitness in attenuating age-related brain dysfunction. PMID:20890449

  3. Plastic Brains and the Dialectics of Dialectics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loxley, Andrew; Murphy, Colette; Seery, Aidan

    2014-01-01

    This article advances the thinking of Lima, Ostermann and Rezende's "Marxism in Vygotskian approaches to cultural studies of science education" and Mark Zuss' response to their paper. Firstly, it introduces Catherine Malabou's concept of plasticity, from which Hegel's dialectic can be re-read as historical materialist…

  4. Experience-Dependent Neural Plasticity in the Adult Damaged Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kerr, Abigail L.; Cheng, Shao-Ying; Jones, Theresa A.

    2011-01-01

    Behavioral experience is at work modifying the structure and function of the brain throughout the lifespan, but it has a particularly dramatic influence after brain injury. This review summarizes recent findings on the role of experience in reorganizing the adult damaged brain, with a focus on findings from rodent stroke models of chronic upper…

  5. Synergetics of brain function.

    PubMed

    Haken, Hermann

    2006-05-01

    Several brain functions such as movement coordination and visual perception are analysed in terms of synergetics, an interdisciplinary field of research dealing with spontaneous pattern formation. Accordingly, the brain is conceived as a self-organizing system operating close to instabilities where its activities are governed by collective variables, the order parameters, that enslave the individual parts, i.e., the neurons. In this approach, emphasis is laid on qualitative changes of behavioral and neuronal activities. These concepts are substantiated by detailed experimental and theoretical studies of the coordination of finger movements by direct observation of their changes and MEG measurements. In its main part, this paper deals with visual pattern recognition. Using general properties of order parameters, at the phenomenological level bistability, hysteresis and oscillations of visual perception can be modelled. Then, at the microscopic level, a network of pulse-coupled neurons is treated, where the dynamics of the dendritic currents as well as the axonic pulses (spikes) are taken into account. Both pulse-synchronization as well as pattern recognition are treated. In the high pulse frequency limit the attractor network of the synergetic computer is recovered. In the next step, the concept of quasi-attractors is mathematically formulated where due to saturation of attention attractors are closed. Depending on incoming signals, the visual system thus wanders from quasi-attractor to quasi-attractor. The paper includes an interpretation of consciousness in terms of order parameters as well as a discussion on linearity versus nonlinearity, the binding problem, and the psychological "present". PMID:16527368

  6. Human brain somatic representation: a functional magnetic resonance mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero-Romo, Juan; Rojas, Rafael; Salgado, Perla; Sánchez-Cortázar, Julián; Vazquez-Vela, Arturo; Barrios, Fernando A.

    2001-10-01

    Central nervous system studies of injury and plasticity for the reorganization in the phantom limb sensation area presented. In particular functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) mapping of the somatic and motor cortex of amputee patients, in the case of referred sensations. Using fMRI we can show the correlation between structure and functional field and study the reorganization due to plasticity in the brain.

  7. Functional Lateralization of the Brain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dean, Raymond S.

    1984-01-01

    Research concerning lateralization of human brain functions is examined in light of the recent publication of the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children. Following a review of research methodologies and functions ascribed to the hemispheres of the brain, differences are portrayed as complementary and coexisting modes of cognitive processing.…

  8. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiency during Brain Maturation Reduces Neuronal and Behavioral Plasticity in Adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Sandeep; Huo, Yi-Xin; Ying, Zhe; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2011-01-01

    Omega-3-fatty acid DHA is a structural component of brain plasma membranes, thereby crucial for neuronal signaling; however, the brain is inefficient at synthesizing DHA. We have asked how levels of dietary n-3 fatty acids during brain growth would affect brain function and plasticity during adult life. Pregnant rats and their male offspring were fed an n-3 adequate diet or n-3 deficient diets for 15 weeks. Results showed that the n-3 deficiency increased parameters of anxiety-like behavior using open field and elevated plus maze tests in the male offspring. Behavioral changes were accompanied by a level reduction in the anxiolytic-related neuropeptide Y-1 receptor, and an increase in the anxiogenic-related glucocorticoid receptor in the cognitive related frontal cortex, hypothalamus and hippocampus. The n-3 deficiency reduced brain levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and increased the ratio n-6/n-3 assessed by gas chromatography. The n-3 deficiency reduced the levels of BDNF and signaling through the BDNF receptor TrkB, in proportion to brain DHA levels, and reduced the activation of the BDNF-related signaling molecule CREB in selected brain regions. The n-3 deficiency also disrupted the insulin signaling pathways as evidenced by changes in insulin receptor (IR) and insulin receptor substrate (IRS). DHA deficiency during brain maturation reduces plasticity and compromises brain function in adulthood. Adequate levels of dietary DHA seem crucial for building long-term neuronal resilience for optimal brain performance and aiding in the battle against neurological disorders. PMID:22163304

  9. Indestructible plastic: the neuroscience of the new aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, research on experience-dependent plasticity has provided valuable insight on adaptation to environmental input across the lifespan, and advances in understanding the minute cellular changes underlying the brain’s capacity for self-reorganization have opened exciting new possibilities for treating illness and injury. Ongoing work in this line of inquiry has also come to deeply influence another field: cognitive neuroscience of the normal aging. This complex process, once considered inevitable or beyond the reach of treatment, has been transformed into an arena of intense investigation and strategic intervention. However, important questions remain about this characterization of the aging brain, and the assumptions it makes about the social, cultural, and biological space occupied by cognition in the older individual and body. The following paper will provide a critical examination of the move from basic experiments on the neurophysiology of experience-dependent plasticity to the growing market for (and public conception of) cognitive aging as a medicalized space for intervention by neuroscience-backed technologies. Entangled with changing concepts of normality, pathology, and self-preservation, we will argue that this new understanding, led by personalized cognitive training strategies, is approaching a point where interdisciplinary research is crucial to provide a holistic and nuanced understanding of the aging process. This new outlook will allow us to move forward in a space where our knowledge, like our new conception of the brain, is never static. PMID:24782746

  10. Aromatase, brain sexualization and plasticity: the fish paradigm.

    PubMed

    Le Page, Yann; Diotel, Nicolas; Vaillant, Colette; Pellegrini, Elisabeth; Anglade, Isabelle; Mérot, Yohann; Kah, Olivier

    2010-12-01

    In contrast to mammals, teleost fish have a very labile genetic sex determination. Sex differentiation is influenced by a combination of hormonal, social and environmental factors and teleost fishes exhibit many examples of hermaphroditism. This means that the brain of fish is not irreversibly sexualized early in life. This review aims at highlighting some unique features of fish that may explain their brain sexual plasticity. Unlike mammals, in which brain aromatase activity decreases after birth, adult teleosts exhibit an intense aromatase activity due to strong expression of one of two aromatase genes (aromatase A or cyp19a1a and aromatase B or cyp19a1b) that arose from a gene duplication event. Interestingly, aromatase B is only expressed in radial glial cells (RGC) of adult fish. These cells persist throughout life and act as progenitors in the brain of both developing and adult fish. In agreement with the fact that brain aromatase activity is correlated with sex steroid levels, the high expression of cyp19a1b is due to an autoregulatory loop through which estrogens and aromatizable androgens upregulate aromatase expression. Given the well-established roles of estrogens and aromatase on brain sexualization, these features suggest that the brain of fish conserves properties of embryonic mammalian brain throughout life - high neurogenic activity and high aromatase expression in progenitor cells correlated with sex steroid levels. The permanent dialogue between the brain and the gonad would permit sex changes and thus the emergence of a variety of reproductive strategies. Other hypotheses are also discussed. PMID:21143665

  11. Differential Pharmacological Effects on Brain Reactivity and Plasticity in Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Brem, Anna-Katharine; Atkinson, Natasha J.; Seligson, Erica E.; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2013-01-01

    Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) are the most commonly prescribed monotherapeutic medications for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, their underlying neurophysiological effects remain largely unknown. We investigated the effects of monotherapy (AChEI) and combination therapy (AChEI and memantine) on brain reactivity and plasticity. Patients treated with monotherapy (AChEI) (N?=?7) were compared to patients receiving combination therapy (COM) (N?=?9) and a group of age-matched, healthy controls (HCs) (N?=?13). Cortical reactivity and plasticity of the motor cortex were examined using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Cognitive functions were assessed with the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog), activities of daily living (ADLs) with the ADCS-ADL. In addition we assessed the degree of brain atrophy by measuring brain-scalp distances in seven different brain areas. Patient groups differed in resting motor threshold and brain atrophy, with COM showing a lower motor threshold but less atrophy than AChEI. COM showed similar plasticity effects as the HC group, while plasticity was reduced in AChEI. Long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI) was impaired in both patient groups when compared to HC. ADAS-Cog scores were positively correlated with LICI measures and with brain atrophy, specifically in the left inferior parietal cortex. AD patients treated with mono- or combination-therapy show distinct neurophysiological patterns. Further studies should investigate whether these measures might serve as biomarkers of treatment response and whether they could guide other therapeutic interventions. PMID:24109459

  12. Evolution, development, and plasticity of the human brain: from molecules to bones

    PubMed Central

    Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Bienvenu, Thibault; Stefanacci, Lisa; Muotri, Alysson R.; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2013-01-01

    Neuroanatomical, molecular, and paleontological evidence is examined in light of human brain evolution. The brain of extant humans differs from the brains of other primates in its overall size and organization, and differences in size and organization of specific cortical areas and subcortical structures implicated into complex cognition and social and emotional processing. The human brain is also characterized by functional lateralizations, reflecting specializations of the cerebral hemispheres in humans for different types of processing, facilitating fast and reliable communication between neural cells in an enlarged brain. The features observed in the adult brain reflect human-specific patterns of brain development. Compared to the brains of other primates, the human brain takes longer to mature, promoting an extended period for establishing cortical microcircuitry and its modifications. Together, these features may underlie the prolonged period of learning and acquisition of technical and social skills necessary for survival, creating a unique cognitive and behavioral niche typical of our species. The neuroanatomical findings are in concordance with molecular analyses, which suggest a trend toward heterochrony in the expression of genes implicated in different functions. These include synaptogenesis, neuronal maturation, and plasticity in humans, mutations in genes implicated in neurite outgrowth and plasticity, and an increased role of regulatory mechanisms, potentially promoting fast modification of neuronal morphologies in response to new computational demands. At the same time, endocranial casts of fossil hominins provide an insight into the timing of the emergence of uniquely human features in the course of evolution. We conclude by proposing several ways of combining comparative neuroanatomy, molecular biology and insights gained from fossil endocasts in future research. PMID:24194709

  13. 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

  14. Review of Research: Neuroscience and the Impact of Brain Plasticity on Braille Reading

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hannan, Cheryl Kamei

    2006-01-01

    In this systematic review of research, the author analyzes studies of neural cortical activation, brain plasticity, and braille reading. The conclusions regarding the brain's plasticity and ability to reorganize are encouraging for individuals with degenerative eye conditions or late-onset blindness because they indicate that the brain can make…

  15. Neighborhood matters: divergent patterns of stress-induced plasticity across the brain.

    PubMed

    Chattarji, Sumantra; Tomar, Anupratap; Suvrathan, Aparna; Ghosh, Supriya; Rahman, Mohammed Mostafizur

    2015-09-25

    The fact that exposure to severe stress leads to the development of psychiatric disorders serves as the basic rationale for animal models of stress disorders. Clinical and neuroimaging studies have shown that three brain areas involved in learning and memory-the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex-undergo distinct structural and functional changes in individuals with stress disorders. These findings from patient studies pose several challenges for animal models of stress disorders. For instance, why does stress impair cognitive function, yet enhance fear and anxiety? Can the same stressful experience elicit contrasting patterns of plasticity in the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex? How does even a brief exposure to traumatic stress lead to long-lasting behavioral abnormalities? Thus, animal models of stress disorders must not only capture the unique spatio-temporal features of structural and functional alterations in these brain areas, but must also provide insights into the underlying neuronal plasticity mechanisms. This Review will address some of these key questions by describing findings from animal models on how stress-induced plasticity varies across different brain regions and thereby gives rise to the debilitating emotional and cognitive symptoms of stress-related psychiatric disorders. PMID:26404711

  16. Changes of the directional brain networks related with brain plasticity in patients with long-term unilateral sensorineural hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Zhang, G-Y; Yang, M; Liu, B; Huang, Z-C; Li, J; Chen, J-Y; Chen, H; Zhang, P-P; Liu, L-J; Wang, J; Teng, G-J

    2016-01-28

    Previous studies often report that early auditory deprivation or congenital deafness contributes to cross-modal reorganization in the auditory-deprived cortex, and this cross-modal reorganization limits clinical benefit from cochlear prosthetics. However, there are inconsistencies among study results on cortical reorganization in those subjects with long-term unilateral sensorineural hearing loss (USNHL). It is also unclear whether there exists a similar cross-modal plasticity of the auditory cortex for acquired monaural deafness and early or congenital deafness. To address this issue, we constructed the directional brain functional networks based on entropy connectivity of resting-state functional MRI and researched changes of the networks. Thirty-four long-term USNHL individuals and seventeen normally hearing individuals participated in the test, and all USNHL patients had acquired deafness. We found that certain brain regions of the sensorimotor and visual networks presented enhanced synchronous output entropy connectivity with the left primary auditory cortex in the left long-term USNHL individuals as compared with normally hearing individuals. Especially, the left USNHL showed more significant changes of entropy connectivity than the right USNHL. No significant plastic changes were observed in the right USNHL. Our results indicate that the left primary auditory cortex (non-auditory-deprived cortex) in patients with left USNHL has been reorganized by visual and sensorimotor modalities through cross-modal plasticity. Furthermore, the cross-modal reorganization also alters the directional brain functional networks. The auditory deprivation from the left or right side generates different influences on the human brain. PMID:26621123

  17. Bridging animal and human models of exercise-induced brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Voss, Michelle W.; Vivar, Carmen; Kramer, Arthur F.; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-01-01

    Significant progress has been made in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms through which exercise protects and restores the brain. In this feature review, we integrate animal and human research, examining physical activity effects across multiple levels of description (neurons up to inter-regional pathways). We evaluate the influence of exercise on hippocampal structure and function, addressing common themes such as spatial memory and pattern separation, brain structure and plasticity, neurotrophic factors, and vasculature. Areas of research focused more within species, such as hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents, also provide crucial insight into the protective role of physical activity. Overall, converging evidence suggests exercise benefits brain function and cognition across the mammalian lifespan, which may translate into reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in humans. PMID:24029446

  18. Alteration and reorganization of functional networks: a new perspective in brain injury study.

    PubMed

    Castellanos, Nazareth P; Bajo, Ricardo; Cuesta, Pablo; Villacorta-Atienza, José Antonio; Paúl, Nuria; Garcia-Prieto, Juan; Del-Pozo, Francisco; Maestú, Fernando

    2011-01-01

    Plasticity is the mechanism underlying the brain's potential capability to compensate injury. Recently several studies have shown how functional connections among the brain areas are severely altered by brain injury and plasticity leading to a reorganization of the networks. This new approach studies the impact of brain injury by means of alteration of functional interactions. The concept of functional connectivity refers to the statistical interdependencies between physiological time series simultaneously recorded in various areas of the brain and it could be an essential tool for brain functional studies, being its deviation from healthy reference an indicator for damage. In this article, we review studies investigating functional connectivity changes after brain injury and subsequent recovery, providing an accessible introduction to common mathematical methods to infer functional connectivity, exploring their capabilities, future perspectives, and clinical uses in brain injury studies. PMID:21960965

  19. Functional Imaging: Is the Resting Brain Resting?

    E-print Network

    Miall, Chris

    Functional Imaging: Is the Resting Brain Resting? It is often assumed that the human brain only the function of this resting activity. R. Chris Miall1 and Edwin M. Robertson2 The human brain has a large, that an efficient strategy would be to use the brain only when absolutely necessary. But does the human brain

  20. Functional brain mapping of psychopathology

    PubMed Central

    Honey, G; Fletcher, P; Bullmore, E

    2002-01-01

    In this paper, we consider the impact that the novel functional neuroimaging techniques may have upon psychiatric illness. Functional neuroimaging has rapidly developed as a powerful tool in cognitive neuroscience and, in recent years, has seen widespread application in psychiatry. Although such studies have produced evidence for abnormal patterns of brain response in association with some pathological conditions, the core pathophysiologies remain unresolved. Although imaging techniques provide an unprecedented opportunity for investigation of physiological function of the living human brain, there are fundamental questions and assumptions which remain to be addressed. In this review we examine these conceptual issues under three broad sections: (1) characterising the clinical population of interest, (2) defining appropriate levels of description of normal brain function, and (3) relating these models to pathophysiological conditions. Parallel advances in each of these questions will be required before imaging techniques can impact on clinical decisions in psychiatry. PMID:11909899

  1. Neural Plastic Effects of Cognitive Training on Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Natalie T. Y.; Tam, Helena M. K.; Chu, Leung W.; Kwok, Timothy C. Y.; Chan, Felix; Lam, Linda C. W.; Woo, Jean; Lee, Tatia M. C.

    2015-01-01

    Increasing research has evidenced that our brain retains a capacity to change in response to experience until late adulthood. This implies that cognitive training can possibly ameliorate age-associated cognitive decline by inducing training-specific neural plastic changes at both neural and behavioral levels. This longitudinal study examined the behavioral effects of a systematic thirteen-week cognitive training program on attention and working memory of older adults who were at risk of cognitive decline. These older adults were randomly assigned to the Cognitive Training Group (n = 109) and the Active Control Group (n = 100). Findings clearly indicated that training induced improvement in auditory and visual-spatial attention and working memory. The training effect was specific to the experience provided because no significant difference in verbal and visual-spatial memory between the two groups was observed. This pattern of findings is consistent with the prediction and the principle of experience-dependent neuroplasticity. Findings of our study provided further support to the notion that the neural plastic potential continues until older age. The baseline cognitive status did not correlate with pre- versus posttraining changes to any cognitive variables studied, suggesting that the initial cognitive status may not limit the neuroplastic potential of the brain at an old age. PMID:26417460

  2. Effect of disease and recovery on functional anatomy in brain tumor patients: insights from functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging

    PubMed Central

    Abd-El-Barr, Muhammad M; Saleh, Emam; Huang, Raymond Y; Golby, Alexandra J

    2014-01-01

    Patients with brain tumors provide a unique opportunity to understand functional brain plasticity. Using advanced imaging techniques, such as functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging, we have gained tremendous knowledge of brain tumor behavior, transformation, infiltration and destruction of nearby structures. Using these advanced techniques as an adjunct with more proven techniques, such as direct cortical stimulation, intraoperative navigation and advanced microsurgical techniques, we now are able to better formulate safer resection trajectories, perform larger resections at reduced risk and better counsel patients and their families about possible complications. Brain mapping in patients with brain tumors and other lesions has shown us that the old idea of fixed function of the adult cerebral cortex is not entirely true. Improving care for patients with brain lesions in the future will depend on better understanding of the functional organization and plasticity of the adult brain. Advanced noninvasive brain imaging will undoubtedly play a role in advancing this understanding. PMID:24660024

  3. Natriuretic Hormones in Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Hodes, Anastasia; Lichtstein, David

    2014-01-01

    Natriuretic hormones (NH) include three groups of compounds: the natriuretic peptides (ANP, BNP and CNP), the gastrointestinal peptides (guanylin and uroguanylin), and endogenous cardiac steroids. These substances induce the kidney to excrete sodium and therefore participate in the regulation of sodium and water homeostasis, blood volume, and blood pressure (BP). In addition to their peripheral functions, these hormones act as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators in the brain. In this review, the established information on the biosynthesis, release and function of NH is discussed, with particular focus on their role in brain function. The available literature on the expression patterns of each of the NH and their receptors in the brain is summarized, followed by the evidence for their roles in modulating brain function. Although numerous open questions exist regarding this issue, the available data support the notion that NH participate in the central regulation of BP, neuroprotection, satiety, and various psychiatric conditions, including anxiety, addiction, and depressive disorders. In addition, the interactions between the different NH in the periphery and the brain are discussed. PMID:25506340

  4. Extracellular proteolysis in structural and functional plasticity of mossy fiber synapses in hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Wiera, Grzegorz; Mozrzymas, Jerzy W.

    2015-01-01

    Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed long-term potentiation (LTP) that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)/plasmin system, ?-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation. PMID:26582976

  5. Localized morphological brain differences between English-speaking Caucasians and Chinese-speaking Asians: new evidence of anatomical plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kochunov, P; Fox, P; Lancaster, J; Tan, L H; Amunts, K; Zilles, K; Mazziotta, J; Gao, J H

    2003-05-23

    Deformation field morphometry was applied to magnetic resonance images to detect differences in brain shape between English-speaking Caucasians and Chinese-speaking Asians. Anatomical differences between these two groups were limited to gyri in the frontal, temporal and parietal lobes, which are known (through functional imaging studies) to differentiate Chinese speakers from English speakers. We interpret these anatomical differences as evidence of neural plasticity shaped by the process of language acquisition during childhood. While anatomical plasticity due to manual skill acquisition (e.g. in musicians) has been established, to our knowledge this is the first report of a brain anatomical difference attributable to a learned cognitive strategy. PMID:12802183

  6. Human neural stem cells enhance structural plasticity and axonal transport in the ischaemic brain

    PubMed Central

    Andres, Robert H.; Horie, Nobutaka; Slikker, William; Keren-Gill, Hadar; Zhan, Ke; Sun, Guohua; Manley, Nathan C.; Pereira, Marta P.; Sheikh, Lamiya A.; McMillan, Erin L.; Schaar, Bruce T.; Svendsen, Clive N.

    2011-01-01

    Stem cell transplantation promises new hope for the treatment of stroke although significant questions remain about how the grafted cells elicit their effects. One hypothesis is that transplanted stem cells enhance endogenous repair mechanisms activated after cerebral ischaemia. Recognizing that bilateral reorganization of surviving circuits is associated with recovery after stroke, we investigated the ability of transplanted human neural progenitor cells to enhance this structural plasticity. Our results show the first evidence that human neural progenitor cell treatment can significantly increase dendritic plasticity in both the ipsi- and contralesional cortex and this coincides with stem cell-induced functional recovery. Moreover, stem cell-grafted rats demonstrated increased corticocortical, corticostriatal, corticothalamic and corticospinal axonal rewiring from the contralesional side; with the transcallosal and corticospinal axonal sprouting correlating with functional recovery. Furthermore, we demonstrate that axonal transport, which is critical for both proper axonal function and axonal sprouting, is inhibited by stroke and that this is rescued by the stem cell treatment, thus identifying another novel potential mechanism of action of transplanted cells. Finally, we established in vitro co-culture assays in which these stem cells mimicked the effects observed in vivo. Through immunodepletion studies, we identified vascular endothelial growth factor, thrombospondins 1 and 2, and slit as mediators partially responsible for stem cell-induced effects on dendritic sprouting, axonal plasticity and axonal transport in vitro. Thus, we postulate that human neural progenitor cells aid recovery after stroke through secretion of factors that enhance brain repair and plasticity. PMID:21616972

  7. Training the Brain: Practical Applications of Neural Plasticity From the Intersection of Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, and Prevention Science

    PubMed Central

    Bryck, Richard L.; Fisher, Philip A.

    2012-01-01

    Prior researchers have shown that the brain has a remarkable ability for adapting to environmental changes. The positive effects of such neural plasticity include enhanced functioning in specific cognitive domains and shifts in cortical representation following naturally occurring cases of sensory deprivation; however, maladaptive changes in brain function and development owing to early developmental adversity and stress have also been well documented. Researchers examining enriched rearing environments in animals have revealed the potential for inducing positive brain plasticity effects and have helped to popularize methods for training the brain to reverse early brain deficits or to boost normal cognitive functioning. In this paper, two classes of empirically based methods of brain training in children are reviewed and critiqued: laboratory-based, mental process training paradigms and ecological interventions based upon neurocognitive conceptual models. Given the susceptibility of executive function disruption, special attention is paid to training programs that emphasize executive function enhancement. In addition, a third approach to brain training, aimed at tapping into compensatory processes, is postulated. Study results showing the effectiveness of this strategy in the field of neurorehabilitation and in terms of naturally occurring compensatory processing in human aging lend credence to the potential of this approach. PMID:21787037

  8. Gadd45b Mediates Axonal Plasticity and Subsequent Functional Recovery After Experimental Stroke in Rats.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bin; Li, Long-ling; Tan, Xiao-dan; Zhang, Yan-hong; Jiang, Ying; He, Guo-qian; Chen, Qian; Li, Chang-qing

    2015-12-01

    Stroke causes devastating and irreversible losses of neurological function with subsequent slow and incomplete recovery of lost brain functions, because of the brain's limited capacity for brain plasticity. Growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible protein 45 beta (Gadd45b) has recently been demonstrated as a candidate plasticity-related gene, making it an excellent candidate molecule that has therapeutic potential. Here, we examine whether in vivo blockage of Gadd45b affects axonal plasticity and subsequent functional recovery after focal brain infarction. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to cerebral ischemia by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). We adopted RNA interference (RNAi) mediated by a lentiviral vector (LV) as a means of suppressing the expression of Gadd45b. Functional recovery was assessed with a battery of tests that measured skilled forelimb reaching and forelimb balance controlling. Axonal reorganization at the level of the red nucleus was revealed by anatomical studies. Axonal regeneration was measured by elevated expression of growth-associated protein 43 (GAP-43). The levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cyclic AMP (cAMP), protein kinase A (PKA), and Rho-kinase (ROCK) were determined. Gadd45b-RNAi significantly inhibited axonal plasticity (axonal regeneration and axonal reorganization) after MCAO. This inhibition was paralleled by worse functional recovery performance on several behavioral measures. Gadd45b-RNAi also significantly decreased the expression levels of both BDNF and cAMP/PKA/phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB) pathway and promoted ROCK expression. We conclude that Gadd45b stimulates recovery after stroke by enhancing axonal plasticity required for brain repair. Pharmacological targeting of Gadd45b provides new opportunities for stroke treatment. PMID:25324012

  9. PREDICTING BIOPOLYMER FILM FUNCTION USING PLASTICIZER EFFICIENCY RATINGS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plasticizers affect glass transition temperature (Tg) and tensile strength (TS) of biopolymer films. The effects of plasticizer content on Tg and tensile strength can be correlated to determine plasticizer efficiency ratings, k which can then be used to create predictive models for film function. ...

  10. Sleep, Plasticity and Memory from Molecules to Whole-Brain Networks

    PubMed Central

    Abel, Ted; Havekes, Robbert; Saletin, Jared M.; Walker, Matthew P.

    2014-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of sleep across phylogeny, its function remains elusive. In this review, we consider one compelling candidate: brain plasticity associated with memory processing. Focusing largely on hippocampus-dependent memory in rodents and humans, we describe molecular, cellular, network, whole-brain and behavioral evidence establishing a role for sleep both in preparation for initial memory encoding, and in the subsequent offline consolidation ofmemory. Sleep and sleep deprivation bidirectionally alter molecular signaling pathways that regulate synaptic strength and control plasticity-related gene transcription and protein translation. At the cellular level, sleep deprivation impairs cellular excitability necessary for inducing synaptic potentiation and accelerates the decay of long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity. In contrast, NREM and REM sleep enhance previously induced synaptic potentiation, although synaptic de-potentiation during sleep has also been observed. Beyond single cell dynamics, large-scale cell ensembles express coordinated replay of prior learning-related firing patterns during subsequent sleep. This occurs in the hippocampus, in the cortex, and between the hippocampus and cortex, commonly in association with specific NREM sleep oscillations. At the whole-brain level, somewhat analogous learning-associated hippocampal (re)activation during NREM sleep has been reported in humans. Moreover, the same cortical NREM oscillations associated with replay in rodents also promote human hippocampal memory consolidation, and this process can be manipulated using exogenous reactivation cues during sleep. Mirroring molecular findings in rodents, specific NREM sleep oscillations before encoding refresh human hippocampal learning capacity, while deprivation of sleep conversely impairs subsequent hippocampal activity and associated encoding. Together, these cross-descriptive level findings demonstrate that the unique neurobiology of sleep exert powerful effects on molecular, cellular and network mechanism of plasticity that govern both initial learning and subsequent long-term memory consolidation. PMID:24028961

  11. Physical exercise in overweight to obese individuals induces metabolic- and neurotrophic-related structural brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Karsten; Möller, Harald E.; Horstmann, Annette; Busse, Franziska; Lepsien, Jöran; Blüher, Matthias; Stumvoll, Michael; Villringer, Arno; Pleger, Burkhard

    2015-01-01

    Previous cross-sectional studies on body-weight-related alterations in brain structure revealed profound changes in the gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) that resemble findings obtained from individuals with advancing age. This suggests that obesity may lead to structural brain changes that are comparable with brain aging. Here, we asked whether weight-loss-dependent improved metabolic and neurotrophic functioning parallels the reversal of obesity-related alterations in brain structure. To this end we applied magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) together with voxel-based morphometry and diffusion-tensor imaging in overweight to obese individuals who participated in a fitness course with intensive physical training twice a week over a period of 3 months. After the fitness course, participants presented, with inter-individual heterogeneity, a reduced body mass index (BMI), reduced serum leptin concentrations, elevated high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), and alterations of serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentrations suggesting changes of metabolic and neurotrophic function. Exercise-dependent changes in BMI and serum concentration of BDNF, leptin, and HDL-C were related to an increase in GM density in the left hippocampus, the insular cortex, and the left cerebellar lobule. We also observed exercise-dependent changes of diffusivity parameters in surrounding WM structures as well as in the corpus callosum. These findings suggest that weight-loss due to physical exercise in overweight to obese participants induces profound structural brain plasticity, not primarily of sensorimotor brain regions involved in physical exercise, but of regions previously reported to be structurally affected by an increased body weight and functionally implemented in gustation and cognitive processing. PMID:26190989

  12. Current trends in stroke rehabilitation. A review with focus on brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Johansson, B B

    2011-03-01

    Current understanding of brain plasticity has lead to new approaches in ischemic stroke rehabilitation. Stroke units that combine good medical and nursing care with task-oriented intense training in an environment that provides confidence, stimulation and motivation significantly improve outcome. Repetitive trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), and trans-cranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are applied in rehabilitation of motor function. The long-term effect, optimal way of stimulation and possibly efficacy in cognitive rehabilitation need evaluation. Methods based on multisensory integration of motor, cognitive, and perceptual processes including action observation, mental training, and virtual reality are being tested. Different approaches of intensive aphasia training are described. Recent data on intensive melodic intonation therapy indicate that even patients with very severe non-fluent aphasia can regain speech through homotopic white matter tract plasticity. Music therapy is applied in motor and cognitive rehabilitation. To avoid the confounding effect of spontaneous improvement, most trials are preformed ?3 months post stroke. Randomized controlled trials starting earlier after strokes are needed. More attention should be given to stroke heterogeneity, cognitive rehabilitation, and social adjustment and to genetic differences, including the role of BDNF polymorphism in brain plasticity. PMID:20726844

  13. PET-imaging of brain plasticity after cochlear implantation K. Strelnikov a, b, 1

    E-print Network

    Review PET-imaging of brain plasticity after cochlear implantation K. Strelnikov a, b, 1 , M. Marx indicates peculiarities of brain networks involved in speech restoration after cochlear implantation. We after cochlear implantation partly relies on visual cues. The brain develops mechanisms of audio

  14. Effects of non-pharmacological or pharmacological interventions on cognition and brain plasticity of aging individuals

    PubMed Central

    Pieramico, Valentina; Esposito, Roberto; Cesinaro, Stefano; Frazzini, Valerio; Sensi, Stefano L.

    2014-01-01

    Brain aging and aging-related neurodegenerative disorders are major health challenges faced by modern societies. Brain aging is associated with cognitive and functional decline and represents the favourable background for the onset and development of dementia. Brain aging is associated with early and subtle anatomo-functional physiological changes that often precede the appearance of clinical signs of cognitive decline. Neuroimaging approaches unveiled the functional correlates of these alterations and helped in the identification of therapeutic targets that can be potentially useful in counteracting age-dependent cognitive decline. A growing body of evidence supports the notion that cognitive stimulation and aerobic training can preserve and enhance operational skills in elderly individuals as well as reduce the incidence of dementia. This review aims at providing an extensive and critical overview of the most recent data that support the efficacy of non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions aimed at enhancing cognition and brain plasticity in healthy elderly individuals as well as delaying the cognitive decline associated with dementia. PMID:25228860

  15. A voxelwise approach to determine consensus regions-of-interest for the study of brain network plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Rajtmajer, Sarah M.; Roy, Arnab; Albert, Reka; Molenaar, Peter C. M.; Hillary, Frank G.

    2015-01-01

    Despite exciting advances in the functional imaging of the brain, it remains a challenge to define regions of interest (ROIs) that do not require investigator supervision and permit examination of change in networks over time (or plasticity). Plasticity is most readily examined by maintaining ROIs constant via seed-based and anatomical-atlas based techniques, but these approaches are not data-driven, requiring definition based on prior experience (e.g., choice of seed-region, anatomical landmarks). These approaches are limiting especially when functional connectivity may evolve over time in areas that are finer than known anatomical landmarks or in areas outside predetermined seeded regions. An ideal method would permit investigators to study network plasticity due to learning, maturation effects, or clinical recovery via multiple time point data that can be compared to one another in the same ROI while also preserving the voxel-level data in those ROIs at each time point. Data-driven approaches (e.g., whole-brain voxelwise approaches) ameliorate concerns regarding investigator bias, but the fundamental problem of comparing the results between distinct data sets remains. In this paper we propose an approach, aggregate-initialized label propagation (AILP), which allows for data at separate time points to be compared for examining developmental processes resulting in network change (plasticity). To do so, we use a whole-brain modularity approach to parcellate the brain into anatomically constrained functional modules at separate time points and then apply the AILP algorithm to form a consensus set of ROIs for examining change over time. To demonstrate its utility, we make use of a known dataset of individuals with traumatic brain injury sampled at two time points during the first year of recovery and show how the AILP procedure can be applied to select regions of interest to be used in a graph theoretical analysis of plasticity. PMID:26283928

  16. Sex Hormones Regulate Cytoskeletal Proteins Involved in Brain Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hansberg-Pastor, Valeria; González-Arenas, Aliesha; Piña-Medina, Ana Gabriela; Camacho-Arroyo, Ignacio

    2015-01-01

    In the brain of female mammals, including humans, a number of physiological and behavioral changes occur as a result of sex hormone exposure. Estradiol and progesterone regulate several brain functions, including learning and memory. Sex hormones contribute to shape the central nervous system by modulating the formation and turnover of the interconnections between neurons as well as controlling the function of glial cells. The dynamics of neuron and glial cells morphology depends on the cytoskeleton and its associated proteins. Cytoskeletal proteins are necessary to form neuronal dendrites and dendritic spines, as well as to regulate the diverse functions in astrocytes. The expression pattern of proteins, such as actin, microtubule-associated protein 2, Tau, and glial fibrillary acidic protein, changes in a tissue-specific manner in the brain, particularly when variations in sex hormone levels occur during the estrous or menstrual cycles or pregnancy. Here, we review the changes in structure and organization of neurons and glial cells that require the participation of cytoskeletal proteins whose expression and activity are regulated by estradiol and progesterone. PMID:26635640

  17. Task decomposition: a framework for comparing diverse training models in human brain plasticity studies

    PubMed Central

    Coffey, Emily B. J.; Herholz, Sibylle C.

    2013-01-01

    Training studies, in which the structural or functional neurophysiology is compared before and after expertise is acquired, are increasingly being used as models for understanding the human brain’s potential for reorganization. It is proving difficult to use these results to answer basic and important questions like how task training leads to both specific and general changes in behavior and how these changes correspond with modifications in the brain. The main culprit is the diversity of paradigms used as complex task models. An assortment of activities ranging from juggling to deciphering Morse code has been reported. Even when working in the same general domain, few researchers use similar training models. New ways to meaningfully compare complex tasks are needed. We propose a method for characterizing and deconstructing the task requirements of complex training paradigms, which is suitable for application to both structural and functional neuroimaging studies. We believe this approach will aid brain plasticity research by making it easier to compare training paradigms, identify “missing puzzle pieces,” and encourage researchers to design training protocols to bridge these gaps. PMID:24115927

  18. Methylphenidate and the juvenile brain: enhancement of attention at the expense of cortical plasticity?

    PubMed

    Urban, Kimberly R; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2013-12-01

    Methylphenidate (Ritalin) is the most commonly prescribed psychoactive drug for juveniles and adolescents. Used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and for cognitive enhancement in healthy individuals, it has been regarded as a relatively safe medication for the past several decades. However, a thorough review of the literature reveals that the age-dependent activities of the drug, as well as potential developmental effects, are largely ignored. In addition, the diagnosis of ADHD is subjective, leaving open the possibility of misdiagnosis and excessive prescription of the drug. Recent studies have suggested that early life exposure of healthy rodent models to methylphenidate resulted in altered sleep/wake cycle, heightened stress reactivity, and, in fact, a dosage previously thought of as therapeutic depressed neuronal function in juvenile rats. Furthermore, juvenile rats exposed to low-dose methylphenidate displayed alterations in neural markers of plasticity, indicating that the drug might alter the basic properties of prefrontal cortical circuits. In this review of the current literature, we propose that juvenile exposure to methylphenidate may cause abnormal prefrontal function and impaired plasticity in the healthy brain, strengthening the case for developing a more thorough understanding of methylphenidate's actions on the developing, juvenile brain, as well as better diagnostic measures for ADHD. PMID:24095262

  19. Interhemispheric Plasticity Protects the Deafferented Somatosensory Cortex from Functional Takeover After Nerve Injury

    PubMed Central

    Koretsky, Alan P.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Functional changes across brain hemispheres have been reported after unilateral cortical or peripheral nerve injury. Interhemispheric callosal connections usually underlie this cortico-cortical plasticity. However, the effect of the altered callosal inputs on local cortical plasticity in the adult brain is not well studied. Ipsilateral functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation has been reliably detected in the deafferented barrel cortex (BC) at 2 weeks after unilateral infraorbital denervation (IO) in adult rats. The ipsilateral fMRI signal relies on callosal-mediated interhemispheric plasticity. This form of interhemispheric plasticity provides a good chronic model to study the interaction between callosal inputs and local cortical plasticity. The receptive field of forepaw in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), which is adjacent to the BC, was mapped with fMRI. The S1 receptive field expanded to take over a portion of the BC in 2 weeks after both ascending inputs and callosal inputs were removed in IO rats with ablated contralateral BC (IO+ablation). This expansion, estimated specifically by fMRI mapping, is significantly larger than what has been observed in the IO rats with intact callosal connectivity, as well as in the rats with sham surgery. This work indicates that altered callosal inputs prevent the functional takeover of the deafferented BC from adjacent cortices and may help preserve the functional identity of the BC. PMID:25117691

  20. SIRT1 is essential for normal cognitive function and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Michán, Shaday; Li, Ying; Chou, Maggie Meng-Hsiu; Parrella, Edoardo; Ge, Huanying; Long, Jeffrey M.; Allard, Joanne S.; Lewis, Kaitlyn; Miller, Marshall; Xu, Wei; Mervis, Ronald F.; Chen, Jing; Guerin, Karen I.; Smith, Lois E. H.; McBurney, Michael W.; Sinclair, David A.; Baudry, Michel; de Cabo, Rafael; Longo, Valter D.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation of normal cognitive functions relies on the proper performance of the nervous system at the cellular and molecular level. The mammalian NAD+-dependent deacetylase, SIRT1, impacts different processes potentially involved in the maintenance of brain integrity such as chromatin remodeling, DNA repair, cell survival and neurogenesis. Here we show that SIRT1 is expressed in neurons of the hippocampus, a key structure in learning and memory. Using a combination of behavioral and electrophysiological paradigms we analyzed the effects of SIRT1 deficiency and overexpression on mouse learning and memory as well as on synaptic plasticity. We demonstrated that the absence of SIRT1 impaired cognitive abilities, including immediate memory, classical conditioning and spatial learning. In addition, we found that the cognitive deficits in SIRT1 knockout mice were associated with defects in synaptic plasticity without alterations in basal synaptic transmission or NMDA receptor function. Brains of SIRT1-KO mice exhibited normal morphology and dendritic spine structure but display a decrease in dendritic branching, branch length and complexity of neuronal dendritic arbors. Also, a decrease in ERK1/2 phosphorylation and altered expression of hippocampal genes involved in synaptic function, lipid metabolism and myelination were detected in SIRT1-KO mice. In contrast, mice with high levels of SIRT1 expression in brain exhibited regular synaptic plasticity and memory. We conclude that SIRT1 is indispensable for normal learning, memory and synaptic plasticity in mice. PMID:20660252

  1. Activation of Rho GTPases triggers structural remodeling and functional plasticity in the adult rat visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Cerri, Chiara; Fabbri, Alessia; Vannini, Eleonora; Spolidoro, Maria; Costa, Mario; Maffei, Lamberto; Fiorentini, Carla; Caleo, Matteo

    2011-10-19

    A classical example of age-dependent plasticity is ocular dominance (OD) plasticity, triggered by monocular deprivation (MD). Sensitivity of cortical circuits to a brief period of MD is maximal in juvenile animals and downregulated in adult age. It remains unclear whether a reduced potential for morphological remodeling underlies this downregulation of physiological plasticity in adulthood. Here we have tested whether stimulation of structural rearrangements is effective in promoting experience-dependent plasticity in adult age. We have exploited a bacterial protein toxin, cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1 (CNF1), that regulates actin dynamics and structure of neuronal processes via a persistent activation of Rho GTPases. Injection of CNF1 into the adult rat visual cortex triggered a long-lasting activation of the Rho GTPase Rac1, with a consequent increase in spine density and length in pyramidal neurons. Adult rats treated with CNF1, but not controls, showed an OD shift toward the open eye after MD. CNF1-mediated OD plasticity was selectively attributable to the enhancement of open-eye responses, whereas closed-eye inputs were unaffected. This effect correlated with an increased density of geniculocortical terminals in layer IV of monocularly deprived, CNF1-treated rats. Thus, Rho GTPase activation reinstates OD plasticity in the adult cortex via the potentiation of more active inputs from the open eye. These data establish a direct link between structural remodeling and functional plasticity and demonstrate a role for Rho GTPases in brain plasticity in vivo. The plasticizing effects of Rho GTPase activation may be exploited to promote brain repair. PMID:22016550

  2. Performance enhancement at the cost of potential brain plasticity: neural ramifications of nootropic drugs in the healthy developing brain

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Kimberly R.; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive enhancement is perhaps one of the most intriguing and controversial topics in neuroscience today. Currently, the main classes of drugs used as potential cognitive enhancers include psychostimulants (methylphenidate (MPH), amphetamine), but wakefulness-promoting agents (modafinil) and glutamate activators (ampakine) are also frequently used. Pharmacologically, substances that enhance the components of the memory/learning circuits—dopamine, glutamate (neuronal excitation), and/or norepinephrine—stand to improve brain function in healthy individuals beyond their baseline functioning. In particular, non-medical use of prescription stimulants such as MPH and illicit use of psychostimulants for cognitive enhancement have seen a recent rise among teens and young adults in schools and college campuses. However, this enhancement likely comes with a neuronal, as well as ethical, cost. Altering glutamate function via the use of psychostimulants may impair behavioral flexibility, leading to the development and/or potentiation of addictive behaviors. Furthermore, dopamine and norepinephrine do not display linear effects; instead, their modulation of cognitive and neuronal function maps on an inverted-U curve. Healthy individuals run the risk of pushing themselves beyond optimal levels into hyperdopaminergic and hypernoradrenergic states, thus vitiating the very behaviors they are striving to improve. Finally, recent studies have begun to highlight potential damaging effects of stimulant exposure in healthy juveniles. This review explains how the main classes of cognitive enhancing drugs affect the learning and memory circuits, and highlights the potential risks and concerns in healthy individuals, particularly juveniles and adolescents. We emphasize the performance enhancement at the potential cost of brain plasticity that is associated with the neural ramifications of nootropic drugs in the healthy developing brain. PMID:24860437

  3. Simultaneous Brain–Cervical Cord fMRI Reveals Intrinsic Spinal Cord Plasticity during Motor Sequence Learning

    PubMed Central

    Cohen-Adad, Julien; Marchand-Pauvert, Veronique; Benali, Habib; Doyon, Julien

    2015-01-01

    The spinal cord participates in the execution of skilled movements by translating high-level cerebral motor representations into musculotopic commands. Yet, the extent to which motor skill acquisition relies on intrinsic spinal cord processes remains unknown. To date, attempts to address this question were limited by difficulties in separating spinal local effects from supraspinal influences through traditional electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods. Here, for the first time, we provide evidence for local learning-induced plasticity in intact human spinal cord through simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and spinal cord during motor sequence learning. Specifically, we show learning-related modulation of activity in the C6–C8 spinal region, which is independent from that of related supraspinal sensorimotor structures. Moreover, a brain–spinal cord functional connectivity analysis demonstrates that the initial linear relationship between the spinal cord and sensorimotor cortex gradually fades away over the course of motor sequence learning, while the connectivity between spinal activity and cerebellum gains strength. These data suggest that the spinal cord not only constitutes an active functional component of the human motor learning network but also contributes distinctively from the brain to the learning process. The present findings open new avenues for rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injuries, as they demonstrate that this part of the central nervous system is much more plastic than assumed before. Yet, the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying this intrinsic functional plasticity in the spinal cord warrant further investigations. PMID:26125597

  4. Wnts in adult brain: from synaptic plasticity to cognitive deficiencies

    PubMed Central

    Oliva, Carolina A.; Vargas, Jessica Y.; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2013-01-01

    During development of the central nervous system the Wnt signaling pathway has been implicated in a wide spectrum of physiological processes, including neuronal connectivity and synapse formation. Wnt proteins and components of the Wnt pathway are expressed in the brain since early development to the adult life, however, little is known about its role in mature synapses. Here, we review evidences indicating that Wnt proteins participate in the remodeling of pre- and post-synaptic regions, thus modulating synaptic function. We include the most recent data in the literature showing that Wnts are constantly released in the brain to maintain the basal neural activity. Also, we review the evidences that involve components of the Wnt pathway in the development of neurological and mental disorders, including a special emphasis on in vivo studies that relate behavioral abnormalities to deficiencies in Wnt signaling. Finally, we include the evidences that support a neuroprotective role of Wnt proteins in Alzheimer’s disease. We postulate that deregulation in Wnt signaling might have a fundamental role in the origin of neurological diseases, by altering the synaptic function at stages where the phenotype is not yet established but when the cognitive decline starts. PMID:24348327

  5. Two is More Than One: How to Combine Brain Stimulation Rehabilitative Training for Functional Recovery?

    PubMed Central

    Koganemaru, Satoko; Fukuyama, Hidenao; Mima, Tatsuya

    2015-01-01

    A number of studies have shown that non-invasive brain stimulation has an additional effect in combination with rehabilitative therapy to enhance functional recovery than either therapy alone. The combination enhances use-dependent plasticity induced by repetitive training. The neurophysiological mechanism of the effects of this combination is based on associative plasticity. However, these effects were not reported in all cases. We propose a list of possible strategies to achieve an effective association between rehabilitative training with brain stimulation for plasticity: (1) control of temporal aspect between stimulation and task execution; (2) the use of a shaped task for the combination; (3) the appropriate stimulation of neuronal circuits where use-dependent plastic changes occur; and (4) phase synchronization between rhythmically patterned brain stimulation and task-related patterned activities of neurons. To better utilize brain stimulation in neuro-rehabilitation, it is important to develop more effective techniques to combine them. PMID:26617497

  6. Task decomposition: a framework for comparing diverse training models in human brain plasticity studies.

    PubMed

    Coffey, Emily B J; Herholz, Sibylle C

    2013-01-01

    Training studies, in which the structural or functional neurophysiology is compared before and after expertise is acquired, are increasingly being used as models for understanding the human brain's potential for reorganization. It is proving difficult to use these results to answer basic and important questions like how task training leads to both specific and general changes in behavior and how these changes correspond with modifications in the brain. The main culprit is the diversity of paradigms used as complex task models. An assortment of activities ranging from juggling to deciphering Morse code has been reported. Even when working in the same general domain, few researchers use similar training models. New ways to meaningfully compare complex tasks are needed. We propose a method for characterizing and deconstructing the task requirements of complex training paradigms, which is suitable for application to both structural and functional neuroimaging studies. We believe this approach will aid brain plasticity research by making it easier to compare training paradigms, identify "missing puzzle pieces," and encourage researchers to design training protocols to bridge these gaps. PMID:24115927

  7. THE NEUROSCIENCES AND MUSIC III--DISORDERS AND PLASTICITY Automatic Brain Responses to Pitch Changes

    E-print Network

    THE NEUROSCIENCES AND MUSIC III--DISORDERS AND PLASTICITY Automatic Brain Responses to Pitch Montr´eal, Qu´ebec, Canada Congenital amusia is a lifelong disorder affecting the processing of pitch. This pitch deficit can be traced down to abnormal brain responses elicited by pitch changes smaller than

  8. Aging and functional brain networks

    SciTech Connect

    Tomasi D.; Tomasi, D.; Volkow, N.D.

    2011-07-11

    Aging is associated with changes in human brain anatomy and function and cognitive decline. Recent studies suggest the aging decline of major functional connectivity hubs in the 'default-mode' network (DMN). Aging effects on other networks, however, are largely unknown. We hypothesized that aging would be associated with a decline of short- and long-range functional connectivity density (FCD) hubs in the DMN. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated resting-state data sets corresponding to 913 healthy subjects from a public magnetic resonance imaging database using functional connectivity density mapping (FCDM), a voxelwise and data-driven approach, together with parallel computing. Aging was associated with pronounced long-range FCD decreases in DMN and dorsal attention network (DAN) and with increases in somatosensory and subcortical networks. Aging effects in these networks were stronger for long-range than for short-range FCD and were also detected at the level of the main functional hubs. Females had higher short- and long-range FCD in DMN and lower FCD in the somatosensory network than males, but the gender by age interaction effects were not significant for any of the networks or hubs. These findings suggest that long-range connections may be more vulnerable to aging effects than short-range connections and that, in addition to the DMN, the DAN is also sensitive to aging effects, which could underlie the deterioration of attention processes that occurs with aging.

  9. A single hardening elasto-plastic model for Kaolin clay with loading-history-dependent plastic potential function

    E-print Network

    Prashant, Amit

    A single hardening elasto-plastic model for Kaolin clay with loading-history- dependent plastic and failure criteria are found to be strongly dependent on the principal stress rotation angle () and plastic work. A unique plastic potential function determined solely by the current stress state

  10. Predation- and competition-mediated brain plasticity in Rana temporaria tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Gonda, A; Trokovic, N; Herczeg, G; Laurila, A; Merilä, J

    2010-11-01

    An increasing number of studies have demonstrated phenotypic plasticity in brain size and architecture in response to environmental variation. However, our knowledge on how brain architecture is affected by commonplace ecological interactions is rudimentary. For example, while intraspecific competition and risk of predation are known to induce adaptive plastic modifications in morphology and behaviour in a wide variety of organisms, their effects on brain development have not been studied. We studied experimentally the influence of density and predation risk on brain development in common frog (Rana temporaria) tadpoles. Tadpoles grown at low density and under predation risk developed smaller brains than tadpoles at the other treatment combinations. Further, at high densities, tadpoles developed larger optic tecta and smaller medulla oblongata than those grown at low densities. These results demonstrate that ecological interactions - like intraspecific competition and predation risk - can have strong effects on brain development in lower vertebrates. PMID:20964761

  11. Brain Surface Conformal Parameterization with Algebraic Functions

    E-print Network

    Wang, Yalin

    Brain Surface Conformal Parameterization with Algebraic Functions Yalin Wang1,2 , Xianfeng Gu3 a brain surface to a multi-hole disk. The re- sulting parameterizations do not have any singularities of anatomical surfaces in MRI scans of the brain, in- cluding the hippocampi and the cerebral cortices

  12. Social plasticity in fish: integrating mechanisms and function.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, R F

    2012-12-01

    Social plasticity is a ubiquitous feature of animal behaviour. Animals must adjust the expression of their social behaviour to the nuances of daily social life and to the transitions between life-history stages, and the ability to do so affects their Darwinian fitness. Here, an integrative framework is proposed for understanding the proximate mechanisms and ultimate consequences of social plasticity. According to this framework, social plasticity is achieved by rewiring or by biochemically switching nodes of the neural network underlying social behaviour in response to perceived social information. Therefore, at the molecular level, it depends on the social regulation of gene expression, so that different brain genomic and epigenetic states correspond to different behavioural responses and the switches between states are orchestrated by signalling pathways that interface the social environment and the genotype. At the evolutionary scale, social plasticity can be seen as an adaptive trait that can be under positive selection when changes in the environment outpace the rate of genetic evolutionary change. In cases when social plasticity is too costly or incomplete, behavioural consistency can emerge by directional selection that recruits gene modules corresponding to favoured behavioural states in that environment. As a result of this integrative approach, how knowledge of the proximate mechanisms underlying social plasticity is crucial to understanding its costs, limits and evolutionary consequences is shown, thereby highlighting the fact that proximate mechanisms contribute to the dynamics of selection. The role of teleosts as a premier model to study social plasticity is also highlighted, given the diversity and plasticity that this group exhibits in terms of social behaviour. Finally, the proposed integrative framework to social plasticity also illustrates how reciprocal causation analysis of biological phenomena (i.e. considering the interaction between proximate factors and evolutionary explanations) can be a more useful approach than the traditional proximate-ultimate dichotomy, according to which evolutionary processes can be understood without knowledge on proximate causes, thereby black-boxing developmental and physiological mechanisms. PMID:23252731

  13. The brain timewise: how timing shapes and supports brain function

    PubMed Central

    Hari, Riitta; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-01-01

    We discuss the importance of timing in brain function: how temporal dynamics of the world has left its traces in the brain during evolution and how we can monitor the dynamics of the human brain with non-invasive measurements. Accurate timing is important for the interplay of neurons, neuronal circuitries, brain areas and human individuals. In the human brain, multiple temporal integration windows are hierarchically organized, with temporal scales ranging from microseconds to tens and hundreds of milliseconds for perceptual, motor and cognitive functions, and up to minutes, hours and even months for hormonal and mood changes. Accurate timing is impaired in several brain diseases. From the current repertoire of non-invasive brain imaging methods, only magnetoencephalography (MEG) and scalp electroencephalography (EEG) provide millisecond time-resolution; our focus in this paper is on MEG. Since the introduction of high-density whole-scalp MEG/EEG coverage in the 1990s, the instrumentation has not changed drastically; yet, novel data analyses are advancing the field rapidly by shifting the focus from the mere pinpointing of activity hotspots to seeking stimulus- or task-specific information and to characterizing functional networks. During the next decades, we can expect increased spatial resolution and accuracy of the time-resolved brain imaging and better understanding of brain function, especially its temporal constraints, with the development of novel instrumentation and finer-grained, physiologically inspired generative models of local and network activity. Merging both spatial and temporal information with increasing accuracy and carrying out recordings in naturalistic conditions, including social interaction, will bring much new information about human brain function. PMID:25823867

  14. Musicians and music making as a model for the study of brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Schlaug, Gottfried

    2015-01-01

    Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of sensory and motor skills over the course of a musician’s lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying behavioral-cognitive as well as brain effects of acquiring, practicing, and maintaining these specialized skills. Research has shown that repeatedly practicing the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation), while receiving continuous multisensory feedback will strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) as well as multimodal integration regions. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. Furthermore, the plasticity of this system as a result of long term and intense interventions suggest the potential for music making activities (e.g., forms of singing) as an intervention for neurological and developmental disorders to learn and relearn associations between auditory and motor functions such as vocal motor functions. PMID:25725909

  15. Music mnemonics aid Verbal Memory and Induce Learning – Related Brain Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Thaut, Michael H.; Peterson, David A.; McIntosh, Gerald C.; Hoemberg, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Recent research on music and brain function has suggested that the temporal pattern structure in music and rhythm can enhance cognitive functions. To further elucidate this question specifically for memory, we investigated if a musical template can enhance verbal learning in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and if music-assisted learning will also influence short-term, system-level brain plasticity. We measured systems-level brain activity with oscillatory network synchronization during music-assisted learning. Specifically, we measured the spectral power of 128-channel electroencephalogram (EEG) in alpha and beta frequency bands in 54 patients with MS. The study sample was randomly divided into two groups, either hearing a spoken or a musical (sung) presentation of Rey’s auditory verbal learning test. We defined the “learning-related synchronization” (LRS) as the percent change in EEG spectral power from the first time the word was presented to the average of the subsequent word encoding trials. LRS differed significantly between the music and the spoken conditions in low alpha and upper beta bands. Patients in the music condition showed overall better word memory and better word order memory and stronger bilateral frontal alpha LRS than patients in the spoken condition. The evidence suggests that a musical mnemonic recruits stronger oscillatory network synchronization in prefrontal areas in MS patients during word learning. It is suggested that the temporal structure implicit in musical stimuli enhances “deep encoding” during verbal learning and sharpens the timing of neural dynamics in brain networks degraded by demyelination in MS. PMID:24982626

  16. Modeling learning in brain stem and cerebellar sites responsible for VOR plasticity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quinn, K. J.; Didier, A. J.; Baker, J. F.; Peterson, B. W.

    1998-01-01

    A simple model of vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) function was used to analyze several hypotheses currently held concerning the characteristics of VOR plasticity. The network included a direct vestibular pathway and an indirect path via the cerebellum. An optimization analysis of this model suggests that regulation of brain stem sites is critical for the proper modification of VOR gain. A more physiologically plausible learning rule was also applied to this network. Analysis of these simulation results suggests that the preferred error correction signal controlling gain modification of the VOR is the direct output of the accessory optic system (AOS) to the vestibular nuclei vs. a signal relayed through the cerebellum via floccular Purkinje cells. The potential anatomical and physiological basis for this conclusion is discussed, in relation to our current understanding of the latency of the adapted VOR response.

  17. Improvement-related functional plasticity following pitch memory training

    E-print Network

    Gaser, Christian

    Improvement-related functional plasticity following pitch memory training Nadine Gaab,a Christian to the functional changes that were shown. In contrast, motor training studies (Jenkins et al., 1994; Schlaug et al; revised 20 October 2005; accepted 18 November 2005 Available online 19 January 2006 Functional activation

  18. The restless brain: how intrinsic activity organizes brain function

    PubMed Central

    Raichle, Marcus E.

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally studies of brain function have focused on task-evoked responses. By their very nature such experiments tacitly encourage a reflexive view of brain function. While such an approach has been remarkably productive at all levels of neuroscience, it ignores the alternative possibility that brain functions are mainly intrinsic and ongoing, involving information processing for interpreting, responding to and predicting environmental demands. I suggest that the latter view best captures the essence of brain function, a position that accords well with the allocation of the brain's energy resources, its limited access to sensory information and a dynamic, intrinsic functional organization. The nature of this intrinsic activity, which exhibits a surprising level of organization with dimensions of both space and time, is revealed in the ongoing activity of the brain and its metabolism. As we look to the future, understanding the nature of this intrinsic activity will require integrating knowledge from cognitive and systems neuroscience with cellular and molecular neuroscience where ion channels, receptors, components of signal transduction and metabolic pathways are all in a constant state of flux. The reward for doing so will be a much better understanding of human behaviour in health and disease. PMID:25823869

  19. Bioengineered functional brain-like cortical tissue

    PubMed Central

    Tang-Schomer, Min D.; White, James D.; Tien, Lee W.; Schmitt, L. Ian; Valentin, Thomas M.; Graziano, Daniel J.; Hopkins, Amy M.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Haydon, Philip G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    The brain remains one of the most important but least understood tissues in our body, in part because of its complexity as well as the limitations associated with in vivo studies. Although simpler tissues have yielded to the emerging tools for in vitro 3D tissue cultures, functional brain-like tissues have not. We report the construction of complex functional 3D brain-like cortical tissue, maintained for months in vitro, formed from primary cortical neurons in modular 3D compartmentalized architectures with electrophysiological function. We show that, on injury, this brain-like tissue responds in vitro with biochemical and electrophysiological outcomes that mimic observations in vivo. This modular 3D brain-like tissue is capable of real-time nondestructive assessments, offering previously unidentified directions for studies of brain homeostasis and injury. PMID:25114234

  20. Exercise-mimetic AICAR transiently benefits brain function

    PubMed Central

    Guerrieri, Davide; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-01-01

    Exercise enhances learning and memory in animals and humans. The role of peripheral factors that may trigger the beneficial effects of running on brain function has been sparsely examined. In particular, it is unknown whether AMP-kinase (AMPK) activation in muscle can predict enhancement of brain plasticity. Here we compare the effects of running and administration of AMPK agonist 5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1-?-D-ribofuranoside (AICAR, 500 mg/kg), for 3, 7 or 14 days in one-month-old male C57BL/6J mice, on muscle AMPK signaling. At the time-points where we observed equivalent running- and AICAR-induced muscle pAMPK levels (7 and 14 days), cell proliferation, synaptic plasticity and gene expression, as well as markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus and lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) were evaluated. At the 7-day time-point, both regimens increased new DG cell number and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein levels. Furthermore, microarray analysis of DG and LEC tissue showed a remarkable overlap between running and AICAR in the regulation of neuronal, mitochondrial and metabolism related gene classes. Interestingly, while similar outcomes for both treatments were stable over time in muscle, in the brain an inversion occurred at fourteen days. The compound no longer increased DG cell proliferation or neurotrophin levels, and upregulated expression of apoptotic genes and inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1?. Thus, an exercise mimetic that produces changes in muscle consistent with those of exercise does not have the same sustainable positive effects on the brain, indicating that only running consistently benefits brain function. PMID:26286955

  1. Regulation of brain function by exercise.

    PubMed

    Sutoo, Den'etsu; Akiyama, Kayo

    2003-06-01

    The effect of excercise on brain function was investigated through animal experiments. Exercise leads to increased serum calcium levels, and the calcium is transported to the brain. This in turn enhances brain dopamine synthesis through a calmodulin-dependent system, and increased dopamine levels regulate various brain functions. There are abnormally low levels of dopamine in the neostriatum and nucleus accumbens of epileptic mice (El mice strain) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). The low dopamine levels in those animals were improved following intracerebroventricular administration of calcium chloride. Dopamine levels and blood pressure in SHR were also normalized by exercise. In epileptic El mice, convulsions normalized dopamine levels and physiologic function. These findings suggest that exercise or convulsions affect brain function through calcium/calmodulin-dependent dopamine synthesis. This leads to the possibility that some symptoms of Parkinson's disease or senile dementia might be improved by exercise. PMID:12758062

  2. The gravitational field and brain function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Lei; Zhou, Chuan-Dai; Lan, Jing-Quan; Wang, Zhi-Ging; Wu, Wen-Can; Xue, Xin-Min

    The frontal cortex is recognized as the highest adaptive control center of the human brain. The principle of the ``frontalization'' of human brain function offers new possibilities for brain research in space. There is evolutionary and experimental evidence indicating the validity of the principle, including it's role in nervous response to gravitational stimulation. The gravitational field is considered here as one of the more constant and comprehensive factors acting on brain evolution, which has undergone some successive crucial steps: ``encephalization'', ``corticalization'', ``lateralization'' and ``frontalization''. The dominating effects of electrical responses from the frontal cortex have been discovered 1) in experiments under gravitational stimulus; and 2) in processes potentially relating to gravitational adaptation, such as memory and learning, sensory information processing, motor programing, and brain state control. A brain research experiment during space flight is suggested to test the role of the frontal cortex in space adaptation and it's potentiality in brain control.

  3. Brain Function: Implications for Schooling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Clifford H.

    1982-01-01

    The implications of cerebral dominance for curriculum and instruction are enormous. Cognitive style, sex differences, instructional materials preparation and selection, and testing are affected by right or left brain hemisphere dominance. (CJ)

  4. Brain dynamics promotes function Carlos Lourenco

    E-print Network

    Lisboa, Universidade Técnica de

    Brain dynamics promotes function Carlos Louren¸co 1 Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, 1049-001 Lisboa - Portugal Abstract. Dynamical structure in the brain promotes biological func- tion from a computational viewpoint, not excluding dynamical regimes that a number of authors are willing

  5. Brain lateralization and neural plasticity for musical and cognitive abilities in an epileptic musician.

    PubMed

    Trujillo-Pozo, Isabel; Martín-Monzón, Isabel; Rodríguez-Romero, Rafael

    2013-01-01

    The use of intracarotid propofol procedure (IPP) when assessing musical lateralization has not been reported in literature up to now. This procedure (similar to Wada Test) has provided the opportunity to investigate not only lateralization of language and memory functions on epileptic patients but also offers a functional mapping approach with superior spatial and temporal resolution to analyze the lateralization of musical abilities. Findings in literature suggest that musical training modifies functional and structural brain organization. We studied hemispheric lateralization in a professional musician, a 33 years old woman with refractory left medial temporal lobe (MTL) epilepsy (TLE). A longitudinal neuropsychological study was performed over a period of 21 months. Before epilepsy surgery, musical abilities, language and memory were tested during IPP by means of a novel and exhaustive neuropsychological battery focusing on the processing of music. We used a selection of stimuli to analyze listening, score reading, and tempo discrimination. Our results suggested that IPP is an excellent method to determine not only language, semantic, and episodic memory, but also musical dominance in a professional musician who may be candidate for epilepsy surgery. Neuropsychological testing revealed that right hemisphere's patient is involved in semantic and episodic musical memory processes, whereas her score reading and tempo processing require contribution from both hemispheres. At one-year follow-up, outcome was excellent with respect to seizures and professional skills, meanwhile cognitive abilities improved. These findings indicate that IPP helps to predict who might be at risk for postoperative musical, language, and memory deficits after epilepsy surgery. Our research suggests that musical expertise and epilepsy critically modifies long-term memory processes and induces brain structural and functional plasticity. PMID:24367312

  6. Sleep deprivation and hippocampal vulnerability: changes in neuronal plasticity, neurogenesis and cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Kreutzmann, J C; Havekes, R; Abel, T; Meerlo, P

    2015-11-19

    Despite the ongoing fundamental controversy about the physiological function of sleep, there is general consensus that sleep benefits neuronal plasticity, which ultimately supports brain function and cognition. In agreement with this are numerous studies showing that sleep deprivation (SD) results in learning and memory impairments. Interestingly, such impairments appear to occur particularly when these learning and memory processes require the hippocampus, suggesting that this brain region may be particularly sensitive to the consequences of sleep loss. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying sleep and memory formation remain to be investigated, available evidence suggests that SD may impair hippocampal neuronal plasticity and memory processes by attenuating intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-protein kinase A (PKA) signaling which may lead to alterations in cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-mediated gene transcription, neurotrophic signaling, and glutamate receptor expression. When restricted sleep becomes a chronic condition, it causes a reduction of hippocampal cell proliferation and neurogenesis, which may eventually lead to a reduction in hippocampal volume. Ultimately, by impairing hippocampal plasticity and function, chronically restricted and disrupted sleep contributes to cognitive disorders and psychiatric diseases. PMID:25937398

  7. Principles of Experience-Dependent Neural Plasticity: Implications for Rehabilitation after Brain Damage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kleim, Jeffrey A.; Jones, Theresa A.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This paper reviews 10 principles of experience-dependent neural plasticity and considerations in applying them to the damaged brain. Method: Neuroscience research using a variety of models of learning, neurological disease, and trauma are reviewed from the perspective of basic neuroscientists but in a manner intended to be useful for the…

  8. Brain plasticity over the metamorphic boundary: carry-over effect of larval environment on froglet brain development.

    PubMed

    Trokovic, N; Gonda, A; Herczeg, G; Laurila, A; Merilä, J

    2011-06-01

    Brain development shows high plasticity in response to environmental heterogeneity. However, it is unknown how environmental variation during development may affect brain architecture across life history switch points in species with complex life cycles. Previously, we showed that predation and competition affect brain development in common frog (Rana temporaria) tadpoles. Here, we studied whether larval environment had carry-over effects in brains of metamorphs. Tadpoles grown at high density had large optic tecta at metamorphosis, whereas tadpoles grown under predation risk had small diencephala. We found that larval density had a carry-over effect on froglet optic tectum size, whereas the effect of larval predation risk had vanished by metamorphosis. We discuss the possibility that the observed changes may be adaptive, reflecting the needs of an organism in given environmental and developmental contexts. PMID:21554471

  9. Essential Role for Vav GEFs in Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)-induced Dendritic Spine Growth and Synapse Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hale, Carly F.; Dietz, Karen C.; Varela, Juan A.; Wood, Cody B.; Zirlin, Benjamin C.; Leverich, Leah S.; Greene, Robert W.; Cowan, Christopher W.

    2011-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its cognate receptor, TrkB, regulate a wide range of cellular processes, including dendritic spine formation and functional synapse plasticity. However, the signaling mechanisms that link BDNF-activated TrkB to F-actin remodeling enzymes and dendritic spine morphological plasticity remain poorly understood. We report here that BDNF/TrkB signaling in neurons activates the Vav family of Rac/RhoA guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) through a novel TrkB kinase-dependent mechanism. We find that Vav is required for BDNF-stimulated Rac-GTP production in cortical and hippocampal neurons. Vav is partially enriched at excitatory synapses in the postnatal hippocampus, but does not appear to be required for normal dendritic spine density. Rather, we observe significant reductions in both BDNF-induced, rapid dendritic spine head growth and in CA3-CA1 theta burst stimulated (TBS) long-term potentiation (LTP) in Vav-deficient mouse hippocampal slices, suggesting that Vav-dependent regulation of dendritic spine morphological plasticity facilitates normal functional synapse plasticity. PMID:21880903

  10. Preventive brain radio-chemotherapy alters plasticity associated metabolite profile in the hippocampus but seems to not affect spatial memory in young leukemia patients

    PubMed Central

    Brandt, Moritz D; Brandt, Kalina; Werner, Annett; Schönfeld, Robby; Loewenbrück, Kai; Donix, Markus; Schaich, Markus; Bornhäuser, Martin; von Kummer, Rüdiger; Leplow, Bernd; Storch, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Background Neuronal plasticity leading to evolving reorganization of the neuronal network during entire lifespan plays an important role for brain function especially memory performance. Adult neurogenesis occurring in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus represents the maximal way of network reorganization. Brain radio-chemotherapy strongly inhibits adult hippocampal neurogenesis in mice leading to impaired spatial memory. Methods To elucidate the effects of CNS radio-chemotherapy on hippocampal plasticity and function in humans, we performed a longitudinal pilot study using 3T proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) and virtual water-maze-tests in 10 de-novo patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia undergoing preventive whole brain radio-chemotherapy. Patients were examined before, during and after treatment. Results CNS radio-chemotherapy did neither affect recall performance in probe trails nor flexible (reversal) relearning of a new target position over a time frame of 10 weeks measured by longitudinal virtual water-maze-testing, but provoked hippocampus-specific decrease in choline as a metabolite associated with cellular plasticity in 1H-MRS. Conclusion Albeit this pilot study needs to be followed up to definitely resolve the question about the functional role of adult human neurogenesis, the presented data suggest that 1H-MRS allows the detection of neurogenesis-associated plasticity in the human brain. PMID:26442754

  11. Functional connectivity hubs of the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Liska, Adam; Galbusera, Alberto; Schwarz, Adam J; Gozzi, Alessandro

    2015-07-15

    Recent advances in functional connectivity methods have made it possible to identify brain hubs - a set of highly connected regions serving as integrators of distributed neuronal activity. The integrative role of hub nodes makes these areas points of high vulnerability to dysfunction in brain disorders, and abnormal hub connectivity profiles have been described for several neuropsychiatric disorders. The identification of analogous functional connectivity hubs in preclinical species like the mouse may provide critical insight into the elusive biological underpinnings of these connectional alterations. To spatially locate functional connectivity hubs in the mouse brain, here we applied a fully-weighted network analysis to map whole-brain intrinsic functional connectivity (i.e., the functional connectome) at a high-resolution voxel-scale. Analysis of a large resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) dataset revealed the presence of six distinct functional modules related to known large-scale functional partitions of the brain, including a default-mode network (DMN). Consistent with human studies, highly-connected functional hubs were identified in several sub-regions of the DMN, including the anterior and posterior cingulate and prefrontal cortices, in the thalamus, and in small foci within well-known integrative cortical structures such as the insular and temporal association cortices. According to their integrative role, the identified hubs exhibited mutual preferential interconnections. These findings highlight the presence of evolutionarily-conserved, mutually-interconnected functional hubs in the mouse brain, and may guide future investigations of the biological foundations of aberrant rsfMRI hub connectivity associated with brain pathological states. PMID:25913701

  12. BrainKnowledge: A Human Brain Function Mapping Knowledge-Base System

    E-print Network

    Chen, Chein Chung

    BrainKnowledge: A Human Brain Function Mapping Knowledge-Base System Mei-Yu Hsiao & Chien and interpretation of fMRI data. Here, we present a human brain function mapping knowledge-base system (Brain. 1992), is a non-invasive approach for studying human brain function. Due to the increasing popularity

  13. Functional network organization of the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Power, Jonathan D; Cohen, Alexander L; Nelson, Steven M; Wig, Gagan S; Barnes, Kelly Anne; Church, Jessica A; Vogel, Alecia C; Laumann, Timothy O; Miezin, Fran M; Schlaggar, Bradley L; Petersen, Steven E

    2011-01-01

    Summary Real-world complex systems may be mathematically modeled as graphs, revealing properties of the system. Here we study graphs of functional brain organization in healthy adults using resting state functional connectivity MRI. We propose two novel brain-wide graphs, one of 264 putative functional areas, the other a modification of voxelwise networks that eliminates potentially artificial short-distance relationships. These graphs contain many subgraphs in good agreement with known functional brain systems. Other subgraphs lack established functional identities; we suggest possible functional characteristics for these subgraphs. Further, graph measures of the areal network indicate that the default mode subgraph shares network properties with sensory and motor subgraphs: it is internally integrated but isolated from other subgraphs, much like a “processing” system. The modified voxelwise graph also reveals spatial motifs in the patterning of systems across the cortex. PMID:22099467

  14. Programmable Logic Circuits for Functional Integrated Smart Plastic Systems

    E-print Network

    Sou, Antony; Jung, Sungjune; Gili, Enrico; Pecuni, Vincenzo; Joimel, Jerome; Fichet, Guillaume; Sirringhaus, Henning

    2014-09-12

    In this paper, we present a functional integrated plastic system. We have fabricated arrays of organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs) and printed electronic components driving an electrophoretic ink display up to 70mm by 70mm on a single flexible...

  15. Relationship between structural brainstem and brain plasticity and lower-limb training in spinal cord injury: a longitudinal pilot study.

    PubMed

    Villiger, Michael; Grabher, Patrick; Hepp-Reymond, Marie-Claude; Kiper, Daniel; Curt, Armin; Bolliger, Marc; Hotz-Boendermaker, Sabina; Kollias, Spyros; Eng, Kynan; Freund, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Rehabilitative training has shown to improve significantly motor outcomes and functional walking capacity in patients with incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI). However, whether performance improvements during rehabilitation relate to brain plasticity or whether it is based on functional adaptation of movement strategies remain uncertain. This study assessed training improvement-induced structural brain plasticity in chronic iSCI patients using longitudinal MRI. We used tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to analyze longitudinal brain volume changes associated with intensive virtual reality (VR)-augmented lower limb training in nine traumatic iSCI patients. The MRI data was acquired before and after a 4-week training period (16-20 training sessions). Before training, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and voxel-based cortical thickness (VBCT) assessed baseline morphometric differences in nine iSCI patients compared to 14 healthy controls. The intense VR-augmented training of limb control improved significantly balance, walking speed, ambulation, and muscle strength in patients. Retention of clinical improvements was confirmed by the 3-4 months follow-up. In patients relative to controls, VBM revealed reductions of white matter volume within the brainstem and cerebellum and VBCT showed cortical thinning in the primary motor cortex. Over time, TBM revealed significant improvement-induced volume increases in the left middle temporal and occipital gyrus, left temporal pole and fusiform gyrus, both hippocampi, cerebellum, corpus callosum, and brainstem in iSCI patients. This study demonstrates structural plasticity at the cortical and brainstem level as a consequence of VR-augmented training in iSCI patients. These structural changes may serve as neuroimaging biomarkers of VR-augmented lower limb neurorehabilitation in addition to performance measures to detect improvements in rehabilitative training. PMID:25999842

  16. Relationship between structural brainstem and brain plasticity and lower-limb training in spinal cord injury: a longitudinal pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Villiger, Michael; Grabher, Patrick; Hepp-Reymond, Marie-Claude; Kiper, Daniel; Curt, Armin; Bolliger, Marc; Hotz-Boendermaker, Sabina; Kollias, Spyros; Eng, Kynan; Freund, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Rehabilitative training has shown to improve significantly motor outcomes and functional walking capacity in patients with incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI). However, whether performance improvements during rehabilitation relate to brain plasticity or whether it is based on functional adaptation of movement strategies remain uncertain. This study assessed training improvement-induced structural brain plasticity in chronic iSCI patients using longitudinal MRI. We used tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to analyze longitudinal brain volume changes associated with intensive virtual reality (VR)-augmented lower limb training in nine traumatic iSCI patients. The MRI data was acquired before and after a 4-week training period (16–20 training sessions). Before training, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and voxel-based cortical thickness (VBCT) assessed baseline morphometric differences in nine iSCI patients compared to 14 healthy controls. The intense VR-augmented training of limb control improved significantly balance, walking speed, ambulation, and muscle strength in patients. Retention of clinical improvements was confirmed by the 3–4 months follow-up. In patients relative to controls, VBM revealed reductions of white matter volume within the brainstem and cerebellum and VBCT showed cortical thinning in the primary motor cortex. Over time, TBM revealed significant improvement-induced volume increases in the left middle temporal and occipital gyrus, left temporal pole and fusiform gyrus, both hippocampi, cerebellum, corpus callosum, and brainstem in iSCI patients. This study demonstrates structural plasticity at the cortical and brainstem level as a consequence of VR-augmented training in iSCI patients. These structural changes may serve as neuroimaging biomarkers of VR-augmented lower limb neurorehabilitation in addition to performance measures to detect improvements in rehabilitative training. PMID:25999842

  17. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    PubMed

    Biswal, Bharat B; Mennes, Maarten; Zuo, Xi-Nian; Gohel, Suril; Kelly, Clare; Smith, Steve M; Beckmann, Christian F; Adelstein, Jonathan S; Buckner, Randy L; Colcombe, Stan; Dogonowski, Anne-Marie; Ernst, Monique; Fair, Damien; Hampson, Michelle; Hoptman, Matthew J; Hyde, James S; Kiviniemi, Vesa J; Kötter, Rolf; Li, Shi-Jiang; Lin, Ching-Po; Lowe, Mark J; Mackay, Clare; Madden, David J; Madsen, Kristoffer H; Margulies, Daniel S; Mayberg, Helen S; McMahon, Katie; Monk, Christopher S; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Nagel, Bonnie J; Pekar, James J; Peltier, Scott J; Petersen, Steven E; Riedl, Valentin; Rombouts, Serge A R B; Rypma, Bart; Schlaggar, Bradley L; Schmidt, Sein; Seidler, Rachael D; Siegle, Greg J; Sorg, Christian; Teng, Gao-Jun; Veijola, Juha; Villringer, Arno; Walter, Martin; Wang, Lihong; Weng, Xu-Chu; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Williamson, Peter; Windischberger, Christian; Zang, Yu-Feng; Zhang, Hong-Ying; Castellanos, F Xavier; Milham, Michael P

    2010-03-01

    Although it is being successfully implemented for exploration of the genome, discovery science has eluded the functional neuroimaging community. The core challenge remains the development of common paradigms for interrogating the myriad functional systems in the brain without the constraints of a priori hypotheses. Resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI) constitutes a candidate approach capable of addressing this challenge. Imaging the brain during rest reveals large-amplitude spontaneous low-frequency (<0.1 Hz) fluctuations in the fMRI signal that are temporally correlated across functionally related areas. Referred to as functional connectivity, these correlations yield detailed maps of complex neural systems, collectively constituting an individual's "functional connectome." Reproducibility across datasets and individuals suggests the functional connectome has a common architecture, yet each individual's functional connectome exhibits unique features, with stable, meaningful interindividual differences in connectivity patterns and strengths. Comprehensive mapping of the functional connectome, and its subsequent exploitation to discern genetic influences and brain-behavior relationships, will require multicenter collaborative datasets. Here we initiate this endeavor by gathering R-fMRI data from 1,414 volunteers collected independently at 35 international centers. We demonstrate a universal architecture of positive and negative functional connections, as well as consistent loci of inter-individual variability. Age and sex emerged as significant determinants. These results demonstrate that independent R-fMRI datasets can be aggregated and shared. High-throughput R-fMRI can provide quantitative phenotypes for molecular genetic studies and biomarkers of developmental and pathological processes in the brain. To initiate discovery science of brain function, the 1000 Functional Connectomes Project dataset is freely accessible at www.nitrc.org/projects/fcon_1000/. PMID:20176931

  18. Classification on Brain Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    E-print Network

    Classification on Brain Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Dimensionality, Sample Size, Subject magnetic resonance imaging. We propose a synthetic model for the systematic study of as- pects generalization ac- curacy. 1 Introduction Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become one of the meth

  19. Prospects for Optogenetic Augmentation of Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, Sarah; Schultz, Simon R.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to optically control neural activity opens up possibilities for the restoration of normal function following neurological disorders. The temporal precision, spatial resolution, and neuronal specificity that optogenetics offers is unequalled by other available methods, so will it be suitable for not only restoring but also extending brain function? As the first demonstrations of optically “implanted” novel memories emerge, we examine the suitability of optogenetics as a technique for extending neural function. While optogenetics is an effective tool for altering neural activity, the largest impediment for optogenetics in neural augmentation is our systems level understanding of brain function. Furthermore, a number of clinical limitations currently remain as substantial hurdles for the applications proposed. While neurotechnologies for treating brain disorders and interfacing with prosthetics have advanced rapidly in the past few years, partially addressing some of these critical problems, optogenetics is not yet suitable for use in humans. Instead we conclude that for the immediate future, optogenetics is the neurological equivalent of the 3D printer: its flexibility providing an ideal tool for testing and prototyping solutions for treating brain disorders and augmenting brain function. PMID:26635547

  20. Mother’s voice and heartbeat sounds elicit auditory plasticity in the human brain before full gestation

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Alexandra R.; Heller, Howard T.; Benson, Carol B.; Lahav, Amir

    2015-01-01

    Brain development is largely shaped by early sensory experience. However, it is currently unknown whether, how early, and to what extent the newborn’s brain is shaped by exposure to maternal sounds when the brain is most sensitive to early life programming. The present study examined this question in 40 infants born extremely prematurely (between 25- and 32-wk gestation) in the first month of life. Newborns were randomized to receive auditory enrichment in the form of audio recordings of maternal sounds (including their mother’s voice and heartbeat) or routine exposure to hospital environmental noise. The groups were otherwise medically and demographically comparable. Cranial ultrasonography measurements were obtained at 30 ± 3 d of life. Results show that newborns exposed to maternal sounds had a significantly larger auditory cortex (AC) bilaterally compared with control newborns receiving standard care. The magnitude of the right and left AC thickness was significantly correlated with gestational age but not with the duration of sound exposure. Measurements of head circumference and the widths of the frontal horn (FH) and the corpus callosum (CC) were not significantly different between the two groups. This study provides evidence for experience-dependent plasticity in the primary AC before the brain has reached full-term maturation. Our results demonstrate that despite the immaturity of the auditory pathways, the AC is more adaptive to maternal sounds than environmental noise. Further studies are needed to better understand the neural processes underlying this early brain plasticity and its functional implications for future hearing and language development. PMID:25713382

  1. Plasticity of GABAA Receptors during Pregnancy and Postpartum Period: From Gene to Function

    PubMed Central

    Licheri, Valentina; Talani, Giuseppe; Gorule, Ashish A.; Mostallino, Maria Cristina; Biggio, Giovanni; Sanna, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    Pregnancy needs complex pathways that together play a role in proper growth and protection of the fetus preventing its premature loss. Changes during pregnancy and postpartum period include the manifold machinery of neuroactive steroids that plays a crucial role in neuronal excitability by local modulation of specific inhibitory receptors: the GABAA receptors. Marked fluctuations in both blood and brain concentration of neuroactive steroids strongly contribute to GABAA receptor function and plasticity. In this review, we listed several interesting results regarding the regulation and plasticity of GABAA receptor function during pregnancy and postpartum period in rats. The increase in brain levels of neuroactive steroids during pregnancy and their sudden decrease immediately before delivery are causally related to changes in the expression/function of specific GABAA receptor subunits in the hippocampus. These data suggest that alterations in GABAA receptor expression and function may be related to neurological and psychiatric disorders associated with crucial periods in women. These findings could help to provide potential new treatments for these women's disabling syndromes. PMID:26413323

  2. Lrp4 Domains Differentially Regulate Limb/Brain Development and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Pohlkamp, Theresa; Durakoglugil, Murat; Lane-Donovan, Courtney; Xian, Xunde; Johnson, Eric B.; Hammer, Robert E.; Herz, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype is the strongest predictor of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) risk. ApoE is a cholesterol transport protein that binds to members of the Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Receptor family, which includes LDL Receptor Related Protein 4 (Lrp4). Lrp4, together with one of its ligands Agrin and its co-receptors Muscle Specific Kinase (MuSK) and Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP), regulates neuromuscular junction (NMJ) formation. All four proteins are also expressed in the adult brain, and APP, MuSK, and Agrin are required for normal synapse function in the CNS. Here, we show that Lrp4 is also required for normal hippocampal plasticity. In contrast to the closely related Lrp8/Apoer2, the intracellular domain of Lrp4 does not appear to be necessary for normal expression and maintenance of long-term potentiation at central synapses or for the formation and maintenance of peripheral NMJs. However, it does play a role in limb development. PMID:25688974

  3. Evidence for Training-Induced Plasticity in Multisensory Brain Structures: An MEG Study

    PubMed Central

    Paraskevopoulos, Evangelos; Kuchenbuch, Anja; Herholz, Sibylle C.; Pantev, Christo

    2012-01-01

    Multisensory learning and resulting neural brain plasticity have recently become a topic of renewed interest in human cognitive neuroscience. Music notation reading is an ideal stimulus to study multisensory learning, as it allows studying the integration of visual, auditory and sensorimotor information processing. The present study aimed at answering whether multisensory learning alters uni-sensory structures, interconnections of uni-sensory structures or specific multisensory areas. In a short-term piano training procedure musically naive subjects were trained to play tone sequences from visually presented patterns in a music notation-like system [Auditory-Visual-Somatosensory group (AVS)], while another group received audio-visual training only that involved viewing the patterns and attentively listening to the recordings of the AVS training sessions [Auditory-Visual group (AV)]. Training-related changes in cortical networks were assessed by pre- and post-training magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings of an auditory, a visual and an integrated audio-visual mismatch negativity (MMN). The two groups (AVS and AV) were differently affected by the training. The results suggest that multisensory training alters the function of multisensory structures, and not the uni-sensory ones along with their interconnections, and thus provide an answer to an important question presented by cognitive models of multisensory training. PMID:22570723

  4. Evidence for training-induced plasticity in multisensory brain structures: an MEG study.

    PubMed

    Paraskevopoulos, Evangelos; Kuchenbuch, Anja; Herholz, Sibylle C; Pantev, Christo

    2012-01-01

    Multisensory learning and resulting neural brain plasticity have recently become a topic of renewed interest in human cognitive neuroscience. Music notation reading is an ideal stimulus to study multisensory learning, as it allows studying the integration of visual, auditory and sensorimotor information processing. The present study aimed at answering whether multisensory learning alters uni-sensory structures, interconnections of uni-sensory structures or specific multisensory areas. In a short-term piano training procedure musically naive subjects were trained to play tone sequences from visually presented patterns in a music notation-like system [Auditory-Visual-Somatosensory group (AVS)], while another group received audio-visual training only that involved viewing the patterns and attentively listening to the recordings of the AVS training sessions [Auditory-Visual group (AV)]. Training-related changes in cortical networks were assessed by pre- and post-training magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings of an auditory, a visual and an integrated audio-visual mismatch negativity (MMN). The two groups (AVS and AV) were differently affected by the training. The results suggest that multisensory training alters the function of multisensory structures, and not the uni-sensory ones along with their interconnections, and thus provide an answer to an important question presented by cognitive models of multisensory training. PMID:22570723

  5. Entropy changes in brain function.

    PubMed

    Rosso, Osvaldo A

    2007-04-01

    The traditional way of analyzing brain electrical activity, on the basis of electroencephalography (EEG) records, relies mainly on visual inspection and years of training. Although it is quite useful, of course, one has to acknowledge its subjective nature that hardly allows for a systematic protocol. In the present work quantifiers based on information theory and wavelet transform are reviewed. The "relative wavelet energy" provides information about the relative energy associated with different frequency bands present in the EEG and their corresponding degree of importance. The "normalized total wavelet entropy" carries information about the degree of order-disorder associated with a multi-frequency signal response. Their application in the analysis and quantification of short duration EEG signals (event-related potentials) and epileptic EEG records are summarized. PMID:17234291

  6. The Radical Plasticity Thesis: How the Brain Learns to be Conscious

    PubMed Central

    Cleeremans, Axel

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, I explore the idea that consciousness is something that the brain learns to do rather than an intrinsic property of certain neural states and not others. Starting from the idea that neural activity is inherently unconscious, the question thus becomes: How does the brain learn to be conscious? I suggest that consciousness arises as a result of the brain's continuous attempts at predicting not only the consequences of its actions on the world and on other agents, but also the consequences of activity in one cerebral region on activity in other regions. By this account, the brain continuously and unconsciously learns to redescribe its own activity to itself, so developing systems of meta-representations that characterize and qualify the target first-order representations. Such learned redescriptions, enriched by the emotional value associated with them, form the basis of conscious experience. Learning and plasticity are thus central to consciousness, to the extent that experiences only occur in experiencers that have learned to know they possess certain first-order states and that have learned to care more about certain states than about others. This is what I call the “Radical Plasticity Thesis.” In a sense thus, this is the enactive perspective, but turned both inwards and (further) outwards. Consciousness involves “signal detection on the mind”; the conscious mind is the brain's (non-conceptual, implicit) theory about itself. I illustrate these ideas through neural network models that simulate the relationships between performance and awareness in different tasks. PMID:21687455

  7. Maintaining older brain functionality: A targeted review.

    PubMed

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Kraft, Eduard; Santana, Silvina; Tziraki, Chariklia

    2015-08-01

    The unprecedented growth in the number of older adults in our society is accompanied by the exponential increase in the number of elderly people who will suffer cognitive decline and dementia in the next decades. This will create an enormous cost for governments, families and individuals. Brain plasticity and its role in brain adaptation to the process of aging is influenced by other changes as a result of co-morbidities, environmental factors, personality traits (psychosocial variables) and genetic and epigenetic factors. This review summarizes recent findings obtained mostly from interventional studies that aim to prevent and/or delay age-related cognitive decline in healthy adults. There are a multitude of such studies. In this paper, we focused our review on physical activity, computerized cognitive training and social enhancement interventions on improving cognition, physical health, independent living and wellbeing of older adults. The methodological limitations of some of these studies, and the need for new multi-domain synergistic interventions, based on current advances in neuroscience and social-brain theories, are discussed. PMID:26054789

  8. Prefrontal and Hippocampal Brain Volume Deficits: The Role of Low Physical Activity on Brain Plasticity in First-Episode Schizophrenia Patients

    PubMed Central

    McEwen, Sarah C.; Hardy, Anthony; Ellingson, Benjamin M.; Jarrahi, Behnaz; Sandu, Navjot; Subotnik, Kenneth L.; Ventura, Joseph; Nuechterlein, Keith H.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Our objective in the present study was to conduct the first empirical study to examine regular physical activity habits and their relationship with brain volume and cortical thickness in patients in the early phase of schizophrenia. Relationships between larger brain volumes and higher physical activity levels have been reported in samples of healthy and aging populations, but have never been explored in first-episode schizophrenia patients. Method We collected MRI structural scans in fourteen first-episode schizophrenia patients with either self-reported low or high physical activity levels. Results We found a reduction in total grey matter volume, prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampal grey matter volumes in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. Cortical thickness in the dorsolateral and orbitofrontal PFC were also significantly reduced in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. In the combined sample, greater overall physical activity levels showed a non-significant tendency with better performance on tests of verbal memory and social cognition. Conclusions Together these pilot study findings suggest that greater amounts of physical activity may have a positive influence on brain health and cognition in first-episode schizophrenia patients and support the development of physical exercise interventions in this patient population to improve brain plasticity and cognitive functioning. PMID:26581798

  9. Optogenetic approaches for functional mouse brain mapping

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Diana H.; LeDue, Jeffrey; Mohajerani, Majid H.; Vanni, Matthieu P.; Murphy, Timothy H.

    2013-01-01

    To better understand the connectivity of the brain, it is important to map both structural and functional connections between neurons and cortical regions. In recent years, a set of optogenetic tools have been developed that permit selective manipulation and investigation of neural systems. These tools have enabled the mapping of functional connections between stimulated cortical targets and other brain regions. Advantages of the approach include the ability to arbitrarily stimulate brain regions that express opsins, allowing for brain mapping independent of behavior or sensory processing. The ability of opsins to be rapidly and locally activated allows for investigation of connectivity with spatial resolution on the order of single neurons and temporal resolution on the order of milliseconds. Optogenetic methods for functional mapping have been applied in experiments ranging from in vitro investigation of microcircuits, to in vivo probing of inter-regional cortical connections, to examination of global connections within the whole brain. We review recently developed functional mapping methods that use optogenetic single-point stimulation in the rodent brain and employ cellular electrophysiology, evoked motor movements, voltage sensitive dyes (VSDs), calcium indicators, or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to assess activity. In particular we highlight results using red-shifted organic VSDs that permit high temporal resolution imaging in a manner spectrally separated from Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) activation. VSD maps stimulated by ChR2 were dependent on intracortical synaptic activity and were able to reflect circuits used for sensory processing. Although the methods reviewed are powerful, challenges remain with respect to finding approaches that permit selective high temporal resolution assessment of stimulated activity in animals that can be followed longitudinally. PMID:23596383

  10. Functional transcranial brain imaging by optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Song; Maslov, Konstantin; Tsytsarev, Vassiliy; Wang, Lihong V.

    2009-07-01

    Optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy (OR-PAM) is applied to functional brain imaging in living mice. A near-diffraction-limited bright-field optical illumination is employed to achieve micrometer lateral resolution, and a dual-wavelength measurement is utilized to extract the blood oxygenation information. The variation in hemoglobin oxygen saturation (sO2) along vascular branching has been imaged in a precapillary arteriolar tree and a postcapillary venular tree, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on in vivo volumetric imaging of brain microvascular morphology and oxygenation down to single capillaries through intact mouse skulls. It is anticipated that: (i) chronic imaging enabled by this minimally invasive procedure will advance the study of cortical plasticity and neurological diseases; (ii) revealing the neuroactivity-dependent changes in hemoglobin concentration and oxygenation will facilitate the understanding of neurovascular coupling at the capillary level; and (iii) combining functional OR-PAM and high-resolution blood flowmetry will have the potential to explore cellular pathways of brain energy metabolism.

  11. RIFAMPICIN: an antibiotic with brain protective function.

    PubMed

    Yulug, Burak; Hanoglu, Lütfü; Kilic, Ertugrul; Schabitz, Wolf Rüdiger

    2014-08-01

    Besides its well known antibiotic activity rifampicin exerts multiple brain protective functions in acute cerebral ischemia and chronic neurodegeneration. The present mini-review gives an update of the unique activity of rifampicin in different diseases including Parkinson's disease, meningitis, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and optic nerve injury. PMID:24905548

  12. Integrating Retinoic Acid Signaling with Brain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luo, Tuanlian; Wagner, Elisabeth; Drager, Ursula C.

    2009-01-01

    The vitamin A derivative retinoic acid (RA) regulates the transcription of about a 6th of the human genome. Compelling evidence indicates a role of RA in cognitive activities, but its integration with the molecular mechanisms of higher brain functions is not known. Here we describe the properties of RA signaling in the mouse, which point to…

  13. Topological defect clustering and plastic deformation mechanisms in functionalized graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nunes, Ricardo; Araujo, Joice; Chacham, Helio

    2011-03-01

    We present ab initio results suggesting that strain plays a central role in the clustering of topological defects in strained and functionalized graphene models. We apply strain onto the topological-defect graphene networks from our previous work, and obtain topological-defect clustering patterns which are in excellent agreement with recent observations in samples of reduced graphene oxide. In our models, the graphene layer, containing an initial concentration of isolated topological defects, is covered by hydrogen or hydroxyl groups. Our results also suggest a rich variety of plastic deformation mechanism in functionalized graphene systems. We acknowledge support from the Brazilian agencies: CNPq, Fapemig, and INCT-Materiais de Carbono.

  14. A closed-loop brain-computer interface triggering an active ankle-foot orthosis for inducing cortical neural plasticity.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ren; Jiang, Ning; Mrachacz-Kersting, Natalie; Lin, Chuang; Asín Prieto, Guillermo; Moreno, Juan C; Pons, Jose L; Dremstrup, Kim; Farina, Dario

    2014-07-01

    In this paper, we present a brain-computer interface (BCI) driven motorized ankle-foot orthosis (BCI-MAFO), intended for stroke rehabilitation, and we demonstrate its efficacy in inducing cortical neuroplasticity in healthy subjects with a short intervention procedure (?15 min). This system detects imaginary dorsiflexion movements within a short latency from scalp EEG through the analysis of movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs). A manifold-based method, called locality preserving projection, detected the motor imagery online with a true positive rate of 73.0 ± 10.3%. Each detection triggered the MAFO to elicit a passive dorsiflexion. In nine healthy subjects, the size of the motor-evoked potential (MEP) elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation increased significantly immediately following and 30 min after the cessation of this BCI-MAFO intervention for ?15 min ( p = 0.009 and , respectively), indicating neural plasticity. In four subjects, the size of the short latency stretch reflex component did not change following the intervention, suggesting that the site of the induced plasticity was cortical. All but one subject also performed two control conditions where they either imagined only or where the MAFO was randomly triggered. Both of these control conditions resulted in no significant changes in MEP size (p = 0.38 and p = 0.15). The proposed system provides a fast and effective approach for inducing cortical plasticity through BCI and has potential in motor function rehabilitation following stroke. PMID:24686231

  15. Wavelets and functional magnetic resonance imaging of the human brain

    E-print Network

    Breakspear, Michael

    Wavelets and functional magnetic resonance imaging of the human brain Ed Bullmore,a,* Jalal Fadili, such as functional magnetic resonance images of the human brain, which often demonstrate scale invariant or fractal Breakspeare a Brain Mapping Unit and Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke

  16. Functional imaging of the brain

    SciTech Connect

    Ell, P.J.; Jarritt, P.H.; Costa, D.C.; Cullum, I.D.; Lui, D.

    1987-07-01

    The radionuclide tracer method is unique among all other imaging methodologies in its ability to trace organ or tissue function and metabolism. Physical processes such as electron or proton density assessment or resonance, edge identification, electrical or ultrasonic impedence, do not pertain to the image generation process in nuclear medicine, and if so, only in a rather secondary manner. The nuclear medicine imaging study is primarily a study of the chemical nature, distribution and interaction of the tracer/radiopharmaceutical utilized with the cellular system which requires investigation: the thyroid cells with sodium iodide, the recticular endothelial cells with colloidal particles, the adrenal medulla cells with metaiodobenzylguanidine, and so on. In the two most recent areas of nuclear medicine expansion, oncology (with labelled monoclonal antibodies) and neurology and psychiatry (with a whole new series of lipid soluble radiopharmaceuticals), specific cell systems can also be targeted and hence imaged and investigated. The study of structure as masterly performed by Virchow and all his successors over more than a century, is now definitely the prerogative of such imaging systems which excel with spatial and contrast resolution However the investigation of function and metabolism, has clearly passed from the laboratory animal protocol and experiment to the direct investigation in man, this being the achievement of the radionuclide tracer methodology. In this article, we review present interest and developments in that part of nuclear medicine activity which is aimed at the study of the neurological or psychiatric patient.

  17. Structure and function of complex brain networks

    PubMed Central

    Sporns, Olaf

    2013-01-01

    An increasing number of theoretical and empirical studies approach the function of the human brain from a network perspective. The analysis of brain networks is made feasible by the development of new imaging acquisition methods as well as new tools from graph theory and dynamical systems. This review surveys some of these methodological advances and summarizes recent findings on the architecture of structural and functional brain networks. Studies of the structural connectome reveal several modules or network communities that are interlinked by hub regions mediating communication processes between modules. Recent network analyses have shown that network hubs form a densely linked collective called a “rich club,” centrally positioned for attracting and dispersing signal traffic. In parallel, recordings of resting and task-evoked neural activity have revealed distinct resting-state networks that contribute to functions in distinct cognitive domains. Network methods are increasingly applied in a clinical context, and their promise for elucidating neural substrates of brain and mental disorders is discussed. PMID:24174898

  18. Electroencephalographic imaging of higher brain function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gevins, A.; Smith, M. E.; McEvoy, L. K.; Leong, H.; Le, J.

    1999-01-01

    High temporal resolution is necessary to resolve the rapidly changing patterns of brain activity that underlie mental function. Electroencephalography (EEG) provides temporal resolution in the millisecond range. However, traditional EEG technology and practice provide insufficient spatial detail to identify relationships between brain electrical events and structures and functions visualized by magnetic resonance imaging or positron emission tomography. Recent advances help to overcome this problem by recording EEGs from more electrodes, by registering EEG data with anatomical images, and by correcting the distortion caused by volume conduction of EEG signals through the skull and scalp. In addition, statistical measurements of sub-second interdependences between EEG time-series recorded from different locations can help to generate hypotheses about the instantaneous functional networks that form between different cortical regions during perception, thought and action. Example applications are presented from studies of language, attention and working memory. Along with its unique ability to monitor brain function as people perform everyday activities in the real world, these advances make modern EEG an invaluable complement to other functional neuroimaging modalities.

  19. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks.

    PubMed

    Petri, G; Expert, P; Turkheimer, F; Carhart-Harris, R; Nutt, D; Hellyer, P J; Vaccarino, F

    2014-12-01

    Networks, as efficient representations of complex systems, have appealed to scientists for a long time and now permeate many areas of science, including neuroimaging (Bullmore and Sporns 2009 Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 10, 186-198. (doi:10.1038/nrn2618)). Traditionally, the structure of complex networks has been studied through their statistical properties and metrics concerned with node and link properties, e.g. degree-distribution, node centrality and modularity. Here, we study the characteristics of functional brain networks at the mesoscopic level from a novel perspective that highlights the role of inhomogeneities in the fabric of functional connections. This can be done by focusing on the features of a set of topological objects-homological cycles-associated with the weighted functional network. We leverage the detected topological information to define the homological scaffolds, a new set of objects designed to represent compactly the homological features of the correlation network and simultaneously make their homological properties amenable to networks theoretical methods. As a proof of principle,we apply these tools to compare resting state functional brain activity in 15 healthy volunteers after intravenous infusion of placebo and psilocybin-the main psychoactive component of magic mushrooms. The results show that the homological structure of the brain's functional patterns undergoes a dramatic change post-psilocybin, characterized by the appearance of many transient structures of low stability and of a small number of persistent ones that are not observed in the case of placebo. PMID:25401177

  20. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks

    PubMed Central

    Petri, G.; Expert, P.; Turkheimer, F.; Carhart-Harris, R.; Nutt, D.; Hellyer, P. J.; Vaccarino, F.

    2014-01-01

    Networks, as efficient representations of complex systems, have appealed to scientists for a long time and now permeate many areas of science, including neuroimaging (Bullmore and Sporns 2009 Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 10, 186–198. (doi:10.1038/nrn2618)). Traditionally, the structure of complex networks has been studied through their statistical properties and metrics concerned with node and link properties, e.g. degree-distribution, node centrality and modularity. Here, we study the characteristics of functional brain networks at the mesoscopic level from a novel perspective that highlights the role of inhomogeneities in the fabric of functional connections. This can be done by focusing on the features of a set of topological objects—homological cycles—associated with the weighted functional network. We leverage the detected topological information to define the homological scaffolds, a new set of objects designed to represent compactly the homological features of the correlation network and simultaneously make their homological properties amenable to networks theoretical methods. As a proof of principle, we apply these tools to compare resting-state functional brain activity in 15 healthy volunteers after intravenous infusion of placebo and psilocybin—the main psychoactive component of magic mushrooms. The results show that the homological structure of the brain's functional patterns undergoes a dramatic change post-psilocybin, characterized by the appearance of many transient structures of low stability and of a small number of persistent ones that are not observed in the case of placebo. PMID:25401177

  1. Promoting social plasticity in developmental disorders with non-invasive brain stimulation techniques

    PubMed Central

    Boggio, Paulo S.; Asthana, Manish K.; Costa, Thiago L.; Valasek, Cláudia A.; Osório, Ana A. C.

    2015-01-01

    Being socially connected directly impacts our basic needs and survival. People with deficits in social cognition might exhibit abnormal behaviors and face many challenges in our highly social-dependent world. These challenges and limitations are associated with a substantial economical and subjective impact. As many conditions where social cognition is affected are highly prevalent, more treatments have to be developed. Based on recent research, we review studies where non-invasive neuromodulatory techniques have been used to promote Social Plasticity in developmental disorders. We focused on three populations where non-invasive brain stimulation seems to be a promising approach in inducing social plasticity: Schizophrenia, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Williams Syndrome (WS). There are still very few studies directly evaluating the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the social cognition of these populations. However, when considering the promising preliminary evidences presented in this review and the limited amount of clinical interventions available for treating social cognition deficits in these populations today, it is clear that the social neuroscientist arsenal may profit from non-invasive brain stimulation techniques for rehabilitation and promotion of social plasticity. PMID:26388712

  2. Th17 Cell Plasticity and Functions in Cancer Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Guéry, Leslie; Hugues, Stéphanie

    2015-01-01

    Th17 cells represent a particular subset of T helper lymphocytes characterized by high production of IL-17 and other inflammatory cytokines. Th17 cells participate in antimicrobial immunity at mucosal and epithelial barriers and particularly fight against extracellular bacteria and fungi. While a role for Th17 cells in promoting inflammation and autoimmune disorders has been extensively and elegantly demonstrated, it is still controversial whether and how Th17 cells influence tumor immunity. Although Th17 cells specifically accumulate in many different types of tumors compared to healthy tissues, the outcome might however differ from a tumor type to another. Th17 cells were consequently associated with both good and bad prognoses. The high plasticity of those cells toward cells exhibiting either anti-inflammatory or in contrast pathogenic functions might contribute to Th17 versatile functions in the tumor context. On one hand, Th17 cells promote tumor growth by inducing angiogenesis (via IL-17) and by exerting themselves immunosuppressive functions. On the other hand, Th17 cells drive antitumor immune responses by recruiting immune cells into tumors, activating effector CD8+ T cells, or even directly by converting toward Th1 phenotype and producing IFN-?. In this review, we are discussing the impact of the tumor microenvironment on Th17 cell plasticity and function and its implications in cancer immunity. PMID:26583099

  3. Functional MRI of long-term potentiation: imaging network plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-Salvado, Efrén; Pallarés, Vicente; Moreno, Andrea; Canals, Santiago

    2014-01-01

    Neurons are able to express long-lasting and activity-dependent modulations of their synapses. This plastic property supports memory and conveys an extraordinary adaptive value, because it allows an individual to learn from, and respond to, changes in the environment. Molecular and physiological changes at the cellular level as well as network interactions are required in order to encode a pattern of synaptic activity into a long-term memory. While the cellular mechanisms linking synaptic plasticity to memory have been intensively studied, those regulating network interactions have received less attention. Combining high-resolution fMRI and in vivo electrophysiology in rats, we have previously reported a functional remodelling of long-range hippocampal networks induced by long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic plasticity in the perforant pathway. Here, we present new results demonstrating an increased bilateral coupling in the hippocampus specifically supported by the mossy cell commissural/associational pathway in response to LTP. This fMRI-measured increase in bilateral connectivity is accompanied by potentiation of the corresponding polysynaptically evoked commissural potential in the contralateral dentate gyrus and depression of the inactive convergent commissural pathway to the ipsilateral dentate. We review these and previous findings in the broader context of memory consolidation. PMID:24298154

  4. Robust Transient Dynamics and Brain Functions

    PubMed Central

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I.; Varona, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    In the last few decades several concepts of dynamical systems theory (DST) have guided psychologists, cognitive scientists, and neuroscientists to rethink about sensory motor behavior and embodied cognition. A critical step in the progress of DST application to the brain (supported by modern methods of brain imaging and multi-electrode recording techniques) has been the transfer of its initial success in motor behavior to mental function, i.e., perception, emotion, and cognition. Open questions from research in genetics, ecology, brain sciences, etc., have changed DST itself and lead to the discovery of a new dynamical phenomenon, i.e., reproducible and robust transients that are at the same time sensitive to informational signals. The goal of this review is to describe a new mathematical framework – heteroclinic sequential dynamics – to understand self-organized activity in the brain that can explain certain aspects of robust itinerant behavior. Specifically, we discuss a hierarchy of coarse-grain models of mental dynamics in the form of kinetic equations of modes. These modes compete for resources at three levels: (i) within the same modality, (ii) among different modalities from the same family (like perception), and (iii) among modalities from different families (like emotion and cognition). The analysis of the conditions for robustness, i.e., the structural stability of transient (sequential) dynamics, give us the possibility to explain phenomena like the finite capacity of our sequential working memory – a vital cognitive function –, and to find specific dynamical signatures – different kinds of instabilities – of several brain functions and mental diseases. PMID:21716642

  5. Combined Cognitive-Psychological-Physical Intervention Induces Reorganization of Intrinsic Functional Brain Architecture in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Zhiwei; Zhu, Xinyi; Yin, Shufei; Wang, Baoxi; Niu, Yanan; Huang, Xin; Li, Rui; Li, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that enriched mental, physical, and socially stimulating activities are beneficial for counteracting age-related decreases in brain function and cognition in older adults. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to demonstrate the functional plasticity of brain activity in response to a combined cognitive-psychological-physical intervention and investigated the contribution of the intervention-related brain changes to individual performance in healthy older adults. The intervention was composed of a 6-week program of combined activities including cognitive training, Tai Chi exercise, and group counseling. The results showed improved cognitive performance and reorganized regional homogeneity of spontaneous fluctuations in the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals in the superior and middle temporal gyri, and the posterior lobe of the cerebellum, in the participants who attended the intervention. Intriguingly, the intervention-induced changes in the coherence of local spontaneous activity correlated with the improvements in individual cognitive performance. Taken together with our previous findings of enhanced resting-state functional connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe regions following a combined intervention program in older adults, we conclude that the functional plasticity of the aging brain is a rather complex process, and an effective cognitive-psychological-physical intervention is helpful for maintaining a healthy brain and comprehensive cognition during old age. PMID:25810927

  6. The formation and function of the brain ventricular system

    E-print Network

    Chang, Jessica T. (Jessica Tzung-Min)

    2012-01-01

    The brain ventricular system is composed of a highly conserved set of cavities that contain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a protein-rich fluid essential for brain function. However, little is known about the function of ...

  7. Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men

    MedlinePLUS

    ... found that playing violent video games for one week causes changes in brain function. The brain regions ... reduced after game play was discontinued for a week. November 30, 2011 | CHICAGO—A functional magnetic resonance ...

  8. On the Relationship Between Lateralized Brain Function and Orienting Asymmetries

    E-print Network

    Ghazanfar, Asif

    On the Relationship Between Lateralized Brain Function and Orienting Asymmetries Christoph Teufel will require a much better understanding of how lateralized brain functions interact with overt behaviors in cognitive neuroscience. Evidence has accumulated to suggest that lateralized acoustic processing

  9. Brain Function Lateralization and Language Acquisition: the Evidence from Japanese.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanches, Mary

    1979-01-01

    Presents evidence of differences in brain function lateralization between Japanese-speakers and speakers of Indo-European languages, and suggests that current conceptualizations of brain function specialization are not adequate. (AM)

  10. The significance of the subplate for evolution and developmental plasticity of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Judaš, Miloš; Sedmak, Goran; Kostovi?, Ivica

    2013-01-01

    The human life-history is characterized by long development and introduction of new developmental stages, such as childhood and adolescence. The developing brain had important role in these life-history changes because it is expensive tissue which uses up to 80% of resting metabolic rate (RMR) in the newborn and continues to use almost 50% of it during the first 5 postnatal years. Our hominid ancestors managed to lift-up metabolic constraints to increase in brain size by several interrelated ecological, behavioral and social adaptations, such as dietary change, invention of cooking, creation of family-bonded reproductive units, and life-history changes. This opened new vistas for the developing brain, because it became possible to metabolically support transient patterns of brain organization as well as developmental brain plasticity for much longer period and with much greater number of neurons and connectivity combinations in comparison to apes. This included the shaping of cortical connections through the interaction with infant's social environment, which probably enhanced typically human evolution of language, cognition and self-awareness. In this review, we propose that the transient subplate zone and its postnatal remnant (interstitial neurons of the gyral white matter) probably served as the main playground for evolution of these developmental shifts, and describe various features that makes human subplate uniquely positioned to have such a role in comparison with other primates. PMID:23935575

  11. Brain microRNAs and insights into biological functions and therapeutic potential of brain enriched miRNA-128

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs, the non-coding single-stranded RNA of 19–25 nucleotides are emerging as robust players of gene regulation. Plethora of evidences support that the ability of microRNAs to regulate several genes of a pathway or even multiple cross talking pathways have significant impact on a complex regulatory network and ultimately the physiological processes and diseases. Brain being a complex organ with several cell types, expresses more distinct miRNAs than any other tissues. This review aims to discuss about the microRNAs in brain development, function and their dysfunction in brain tumors. We also provide a comprehensive summary of targets of brain specific and brain enriched miRNAs that contribute to the diversity and plasticity of the brain. In particular, we uncover recent findings on miRNA-128, a brain-enriched microRNA that is induced during neuronal differentiation and whose aberrant expression has been reported in several cancers. This review describes the wide spectrum of targets of miRNA-128 that have been identified till date with potential roles in apoptosis, angiogenesis, proliferation, cholesterol metabolism, self renewal, invasion and cancer progression and how this knowledge might be exploited for the development of future miRNA-128 based therapies for the treatment of cancer as well as metabolic diseases. PMID:24555688

  12. Contribution of metabolic reprogramming to macrophage plasticity and function.

    PubMed

    El Kasmi, Karim C; Stenmark, Kurt R

    2015-08-01

    Macrophages display a spectrum of functional activation phenotypes depending on the composition of the microenvironment they reside in, including type of tissue/organ and character of injurious challenge they are exposed to. Our understanding of how macrophage plasticity is regulated by the local microenvironment is still limited. Here we review and discuss the recent literature regarding the contribution of cellular metabolic pathways to the ability of the macrophage to sense the microenvironment and to alter its function. We propose that distinct alterations in the microenvironment induce a spectrum of inducible and reversible metabolic programs that might form the basis of the inducible and reversible spectrum of functional macrophage activation/polarization phenotypes. We highlight that metabolic pathways in the bidirectional communication between macrophages and stromals cells are an important component of chronic inflammatory conditions. Recent work demonstrates that inflammatory macrophage activation is tightly associated with metabolic reprogramming to aerobic glycolysis, an altered TCA cycle, and reduced mitochondrial respiration. We review cytosolic and mitochondrial mechanisms that promote initiation and maintenance of macrophage activation as they relate to increased aerobic glycolysis and highlight potential pathways through which anti-inflammatory IL-10 could promote macrophage deactivation. Finally, we propose that in addition to their role in energy generation and regulation of apoptosis, mitochondria reprogram their metabolism to also participate in regulating macrophage activation and plasticity. PMID:26454572

  13. When “altering brain function” becomes “mind control”

    PubMed Central

    Koivuniemi, Andrew; Otto, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Functional neurosurgery has seen a resurgence of interest in surgical treatments for psychiatric illness. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) technology is the preferred tool in the current wave of clinical experiments because it allows clinicians to directly alter the functions of targeted brain regions, in a reversible manner, with the intent of correcting diseases of the mind, such as depression, addiction, anorexia nervosa, dementia, and obsessive compulsive disorder. These promising treatments raise a critical philosophical and humanitarian question. “Under what conditions does ‘altering brain function’ qualify as ‘mind control’?” In order to answer this question one needs a definition of mind control. To this end, we reviewed the relevant philosophical, ethical, and neurosurgical literature in order to create a set of criteria for what constitutes mind control in the context of DBS. We also outline clinical implications of these criteria. Finally, we demonstrate the relevance of the proposed criteria by focusing especially on serendipitous treatments involving DBS, i.e., cases in which an unintended therapeutic benefit occurred. These cases highlight the importance of gaining the consent of the subject for the new therapy in order to avoid committing an act of mind control. PMID:25352789

  14. Functional neuroimaging can support causal claims about brain function

    E-print Network

    Thompson-Schill, Sharon

    the inability of functional imaging to address causal matters (Uddin et al., 2006; Wagner et al., 2007; Ruff et and behaviour can be tested with [transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)]." To say that "fMRI provides only involved in the task. On the other hand, the causal involvement of a given brain region 1 #12;in a task

  15. Peripheral Chemoreceptors: Function and Plasticity of the Carotid Body

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Prem; Prabhakar, Nanduri R.

    2014-01-01

    The discovery of the sensory nature of the carotid body dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. Following these seminal discoveries, research into carotid body mechanisms moved forward progressively through the 20th century, with many descriptions of the ultrastructure of the organ and stimulus-response measurements at the level of the whole organ. The later part of 20th century witnessed the first descriptions of the cellular responses and electrophysiology of isolated and cultured type I and type II cells, and there now exist a number of testable hypotheses of chemotransduction. The goal of this article is to provide a comprehensive review of current concepts on sensory transduction and transmission of the hypoxic stimulus at the carotid body with an emphasis on integrating cellular mechanisms with the whole organ responses and highlighting the gaps or discrepancies in our knowledge. It is increasingly evident that in addition to hypoxia, the carotid body responds to a wide variety of blood-borne stimuli, including reduced glucose and immune-related cytokines and we therefore also consider the evidence for a polymodal function of the carotid body and its implications. It is clear that the sensory function of the carotid body exhibits considerable plasticity in response to the chronic perturbations in environmental O2 that is associated with many physiological and pathological conditions. The mechanisms and consequences of carotid body plasticity in health and disease are discussed in the final sections of this article. PMID:23728973

  16. Different Plasticity Patterns of Language Function in Children With Perinatal and Childhood Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Tomberg, Tiiu; Kepler, Joosep; Laugesaar, Rael; Kaldoja, Mari-Liis; Kepler, Kalle; Kolk, Anneli

    2014-01-01

    Plasticity of language function after brain damage can depend on maturation of the brain. Children with left-hemisphere perinatal (n = 7) or childhood stroke (n = 5) and 12 controls were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The verb generation and the sentence comprehension tasks were employed to activate the expressive and receptive language areas, respectively. Weighted laterality indices were calculated and correlated with results assessed by neuropsychological test battery. Compared to controls, children with childhood stroke showed significantly lower mean scores for the expressive (P < .05) and receptive (P = .05) language tests. On functional magnetic resonance imaging they showed left-side cortical activation, as did controls. Perinatal stroke patients showed atypical right-side or bilateral language lateralization during both tasks. Negative correlation for stroke patients was found between scores for expressive language tests and laterality index during the verb generation task. (Re)organization of language function differs in children with perinatal and childhood stroke and correlates with neurocognitive performance. PMID:23748202

  17. Forced arm use is superior to voluntary training for motor recovery and brain plasticity after cortical ischemia in rats

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background and purpose Both the immobilization of the unaffected arm combined with physical therapy (forced arm use, FAU) and voluntary exercise (VE) as model for enriched environment are promising approaches to enhance recovery after stroke. The genomic mechanisms involved in long-term plasticity changes after different means of rehabilitative training post-stroke are largely unexplored. The present investigation explored the effects of these physical therapies on behavioral recovery and molecular markers of regeneration after experimental ischemia. Methods 42 Wistar rats were randomly treated with either forced arm use (FAU, 1-sleeve plaster cast onto unaffected limb at 8/10 days), voluntary exercise (VE, connection of a freely accessible running wheel to cage), or controls with no access to a running wheel for 10 days starting at 48 hours after photothrombotic stroke of the sensorimotor cortex. Functional outcome was measured using sensorimotor test before ischemia, after ischemia, after the training period of 10 days, at 3 and 4 weeks after ischemia. Global gene expression changes were assessed from the ipsi- and contralateral cortex and the hippocampus. Results FAU-treated animals demonstrated significantly improved functional recovery compared to the VE-treated group. Both were superior to cage control. A large number of genes are altered by both training paradigms in the ipsi- and contralateral cortex and the hippocampus. Overall, the extent of changes observed correlated well with the functional recovery obtained. One category of genes overrepresented in the gene set is linked to neuronal plasticity processes, containing marker genes such as the NMDA 2a receptor, PKC ?, NTRK2, or MAP 1b. Conclusions We show that physical training after photothrombotic stroke significantly and permanently improves functional recovery after stroke, and that forced arm training is clearly superior to voluntary running training. The behavioral outcomes seen correlate with patterns and extent of gene expression changes in all brain areas examined. We propose that physical training induces a fundamental change in plasticity-relevant gene expression in several brain regions that enables recovery processes. These results contribute to the debate on optimal rehabilitation strategies, and provide a valuable source of molecular entry points for future pharmacological enhancement of recovery. PMID:24528872

  18. Cerebral aging: integration of brain and behavioral models of cognitive function

    PubMed Central

    Park, Denise C.; Polk, Thad A.; Mikels, Joseph A.; Taylor, Stephan F.; Marshuetz, Christy

    2001-01-01

    There are substantial declines in behavioral measures of cognitive function with age, including decreased function of executive processes and long-term memory. There is also evidence that, with age, there is a decrease in brain volume, particularly in the frontal cortex. When young and older adults perform cognitive tasks that depend heavily on frontal function, neuroimaging evidence indicates that older adults recruit additional brain regions in order to perform the tasks. This additional neural recruitment is termed “dedifferentiation,” and can take multiple forms. This recruitment of additional neural tissue with age to perform cognitive tasks was not reflected in the behavioral literature, and suggests that there is more plasticity in the ability to organize brain function than was previously suspected. We review both behavioral and neuroscience perspectives on cognitive aging, and then connect the findings in the two areas. From this integration, we suggest important unresolved questions and directions for future research. PMID:22034448

  19. Sialylation regulates brain structure and function.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Seung-Wan; Motari, Mary G; Susuki, Keiichiro; Prendergast, Jillian; Mountney, Andrea; Hurtado, Andres; Schnaar, Ronald L

    2015-07-01

    Every cell expresses a molecularly diverse surface glycan coat (glycocalyx) comprising its interface with its cellular environment. In vertebrates, the terminal sugars of the glycocalyx are often sialic acids, 9-carbon backbone anionic sugars implicated in intermolecular and intercellular interactions. The vertebrate brain is particularly enriched in sialic acid-containing glycolipids termed gangliosides. Human congenital disorders of ganglioside biosynthesis result in paraplegia, epilepsy, and intellectual disability. To better understand sialoglycan functions in the nervous system, we studied brain anatomy, histology, biochemistry, and behavior in mice with engineered mutations in St3gal2 and St3gal3, sialyltransferase genes responsible for terminal sialylation of gangliosides and some glycoproteins. St3gal2/3 double-null mice displayed dysmyelination marked by a 40% reduction in major myelin proteins, 30% fewer myelinated axons, a 33% decrease in myelin thickness, and molecular disruptions at nodes of Ranvier. In part, these changes may be due to dysregulation of ganglioside-mediated oligodendroglial precursor cell proliferation. Neuronal markers were also reduced up to 40%, and hippocampal neurons had smaller dendritic arbors. Young adult St3gal2/3 double-null mice displayed impaired motor coordination, disturbed gait, and profound cognitive disability. Comparisons among sialyltransferase mutant mice provide insights into the functional roles of brain gangliosides and sialoglycoproteins consistent with related human congenital disorders. PMID:25846372

  20. Clinton Woolsey: functional brain mapping pioneer.

    PubMed

    Lyon, Will; Mehta, Tej I; Pointer, Kelli B; Walden, Daniel; Elmayan, Ardem; Swanson, Kyle I; Kuo, John S

    2014-10-01

    Dr. Clinton Woolsey was a leading 20th-century neuroscientist for almost 4 decades. His most significant achievements were the novel use and refinement of evoked potential techniques to functionally map mammalian brains, the discovery of secondary cortical areas, and a wide repertoire of comparative neurofunctional studies across many species. The authors discuss his life and work through a historical context with contemporaries, highlight the primitive state of brain mapping before Woolsey, and review his involvement in advancing its rapid development through work at both Johns Hopkins University and University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Woolsey's lasting impact on basic and clinical neuroscience, neurosurgery, and neurology and his important roles as a scientific mentor and leader are also described. PMID:25105696

  1. Clinton Woolsey: Functional Brain Mapping Pioneer

    PubMed Central

    Lyon, Will; Mehta, Tej I.; Pointer, Kelli B.; Walden, Daniel; Elmayan, Ardem; Swanson, Kyle I.; Kuo, John S.

    2014-01-01

    Dr. Clinton Woolsey was a leading twentieth century neuroscientist for almost four decades. His most significant achievements were the novel use and refinement of evoked potential techniques to functionally map mammalian brains, the discovery of secondary cortical areas, and a wide repertoire of comparative neurofunctional studies across many species. We discuss his life and work through a historical context with contemporaries, highlight the primitive state of brain mapping before Woolsey, and his involvement in advancing its rapid development through work at both Johns Hopkins University and University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Woolsey’s lasting impact on basic and clinical neuroscience, neurosurgery, and neurology and his important roles as a scientific mentor and leader are also described. PMID:25105696

  2. Brain function assessment in different conscious states

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The study of brain functioning is a major challenge in neuroscience fields as human brain has a dynamic and ever changing information processing. Case is worsened with conditions where brain undergoes major changes in so-called different conscious states. Even though the exact definition of consciousness is a hard one, there are certain conditions where the descriptions have reached a consensus. The sleep and the anesthesia are different conditions which are separable from each other and also from wakefulness. The aim of our group has been to tackle the issue of brain functioning with setting up similar research conditions for these three conscious states. Methods In order to achieve this goal we have designed an auditory stimulation battery with changing conditions to be recorded during a 40 channel EEG polygraph (Nuamps) session. The stimuli (modified mismatch, auditory evoked etc.) have been administered both in the operation room and the sleep lab via Embedded Interactive Stimulus Unit which was developed in our lab. The overall study has provided some results for three domains of consciousness. In order to be able to monitor the changes we have incorporated Bispectral Index Monitoring to both sleep and anesthesia conditions. Results The first stage results have provided a basic understanding in these altered states such that auditory stimuli have been successfully processed in both light and deep sleep stages. The anesthesia provides a sudden change in brain responsiveness; therefore a dosage dependent anesthetic administration has proved to be useful. The auditory processing was exemplified targeting N1 wave, with a thorough analysis from spectrogram to sLORETA. The frequency components were observed to be shifting throughout the stages. The propofol administration and the deeper sleep stages both resulted in the decreasing of N1 component. The sLORETA revealed similar activity at BA7 in sleep (BIS 70) and target propofol concentration of 1.2 µg/mL. Conclusions The current study utilized similar stimulation and recording system and incorporated BIS dependent values to validate a common approach to sleep and anesthesia. Accordingly the brain has a complex behavior pattern, dynamically changing its responsiveness in accordance with stimulations and states. PMID:20522267

  3. Exercise but not (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate or ?-Alanine enhances physical fitness, brain plasticity, and behavioral performance in mice

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharya, Tushar K.; Pence, Brandt D.; Ossyra, Jessica M.; Gibbons, Trisha E.; Perez, Samuel; McCusker, Robert H.; Kelley, Keith W.; Johnson, Rodney W.; Woods, Jeffrey A.; Rhodes, Justin S.

    2015-01-01

    Nutrition and physical exercise can enhance cognitive function but the specific combinations of dietary bioactives that maximize pro-cognitive effects are not known nor are the contributing neurobiological mechanisms. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a flavonoid constituent of many plants with high levels found in green tea. EGCG has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and is known to cross the blood brain barrier where it can affect brain chemistry and physiology. ?-alanine (B-ALA) is a naturally occurring ?–amino acid that could increase cognitive functioning by increasing levels of exercise via increased capacity of skeletal muscle, by crossing the blood brain barrier and acting as a neurotransmitter, or by free radical scavenging in muscle and brain after conversion into carnosine. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of EGCG (? 250 mg/kg/day), B-ALA (?550 mg/kg/day), and their combination with voluntary wheel running exercise on the following outcome measures: body composition, time to fatigue, production of new cells in the granule layer of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus as a marker for neuronal plasticity, and behavioral performance on the contextual and cued fear conditioning tasks, as measures of associative learning and memory. Young adult male BALB/cJ mice approximately 2 months old were randomized into 8 groups varying the nutritional supplement in their diet and access to running wheels over a 39 day study period. Running increased food intake, decreased fat mass, increased time to exhaustive fatigue, increased numbers of new cells in the granule layer of the hippocampus, and enhanced retrieval of both contextual and cued fear memories. The diets had no effect on their own or in combination with exercise on any of the fitness, plasticity, and behavioral outcome measures other than B-ALA decreased percent body fat whereas EGCG increased lean body mass slightly. Results suggest that, in young adult BALB/cJ mice, a 39 day treatment of exercise but not dietary supplementation with B-ALA or EGCG, enhances measures of fitness, neuroplasticity and cognition. PMID:25797079

  4. Exercise but not (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate or ?-alanine enhances physical fitness, brain plasticity, and behavioral performance in mice.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Tushar K; Pence, Brandt D; Ossyra, Jessica M; Gibbons, Trisha E; Perez, Samuel; McCusker, Robert H; Kelley, Keith W; Johnson, Rodney W; Woods, Jeffrey A; Rhodes, Justin S

    2015-06-01

    Nutrition and physical exercise can enhance cognitive function but the specific combinations of dietary bioactives that maximize pro-cognitive effects are not known nor are the contributing neurobiological mechanisms. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a flavonoid constituent of many plants with high levels found in green tea. EGCG has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and is known to cross the blood brain barrier where it can affect brain chemistry and physiology. ?-Alanine (B-ALA) is a naturally occurring ?-amino acid that could increase cognitive functioning by increasing levels of exercise via increased capacity of skeletal muscle, by crossing the blood brain barrier and acting as a neurotransmitter, or by free radical scavenging in muscle and brain after conversion into carnosine. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of EGCG (~250mg/kg/day), B-ALA (~550mg/kg/day), and their combination with voluntary wheel running exercise on the following outcome measures: body composition, time to fatigue, production of new cells in the granule layer of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus as a marker for neuronal plasticity, and behavioral performance on the contextual and cued fear conditioning tasks, as measures of associative learning and memory. Young adult male BALB/cJ mice approximately 2months old were randomized into 8 groups varying the nutritional supplement in their diet and access to running wheels over a 39day study period. Running increased food intake, decreased fat mass, increased time to exhaustive fatigue, increased numbers of new cells in the granule layer of the hippocampus, and enhanced retrieval of both contextual and cued fear memories. The diets had no effect on their own or in combination with exercise on any of the fitness, plasticity, and behavioral outcome measures other than B-ALA decreased percent body fat whereas EGCG increased lean body mass slightly. Results suggest that, in young adult BALB/cJ mice, a 39day treatment of exercise but not dietary supplementation with B-ALA or EGCG enhances measures of fitness, neuroplasticity and cognition. PMID:25797079

  5. Low-grade inflammation disrupts structural plasticity in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Szabó, C; Kelemen, O; Kéri, S

    2014-09-01

    Increased low-grade inflammation is thought to be associated with several neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by decreased neuronal plasticity. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between structural changes in the human brain during cognitive training and the intensity of low-grade peripheral inflammation in healthy individuals (n=56). A two-month training (30 min/day) with a platformer video game resulted in a significantly increased volume of the right hippocampal formation. The number of stressful life events experienced during the past year was associated with less pronounced enlargement of the hippocampus. However, the main predictor of hippocampal volume expansion was the relative peripheral expression of Nuclear Factor-?B (NF-?B), a transcription factor playing a central role in the effect of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein levels were not related to hippocampal plasticity when NF-?B was taken into consideration. These results suggest that more intensive peripheral inflammation is associated with weaker neuronal plasticity during cognitive training. PMID:24929068

  6. Anatomical Plasticity of Adult Brain is Titrated by Nogo Receptor 1

    PubMed Central

    Akbik, Feras V.; Bhagat, Sarah M.; Patel, Pujan R.; Cafferty, William B.J.; Strittmatter, Stephen M.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Experience rearranges anatomical connectivity in the brain, but such plasticity is suppressed in adulthood. We examined the turnover of dendritic spines and axonal varicosities in the somatosensory cortex of mice lacking Nogo Receptor 1 (NgR1). Through adolescence, the anatomy and plasticity of ngr1 null mice are indistinguishable from control, but suppression of turnover after age 26 days fails to occur in ngr1?/? mice. Adolescent anatomical plasticity can be restored to one-year old mice by conditional deletion of ngr1. Suppression of anatomical dynamics by NgR1 is cell autonomous, and is phenocopied by deletion of Nogo-A ligand. Whisker removal deprives the somatosensory cortex of experience-dependent input and reduces dendritic spine turnover in adult ngr1?/? mice to control levels, while an acutely enriched environment increases dendritic spine dynamics in control mice to the level of ngr1?/? mice in a standard environment. Thus, NgR1 determines the low set point for synaptic turnover in adult cerebral cortex. PMID:23473316

  7. When Music and Long-Term Memory Interact: Effects of Musical Expertise on Functional and Structural Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Groussard, Mathilde; La Joie, Renaud; Rauchs, Géraldine; Landeau, Brigitte; Chételat, Gaël; Viader, Fausto; Desgranges, Béatrice; Eustache, Francis; Platel, Hervé

    2010-01-01

    The development of musical skills by musicians results in specific structural and functional modifications in the brain. Surprisingly, no functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study has investigated the impact of musical training on brain function during long-term memory retrieval, a faculty particularly important in music. Thus, using fMRI, we examined for the first time this process during a musical familiarity task (i.e., semantic memory for music). Musical expertise induced supplementary activations in the hippocampus, medial frontal gyrus, and superior temporal areas on both sides, suggesting a constant interaction between episodic and semantic memory during this task in musicians. In addition, a voxel-based morphometry (VBM) investigation was performed within these areas and revealed that gray matter density of the hippocampus was higher in musicians than in nonmusicians. Our data indicate that musical expertise critically modifies long-term memory processes and induces structural and functional plasticity in the hippocampus. PMID:20957158

  8. Diminished experience-dependent neuroanatomical plasticity: evidence for an improved biomarker of subtle neurotoxic damage to the developing rat brain.

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Christopher S; Reitzenstein, Jonathon; Withers, Ginger S

    2003-01-01

    Millions of children are exposed to low levels of environmental neurotoxicants as their brains are developing. Conventional laboratory methods of neurotoxicology can detect maldevelopment of brain structure but are not designed to detect maldevelopment of the brain's capacity for plasticity that could impair learning throughout life. The environmental complexity (EC) paradigm has become classic for demonstrating the modifications in brain structure that occur in response to experience and thus provides a set of indices for plasticity in the healthy brain. In this study, we have tested the hypothesis that if degradation of experience-dependent cortical plasticity is used as a biomarker, then developmental neurotoxic effects will be detected at doses below those that alter cortical morphogenesis overtly. Pregnant Long-Evans hooded rats received a single injection of either saline vehicle or 1, 5, 10, or 25 mg/kg of the well-characterized developmental neurotoxicant methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) on the 16th or 17th day of gestation. On postnatal days 35-39, male offspring were assigned to either a complex environment (EC) or an individual cage (IC) for 28 days to stimulate neuroanatomical plasticity. This response was measured as the difference between the thickness of visual cortex of IC and EC littermates at a given dose. The threshold dose for significant reduction of cortical thickness was 25 mg/kg, but the threshold dose for failure of plasticity was much lower and could be detected at 1 mg/kg, the lowest dose used. No other method of assessment has detected lasting effects of prenatal exposure to MAM at such a low dose. These data suggest that this simple test of plasticity could be an efficient way to detect subtle neurotoxic damage to the developing brain. PMID:12896849

  9. Brain Function and Upper Limb Outcome in Stroke: A Cross-Sectional fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Buma, Floor E.; Raemaekers, Mathijs; Kwakkel, Gert; Ramsey, Nick F.

    2015-01-01

    Objective The nature of changes in brain activation related to good recovery of arm function after stroke is still unclear. While the notion that this is a reflection of neuronal plasticity has gained much support, confounding by compensatory strategies cannot be ruled out. We address this issue by comparing brain activity in recovered patients 6 months after stroke with healthy controls. Methods We included 20 patients with upper limb paresis due to ischemic stroke and 15 controls. We measured brain activation during a finger flexion-extension task with functional MRI, and the relationship between brain activation and hand function. Patients exhibited various levels of recovery, but all were able to perform the task. Results Comparison between patients and controls with voxel-wise whole-brain analysis failed to reveal significant differences in brain activation. Equally, a region of interest analysis constrained to the motor network to optimize statistical power, failed to yield any differences. Finally, no significant relationship between brain activation and hand function was found in patients. Patients and controls performed scanner task equally well. Conclusion Brain activation and behavioral performance during finger flexion-extensions in (moderately) well recovered patients seems normal. The absence of significant differences in brain activity even in patients with a residual impairment may suggest that infarcts do not necessarily induce reorganization of motor function. While brain activity could be abnormal with higher task demands, this may also introduce performance confounds. It is thus still uncertain to what extent capacity for true neuronal repair after stroke exists. PMID:26440276

  10. Dynamic Functional Brain Connectivity for Face Perception

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yuan; Qiu, Yihong; Schouten, Alfred C.

    2015-01-01

    Face perception is mediated by a distributed brain network comprised of the core system at occipito-temporal areas and the extended system at other relevant brain areas involving bilateral hemispheres. In this study we explored how the brain connectivity changes over the time for face-sensitive processing. We investigated the dynamic functional connectivity in face perception by analyzing time-dependent EEG phase synchronization in four different frequency bands: theta (4–7 Hz), alpha (8–14 Hz), beta (15–24 Hz), and gamma (25–45 Hz) bands in the early stages of face processing from 30 to 300 ms. High-density EEG were recorded from subjects who were passively viewing faces, buildings, and chairs. The dynamic connectivity within the core system and between the extended system were investigated. Significant differences between faces and non-faces mainly appear in theta band connectivity: (1) at the time segment of 90–120 ms between parietal area and occipito-temporal area in the right hemisphere, and (2) at the time segment of 150–180 ms between bilateral occipito-temporal areas. These results indicate (1) the importance of theta-band connectivity in the face-sensitive processing, and (2) that different parts of network are involved for the initial stage of face categorization and the stage of face structural encoding. PMID:26696870

  11. Early Brain Stimulation May Help Stroke Survivors Recover Language Function

    MedlinePLUS

    ... Making News on Heart.org Learn More Early brain stimulation may help stroke survivors recover language function ... and strokeassociation.org Share Related Images Infographic - Thiel-Brain Stimulation copyright American Heart Association Download (311.8 ...

  12. Brain Dynamics, Chaos and Bessel Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freeman, W. J.; Capolupo, A.; Kozma, R.; Olivares del Campo, A.; Vitiello, G.

    2015-07-01

    By resorting to Freeman's observations showing that the distribution functions of impulse responses of cortex to sensory stimuli resemble Bessel functions, we study brain dynamics by considering the equivalence of spherical Bessel equation, in a given parametrization, to two oscillator equations, one damped and one amplified oscillator. The study of such a couple of equations, which are at the basis of the formulation of the dissipative many-body model, reveals the structure of the root loci of poles and zeros of solutions of Bessel equations, which are consistent with results obtained using ordinary differential equation techniques. We analyze stable and unstable limit cycles and consider thermodynamic features of brain functioning, which in this way may be described in terms of transitions between chaotic gas-like and ordered liquid-like behaviors. Nonlinearity dominates the dynamical critical transition regimes. Linear behavior, on the other hand, characterizes superpositions within self-organized neuronal domains in each dynamical phase. The formalism is consistent with the observed coexistence in circular causality of pulse density fields and wave density fields.

  13. Functional Plasticity in Ventral Temporal Cortex following Cognitive Rehabilitation of a

    E-print Network

    Robertson, Lynn

    selectivity after training was normal. fMRI demonstrated increased functional connectivity between ventral to the investiga- tion of functional changes and neural plasticity resulting from training because this process hasFunctional Plasticity in Ventral Temporal Cortex following Cognitive Rehabilitation of a Congenital

  14. Functional brain networks involved in reality monitoring.

    PubMed

    Metzak, Paul D; Lavigne, Katie M; Woodward, Todd S

    2015-08-01

    Source monitoring refers to the recollection of variables that specify the context and conditions in which a memory episode was encoded. This process involves using the qualitative and quantitative features of a memory trace to distinguish its source. One specific class of source monitoring is reality monitoring, which involves distinguishing internally generated from externally generated information, that is, memories of imagined events from real events. The purpose of the present study was to identify functional brain networks that underlie reality monitoring, using an alternative type of source monitoring as a control condition. On the basis of previous studies on self-referential thinking, it was expected that a medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) based network would be more active during reality monitoring than the control condition, due to the requirement to focus on a comparison of internal (self) and external (other) source information. Two functional brain networks emerged from this analysis, one reflecting increasing task-related activity, and one reflecting decreasing task-related activity. The second network was mPFC based, and was characterized by task-related deactivations in areas resembling the default-mode network; namely, the mPFC, middle temporal gyri, lateral parietal regions, and the precuneus, and these deactivations were diminished during reality monitoring relative to source monitoring, resulting in higher activity during reality monitoring. This result supports previous research suggesting that self-referential thinking involves the mPFC, but extends this to a network-level interpretation of reality monitoring. PMID:26004062

  15. Phosphatidylserine in the Brain: Metabolism and Function

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hee-Yong; Huang, Bill X.; Spector, Arthur A.

    2014-01-01

    Phosphatidylserine (PS) is the major anionic phospholipid class particularly enriched in the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane in neural tissues. PS is synthesized from phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylethanolamine by exchanging the base head group with serine in reactions are catalyzed by phosphatidylserine synthase 1 and phosphatidylserine synthase 2 located in the endoplasmic reticulum. Activation of Akt, Raf-1 and protein kinase C signaling, which supports neuronal survival and differentiation, requires interaction of these proteins with PS localized in the cytoplasmic leaflet of the plasma membrane. Furthermore, neurotransmitter release by exocytosis and a number of synaptic receptors and proteins are modulated by PS present in the neuronal membranes. Brain is highly enriched with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and brain PS has a high DHA content. By promoting PS synthesis, DHA can uniquely expand the PS pool in neuronal membranes and thereby influence PS-dependent signaling and protein function. Ethanol decreases DHA-promoted PS synthesis and accumulation in neurons, which may contribute to the deleterious effects of ethanol intake. Improvement of some memory functions has been observed in cognitively impaired subjects as a result of PS supplementation, but the mechanism is unclear. PMID:24992464

  16. The Modeling and Functional Connectivity of the Brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Seunghwan

    2008-12-01

    The brain is considered to be the most complex system, a fertile ground for understanding the complexity of its functions through dynamical modeling. In this talk, we present some biophysical models that help to reveal the complexity of visual functions of the brain through functional self-organization processes. We also present some recent results on how the functional connectivity arises and changes in the brain, reflecting the underlying dynamics of nervous systems. The implications of our work to the brain function are discussed. Note from Publisher: This article contains the abstract only.

  17. Tai Chi Chuan optimizes the functional organization of the intrinsic human brain architecture in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Gao-Xia; Dong, Hao-Ming; Yang, Zhi; Luo, Jing; Zuo, Xi-Nian

    2014-01-01

    Whether Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) can influence the intrinsic functional architecture of the human brain remains unclear. To examine TCC-associated changes in functional connectomes, resting-state functional magnetic resonance images were acquired from 40 older individuals including 22 experienced TCC practitioners (experts) and 18 demographically matched TCC-naïve healthy controls, and their local functional homogeneities across the cortical mantle were compared. Compared to the controls, the TCC experts had significantly greater and more experience-dependent functional homogeneity in the right post-central gyrus (PosCG) and less functional homogeneity in the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the right dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex. Increased functional homogeneity in the PosCG was correlated with TCC experience. Intriguingly, decreases in functional homogeneity (improved functional specialization) in the left ACC and increases in functional homogeneity (improved functional integration) in the right PosCG both predicted performance gains on attention network behavior tests. These findings provide evidence for the functional plasticity of the brain’s intrinsic architecture toward optimizing locally functional organization, with great implications for understanding the effects of TCC on cognition, behavior and health in aging population. PMID:24860494

  18. Plasticity of motor network and function in the absence of corticospinal projection.

    PubMed

    Han, Qi; Cao, Changshu; Ding, Yuetong; So, Kwok-Fai; Wu, Wutian; Qu, Yibo; Zhou, Libing

    2015-05-01

    Despite the obvious clinical interest, our understanding of how developmental mechanisms are redeployed during degeneration and regeneration after brain and spinal cord injuries remains quite rudimentary. In animal models of spinal cord injury, although spontaneous regeneration of descending axons is limited, compensation by intact corticospinal axons, descending tracts from the brainstem, and local intrinsic spinal networks all contribute to the recovery of motor function. Here, we investigated spontaneous motor compensation and plasticity that occur in the absence of corticospinal tract, using Celsr3|Emx1 mice in which the corticospinal tract is completely and specifically absent as a consequence of Celsr3 inactivation in the cortex. Mutant mice had no paresis, but displayed hyperactivity in open-field, and a reduction in skilled movements in food pellet manipulation tests. The number of spinal motoneurons was reduced and their terminal arbors at neuromuscular junctions were atrophic, which was reflected in electromyography deficits. Rubrospinal projections, calretinin-positive propriospinal projections, afferent innervation of motoneurons by calretinin-positive segmental interneurons, and terminal ramifications of monoaminergic projections were significantly increased. Contrary to control animals, mutants also developed a severe and persistent disability of forelimb use following the section of the rubrospinal tract at the C4 spinal level. These observations demonstrate for the first time that the congenital absence of the corticospinal tract induces spontaneous plasticity, both at the level of the motor spinal cord and in descending monoaminergic and rubrospinal projections. Such compensatory mechanisms could be recruited in case of brain or spinal cord lesion or degeneration. PMID:25792481

  19. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Brain Function and Neurochemistry

    E-print Network

    Duong, Timothy Q.

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Brain Function and Neurochemistry KAMIL UGURBIL, DAE-SHIK KIM, TIM ANDERSEN, AND GREGOR ADRIANY Invited Paper In the past decade, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research approaches to map brain function. This capability, often referred to as functional magnetic resonance imaging

  20. Mapping distributed brain function and networks with diffuse optical tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eggebrecht, Adam T.; Ferradal, Silvina L.; Robichaux-Viehoever, Amy; Hassanpour, Mahlega S.; Dehghani, Hamid; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Hershey, Tamara; Culver, Joseph P.

    2014-06-01

    Mapping of human brain function has revolutionized systems neuroscience. However, traditional functional neuroimaging by positron emission tomography or functional magnetic resonance imaging cannot be used when applications require portability, or are contraindicated because of ionizing radiation (positron emission tomography) or implanted metal (functional magnetic resonance imaging). Optical neuroimaging offers a non-invasive alternative that is radiation free and compatible with implanted metal and electronic devices (for example, pacemakers). However, optical imaging technology has heretofore lacked the combination of spatial resolution and wide field of view sufficient to map distributed brain functions. Here, we present a high-density diffuse optical tomography imaging array that can map higher-order, distributed brain function. The system was tested by imaging four hierarchical language tasks and multiple resting-state networks including the dorsal attention and default mode networks. Finally, we imaged brain function in patients with Parkinson's disease and implanted deep brain stimulators that preclude functional magnetic resonance imaging.

  1. Mapping distributed brain function and networks with diffuse optical tomography

    PubMed Central

    Eggebrecht, Adam T.; Ferradal, Silvina L.; Robichaux-Viehoever, Amy; Hassanpour, Mahlega S.; Dehghani, Hamid; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Hershey, Tamara; Culver, Joseph P.

    2014-01-01

    Mapping of human brain function has revolutionized systems neuroscience. However, traditional functional neuroimaging by positron emission tomography or functional magnetic resonance imaging cannot be used when applications require portability, or are contraindicated because of ionizing radiation (positron emission tomography) or implanted metal (functional magnetic resonance imaging). Optical neuroimaging offers a non-invasive alternative that is radiation free and compatible with implanted metal and electronic devices (for example, pacemakers). However, optical imaging technology has heretofore lacked the combination of spatial resolution and wide field of view sufficient to map distributed brain functions. Here, we present a high-density diffuse optical tomography imaging array that can map higher-order, distributed brain function. The system was tested by imaging four hierarchical language tasks and multiple resting-state networks including the dorsal attention and default mode networks. Finally, we imaged brain function in patients with Parkinson’s disease and implanted deep brain stimulators that preclude functional magnetic resonance imaging. PMID:25083161

  2. The brain as a complex system: plasticity at multiple scales and criticality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, Tony; Miller, Paul

    2015-03-01

    As a complex system, a successful organism is one that can react effectively to environmental fluctuations. Not only should its response repertoire be commensurate with the number of independent conditions that it encounters, behavioral and environmental variations need to be matched at the appropriate scales. In the cortex, neuronal clusters, not individual cells, operate at the proper scale that is necessary to generate appropriate responses to external states of the world. Single neurons, however, serve on a finer scale to mediate interactions between neuronal assemblies. The distinction of scales is significant, as plasticity mechanisms can operate on various spatial and temporal scales. The brain has apparently evolved complex-system strategies to calibrate its own dynamics at multiple scales. This makes the joint study of local balance and global homeostasis fundamentally important, where criticality emerges as a signature of a computationally powerful system. We show via simulations how plasticity mechanisms at multiple scales are inextricably tied to spike-based neuronal avalanches, which are microscopic in origin and poorly predictive of animal behavior, and cluster-based avalanches, which are manifest macroscopically and are relevant to cognition and behavior.

  3. Algorithms for enhanced spatiotemporal imaging of human brain function

    E-print Network

    Krishnaswamy, Pavitra

    2014-01-01

    Studies of human brain function require technologies to non-invasively image neuronal dynamics with high spatiotemporal resolution. The electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetoencephalogram (MEG) measure neuronal activity ...

  4. The Union of Shortest Path Trees of Functional Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    Meier, Jil; Tewarie, Prejaas; Van Mieghem, Piet

    2015-11-01

    Communication between brain regions is still insufficiently understood. Applying concepts from network science has shown to be successful in gaining insight in the functioning of the brain. Recent work has implicated that especially shortest paths in the structural brain network seem to play a major role in the communication within the brain. So far, for the functional brain network, only the average length of the shortest paths has been analyzed. In this article, we propose to construct the union of shortest path trees (USPT) as a new topology for the functional brain network. The minimum spanning tree, which has been successful in a lot of recent studies to comprise important features of the functional brain network, is always included in the USPT. After interpreting the link weights of the functional brain network as communication probabilities, the USPT of this network can be uniquely defined. Using data from magnetoencephalography, we applied the USPT as a method to find differences in the network topology of multiple sclerosis patients and healthy controls. The new concept of the USPT of the functional brain network also allows interesting interpretations and may represent the highways of the brain. PMID:26027712

  5. Effects of the diet on brain function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fernstrom, J. D.

    1981-01-01

    The rates of synthesis by brain neurons of the neurotransmitters serotonin, acetylcholine, and the catecholamines depend on the brain levels of the respective precursor molecules. Brain levels of each precursor are influenced by their blood concentration, and for the amino acid precursors, by the blood levels of other amino acids as well. Since diet readily alters blood concentrations of each of these precursors, it thereby also influences the brain formation of their neutrotransmitter products.

  6. Stability and plasticity of auditory brainstem function across the lifespan.

    PubMed

    Skoe, Erika; Krizman, Jennifer; Anderson, Samira; Kraus, Nina

    2015-06-01

    The human auditory brainstem is thought to undergo rapid developmental changes early in life until age ?2 followed by prolonged stability until aging-related changes emerge. However, earlier work on brainstem development was limited by sparse sampling across the lifespan and/or averaging across children and adults. Using a larger dataset than past investigations, we aimed to trace more subtle variations in auditory brainstem function that occur normally from infancy into the eighth decade of life. To do so, we recorded auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) to a click stimulus and a speech syllable (da) in 586 normal-hearing healthy individuals. Although each set of ABR measures (latency, frequency encoding, response consistency, nonstimulus activity) has a distinct developmental profile, across all measures developmental changes were found to continue well past age 2. In addition to an elongated developmental trajectory and evidence for multiple auditory developmental processes, we revealed a period of overshoot during childhood (5-11 years old) for latency and amplitude measures, when the latencies are earlier and the amplitudes are greater than the adult value. Our data also provide insight into the capacity for experience-dependent auditory plasticity at different stages in life and underscore the importance of using age-specific norms in clinical and experimental applications. PMID:24366906

  7. The modular and integrative functional architecture of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Bertolero, Maxwell A; Yeo, B T Thomas; D'Esposito, Mark

    2015-12-01

    Network-based analyses of brain imaging data consistently reveal distinct modules and connector nodes with diverse global connectivity across the modules. How discrete the functions of modules are, how dependent the computational load of each module is to the other modules' processing, and what the precise role of connector nodes is for between-module communication remains underspecified. Here, we use a network model of the brain derived from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data and investigate the modular functional architecture of the human brain by analyzing activity at different types of nodes in the network across 9,208 experiments of 77 cognitive tasks in the BrainMap database. Using an author-topic model of cognitive functions, we find a strong spatial correspondence between the cognitive functions and the network's modules, suggesting that each module performs a discrete cognitive function. Crucially, activity at local nodes within the modules does not increase in tasks that require more cognitive functions, demonstrating the autonomy of modules' functions. However, connector nodes do exhibit increased activity when more cognitive functions are engaged in a task. Moreover, connector nodes are located where brain activity is associated with many different cognitive functions. Connector nodes potentially play a role in between-module communication that maintains the modular function of the brain. Together, these findings provide a network account of the brain's modular yet integrated implementation of cognitive functions. PMID:26598686

  8. Gut microbial communities modulating brain development and function

    PubMed Central

    Al-Asmakh, Maha; Anuar, Farhana; Zadjali, Fahad; Rafter, Joseph; Pettersson, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian brain development is initiated in utero and internal and external environmental signals can affect this process all the way until adulthood. Recent observations suggest that one such external cue is the indigenous microbiota which has been shown to affect developmental programming of the brain. This may have consequences for brain maturation and function that impact on cognitive functions later in life. This review discusses these recent findings from a developmental perspective. PMID:22743758

  9. Topographic Brain Mapping: A Window on Brain Function?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karniski, Walt M.

    1989-01-01

    The article reviews the method of topographic mapping of the brain's electrical activity. Multiple electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes and computerized analysis of the EEG signal are used to generate maps of frequency and voltage (evoked potential). This relatively new technique holds promise in the evaluation of children with behavioral and…

  10. Network Analysis of Intrinsic Functional Brain Connectivity in Alzheimer's Disease

    E-print Network

    Rubin, Daniel L.

    Network Analysis of Intrinsic Functional Brain Connectivity in Alzheimer's Disease Kaustubh Supekar organization is disrupted in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Task-free fMRI data from 21 AD subjects and 18 age Analysis of Intrinsic Functional Brain Connectivity in Alzheimer's Disease. PLoS Comput Biol 4(6): e1000100

  11. Graph Analysis of Functional Brain Networks for Cognitive Control of Action in Traumatic Brain Injury

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caeyenberghs, Karen; Leemans, Alexander; Heitger, Marcus H.; Leunissen, Inge; Dhollander, Thijs; Sunaert, Stefan; Dupont, Patrick; Swinnen, Stephan P.

    2012-01-01

    Patients with traumatic brain injury show clear impairments in behavioural flexibility and inhibition that often persist beyond the time of injury, affecting independent living and psychosocial functioning. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown that patients with traumatic brain injury typically show increased and more broadly…

  12. Structure-function relationships in human brain development

    E-print Network

    Saygin, Zeynep Mevhibe

    2012-01-01

    The integration of anatomical, functional, and developmental approaches in cognitive neuroscience is essential for generating mechanistic explanations of brain function. In this thesis, I first establish a proof-of-principle ...

  13. NF-KappaB in Long-Term Memory and Structural Plasticity in the Adult Mammalian Brain

    PubMed Central

    Kaltschmidt, Barbara; Kaltschmidt, Christian

    2015-01-01

    The transcription factor nuclear factor kappaB (NF-?B) is a well-known regulator of inflammation, stress, and immune responses as well as cell survival. In the nervous system, NF-?B is one of the crucial components in the molecular switch that converts short- to long-term memory—a process that requires de novo gene expression. Here, the researches published on NF-?B and downstream target genes in mammals will be reviewed, which are necessary for structural plasticity and long-term memory, both under normal and pathological conditions in the brain. Genetic evidence has revealed that NF-?B regulates neuroprotection, neuronal transmission, and long-term memory. In addition, after genetic ablation of all NF-?B subunits, a severe defect in hippocampal adult neurogenesis was observed during aging. Proliferation of neural precursors is increased; however, axon outgrowth, synaptogenesis, and tissue homeostasis of the dentate gyrus are hampered. In this process, the NF-?B target gene PKAcat and other downstream target genes such as Igf2 are critically involved. Therefore, NF-?B activity seems to be crucial in regulating structural plasticity and replenishment of granule cells within the hippocampus throughout the life. In addition to the function of NF-?B in neurons, we will discuss on a neuroinflammatory role of the transcription factor in glia. Finally, a model for NF-?B homeostasis on the molecular level is presented, in order to explain seemingly the contradictory, the friend or foe, role of NF-?B in the nervous system. PMID:26635522

  14. Notch Is Required in Adult Drosophila Sensory Neurons for Morphological and Functional Plasticity of the Olfactory Circuit

    PubMed Central

    Struhl, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) convey odor information to the central brain, but like other sensory neurons were thought to play a passive role in memory formation and storage. Here we show that Notch, part of an evolutionarily conserved intercellular signaling pathway, is required in adult Drosophila ORNs for the structural and functional plasticity of olfactory glomeruli that is induced by chronic odor exposure. Specifically, we show that Notch activity in ORNs is necessary for the odor specific increase in the volume of glomeruli that occurs as a consequence of prolonged odor exposure. Calcium imaging experiments indicate that Notch in ORNs is also required for the chronic odor induced changes in the physiology of ORNs and the ensuing changes in the physiological response of their second order projection neurons (PNs). We further show that Notch in ORNs acts by both canonical cleavage-dependent and non-canonical cleavage-independent pathways. The Notch ligand Delta (Dl) in PNs switches the balance between the pathways. These data define a circuit whereby, in conjunction with odor, N activity in the periphery regulates the activity of neurons in the central brain and Dl in the central brain regulates N activity in the periphery. Our work highlights the importance of experience dependent plasticity at the first olfactory synapse. PMID:26011623

  15. Plasticity of Attentional Functions in Older Adults after Non-Action Video Game Training: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Mayas, Julia; Parmentier, Fabrice B. R.; Andrés, Pilar; Ballesteros, Soledad

    2014-01-01

    A major goal of recent research in aging has been to examine cognitive plasticity in older adults and its capacity to counteract cognitive decline. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether older adults could benefit from brain training with video games in a cross-modal oddball task designed to assess distraction and alertness. Twenty-seven healthy older adults participated in the study (15 in the experimental group, 12 in the control group. The experimental group received 20 1-hr video game training sessions using a commercially available brain-training package (Lumosity) involving problem solving, mental calculation, working memory and attention tasks. The control group did not practice this package and, instead, attended meetings with the other members of the study several times along the course of the study. Both groups were evaluated before and after the intervention using a cross-modal oddball task measuring alertness and distraction. The results showed a significant reduction of distraction and an increase of alertness in the experimental group and no variation in the control group. These results suggest neurocognitive plasticity in the old human brain as training enhanced cognitive performance on attentional functions. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02007616 PMID:24647551

  16. Sugar for the brain: the role of glucose in physiological and pathological brain function

    PubMed Central

    Mergenthaler, Philipp; Lindauer, Ute; Dienel, Gerald A.; Meisel, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    The mammalian brain depends upon glucose as its main source of energy, and tight regulation of glucose metabolism is critical for brain physiology. Consistent with its critical role for physiological brain function, disruption of normal glucose metabolism as well as its interdependence with cell death pathways forms the pathophysiological basis for many brain disorders. Here, we review recent advances in understanding how glucose metabolism sustains basic brain physiology. We aim at synthesizing these findings to form a comprehensive picture of the cooperation required between different systems and cell types, and the specific breakdowns in this cooperation which lead to disease. PMID:23968694

  17. Plasticity of the Injured Human Spinal Cord: Insights Revealed by Spinal Cord Functional MRI

    PubMed Central

    Cadotte, David W.; Bosma, Rachael; Mikulis, David; Nugaeva, Natalia; Smith, Karen; Pokrupa, Ronald; Islam, Omar; Stroman, Patrick W.; Fehlings, Michael G.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction While numerous studies have documented evidence for plasticity of the human brain there is little evidence that the human spinal cord can change after injury. Here, we employ a novel spinal fMRI design where we stimulate normal and abnormal sensory dermatomes in persons with traumatic spinal cord injury and perform a connectivity analysis to understand how spinal networks process information. Methods Spinal fMRI data was collected at 3 Tesla at two institutions from 38 individuals using the standard SEEP functional MR imaging techniques. Thermal stimulation was applied to four dermatomes in an interleaved timing pattern during each fMRI acquisition. SCI patients were stimulated in dermatomes both above (normal sensation) and below the level of their injury. Sub-group analysis was performed on healthy controls (n?=?20), complete SCI (n?=?3), incomplete SCI (n?=?9) and SCI patients who recovered full function (n?=?6). Results Patients with chronic incomplete SCI, when stimulated in a dermatome of normal sensation, showed an increased number of active voxels relative to controls (p?=?0.025). There was an inverse relationship between the degree of sensory impairment and the number of active voxels in the region of the spinal cord corresponding to that dermatome of abnormal sensation (R2?=?0.93, p<0.001). Lastly, a connectivity analysis demonstrated a significantly increased number of intraspinal connections in incomplete SCI patients relative to controls suggesting altered processing of afferent sensory signals. Conclusions In this work we demonstrate the use of spinal fMRI to investigate changes in spinal processing of somatosensory information in the human spinal cord. We provide evidence for plasticity of the human spinal cord after traumatic injury based on an increase in the average number of active voxels in dermatomes of normal sensation in chronic SCI patients and an increased number of intraspinal connections in incomplete SCI patients relative to healthy controls. PMID:23029097

  18. Neural plasticity in hypocretin neurons: the basis of hypocretinergic regulation of physiological and behavioral functions in animals

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Xiao-Bing; Hermes, Gretchen

    2015-01-01

    The neuronal system that resides in the perifornical and lateral hypothalamus (Pf/LH) and synthesizes the neuropeptide hypocretin/orexin participates in critical brain functions across species from fish to human. The hypocretin system regulates neural activity responsible for daily functions (such as sleep/wake homeostasis, energy balance, appetite, etc.) and long-term behavioral changes (such as reward seeking and addiction, stress response, etc.) in animals. The most recent evidence suggests that the hypocretin system undergoes substantial plastic changes in response to both daily fluctuations (such as food intake and sleep-wake regulation) and long-term changes (such as cocaine seeking) in neuronal activity in the brain. The understanding of these changes in the hypocretin system is essential in addressing the role of the hypocretin system in normal physiological functions and pathological conditions in animals and humans. In this review, the evidence demonstrating that neural plasticity occurs in hypocretin-containing neurons in the Pf/LH will be presented and possible physiological, behavioral, and mental health implications of these findings will be discussed. PMID:26539086

  19. Infrared Imaging System for Studying Brain Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mintz, Frederick; Mintz, Frederick; Gunapala, Sarath

    2007-01-01

    A proposed special-purpose infrared imaging system would be a compact, portable, less-expensive alternative to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) systems heretofore used to study brain function. Whereas a typical fMRI system fills a large room, and must be magnetically isolated, this system would fit into a bicycle helmet. The system would include an assembly that would be mounted inside the padding in a modified bicycle helmet or other suitable headgear. The assembly would include newly designed infrared photodetectors and data-acquisition circuits on integrated-circuit chips on low-thermal-conductivity supports in evacuated housings (see figure) arranged in multiple rows and columns that would define image coordinates. Each housing would be spring-loaded against the wearer s head. The chips would be cooled by a small Stirling Engine mounted contiguous to, but thermally isolated from, the portions of the assembly in thermal contact with the wearer s head. Flexible wires or cables for transmitting data from the aforementioned chips would be routed to an integrated, multichannel transmitter and thence through the top of the assembly to a patch antenna on the outside of the helmet. The multiple streams of data from the infrared-detector chips would be sent to a remote site, where they would be processed, by software, into a three-dimensional display of evoked potentials that would represent firing neuronal bundles and thereby indicate locations of neuronal activity associated with mental or physical activity. The 3D images will be analogous to current fMRI images. The data would also be made available, in real-time, for comparison with data in local or internationally accessible relational databases that already exist in universities and research centers. Hence, this system could be used in research on, and for the diagnosis of response from the wearer s brain to physiological, psychological, and environmental changes in real time. The images would also be stored in a relational database for comparison with corresponding responses previously observed in other subjects.

  20. Efficiency of weak brain connections support general cognitive functioning.

    PubMed

    Santarnecchi, Emiliano; Galli, Giulia; Polizzotto, Nicola Riccardo; Rossi, Alessandro; Rossi, Simone

    2014-09-01

    Brain network topology provides valuable information on healthy and pathological brain functioning. Novel approaches for brain network analysis have shown an association between topological properties and cognitive functioning. Under the assumption that "stronger is better", the exploration of brain properties has generally focused on the connectivity patterns of the most strongly correlated regions, whereas the role of weaker brain connections has remained obscure for years. Here, we assessed whether the different strength of connections between brain regions may explain individual differences in intelligence. We analyzed-functional connectivity at rest in ninety-eight healthy individuals of different age, and correlated several connectivity measures with full scale, verbal, and performance Intelligent Quotients (IQs). Our results showed that the variance in IQ levels was mostly explained by the distributed communication efficiency of brain networks built using moderately weak, long-distance connections, with only a smaller contribution of stronger connections. The variability in individual IQs was associated with the global efficiency of a pool of regions in the prefrontal lobes, hippocampus, temporal pole, and postcentral gyrus. These findings challenge the traditional view of a prominent role of strong functional brain connections in brain topology, and highlight the importance of both strong and weak connections in determining the functional architecture responsible for human intelligence variability. PMID:24585433

  1. Brain serotonin and pituitary-adrenal functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vernikos-Danellis, J.; Berger, P.; Barchas, J. D.

    1973-01-01

    It had been concluded by Scapagnini et al. (1971) that brain serotonin (5-HT) was involved in the regulation of the diurnal rhythm of the pituitary-adrenal system but not in the stress response. A study was conducted to investigate these findings further by evaluating the effects of altering brain 5-HT levels on the daily fluctuation of plasma corticosterone and on the response of the pituitary-adrenal system to a stressful or noxious stimulus in the rat. In a number of experiments brain 5-HT synthesis was inhibited with parachlorophenylalanine. In other tests it was tried to raise the level of brain 5-HT with precursors.

  2. Non-verbal emotion communication training induces specific changes in brain function and structure

    PubMed Central

    Kreifelts, Benjamin; Jacob, Heike; Brück, Carolin; Erb, Michael; Ethofer, Thomas; Wildgruber, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    The perception of emotional cues from voice and face is essential for social interaction. However, this process is altered in various psychiatric conditions along with impaired social functioning. Emotion communication trainings have been demonstrated to improve social interaction in healthy individuals and to reduce emotional communication deficits in psychiatric patients. Here, we investigated the impact of a non-verbal emotion communication training (NECT) on cerebral activation and brain structure in a controlled and combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and voxel-based morphometry study. NECT-specific reductions in brain activity occurred in a distributed set of brain regions including face and voice processing regions as well as emotion processing- and motor-related regions presumably reflecting training-induced familiarization with the evaluation of face/voice stimuli. Training-induced changes in non-verbal emotion sensitivity at the behavioral level and the respective cerebral activation patterns were correlated in the face-selective cortical areas in the posterior superior temporal sulcus and fusiform gyrus for valence ratings and in the temporal pole, lateral prefrontal cortex and midbrain/thalamus for the response times. A NECT-induced increase in gray matter (GM) volume was observed in the fusiform face area. Thus, NECT induces both functional and structural plasticity in the face processing system as well as functional plasticity in the emotion perception and evaluation system. We propose that functional alterations are presumably related to changes in sensory tuning in the decoding of emotional expressions. Taken together, these findings highlight that the present experimental design may serve as a valuable tool to investigate the altered behavioral and neuronal processing of emotional cues in psychiatric disorders as well as the impact of therapeutic interventions on brain function and structure. PMID:24146641

  3. Centrality of Social Interaction in Human Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Hari, Riitta; Henriksson, Linda; Malinen, Sanna; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-10-01

    People are embedded in social interaction that shapes their brains throughout lifetime. Instead of emerging from lower-level cognitive functions, social interaction could be the default mode via which humans communicate with their environment. Should this hypothesis be true, it would have profound implications on how we think about brain functions and how we dissect and simulate them. We suggest that the research on the brain basis of social cognition and interaction should move from passive spectator science to studies including engaged participants and simultaneous recordings from the brains of the interacting persons. PMID:26447580

  4. The function of neurocognitive networks. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressler, Steven L.

    2014-09-01

    Pessoa [5] has performed a valuable service by reviewing the extant literature on brain networks and making a number of interesting proposals about their cognitive function. The term function is at the core of understanding the brain networks of cognition, or neurocognitive networks (NCNs) [1]. The great Russian neuropsychologist, Luria [4], defined brain function as the common task executed by a distributed brain network of complex dynamic structures united by the demands of cognition. Casting Luria in a modern light, we can say that function emerges from the interactions of brain regions in NCNs as they dynamically self-organize according to cognitive demands. Pessoa rightly details the mapping between brain function and structure, emphasizing both its pluripotency (one structure having multiple functions) and degeneracy (many structures having the same function). However, he fails to consider the potential importance of a one-to-one mapping between NCNs and function. If NCNs are uniquely composed of specific collections of brain areas, then each NCN has a unique function determined by that composition.

  5. Beyond localized and distributed accounts of brain functions. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cauda, Franco; Costa, Tommaso; Tamietto, Marco

    2014-09-01

    Recent evidence in cognitive neuroscience lends support to the idea that network models of brain architecture provide a privileged access to the understanding of the relation between brain organization and cognitive processes [1]. The core perspective holds that cognitive processes depend on the interactions among distributed neuronal populations and brain structures, and that the impact of a given region on behavior largely depends on its pattern of anatomical and functional connectivity [2,3].

  6. Brain Plasticity in Speech Training in Native English Speakers Learning Mandarin Tones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinzen, Christina Carolyn

    The current study employed behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures to investigate brain plasticity associated with second-language (L2) phonetic learning based on an adaptive computer training program. The program utilized the acoustic characteristics of Infant-Directed Speech (IDS) to train monolingual American English-speaking listeners to perceive Mandarin lexical tones. Behavioral identification and discrimination tasks were conducted using naturally recorded speech, carefully controlled synthetic speech, and non-speech control stimuli. The ERP experiments were conducted with selected synthetic speech stimuli in a passive listening oddball paradigm. Identical pre- and post- tests were administered on nine adult listeners, who completed two-to-three hours of perceptual training. The perceptual training sessions used pair-wise lexical tone identification, and progressed through seven levels of difficulty for each tone pair. The levels of difficulty included progression in speaker variability from one to four speakers and progression through four levels of acoustic exaggeration of duration, pitch range, and pitch contour. Behavioral results for the natural speech stimuli revealed significant training-induced improvement in identification of Tones 1, 3, and 4. Improvements in identification of Tone 4 generalized to novel stimuli as well. Additionally, comparison between discrimination of across-category and within-category stimulus pairs taken from a synthetic continuum revealed a training-induced shift toward more native-like categorical perception of the Mandarin lexical tones. Analysis of the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) responses in the ERP data revealed increased amplitude and decreased latency for pre-attentive processing of across-category discrimination as a result of training. There were also laterality changes in the MMN responses to the non-speech control stimuli, which could reflect reallocation of brain resources in processing pitch patterns for the across-category lexical tone contrast. Overall, the results support the use of IDS characteristics in training non-native speech contrasts and provide impetus for further research.

  7. Evidence for hubs in human functional brain networks

    PubMed Central

    Power, Jonathan D; Schlaggar, Bradley L; Lessov-Schlaggar, Christina N; Petersen, Steven E

    2013-01-01

    Summary Hubs integrate and distribute information in powerful ways due to the number and positioning of their contacts in a network. Several resting state functional connectivity MRI reports have implicated regions of the default mode system as brain hubs; we demonstrate that previous degree-based approaches to hub identification may have identified portions of large brain systems rather than critical nodes of brain networks. We utilize two methods to identify hub-like brain regions: 1) finding network nodes that participate in multiple sub-networks of the brain, and 2) finding spatial locations where several systems are represented within a small volume. These methods converge on a distributed set of regions that differ from previous reports on hubs. This work identifies regions that support multiple systems, leading to spatially constrained predictions about brain function that may be tested in terms of lesions, evoked responses, and dynamic patterns of activity. PMID:23972601

  8. The serotonin receptor 7 and the structural plasticity of brain circuits

    PubMed Central

    Volpicelli, Floriana; Speranza, Luisa; di Porzio, Umberto; Crispino, Marianna; Perrone-Capano, Carla

    2014-01-01

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) modulates numerous physiological processes in the nervous system. Together with its function as neurotransmitter, 5-HT regulates neurite outgrowth, dendritic spine shape and density, growth cone motility and synapse formation during development. In the mammalian brain 5-HT innervation is virtually ubiquitous and the diversity and specificity of its signaling and function arise from at least 20 different receptors, grouped in 7 classes. Here we will focus on the role 5-HT7 receptor (5-HT7R) in the correct establishment of neuronal cytoarchitecture during development, as also suggested by its involvement in several neurodevelopmental disorders. The emerging picture shows that this receptor is a key player contributing not only to shape brain networks during development but also to remodel neuronal wiring in the mature brain, thus controlling cognitive and emotional responses. The activation of 5-HT7R might be one of the mechanisms underlying the ability of the CNS to respond to different stimuli by modulation of its circuit configuration. PMID:25309369

  9. Cellular and molecular analysis of neuronal structure plasticity in the mammalian cortex

    E-print Network

    Lee, Wei-Chung Allen

    2006-01-01

    Despite decades of evidence for functional plasticity in the adult brain, the role of structural plasticity in its manifestation remains unclear. cpg15 is an activity-regulated gene encoding a membrane-bound ligand that ...

  10. POLYMER MICROSTRUCTURED OPTICAL FIBERS -OVERVIEW OF THE NOVEL GEOMETRIES AND FUNCTIONAL PLASTICS FOR A

    E-print Network

    Skorobogatiy, Maksim

    POLYMER MICROSTRUCTURED OPTICAL FIBERS - OVERVIEW OF THE NOVEL GEOMETRIES AND FUNCTIONAL PLASTICS for light extraction. Intensity of side emission is controlled by varying the number of layers in a Bragg

  11. Amphetamine-Associated Contextual Learning is Accompanied by Structural and Functional Plasticity in the Basolateral Amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Rademacher, David J.; Rosenkranz, J. Amiel; Morshedi, Maud M.; Sullivan, Elyse M.; Meredith, Gloria E.

    2010-01-01

    Drug seeking and the vulnerability to relapse occur when individuals are exposed to an environment with sensory cues where drug taking has occurred. Memory formation is thought to require plasticity in synaptic circuits, and so we examined whether the memory for a drug-paired environment correlates with changes in the synaptic circuits of the basolateral amygdala (BLA), where emotional learning is a recognized phenomenon. We used amphetamine (AMPH) as the unconditioned stimulus in the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Rats were conditioned with 1.0 mg/kg AMPH and tested, drug-free, 72 h after the last conditioning session. Controls included a saline conditioned group and a home cage AMPH injection group, whose exposure to the CPP apparatus was delayed by 4 h, long enough to clear the AMPH from the brain. We counted excitatory synapses in the BLA using the electron microscope and the physical disector design (stereology). Rats that expressed AMPH CPP had an increase in excitatory synapses compared to controls. Excitatory synaptic activity was measured using in vivo intracellular recordings from the BLA in anesthetized rats. We found that AMPH CPP, but not drug alone, increased measures of synaptic drive, including the frequency of synaptic events, and the paired-pulse ratio of synaptic inputs to BLA pyramidal neurons. The in vivo findings suggest that the increase in BLA neuronal excitatory drive reflects the change in excitatory synapse number. Thus, context-drug associations are accompanied by structural and functional plasticity in the BLA, findings that have important implications for drug-seeking behavior. PMID:20357118

  12. Perceptual shift in bilingualism: brain potentials reveal plasticity in pre-attentive colour perception.

    PubMed

    Athanasopoulos, Panos; Dering, Benjamin; Wiggett, Alison; Kuipers, Jan-Rouke; Thierry, Guillaume

    2010-09-01

    The validity of the linguistic relativity principle continues to stimulate vigorous debate and research. The debate has recently shifted from the behavioural investigation arena to a more biologically grounded field, in which tangible physiological evidence for language effects on perception can be obtained. Using brain potentials in a colour oddball detection task with Greek and English speakers, a recent study suggests that language effects may exist at early stages of perceptual integration [Thierry, G., Athanasopoulos, P., Wiggett, A., Dering, B., & Kuipers, J. (2009). Unconscious effects of language-specific terminology on pre-attentive colour perception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 4567-4570]. In this paper, we test whether in Greek speakers exposure to a new cultural environment (UK) with contrasting colour terminology from their native language affects early perceptual processing as indexed by an electrophysiological correlate of visual detection of colour luminance. We also report semantic mapping of native colour terms and colour similarity judgements. Results reveal convergence of linguistic descriptions, cognitive processing, and early perception of colour in bilinguals. This result demonstrates for the first time substantial plasticity in early, pre-attentive colour perception and has important implications for the mechanisms that are involved in perceptual changes during the processes of language learning and acculturation. PMID:20566193

  13. Neuroplasticity as a function of second language learning: anatomical changes in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Li, Ping; Legault, Jennifer; Litcofsky, Kaitlyn A

    2014-09-01

    The brain has an extraordinary ability to functionally and physically change or reconfigure its structure in response to environmental stimulus, cognitive demand, or behavioral experience. This property, known as neuroplasticity, has been examined extensively in many domains. But how does neuroplasticity occur in the brain as a function of an individual's experience with a second language? It is not until recently that we have gained some understanding of this question by examining the anatomical changes as well as functional neural patterns that are induced by the learning and use of multiple languages. In this article we review emerging evidence regarding how structural neuroplasticity occurs in the brain as a result of one's bilingual experience. Our review aims at identifying the processes and mechanisms that drive experience-dependent anatomical changes, and integrating structural imaging evidence with current knowledge of functional neural plasticity of language and other cognitive skills. The evidence reviewed so far portrays a picture that is highly consistent with structural neuroplasticity observed for other domains: second language experience-induced brain changes, including increased gray matter (GM) density and white matter (WM) integrity, can be found in children, young adults, and the elderly; can occur rapidly with short-term language learning or training; and are sensitive to age, age of acquisition, proficiency or performance level, language-specific characteristics, and individual differences. We conclude with a theoretical perspective on neuroplasticity in language and bilingualism, and point to future directions for research. PMID:24996640

  14. Connectivity and functional profiling of abnormal brain structures in pedophilia.

    PubMed

    Poeppl, Timm B; Eickhoff, Simon B; Fox, Peter T; Laird, Angela R; Rupprecht, Rainer; Langguth, Berthold; Bzdok, Danilo

    2015-06-01

    Despite its 0.5-1% lifetime prevalence in men and its general societal relevance, neuroimaging investigations in pedophilia are scarce. Preliminary findings indicate abnormal brain structure and function. However, no study has yet linked structural alterations in pedophiles to both connectional and functional properties of the aberrant hotspots. The relationship between morphological alterations and brain function in pedophilia as well as their contribution to its psychopathology thus remain unclear. First, we assessed bimodal connectivity of structurally altered candidate regions using meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) and resting-state correlations employing openly accessible data. We compared the ensuing connectivity maps to the activation likelihood estimation (ALE) maps of a recent quantitative meta-analysis of brain activity during processing of sexual stimuli. Second, we functionally characterized the structurally altered regions employing meta-data of a large-scale neuroimaging database. Candidate regions were functionally connected to key areas for processing of sexual stimuli. Moreover, we found that the functional role of structurally altered brain regions in pedophilia relates to nonsexual emotional as well as neurocognitive and executive functions, previously reported to be impaired in pedophiles. Our results suggest that structural brain alterations affect neural networks for sexual processing by way of disrupted functional connectivity, which may entail abnormal sexual arousal patterns. The findings moreover indicate that structural alterations account for common affective and neurocognitive impairments in pedophilia. The present multimodal integration of brain structure and function analyses links sexual and nonsexual psychopathology in pedophilia. PMID:25733379

  15. Hierarchical organization of brain functional networks during visual tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuo, Zhao; Cai, Shi-Min; Fu, Zhong-Qian; Zhang, Jie

    2011-09-01

    The functional network of the brain is known to demonstrate modular structure over different hierarchical scales. In this paper, we systematically investigated the hierarchical modular organizations of the brain functional networks that are derived from the extent of phase synchronization among high-resolution EEG time series during a visual task. In particular, we compare the modular structure of the functional network from EEG channels with that of the anatomical parcellation of the brain cortex. Our results show that the modular architectures of brain functional networks correspond well to those from the anatomical structures over different levels of hierarchy. Most importantly, we find that the consistency between the modular structures of the functional network and the anatomical network becomes more pronounced in terms of vision, sensory, vision-temporal, motor cortices during the visual task, which implies that the strong modularity in these areas forms the functional basis for the visual task. The structure-function relationship further reveals that the phase synchronization of EEG time series in the same anatomical group is much stronger than that of EEG time series from different anatomical groups during the task and that the hierarchical organization of functional brain network may be a consequence of functional segmentation of the brain cortex.

  16. Habitat-dependent and -independent plastic responses to social environment in the nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) brain.

    PubMed

    Gonda, Abigél; Herczeg, Gábor; Merilä, Juha

    2009-06-01

    The influence of environmental complexity on brain development has been demonstrated in a number of taxa, but the potential influence of social environment on neural architecture remains largely unexplored. We investigated experimentally the influence of social environment on the development of different brain parts in geographically and genetically isolated and ecologically divergent populations of nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius). Fish from two marine and two pond populations were reared in the laboratory from eggs to adulthood either individually or in groups. Group-reared pond fish developed relatively smaller brains than those reared individually, but no such difference was found in marine fish. Group-reared fish from both pond and marine populations developed larger tecta optica and smaller bulbi olfactorii than individually reared fish. The fact that the social environment effect on brain size differed between marine and pond origin fish is in agreement with the previous research, showing that pond fish pay a high developmental cost from grouping while marine fish do not. Our results demonstrate that social environment has strong effects on the development of the stickleback brain, and on the brain's sensory neural centres in particular. The potential adaptive significance of the observed brain-size plasticity is discussed. PMID:19324759

  17. Changes in Brain Functioning From Infancy to Early Childhood: Evidence

    E-print Network

    Changes in Brain Functioning From Infancy to Early Childhood: Evidence From EEG Power and Coherence developmental changes in brain electrical activity during higher order cognitive processing at infancy and early for a follow-up visit and were assessed with age-appropriate working- memory tasks. At infancy, working memory

  18. Mapping Functional Brain Development: Building a Social Brain through Interactive Specialization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Mark H.; Grossmann, Tobias; Kadosh, Kathrin Cohen

    2009-01-01

    The authors review a viewpoint on human functional brain development, interactive specialization (IS), and its application to the emerging network of cortical regions referred to as the "social brain." They advance the IS view in 2 new ways. First, they extend IS into a domain to which it has not previously been applied--the emergence of social…

  19. Near to the Brain: Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy as a Lightweight Brain Imaging Technique for Visualization

    E-print Network

    Cortes, Corinna

    near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is an emerging technology for brain imaging being developedNear to the Brain: Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy as a Lightweight Brain Imaging Technique the use of cumbersome or expensive brain imaging equipment. In recent years, functional near-infrared

  20. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Sporns, Olaf

    2008-01-23

    The brain is a complex network of neurons, engaging in spontaneous and evoked activity that is thought to be the main substrate of mental life. How this complex system works together to process information and generate coherent cognitive states, even consciousness, is not yet well understood. In my talk I will review recent studies that have revealed characteristic structural and functional attributes of brain networks, and discuss efforts to build computational models of the brain that are informed by our growing knowledge of brain anatomy and physiology.

  1. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Olaf Sporns

    2008-01-23

    The brain is a complex network of neurons, engaging in spontaneous and evoked activity that is thought to be the main substrate of mental life.  How this complex system works together to process information and generate coherent cognitive states, even consciousness, is not yet well understood.  In my talk I will review recent studies that have revealed characteristic structural and functional attributes of brain networks, and discuss efforts to build computational models of the brain that are informed by our growing knowledge of brain anatomy and physiology.

  2. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    ScienceCinema

    Olaf Sporns

    2010-01-08

    The brain is a complex network of neurons, engaging in spontaneous and evoked activity that is thought to be the main substrate of mental life.  How this complex system works together to process information and generate coherent cognitive states, even consciousness, is not yet well understood.  In my talk I will review recent studies that have revealed characteristic structural and functional attributes of brain networks, and discuss efforts to build computational models of the brain that are informed by our growing knowledge of brain anatomy and physiology.

  3. The impact of cognitive reserve on brain functional connectivity in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Bozzali, Marco; Dowling, Claire; Serra, Laura; Spanò, Barbara; Torso, Mario; Marra, Camillo; Castelli, Diana; Dowell, Nicholas G; Koch, Giacomo; Caltagirone, Carlo; Cercignani, Mara

    2015-01-01

    One factor believed to impact brain resilience to the pathological damage of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the so-called "cognitive reserve" (CR). A critical issue that still needs to be fully understood is the mechanism by which environmental enrichment interacts with brain plasticity to determine resilience to AD pathology. Previous work using PET suggests that increased brain connectivity might be at the origin of the compensatory mechanisms implicated in this process. This study aims to further clarify this issue using resting-state functional MRI. Resting-state functional MRI was collected for 11 patients with AD, 18 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 16 healthy controls, and analyzed to isolate the default mode network (DMN). A quantitative score of CR was obtained by combining information about number of years of education and type of schools attended. Consistent with previous reports, education was found to modulate functional connectivity in the posterior cingulate cortex, whose disconnection with the temporal lobes is known to be critical for the conversion from MCI to AD. This effect was highly significant in AD patients, less so in patients with MCI, and absent in healthy subjects. These findings show the potential neural mechanisms underlying the individual's ability to cope with brain damage, although they should be treated with some caution based on small numbers. PMID:25201783

  4. Neuron-glia networks: integral gear of brain function

    E-print Network

    Perea, Gertrudis

    Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cell in the brain, play critical roles in metabolic and homeostatic functions of the Nervous System; however, their participation in coding information and cognitive processes has been ...

  5. Plasticity of the mate choice mind: courtship evokes choice-like brain responses in females from a coercive mating system.

    PubMed

    Wang, S M T; Ramsey, M E; Cummings, M E

    2014-04-01

    Female mate choice is fundamental to sexual selection, and determining molecular underpinnings of female preference variation is important for understanding mating character evolution. Previously it was shown that whole-brain expression of a synaptic plasticity marker, neuroserpin, positively correlates with mating bias in the female choice poeciliid, Xiphophorus nigrensis, when exposed to conspecific courting males, whereas this relationship is reversed in Gambusia affinis, a mate coercive poeciliid with no courting males. Here we explore whether species-level differences in female behavioral and brain molecular responses represent 'canalized' or 'plastic' traits. We expose female G. affinis to conspecific males and females, as well as coercive and courting male Poecilia latipinna, for preference assays followed by whole-brain gene expression analyses of neuroserpin, egr-1 and early B. We find positive correlations between gene expression and female preference strength during exposure to courting heterospecific males, but a reversed pattern following exposure to coercive heterospecific males. This suggests that the neuromolecular processes associated with female preference behavior are plastic and responsive to different male phenotypes (courting or coercive) rather than a canalized response linked to mating system. Further, we propose that female behavioral plasticity may involve learning because female association patterns shifted with experience. Compared to younger females, we found larger, more experienced females spend less time near coercive males but associate more with males in the presence of courters. We thus suggest a conserved learning-based neuromolecular process underlying the diversity of female mate preference across the mate choice and coercion-driven mating systems. PMID:24548673

  6. Brain Hemispheric Functions and the Native American.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Allen Chuck

    1982-01-01

    Uses brain research conducted by Dr. Roger Sperry to show that traditional Native Americans are more dominant in right hemisphere thinking, setting them apart from a modern left hemisphere-oriented society (especially emphasized in schools). Describes some characteristics of Native American thinking that illustrate a right hemisphere orientation…

  7. Generating Text from Functional Brain Images

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Francisco; Detre, Greg; Botvinick, Matthew

    2011-01-01

    Recent work has shown that it is possible to take brain images acquired during viewing of a scene and reconstruct an approximation of the scene from those images. Here we show that it is also possible to generate text about the mental content reflected in brain images. We began with images collected as participants read names of concrete items (e.g., “Apartment’’) while also seeing line drawings of the item named. We built a model of the mental semantic representation of concrete concepts from text data and learned to map aspects of such representation to patterns of activation in the corresponding brain image. In order to validate this mapping, without accessing information about the items viewed for left-out individual brain images, we were able to generate from each one a collection of semantically pertinent words (e.g., “door,” “window” for “Apartment’’). Furthermore, we show that the ability to generate such words allows us to perform a classification task and thus validate our method quantitatively. PMID:21927602

  8. The disorganized visual cortex in reelin-deficient mice is functional and allows for enhanced plasticity.

    PubMed

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Wagener, Robin Jan; Martens, Ann-Kristin; Goetze, Bianka; Schmidt, Karl-Friedrich; Staiger, Jochen F; Löwel, Siegrid

    2015-11-01

    A hallmark of neocortical circuits is the segregation of processing streams into six distinct layers. The importance of this layered organization for cortical processing and plasticity is little understood. We investigated the structure, function and plasticity of primary visual cortex (V1) of adult mice deficient for the glycoprotein reelin and their wild-type littermates. In V1 of rl-/- mice, cells with different laminar fates are present at all cortical depths. Surprisingly, the (vertically) disorganized cortex maintains a precise retinotopic (horizontal) organization. Rl-/- mice have normal basic visual capabilities, but are compromised in more challenging perceptual tasks, such as orientation discrimination. Additionally, rl-/- animals learn and memorize a visual task as well as their wild-type littermates. Interestingly, reelin deficiency enhances visual cortical plasticity: juvenile-like ocular dominance plasticity is preserved into late adulthood. The present data offer an important insight into the capabilities of a disorganized cortical system to maintain basic functional properties. PMID:25119525

  9. Human brain activity with functional NIR optical imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Qingming

    2001-08-01

    In this paper we reviewed the applications of functional near infrared optical imager in human brain activity. Optical imaging results of brain activity, including memory for new association, emotional thinking, mental arithmetic, pattern recognition ' where's Waldo?, occipital cortex in visual stimulation, and motor cortex in finger tapping, are demonstrated. It is shown that the NIR optical method opens up new fields of study of the human population, in adults under conditions of simulated or real stress that may have important effects upon functional performance. It makes practical and affordable for large populations the complex technology of measuring brain function. It is portable and low cost. In cognitive tasks subjects could report orally. The temporal resolution could be millisecond or less in theory. NIR method will have good prospects in exploring human brain secret.

  10. The Role of the Y Chromosome in Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Kopsida, Eleni; Stergiakouli, Evangelia; Lynn, Phoebe M.; Wilkinson, Lawrence S.; Davies, William

    2010-01-01

    In mammals, sex differences are evident in many aspects of brain development, brain function and behaviour. Ultimately, such differences must arise from the differential sex chromosome complements in males and females: males inherit a single X chromosome and a Y chromosome, whilst females inherit two X chromosomes. One possible mechanism for sexual differentiation of the brain is via male-limited expression of genes on the small Y chromosome. Many Y-linked genes have been implicated in the development of the testes, and therefore could theoretically contribute to sexual differentiation of the brain indirectly, through influencing gonadal hormone production. Alternatively, Y-linked genes that are expressed in the brain could directly influence neural masculinisation. The present paper reviews evidence from human genetic studies and animal models for Y-linked effects (both direct and indirect) on neurodevelopment, brain function and behaviour. Besides enhancing our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying mammalian neural sexual differentiation, studies geared towards understanding the role of the Y chromosome in brain function will help to elucidate the molecular basis of sex-biased neuropsychiatric disorders, allowing for more selective sex-specific therapies. PMID:20396406

  11. EEG-based research on brain functional networks in cognition.

    PubMed

    Wang, Niannian; Zhang, Li; Liu, Guozhong

    2015-01-01

    Recently, exploring the cognitive functions of the brain by establishing a network model to understand the working mechanism of the brain has become a popular research topic in the field of neuroscience. In this study, electroencephalography (EEG) was used to collect data from subjects given four different mathematical cognitive tasks: recite numbers clockwise and counter-clockwise, and letters clockwise and counter-clockwise to build a complex brain function network (BFN). By studying the connectivity features and parameters of those brain functional networks, it was found that the average clustering coefficient is much larger than its corresponding random network and the average shortest path length is similar to the corresponding random networks, which clearly shows the characteristics of the small-world network. The brain regions stimulated during the experiment are consistent with traditional cognitive science regarding learning, memory, comprehension, and other rational judgment results. The new method of complex networking involves studying the mathematical cognitive process of reciting, providing an effective research foundation for exploring the relationship between brain cognition and human learning skills and memory. This could help detect memory deficits early in young and mentally handicapped children, and help scientists understand the causes of cognitive brain disorders. PMID:26405867

  12. [Determinism and Freedom of Choice in the Brain Functioning].

    PubMed

    Ivanitsky, A M

    2015-01-01

    The problem is considered whether the brain response is completely determined by the stimulus and the personal experience or in some cases the brain is free to choose its behavioral response to achieve the desired goal. The attempt is made to approach to this important philosophical problem basing on modern knowledge about the brain. The paper consists of four parts. In the first part the theoretical views about the free choice problem solving are considered, including views about the freedom of choice as a useful illusion, the hypothesis on appliance of quantum mechanics laws to the brain functioning and the theory of mentalism. In other tree parts consequently the more complicated brain functions such as choice reaction, thinking and creation are analyzed. The general conclusion is that the possibility of quite unpredictable, but sometimes very effective decisions increases when the brain functions are more and more complicated. This fact can be explained with two factors: increasing stochasticity of the brain processes and the role of top-down determinations from mental to neural levels, according to the theory of mentalism. PMID:26601509

  13. Digital media, the developing brain and the interpretive plasticity of neuroplasticity.

    PubMed

    Choudhury, Suparna; McKinney, Kelly A

    2013-04-01

    The use and misuse of digital technologies among adolescents has been the focus of fiery debates among parents, educators, policy-makers and in the media. Recently, these debates have become shaped by emerging data from cognitive neuroscience on the development of the adolescent brain and cognition. "Neuroplasticity" has functioned as a powerful metaphor in arguments both for and against the pervasiveness of digital media cultures that increasingly characterize teenage life. In this paper, we propose that the debates concerning adolescents are the meeting point of two major social anxieties both of which are characterized by the threat of "abnormal" (social) behaviour: existing moral panics about adolescent behaviour in general and the growing alarm about intense, addictive, and widespread media consumption in modern societies. Neuroscience supports these fears but the same kinds of evidence are used to challenge these fears and reframe them in positive terms. Here, we analyze discourses about digital media, the Internet, and the adolescent brain in the scientific and lay literature. We argue that while the evidential basis is thin and ambiguous, it has immense social influence. We conclude by suggesting how we might move beyond the poles of neuro-alarmism and neuro-enthusiasm. By analyzing the neurological adolescent in the digital age as a socially extended mind, firstly, in the sense that adolescent cognition is distributed across the brain, body, and digital media tools and secondly, by viewing adolescent cognition as enabled and transformed by the institution of neuroscience, we aim to displace the normative terms of current debates. PMID:23599391

  14. Blocking PirB up-regulates spines and functional synapses to unlock visual cortical plasticity and facilitate recovery from amblyopia

    PubMed Central

    Bochner, David N.; Sapp, Richard W.; Adelson, Jaimie D.; Zhang, Siyu; Lee, Hanmi; Djurisic, Maja; Syken, Josh; Dan, Yang; Shatz, Carla J.

    2015-01-01

    During critical periods of development, the brain easily changes in response to environmental stimuli, but this neural plasticity declines by adulthood. By acutely disrupting paired immunoglobulin-like receptor B(PirB) function at specific ages, we show that PirB actively represses neural plasticity throughout life. We disrupted PirB function either by genetically introducing a conditional PirB allele into mice or by minipump infusion of a soluble PirB ectodomain (sPirB) into mouse visual cortex. We found that neural plasticity, as measured by depriving mice of vision in one eye and testing ocular dominance, was enhanced by this treatment both during the critical period and when PirB function was disrupted in adulthood. Acute blockade of PirB triggered the formation of new functional synapses, as indicated by increases in miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency and spine density on dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal neurons. In addition, recovery from amblyopia— the decline in visual acuity and spine density resulting from long-term monocular deprivation— was possible after a 1-week infusion of sPirB after the deprivation period. Thus, neural plasticity in adult visual cortex is actively repressed and can be enhanced by blocking PirB function. PMID:25320232

  15. Exploring Brain Function from Anatomical Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Zamora-López, Gorka; Zhou, Changsong; Kurths, Jürgen

    2011-01-01

    The intrinsic relationship between the architecture of the brain and the range of sensory and behavioral phenomena it produces is a relevant question in neuroscience. Here, we review recent knowledge gained on the architecture of the anatomical connectivity by means of complex network analysis. It has been found that cortico-cortical networks display a few prominent characteristics: (i) modular organization, (ii) abundant alternative processing paths, and (iii) the presence of highly connected hubs. Additionally, we present a novel classification of cortical areas of the cat according to the role they play in multisensory connectivity. All these properties represent an ideal anatomical substrate supporting rich dynamical behaviors, facilitating the capacity of the brain to process sensory information of different modalities segregated and to integrate them toward a comprehensive perception of the real world. The results here exposed are mainly based on anatomical data of cats’ brain, but further observations suggest that, from worms to humans, the nervous system of all animals might share these fundamental principles of organization. PMID:21734863

  16. Mental training as a tool in the neuroscientific study of brain and cognitive plasticity.

    PubMed

    Slagter, Heleen A; Davidson, Richard J; Lutz, Antoine

    2011-01-01

    Although the adult brain was once seen as a rather static organ, it is now clear that the organization of brain circuitry is constantly changing as a function of experience or learning. Yet, research also shows that learning is often specific to the trained stimuli and task, and does not improve performance on novel tasks, even very similar ones. This perspective examines the idea that systematic mental training, as cultivated by meditation, can induce learning that is not stimulus or task specific, but process specific. Many meditation practices are explicitly designed to enhance specific, well-defined core cognitive processes. We will argue that this focus on enhancing core cognitive processes, as well as several general characteristics of meditation regimens, may specifically foster process-specific learning. To this end, we first define meditation and discuss key findings from recent neuroimaging studies of meditation. We then identify several characteristics of specific meditation training regimes that may determine process-specific learning. These characteristics include ongoing variability in stimulus input, the meta-cognitive nature of the processes trained, task difficulty, the focus on maintaining an optimal level of arousal, and the duration of training. Lastly, we discuss the methodological challenges that researchers face when attempting to control or characterize the multiple factors that may underlie meditation training effects. PMID:21347275

  17. Human brain functional MRI and DTI visualization with virtual reality

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bin; Moreland, John; Zhang, Jingyu

    2011-01-01

    Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional MRI (fMRI) are two active research areas in neuroimaging. DTI is sensitive to the anisotropic diffusion of water exerted by its macromolecular environment and has been shown useful in characterizing structures of ordered tissues such as the brain white matter, myocardium, and cartilage. The diffusion tensor provides two new types of information of water diffusion: the magnitude and the spatial orientation of water diffusivity inside the tissue. This information has been used for white matter fiber tracking to review physical neuronal pathways inside the brain. Functional MRI measures brain activations using the hemodynamic response. The statistically derived activation map corresponds to human brain functional activities caused by neuronal activities. The combination of these two methods provides a new way to understand human brain from the anatomical neuronal fiber connectivity to functional activities between different brain regions. In this study, virtual reality (VR) based MR DTI and fMRI visualization with high resolution anatomical image segmentation and registration, ROI definition and neuronal white matter fiber tractography visualization and fMRI activation map integration is proposed. Rationale and methods for producing and distributing stereoscopic videos are also discussed. PMID:23256049

  18. Standardized Environmental Enrichment Supports Enhanced Brain Plasticity in Healthy Rats and Prevents Cognitive Impairment in Epileptic Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kouchi, Hayet Y.; Bodennec, Jacques; Morales, Anne; Georges, Béatrice; Bonnet, Chantal; Bouvard, Sandrine; Sloviter, Robert S.; Bezin, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Environmental enrichment of laboratory animals influences brain plasticity, stimulates neurogenesis, increases neurotrophic factor expression, and protects against the effects of brain insult. However, these positive effects are not constantly observed, probably because standardized procedures of environmental enrichment are lacking. Therefore, we engineered an enriched cage (the Marlau™ cage), which offers: (1) minimally stressful social interactions; (2) increased voluntary exercise; (3) multiple entertaining activities; (4) cognitive stimulation (maze exploration), and (5) novelty (maze configuration changed three times a week). The maze, which separates food pellet and water bottle compartments, guarantees cognitive stimulation for all animals. Compared to rats raised in groups in conventional cages, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited increased cortical thickness, hippocampal neurogenesis and hippocampal levels of transcripts encoding various genes involved in tissue plasticity and remodeling. In addition, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited better performances in learning and memory, decreased anxiety-associated behaviors, and better recovery of basal plasma corticosterone level after acute restraint stress. Marlau™ cages also insure inter-experiment reproducibility in spatial learning and brain gene expression assays. Finally, housing rats in Marlau™ cages after severe status epilepticus at weaning prevents the cognitive impairment observed in rats subjected to the same insult and then housed in conventional cages. By providing a standardized enriched environment for rodents during housing, the Marlau™ cage should facilitate the uniformity of environmental enrichment across laboratories. PMID:23342033

  19. Set and setting: how behavioral state regulates sensory function and plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Aton, Sara J.

    2013-01-01

    Recently developed neuroimaging and electrophysiological techniques are allowing us to answer fundamental questions about how behavioral states regulate our perception of the external environment. Studies using these techniques have yielded surprising insights into how sensory processing is affected at the earliest stages by attention and motivation, and how new sensory information received during wakefulness (e.g., during learning) continues to affect sensory brain circuits (leading to plastic changes) during subsequent sleep. This review aims to describe how brain states affect sensory response properties among neurons in primary and secondary sensory cortices, and how this relates to psychophysical detection thresholds and performance on sensory discrimination tasks. This is not intended to serve as a comprehensive overview of all brain states, or all sensory systems, but instead as an illustrative description of how three specific state variables (attention, motivation, and vigilance [i.e., sleep vs. wakefulness]) affect sensory systems in which they have been best studied. PMID:23792020

  20. NCAM function in the adult brain: lessons from mimetic peptides and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Dallérac, Glenn; Rampon, Claire; Doyère, Valérie

    2013-06-01

    Neural cell adhesion molecules (NCAMs) are complexes of transmembranal proteins critical for cell-cell interactions. Initially recognized as key players in the orchestration of developmental processes involving cell migration, cell survival, axon guidance, and synaptic targeting, they have been shown to retain these functions in the mature adult brain, in relation to plastic processes and cognitive abilities. NCAMs are able to interact among themselves (homophilic binding) as well as with other molecules (heterophilic binding). Furthermore, they are the sole molecule of the central nervous system undergoing polysialylation. Most interestingly polysialylated and non-polysialylated NCAMs display opposite properties. The precise contributions each of these characteristics brings in the regulations of synaptic and cellular plasticity in relation to cognitive processes in the adult brain are not yet fully understood. With the aim of deciphering the specific involvement of each interaction, recent developments led to the generation of NCAM mimetic peptides that recapitulate identified binding properties of NCAM. The present review focuses on the information such advances have provided in the understanding of NCAM contribution to cognitive function. PMID:23494903

  1. Functional neuroimaging of traumatic brain injury: advances and clinical utility

    PubMed Central

    Irimia, Andrei; Van Horn, John Darrell

    2015-01-01

    Functional deficits due to traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have significant and enduring consequences upon patients’ life quality and expectancy. Although functional neuroimaging is essential for understanding TBI pathophysiology, an insufficient amount of effort has been dedicated to the task of translating functional neuroimaging findings into information with clinical utility. The purpose of this review is to summarize the use of functional neuroimaging techniques – especially functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and electroencephalography – for advancing current knowledge of TBI-related brain dysfunction and for improving the rehabilitation of TBI patients. We focus on seven core areas of functional deficits, namely consciousness, motor function, attention, memory, higher cognition, personality, and affect, and, for each of these, we summarize recent findings from neuroimaging studies which have provided substantial insight into brain function changes due to TBI. Recommendations are also provided to aid in setting the direction of future neuroimaging research and for understanding brain function changes after TBI. PMID:26396520

  2. [Functional imaging of deep brain stimulation in idiopathic Parkinson's disease].

    PubMed

    Hilker, R

    2010-10-01

    Functional brain imaging allows the effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) on the living human brain to be investigated. In patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD), positron emission tomography (PET) studies were undertaken at rest as well as under motor, cognitive or behavioral activation. DBS leads to a reduction of abnormal PD-related network activity in the motor system, which partly correlates with the improvement of motor symptoms. The local increase of energy consumption within the direct target area suggests a predominant excitatory influence of the stimulation current on neuronal tissue. Remote effects of DBS of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) on frontal association cortices indicate an interference of stimulation energy with associative and limbic basal ganglia loops. Taken together, functional brain imaging provides very valuable data for advancement of the DBS technique in PD therapy. PMID:20798917

  3. Resiliency of EEG-Based Brain Functional Networks

    PubMed Central

    Jalili, Mahdi

    2015-01-01

    Applying tools available in network science and graph theory to study brain networks has opened a new era in understanding brain mechanisms. Brain functional networks extracted from EEG time series have been frequently studied in health and diseases. In this manuscript, we studied failure resiliency of EEG-based brain functional networks. The network structures were extracted by analysing EEG time series obtained from 30 healthy subjects in resting state eyes-closed conditions. As the network structure was extracted, we measured a number of metrics related to their resiliency. In general, the brain networks showed worse resilient behaviour as compared to corresponding random networks with the same degree sequences. Brain networks had higher vulnerability than the random ones (P < 0.05), indicating that their global efficiency (i.e., communicability between the regions) is more affected by removing the important nodes. Furthermore, the breakdown happened as a result of cascaded failures in brain networks was severer (i.e., less nodes survived) as compared to randomized versions (P < 0.05). These results suggest that real EEG-based networks have not been evolved to possess optimal resiliency against failures. PMID:26295341

  4. Joint brain connectivity estimation from diffusion and functional MRI data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Shu-Hsien; Lenglet, Christophe; Parhi, Keshab K.

    2015-03-01

    Estimating brain wiring patterns is critical to better understand the brain organization and function. Anatomical brain connectivity models axonal pathways, while the functional brain connectivity characterizes the statistical dependencies and correlation between the activities of various brain regions. The synchronization of brain activity can be inferred through the variation of blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal from functional MRI (fMRI) and the neural connections can be estimated using tractography from diffusion MRI (dMRI). Functional connections between brain regions are supported by anatomical connections, and the synchronization of brain activities arises through sharing of information in the form of electro-chemical signals on axon pathways. Jointly modeling fMRI and dMRI data may improve the accuracy in constructing anatomical connectivity as well as functional connectivity. Such an approach may lead to novel multimodal biomarkers potentially able to better capture functional and anatomical connectivity variations. We present a novel brain network model which jointly models the dMRI and fMRI data to improve the anatomical connectivity estimation and extract the anatomical subnetworks associated with specific functional modes by constraining the anatomical connections as structural supports to the functional connections. The key idea is similar to a multi-commodity flow optimization problem that minimizes the cost or maximizes the efficiency for flow configuration and simultaneously fulfills the supply-demand constraint for each commodity. In the proposed network, the nodes represent the grey matter (GM) regions providing brain functionality, and the links represent white matter (WM) fiber bundles connecting those regions and delivering information. The commodities can be thought of as the information corresponding to brain activity patterns as obtained for instance by independent component analysis (ICA) of fMRI data. The concept of information flow is introduced and used to model the propagation of information between GM areas through WM fiber bundles. The link capacity, i.e., ability to transfer information, is characterized by the relative strength of fiber bundles, e.g., fiber count gathered from the tractography of dMRI data. The node information demand is considered to be proportional to the correlation between neural activity at various cortical areas involved in a particular functional mode (e.g. visual, motor, etc.). These two properties lead to the link capacity and node demand constraints in the proposed model. Moreover, the information flow of a link cannot exceed the demand from either end node. This is captured by the feasibility constraints. Two different cost functions are considered in the optimization formulation in this paper. The first cost function, the reciprocal of fiber strength represents the unit cost for information passing through the link. In the second cost function, a min-max (minimizing the maximal link load) approach is used to balance the usage of each link. Optimizing the first cost function selects the pathway with strongest fiber strength for information propagation. In the second case, the optimization procedure finds all the possible propagation pathways and allocates the flow proportionally to their strength. Additionally, a penalty term is incorporated with both the cost functions to capture the possible missing and weak anatomical connections. With this set of constraints and the proposed cost functions, solving the network optimization problem recovers missing and weak anatomical connections supported by the functional information and provides the functional-associated anatomical subnetworks. Feasibility is demonstrated using realistic diffusion and functional MRI phantom data. It is shown that the proposed model recovers the maximum number of true connections, with fewest number of false connections when compared with the connectivity derived from a joint probabilistic model using the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm presented in a prior work. We also

  5. Tracking the Brain's Functional Coupling Dynamics over Development.

    PubMed

    Hutchison, R Matthew; Morton, J Bruce

    2015-04-29

    The transition from childhood to adulthood is marked by pronounced functional and structural brain transformations that impact cognition and behavior. Here, we use a functional imaging approach to reveal dynamic changes in coupling strength between networks and the expression of discrete brain configurations over human development during rest and a cognitive control task. Although the brain's repertoire of functional states was generally preserved across ages, state-specific temporal features, such as the frequency of expression and the amount of time spent in select states, varied by age in ways that were dependent on condition. Increasing age was associated with greater variability of connection strengths across time at rest, while there was a selective inversion of this effect in higher-order networks during implementation of cognitive control. The results suggest that development is characterized by the modification of dynamic coupling to both maximize and constrain functional variability in response to ongoing cognitive and behavioral requirements. PMID:25926460

  6. Functional connectome fingerprinting: identifying individuals using patterns of brain connectivity.

    PubMed

    Finn, Emily S; Shen, Xilin; Scheinost, Dustin; Rosenberg, Monica D; Huang, Jessica; Chun, Marvin M; Papademetris, Xenophon; Constable, R Todd

    2015-11-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies typically collapse data from many subjects, but brain functional organization varies between individuals. Here we establish that this individual variability is both robust and reliable, using data from the Human Connectome Project to demonstrate that functional connectivity profiles act as a 'fingerprint' that can accurately identify subjects from a large group. Identification was successful across scan sessions and even between task and rest conditions, indicating that an individual's connectivity profile is intrinsic, and can be used to distinguish that individual regardless of how the brain is engaged during imaging. Characteristic connectivity patterns were distributed throughout the brain, but the frontoparietal network emerged as most distinctive. Furthermore, we show that connectivity profiles predict levels of fluid intelligence: the same networks that were most discriminating of individuals were also most predictive of cognitive behavior. Results indicate the potential to draw inferences about single subjects on the basis of functional connectivity fMRI. PMID:26457551

  7. Apparent plasticity in functional traits determining competitive ability and spatial distribution: a case from desert

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Jiang-Bo; Xu, Gui-Qing; Jenerette, G. Darrel; Bai, Yong-fei; Wang, Zhong-Yuan; Li, Yan

    2015-01-01

    Species competitive abilities and their distributions are closely related to functional traits such as biomass allocation patterns. When we consider how nutrient supply affects competitive abilities, quantifying the apparent and true plasticity in functional traits is important because the allometric relationships among traits are universal in plants. We propose to integrate the notion of allometry and the classical reaction norm into a composite theoretical framework that quantifies the apparent and true plasticity. Combining the framework with a meta-analysis, a series of field surveys and a competition experiment, we aimed to determine the causes of the dune/interdune distribution patterns of two Haloxylon species in the Gurbantonggut Desert. We found that (1) the biomass allocation patterns of both Haloxylon species in responses to environmental conditions were apparent rather than true plasticity and (2) the allometric allocation patterns affected the plants’ competition for soil nutrient supply. A key implication of our results is that the apparent plasticity in functional traits of plants determines their response to environmental change. Without identifying the apparent and true plasticity, we would substantially overestimate the magnitude, duration and even the direction of plant responses in functional traits to climate change. PMID:26190745

  8. Functional specificity in the human brain: A window into the functional architecture of the mind

    E-print Network

    Kanwisher, Nancy

    Functional specificity in the human brain: A window into the functional architecture of the mind Nancy Kanwisher1 McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 This contribution is part of the special series of Inaugural Articles by members

  9. Brain Plasticity following Intensive Bimanual Therapy in Children with Hemiparesis: Preliminary Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Weinstein, Maya; Myers, Vicki; Green, Dido; Schertz, Mitchell; Shiran, Shelly I.; Geva, Ronny; Artzi, Moran; Gordon, Andrew M.; Fattal-Valevski, Aviva; Ben Bashat, Dafna

    2015-01-01

    Neuroplasticity studies examining children with hemiparesis (CH) have focused predominantly on unilateral interventions. CH also have bimanual coordination impairments with bimanual interventions showing benefits. We explored neuroplasticity following hand-arm bimanual intensive therapy (HABIT) of 60 hours in twelve CH (6 females, mean age 11 ± 3.6?y). Serial behavioral evaluations and MR imaging including diffusion tensor (DTI) and functional (fMRI) imaging were performed before, immediately after, and at 6-week follow-up. Manual skills were assessed repeatedly with the Assisting Hand Assessment, Children's Hand Experience Questionnaire, and Jebsen-Taylor Test of Hand Function. Beta values, indicating the level of activation, and lateralization index (LI), indicating the pattern of brain activation, were computed from fMRI. White matter integrity of major fibers was assessed using DTI. 11/12 children showed improvement after intervention in at least one measure, with 8/12 improving on two or more tests. Changes were retained in 6/8 children at follow-up. Beta activation in the affected hemisphere increased at follow-up, and LI increased both after intervention and at follow-up. Correlations between LI and motor function emerged after intervention. Increased white matter integrity was detected in the corpus callosum and corticospinal tract after intervention in about half of the participants. Results provide first evidence for neuroplasticity changes following bimanual intervention in CH. PMID:26640717

  10. Fractal analysis of resting state functional connectivity of the brain

    E-print Network

    Fractal analysis of resting state functional connectivity of the brain Wonsang You1 , Sophie Achard neuroimaging data tend to exhibit fractal behavior where their power spectrums follow power-law scaling. Resting state functional connectivity is signicantly inuenced by fractal behav- ior which may not directly

  11. Analyzing complex functional brain networks: Fusing statistics and network science to understand the brain*†

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Sean L.; Bowman, F. DuBois; Laurienti, Paul J.

    2014-01-01

    Complex functional brain network analyses have exploded over the last decade, gaining traction due to their profound clinical implications. The application of network science (an interdisciplinary offshoot of graph theory) has facilitated these analyses and enabled examining the brain as an integrated system that produces complex behaviors. While the field of statistics has been integral in advancing activation analyses and some connectivity analyses in functional neuroimaging research, it has yet to play a commensurate role in complex network analyses. Fusing novel statistical methods with network-based functional neuroimage analysis will engender powerful analytical tools that will aid in our understanding of normal brain function as well as alterations due to various brain disorders. Here we survey widely used statistical and network science tools for analyzing fMRI network data and discuss the challenges faced in filling some of the remaining methodological gaps. When applied and interpreted correctly, the fusion of network scientific and statistical methods has a chance to revolutionize the understanding of brain function. PMID:25309643

  12. Stereotactic PET atlas of the human brain: Aid for visual interpretation of functional brain images

    SciTech Connect

    Minoshima, S.; Koeppe, R.A.; Frey, A.; Ishihara, M.; Kuhl, D.E.

    1994-06-01

    In the routine analysis of functional brain images obtained by PET, subjective visual interpretation is often used for anatomic localization. To enhance the accuracy and consistency of the anatomic interpretation, a PET stereotactic atlas and localization approach was designed for functional brain images. The PET atlas was constructed from a high-resolution [{sup 18}F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) image set of a normal volunteer (a 41-yr-ld woman). The image set was reoriented stereotactically, according to the intercommissural (anterior and posterior commissures) line and transformed to the standard stereotactic atlas coordinates. Cerebral structures were annotated on the transaxial planes using a proportional grid system and surface-rendered images. The stereotactic localization technique was applied to image sets from patients with Alzheimer`s disease, and areas of functional alteration were localized visually by referring to the PET atlas. Major brain structures were identified on both transaxial planes and surface-rendered images. In the stereotactic system, anatomic correspondence between the PET atlas and stereotactically reoriented individual image sets of patients with Alzheimer`s disease facilitated both indirect and direct localization of the cerebral structures. Because rapid stereotactic alignment methods for PET images are now available for routine use, the PET atlas will serve as an aid for visual interpretation of functional brain images in the stereotactic system. Widespread application of stereotactic localization may be used in functional brain images, not only in the research setting, but also in routine clinical situations. 41 refs., 3 figs.

  13. Potential of optical microangiography to monitor cerebral blood perfusion and vascular plasticity following traumatic brain injury in mice in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Yali; Alkayed, Nabil; Wang, Ruikang K.

    2009-07-01

    Optical microanglography (OMAG) is a recently developed imaging modality capable of volumetric imaging of dynamic blood perfusion, down to capillary level resolution, with an imaging depth up to 2.00 mm beneath the tissue surface. We report the use of OMAG to monitor the cerebral blood flow (CBF) over the cortex of mouse brain upon traumatic brain injury (TBI), with the cranium left intact, for a period of two weeks on the same animal. We show the ability of OMAG to repeatedly image 3-D cerebral vasculatures during pre- and post-traumatic phases, and to visualize the changes of regulated CBF and the vascular plasticity after TBI. The results indicate the potential of OMAG to explore the mechanism involved in the rehabilitation of TBI.

  14. Functional and Phenotypic Plasticity of CD4+ T Cell Subsets

    PubMed Central

    Caza, Tiffany; Landas, Steve

    2015-01-01

    The remarkable plasticity of CD4+ T cells allows individuals to respond to environmental stimuli in a context-dependent manner. A balance of CD4+ T cell subsets is critical to mount responses against pathogen challenges to prevent inappropriate activation, to maintain tolerance, and to participate in antitumor immune responses. Specification of subsets is a process beginning in intrathymic development and continuing within the circulation. It is highly flexible to adapt to differences in nutrient availability and the tissue microenvironment. CD4+ T cell subsets have significant cross talk, with the ability to “dedifferentiate” given appropriate environmental signals. This ability is dependent on the metabolic status of the cell, with mTOR acting as the rheostat. Autoimmune and antitumor immune responses are regulated by the balance between regulatory T cells and Th17 cells. When a homeostatic balance of subsets is not maintained, immunopathology can result. CD4+ T cells carry complex roles within tumor microenvironments, with context-dependent immune responses influenced by oncogenic drivers and the presence of inflammation. Here, we examine the signals involved in CD4+ T cell specification towards each subset, interconnectedness of cytokine networks, impact of mTOR signaling, and cellular metabolism in lineage specification and provide a supplement describing techniques to study these processes. PMID:26583116

  15. Laterality Patterns of Brain Functional Connectivity: Gender Effects

    PubMed Central

    Tomasi, Dardo; Volkow, Nora D.

    2012-01-01

    Lateralization of brain connectivity may be essential for normal brain function and may be sexually dimorphic. Here, we study the laterality patterns of short-range (implicated in functional specialization) and long-range (implicated in functional integration) connectivity and the gender effects on these laterality patterns. Parallel computing was used to quantify short- and long-range functional connectivity densities in 913 healthy subjects. Short-range connectivity was rightward lateralized and most asymmetrical in areas around the lateral sulcus, whereas long-range connectivity was rightward lateralized in lateral sulcus and leftward lateralizated in inferior prefrontal cortex and angular gyrus. The posterior inferior occipital cortex was leftward lateralized (short- and long-range connectivity). Males had greater rightward lateralization of brain connectivity in superior temporal (short- and long-range), inferior frontal, and inferior occipital cortices (short-range), whereas females had greater leftward lateralization of long-range connectivity in the inferior frontal cortex. The greater lateralization of the male's brain (rightward and predominantly short-range) may underlie their greater vulnerability to disorders with disrupted brain asymmetries (schizophrenia, autism). PMID:21878483

  16. Roles of mGluR5 in synaptic function and plasticity of the mouse thalamocortical pathway

    PubMed Central

    She, Wei-Chi; Quairiaux, Charles; Albright, Michael J.; Wang, Yu-Chi; Sanchez, Denisse E.; Chang, Poh-Shing; Welker, Egbert; Lu, Hui-Chen

    2009-01-01

    The group I metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) has been implicated in the development of cortical sensory maps. However its precise roles in the synaptic function and plasticity of thalamocortical connections remain unknown. Here we first show that in mGluR5 knockout mice bred onto a C57BL6 background cyto-architectonic differentiation into barrels is missing, but the representations for large whiskers are identifiable as clusters of thalamocortical afferents. The altered dendritic morphology of cortical layer IV spiny stellate neurons in mGluR5 knockout mice implicates a role for mGluR5 in the dendritic morphogenesis of excitatory neurons. Next, in vivo single unit recordings of whisker evoked activity in mGluR5 knockout adults demonstrated a preserved topographical organization of the whisker representation, but a significantly diminished temporal discrimination of center to surround whiskers in the responses of individual neurons. To evaluate synaptic function at thalamocortical synapses in mGluR5 knockout mice, whole-cell voltage clamp recording was conducted in acute thalamocortical brain slices prepared from postnatal day 4–11 mice. At mGluR5 knockout thalamocortical synapses, NMDA currents decayed faster and synaptic strength was more easily reduced, but more difficult to strengthen by Hebbian-type pairing protocols, despite a normal developmental increase in AMPAR-mediated currents and presynaptic function. We have therefore demonstrated that mGluR5 is required for synaptic function/plasticity at thalamocortical synapses as barrels are forming and we propose that these functional alterations at the thalamocortical synapse are the basis of the abnormal anatomical and functional development of the somatosensory cortex in the mGluR5 knockout mouse. PMID:19519626

  17. Assortative mixing in functional brain networks during epileptic seizures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bialonski, Stephan; Lehnertz, Klaus

    2013-09-01

    We investigate assortativity of functional brain networks before, during, and after one-hundred epileptic seizures with different anatomical onset locations. We construct binary functional networks from multi-channel electroencephalographic data recorded from 60 epilepsy patients; and from time-resolved estimates of the assortativity coefficient, we conclude that positive degree-degree correlations are inherent to seizure dynamics. While seizures evolve, an increasing assortativity indicates a segregation of the underlying functional network into groups of brain regions that are only sparsely interconnected, if at all. Interestingly, assortativity decreases already prior to seizure end. Together with previous observations of characteristic temporal evolutions of global statistical properties and synchronizability of epileptic brain networks, our findings may help to gain deeper insights into the complicated dynamics underlying generation, propagation, and termination of seizures.

  18. Brain-robot interface driven plasticity: Distributed modulation of corticospinal excitability.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Dominic; Naros, Georgios; Bauer, Robert; Leão, Maria Teresa; Ziemann, Ulf; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-01-15

    Brain-robot interfaces (BRI) are studied as novel interventions to facilitate functional restoration in patients with severe and persistent motor deficits following stroke. They bridge the impaired connection in the sensorimotor loop by providing brain-state dependent proprioceptive feedback with orthotic devices attached to the hand or arm of the patients. The underlying neurophysiology of this BRI neuromodulation is still largely unknown. We investigated changes of corticospinal excitability with transcranial magnetic stimulation in thirteen right-handed healthy subjects who performed 40min of kinesthetic motor imagery receiving proprioceptive feedback with a robotic orthosis attached to the left hand contingent to event-related desynchronization of the right sensorimotor cortex in the ?-band (16-22Hz). Neural correlates of this BRI intervention were probed by acquiring the stimulus-response curve (SRC) of both motor evoked potential (MEP) peak-to-peak amplitudes and areas under the curve. In addition, a motor mapping was obtained. The specificity of the effects was studied by comparing two neighboring hand muscles, one BRI-trained and one control muscle. Robust changes of MEP amplitude but not MEP area occurred following the BRI intervention, but only in the BRI-trained muscle. The steep part of the SRC showed an MEP increase, while the plateau of the SRC showed an MEP decrease. MEP mapping revealed a distributed pattern with a decrease of excitability in the hand area of the primary motor cortex, which controlled the BRI, but an increase of excitability in the surrounding somatosensory and premotor cortex. In conclusion, the BRI intervention induced a complex pattern of modulated corticospinal excitability, which may boost subsequent motor learning during physiotherapy. PMID:26505298

  19. Rapid experience-dependent plasticity of synapse function and structure in ferret visual cortex in vivo

    E-print Network

    Yu, Hongbo

    The rules by which visual experience influences neuronal responses and structure in the developing brain are not well understood. To elucidate the relationship between rapid functional changes and dendritic spine remodeling ...

  20. ASL & Plasticity Plasticity

    E-print Network

    Coulson, Seana

    ASL & Plasticity #12;Plasticity Plasticity From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Plasticity has four meanings: · Plasticity (physics): In physics and engineering, plasticity is the propensity of a material to undergo permanent deformation under load. · Phenotypic plasticity: Describes the degree

  1. Plasticity of the worker bumble bee brain in relation to age and rearing environment

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Beryl M.; Leonard, Anne S.; Papaj, Daniel R.; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2014-01-01

    The environment experienced during development can dramatically affect the brain, with possible implications for sensory processing, learning and memory. Although the effects of single sensory modalities on brain development have been repeatedly explored, the additive or interactive effects of multiple modalities have been less thoroughly investigated. We asked how experience with multisensory stimuli affected brain development in the bumble bee, Bombus impatiens. First, to establish the timeline of brain development during early adulthood, we estimated regional brain volumes across a range of ages. We discovered significant age-related volume changes in nearly every region of the brain. Next, to determine whether these changes were dependent upon certain environmental stimuli, we manipulated the visual and olfactory stimuli available to newly emerged bumble bee workers in a factorial manner. Newly emerged bumble bees were maintained in the presence or absence of supplemental visual and/or olfactory stimuli for seven days, after which the volumes of several brain regions were estimated. We found that the volumes of the mushroom body lobes and calyces were larger in the absence of visual stimuli. Additionally, visual deprivation was associated with the expression of larger antennal lobes, the primary olfactory processing regions of the brain. In contrast, exposure to plant-derived olfactory stimuli did not have a significant effect on brain region volumes. This study is the first to explore the separate and interactive effects of visual and olfactory stimuli on bee brain development. Assessing the timing and sensitivity of brain development is a first step toward understanding how different rearing environments differentially affect regional brain volumes in this species. Our findings suggest that environmental factors experienced during the first week of adulthood can modify bumble brain development in many subtle ways. PMID:24281415

  2. Compensatory Plasticity in the Deaf Brain: Effects on Perception of Music

    PubMed Central

    Good, Arla; Reed, Maureen J.; Russo, Frank A.

    2014-01-01

    When one sense is unavailable, sensory responsibilities shift and processing of the remaining modalities becomes enhanced to compensate for missing information. This shift, referred to as compensatory plasticity, results in a unique sensory experience for individuals who are deaf, including the manner in which music is perceived. This paper evaluates the neural, behavioural and cognitive evidence for compensatory plasticity following auditory deprivation and considers how this manifests in a unique experience of music that emphasizes visual and vibrotactile modalities. PMID:25354235

  3. Implementing Neuronal plasticity in NeuroAIDS: The Experience of Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor and Other Neurotrophic Factors

    PubMed Central

    Mocchetti, Italo; Bachis, Alessia; Campbell, Lee A.; Avdoshina, Valeriya

    2013-01-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV) causes mild or severe neurological problems, termed HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND), even when HIV patients receive antiretroviral therapy. Thus, novel adjunctive therapies are necessary to reduce or abolish the neurotoxic effect of HIV. However, new therapies require a better understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of HIV-induced neurotoxicity. HAND subjects are characterized by being profoundly depressed, and they experience deficits in memory, learning and movements. Experimental evidence has also shown that HIV reduces neurogenesis. These deficits resemble those occurring in premature brain aging or in a brain with impaired neural repair properties. Thus, it appears that HIV diminishes neuronal survival, along with reduced neuronal connections. These two phenomena should not occur in the adult and developing brain when synaptic plasticity is promoted by neurotrophic factors, polypeptides that are present in adult synapses. This review will outline experimental evidence as well as present emerging concepts for the use of neurotrophic factors and in particular brain-derived neurotrophic factor as an adjunct therapy to prevent HIV-mediated neuronal degeneration and restore the loss of synaptic connections. PMID:23832285

  4. The microbiota-gut-brain axis in functional gastrointestinal disorders

    PubMed Central

    De Palma, Giada; Collins, Stephen M; Bercik, Premysl

    2014-01-01

    Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) are highly prevalent and pose a significant burden on health care and society, and impact patients’ quality of life. FGIDs comprise a heterogeneous group of disorders, with unclear underlying pathophysiology. They are considered to result from the interaction of altered gut physiology and psychological factors via the gut-brain axis, where brain and gut symptoms are reciprocally influencing each other’s expression. Intestinal microbiota, as a part of the gut-brain axis, plays a central role in FGIDs. Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a prototype of FGIDs, display altered composition of the gut microbiota compared with healthy controls and benefit, at the gastrointestinal and psychological levels, from the use of probiotics and antibiotics. This review aims to recapitulate the available literature on FGIDs and microbiota-gut-brain axis. PMID:24921926

  5. Nociception-induced spatial and temporal plasticity of synaptic connection and function in the hippocampal formation of rats: a multi-electrode array recording

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xiao-Yan; Liu, Ming-Gang; Yuan, Dong-Liang; Wang, Yan; He, Ying; Wang, Dan-Dan; Chen, Xue-Feng; Zhang, Fu-Kang; Li, Hua; He, Xiao-Sheng; Chen, Jun

    2009-01-01

    Background Pain is known to be processed by a complex neural network (neuromatrix) in the brain. It is hypothesized that under pathological state, persistent or chronic pain can affect various higher brain functions through ascending pathways, leading to co-morbidities or mental disability of pain. However, so far the influences of pathological pain on the higher brain functions are less clear and this may hinder the advances in pain therapy. In the current study, we studied spatiotemporal plasticity of synaptic connection and function in the hippocampal formation (HF) in response to persistent nociception. Results On the hippocampal slices of rats which had suffered from persistent nociception for 2 h by receiving subcutaneous bee venom (BV) or formalin injection into one hand paw, multisite recordings were performed by an 8 × 8 multi-electrode array probe. The waveform of the field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP), induced by perforant path electrical stimulation and pharmacologically identified as being activity-dependent and mediated by ionotropic glutamate receptors, was consistently positive-going in the dentate gyrus (DG), while that in the CA1 was negative-going in shape in naïve and saline control groups. For the spatial characteristics of synaptic plasticity, BV- or formalin-induced persistent pain significantly increased the number of detectable fEPSP in both DG and CA1 area, implicating enlargement of the synaptic connection size by the injury or acute inflammation. Moreover, the input-output function of synaptic efficacy was shown to be distinctly enhanced by the injury with the stimulus-response curve being moved leftward compared to the control. For the temporal plasticity, long-term potentiation produced by theta burst stimulation (TBS) conditioning was also remarkably enhanced by pain. Moreover, it is strikingly noted that the shape of fEPSP waveform was drastically deformed or split by a TBS conditioning under the condition of persistent nociception, while that in naïve or saline control state was not affected. All these changes in synaptic connection and function, confirmed by the 2-dimentional current source density imaging, were found to be highly correlated with peripheral persistent nociception since pre-blockade of nociceptive impulses could eliminate all of them. Finally, the initial pharmacological investigation showed that AMPA/KA glutamate receptors might play more important roles in mediation of pain-associated spatiotemporal plasticity than NMDA receptors. Conclusion Peripheral persistent nociception produces great impact upon the higher brain structures that lead to not only temporal plasticity, but also spatial plasticity of synaptic connection and function in the HF. The spatial plasticity of synaptic activities is more complex than the temporal plasticity, comprising of enlargement of synaptic connection size at network level, deformed fEPSP at local circuit level and, increased synaptic efficacy at cellular level. In addition, the multi-synaptic model established in the present investigation may open a new avenue for future studies of pain-related brain dysfunctions at the higher level of the neuromatrix. PMID:19772643

  6. Toward discovery science of human brain function

    E-print Network

    Gabrieli, Susan

    Although it is being successfully implemented for exploration of the genome, discovery science has eluded the functional neuroimaging community. The core challenge remains the development of common paradigms for interrogating ...

  7. Impacts of discarded plastic bags on marine assemblages and ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Green, Dannielle Senga; Boots, Bas; Blockley, David James; Rocha, Carlos; Thompson, Richard

    2015-05-01

    The accumulation of plastic debris is a global environmental problem due to its durability, persistence, and abundance. Although effects of plastic debris on individual marine organisms, particularly mammals and birds, have been extensively documented (e.g., entanglement and choking), very little is known about effects on assemblages and consequences for ecosystem functioning. In Europe, around 40% of the plastic items produced are utilized as single-use packaging, which rapidly accumulate in waste management facilities and as litter in the environment. A range of biodegradable plastics have been developed with the aspiration of reducing the persistence of litter; however, their impacts on marine assemblages or ecosystem functioning have never been evaluated. A field experiment was conducted to assess the impact of conventional and biodegradable plastic carrier bags as litter on benthic macro- and meio-faunal assemblages and biogeochemical processes (primary productivity, redox condition, organic matter content, and pore-water nutrients) on an intertidal shore near Dublin, Ireland. After 9 weeks, the presence of either type of bag created anoxic conditions within the sediment along with reduced primary productivity and organic matter and significantly lower abundances of infaunal invertebrates. This indicates that both conventional and biodegradable bags can rapidly alter marine assemblages and the ecosystem services they provide. PMID:25822754

  8. Functional constraints in the evolution of brain circuits

    PubMed Central

    Bosman, Conrado A.; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Regardless of major anatomical and neurodevelopmental differences, the vertebrate isocortex shows a remarkably well-conserved organization. In the isocortex, reciprocal connections between excitatory and inhibitory neurons are distributed across multiple layers, encompassing modular, dynamical and recurrent functional networks during information processing. These dynamical brain networks are often organized in neuronal assemblies interacting through rhythmic phase relationships. Accordingly, these oscillatory interactions are observed across multiple brain scale levels, and they are associated with several sensory, motor, and cognitive processes. Most notably, oscillatory interactions are also found in the complete spectrum of vertebrates. Yet, it is unknown why this functional organization is so well conserved in evolution. In this perspective, we propose some ideas about how functional requirements of the isocortex can account for the evolutionary stability observed in microcircuits across vertebrates. We argue that isocortex architectures represent canonical microcircuits resulting from: (i) the early selection of neuronal architectures based on the oscillatory excitatory-inhibitory balance, which lead to the implementation of compartmentalized oscillations and (ii) the subsequent emergence of inferential coding strategies (predictive coding), which are able to expand computational capacities. We also argue that these functional constraints may be the result of several advantages that oscillatory activity contributes to brain network processes, such as information transmission and code reliability. In this manner, similarities in mesoscale brain circuitry and input-output organization between different vertebrate groups may reflect evolutionary constraints imposed by these functional requirements, which may or may not be traceable to a common ancestor. PMID:26388716

  9. Functional constraints in the evolution of brain circuits.

    PubMed

    Bosman, Conrado A; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Regardless of major anatomical and neurodevelopmental differences, the vertebrate isocortex shows a remarkably well-conserved organization. In the isocortex, reciprocal connections between excitatory and inhibitory neurons are distributed across multiple layers, encompassing modular, dynamical and recurrent functional networks during information processing. These dynamical brain networks are often organized in neuronal assemblies interacting through rhythmic phase relationships. Accordingly, these oscillatory interactions are observed across multiple brain scale levels, and they are associated with several sensory, motor, and cognitive processes. Most notably, oscillatory interactions are also found in the complete spectrum of vertebrates. Yet, it is unknown why this functional organization is so well conserved in evolution. In this perspective, we propose some ideas about how functional requirements of the isocortex can account for the evolutionary stability observed in microcircuits across vertebrates. We argue that isocortex architectures represent canonical microcircuits resulting from: (i) the early selection of neuronal architectures based on the oscillatory excitatory-inhibitory balance, which lead to the implementation of compartmentalized oscillations and (ii) the subsequent emergence of inferential coding strategies (predictive coding), which are able to expand computational capacities. We also argue that these functional constraints may be the result of several advantages that oscillatory activity contributes to brain network processes, such as information transmission and code reliability. In this manner, similarities in mesoscale brain circuitry and input-output organization between different vertebrate groups may reflect evolutionary constraints imposed by these functional requirements, which may or may not be traceable to a common ancestor. PMID:26388716

  10. Brain tumour cells interconnect to a functional and resistant network.

    PubMed

    Osswald, Matthias; Jung, Erik; Sahm, Felix; Solecki, Gergely; Venkataramani, Varun; Blaes, Jonas; Weil, Sophie; Horstmann, Heinz; Wiestler, Benedikt; Syed, Mustafa; Huang, Lulu; Ratliff, Miriam; Karimian Jazi, Kianush; Kurz, Felix T; Schmenger, Torsten; Lemke, Dieter; Gömmel, Miriam; Pauli, Martin; Liao, Yunxiang; Häring, Peter; Pusch, Stefan; Herl, Verena; Steinhäuser, Christian; Krunic, Damir; Jarahian, Mostafa; Miletic, Hrvoje; Berghoff, Anna S; Griesbeck, Oliver; Kalamakis, Georgios; Garaschuk, Olga; Preusser, Matthias; Weiss, Samuel; Liu, Haikun; Heiland, Sabine; Platten, Michael; Huber, Peter E; Kuner, Thomas; von Deimling, Andreas; Wick, Wolfgang; Winkler, Frank

    2015-12-01

    Astrocytic brain tumours, including glioblastomas, are incurable neoplasms characterized by diffusely infiltrative growth. Here we show that many tumour cells in astrocytomas extend ultra-long membrane protrusions, and use these distinct tumour microtubes as routes for brain invasion, proliferation, and to interconnect over long distances. The resulting network allows multicellular communication through microtube-associated gap junctions. When damage to the network occurred, tumour microtubes were used for repair. Moreover, the microtube-connected astrocytoma cells, but not those remaining unconnected throughout tumour progression, were protected from cell death inflicted by radiotherapy. The neuronal growth-associated protein 43 was important for microtube formation and function, and drove microtube-dependent tumour cell invasion, proliferation, interconnection, and radioresistance. Oligodendroglial brain tumours were deficient in this mechanism. In summary, astrocytomas can develop functional multicellular network structures. Disconnection of astrocytoma cells by targeting their tumour microtubes emerges as a new principle to reduce the treatment resistance of this disease. PMID:26536111

  11. The role of sleep in emotional brain function.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Andrea N; Walker, Matthew P

    2014-01-01

    Rapidly emerging evidence continues to describe an intimate and causal relationship between sleep and emotional brain function. These findings are mirrored by long-standing clinical observations demonstrating that nearly all mood and anxiety disorders co-occur with one or more sleep abnormalities. This review aims to (a) provide a synthesis of recent findings describing the emotional brain and behavioral benefits triggered by sleep, and conversely, the detrimental impairments following a lack of sleep; (b) outline a proposed framework in which sleep, and specifically rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, supports a process of affective brain homeostasis, optimally preparing the organism for next-day social and emotional functioning; and (c) describe how this hypothesized framework can explain the prevalent relationships between sleep and psychiatric disorders, with a particular focus on posttraumatic stress disorder and major depression. PMID:24499013

  12. The Role of Sleep in Emotional Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, Andrea N.; Walker, Matthew P.

    2014-01-01

    Rapidly emerging evidence continues to describe an intimate and causal relationship between sleep and emotional brain function. These findings are mirrored by longstanding clinical observations demonstrating that nearly all mood and anxiety disorders co-occur with one or more sleep abnormalities. This review aims to (1) provide a synthesis of recent findings describing the emotional brain and behavioral benefits triggered by sleep, and conversely, the detrimental impairments following a lack of sleep, (2) outline a proposed framework in which sleep, and specifically rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, supports a process of affective brain homeostasis, optimally preparing the organism for next-day social and emotional functioning, and (3) describe how this hypothesized framework can explain the prevalent relationships between sleep and psychiatric disorders, with a particular focus on post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression. PMID:24499013

  13. Function-selective domain architecture plasticity potentials in eukaryotic genome evolution.

    PubMed

    Linkeviciute, Viktorija; Rackham, Owen J L; Gough, Julian; Oates, Matt E; Fang, Hai

    2015-12-01

    To help evaluate how protein function impacts on genome evolution, we introduce a new concept of 'architecture plasticity potential' - the capacity to form distinct domain architectures - both for an individual domain, or more generally for a set of domains grouped by shared function. We devise a scoring metric to measure the plasticity potential for these domain sets, and evaluate how function has changed over time for different species. Applying this metric to a phylogenetic tree of eukaryotic genomes, we find that the involvement of each function is not random but highly selective. For certain lineages there is strong bias for evolution to involve domains related to certain functions. In general eukaryotic genomes, particularly animals, expand complex functional activities such as signalling and regulation, but at the cost of reducing metabolic processes. We also observe differential evolution of transcriptional regulation and a unique evolutionary role of channel regulators; crucially this is only observable in terms of the architecture plasticity potential. Our findings provide a new layer of information to understand the significance of function in eukaryotic genome evolution. A web search tool, available at http://supfam.org/Pevo, offers a wide spectrum of options for exploring functional importance in eukaryotic genome evolution. PMID:25980317

  14. Function-selective domain architecture plasticity potentials in eukaryotic genome evolution

    PubMed Central

    Linkeviciute, Viktorija; Rackham, Owen J.L.; Gough, Julian; Oates, Matt E.; Fang, Hai

    2015-01-01

    To help evaluate how protein function impacts on genome evolution, we introduce a new concept of ‘architecture plasticity potential’ – the capacity to form distinct domain architectures – both for an individual domain, or more generally for a set of domains grouped by shared function. We devise a scoring metric to measure the plasticity potential for these domain sets, and evaluate how function has changed over time for different species. Applying this metric to a phylogenetic tree of eukaryotic genomes, we find that the involvement of each function is not random but highly selective. For certain lineages there is strong bias for evolution to involve domains related to certain functions. In general eukaryotic genomes, particularly animals, expand complex functional activities such as signalling and regulation, but at the cost of reducing metabolic processes. We also observe differential evolution of transcriptional regulation and a unique evolutionary role of channel regulators; crucially this is only observable in terms of the architecture plasticity potential. Our findings provide a new layer of information to understand the significance of function in eukaryotic genome evolution. A web search tool, available at http://supfam.org/Pevo, offers a wide spectrum of options for exploring functional importance in eukaryotic genome evolution. PMID:25980317

  15. Effects of Tetramethylpyrazine on Functional Recovery and Neuronal Dendritic Plasticity after Experimental Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Jun-Bin; Zheng, Chan-Juan; Zhang, Xuan; Chen, Juan; Liao, Wei-Jing; Wan, Qi

    2015-01-01

    The 2,3,5,6-tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) has been widely used in the treatment of ischemic stroke by Chinese doctors. Here, we report the effects of TMP on functional recovery and dendritic plasticity after ischemic stroke. A classical model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) was established in this study. The rats were assigned into 3 groups: sham group (sham operated rats treated with saline), model group (MCAO rats treated with saline) and TMP group (MCAO rats treated with 20?mg/kg/d TMP). The neurological function test of animals was evaluated using the modified neurological severity score (mNSS) at 3?d, 7?d, and 14?d after MCAO. Animals were euthanized for immunohistochemical labeling to measure MAP-2 levels in the peri-infarct area. Golgi-Cox staining was performed to test effect of TMP on dendritic plasticity at 14?d after MCAO. TMP significantly improved neurological function at 7?d and 14?d after ischemia, increased MAP-2 level at 14?d after ischemia, and enhanced spine density of basilar dendrites. TMP failed to affect the spine density of apical dendrites and the total dendritic length. Data analyses indicate that there was significant negative correlation between mNSS and plasticity measured at 14?d after MCAO. Thus, enhanced dendritic plasticity contributes to TMP-elicited functional recovery after ischemic stroke. PMID:26379744

  16. Rapid plasticity of dendritic spine: hints to possible functions? Menahem Segal*

    E-print Network

    Segal, Menahem

    Rapid plasticity of dendritic spine: hints to possible functions? Menahem Segal* Department that dendritic spines are stable storage sites of long term memory, the emerging picture from a recent ¯urry. Concurrently, the nature of stimuli which cause formation or collapse of dendritic spines has changed from

  17. Social Competitiveness and Plasticity of Neuroendocrine Function in Old Age: Influence of Neonatal Novelty Exposure and Maternal Care Reliability

    PubMed Central

    Akers, Katherine G.; Yang, Zhen; DelVecchio, Dominic P.; Reeb, Bethany C.; Romeo, Russell D.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Tang, Akaysha C.

    2008-01-01

    Early experience is known to have a profound impact on brain and behavioral function later in life. Relatively few studies, however, have examined whether the effects of early experience remain detectable in the aging animal. Here, we examined the effects of neonatal novelty exposure, an early stimulation procedure, on late senescent rats' ability to win in social competition. During the first 3 weeks of life, half of each litter received daily 3-min exposures to a novel environment while the other half stayed in the home cage. At 24 months of age, pairs of rats competed against each other for exclusive access to chocolate rewards. We found that novelty-exposed rats won more rewards than home-staying rats, indicating that early experience exerts a life-long effect on this aspect of social dominance. Furthermore, novelty-exposed but not home-staying rats exhibited habituation of corticosterone release across repeated days of social competition testing, suggesting that early experience permanently enhances plasticity of the stress response system. Finally, we report a surprising finding that across individual rat families, greater effects of neonatal novelty exposure on stress response plasticity were found among families whose dams provided more reliable, instead of a greater total quantity of, maternal care. PMID:18641792

  18. Cortical Overexpression of Neuronal Calcium Sensor-1 Induces Functional Plasticity in Spinal Cord Following Unilateral Pyramidal Tract Injury in Rat

    PubMed Central

    Yip, Ping K.; Wong, Liang-Fong; Sears, Thomas A.; Yáñez-Muñoz, Rafael J.; McMahon, Stephen B.

    2010-01-01

    Following trauma of the adult brain or spinal cord the injured axons of central neurons fail to regenerate or if intact display only limited anatomical plasticity through sprouting. Adult cortical neurons forming the corticospinal tract (CST) normally have low levels of the neuronal calcium sensor-1 (NCS1) protein. In primary cultured adult cortical neurons, the lentivector-induced overexpression of NCS1 induces neurite sprouting associated with increased phospho-Akt levels. When the PI3K/Akt signalling pathway was pharmacologically inhibited the NCS1-induced neurite sprouting was abolished. The overexpression of NCS1 in uninjured corticospinal neurons exhibited axonal sprouting across the midline into the CST-denervated side of the spinal cord following unilateral pyramidotomy. Improved forelimb function was demonstrated behaviourally and electrophysiologically. In injured corticospinal neurons, overexpression of NCS1 induced axonal sprouting and regeneration and also neuroprotection. These findings demonstrate that increasing the levels of intracellular NCS1 in injured and uninjured central neurons enhances their intrinsic anatomical plasticity within the injured adult central nervous system. PMID:20585375

  19. Memory Function Before and After Whole Brain Radiotherapy in Patients With and Without Brain Metastases

    SciTech Connect

    Welzel, Grit Fleckenstein, Katharina; Schaefer, Joerg; Hermann, Brigitte; Kraus-Tiefenbacher, Uta; Mai, Sabine K.; Wenz, Frederik

    2008-12-01

    Purpose: To prospectively compare the effect of prophylactic and therapeutic whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) on memory function in patients with and without brain metastases. Methods and Materials: Adult patients with and without brain metastases (n = 44) were prospectively evaluated with serial cognitive testing, before RT (T0), after starting RT (T1), at the end of RT (T2), and 6-8 weeks (T3) after RT completion. Data were obtained from small-cell lung cancer patients treated with prophylactic cranial irradiation, patients with brain metastases treated with therapeutic cranial irradiation (TCI), and breast cancer patients treated with RT to the breast. Results: Before therapy, prophylactic cranial irradiation patients performed worse than TCI patients or than controls on most test scores. During and after WBRT, verbal memory function was influenced by pretreatment cognitive status (p < 0.001) and to a lesser extent by WBRT. Acute (T1) radiation effects on verbal memory function were only observed in TCI patients (p = 0.031). Subacute (T3) radiation effects on verbal memory function were observed in both TCI and prophylactic cranial irradiation patients (p = 0.006). These effects were more pronounced in patients with above-average performance at baseline. Visual memory and attention were not influenced by WBRT. Conclusions: The results of our study have shown that WBRT causes cognitive dysfunction immediately after the beginning of RT in patients with brain metastases only. At 6-8 weeks after the end of WBRT, cognitive dysfunction was seen in patients with and without brain metastases. Because cognitive dysfunction after WBRT is restricted to verbal memory, patients should not avoid WBRT because of a fear of neurocognitive side effects.

  20. Structural and functional brain rewiring clarifies preserved interhemispheric transfer in humans born without the corpus callosum.

    PubMed

    Tovar-Moll, Fernanda; Monteiro, Myriam; Andrade, Juliana; Bramati, Ivanei E; Vianna-Barbosa, Rodrigo; Marins, Theo; Rodrigues, Erika; Dantas, Natalia; Behrens, Timothy E J; de Oliveira-Souza, Ricardo; Moll, Jorge; Lent, Roberto

    2014-05-27

    Why do humans born without the corpus callosum, the major interhemispheric commissure, lack the disconnection syndrome classically described in callosotomized patients? This paradox was discovered by Nobel laureate Roger Sperry in 1968, and has remained unsolved since then. To tackle the hypothesis that alternative neural pathways could explain this puzzle, we investigated patients with callosal dysgenesis using structural and functional neuroimaging, as well as neuropsychological assessments. We identified two anomalous white-matter tracts by deterministic and probabilistic tractography, and provide supporting resting-state functional neuroimaging and neuropsychological evidence for their functional role in preserved interhemispheric transfer of complex tactile information, such as object recognition. These compensatory pathways connect the homotopic posterior parietal cortical areas (Brodmann areas 39 and surroundings) via the posterior and anterior commissures. We propose that anomalous brain circuitry of callosal dysgenesis is determined by long-distance plasticity, a set of hardware changes occurring in the developing brain after pathological interference. So far unknown, these pathological changes somehow divert growing axons away from the dorsal midline, creating alternative tracts through the ventral forebrain and the dorsal midbrain midline, with partial compensatory effects to the interhemispheric transfer of cortical function. PMID:24821757

  1. Structural and functional brain rewiring clarifies preserved interhemispheric transfer in humans born without the corpus callosum

    PubMed Central

    Tovar-Moll, Fernanda; Monteiro, Myriam; Andrade, Juliana; Bramati, Ivanei E.; Vianna-Barbosa, Rodrigo; Marins, Theo; Rodrigues, Erika; Dantas, Natalia; Behrens, Timothy E. J.; de Oliveira-Souza, Ricardo; Moll, Jorge; Lent, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Why do humans born without the corpus callosum, the major interhemispheric commissure, lack the disconnection syndrome classically described in callosotomized patients? This paradox was discovered by Nobel laureate Roger Sperry in 1968, and has remained unsolved since then. To tackle the hypothesis that alternative neural pathways could explain this puzzle, we investigated patients with callosal dysgenesis using structural and functional neuroimaging, as well as neuropsychological assessments. We identified two anomalous white-matter tracts by deterministic and probabilistic tractography, and provide supporting resting-state functional neuroimaging and neuropsychological evidence for their functional role in preserved interhemispheric transfer of complex tactile information, such as object recognition. These compensatory pathways connect the homotopic posterior parietal cortical areas (Brodmann areas 39 and surroundings) via the posterior and anterior commissures. We propose that anomalous brain circuitry of callosal dysgenesis is determined by long-distance plasticity, a set of hardware changes occurring in the developing brain after pathological interference. So far unknown, these pathological changes somehow divert growing axons away from the dorsal midline, creating alternative tracts through the ventral forebrain and the dorsal midbrain midline, with partial compensatory effects to the interhemispheric transfer of cortical function. PMID:24821757

  2. Chronic methamphetamine treatment reduces the expression of synaptic plasticity genes and changes their DNA methylation status in the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Min-Chih; Hsu, Shih-Hsin; Chen, Chia-Hsiang

    2015-12-10

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a highly addictive psychostimulant that may cause long-lasting synaptic dysfunction and abnormal gene expression. We aimed to explore the differential expression of synaptic plasticity genes in chronic METH-treated mouse brain. We used the RT(2) Profiler PCR Array and the real-time quantitative PCR to characterize differentially expressed synaptic plasticity genes in the frontal cortex and the hippocampus of chronic METH-treated mice compared with normal saline-treated mice. We further used pyrosequencing to assess DNA methylation changes in the CpG region of the five immediate early genes (IEGs) in chronic METH-treated mouse brain. We detected six downregulated genes in the frontal cortex and the hippocampus of chronic METH-treated mice, including five IEGs (Arc, Egr2, Fos, Klf10, and Nr4a1) and one neuronal receptor gene (Grm1), compared with normal saline-treated group, but only four genes (Arc, Egr2, Fos, and Nr4a1) were confirmed to be different. Furthermore, we found several CpG sites of the Arc and the Fos that had significant changes in DNA methylation status in the frontal cortex of chronic METH-treated mice, while the klf10 and the Nr4a1 that had significant changes in the hippocampus. Our results show that chronic administration of METH may lead to significant downregulation of the IEGs expression in both the frontal cortex and the hippocampus, which may partly account for the molecular mechanism of the action of METH. Furthermore, the changes in DNA methylation status of the IEGs in the brain indicate that an epigenetic mechanism-dependent transcriptional regulation may contribute to METH addiction, which warrants additional study. PMID:26496011

  3. Network Plasticity as Bayesian Inference

    PubMed Central

    Legenstein, Robert; Maass, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    General results from statistical learning theory suggest to understand not only brain computations, but also brain plasticity as probabilistic inference. But a model for that has been missing. We propose that inherently stochastic features of synaptic plasticity and spine motility enable cortical networks of neurons to carry out probabilistic inference by sampling from a posterior distribution of network configurations. This model provides a viable alternative to existing models that propose convergence of parameters to maximum likelihood values. It explains how priors on weight distributions and connection probabilities can be merged optimally with learned experience, how cortical networks can generalize learned information so well to novel experiences, and how they can compensate continuously for unforeseen disturbances of the network. The resulting new theory of network plasticity explains from a functional perspective a number of experimental data on stochastic aspects of synaptic plasticity that previously appeared to be quite puzzling. PMID:26545099

  4. Network Plasticity as Bayesian Inference.

    PubMed

    Kappel, David; Habenschuss, Stefan; Legenstein, Robert; Maass, Wolfgang

    2015-11-01

    General results from statistical learning theory suggest to understand not only brain computations, but also brain plasticity as probabilistic inference. But a model for that has been missing. We propose that inherently stochastic features of synaptic plasticity and spine motility enable cortical networks of neurons to carry out probabilistic inference by sampling from a posterior distribution of network configurations. This model provides a viable alternative to existing models that propose convergence of parameters to maximum likelihood values. It explains how priors on weight distributions and connection probabilities can be merged optimally with learned experience, how cortical networks can generalize learned information so well to novel experiences, and how they can compensate continuously for unforeseen disturbances of the network. The resulting new theory of network plasticity explains from a functional perspective a number of experimental data on stochastic aspects of synaptic plasticity that previously appeared to be quite puzzling. PMID:26545099

  5. Complex function in the dynamic brain. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Michael L.

    2014-09-01

    There is much to commend in this excellent overview of the progress we've made toward-and the challenges that remain for-developing an empirical framework for neuroscience that is adequate to the dynamic complexity of the brain [17]. Here I will limit myself first to highlighting the concept of dynamic affiliation, which I take to be the central feature of the functional architecture of the brain, and second to clarifying Pessoa's brief discussion of the ontology of cognition, to be sure readers appreciate this crucial issue.

  6. Localization of asymmetric brain function in emotion and depression

    E-print Network

    Banich, Marie T.

    Localization of asymmetric brain function in emotion and depression JOHN D. HERRINGTON,a WENDY the hypothesis that emotion processes are related to asymmetric patterns of fMRI activity, particularly within dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Eleven depressed and 18 control participants identified the color

  7. A Journal of Brain Function Editors-in-Chief

    E-print Network

    Jonides, John

    Robert Turner London, UK John Watson Camperdown,Australia Roger Woods Los Angeles, USA Keith J. Worsley#12;A Journal of Brain Function Editors-in-Chief Arthur W. Toga Richard S. J. Frackowiak John CBonhoeffer Munich, Germany Marie-Francoise Chesselet Philadelphia, USA Lawrence B. Cohen New Haven, USA Luder Deecke

  8. Brain structure and function correlates of cognitive subtypes in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Geisler, Daniel; Walton, Esther; Naylor, Melissa; Roessner, Veit; Lim, Kelvin O; Charles Schulz, S; Gollub, Randy L; Calhoun, Vince D; Sponheim, Scott R; Ehrlich, Stefan

    2015-10-30

    Stable neuropsychological deficits may provide a reliable basis for identifying etiological subtypes of schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to identify clusters of individuals with schizophrenia based on dimensions of neuropsychological performance, and to characterize their neural correlates. We acquired neuropsychological data as well as structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging from 129 patients with schizophrenia and 165 healthy controls. We derived eight cognitive dimensions and subsequently applied a cluster analysis to identify possible schizophrenia subtypes. Analyses suggested the following four cognitive clusters of schizophrenia: (1) Diminished Verbal Fluency, (2) Diminished Verbal Memory and Poor Motor Control, (3) Diminished Face Memory and Slowed Processing, and (4) Diminished Intellectual Function. The clusters were characterized by a specific pattern of structural brain changes in areas such as Wernicke's area, lingual gyrus and occipital face area, and hippocampus as well as differences in working memory-elicited neural activity in several fronto-parietal brain regions. Separable measures of cognitive function appear to provide a method for deriving cognitive subtypes meaningfully related to brain structure and function. Because the present study identified brain-based neural correlates of the cognitive clusters, the proposed groups of individuals with schizophrenia have some external validity. PMID:26341950

  9. Functional craniology and brain evolution: from paleontology to biomedicine

    PubMed Central

    Bruner, Emiliano; de la Cuétara, José Manuel; Masters, Michael; Amano, Hideki; Ogihara, Naomichi

    2014-01-01

    Anatomical systems are organized through a network of structural and functional relationships among their elements. This network of relationships is the result of evolution, it represents the actual target of selection, and it generates the set of rules orienting and constraining the morphogenetic processes. Understanding the relationship among cranial and cerebral components is necessary to investigate the factors that have influenced and characterized our neuroanatomy, and possible drawbacks associated with the evolution of large brains. The study of the spatial relationships between skull and brain in the human genus has direct relevance in cranial surgery. Geometrical modeling can provide functional perspectives in evolution and brain physiology, like in simulations to investigate metabolic heat production and dissipation in the endocranial form. Analysis of the evolutionary constraints between facial and neural blocks can provide new information on visual impairment. The study of brain form variation in fossil humans can supply a different perspective for interpreting the processes behind neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. Following these examples, it is apparent that paleontology and biomedicine can exchange relevant information and contribute at the same time to the development of robust evolutionary hypotheses on brain evolution, while offering more comprehensive biological perspectives with regard to the interpretation of pathological processes. PMID:24765064

  10. Nutrition and brain function: a multidisciplinary virtual symposium.

    PubMed

    Almeida, S S; Duntas, L H; Dye, L; Nunes, M L; Prasad, C; Rocha, J B T; Wainwright, P; Zaia, C T B V; Guedes, R C A

    2002-10-01

    A few months ago, the Brazilian Society for Neuroscience and Behavior (SBNeC) promoted a "virtual symposium" (by Internet, under the coordination of R.C.A. Guedes) on "Nutrition and Brain Function". The discussions generated during that symposium originated the present text, which analyzes current topics on the theme, based on the multidisciplinary experience of the authors. The way the brain could be non-homogeneously affected by nutritional alterations, as well as questions like early malnutrition and the development of late obesity and hormone abnormalities were discussed. Also, topics like the role of essential fatty acids (EFAs) on brain development, increased seizure susceptibility and changes in different neurotransmitters and in cognitive performance in malnourished animals, as well as differences between overall changes in nutrient intake and excess or deficiency of specific nutrients (e.g. iodine deficiency) were analyzed. It was pointed out that different types of neurons, possibly in distinct brain structures, might be differently affected by nutritional manipulation, including not only lack-but also excess of nutrient intake. Such differences could help in explaining discrepancies between data on humans and in animals and so, could aid in determining the basic mechanisms underlying lesions or changes in brain function and behavior. PMID:12385593

  11. Function of insulin in snail brain in associative learning.

    PubMed

    Kojima, S; Sunada, H; Mita, K; Sakakibara, M; Lukowiak, K; Ito, E

    2015-10-01

    Insulin is well known as a hormone regulating glucose homeostasis across phyla. Although there are insulin-independent mechanisms for glucose uptake in the mammalian brain, which had contributed to a perception of the brain as an insulin-insensitive organ for decades, the finding of insulin and its receptors in the brain revolutionized the concept of insulin signaling in the brain. However, insulin's role in brain functions, such as cognition, attention, and memory, remains unknown. Studies using invertebrates with their open blood-vascular system have the promise of promoting a better understanding of the role played by insulin in mediating/modulating cognitive functions. In this review, the relationship between insulin and its impact on long-term memory (LTM) is discussed particularly in snails. The pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis has the ability to undergo conditioned taste aversion (CTA), that is, it associatively learns and forms LTM not to respond with a feeding response to a food that normally elicits a robust feeding response. We show that molluscan insulin-related peptides are up-regulated in snails exhibiting CTA-LTM and play a key role in the causal neural basis of CTA-LTM. We also survey the relevant literature of the roles played by insulin in learning and memory in other phyla. PMID:26233474

  12. Left Brain vs. Right Brain: Findings on Visual Spatial Capacities and the Functional Neurology of Giftedness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalbfleisch, M. Layne; Gillmarten, Charles

    2013-01-01

    As neuroimaging technologies increase their sensitivity to assess the function of the human brain and results from these studies draw the attention of educators, it becomes paramount to identify misconceptions about what these data illustrate and how these findings might be applied to educational contexts. Some of these "neuromyths" have…

  13. Functional MRI during Hippocampal Deep Brain Stimulation in the Healthy Rat Brain

    PubMed Central

    Van Den Berge, Nathalie; Vanhove, Christian; Descamps, Benedicte; Dauwe, Ine; van Mierlo, Pieter; Vonck, Kristl; Keereman, Vincent; Raedt, Robrecht; Boon, Paul; Van Holen, Roel

    2015-01-01

    Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a promising treatment for neurological and psychiatric disorders. The mechanism of action and the effects of electrical fields administered to the brain by means of an electrode remain to be elucidated. The effects of DBS have been investigated primarily by electrophysiological and neurochemical studies, which lack the ability to investigate DBS-related responses on a whole-brain scale. Visualization of whole-brain effects of DBS requires functional imaging techniques such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), which reflects changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) responses throughout the entire brain volume. In order to visualize BOLD responses induced by DBS, we have developed an MRI-compatible electrode and an acquisition protocol to perform DBS during BOLD fMRI. In this study, we investigate whether DBS during fMRI is valuable to study local and whole-brain effects of hippocampal DBS and to investigate the changes induced by different stimulation intensities. Seven rats were stereotactically implanted with a custom-made MRI-compatible DBS-electrode in the right hippocampus. High frequency Poisson distributed stimulation was applied using a block-design paradigm. Data were processed by means of Independent Component Analysis. Clusters were considered significant when p-values were <0.05 after correction for multiple comparisons. Our data indicate that real-time hippocampal DBS evokes a bilateral BOLD response in hippocampal and other mesolimbic structures, depending on the applied stimulation intensity. We conclude that simultaneous DBS and fMRI can be used to detect local and whole-brain responses to circuit activation with different stimulation intensities, making this technique potentially powerful for exploration of cerebral changes in response to DBS for both preclinical and clinical DBS. PMID:26193653

  14. The Functional Connectivity Landscape of the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Fatima, Zainab; Jonides, John; McIntosh, Anthony R.

    2014-01-01

    Functional brain networks emerge and dissipate over a primarily static anatomical foundation. The dynamic basis of these networks is inter-regional communication involving local and distal regions. It is assumed that inter-regional distances play a pivotal role in modulating network dynamics. Using three different neuroimaging modalities, 6 datasets were evaluated to determine whether experimental manipulations asymmetrically affect functional relationships based on the distance between brain regions in human participants. Contrary to previous assumptions, here we show that short- and long-range connections are equally likely to strengthen or weaken in response to task demands. Additionally, connections between homotopic areas are the most stable and less likely to change compared to any other type of connection. Our results point to a functional connectivity landscape characterized by fluid transitions between local specialization and global integration. This ability to mediate functional properties irrespective of spatial distance may engender a diverse repertoire of cognitive processes when faced with a dynamic environment. PMID:25350370

  15. The Role of Noise in Brain Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, S.; Llinás, R.

    2012-12-01

    Noise plays a fundamental role in all living organisms from the earliest prokaryotes to advanced mammalian forms, such as ourselves. In the context of living organisms, the term 'noise' usually refers to the variance amongst measurements obtained from repeated identical experimental conditions, or from output signals from these systems. It is noteworthy that both these conditions are universally characterized by the presence of background fluctuations. In non-biological systems, such as electronics or in communications sciences, where the aim is to send error-free messages, noise was generally regarded as a problem. The discovery of Stochastic Resonances (SR) in non-linear dynamics brought a shift of perception where noise, rather than representing a problem, became fundamental to system function, especially so in biology. The question now is: to what extent is biological function dependent on random noise. Indeed, it seems feasible that noise also plays an important role in neuronal communication and oscillatory synchronization. Given this approach, it follows that determining Fisher information content could be relevant in neuronal communication. It also seems possible that the principle of least time, and that of the sum over histories, could be important basic principles in understanding the coherence dynamics responsible for action and perception. Ultimately, external noise cancellation combined with intrinsic noise signal embedding and, the use of the principle of least time may be considered an essential step in the organization of central nervous system (CNS) function.

  16. Selector function of MHC I molecules is determined by protein plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Alistair; Dalchau, Neil; Carter, Rachel; Emmott, Stephen; Phillips, Andrew; Werner, Jörn M.; Elliott, Tim

    2015-10-01

    The selection of peptides for presentation at the surface of most nucleated cells by major histocompatibility complex class I molecules (MHC I) is crucial to the immune response in vertebrates. However, the mechanisms of the rapid selection of high affinity peptides by MHC I from amongst thousands of mostly low affinity peptides are not well understood. We developed computational systems models encoding distinct mechanistic hypotheses for two molecules, HLA-B*44:02 (B*4402) and HLA-B*44:05 (B*4405), which differ by a single residue yet lie at opposite ends of the spectrum in their intrinsic ability to select high affinity peptides. We used in vivo biochemical data to infer that a conformational intermediate of MHC I is significant for peptide selection. We used molecular dynamics simulations to show that peptide selector function correlates with protein plasticity, and confirmed this experimentally by altering the plasticity of MHC I with a single point mutation, which altered in vivo selector function in a predictable way. Finally, we investigated the mechanisms by which the co-factor tapasin influences MHC I plasticity. We propose that tapasin modulates MHC I plasticity by dynamically coupling the peptide binding region and ?3 domain of MHC I allosterically, resulting in enhanced peptide selector function.

  17. Effects of exercise on brain functions in diabetic animal models

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Sun Shin

    2015-01-01

    Human life span has dramatically increased over several decades, and the quality of life has been considered to be equally important. However, diabetes mellitus (DM) characterized by problems related to insulin secretion and recognition has become a serious health problem in recent years that threatens human health by causing decline in brain functions and finally leading to neurodegenerative diseases. Exercise is recognized as an effective therapy for DM without medication administration. Exercise studies using experimental animals are a suitable option to overcome this drawback, and animal studies have improved continuously according to the needs of the experimenters. Since brain health is the most significant factor in human life, it is very important to assess brain functions according to the different exercise conditions using experimental animal models. Generally, there are two types of DM; insulin-dependent type 1 DM and an insulin-independent type 2 DM (T2DM); however, the author will mostly discuss brain functions in T2DM animal models in this review. Additionally, many physiopathologic alterations are caused in the brain by DM such as increased adiposity, inflammation, hormonal dysregulation, uncontrolled hyperphagia, insulin and leptin resistance, and dysregulation of neurotransmitters and declined neurogenesis in the hippocampus and we describe how exercise corrects these alterations in animal models. The results of changes in the brain environment differ according to voluntary, involuntary running exercises and resistance exercise, and gender in the animal studies. These factors have been mentioned in this review, and this review will be a good reference for studying how exercise can be used with therapy for treating DM. PMID:25987956

  18. Extracellular matrix molecules and synaptic plasticity: immunomapping of intracellular and secreted Reelin in the adult rat brain.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Moreno, Tania; Galazo, Maria J; Porrero, Cesar; Martínez-Cerdeño, Verónica; Clascá, Francisco

    2006-01-01

    Reelin, a large extracellular matrix glycoprotein, is secreted by several neuron populations in the developing and adult rodent brain. Secreted Reelin triggers a complex signaling pathway by binding lipoprotein and integrin membrane receptors in target cells. Reelin signaling regulates migration and dendritic growth in developing neurons, while it can modulate synaptic plasticity in adult neurons. To identify which adult neural circuits can be modulated by Reelin-mediated signaling, we systematically mapped the distribution of Reelin in adult rat brain using sensitive immunolabeling techniques. Results show that the distribution of intracellular and secreted Reelin is both very widespread and specific. Some interneuron and projection neuron populations in the cerebral cortex contain Reelin. Numerous striatal neurons are weakly immunoreactive for Reelin and these cells are preferentially located in striosomes. Some thalamic nuclei contain Reelin-immunoreactive cells. Double-immunolabeling for GABA and Reelin reveals that the Reelin-immunoreactive cells in the visual thalamus are the intrinsic thalamic interneurons. High local concentrations of extracellular Reelin selectively outline several dendrite spine-rich neuropils. Together with previous mRNA data, our observations suggest abundant axoplasmic transport and secretion in pathways such as the retino-collicular tract, the entorhino-hippocampal ('perforant') path, the lateral olfactory tract or the parallel fiber system of the cerebellum. A preferential secretion of Reelin in these neuropils is consistent with reports of rapid, activity-induced structural changes in adult brain circuits. PMID:16420448

  19. Environmental enrichment alters structural plasticity of the adolescent brain but does not remediate the effects of prenatal nicotine exposure.

    PubMed

    Mychasiuk, Richelle; Muhammad, Arif; Kolb, Bryan

    2014-07-01

    Exposure to both drugs of abuse and environmental enrichment (EE) are widely studied experiences that induce large changes in dendritic morphology and synaptic connectivity. As there is an abundance of literature using EE as a treatment strategy for drug addiction, we sought to determine whether EE could remediate the effects of prenatal nicotine (PN) exposure. Using Golgi-Cox staining, we examined eighteen neuroanatomical parameters in four brain regions [medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), orbital frontal cortex (OFC), nucleus accumben, and Par1] of Long-Evans rats. EE in adolescence dramatically altered structural plasticity in the male and female brain, modifying 60% of parameters investigated. EE normalized three parameters (OFC spine density and dendritic branching and mPFC dendritic branching) in male offspring exposed to nicotine prenatally but did not remediate any measures in female offspring. PN exposure interfered with adolescent EE-induced changes in five neuroanatomical measurements (Par1 spine density and dendritic branching in both male and female offspring, and mPFC spine density in male offspring). And in four neuroanatomical parameters examined, PN exposure and EE combined to produce additive effects [OFC spine density in females and mPFC dendritic length (apical and basilar) and branching in males]. Despite demonstrated efficacy in reversing drug addiction, EE was not able to reverse many of the PN-induced changes in neuronal morphology, indicating that modifications in neural circuitry generated in the prenatal period may be more resistant to change than those generated in the adult brain. PMID:24616009

  20. Prenatal and Infant Exposure to an Environmental Pollutant Damages Brain Architecture and Plasticity. Science Briefs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2007

    2007-01-01

    "Science Briefs" summarize the findings and implications of a recent study in basic science or clinical research. This Brief reports on the study "Perinatal Exposure to a Noncoplanar Bichlorinated Biphenol Alters Tonotopy, Receptive Fields and Plasticity in the Auditory Cortex" (T. Kenet; R. C. Froemke; C. E. Schreiner; I. N. Pessah; and M. M.…

  1. Effects of chronic peripheral olfactory loss on functional brain networks.

    PubMed

    Kollndorfer, K; Jakab, A; Mueller, C A; Trattnig, S; Schöpf, V

    2015-12-01

    The effects of sensory loss on central processing in various sensory systems have already been described. The olfactory system holds the special ability to be activated by a sensorimotor act, without the presentation of an odor. In this study, we investigated brain changes related to chronic peripheral smell loss. We included 11 anosmic patients (eight female, three male; mean age, 43.5years) with smell loss after an infection of the upper respiratory tract (mean disease duration, 4.64years) and 14 healthy controls (seven female, seven male; mean age, 30.1years) in a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment with a sniffing paradigm. Data were analyzed using group-independent component analysis and functional connectivity analysis. Our results revealed a spatially intact olfactory network in patients, whereas major aberrations due to peripheral loss were observed in functional connectivity through a variety of distributed brain areas. This is the first study to show the re-organization caused by the lack of peripheral input. The results of this study indicate that anosmic patients hold the ability to activate an olfaction-related functional network through the sensorimotor component of odor-perception (sniffing). The areas involved were not different from those that emerged in healthy controls. However, functional connectivity appears to be different between the two groups, with a decrease in functional connectivity in the brain in patients with chronic peripheral sensory loss. We can further conclude that the loss of the sense of smell may induce far-reaching effects in the whole brain, which lead to compensatory mechanisms from other sensory systems due to the close interconnectivity of the olfactory system with other functional networks. PMID:26415766

  2. Purinergic and Calcium Signaling in Macrophage Function and Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Desai, Bimal N.; Leitinger, Norbert

    2014-01-01

    In addition to a fundamental role in cellular bioenergetics, the purine nucleotide adenosine triphosphate (ATP) plays a crucial role in the extracellular space as a signaling molecule. ATP and its metabolites serve as ligands for a family of receptors that are collectively referred to as purinergic receptors. These receptors were first described and characterized in the nervous system but it soon became evident that they are expressed ubiquitously. In the immune system, purinergic signals regulate the migration and activation of immune cells and they may also orchestrate the resolution of inflammation (1, 2). The intracellular signal transduction initiated by purinergic receptors is strongly coupled to Ca2+-signaling, and co-ordination of these pathways plays a critical role in innate immunity. In this review, we provide an overview of purinergic and Ca2+-signaling in the context of macrophage phenotypic polarization and discuss the implications on macrophage function in physiological and pathological conditions. PMID:25505897

  3. The development of social brain functions in infancy.

    PubMed

    Grossmann, Tobias

    2015-11-01

    One fundamental question in psychology is what makes humans such intensely social beings. Probing the developmental and neural origins of our social capacities is a way of addressing this question. In the last 10 years the field of social-cognitive development has witnessed a surge in studies using neuroscience methods to elucidate the development of social information processing during infancy. While the use of electroencephalography (EEG)/event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has revealed a great deal about the timing and localization of the cortical processes involved in early social cognition, the principles underpinning the early development of social brain functioning remain largely unexplored. Here I provide a framework that delineates the essential processes implicated in the early development of the social brain. In particular, I argue that the development of social brain functions in infancy is characterized by the following key principles: (a) self-relevance, (b) joint engagement, (c) predictability, (d) categorization, (e) discrimination, and (f) integration. For all of the proposed principles, I provide empirical examples to illustrate when in infancy they emerge. Moreover, I discuss to what extent they are in fact specifically social in nature or share properties with more domain-general developmental principles. Taken together, this article provides a conceptual integration of the existing EEG/ERPs and fNIRS work on infant social brain function and thereby offers the basis for a principle-based approach to studying the neural correlates of early social cognition. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:25984728

  4. Partial sleep in the context of augmentation of brain function

    PubMed Central

    Pigarev, Ivan N.; Pigareva, Marina L.

    2014-01-01

    Inability to solve complex problems or errors in decision making is often attributed to poor brain processing, and raises the issue of brain augmentation. Investigation of neuronal activity in the cerebral cortex in the sleep-wake cycle offers insights into the mechanisms underlying the reduction in mental abilities for complex problem solving. Some cortical areas may transit into a sleep state while an organism is still awake. Such local sleep would reduce behavioral ability in the tasks for which the sleeping areas are crucial. The studies of this phenomenon have indicated that local sleep develops in high order cortical areas. This is why complex problem solving is mostly affected by local sleep, and prevention of local sleep might be a potential way of augmentation of brain function. For this approach to brain augmentation not to entail negative consequences for the organism, it is necessary to understand the functional role of sleep. Our studies have given an unexpected answer to this question. It was shown that cortical areas that process signals from extero- and proprioreceptors during wakefulness, switch to the processing of interoceptive information during sleep. It became clear that during sleep all “computational power” of the brain is directed to the restoration of the vital functions of internal organs. These results explain the logic behind the initiation of total and local sleep. Indeed, a mismatch between the current parameters of any visceral system and the genetically determined normal range would provide the feeling of tiredness, or sleep pressure. If an environmental situation allows falling asleep, the organism would transit to a normal total sleep in all cortical areas. However, if it is impossible to go to sleep immediately, partial sleep may develop in some cortical areas in the still behaviorally awake organism. This local sleep may reduce both the “intellectual power” and the restorative function of sleep for visceral organs. PMID:24822040

  5. Functional Brain Network Classification With Compact Representation of SICE Matrices.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianjia; Zhou, Luping; Wang, Lei; Li, Wanqing

    2015-06-01

    Recently, a sparse inverse covariance estimation (SICE) technique has been employed to model functional brain connectivity. The inverse covariance matrix (SICE matrix in short) estimated for each subject is used as a representation of brain connectivity to discriminate Alzheimers disease from normal controls. However, we observed that direct use of the SICE matrix does not necessarily give satisfying discrimination, due to its high dimensionality and the scarcity of training subjects. Looking into this problem, we argue that the intrinsic dimensionality of these SICE matrices shall be much lower, considering 1) an SICE matrix resides on a Riemannian manifold of symmetric positive definiteness matrices, and 2) human brains share common patterns of connectivity across subjects. Therefore, we propose to employ manifold-based similarity measures and kernel-based PCA to extract principal connectivity components as a compact representation of brain network. Moreover, to cater for the requirement of both discrimination and interpretation in neuroimage analysis, we develop a novel preimage estimation algorithm to make the obtained connectivity components anatomically interpretable. To verify the efficacy of our method and gain insights into SICE-based brain networks, we conduct extensive experimental study on synthetic data and real rs-fMRI data from the ADNI dataset. Our method outperforms the comparable methods and improves the classification accuracy significantly. PMID:25667346

  6. Effect of brain shift on the creation of functional atlases for deep brain stimulation surgery

    PubMed Central

    Pallavaram, Srivatsan; Remple, Michael S.; Neimat, Joseph S.; Kao, Chris; Konrad, Peter E.; D’Haese, Pierre-François

    2011-01-01

    Purpose In the recent past many groups have tried to build functional atlases of the deep brain using intra-operatively acquired information such as stimulation responses or micro-electrode recordings. An underlying assumption in building such atlases is that anatomical structures do not move between pre-operative imaging and intra-operative recording. In this study, we present evidences that this assumption is not valid. We quantify the effect of brain shift between pre-operative imaging and intra-operative recording on the creation of functional atlases using intra-operative somatotopy recordings and stimulation response data. Methods A total of 73 somatotopy points from 24 bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) implantations and 52 eye deviation stimulation response points from 17 bilateral STN implantations were used. These points were spatially normalized on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) atlas using a fully automatic non-rigid registration algorithm. Each implantation was categorized as having low, medium or large brain shift based on the amount of pneumocephalus visible on post-operative CT. The locations of somatotopy clusters and stimulation maps were analyzed for each category. Results The centroid of the large brain shift cluster of the somatotopy data (posterior, lateral, inferior: 3.06, 11.27, 5.36 mm) was found posterior, medial and inferior to that of the medium cluster (2.90, 13.57, 4.53 mm) which was posterior, medial and inferior to that of the low shift cluster (1.94, 13.92, 3.20 mm). The coordinates are referenced with respect to the mid-commissural point. Euclidean distances between the centroids were 1.68, 2.44 and 3.59 mm, respectively for low-medium, medium-large and low-large shift clusters. We found similar trends for the positions of the stimulation maps. The Euclidian distance between the highest probability locations on the low and medium-large shift maps was 4.06 mm. Conclusion The effect of brain shift in deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery has been demonstrated using intra-operative somatotopy recordings as well as stimulation response data. The results not only indicate that considerable brain shift happens before micro-electrode recordings in DBS but also that brain shift affects the creation of accurate functional atlases. Therefore, care must be taken when building and using such atlases of intra-operative data and also when using intra-operative data to validate anatomical atlases. PMID:20033503

  7. Effects of plasticizers and their mixtures on estrogen receptor and thyroid hormone functions.

    PubMed

    Ghisari, Mandana; Bonefeld-Jorgensen, Eva Cecilie

    2009-08-25

    Plasticizers are additives used to increase the flexibility or plasticity of the material to which they are added, normally rigid plastic and as additives in paint and adhesives. They are suspected to interfere with the endocrine system, including the estrogen and the thyroid hormone (TH) systems. We investigated in vitro the thyroid hormone-like and estrogenic activities of a range of widely used plasticizers and phenols including benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), dioctyl phthalate (DOP), diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), diisononyl phthalate (DINP), di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), bis(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA), 4-tert-octylphenol (tOP), 4-chloro-3-methylphenol (CMP), 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP), 2-phenylphenol (2-PP) and resorcinol. The TH disrupting potential was determined by the effect on the TH-dependent rat pituitary GH3 cell proliferation (T-screen). The estrogenic activities of the compounds were assessed in MVLN cells, stably transfected with an estrogen receptor (ER) luciferase reporter vector. Furthermore, the combined effect of a multi-components mixture of six plasticizers was evaluated for its estrogenic and TH-like activities. All the tested compounds, but 2-PP, significantly affected the GH3 cell proliferation. tOP, BBP and DBP activated ER transactivity, whereas DEHP antagonized the 17beta-estradiol induced ER function. The mixture significantly induced ER transactivity in an additive manner, whereas in the T-screen, the observed mixture effect was lower than predicted, suggesting a potential antagonizing effect of the mixture. In conclusion, the tested plasticizers and phenols elicited endocrine-disrupting potential that can be mediated via interference with the estrogen and TH systems. Moreover, the observed mixture effect stresses the importance of considering the combined effect of the compounds for risk assessment of human health. PMID:19463926

  8. Neural Plasticity: For Good and Bad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Møller, A. R.

    The brain's ability to change its organization and function is necessary for normal development of the nervous system and it makes it possible to adapt to changing demands but it can also cause disorders when going awry. This property, known as neural plasticity, is only evident when induced, very much like genes. Plastic changes may be programmed and providing a ``midcourse correction" during childhood development. If that is not executed in the normal way severe developmental disorders such as autism may results. Normal development of functions and anatomical organization of the brain and the spinal cord depend on appropriate sensory stimulation and motor activations. So-called enriched sensory environments have been shown to be beneficial for cognitive development and enriched acoustic environment may even slow the progression of age-related hearing loss. It is possible that the beneficial effect of physical exercise is achieved through activation of neural plasticity. The beneficial effect of training after trauma to the brain or spinal cord is mainly achieved through shifting functions from damaged brain area to other parts of the central nervous system and adapting these parts to take over the functions that are lost. This is accomplished through activation of neural plasticity. Plastic changes can also be harmful and cause symptoms and signs of disorders such as some forms of chronic pain (central neuropathic pain) and severe tinnitus. We will call such disorders ``plasticity disorders".

  9. Analysis of functional neuronal connectivity in the Drosophila brain

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Zepeng; Macara, Ann Marie; Lelito, Katherine R.; Minosyan, Tamara Y.

    2012-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster is a valuable model system for the neural basis of complex behavior, but an inability to routinely interrogate physiologic connections within central neural networks of the fly brain remains a fundamental barrier to progress in the field. To address this problem, we have introduced a simple method of measuring functional connectivity based on the independent expression of the mammalian P2X2 purinoreceptor and genetically encoded Ca2+ and cAMP sensors within separate genetically defined subsets of neurons in the adult brain. We show that such independent expression is capable of specifically rendering defined sets of neurons excitable by pulses of bath-applied ATP in a manner compatible with high-resolution Ca2+ and cAMP imaging in putative follower neurons. Furthermore, we establish that this approach is sufficiently sensitive for the detection of excitatory and modulatory connections deep within larval and adult brains. This technically facile approach can now be used in wild-type and mutant genetic backgrounds to address functional connectivity within neuronal networks governing a wide range of complex behaviors in the fly. Furthermore, the effectiveness of this approach in the fly brain suggests that similar methods using appropriate heterologous receptors might be adopted for other widely used model systems. PMID:22539819

  10. Sleep Restriction Impairs Blood–Brain Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

    He, Junyun; Hsuchou, Hung; He, Yi; Kastin, Abba J.; Wang, Yuping

    2014-01-01

    The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a large regulatory and exchange interface between the brain and peripheral circulation. We propose that changes of the BBB contribute to many pathophysiological processes in the brain of subjects with chronic sleep restriction (CSR). To achieve CSR that mimics a common pattern of human sleep loss, we quantified a new procedure of sleep disruption in mice by a week of consecutive sleep recording. We then tested the hypothesis that CSR compromises microvascular function. CSR not only diminished endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthase, endothelin1, and glucose transporter expression in cerebral microvessels of the BBB, but it also decreased 2-deoxy-glucose uptake by the brain. The expression of several tight junction proteins also was decreased, whereas the level of cyclooxygenase-2 increased. This coincided with an increase of paracellular permeability of the BBB to the small tracers sodium fluorescein and biotin. CSR for 6 d was sufficient to impair BBB structure and function, although the increase of paracellular permeability returned to baseline after 24 h of recovery sleep. This merits attention not only in neuroscience research but also in public health policy and clinical practice. PMID:25355222

  11. Control channels in the brain and their influence on brain executive functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Qinglei; Choa, Fow-Sen; Hong, Elliot; Wang, Zhiguang; Islam, Mohammad

    2014-05-01

    In a computer network there are distinct data channels and control channels where massive amount of visual information are transported through data channels but the information streams are routed and controlled by intelligent algorithm through "control channels". Recent studies on cognition and consciousness have shown that the brain control channels are closely related to the brainwave beta (14-40 Hz) and alpha (7-13 Hz) oscillations. The high-beta wave is used by brain to synchronize local neural activities and the alpha oscillation is for desynchronization. When two sensory inputs are simultaneously presented to a person, the high-beta is used to select one of the inputs and the alpha is used to deselect the other so that only one input will get the attention. In this work we demonstrated that we can scan a person's brain using binaural beats technique and identify the individual's preferred control channels. The identified control channels can then be used to influence the subject's brain executive functions. In the experiment, an EEG measurement system was used to record and identify a subject's control channels. After these channels were identified, the subject was asked to do Stroop tests. Binaural beats was again used to produce these control-channel frequencies on the subject's brain when we recorded the completion time of each test. We found that the high-beta signal indeed speeded up the subject's executive function performance and reduced the time to complete incongruent tests, while the alpha signal didn't seem to be able to slow down the executive function performance.

  12. Plasticity in the neural coding of auditory space in the mammalian brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Andrew J.; Parsons, Carl H.; Moore, David R.

    2000-10-01

    Sound localization relies on the neural processing of monaural and binaural spatial cues that arise from the way sounds interact with the head and external ears. Neurophysiological studies of animals raised with abnormal sensory inputs show that the map of auditory space in the superior colliculus is shaped during development by both auditory and visual experience. An example of this plasticity is provided by monaural occlusion during infancy, which leads to compensatory changes in auditory spatial tuning that tend to preserve the alignment between the neural representations of visual and auditory space. Adaptive changes also take place in sound localization behavior, as demonstrated by the fact that ferrets raised and tested with one ear plugged learn to localize as accurately as control animals. In both cases, these adjustments may involve greater use of monaural spectral cues provided by the other ear. Although plasticity in the auditory space map seems to be restricted to development, adult ferrets show some recovery of sound localization behavior after long-term monaural occlusion. The capacity for behavioral adaptation is, however, task dependent, because auditory spatial acuity and binaural unmasking (a measure of the spatial contribution to the "cocktail party effect") are permanently impaired by chronically plugging one ear, both in infancy but especially in adulthood. Experience-induced plasticity allows the neural circuitry underlying sound localization to be customized to individual characteristics, such as the size and shape of the head and ears, and to compensate for natural conductive hearing losses, including those associated with middle ear disease in infancy.

  13. Reorganization of functionally connected brain subnetworks in high-functioning autism

    E-print Network

    Glerean, Enrico; Salmi, Juha; Kujala, Rainer; Lahnakoski, Juha; Roine, Ulrika; Nummenmaa, Lauri; Leppämäki, Sami; Wendt, Taina Nieminen-von; Tani, Pekka; Saramäki, Jari; Sams, Mikko; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P

    2015-01-01

    Background: Previous functional connectivity studies have found both hypo- and hyper-connectivity in brains of individuals having autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here we studied abnormalities in functional brain subnetworks in high-functioning individuals with ASD during free viewing of a movie containing social cues and interactions. Methods: Thirteen subjects with ASD and 13 matched-pair controls watched a 68 minutes movie during functional magnetic resonance imaging. For each subject, we computed Pearson`s correlation between haemodynamic time-courses of each pair of 6-mm isotropic voxels. From the whole-brain functional networks, we derived individual and group-level subnetworks using graph theory. Scaled inclusivity was then calculated between all subject pairs to estimate intersubject similarity of connectivity structure of each subnetwork. Additional 27 individuals with ASD from the ABIDE resting-state database were included to test the reproducibility of the results. Results: Between-group differences...

  14. Musical training induces functional plasticity in perceptual and motor networks: insights from resting-state FMRI.

    PubMed

    Luo, Cheng; Guo, Zhi-wei; Lai, Yong-xiu; Liao, Wei; Liu, Qiang; Kendrick, Keith M; Yao, De-zhong; Li, Hong

    2012-01-01

    A number of previous studies have examined music-related plasticity in terms of multi-sensory and motor integration but little is known about the functional and effective connectivity patterns of spontaneous intrinsic activity in these systems during the resting state in musicians. Using functional connectivity and Granger causal analysis, functional and effective connectivity among the motor and multi-sensory (visual, auditory and somatosensory) cortices were evaluated using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in musicians and non-musicians. The results revealed that functional connectivity was significantly increased in the motor and multi-sensory cortices of musicians. Moreover, the Granger causality results demonstrated a significant increase outflow-inflow degree in the auditory cortex with the strongest causal outflow pattern of effective connectivity being found in musicians. These resting state fMRI findings indicate enhanced functional integration among the lower-level perceptual and motor networks in musicians, and may reflect functional consolidation (plasticity) resulting from long-term musical training, involving both multi-sensory and motor functional integration. PMID:22586478

  15. Global features of functional brain networks change with contextual disorder

    PubMed Central

    Andric, Michael; Hasson, Uri

    2015-01-01

    It is known that features of stimuli in the environment affect the strength of functional connectivity in the human brain. However, investigations to date have not converged in determining whether these also impact functional networks' global features, such as modularity strength, number of modules, partition structure, or degree distributions. We hypothesized that one environmental attribute that may strongly impact global features is the temporal regularity of the environment, as prior work indicates that differences in regularity impact regions involved in sensory, attentional and memory processes. We examined this with an fMRI study, in which participants passively listened to tonal series that had identical physical features and differed only in their regularity, as defined by the strength of transition structure between tones. We found that series-regularity induced systematic changes to global features of functional networks, including modularity strength, number of modules, partition structure, and degree distributions. In tandem, we used a novel node-level analysis to determine the extent to which brain regions maintained their within-module connectivity across experimental conditions. This analysis showed that primary sensory regions and those associated with default-mode processes are most likely to maintain their within-module connectivity across conditions, whereas prefrontal regions are least likely to do so. Our work documents a significant capacity for global-level brain network reorganization as a function of context. These findings suggest that modularity and other core, global features, while likely constrained by white-matter structural brain connections, are not completely determined by them. PMID:25988223

  16. Global features of functional brain networks change with contextual disorder.

    PubMed

    Andric, Michael; Hasson, Uri

    2015-08-15

    It is known that features of stimuli in the environment affect the strength of functional connectivity in the human brain. However, investigations to date have not converged in determining whether these also impact functional networks' global features, such as modularity strength, number of modules, partition structure, or degree distributions. We hypothesized that one environmental attribute that may strongly impact global features is the temporal regularity of the environment, as prior work indicates that differences in regularity impact regions involved in sensory, attentional and memory processes. We examined this with an fMRI study, in which participants passively listened to tonal series that had identical physical features and differed only in their regularity, as defined by the strength of transition structure between tones. We found that series-regularity induced systematic changes to global features of functional networks, including modularity strength, number of modules, partition structure, and degree distributions. In tandem, we used a novel node-level analysis to determine the extent to which brain regions maintained their within-module connectivity across experimental conditions. This analysis showed that primary sensory regions and those associated with default-mode processes are most likely to maintain their within-module connectivity across conditions, whereas prefrontal regions are least likely to do so. Our work documents a significant capacity for global-level brain network reorganization as a function of context. These findings suggest that modularity and other core, global features, while likely constrained by white-matter structural brain connections, are not completely determined by them. PMID:25988223

  17. Perceptual Shift in Bilingualism: Brain Potentials Reveal Plasticity in Pre-Attentive Colour Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Athanasopoulos, Panos; Dering, Benjamin; Wiggett, Alison; Kuipers, Jan-Rouke; Thierry, Guillaume

    2010-01-01

    The validity of the linguistic relativity principle continues to stimulate vigorous debate and research. The debate has recently shifted from the behavioural investigation arena to a more biologically grounded field, in which tangible physiological evidence for language effects on perception can be obtained. Using brain potentials in a colour…

  18. Discussion of Developmental Plasticity: Factors Affecting Cognitive Outcome after Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Sandra Bond; McKinnon, Lyn

    2000-01-01

    This article discusses psychobiological factors that affect recovery after traumatic brain injury in children and adolescents, including biological pathophysiology of the injury, the cognitive stage of the child at injury, the amount of time after injury, the challenge level of tasks, and the child's reserve of psychosocial resources. (Contains…

  19. Harnessing Brain Plasticity through Behavioral Techniques to Produce New Treatments in Neurorehabilitation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taub, Edward

    2004-01-01

    Basic behavioral neuroscience research with monkeys has given rise to an efficacious new approach to the rehabilitation of movement after stroke, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and other types of neurological injury in humans termed Constraint-Induced Movement therapy or CI therapy. For the upper extremity, the treatment involves…

  20. Predicting individual brain maturity using dynamic functional connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Jian; Chen, Shan-Guang; Hu, Dewen; Zeng, Ling-Li; Fan, Yi-Ming; Chen, Xiao-Ping; Shen, Hui

    2015-01-01

    Neuroimaging-based functional connectivity (FC) analyses have revealed significant developmental trends in specific intrinsic connectivity networks linked to cognitive and behavioral maturation. However, knowledge of how brain functional maturation is associated with FC dynamics at rest is limited. Here, we examined age-related differences in the temporal variability of FC dynamics with data publicly released by the Nathan Kline Institute (NKI; n = 183, ages 7–30) and showed that dynamic inter-region interactions can be used to accurately predict individual brain maturity across development. Furthermore, we identified a significant age-dependent trend underlying dynamic inter-network FC, including increasing variability of the connections between the visual network, default mode network (DMN) and cerebellum as well as within the cerebellum and DMN and decreasing variability within the cerebellum and between the cerebellum and DMN as well as the cingulo-opercular network. Overall, the results suggested significant developmental changes in dynamic inter-network interaction, which may shed new light on the functional organization of typical developmental brains. PMID:26236224

  1. Characterizing Resting-State Brain Function Using Arterial Spin Labeling.

    PubMed

    Chen, J Jean; Jann, Kay; Wang, Danny J J

    2015-11-01

    Arterial spin labeling (ASL) is an increasingly established magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that is finding broader applications in studying the healthy and diseased brain. This review addresses the use of ASL to assess brain function in the resting state. Following a brief technical description, we discuss the use of ASL in the following main categories: (1) resting-state functional connectivity (FC) measurement: the use of ASL-based cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements as an alternative to the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) technique to assess resting-state FC; (2) the link between network CBF and FC measurements: the use of network CBF as a surrogate of the metabolic activity within corresponding networks; and (3) the study of resting-state dynamic CBF-BOLD coupling and cerebral metabolism: the use of dynamic CBF information obtained using ASL to assess dynamic CBF-BOLD coupling and oxidative metabolism in the resting state. In addition, we summarize some future challenges and interesting research directions for ASL, including slice-accelerated (multiband) imaging as well as the effects of motion and other physiological confounds on perfusion-based FC measurement. In summary, this work reviews the state-of-the-art of ASL and establishes it as an increasingly viable MRI technique with high translational value in studying resting-state brain function. PMID:26106930

  2. Role of Mental Retardation-Associated Dystrophin-Gene Product Dp71 in Excitatory Synapse Organization, Synaptic Plasticity and Behavioral Functions

    PubMed Central

    Daoud, Fatma; Candelario-Martínez, Aurora; Billard, Jean-Marie; Avital, Avi; Khelfaoui, Malik; Rozenvald, Yael; Guegan, Maryvonne; Mornet, Dominique; Jaillard, Danielle; Nudel, Uri; Chelly, Jamel; Martínez-Rojas, Dalila; Laroche, Serge; Yaffe, David; Vaillend, Cyrille

    2009-01-01

    Background Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by deficient expression of the cytoskeletal protein, dystrophin. One third of DMD patients also have mental retardation (MR), likely due to mutations preventing expression of dystrophin and other brain products of the DMD gene expressed from distinct internal promoters. Loss of Dp71, the major DMD-gene product in brain, is thought to contribute to the severity of MR; however, the specific function of Dp71 is poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Complementary approaches were used to explore the role of Dp71 in neuronal function and identify mechanisms by which Dp71 loss may impair neuronal and cognitive functions. Besides the normal expression of Dp71 in a subpopulation of astrocytes, we found that a pool of Dp71 colocalizes with synaptic proteins in cultured neurons and is expressed in synaptic subcellular fractions in adult brains. We report that Dp71-associated protein complexes interact with specialized modular scaffolds of proteins that cluster glutamate receptors and organize signaling in postsynaptic densities. We then undertook the first functional examination of the brain and cognitive alterations in the Dp71-null mice. We found that these mice display abnormal synapse organization and maturation in vitro, altered synapse density in the adult brain, enhanced glutamatergic transmission and reduced synaptic plasticity in CA1 hippocampus. Dp71-null mice show selective behavioral disturbances characterized by reduced exploratory and novelty-seeking behavior, mild retention deficits in inhibitory avoidance, and impairments in spatial learning and memory. Conclusions/Significance Results suggest that Dp71 expression in neurons play a regulatory role in glutamatergic synapse organization and function, which provides a new mechanism by which inactivation of Dp71 in association with that of other DMD-gene products may lead to increased severity of MR. PMID:19649270

  3. Heart and brain interconnection - clinical implications of changes in brain function during heart failure.

    PubMed

    Kim, Min-Seok; Kim, Jae-Joong

    2015-01-01

    Heart failure (HF) is a highly prevalent disorder worldwide and, consequently, a burden on the healthcare systems of many nations. Although the effects of HF are systemic, many therapeutic targets are focused on cardiac dysfunction. The brain is closely related to the heart, but there are few reports on the relationship between these organs. We describe the effects of the brain on HF progression. Specific brain regions control sympathetic drive and neurohumoral factors, which play an important role in disease exacerbation. In addition, we review some of our previous studies on deranged cerebral metabolism and reduced cerebral blood flow during HF. Although the reasons underlying these effects during HF remain uncertain, we propose plausible mechanisms for these phenomena. In addition, the clinical implications of such conditions in terms of predicting prognosis are discussed. Finally, we investigate cognitive impairment in patients with HF. Cognitive impairment through cerebral infarction or hypoperfusion is associated with adverse outcomes, including death. This brief review of brain function during the development of HF should assist with future strategies to better manage patients with this condition. PMID:25891994

  4. Wavelets and statistical analysis of functional magnetic resonance images of the human brain

    E-print Network

    Breakspear, Michael

    Wavelets and statistical analysis of functional magnetic resonance images of the human brain Ed. Wavelets are particularly well suited to analysis of biological signals and images, such as human brain Bullmore Brain Mapping Unit and Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke

  5. Internship MASTER 2012 Joint estimation of primary brain functional territories from BOLD functional

    E-print Network

    Dobigeon, Nicolas

    Internship MASTER 2012 Joint estimation of primary brain functional territories from BOLD). Internship focus The internship work will make use of an already existing paradigm, which is a fast event replication to functional ASL. The internship work will be dedicated to adapt different image processing

  6. Synchronization-based approach for detecting functional activation of brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Lei; Cai, Shi-Min; Zhang, Jie; Zhuo, Zhao; Fu, Zhong-Qian; Zhou, Pei-Ling

    2012-09-01

    In this paper, we investigate a synchronization-based, data-driven clustering approach for the analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data, and specifically for detecting functional activation from fMRI data. We first define a new measure of similarity between all pairs of data points (i.e., time series of voxels) integrating both complete phase synchronization and amplitude correlation. These pairwise similarities are taken as the coupling between a set of Kuramoto oscillators, which in turn evolve according to a nearest-neighbor rule. As the network evolves, similar data points naturally synchronize with each other, and distinct clusters will emerge. The clustering behavior of the interaction network of the coupled oscillators, therefore, mirrors the clustering property of the original multiple time series. The clustered regions whose cross-correlation coefficients are much greater than other regions are considered as the functionally activated brain regions. The analysis of fMRI data in auditory and visual areas shows that the recognized brain functional activations are in complete correspondence with those from the general linear model of statistical parametric mapping, but with a significantly lower time complexity. We further compare our results with those from traditional K-means approach, and find that our new clustering approach can distinguish between different response patterns more accurately and efficiently than the K-means approach, and therefore more suitable in detecting functional activation from event-related experimental fMRI data.

  7. Hypothalamic-Pituitary Function in Brain Death: A Review.

    PubMed

    Nair-Collins, Michael; Northrup, Jesse; Olcese, James

    2016-01-01

    The Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) states that an individual is dead when "all functions of the entire brain" have ceased irreversibly. However, it has been questioned whether some functions of the hypothalamus, particularly osmoregulation, can continue after the clinical diagnosis of brain death (BD). In order to learn whether parts of the hypothalamus can continue to function after the diagnosis of BD, we performed 2 separate systematic searches of the MEDLINE database, corresponding to the functions of the posterior and anterior pituitary. No meta-analysis is possible due to nonuniformity in the clinical literature. However, some modest generalizations can reasonably be drawn from a narrative review and from anatomic considerations that explain why these findings should be expected. We found evidence suggesting the preservation of hypothalamic function, including secretion of hypophysiotropic hormones, responsiveness to anterior pituitary stimulation, and osmoregulation, in a substantial proportion of patients declared dead by neurological criteria. We discuss several possible explanations for these findings. We conclude by suggesting that additional clinical research with strict inclusion criteria is necessary and further that a more nuanced and forthright public dialogue is needed, particularly since standard diagnostic practices and the UDDA may not be entirely in accord. PMID:24692211

  8. The effects of methylphenidate on whole brain intrinsic functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Sophia; Costa, Anna; Keeser, Daniel; Pogarell, Oliver; Berman, Albert; Coates, Ute; Reiser, Maximilian F; Riedel, Michael; Möller, Hans-Jürgen; Ettinger, Ulrich; Meindl, Thomas

    2014-11-01

    Methylphenidate (MPH) is an indirect dopaminergic and noradrenergic agonist that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and that has shown therapeutic potential in neuropsychiatric diseases such as depression, dementia, and Parkinson's disease. While effects of MPH on task-induced brain activation have been investigated, little is known about how MPH influences the resting brain. To investigate the effects of 40 mg of oral MPH on intrinsic functional connectivity, we used resting state fMRI in 54 healthy male subjects in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Functional connectivity analysis employing ICA revealed seven resting state networks (RSN) of interest. Connectivity strength between the dorsal attention network and the thalamus was increased after MPH intake. Other RSN located in association cortex areas, such as the left and right frontoparietal networks and the executive control network, showed MPH-induced connectivity increase to sensory-motor and visual cortex regions and connectivity decrease to cortical and subcortical components of cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical circuits (CST). RSN located in sensory-motor cortex areas showed the opposite pattern with MPH-induced connectivity increase to CST components and connectivity decrease to sensory-motor and visual cortex regions. Our results provide evidence that MPH does not only alter intrinsic connectivity between brain areas involved in sustained attention, but that it also induces significant changes in the cortico-cortical and cortico-subcortical connectivity of many other cognitive and sensory-motor RSN. PMID:24862742

  9. Kappa-opioid receptor signaling and brain reward function

    PubMed Central

    Bruijnzeel, Adrie W.

    2009-01-01

    The dynorphin-like peptides have profound effects on the state of the brain reward system and human and animal behavior. The dynorphin-like peptides affect locomotor activity, food intake, sexual behavior, anxiety-like behavior, and drug intake. Stimulation of kappa-opioid receptors, the endogenous receptor for the dynorphin-like peptides, inhibits dopamine release in the striatum (nucleus accumbens and caudate putamen) and induces a negative mood state in humans and animals. The administration of drugs of abuse increases the release of dopamine in the striatum and mediates the concomitant release of dynorphin-like peptides in this brain region. The reviewed studies suggest that chronic drug intake leads to an upregulation of the brain dynorphin system in the striatum and in particular in the dorsal part of the striatum/caudate putamen. This might inhibit drug-induced dopamine release and provide protection against the neurotoxic effects of high dopamine levels. After the discontinuation of chronic drug intake these neuroadaptations remain unopposed which has been suggested to contribute to the negative emotional state associated with drug withdrawal and increased drug intake. Kappa-opioid receptor agonists have also been shown to inhibit calcium channels. Calcium channel inhibitors have antidepressant-like effects and inhibit the release of norepinephrine. This might explain that in some studies kappa-opioid receptor agonists attenuate nicotine and opioid withdrawal symptomatology. A better understanding of the role of dynorphins in the regulation of brain reward function might contribute to the development of novel treatments for mood disorders and other disorders that stem from a dysregulation of the brain reward system. PMID:19804796

  10. Luoyutong Treatment Promotes Functional Recovery and Neuronal Plasticity after Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ning-qun; Wang, Li-ye; Zhao, Hai-ping; Liu, Ping; Wang, Rong-liang; Song, Jue-xian; Gao, Li; Ji, Xun-ming; Luo, Yu-min

    2015-01-01

    Luoyutong (LYT) capsule has been used to treat cerebrovascular diseases clinically in China and is now patented and approved by the State Food and Drug Administration. In this retrospective validation study we investigated the ability of LYT to protect against cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats. Cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by reperfusion. Capsule containing LYT (high dose and medium dose) as treatment group and Citicoline Sodium as positive control treatment group were administered daily to rats 30?min after reperfusion. Treatment was continued for either 3 days or 14 days. A saline solution was administered to control animals. Behavior tests were performed after 3 and 14 days of treatment. Our findings revealed that LYT treatment improved the neurological outcome, decreased cerebral infarction volume, and reduced apoptosis. Additionally, LYT improved neural plasticity, as the expression of synaptophysin, microtubule associated protein, and myelin basic protein was upregulated by LYT treatment, while neurofilament 200 expression was reduced. Moreover, levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor and basic fibroblast growth factor were increased. Our results suggest that LYT treatment may protect against ischemic injury and improve neural plasticity. PMID:26697095

  11. A model of the correlation function of leak noise in buried plastic pipes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Y.; Brennan, M. J.; Joseph, P. F.; Muggleton, J. M.; Hunaidi, O.

    2004-10-01

    A common technique for locating leaks in buried water distribution pipes is the use of the cross-correlation on two measured acoustic signals, on either side of a leak. This technique can be problematic for locating leaks in plastic pipes as the acoustic signals in these pipes are generally narrow-band and low frequency. The effectiveness of the cross-correlation technique for detecting leaks in plastic pipes has been investigated experimentally in an earlier study. This paper develops an analytical model to predict the cross-correlation function of leak signals in plastic pipes. The model is based on a theoretical formulation of wave propagation in a fluid-filled pipe in vacuo and the assumption that the leak sound, at source, has a flat spectrum over the bandwidth of interest. The analytical model is used to explain some of the features of correlation measurements made in actual water pipes. Leak noise signals are generally passed through a band-pass filter before calculating the cross-correlation function. The model is used to demonstrate the importance of the cut-off frequency of the high-pass filter and the insensitivity of the correlation to the cut-off frequency of the low-pass filter.

  12. Resilience of human brain functional coactivation networks under thresholding

    E-print Network

    Sarkar, S; Weng, H

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated the existence of community structure and rich club nodes, (i.e., highly interconnected, high degree hub nodes), in human brain functional networks. The cognitive relevance of the detected modules and hubs has also been demonstrated, for both task based and default mode networks, suggesting that the brain self-organizes into patterns of co-activated sets of regions for performing specific tasks or in resting state. In this paper, we report studies on the resilience or robustness of this modular structure: under systematic erosion of connectivity in the network under thresholding, how resilient is the modularity and hub structure? The results show that the network shows show strong resilience properties, with the modularity and hub structure maintaining itself over a large range of connection strengths. Then, at a certain critical threshold that falls very close to 0, the connectivity, the modularity, and hub structure suddenly break down, showing a phase transition like propert...

  13. Stimulus-driven changes in sensorimotor behavior and neuronal functional connectivity application to brain-machine interfaces and neurorehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Rebesco, James M; Miller, Lee E

    2011-01-01

    Normal brain function requires constant adaptation as an organism interacts with the environment and learns to associate important sensory stimuli with appropriate motor actions. Neurological disorders may disrupt these learned associations, potentially requiring new functional pathways to be formed to replace the lost function. As a consequence, neural plasticity is a critical aspect of both normal brain function as well as the response to neurological injury. A brain-machine interface (BMI) represents a unique adaptive challenge to the nervous system. Efferent BMIs have been developed, which harness signals recorded from a tiny proportion of the motor cortex (M1) to effect control of an external device. There is also interest in the development of an afferent BMI that would supply information directly to the brain (e.g., the somatosensory cortex-S1) via electrical stimulation. If a bidirectional BMI that combined these interfaces were to be successful, new functional pathways would be necessary between the artificial inputs and outputs. Indeed, stimulation of S1 that is contingent upon the consequences of motor command signals recorded from M1 might form the basis for artificial Hebbian associations not unlike those driving learning in the normal brain. In this chapter, we review recent developments in both efferent and afferent BMIs, as well as experimental attempts to understand and mimic the Hebbian processes that give rise to plastic changes within the cortex. We have used a rat model to develop the computational and experimental tools necessary to describe changes in the way small networks of sensorimotor neurons interact and process information. We show that by repetitively pairing the recorded spikes of one neuron with electrical stimulation of another or by repetitively pairing electrical stimulation of two neurons, we can strengthen the inferred functional connection between the pair of neurons. We have also used the dual-stimulation protocol to enhance the ability of a trained rat to detect intracortical microstimulation behavioral cues. These results provide an important proof of concept, demonstrating the feasibility of Hebbian conditioning protocols to alter information flow in the brain. In addition to their possible application to BMI research, techniques like this may improve the efficacy of traditional rehabilitation for patients with neurologic injury. PMID:21763520

  14. Structural and functional plasticity specific to musical training with wind instruments

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Uk-Su; Sung, Yul-Wan; Hong, Sujin; Chung, Jun-Young; Ogawa, Seiji

    2015-01-01

    Numerous neuroimaging studies have shown structural and functional changes resulting from musical training. Among these studies, changes in primary sensory areas are mostly related to motor functions. In this study, we looked for some similar functional and structural changes in other functional modalities, such as somatosensory function, by examining the effects of musical training with wind instruments. We found significant changes in two aspects of neuroplasticity, cortical thickness, and resting-state neuronal networks. A group of subjects with several years of continuous musical training and who are currently playing in university wind ensembles showed differences in cortical thickness in lip- and tongue-related brain areas vs. non-music playing subjects. Cortical thickness in lip-related brain areas was significantly thicker and that in tongue-related areas was significantly thinner in the music playing group compared with that in the non-music playing group. Association analysis of lip-related areas in the music playing group showed that the increase in cortical thickness was caused by musical training. In addition, seed-based correlation analysis showed differential activation in the precentral gyrus and supplementary motor areas (SMA) between the music and non-music playing groups. These results suggest that high-intensity training with specific musical instruments could induce structural changes in related anatomical areas and could also generate a new functional neuronal network in the brain. PMID:26578939

  15. Multiple functions of endocannabinoid signaling in the brain.

    PubMed

    Katona, István; Freund, Tamás F

    2012-01-01

    Despite being regarded as a hippie science for decades, cannabinoid research has finally found its well-deserved position in mainstream neuroscience. A series of groundbreaking discoveries revealed that endocannabinoid molecules are as widespread and important as conventional neurotransmitters such as glutamate or GABA, yet they act in profoundly unconventional ways. We aim to illustrate how uncovering the molecular, anatomical, and physiological characteristics of endocannabinoid signaling has revealed new mechanistic insights into several fundamental phenomena in synaptic physiology. First, we summarize unexpected advances in the molecular complexity of biogenesis and inactivation of the two endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. Then, we show how these new metabolic routes are integrated into well-known intracellular signaling pathways. These endocannabinoid-producing signalosomes operate in phasic and tonic modes, thereby differentially governing homeostatic, short-term, and long-term synaptic plasticity throughout the brain. Finally, we discuss how cell type- and synapse-specific refinement of endocannabinoid signaling may explain the characteristic behavioral effects of cannabinoids. PMID:22524785

  16. SELECTIVE OESTROGEN RECEPTOR MODULATORS DIFFERENTIALLY POTENTIATE BRAIN MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION

    PubMed Central

    Irwin, Ronald W.; Yao, Jia; To, Jimmy; Hamilton, Ryan T.; Cadenas, Enrique; Brinton, Roberta Diaz

    2011-01-01

    The mitochondrial energy-transducing capacity of the brain is important for long-term neurological health and is influenced by endocrine hormone responsiveness. This study aimed to determine the role of oestrogen receptor (ER) subtypes in regulating mitochondrial function using selective agonists for ER? (PPT) and ER? (DPN). Ovariectomised female rats were treated with 17?-oestradiol (E2), PPT, DPN or vehicle control. Both ER selective agonists significantly increased the mitochondrial respiratory control ratio and cytochrome oxidase (COX) activity relative to vehicle. Western blots of purified whole brain mitochondria detected ER? and to a greater extent, ER? localization. Pre-treatment with DPN, an ER? agonist, significantly increased ER? association with mitochondria. In hippocampus, DPN activated mitochondrial DNA-encoded COXI expression whereas PPT was ineffective indicating that mechanistically ER?, not ER?, activated mitochondrial transcriptional machinery. Both selective ER agonists increased protein expression of nuclear DNA-encoded COXIV suggesting that activation of ER? or ER? is sufficient. Selective ER agonists up-regulated a panel of bioenergetic enzymes and antioxidant defense proteins. Up-regulated proteins included pyruvate dehydrogenase, ATP synthase, manganese superoxide dismutase, and peroxiredoxin V. In vitro, whole cell metabolism was assessed in live primary cultured hippocampal neurons and mixed glia. Results of in vitro analyses were consistent with in vivo data. Further, lipid peroxides, accumulated as a result of hormone deprivation, were significantly reduced by E2, PPT, and DPN. These findings suggest that activation of both ER? and ER? are differentially required to potentiate mitochondrial function in brain. As active components in hormone therapy, synthetically designed oestrogens as well as natural phyto-oestrogen cocktails can be tailored to improve brain mitochondrial endpoints. PMID:22070562

  17. Imaging structural and functional brain networks in temporal lobe epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Bernhardt, Boris C; Hong, Seokjun; Bernasconi, Andrea; Bernasconi, Neda

    2013-01-01

    Early imaging studies in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) focused on the search for mesial temporal sclerosis, as its surgical removal results in clinically meaningful improvement in about 70% of patients. Nevertheless, a considerable subgroup of patients continues to suffer from post-operative seizures. Although the reasons for surgical failure are not fully understood, electrophysiological and imaging data suggest that anomalies extending beyond the temporal lobe may have negative impact on outcome. This hypothesis has revived the concept of human epilepsy as a disorder of distributed brain networks. Recent methodological advances in non-invasive neuroimaging have led to quantify structural and functional networks in vivo. While structural networks can be inferred from diffusion MRI tractography and inter-regional covariance patterns of structural measures such as cortical thickness, functional connectivity is generally computed based on statistical dependencies of neurophysiological time-series, measured through functional MRI or electroencephalographic techniques. This review considers the application of advanced analytical methods in structural and functional connectivity analyses in TLE. We will specifically highlight findings from graph-theoretical analysis that allow assessing the topological organization of brain networks. These studies have provided compelling evidence that TLE is a system disorder with profound alterations in local and distributed networks. In addition, there is emerging evidence for the utility of network properties as clinical diagnostic markers. Nowadays, a network perspective is considered to be essential to the understanding of the development, progression, and management of epilepsy. PMID:24098281

  18. Impact of the ADHD-susceptibility gene CDH13 on development and function of brain networks.

    PubMed

    Rivero, Olga; Sich, Sarah; Popp, Sandy; Schmitt, Angelika; Franke, Barbara; Lesch, Klaus-Peter

    2013-06-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, early onset and enduring neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by developmentally inappropriate inattention, hyperactivity, increased impulsivity and motivational/emotional dysregulation with similar prevalence rates throughout different cultural settings. Persistence of ADHD into adulthood is associated with considerable risk for co-morbidities such as depression and substance use disorder. Although the substantial heritability of ADHD is well documented the etiology is characterized by a complex coherence of genetic and environmental factors rendering identification of risk genes difficult. Genome-wide linkage as well as single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and copy-number variant (CNV) association scans recently allow to reliably define aetiopathogenesis-related genes. A considerable number of novel ADHD risk genes implicate biological processes involved in neurite outgrowth and axon guidance. Here, we focus on the gene encoding Cadherin-13 (CDH13), a cell adhesion molecule which was replicably associated with liability to ADHD and related neuropsychiatric conditions. Based on its unique expression pattern in the brain, we discuss the molecular structure and neuronal mechanisms of Cadherin-13 in relation to other cadherins and the cardiovascular system. An appraisal of various Cadherin-13-modulated signaling pathways impacting proliferation, migration and connectivity of specific neurons is also provided. Finally, we develop an integrative hypothesis of the mechanisms in which Cadherin-13 plays a central role in the regulation of brain network development, plasticity and function. The review concludes with emerging concepts about alterations in Cadherin-13 signaling contributing to the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:22795700

  19. Exercise facilitates the action of dietary DHA on functional recovery after brain trauma

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Aiguo; Ying, Zhe; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2013-01-01

    The abilities of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and exercise to counteract cognitive decay after TBI is getting increasing recognition; however, the possibility that these actions can be complementary remains just as an intriguing possibility. Here we have examined the likelihood that the combination of diet and exercise has the added potential to facilitate functional recovery following TBI. Rats received mild fluid percussion injury (mFPI) or sham injury and then were maintained on a diet high in DHA (1.2% DHA) with or without voluntary exercise for 12 days. We found that FPI reduced DHA content in the brain, which was accompanied by increased levels of lipid peroxidation assessed using 4-HHE. FPI reduced the enzymes Acox1 and 17 -HSD4, and the calcium-independent phospholipases A2 (iPLA2), which are involved in metabolism of membrane phospholipids. FPI reduced levels of syntaxin-3 (STX-3), involved in the action of membrane DHA on synaptic membrane expansion, and also reduced BDNF signaling through its TrkB receptor. These effects of FPI were optimally counteracted by the combination of DHA and exercise. Our results support the possibility that the complementary action of exercise is exerted on restoring membrane homeostasis after TBI, which is necessary for supporting synaptic plasticity and cognition. It is our contention that strategies that take advantage of the combined applications of diet and exercise may have additional effects to the injured brain. PMID:23811071

  20. Brain Structure and Executive Functions in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weierink, Lonneke; Vermeulen, R. Jeroen; Boyd, Roslyn N.

    2013-01-01

    This systematic review aimed to establish the current knowledge about brain structure and executive function (EF) in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Five databases were searched (up till July 2012). Six articles met the inclusion criteria, all included structural brain imaging though no functional brain imaging. Study quality was assessed using…

  1. Some Problems for Representations of Brain Organization Based on Activation in Functional Imaging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sidtis, John J.

    2007-01-01

    Functional brain imaging has overshadowed traditional lesion studies in becoming the dominant approach to the study of brain-behavior relationships. The proponents of functional imaging studies frequently argue that this approach provides an advantage over lesion studies by observing normal brain activity in vivo without the disruptive effects of…

  2. New Approaches for Exploring Anatomical and Functional Connectivity in the Human Brain

    E-print Network

    Penny, Will

    REVIEWS New Approaches for Exploring Anatomical and Functional Connectivity in the Human Brain architecture of networks in the living human brain with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). We also highlight transmission across networks in the human brain (functional and effective connectivity). Key Words: Diffusion

  3. Cortical cross-modal plasticity following deafness measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Dewey, Rebecca S; Hartley, Douglas E H

    2015-07-01

    Evidence from functional neuroimaging studies suggests that the auditory cortex can become more responsive to visual and somatosensory stimulation following deafness, and that this occurs predominately in the right hemisphere. Extensive cross-modal plasticity in prospective cochlear implant recipients is correlated with poor speech outcomes following implantation, highlighting the potential impact of central auditory plasticity on subsequent aural rehabilitation. Conversely, the effects of hearing restoration with a cochlear implant on cortical plasticity are less well understood, since the use of most neuroimaging techniques in CI recipients is either unsafe or problematic due to the electromagnetic artefacts generated by CI stimulation. Additionally, techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are confounded by acoustic noise produced by the scanner that will be perceived more by hearing than by deaf individuals. Subsequently it is conceivable that auditory responses to acoustic noise produced by the MR scanner may mask auditory cortical responses to non-auditory stimulation, and render inter-group comparisons less significant. Uniquely, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a silent neuroimaging technique that is non-invasive and completely unaffected by the presence of a CI. Here, we used fNIRS to study temporal-lobe responses to auditory, visual and somatosensory stimuli in thirty profoundly-deaf participants and thirty normally-hearing controls. Compared with silence, acoustic noise stimuli elicited a significant group fNIRS response in the temporal region of normally-hearing individuals, which was not seen in profoundly-deaf participants. Visual motion elicited a larger group response within the right temporal lobe of profoundly-deaf participants, compared with normally-hearing controls. However, bilateral temporal lobe fNIRS activation to somatosensory stimulation was comparable in both groups. Using fNIRS these results confirm that auditory deprivation is associated with cross-modal plasticity of visual inputs to auditory cortex. Although we found no evidence for plasticity of somatosensory inputs, it is possible that our recordings may have included activation of somatosensory cortex that masked any group differences in auditory cortical responses due to the limited spatial resolution associated with fNIRS. PMID:25819496

  4. BDNF-estrogen interactions in hippocampal mossy fiber pathway: implications for normal brain function and disease

    PubMed Central

    Harte-Hargrove, Lauren; MacLusky, Neil J.; Scharfman, Helen E.

    2013-01-01

    The neurotrophin BDNF and the steroid hormone estrogen exhibit potent effects on hippocampal neurons during development and in adulthood. BDNF and estrogen have also been implicated in the etiology of diverse types of neurological disorders or psychiatric illnesses, or have been discussed as potentially important in treatment. Although both are typically studied independently, it has been suggested that BDNF mediates several of the effects of estrogen in hippocampus, and that these interactions play a role in the normal brain as well as disease. Here we focus on the mossy fiber (MF) pathway of the hippocampus, a critical pathway in normal hippocampal function, and a prime example of a location where numerous studies support an interaction between BDNF and estrogen in the rodent brain. We first review the temporal and spatially-regulated expression of BDNF and estrogen in the MFs, as well as their receptors. Then we consider the results of studies that suggest that 17?-estradiol alters hippocampal function by its influence on BDNF expression in the MF pathway. We also address the hypothesis that estrogen influences hippocampus by mechanisms related not only to the mature form of BDNF, acting at trkB receptors, but also by regulating the precursor, proBDNF, acting at p75NTR. We suggest that the interactions between BDNF and 17?-estradiol in the MFs are potentially important in the normal function of the hippocampus, and have implications for sex differences in functions that depend on the MFs and in diseases where MF plasticity has been suggested to play an important role, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and addiction. PMID:23276673

  5. Sex differences in synaptic plasticity in stress-responsive brain regions following chronic variable stress

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho-Netto, Eduardo F.; Myers, Brent; Jones, Kenneth; Solomon, Matia B.; Herman, James P.

    2015-01-01

    Increased stress responsiveness is implicated in the etiology of mood and anxiety disorders, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, stress-related affective disorders have a higher incidence in women than men. Chronic stress in rodents produces numerous neuromorphological changes in a variety of limbic brain regions. Here, we examined the sex-dependent differences in presynaptic innervation of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN), prefrontal cortex (PFC), bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST), and amygdala in response to chronic variable stress (CVS). Following 14 days of CVS, the presynaptic protein synaptophysin was assessed in male and female rats. Our results demonstrate that synaptophysin staining density was higher in females than males in all brain areas evaluated, indicating sex differences in the organization of presynaptic innervation. After CVS, the PVN, principal nucleus of the BST (BSTpr), and basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) displayed significantly reduced synaptophysin density in females but not males. Furthermore, males showed an increase in synaptophysin in the PVN after CVS, suggesting a sex difference in the modulation of presynaptic inputs to the PVN following chronic stress. Overall, these data suggest marked sex differences in PVN, BSTpr, and BLA presynaptic innervation as a consequence of chronic stress, which may be associated with differential stress responsivity and perhaps susceptibility to pathologies in males and females. PMID:21315096

  6. Measurements of response functions of EJ-299-33A plastic scintillator for fast neutrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartman, J.; Barzilov, A.; Peters, E. E.; Yates, S. W.

    2015-12-01

    Monoenergetic neutron response functions were measured for an EJ-299-33A plastic scintillator. The 7-MV Van de Graaff accelerator at the University of Kentucky Accelerator Laboratory was used to produce proton and deuteron beams for reactions with gaseous tritium and deuterium targets, yielding monoenergetic neutrons by means of the 3H(p,n)3He, 2H(d,n)3He, and 3H(d,n)4He reactions. The neutron energy was selected by tuning the charged-particle's energy and using the angular dependence of the neutron emission. The resulting response functions were measured for 0.1-MeV steps in neutron energy from 0.1 MeV to 8.2 MeV and from 12.2 MeV to 20.2 MeV. Experimental data were processed using a procedure for digital pulse-shape discrimination, which allowed characterization of the response functions of the plastic scintillator to neutrons only. The response functions are intended for use in neutron spectrum unfolding methods.

  7. Bisphenol A Interaction With Brain Development and Functions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Brain development is an organized, but constantly adaptive, process in which genetic and epigenetic signals allow neurons to differentiate, to migrate, and to develop correct connections. Gender specific prenatal sex hormone milieu participates in the dimorphic development of many neuronal networks. Environmental cues may interfere with these developmental programs, producing adverse outcomes. Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogenic/antiandrogenic endocrine disruptor widely diffused in the environment, produces adverse effects at levels below the acceptable daily intake. This review analyzes the recent literature on the consequences of perinatal exposure to BPA environmental doses on the development of a dimorphic brain. The BPA interference with the development and function of the neuroendocrine hypothalamus and of the nuclei controlling energy balance, and with the hippocampal memory processing is also discussed. The detrimental action of BPA appears complex, involving different hormonal and epigenetic pathways activated, often in a dimorphic way, within clearcut susceptibility windows. To date, discrepancies in experimental approaches and in related outcomes make unfeasible to translate the available information into clear dose–response models for human risk assessment. Evaluation of BPA brain levels in relation to the appearance of adverse effects in future basic studies will certainly give better definition of the warning threshold for human health. PMID:26672480

  8. Mitochondrial activity and brain functions during cortical depolarization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayevsky, Avraham; Sonn, Judith

    2008-12-01

    Cortical depolarization (CD) of the cerebral cortex could be developed under various pathophysiological conditions. In animal models, CD was recorded under partial or complete ischemia as well as when cortical spreading depression (SD) was induced externally or by internal stimulus. The development of CD in patients and the changes in various metabolic parameters, during CD, was rarely reported. Brain metabolic, hemodynamic, ionic and electrical responses to the CD event are dependent upon the O2 balance in the tissue. When the O2 balance is negative (i.e. ischemia), the CD process will be developed due to mitochondrial dysfunction, lack of energy and the inhibition of Na+-K+-ATPase. In contradiction, when oxygen is available (i.e. normoxia) the development of CD after induction of SD will accelerate mitochondrial respiration for retaining ionic homeostasis and normal brain functions. We used the multiparametric monitoring approach that enable real time monitoring of mitochondrial NADH redox state, microcirculatory blood flow and oxygenation, extracellular K+, Ca2+, H+ levels, DC steady potential and electrocorticogram (ECoG). This monitoring approach, provide a unique tool that has a significant value in analyzing the pathophysiology of the brain when SD developed under normoxia, ischemia, or hypoxia. We applied the same monitoring approach to patients suffered from severe head injury or exposed to neurosurgical procedures.

  9. Critical periods of brain growth and cognitive function in children.

    PubMed

    Gale, Catharine R; O'Callaghan, Finbar J; Godfrey, Keith M; Law, Catherine M; Martyn, Christopher N

    2004-02-01

    There is evidence that IQ tends to be higher in those who were heavier at birth or who grew taller in childhood and adolescence. Although these findings imply that growth in both foetal and postnatal life influences cognitive performance, little is known about the relative importance of brain growth during different periods of development. We investigated the relationship between brain growth in different periods of pre- and postnatal life and cognitive function in 221 9-year-old children whose mothers had taken part in a study of nutrition in pregnancy and whose head circumference had been measured at 18 weeks gestation, birth and 9 months of age. Cognitive function of the children and their mothers was assessed with the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence. Full-scale IQ at age 9 years rose by 1.98 points [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.34 to 3.62] for each SD increase in head circumference at 9 months and by 2.87 points (95% CI 1.05 to 4.69) for each SD increase in head circumference at 9 years of age, after adjustment for sex, number of older siblings, maternal IQ, age, education, social class, duration of breastfeeding and history of low mood in the post-partum period. Postnatal head growth was significantly greater in children whose mothers were educated to degree level or of higher socio-economic status. There was no relation between IQ and measurements of head size at 18 weeks gestation or at birth. These results suggest that brain growth during infancy and early childhood is more important than growth during foetal life in determining cognitive function. PMID:14645144

  10. Impact of Low-Level Thyroid Hormone Disruption Induced by Propylthiouracil on Brain Development and Function.*

    EPA Science Inventory

    The critical role of thyroid hormone (TH) in brain development is well established, severe deficiencies leading to significant neurological dysfunction. Much less information is available on more modest perturbations of TH on brain function. The present study induced varying degr...

  11. Reinforcement-related brain potentials from medial frontal cortex: origins and functional significance

    E-print Network

    Nieuwenhuis, Sander

    Reinforcement-related brain potentials from medial frontal cortex: origins and functional brain potential in humans that was differentially sensitive to negative and positive performance depends crucially on the ability of the organism to discriminate between positive feedback, indicating

  12. Functional specificity for high-level linguistic processing in the human brain

    E-print Network

    Fedorenko, Evelina G.

    Neuroscientists have debated for centuries whether some regions of the human brain are selectively engaged in specific high-level mental functions or whether, instead, cognition is implemented in multifunctional brain ...

  13. Contributions of Microglia to Structural Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kyung Ho; Son, Sung Min; Mook-Jung, Inhee

    2013-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity critically depends on reciprocal interactions between neurons and glia. Among glial cells, microglia represent approximately 10% of the total brain cell population serve as the brain’s resident macrophage, and help to modulate neural activity. Because of their special role in the brain’s immune response, microglia are involved in the pathological progression of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, microglia also are surveyors of the brain’s health and continuously contact dendritic spines to regulate structural synaptic changes. This review summarizes our current understanding of neuronal-microglial signals that affect neural function at the synapse. Here, we examine the role of microglia in neuronal synapses in pathological brains and specifically focus on in vivo studies using 2-photon microscopy. Furthermore, because the role of microglia in AD progression is controversial, we outline the interaction between neurons and microglia in pathological conditions such as AD. PMID:25157211

  14. Individual Variability in Functional Connectivity Architecture of the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Sophia; Wang, Danhong; Fox, Michael D.; Thomas Yeo, B. T.; Sepulcre, Jorge; Sabuncu, Mert R.; Shafee, Rebecca; Lu, Jie; Liu, Hesheng

    2013-01-01

    Summary The fact that people think or behave differently from one another is rooted in individual differences in brain anatomy and connectivity. Here we used repeated-measurement resting-state functional MRI to explore inter-subject variability in connectivity. Individual differences in functional connectivity were heterogeneous across the cortex, with significantly higher variability in heteromodal association cortex and lower variability in unimodal cortices. Inter-subject variability in connectivity was significantly correlated with the degree of evolutionary cortical expansion, suggesting a potential evolutionary root of functional variability. The connectivity variability was also related to variability in sulcal depth but not cortical thickness, positively correlated with the degree of long-range connectivity but negatively correlated with local connectivity. A meta-analysis further revealed that regions predicting individual differences in cognitive domains are predominantly located in regions of high connectivity variability. Our findings have potential implications for understanding brain evolution and development, guiding intervention, and interpreting statistical maps in neuroimaging. PMID:23395382

  15. Mitochondrial function in the brain links anxiety with social subordination.

    PubMed

    Hollis, Fiona; van der Kooij, Michael A; Zanoletti, Olivia; Lozano, Laura; Cantó, Carles; Sandi, Carmen

    2015-12-15

    Dominance hierarchies are integral aspects of social groups, yet whether personality traits may predispose individuals to a particular rank remains unclear. Here we show that trait anxiety directly influences social dominance in male outbred rats and identify an important mediating role for mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens. High-anxious animals that are prone to become subordinate during a social encounter with a low-anxious rat exhibit reduced mitochondrial complex I and II proteins and respiratory capacity as well as decreased ATP and increased ROS production in the nucleus accumbens. A causal link for these findings is indicated by pharmacological approaches. In a dyadic contest between anxiety-matched animals, microinfusion of specific mitochondrial complex I or II inhibitors into the nucleus accumbens reduced social rank, mimicking the low probability to become dominant observed in high-anxious animals. Conversely, intraaccumbal infusion of nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 known to enhance brain energy metabolism, prevented the development of a subordinate status in high-anxious individuals. We conclude that mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens is crucial for social hierarchy establishment and is critically involved in the low social competitiveness associated with high anxiety. Our findings highlight a key role for brain energy metabolism in social behavior and point to mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens as a potential marker and avenue of treatment for anxiety-related social disorders. PMID:26621716

  16. Mitochondrial function in the brain links anxiety with social subordination

    PubMed Central

    Hollis, Fiona; van der Kooij, Michael A.; Zanoletti, Olivia; Lozano, Laura; Cantó, Carles; Sandi, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    Dominance hierarchies are integral aspects of social groups, yet whether personality traits may predispose individuals to a particular rank remains unclear. Here we show that trait anxiety directly influences social dominance in male outbred rats and identify an important mediating role for mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens. High-anxious animals that are prone to become subordinate during a social encounter with a low-anxious rat exhibit reduced mitochondrial complex I and II proteins and respiratory capacity as well as decreased ATP and increased ROS production in the nucleus accumbens. A causal link for these findings is indicated by pharmacological approaches. In a dyadic contest between anxiety-matched animals, microinfusion of specific mitochondrial complex I or II inhibitors into the nucleus accumbens reduced social rank, mimicking the low probability to become dominant observed in high-anxious animals. Conversely, intraaccumbal infusion of nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 known to enhance brain energy metabolism, prevented the development of a subordinate status in high-anxious individuals. We conclude that mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens is crucial for social hierarchy establishment and is critically involved in the low social competitiveness associated with high anxiety. Our findings highlight a key role for brain energy metabolism in social behavior and point to mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens as a potential marker and avenue of treatment for anxiety-related social disorders. PMID:26621716

  17. Functional connectivity of the rodent brain using optical imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guevara Codina, Edgar

    The aim of this thesis is to apply functional connectivity in a variety of animal models, using several optical imaging modalities. Even at rest, the brain shows high metabolic activity: the correlation in slow spontaneous fluctuations identifies remotely connected areas of the brain; hence the term "functional connectivity". Ongoing changes in spontaneous activity may provide insight into the neural processing that takes most of the brain metabolic activity, and so may provide a vast source of disease related changes. Brain hemodynamics may be modified during disease and affect resting-state activity. The thesis aims to better understand these changes in functional connectivity due to disease, using functional optical imaging. The optical imaging techniques explored in the first two contributions of this thesis are Optical Imaging of Intrinsic Signals and Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging, together they can estimate the metabolic rate of oxygen consumption, that closely parallels neural activity. They both have adequate spatial and temporal resolution and are well adapted to image the convexity of the mouse cortex. In the last article, a depth-sensitive modality called photoacoustic tomography was used in the newborn rat. Optical coherence tomography and laminar optical tomography were also part of the array of imaging techniques developed and applied in other collaborations. The first article of this work shows the changes in functional connectivity in an acute murine model of epileptiform activity. Homologous correlations are both increased and decreased with a small dependence on seizure duration. These changes suggest a potential decoupling between the hemodynamic parameters in resting-state networks, underlining the importance to investigate epileptic networks with several independent hemodynamic measures. The second study examines a novel murine model of arterial stiffness: the unilateral calcification of the right carotid. Seed-based connectivity analysis showed a decreasing trend of homologous correlation in the motor and cingulate cortices. Graph analyses showed a randomization of the cortex functional networks, suggesting a loss of connectivity, more specifically in the motor cortex ipsilateral to the treated carotid; however these changes are not reflected in differentiated metabolic estimates. Confounds remain due to the fact that carotid rigidification gives rise to neural decline in the hippocampus as well as unilateral alteration of vascular pulsatility; however the results support the need to look at several hemodynamic parameters when imaging the brain after arterial remodeling. The third article of this thesis studies a model of inflammatory injury on the newborn rat. Oxygen saturation and functional connectivity were assessed with photoacoustic tomography. Oxygen saturation was decreased in the site of the lesion and on the cortex ipsilateral to the injury; however this decrease is not fully explained by hypovascularization revealed by histology. Seed-based functional connectivity analysis showed that inter-hemispheric connectivity is not affected by inflammatory injury.

  18. Anatomical and functional brain abnormalities in unmedicated major depressive disorder

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiao; Ma, Xiaojuan; Li, Mingli; Liu, Ye; Zhang, Jian; Huang, Bin; Zhao, Liansheng; Deng, Wei; Li, Tao; Ma, Xiaohong

    2015-01-01

    Background Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) to explore the mechanism of brain structure and function in unmedicated patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Patients and methods Fifty patients with MDD and 50 matched healthy control participants free of psychotropic medication underwent high-resolution structural and rsfMRI scanning. Optimized diffeomorphic anatomical registration through exponentiated lie algebra and the Data Processing Assistant for rsfMRI were used to find potential differences in gray-matter volume (GMV) and regional homogeneity (ReHo) between the two groups. A Pearson correlation model was used to analyze associations of morphometric and functional changes with clinical symptoms. Results Compared to healthy controls, patients with MDD showed significant GMV increase in the left posterior cingulate gyrus and GMV decrease in the left lingual gyrus (P<0.001, uncorrected). In ReHo analysis, values were significantly increased in the left precuneus and decreased in the left putamen (P<0.001, uncorrected) in patients with MDD compared to healthy controls. There was no overlap between anatomical and functional changes. Linear correlation suggested no significant correlation between mean GMV values within regions with anatomical abnormality and ReHo values in regions with functional abnormality in the patient group. These changes were not significantly correlated with symptom severity. Conclusion Our study suggests a dissociation pattern of brain regions with anatomical and functional alterations in unmedicated patients with MDD, especially with regard to GMV and ReHo. PMID:26425096

  19. Focal Gray Matter Plasticity as a Function of Long Duration Head-down Tilt Bed Rest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koppelmans, V.; DeDios, Y. E.; Wood, S. J.; Reuter-Lorenz, P. A.; Kofman, I.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Koppelmans, V.

    2014-01-01

    Long duration spaceflight (i.e., > or = 22 days) has been associated with changes in sensorimotor systems, resulting in difficulties that astronauts experience with posture control, locomotion, and manual control. The microgravity environment is an important causal factor for spaceflight induced sensorimotor changes. Whether these sensorimotor changes may be related to structural and functional brain changes is yet unknown. However, experimental studies revealed changes in the gray matter (GM) of the brain after simulated microgravity. Thus, it is possible that spaceflight may affect brain structure and thereby cognitive functioning and motor behavior. Long duration head-down tilt bed rest has been suggested as an exclusionary analog to study microgravity effects on the sensorimotor system. Bed rest mimics microgravity in body unloading and bodily fluid shifts. In consideration of the health and performance of crewmembers both in- and post-flight, we are conducting a prospective longitudinal 70-day bed rest study as an analog to investigate the effects of microgravity on the brain. VBM analysis revealed a progressive decrease from pre- to in- bed rest in GM volume in bilateral areas including the frontal medial cortex, the insular cortex and the caudate. Over the same time period, there was a progressive increase in GM volume in the cerebellum, occipital-, and parietal cortex, including the precuneus. The majority of these changes did not fully recover during the post-bed rest period. Analysis of lobular GM volumes obtained with BRAINS showed significantly increased volume from pre-bed rest to in-bed rest in GM of the parietal lobe and the third ventricle. Temporal GM volume at 70 days in bed rest was smaller than that at the first pre-bed rest measurement. Trend analysis showed significant positive linear and negative quadratic relationships between parietal GM and time, a positive linear relationship between third ventricle volume and time, and a negative linear relationship between cerebellar GM volume and time. FM performance improved from pre-bed rest session 1 to session 2. From the second pre-bed rest measure to the last-day-in-bed rest, there was a significant decrease in performance that only partially recovered post-bed rest. No significant association was observed between changes in brain volume and changes in functional mobility. Extended bed rest, which is an analog for microgravity, can result in local volumetric GM increase and decrease and adversely affect functional mobility. These changes in brain structure and performance were not related in this sample. Whether the effects of bed rest dissipate at longer times post-bed rest, and if they are associated with behavior are important questions that warrant further research including more subjects and longer follow-up times.

  20. Natural History of Brain Function, Quality of Life, and Seizure Control in Patients With Brain Tumor Who Have Undergone Surgery | Division of Cancer Prevention

    Cancer.gov

    This trial studies the natural history of brain function, quality of life, and seizure control in patients with brain tumor who have undergone surgery. Learning about brain function, quality of life, and seizure control in patients with brain tumor who have undergone surgery may help doctors learn more about the disease and find better methods of treatment and on-going care.

  1. Crossed-Brain Representation of Verbal and Nonverbal Functions

    PubMed Central

    Matute, Esmeralda; Ardila, Alfredo; Rosselli, Monica; Molina Del Rio, Jahaziel; López Elizalde, Ramiro; López, Manuel; Ontiveros, Angel

    2015-01-01

    A 74-year-old, left-handed man presented with a rapidly evolving loss of strength in his right leg associated with difficulty in walking. MR images disclosed an extensive left hemisphere tumor. A neuropsychological examination revealed that language was broadly normal but that the patient presented with severe nonlinguistic abnormalities, including hemineglect (both somatic and spatial), constructional defects, and general spatial disturbances; symptoms were usually associated with right hemisphere pathologies. No ideomotor apraxia was found. The implications of crossed-brain representations of verbal and nonverbal functions are analyzed. PMID:25802778

  2. Highly adaptive tests for group differences in brain functional connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Junghi; Pan, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and other technologies have been offering evidence and insights showing that altered brain functional networks are associated with neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease. Exploring brain networks of clinical populations compared to those of controls would be a key inquiry to reveal underlying neurological processes related to such illnesses. For such a purpose, group-level inference is a necessary first step in order to establish whether there are any genuinely disrupted brain subnetworks. Such an analysis is also challenging due to the high dimensionality of the parameters in a network model and high noise levels in neuroimaging data. We are still in the early stage of method development as highlighted by Varoquaux and Craddock (2013) that “there is currently no unique solution, but a spectrum of related methods and analytical strategies” to learn and compare brain connectivity. In practice the important issue of how to choose several critical parameters in estimating a network, such as what association measure to use and what is the sparsity of the estimated network, has not been carefully addressed, largely because the answers are unknown yet. For example, even though the choice of tuning parameters in model estimation has been extensively discussed in the literature, as to be shown here, an optimal choice of a parameter for network estimation may not be optimal in the current context of hypothesis testing. Arbitrarily choosing or mis-specifying such parameters may lead to extremely low-powered tests. Here we develop highly adaptive tests to detect group differences in brain connectivity while accounting for unknown optimal choices of some tuning parameters. The proposed tests combine statistical evidence against a null hypothesis from multiple sources across a range of plausible tuning parameter values reflecting uncertainty with the unknown truth. These highly adaptive tests are not only easy to use, but also high-powered robustly across various scenarios. The usage and advantages of these novel tests are demonstrated on an Alzheimer's disease dataset and simulated data.

  3. Higher Brain Functions Served by the Lowly Rodent Primary Visual Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gavornik, Jeffrey P.; Bear, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

    It has been more than 50 years since the first description of ocular dominance plasticity--the profound modification of primary visual cortex (V1) following temporary monocular deprivation. This discovery immediately attracted the intense interest of neurobiologists focused on the general question of how experience and deprivation modify the brain

  4. Playing Super Mario induces structural brain plasticity: gray matter changes resulting from training with a commercial video game.

    PubMed

    Kühn, S; Gleich, T; Lorenz, R C; Lindenberger, U; Gallinat, J

    2014-02-01

    Video gaming is a highly pervasive activity, providing a multitude of complex cognitive and motor demands. Gaming can be seen as an intense training of several skills. Associated cerebral structural plasticity induced has not been investigated so far. Comparing a control with a video gaming training group that was trained for 2 months for at least 30 min per day with a platformer game, we found significant gray matter (GM) increase in right hippocampal formation (HC), right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and bilateral cerebellum in the training group. The HC increase correlated with changes from egocentric to allocentric navigation strategy. GM increases in HC and DLPFC correlated with participants' desire for video gaming, evidence suggesting a predictive role of desire in volume change. Video game training augments GM in brain areas crucial for spatial navigation, strategic planning, working memory and motor performance going along with evidence for behavioral changes of navigation strategy. The presented video game training could therefore be used to counteract known risk factors for mental disease such as smaller hippocampus and prefrontal cortex volume in, for example, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and neurodegenerative disease. PMID:24166407

  5. Movement induced tremor in musicians and non-musicians reflects adaptive brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lee, André; Schoonderwaldt, Erwin; Chadde, Mareike; Altenmüller, Eckart

    2014-01-01

    Evidence exists that motor dexterity is associated with a higher tremor amplitude of physiological tremor. Likewise, lower frequencies are associated with motor control. So far only case reports of a higher amplitude of physiological tremor in musicians exist. Moreover, no study has investigated lower frequencies during a finger movement task in musicians who can be regarded as a model of motor expertise. We developed a model and derived three hypotheses which we investigated in this study: (1) Tremor amplitude is higher in the range of physiological tremor and (2) higher for frequency ranges of dystonic tremor in musicians compared to non-musicians; (3) there is no difference in tremor amplitude at frequencies below 4 Hz. We measured tremor during a finger flexion-extension movement in 19 musicians (age 26.5 ± 8.2 years) and 24 age matched non-musicians (age 26.5 ± 8.7). By using empirical mode decomposition in combination with a Hilbert transform we obtained the instantaneous frequency and amplitude, allowing to compare tremor amplitudes throughout the movement at various frequency ranges. We found a significantly higher tremor amplitude in musicians for physiological tremor and a tendency toward a higher amplitude during most of the movement in the frequency range of 4–8 Hz, which, however, was not significant. No difference was found in the frequency range below 4 Hz for the flexion and for almost the entire extension movement. Our results corroborate findings that the 8–12 Hz oscillatory activity plays a role in motor dexterity. However, our results do not allow for the conclusion that tremor at the frequency range of 4–8 Hz is related to either plasticity induced changes that are beneficial for motor skill development nor to maladaptive changes as, e.g., focal dystonia. PMID:25120522

  6. Brain

    MedlinePLUS

    ... will return after updating. Resources Archived Modules Updates Brain Cerebrum The cerebrum is the part of the ... the outside of the brain and spinal cord. Brain Stem The brain stem is the part of ...

  7. [Functional exploration of the brain by fMRI].

    PubMed

    Fall, S; de Marco, G

    2007-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) permits to obtain physiological information about MRI signal, which is modulated by electrical, biochemical, and physiological properties of the cerebral tissue. It is possible to characterize the brain interactions from an fMRI signal. Particularly, the use of a spectral analysis at a given frequency allows access to the time series chronology, which occurs within various activated areas of the brain. Thus, spectral parameters such as coherency and phase shift may be calculated from presupposed stationary stochastic signals and of an estimate of the cross-spectral power density function. Coherency describes a correlation structure in frequency domain between signals and thus allows obtaining an accurate estimate of the phase relation (time delay), which connects the signals between them. We describe in the last part of the article a calculation method integrating spectral information obtained previously and which makes it possible to evaluate the intensity of the existing interaction between two distinct cerebral areas. PMID:17996811

  8. Heritability of the network architecture of intrinsic brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Benjamin; Hansell, Narelle K; Blokland, Gabriëlla A M; Martin, Nicholas G; Thompson, Paul M; Breakspear, Michael; de Zubicaray, Greig I; Wright, Margaret J; McMahon, Katie L

    2015-11-01

    The brain's functional network exhibits many features facilitating functional specialization, integration, and robustness to attack. Using graph theory to characterize brain networks, studies demonstrate their small-world, modular, and "rich-club" properties, with deviations reported in many common neuropathological conditions. Here we estimate the heritability of five widely used graph theoretical metrics (mean clustering coefficient (?), modularity (Q), rich-club coefficient (?norm), global efficiency (?), small-worldness (?)) over a range of connection densities (k=5-25%) in a large cohort of twins (N=592, 84 MZ and 89 DZ twin pairs, 246 single twins, age 23±2.5). We also considered the effects of global signal regression (GSR). We found that the graph metrics were moderately influenced by genetic factors h(2) (?=47-59%, Q=38-59%, ?norm=0-29%, ?=52-64%, ?=51-59%) at lower connection densities (?15%), and when global signal regression was implemented, heritability estimates decreased substantially h(2) (?=0-26%, Q=0-28%, ?norm=0%, ?=23-30%, ?=0-27%). Distinct network features were phenotypically correlated (|r|=0.15-0.81), and ?, Q, and ? were found to be influenced by overlapping genetic factors. Our findings suggest that these metrics may be potential endophenotypes for psychiatric disease and suitable for genetic association studies, but that genetic effects must be interpreted with respect to methodological choices. PMID:26226088

  9. [The stimulating impact of light on brain cognition function].

    PubMed

    Vandewalle, Gilles

    2014-10-01

    Light regulates multiple non-visual circadian, neuroendocrine, and neurobehavioral functions, and conveys a strong stimulating signal for alert-ness and cognition. This review summarizes a series of neuroimaging studies investigating the brain mechanisms underlying the latter stimulating impact of light. Results of these studies are compatible with a scenario where light would first hit subcortical areas involved in arousal regulation before affecting cortical areas involved in the ongoing non-visual cognitive process, and then cognitive performance. Recent data demonstrated that the non-visual impact of light is most likely triggered via outputs from intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGC) expressing the photopigment melanopsin, which are maximally sensitive to blue light. In addition, the stimulating impact of light is intimately related to wakefulness regulation as it changes with circadian phase and sleep pressure. Finally, markers of inter-individual difference have also been described: age, PERIOD3 genotype, and psychiatric status. This review emphasizes the importance of light for human brain cognitive function and for cognition in general. PMID:25311026

  10. Neurophotonics: non-invasive optical techniques for monitoring brain functions

    PubMed Central

    Torricelli, Alessandro; Contini, Davide; Mora, Alberto Dalla; Pifferi, Antonio; Re, Rebecca; Zucchelli, Lucia; Caffini, Matteo; Farina, Andrea; Spinelli, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    Summary The aim of this review is to present the state of the art of neurophotonics, a recently founded discipline lying at the interface between optics and neuroscience. While neurophotonics also includes invasive techniques for animal studies, in this review we focus only on the non-invasive methods that use near infrared light to probe functional activity in the brain, namely the fast optical signal, diffuse correlation spectroscopy, and functional near infrared spectroscopy methods. We also present an overview of the physical principles of light propagation in biological tissues, and of the main physiological sources of signal. Finally, we discuss the open issues in models, instrumentation, data analysis and clinical approaches. PMID:25764252

  11. Cortical and subcortical plasticity in the brains of humans, primates, and rats after damage to sensory afferents in the dorsal columns of the spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Kaas, Jon H.; Qi, Hui-Xin; Burish, Mark; Gharbawie, Omar; Onifer, Stephen M.; Massey, James M.

    2008-01-01

    The failure of injured axons to regenerate following spinal cord injury deprives brain neurons of their normal sources of activation. These injuries also result in the reorganization of affected areas of the central nervous system that is thought to drive both the ensuing recovery of function and the formation of maladaptive neuronal circuitry. Better understanding of the physiological consequences of novel synaptic connections produced by injury and the mechanisms that control their formation are important to the development of new successful strategies for the treatment of patients with spinal cord injuries. Here we discuss the anatomical, physiological and behavioral changes that take place in response to injury-induced plasticity after damage to the dorsal column pathway in rats and monkeys. Complete section of the dorsal columns of the spinal cord at a high cervical level in monkeys and rats interrupts the ascending axon branches of low threshold mechanoreceptor afferents subserving the forelimb and the rest of the lower body. Such lesions render the corresponding part of the somatotopic representation of primary somatosensory cortex totally unresponsive to tactile stimuli. There are also behavioral consequences of the sensory loss, including an impaired use of the hand/forelimb in manipulating small objects. In monkeys, if some of the afferents from the hand remain intact after dorsal column lesions, these remaining afferents extensively reactivate portions of somatosensory cortex formerly representing the hand. This functional reorganization develops over a postoperative period of one month, during which hand use rapidly improves. These recoveries appear to be mediated, at least in part, by the sprouting of preserved afferents within the cuneate nucleus of the dorsal column-trigeminal complex. In rats, such functional collateral sprouting has been promoted by the post-lesion digestion of the perineuronal net in the cuneate nucleus. Thus, this and other therapeutic strategies have the potential of enhancing sensorimotor recoveries after spinal cord injuries in humans. PMID:17692844

  12. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor-estrogen interactions in the hippocampal mossy fiber pathway: implications for normal brain function and disease.

    PubMed

    Harte-Hargrove, L C; Maclusky, N J; Scharfman, H E

    2013-06-01

    The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the steroid hormone estrogen exhibit potent effects on hippocampal neurons during development and in adulthood. BDNF and estrogen have also been implicated in the etiology of diverse types of neurological disorders or psychiatric illnesses, or have been discussed as potentially important in treatment. Although both are typically studied independently, it has been suggested that BDNF mediates several of the effects of estrogen in the hippocampus, and that these interactions play a role in the normal brain as well as disease. Here we focus on the mossy fiber (MF) pathway of the hippocampus, a critical pathway in normal hippocampal function, and a prime example of a location where numerous studies support an interaction between BDNF and estrogen in the rodent brain. We first review the temporal and spatially regulated expression of BDNF and estrogen in the MFs, as well as their receptors. Then we consider the results of studies that suggest that 17?-estradiol alters hippocampal function by its influence on BDNF expression in the MF pathway. We also address the hypothesis that estrogen influences the hippocampus by mechanisms related not only to the mature form of BDNF, acting at trkB receptors, but also by regulating the precursor, proBDNF, acting at p75NTR. We suggest that the interactions between BDNF and 17?-estradiol in the MFs are potentially important in the normal function of the hippocampus, and have implications for sex differences in functions that depend on the MFs and in diseases where MF plasticity has been suggested to play an important role, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and addiction. PMID:23276673

  13. Possible Contributions of a Novel Form of Synaptic Plasticity in "Aplysia" to Reward, Memory, and Their Dysfunctions in Mammalian Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkins, Robert D.

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies in "Aplysia" have identified a new variation of synaptic plasticity in which modulatory transmitters enhance spontaneous release of glutamate, which then acts on postsynaptic receptors to recruit mechanisms of intermediate- and long-term plasticity. In this review I suggest the hypothesis that similar plasticity occurs in…

  14. Functional specificity in the human brain: A window into the functional architecture of the mind

    PubMed Central

    Kanwisher, Nancy

    2010-01-01

    Is the human mind/brain composed of a set of highly specialized components, each carrying out a specific aspect of human cognition, or is it more of a general-purpose device, in which each component participates in a wide variety of cognitive processes? For nearly two centuries, proponents of specialized organs or modules of the mind and brain—from the phrenologists to Broca to Chomsky and Fodor—have jousted with the proponents of distributed cognitive and neural processing—from Flourens to Lashley to McClelland and Rumelhart. I argue here that research using functional MRI is beginning to answer this long-standing question with new clarity and precision by indicating that at least a few specific aspects of cognition are implemented in brain regions that are highly specialized for that process alone. Cortical regions have been identified that are specialized not only for basic sensory and motor processes but also for the high-level perceptual analysis of faces, places, bodies, visually presented words, and even for the very abstract cognitive function of thinking about another person’s thoughts. I further consider the as-yet unanswered questions of how much of the mind and brain are made up of these functionally specialized components and how they arise developmentally. PMID:20484679

  15. Functional specificity in the human brain: a window into the functional architecture of the mind.

    PubMed

    Kanwisher, Nancy

    2010-06-22

    Is the human mind/brain composed of a set of highly specialized components, each carrying out a specific aspect of human cognition, or is it more of a general-purpose device, in which each component participates in a wide variety of cognitive processes? For nearly two centuries, proponents of specialized organs or modules of the mind and brain--from the phrenologists to Broca to Chomsky and Fodor--have jousted with the proponents of distributed cognitive and neural processing--from Flourens to Lashley to McClelland and Rumelhart. I argue here that research using functional MRI is beginning to answer this long-standing question with new clarity and precision by indicating that at least a few specific aspects of cognition are implemented in brain regions that are highly specialized for that process alone. Cortical regions have been identified that are specialized not only for basic sensory and motor processes but also for the high-level perceptual analysis of faces, places, bodies, visually presented words, and even for the very abstract cognitive function of thinking about another person's thoughts. I further consider the as-yet unanswered questions of how much of the mind and brain are made up of these functionally specialized components and how they arise developmentally. PMID:20484679

  16. Neurotrophic Factors and Structural Plasticity in Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Russo, Scott J.; Mazei-Robison, Michelle S.; Ables, Jessica L.; Nestler, Eric J.

    2009-01-01

    Drugs of abuse produce widespread effects on the structure and function of neurons throughout the brain’s reward circuitry, and these changes are believed to underlie the long-lasting behavioral phenotypes that characterize addiction. Although the intracellular mechanisms regulating the structural plasticity of neurons are not fully understood, accumulating evidence suggests an essential role for neurotrophic factor signaling in the neuronal remodeling which occurs after chronic drug administration. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a growth factor enriched in brain and highly regulated by several drugs of abuse, regulates the phosphatidylinositol 3?-kinase (PI3K), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), phospholipase C? (PLC?) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF?B) signaling pathways, which influence a range of cellular functions including neuronal survival, growth, differentiation, and structure. This review discusses recent advances in our understanding of how BDNF and its signaling pathways regulate structural and behavioral plasticity in the context of drug addiction. PMID:18647613

  17. Plasticity in the human visual cortex: an ophthalmology-based perspective.

    PubMed

    Martins Rosa, Andreia; Silva, Maria Fátima; Ferreira, Sónia; Murta, Joaquim; Castelo-Branco, Miguel

    2013-01-01

    Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain to reorganize the function and structure of its connections in response to changes in the environment. Adult human visual cortex shows several manifestations of plasticity, such as perceptual learning and adaptation, working under the top-down influence of attention. Plasticity results from the interplay of several mechanisms, including the GABAergic system, epigenetic factors, mitochondrial activity, and structural remodeling of synaptic connectivity. There is also a downside of plasticity, that is, maladaptive plasticity, in which there are behavioral losses resulting from plasticity changes in the human brain. Understanding plasticity mechanisms could have major implications in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular diseases, such as retinal disorders, cataract and refractive surgery, amblyopia, and in the evaluation of surgical materials and techniques. Furthermore, eliciting plasticity could open new perspectives in the development of strategies that trigger plasticity for better medical and surgical outcomes. PMID:24205505

  18. Plasticity in the Human Visual Cortex: An Ophthalmology-Based Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Rosa, Andreia Martins; Silva, Maria Fátima; Murta, Joaquim

    2013-01-01

    Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain to reorganize the function and structure of its connections in response to changes in the environment. Adult human visual cortex shows several manifestations of plasticity, such as perceptual learning and adaptation, working under the top-down influence of attention. Plasticity results from the interplay of several mechanisms, including the GABAergic system, epigenetic factors, mitochondrial activity, and structural remodeling of synaptic connectivity. There is also a downside of plasticity, that is, maladaptive plasticity, in which there are behavioral losses resulting from plasticity changes in the human brain. Understanding plasticity mechanisms could have major implications in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular diseases, such as retinal disorders, cataract and refractive surgery, amblyopia, and in the evaluation of surgical materials and techniques. Furthermore, eliciting plasticity could open new perspectives in the development of strategies that trigger plasticity for better medical and surgical outcomes. PMID:24205505

  19. Development of integrated semiconductor optical sensors for functional brain imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Thomas T.

    Optical imaging of neural activity is a widely accepted technique for imaging brain function in the field of neuroscience research, and has been used to study the cerebral cortex in vivo for over two decades. Maps of brain activity are obtained by monitoring intensity changes in back-scattered light, called Intrinsic Optical Signals (IOS), that correspond to fluctuations in blood oxygenation and volume associated with neural activity. Current imaging systems typically employ bench-top equipment including lamps and CCD cameras to study animals using visible light. Such systems require the use of anesthetized or immobilized subjects with craniotomies, which imposes limitations on the behavioral range and duration of studies. The ultimate goal of this work is to overcome these limitations by developing a single-chip semiconductor sensor using arrays of sources and detectors operating at near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. A single-chip implementation, combined with wireless telemetry, will eliminate the need for immobilization or anesthesia of subjects and allow in vivo studies of free behavior. NIR light offers additional advantages because it experiences less absorption in animal tissue than visible light, which allows for imaging through superficial tissues. This, in turn, reduces or eliminates the need for traumatic surgery and enables long-term brain-mapping studies in freely-behaving animals. This dissertation concentrates on key engineering challenges of implementing the sensor. This work shows the feasibility of using a GaAs-based array of vertical-cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) and PIN photodiodes for IOS imaging. I begin with in-vivo studies of IOS imaging through the skull in mice, and use these results along with computer simulations to establish minimum performance requirements for light sources and detectors. I also evaluate the performance of a current commercial VCSEL for IOS imaging, and conclude with a proposed prototype sensor.

  20. Quetiapine modulates functional connectivity in brain aggression networks.

    PubMed

    Klasen, Martin; Zvyagintsev, Mikhail; Schwenzer, Michael; Mathiak, Krystyna A; Sarkheil, Pegah; Weber, René; Mathiak, Klaus

    2013-07-15

    Aggressive behavior is associated with dysfunctions in an affective regulation network encompassing amygdala and prefrontal areas such as orbitofrontal (OFC), anterior cingulate (ACC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In particular, prefrontal regions have been postulated to control amygdala activity by inhibitory projections, and this process may be disrupted in aggressive individuals. The atypical antipsychotic quetiapine successfully attenuates aggressive behavior in various disorders; the underlying neural processes, however, are unknown. A strengthened functional coupling in the prefrontal-amygdala system may account for these anti-aggressive effects. An inhibition of this network has been reported for virtual aggression in violent video games as well. However, there have been so far no in-vivo observations of pharmacological influences on corticolimbic projections during human aggressive behavior. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, quetiapine and placebo were administered for three successive days prior to an fMRI experiment. In this experiment, functional brain connectivity was assessed during virtual aggressive behavior in a violent video game and an aggression-free control task in a non-violent modification. Quetiapine increased the functional connectivity of ACC and DLPFC with the amygdala during virtual aggression, whereas OFC-amygdala coupling was attenuated. These effects were observed neither for placebo nor for the non-violent control. These results demonstrate for the first time a pharmacological modification of aggression-related human brain networks in a naturalistic setting. The violence-specific modulation of prefrontal-amygdala networks appears to control aggressive behavior and provides a neurobiological model for the anti-aggressive effects of quetiapine. PMID:23501053

  1. Functional Representation of Human Embryo Brain Models Roman Durikovic Silvester Czanner

    E-print Network

    Durikovic, Roman

    Functional Representation of Human Embryo Brain Models Roman Durikovic Silvester Czanner Hirofumi embryo brain is organic and has many folds that are difficult to model or animate with conventional metamorphosis during the growth of some human embryo organs, partic- ularly brain and stomach. Popular methods

  2. Imaging Genomics: Mapping the Influence of Genetics on Brain Structure and Function

    E-print Network

    Thompson, Paul

    .e., heritable). Several articles in this Special Issue document the heritability of brain anatomy, as indexedCOMMENT Imaging Genomics: Mapping the Influence of Genetics on Brain Structure and Function David C, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas 2 Brain & Body Centre, University

  3. Categories and Functional Units: An Infinite Hierarchical Model for Brain Activations

    E-print Network

    Golland, Polina

    Categories and Functional Units: An Infinite Hierarchical Model for Brain Activations Danial present a model that describes the structure in the responses of different brain areas to a set of stimuli encodes the relationship between brain activations and fMRI time courses. A variational inference

  4. Brain Reorganization in Patients with Brachial Plexus Injury: A Longitudinal Functional MRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Yoshikawa, Takeharu; Hayashi, Naoto; Tajiri, Yasuhito; Satake, Yoshirou; Ohtomo, Kuni

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study is to assess plastic changes of the sensorimotor cortex (SMC) in patients with traumatic brachial plexus injury (BPI) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Twenty patients with traumatic BPI underwent fMRI using blood oxygen level-dependent technique with echo-planar imaging before the operation. Sixteen patients underwent their second fMRI at approximately one year after injury. The subjects performed two tasks: a flexion-extension task of the affected elbow and a task of the unaffected elbow. After activation, maps were generated, the number of significantly activated voxels in SMC contralateral to the elbow movement in the affected elbow task study (Naf) and that in the unaffected task study (Nunaf) were counted. An asymmetry index (AI) was calculated, where AI = (Naf ? Nunaf)/(Naf + Nunaf). Ten healthy volunteers were also included in this fMRI study. The AI of the first fMRI of the patients with BPI was significantly lower than that of the healthy subjects (P = 0.035). The AI of the second fMRI significantly decreased compared with that of the first fMRI (P = 0.045). Brain reorganization associates with peripheral nervous changes after BPI and after operation for functional reconstruction. PMID:22623904

  5. Focal Gray Matter Plasticity as a Function of Long Duration Head-down Tilt Bed Rest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koppelmans, Vincent; Erdeniz, Burak; DeDios, Yiri; Wood, Scott; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia; Kofman, Igor; Bloomberg, Jacob; Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Seidler, Rachael

    2014-01-01

    Long duration spaceflight (i.e., 22 days or longer) has been associated with changes in sensorimotor systems, resulting in difficulties that astronauts experience with posture control, locomotion, and manual control. The microgravity environment is an important causal factor for spaceflight induced sensorimotor changes. Whether these sensorimotor changes may be related to structural and functional brain changes is yet unknown. However, increased intracranial pressure that by itself has been related to microgravity-induced bodily fluid shifts: [1] has been associated with white matter microstructural damage, [2] Thus, it is possible that spaceflight may affect brain structure and thereby cognitive functioning. Long duration head-down tilt bed rest has been suggested as an exclusionary analog to study microgravity effects on the sensorimotor system, [3] Bed rest mimics microgravity in body unloading and bodily fluid shifts. In consideration of the health and performance of crewmembers both in- and post-flight, we are conducting a prospective longitudinal 70-day bed rest study as an analog to investigate the effects of microgravity on brain structure, and [4] Here we present results of the first eight subjects.

  6. Sex differences in intrinsic brain functional connectivity underlying human shyness.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xun; Wang, Siqi; Kendrick, Keith Maurice; Wu, Xi; Yao, Li; Lei, Du; Kuang, Weihong; Bi, Feng; Huang, Xiaoqi; He, Yong; Gong, Qiyong

    2015-12-01

    Shyness is a fundamental trait associated with social-emotional maladaptive behaviors, including many forms of psychopathology. Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that hyper-responsivity to social and emotional stimuli occurs in the frontal cortex and limbic system in shy individuals, but the relationship between shyness and brain-wide functional connectivity remains incompletely understood. Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we addressed this issue by exploring the relationship between regional functional connectivity strength (rFCS) and scores of shyness in a cohort of 61 healthy young adults and controlling for the effects of social and trait anxiety scores. We observed that the rFCS of the insula positively correlated with shyness scores regardless of sex. Furthermore, we found that there were significant sex-by-shyness interactions in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and insula (two core nodes of the salience network) as well as the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex: the rFCS values of these regions positively correlated with shyness scores in females but negatively correlated in males. Taken together, we provide evidence for intrinsic functional connectivity differences in individuals with different degrees of shyness and that these differences are sex-dependent. These findings might have important implications on the understanding of biological mechanisms underlying emotional and cognitive processing associated with shyness. PMID:25994971

  7. Selectionist and Evolutionary Approaches to Brain Function: A Critical Appraisal

    PubMed Central

    Fernando, Chrisantha; Szathmáry, Eörs; Husbands, Phil

    2012-01-01

    We consider approaches to brain dynamics and function that have been claimed to be Darwinian. These include Edelman’s theory of neuronal group selection, Changeux’s theory of synaptic selection and selective stabilization of pre-representations, Seung’s Darwinian synapse, Loewenstein’s synaptic melioration, Adam’s selfish synapse, and Calvin’s replicating activity patterns. Except for the last two, the proposed mechanisms are selectionist but not truly Darwinian, because no replicators with information transfer to copies and hereditary variation can be identified in them. All of them fit, however, a generalized selectionist framework conforming to the picture of Price’s covariance formulation, which deliberately was not specific even to selection in biology, and therefore does not imply an algorithmic picture of biological evolution. Bayesian models and reinforcement learning are formally in agreement with selection dynamics. A classification of search algorithms is shown to include Darwinian replicators (evolutionary units with multiplication, heredity, and variability) as the most powerful mechanism for search in a sparsely occupied search space. Examples are given of cases where parallel competitive search with information transfer among the units is more efficient than search without information transfer between units. Finally, we review our recent attempts to construct and analyze simple models of true Darwinian evolutionary units in the brain in terms of connectivity and activity copying of neuronal groups. Although none of the proposed neuronal replicators include miraculous mechanisms, their identification remains a challenge but also a great promise. PMID:22557963

  8. Memory Networks in Tinnitus: A Functional Brain Image Study

    PubMed Central

    Laureano, Maura Regina; Onishi, Ektor Tsuneo; Bressan, Rodrigo Affonseca; Castiglioni, Mario Luiz Vieira; Batista, Ilza Rosa; Reis, Marilia Alves; Garcia, Michele Vargas; de Andrade, Adriana Neves; de Almeida, Roberta Ribeiro; Garrido, Griselda J.; Jackowski, Andrea Parolin

    2014-01-01

    Tinnitus is characterized by the perception of sound in the absence of an external auditory stimulus. The network connectivity of auditory and non-auditory brain structures associated with emotion, memory and attention are functionally altered in debilitating tinnitus. Current studies suggest that tinnitus results from neuroplastic changes in the frontal and limbic temporal regions. The objective of this study was to use Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) to evaluate changes in the cerebral blood flow in tinnitus patients with normal hearing compared with healthy controls. Methods: Twenty tinnitus patients with normal hearing and 17 healthy controls, matched for sex, age and years of education, were subjected to Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography using the radiotracer ethylenedicysteine diethyl ester, labeled with Technetium 99 m (99 mTc-ECD SPECT). The severity of tinnitus was assessed using the “Tinnitus Handicap Inventory” (THI). The images were processed and analyzed using “Statistical Parametric Mapping” (SPM8). Results: A significant increase in cerebral perfusion in the left parahippocampal gyrus (pFWE <0.05) was observed in patients with tinnitus compared with healthy controls. The average total THI score was 50.8+18.24, classified as moderate tinnitus. Conclusion: It was possible to identify significant changes in the limbic system of the brain perfusion in tinnitus patients with normal hearing, suggesting that central mechanisms, not specific to the auditory pathway, are involved in the pathophysiology of symptoms, even in the absence of clinically diagnosed peripheral changes. PMID:24516567

  9. Methamphetamine disrupts blood brain barrier function by induction of oxidative stress in brain endothelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Ramirez, Servio H.; Potula, Raghava; Fan, Shongshan; Eidem, Tess; Papugani, Anil; Reichenbach, Nancy; Dykstra, Holly; Weksler, Babette B.; Romero, Ignacio A.; Couraud, Pierre O.; Persidsky, Yuri

    2012-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH), a potent stimulant with strong euphoric properties, has a high abuse liability and long-lasting neurotoxic effects. Recent studies in animal models have indicated that METH can induce impairment of the blood brain barrier (BBB), thus suggesting that some of the neurotoxic effects resulting from METH abuse could be the outcome of barrier disruption. Here we provide evidence that METH alters BBB function via direct effects on endothelial cells and explore possible underlying mechanisms leading to endothelial injury. We report that METH increases BBB permeability in vivo, and exposure of primary human microvascular endothelial cells (BMVEC) to METH diminishes tightness of BMVEC monolayers in a dose- and time-dependent manner by decreasing expression of cell membrane associated tight junction (TJ) proteins. These changes were accompanied by enhanced production of reactive oxygen species, increased monocyte migration across METH-treated endothelial monolayers, and activation of myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) in BMVEC. Anti-oxidant treatment attenuated or completely reversed all tested aspects of METH induced BBB dysfunction. Our data suggest that BBB injury is caused by METH-mediated oxidative stress, which activates MLCK and negatively affects the TJ complex. These observations provide a basis for antioxidant protection against brain endothelial injury caused by METH exposure. PMID:19654589

  10. Protocatechuic acid protects brain mitochondrial function in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Semaming, Yoswaris; Sripetchwandee, Jirapas; Sa-Nguanmoo, Piangkwan; Pintana, Hiranya; Pannangpetch, Patchareewan; Chattipakorn, Nipon; Chattipakorn, Siriporn C

    2015-10-01

    Brain mitochondrial dysfunction has been demonstrated in diabetic animals with neurodegeneration. Protocatechuic acid (PCA), a major metabolite of anthocyanin, has been shown to exert glycemic control and oxidative stress reduction in the heart. However, its effects on oxidative stress and mitochondrial function in the brain under diabetic condition have never been investigated. We found that PCA exerted glycemic control, attenuates brain mitochondrial dysfunction, and contributes to the prevention of brain oxidative stress in diabetic rats. PMID:26316260

  11. Long-term effects of musical training and functional plasticity in salience system.

    PubMed

    Luo, Cheng; Tu, Shipeng; Peng, Yueheng; Gao, Shan; Li, Jianfu; Dong, Li; Li, Gujing; Lai, Yongxiu; Li, Hong; Yao, Dezhong

    2014-01-01

    Musicians undergoing long-term musical training show improved emotional and cognitive function, which suggests the presence of neuroplasticity. The structural and functional impacts of the human brain have been observed in musicians. In this study, we used data-driven functional connectivity analysis to map local and distant functional connectivity in resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 28 professional musicians and 28 nonmusicians. Compared with nonmusicians, musicians exhibited significantly greater local functional connectivity density in 10 regions, including the bilateral dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula, and anterior temporoparietal junction. A distant functional connectivity analysis demonstrated that most of these regions were included in salience system, which is associated with high-level cognitive control and fundamental attentional process. Additionally, musicians had significantly greater functional integration in this system, especially for connections to the left insula. Increased functional connectivity between the left insula and right temporoparietal junction may be a response to long-term musical training. Our findings indicate that the improvement of salience network is involved in musical training. The salience system may represent a new avenue for exploration regarding the underlying foundations of enhanced higher-level cognitive processes in musicians. PMID:25478236

  12. Long-Term Effects of Musical Training and Functional Plasticity in Salience System

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Shipeng; Peng, Yueheng; Gao, Shan; Li, Jianfu; Dong, Li; Li, Gujing; Lai, Yongxiu; Li, Hong; Yao, Dezhong

    2014-01-01

    Musicians undergoing long-term musical training show improved emotional and cognitive function, which suggests the presence of neuroplasticity. The structural and functional impacts of the human brain have been observed in musicians. In this study, we used data-driven functional connectivity analysis to map local and distant functional connectivity in resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 28 professional musicians and 28 nonmusicians. Compared with nonmusicians, musicians exhibited significantly greater local functional connectivity density in 10 regions, including the bilateral dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula, and anterior temporoparietal junction. A distant functional connectivity analysis demonstrated that most of these regions were included in salience system, which is associated with high-level cognitive control and fundamental attentional process. Additionally, musicians had significantly greater functional integration in this system, especially for connections to the left insula. Increased functional connectivity between the left insula and right temporoparietal junction may be a response to long-term musical training. Our findings indicate that the improvement of salience network is involved in musical training. The salience system may represent a new avenue for exploration regarding the underlying foundations of enhanced higher-level cognitive processes in musicians. PMID:25478236

  13. [The brain structures functional activity and aggression patients' multiple sclerosis].

    PubMed

    Reznikova, T N; Seliverstova, N A; Kataeva, G V; Aroev, R A; Il'ves, A G; Kuznetsova, A K

    2015-01-01

    The article is devoted to investigation of unconscious aggression in patients with multiple sclerosis. We carried out comparison of the relative assessments of metabolism speed of glucose (according to positron emission tomography) and indicators of unconscious aggression (in the Hand test). It is shown that an increased tendency to open aggression (unconscious aggression) in patients with multiple sclerosis, is mainly linked with a reduction in the functioning of different departments of the frontal lobes of the brain on the left and with changes of the metabolism speed of glucose in the structures of the limbic system of the left and right hemisphere. With increasing of unconscious aggression we observed decrease of glucose metabolism speed in certain areas of the lower and middle frontal gyrus. PMID:25857175

  14. Working Memory Updating Function Training Influenced Brain Activity

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xin; Zhou, Renlai; Fu, Li

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies demonstrated that working memory could be improved by training. We recruited healthy adult participants and used adaptive running working memory training tasks with a double-blind design, combined with the event-related potentials (ERPs) approach, to explore the influence of updating function training on brain activity. Participants in the training group underwent training for 20 days. Compared with the control group, the training group's accuracy (ACC) in the two-back working memory task had no significant differences after training, but reaction time (RT) was reduced significantly. Besides, the amplitudes of N160 and P300 increased significantly whereas that of P200 decreased significantly. The results suggest that training could have improved the participants' capacity on both inhibitory and updating. PMID:24015182

  15. Imaging local brain function with emission computed tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhl, D.E.

    1984-03-01

    Positron emission tomography (PET) using /sup 18/F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) was used to map local cerebral glucose utilization in the study of local cerebral function. This information differs fundamentally from structural assessment by means of computed tomography (CT). In normal human volunteers, the FDG scan was used to determine the cerebral metabolic response to conrolled sensory stimulation and the effects of aging. Cerebral metabolic patterns are distinctive among depressed and demented elderly patients. The FDG scan appears normal in the depressed patient, studded with multiple metabolic defects in patients with multiple infarct dementia, and in the patients with Alzheimer disease, metabolism is particularly reduced in the parietal cortex, but only slightly reduced in the caudate and thalamus. The interictal FDG scan effectively detects hypometabolic brain zones that are sites of onset for seizures in patients with partial epilepsy, even though these zones usually appear normal on CT scans. The future prospects of PET are discussed.

  16. Analysis of Functional Pathways Altered after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Redell, John B.; Moore, Anthony N.; Grill, Raymond J.; Johnson, Daniel; Zhao, Jing; Liu, Yin

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Concussive injury (or mild traumatic brain injury; mTBI) can exhibit features of focal or diffuse injury patterns. We compared and contrasted the cellular and molecular responses after mild controlled cortical impact (mCCI; a focal injury) or fluid percussion injury (FPI; a diffuse injury) in rats. The rationale for this comparative analysis was to investigate the brain's response to mild diffuse versus mild focal injury to identify common molecular changes triggered by these injury modalities and to determine the functional pathways altered after injury that may provide novel targets for therapeutic intervention. Microarrays containing probes against 21,792 unique messenger RNAs (mRNAs) were used to investigate the changes in cortical mRNA expression levels at 3 and 24?h postinjury. Of the 354 mRNAs with significantly altered expression levels after mCCI, over 89% (316 mRNAs) were also contained within the mild FPI (mFPI) data set. However, mFPI initiated a more widespread molecular response, with over 2300 mRNAs differentially expressed. Bioinformatic analysis of annotated Gene Ontology molecular function and biological pathway terms showed a significant overrepresentation of genes belonging to inflammation, stress, and signaling categories in both data sets. We therefore examined changes in the protein levels of a panel of 23 cytokines and chemokines in cortical extracts using a Luminex-based bead immunoassay and detected significant increases in macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1? (CCL3), GRO-KC (CXCL1), interleukin (IL)-1?, IL-1?, and IL-6. Immunohistochemical localization of MIP-1? and IL-1? showed marked increases at 3?h postinjury in the cortical vasculature and microglia, respectively, that were largely resolved by 24?h postinjury. Our findings demonstrate that both focal and diffuse mTBI trigger many shared pathobiological processes (e.g., inflammatory responses) that could be targeted for mechanism-based therapeutic interventions. PMID:22913729

  17. Data-driven analysis of functional brain interactions during free listening to music and speech.

    PubMed

    Fang, Jun; Hu, Xintao; Han, Junwei; Jiang, Xi; Zhu, Dajiang; Guo, Lei; Liu, Tianming

    2015-06-01

    Natural stimulus functional magnetic resonance imaging (N-fMRI) such as fMRI acquired when participants were watching video streams or listening to audio streams has been increasingly used to investigate functional mechanisms of the human brain in recent years. One of the fundamental challenges in functional brain mapping based on N-fMRI is to model the brain's functional responses to continuous, naturalistic and dynamic natural stimuli. To address this challenge, in this paper we present a data-driven approach to exploring functional interactions in the human brain during free listening to music and speech streams. Specifically, we model the brain responses using N-fMRI by measuring the functional interactions on large-scale brain networks with intrinsically established structural correspondence, and perform music and speech classification tasks to guide the systematic identification of consistent and discriminative functional interactions when multiple subjects were listening music and speech in multiple categories. The underlying premise is that the functional interactions derived from N-fMRI data of multiple subjects should exhibit both consistency and discriminability. Our experimental results show that a variety of brain systems including attention, memory, auditory/language, emotion, and action networks are among the most relevant brain systems involved in classic music, pop music and speech differentiation. Our study provides an alternative approach to investigating the human brain's mechanism in comprehension of complex natural music and speech. PMID:24526569

  18. Role of IGF-1 in cortical plasticity and functional deficit induced by sensorimotor restriction.

    PubMed

    Mysoet, Julien; Dupont, Erwan; Bastide, Bruno; Canu, Marie-Hélène

    2015-09-01

    In the adult rat, sensorimotor restriction by hindlimb unloading (HU) is known to induce impairments in motor behavior as well as a disorganization of somatosensory cortex (shrinkage of the cortical representation of the hindpaw, enlargement of the cutaneous receptive fields, decreased cutaneous sensibility threshold). Recently, our team has demonstrated that IGF-1 level was decreased in the somatosensory cortex of rats submitted to a 14-day period of HU. To determine whether IGF-1 is involved in these plastic mechanisms, a chronic cortical infusion of this substance was performed by means of osmotic minipump. When administered in control rats, IGF-1 affects the size of receptive fields and the cutaneous threshold, but has no effect on the somatotopic map. In addition, when injected during the whole HU period, IGF-1 is interestingly implied in cortical changes due to hypoactivity: the shrinkage of somatotopic representation of hindlimb is prevented, whereas the enlargement of receptive fields is reduced. IGF-1 has no effect on the increase in neuronal response to peripheral stimulation. We also explored the functional consequences of IGF-1 level restoration on tactile sensory discrimination. In HU rats, the percentage of paw withdrawal after a light tactile stimulation was decreased, whereas it was similar to control level in HU-IGF-1 rats. Taken together, the data clearly indicate that IGF-1 plays a key-role in cortical plastic mechanisms and in behavioral alterations induced by a decrease in sensorimotor activity. PMID:25958232

  19. Behavioral, Brain Imaging and Genomic Measures to Predict Functional Outcomes Post - Bed Rest and Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulavara, A. P.; DeDios, Y. E.; Gadd, N. E.; Caldwell, E. E.; Batson, C. D.; Goel, R.; Seidler, R. D.; Oddsson, L.; Zanello, S.; Clarke, T.; Peters, B.; Cohen, H. S.; Reschke, M.; Wood, S.; Bloomberg, J. J.

    2016-01-01

    Astronauts experience sensorimotor disturbances during their initial exposure to microgravity and during the re-adaptation phase following a return to an Earth-gravitational environment. These alterations may disrupt crewmembers' ability to perform mission critical functional tasks requiring ambulation, manual control and gaze stability. Interestingly, astronauts who return from spaceflight show substantial differences in their abilities to readapt to a gravitational environment. The ability to predict the manner and degree to which individual astronauts would be affected would improve the effectiveness of countermeasure training programs designed to enhance sensorimotor adaptability. For such an approach to succeed, we must develop predictive measures of sensorimotor adaptability that will allow us to foresee, before actual spaceflight, which crewmembers are likely to experience the greatest challenges to their adaptive capacities. The goals of this project are to identify and characterize this set of predictive measures. Our approach includes: 1) behavioral tests to assess sensory bias and adaptability quantified using both strategic and plastic-adaptive responses; 2) imaging to determine individual brain morphological and functional features, using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion tensor imaging, resting state functional connectivity MRI, and sensorimotor adaptation task-related functional brain activation; and 3) assessment of genotypic markers of genetic polymorphisms in the catechol-O-methyl transferase, dopamine receptor D2, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor genes and genetic polymorphisms of alpha2-adrenergic receptors that play a role in the neural pathways underlying sensorimotor adaptation. We anticipate that these predictive measures will be significantly correlated with individual differences in sensorimotor adaptability after long-duration spaceflight and exposure to an analog bed rest environment. We will be conducting a retrospective study, leveraging data already collected from relevant ongoing or completed bed rest and spaceflight studies. These data will be combined with predictor metrics that will be collected prospectively (as described for behavioral, brain imaging and genomic measures) from these returning subjects to build models for predicting post-mission (bed rest - non-astronauts or space flight - astronauts) adaptive capability as manifested in their outcome measures. To date we have completed a study on 15 normal subjects with all of the above measures. In this presentation we will discuss the optimized set of tests for predictive metrics to be used for evaluating post mission adaptive capability as manifested in their outcome measures. Comparisons of model performance will allow us to better design and implement sensorimotor adaptability training countermeasures against decrements in post-mission adaptive capability that are customized for each crewmember's sensory biases, adaptive capacity, brain structure and functional capacities, and genetic predispositions. The ability to customize adaptability training will allow more efficient use of crew time during training and will optimize training prescriptions for astronauts to ensure expected outcomes.

  20. Dynamic reorganization of brain functional networks during cognition.

    PubMed

    Bola, Micha?; Sabel, Bernhard A

    2015-07-01

    How does cognition emerge from neural dynamics? The dominant hypothesis states that interactions among distributed brain regions through phase synchronization give basis for cognitive processing. Such phase-synchronized networks are transient and dynamic, established on the timescale of milliseconds in order to perform specific cognitive operations. But unlike resting-state networks, the complex organization of transient cognitive networks is typically not characterized within the graph theory framework. Thus, it is not known whether cognitive processing merely changes the strength of functional connections or, conversely, requires qualitatively new topological arrangements of functional networks. To address this question, we recorded high-density EEG while subjects performed a visual discrimination task. We conducted an event-related network analysis (ERNA) where source-space weighted functional networks were characterized with graph measures. ERNA revealed rapid, transient, and frequency-specific reorganization of the network's topology during cognition. Specifically, cognitive networks were characterized by strong clustering, low modularity, and strong interactions between hub-nodes. Our findings suggest that dense and clustered connectivity between the hub nodes belonging to different modules is the "network fingerprint" of cognition. Such reorganization patterns might facilitate global integration of information and provide a substrate for a "global workspace" necessary for cognition and consciousness to occur. Thus, characterizing topology of the event-related networks opens new vistas to interpret cognitive dynamics in the broader conceptual framework of graph theory. PMID:25828884

  1. Oxytocin enhances brain function in children with autism

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Ilanit; Vander Wyk, Brent C.; Bennett, Randi H.; Cordeaux, Cara; Lucas, Molly V.; Eilbott, Jeffrey A.; Zagoory-Sharon, Orna; Leckman, James F.; Feldman, Ruth; Pelphrey, Kevin A.

    2013-01-01

    Following intranasal administration of oxytocin (OT), we measured, via functional MRI, changes in brain activity during judgments of socially (Eyes) and nonsocially (Vehicles) meaningful pictures in 17 children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD). OT increased activity in the striatum, the middle frontal gyrus, the medial prefrontal cortex, the right orbitofrontal cortex, and the left superior temporal sulcus. In the striatum, nucleus accumbens, left posterior superior temporal sulcus, and left premotor cortex, OT increased activity during social judgments and decreased activity during nonsocial judgments. Changes in salivary OT concentrations from baseline to 30 min postadministration were positively associated with increased activity in the right amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex during social vs. nonsocial judgments. OT may thus selectively have an impact on salience and hedonic evaluations of socially meaningful stimuli in children with ASD, and thereby facilitate social attunement. These findings further the development of a neurophysiological systems-level understanding of mechanisms by which OT may enhance social functioning in children with ASD. PMID:24297883

  2. Long-term functional plasticity in plant hydraulic architecture in response to supplemental moisture

    PubMed Central

    von Arx, Georg; Archer, Steven R.; Hughes, Malcolm K.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Plasticity in structural and functional traits related to water balance may determine plant performance and survival in ecosystems characterized by water limitation or high levels of rainfall variability, particularly in perennial herbaceous species with long generation cycles. This paper addresses whether and the extent to which several such seasonal to long-term traits respond to changes in moisture availability. Methods Using a novel approach that integrates ecology, physiology and anatomy, a comparison was made of lifetime functional traits in the root xylem of a long-lived perennial herb (Potentilla diversifolia, Rosaceae) growing in dry habitats with those of nearby individuals growing where soil moisture had been supplemented for 14 years. Traditional parameters such as specific leaf area (SLA) and above-ground growth were also assessed. Key Results Individuals from the site receiving supplemental moisture consistently showed significant responses in all considered traits related to water balance: SLA was greater by 24 %; roots developed 19 % less starch storing tissue, an indicator for drought-stress tolerance; and vessel size distributions shifted towards wider elements that collectively conducted water 54 % more efficiently – but only during the years for which moisture was supplemented. In contrast, above-ground growth parameters showed insignificant or inconsistent responses. Conclusions The phenotypic changes documented represent consistent, dynamic responses to increased moisture availability that should increase plant competitive ability. The functional plasticity of xylem anatomy quantified in this study constitutes a mechanistic basis for anticipating the differential success of plant species in response to climate variability and change, particularly where water limitation occurs. PMID:22396436

  3. The Plasticity of Brain Gray Matter and White Matter following Lower Limb Amputation

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Guangyao; Yin, Xuntao; Li, Chuanming; Li, Lei; Zhao, Lu; Evans, Alan C.; Jiang, Tianzi; Wu, Jixiang; Wang, Jian

    2015-01-01

    Accumulating evidence has indicated that amputation induces functional reorganization in the sensory and motor cortices. However, the extent of structural changes after lower limb amputation in patients without phantom pain remains uncertain. We studied 17 adult patients with right lower limb amputation and 18 healthy control subjects using T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging. Cortical thickness and fractional anisotropy (FA) of white matter (WM) were investigated. In amputees, a thinning trend was seen in the left premotor cortex (PMC). Smaller clusters were also noted in the visual-to-motor regions. In addition, the amputees also exhibited a decreased FA in the right superior corona radiata and WM regions underlying the right temporal lobe and left PMC. Fiber tractography from these WM regions showed microstructural changes in the commissural fibers connecting the bilateral premotor cortices, compatible with the hypothesis that amputation can lead to a change in interhemispheric interactions. Finally, the lower limb amputees also displayed significant FA reduction in the right inferior frontooccipital fasciculus, which is negatively correlated with the time since amputation. In conclusion, our findings indicate that the amputation of lower limb could induce changes in the cortical representation of the missing limb and the underlying WM connections. PMID:26587289

  4. Graph analysis of functional brain networks: practical issues in translational neuroscience

    PubMed Central

    De Vico Fallani, Fabrizio; Richiardi, Jonas; Chavez, Mario; Achard, Sophie

    2014-01-01

    The brain can be regarded as a network: a connected system where nodes, or units, represent different specialized regions and links, or connections, represent communication pathways. From a functional perspective, communication is coded by temporal dependence between the activities of different brain areas. In the last decade, the abstract representation of the brain as a graph has allowed to visualize functional brain networks and describe their non-trivial topological properties in a compact and objective way. Nowadays, the use of graph analysis in translational neuroscience has become essential to quantify brain dysfunctions in terms of aberrant reconfiguration of functional brain networks. Despite its evident impact, graph analysis of functional brain networks is not a simple toolbox that can be blindly applied to brain signals. On the one hand, it requires the know-how of all the methodological steps of the pipeline that manipulate the input brain signals and extract the functional network properties. On the other hand, knowledge of the neural phenomenon under study is required to perform physiologically relevant analysis. The aim of this review is to provide practical indications to make sense of brain network analysis and contrast counterproductive attitudes. PMID:25180301

  5. FINAL REPORT FOR THE CONTRACT BETWEEN POC AND UCSD IMPACT OF INTERMITTENT LIGHT ON NORMAL BRAIN FUNCTION

    E-print Network

    Gorodnitsky, Irina

    FINAL REPORT FOR THE CONTRACT BETWEEN POC AND UCSD IMPACT OF INTERMITTENT LIGHT ON NORMAL BRAIN (blinking) photic stimulation (IPS) on the brain's intrinsic activity. It is well known that the brain that spontaneous rhythmic excitations occur naturally in the brain and are integrally tied to all brain functions

  6. Neuronal and Cognitive Plasticity: A Neurocognitive Framework for Ameliorating Cognitive Aging

    PubMed Central

    Greenwood, Pamela M.; Parasuraman, Raja

    2010-01-01

    What is the neurocognitive basis for the considerable individual differences observed in functioning of the adult mind and brain late in life? We review the evidence that in healthy old age the brain remains capable of both neuronal and cognitive plasticity, including in response to environmental and experiential factors. Neuronal plasticity (e.g., neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, cortical re-organization) refers to neuron-level changes that can be stimulated by experience. Cognitive plasticity (e.g., increased dependence on executive function) refers to adaptive changes in patterns of cognition related to brain activity. We hypothesize that successful cognitive aging requires interactions between these two forms of plasticity. Mechanisms of neural plasticity underpin cognitive plasticity and in turn, neural plasticity is stimulated by cognitive plasticity. We examine support for this hypothesis by considering evidence that neural plasticity is stimulated by learning and novelty and enhanced by both dietary manipulations (low-fat, dietary restriction) and aerobic exercise. We also examine evidence that cognitive plasticity is affected by education and training. This is a testable hypothesis which could be assessed in humans in randomized trials comparing separate and combined effects of cognitive training, exercise, and diet on measures of cognitive and brain integrity. Greater understanding of the factors influencing the course of cognitive aging and of the mechanisms underlying those factors could provide information on which people could base choices that improve their ability to age successfully. PMID:21151819

  7. Synaptic plasticity and functionality at the cone terminal of the developing zebrafish retina.

    PubMed

    Biehlmaier, Oliver; Neuhauss, Stephan C F; Kohler, Konrad

    2003-09-01

    Previous studies have analyzed photoreceptor development, some inner retina cell types, and specific neurotransmitters in the zebrafish retina. However, only minor attention has been paid to the morphology of the synaptic connection between photoreceptors and second order neurons even though it represents the transition from the light sensitive receptor to the neuronal network of the visual system. Here, we describe the appearance and differentiation of pre- and postsynaptic elements at cone synapses in the developing zebrafish retina together with the maturation of the directly connecting second order neurons and a dopaminergic third order feedback-neuron from the inner retina. Zebrafish larvae were examined at developmental stages from 2 to 7dpf (days postfertilization) and in the adult. Synaptic maturation at the photoreceptor terminals was examined with antibodies against synapse associated proteins. The appearance of synaptic plasticity at the so-called spinule-type synapses between cones and horizontal cells was assessed by electron microscopy, and the maturation of photoreceptor downstream connection was identified by immunocytochemistry for GluR4 (AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit), protein kinase beta(1) (mixed rod-cone bipolar cells), and tyrosine hydroxylase (dopaminergic interplexiform cells). We found that developing zebrafish retinas possess first synaptic structures at the cone terminal as early as 3.5dpf. Morphological maturation of these synapses at 3.5-4dpf, together with the presence of synapse associated proteins at 2.5dpf and the maturation of second order neurons by 5dpf, indicate functional synaptic connectivity and plasticity between the cones and their second order neurons already at 5dpf. However, the mere number of spinules and ribbons at 7dpf still remains below the adult values, indicating that synaptic functionality of the zebrafish retina is not entirely completed at this stage of development. PMID:12884262

  8. Functionally Enigmatic Genes: A Case Study of the Brain Ignorome

    PubMed Central

    Pandey, Ashutosh K.; Lu, Lu; Wang, Xusheng; Homayouni, Ramin; Williams, Robert W.

    2014-01-01

    What proportion of genes with intense and selective expression in specific tissues, cells, or systems are still almost completely uncharacterized with respect to biological function? In what ways do these functionally enigmatic genes differ from well-studied genes? To address these two questions, we devised a computational approach that defines so-called ignoromes. As proof of principle, we extracted and analyzed a large subset of genes with intense and selective expression in brain. We find that publications associated with this set are highly skewed—the top 5% of genes absorb 70% of the relevant literature. In contrast, approximately 20% of genes have essentially no neuroscience literature. Analysis of the ignorome over the past decade demonstrates that it is stubbornly persistent, and the rapid expansion of the neuroscience literature has not had the expected effect on numbers of these genes. Surprisingly, ignorome genes do not differ from well-studied genes in terms of connectivity in coexpression networks. Nor do they differ with respect to numbers of orthologs, paralogs, or protein domains. The major distinguishing characteristic between these sets of genes is date of discovery, early discovery being associated with greater research momentum—a genomic bandwagon effect. Finally we ask to what extent massive genomic, imaging, and phenotype data sets can be used to provide high-throughput functional annotation for an entire ignorome. In a majority of cases we have been able to extract and add significant information for these neglected genes. In several cases—ELMOD1, TMEM88B, and DZANK1—we have exploited sequence polymorphisms, large phenome data sets, and reverse genetic methods to evaluate the function of ignorome genes. PMID:24523945

  9. Methamphetamine effects on blood-brain barrier structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Northrop, Nicole A.; Yamamoto, Bryan K.

    2015-01-01

    Methamphetamine (Meth) is a widely abuse psychostimulant. Traditionally, studies have focused on the neurotoxic effects of Meth on monoaminergic neurotransmitter terminals. Recently, both in vitro and in vivo studies have investigated the effects of Meth on the BBB and found that Meth produces a decrease in BBB structural proteins and an increase in BBB permeability to various molecules. Moreover, preclinical studies are validated by clinical studies in which human Meth users have increased concentrations of toxins in the brain. Therefore, this review will focus on the structural and functional disruption of the BBB caused by Meth and the mechanisms that contribute to Meth-induced BBB disruption. The review will reveal that the mechanisms by which Meth damages dopamine and serotonin terminals are similar to the mechanisms by which the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is damaged. Furthermore, this review will cover the factors that are known to potentiate the effects of Meth (McCann et al., 1998) on the BBB, such as stress and HIV, both of which are co-morbid conditions associated with Meth abuse. Overall, the goal of this review is to demonstrate that the scope of damage produced by Meth goes beyond damage to monoaminergic neurotransmitter systems to include BBB disruption as well as provide a rationale for investigating therapeutics to treat Meth-induced BBB disruption. Since a breach of the BBB can have a multitude of consequences, therapies directed toward the treatment of BBB disruption may help to ameliorate the long-term neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits produced by Meth and possibly even Meth addiction. PMID:25788874

  10. DNA repair factor BRCA1 depletion occurs in Alzheimer brains and impairs cognitive function in mice

    PubMed Central

    Suberbielle, Elsa; Djukic, Biljana; Evans, Mark; Kim, Daniel H.; Taneja, Praveen; Wang, Xin; Finucane, Mariel; Knox, Joseph; Ho, Kaitlyn; Devidze, Nino; Masliah, Eliezer; Mucke, Lennart

    2015-01-01

    Maintaining DNA integrity is vital for all cells and organisms. Defective DNA repair may contribute to neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). We found reduced levels of BRCA1, but not of other DNA repair factors, in the brains of AD patients and human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP) transgenic mice. Amyloid-? oligomers reduced BRCA1 levels in primary neuronal cultures. In wild-type mice, knocking down neuronal BRCA1 in the dentate gyrus caused increased DNA double-strand breaks, neuronal shrinkage, synaptic plasticity impairments, and learning and memory deficits, but not apoptosis. Low levels of hAPP/Amyloid-? overexpression exacerbated these effects. Physiological neuronal activation increased BRCA1 levels, whereas stimulating predominantly extrasynaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors promoted the proteasomal degradation of BRCA1. We conclude that BRCA1 is regulated by neuronal activity, protects the neuronal genome, and critically supports neuronal integrity and cognitive functions. Pathological accumulation of A? depletes neuronal BRCA1, which may contribute to cognitive deficits in AD. PMID:26615780

  11. DNA repair factor BRCA1 depletion occurs in Alzheimer brains and impairs cognitive function in mice.

    PubMed

    Suberbielle, Elsa; Djukic, Biljana; Evans, Mark; Kim, Daniel H; Taneja, Praveen; Wang, Xin; Finucane, Mariel; Knox, Joseph; Ho, Kaitlyn; Devidze, Nino; Masliah, Eliezer; Mucke, Lennart

    2015-01-01

    Maintaining DNA integrity is vital for all cells and organisms. Defective DNA repair may contribute to neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). We found reduced levels of BRCA1, but not of other DNA repair factors, in the brains of AD patients and human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP) transgenic mice. Amyloid-? oligomers reduced BRCA1 levels in primary neuronal cultures. In wild-type mice, knocking down neuronal BRCA1 in the dentate gyrus caused increased DNA double-strand breaks, neuronal shrinkage, synaptic plasticity impairments, and learning and memory deficits, but not apoptosis. Low levels of hAPP/Amyloid-? overexpression exacerbated these effects. Physiological neuronal activation increased BRCA1 levels, whereas stimulating predominantly extrasynaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors promoted the proteasomal degradation of BRCA1. We conclude that BRCA1 is regulated by neuronal activity, protects the neuronal genome, and critically supports neuronal integrity and cognitive functions. Pathological accumulation of A? depletes neuronal BRCA1, which may contribute to cognitive deficits in AD. PMID:26615780

  12. The brain basis of language processing: from structure to function.

    PubMed

    Friederici, Angela D

    2011-10-01

    Language processing is a trait of human species. The knowledge about its neurobiological basis has been increased considerably over the past decades. Different brain regions in the left and right hemisphere have been identified to support particular language functions. Networks involving the temporal cortex and the inferior frontal cortex with a clear left lateralization were shown to support syntactic processes, whereas less lateralized temporo-frontal networks subserve semantic processes. These networks have been substantiated both by functional as well as by structural connectivity data. Electrophysiological measures indicate that within these networks syntactic processes of local structure building precede the assignment of grammatical and semantic relations in a sentence. Suprasegmental prosodic information overtly available in the acoustic language input is processed predominantly in a temporo-frontal network in the right hemisphere associated with a clear electrophysiological marker. Studies with patients suffering from lesions in the corpus callosum reveal that the posterior portion of this structure plays a crucial role in the interaction of syntactic and prosodic information during language processing. PMID:22013214

  13. Functional Brain Mapping in Freely Moving Rats During Treadmill Walking

    PubMed Central

    Holschneider, D. P.; Maarek, J.-M. I.; Yang, J.; Harimoto, J.; Scremin, O. U.

    2014-01-01

    Summary A dilemma in functional neuroimaging is that immobilization of the subject, necessary to avoid movement artifact, extinguishes all but the simplest behaviors. Recently, we developed an implantable microbolus infusion pump (MIP) that allows bolus injection of radiotracers by remote activation in freely moving, nontethered animals. The MIP is examined as a tool for brain mapping in rats during a locomotor task. Cerebral blood flow–related tissue radioactivity (CBF-TR) was measured using [14C]-iodoantipyrine with an indicator-fractionation method, followed by autoradiography. Rats exposed to walking on a treadmill, compared to quiescent controls, showed increases in CBF-TR in motor circuits (primary motor cortex, dorsolateral striatum, ventrolateral thalamus, midline cerebellum, copula pyramis, paramedian lobule), in primary somatosensory cortex mapping the forelimbs, hindlimbs and trunk, as well as in secondary visual cortex. These results support the use of implantable pumps as adjunct tools for functional neuroimaging of behaviors that cannot be elicited in restrained or tethered animals. PMID:12902836

  14. State-Dependent Changes of Connectivity Patterns and Functional Brain Network Topology in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barttfeld, Pablo; Wicker, Bruno; Cukier, Sebastian; Navarta, Silvana; Lew, Sergio; Leiguarda, Ramon; Sigman, Mariano

    2012-01-01

    Anatomical and functional brain studies have converged to the hypothesis that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are associated with atypical connectivity. Using a modified resting-state paradigm to drive subjects' attention, we provide evidence of a very marked interaction between ASD brain functional connectivity and cognitive state. We show that…

  15. Functional Brain Network Abnormalities during Verbal Working Memory Performance in Adolescents and Young Adults with Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Robert Christian; Sambataro, Fabio; Lohr, Christina; Steinbrink, Claudia; Martin, Claudia; Vasic, Nenad

    2010-01-01

    Behavioral and functional neuroimaging studies indicate deficits in verbal working memory (WM) and frontoparietal dysfunction in individuals with dyslexia. Additionally, structural brain abnormalities in dyslexics suggest a dysconnectivity of brain regions associated with phonological processing. However, little is known about the functional

  16. Mapping Language Function in the Brain: A Review of the Recent Literature.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crafton, Robert E.; Kido, Elissa

    2000-01-01

    Considers the potential importance of brain study for composition instruction, briefly describes functional imaging techniques, and reviews the findings of recent brain-mapping studies investigating the neurocognitive systems involved in language function. Presents a review of the recent literature and considers the possible implications of this…

  17. Changes in Connectivity after Visual Cortical Brain Damage Underlie Altered Visual Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bridge, Holly; Thomas, Owen; Jbabdi, Saad; Cowey, Alan

    2008-01-01

    The full extent of the brain's ability to compensate for damage or changed experience is yet to be established. One question particularly important for evaluating and understanding rehabilitation following brain damage is whether recovery involves new and aberrant neural connections or whether any change in function is due to the functional

  18. From the Left to the Right: How the Brain Compensates Progressive Loss of Language Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thiel, Alexander; Habedank, Birgit; Herholz, Karl; Kessler, Josef; Winhuisen, Lutz; Haupt, Walter F.; Heiss, Wolf-Dieter

    2006-01-01

    In normal right-handed subjects language production usually is a function of the left brain hemisphere. Patients with aphasia following brain damage to the left hemisphere have a considerable potential to compensate for the loss of this function. Sometimes, but not always, areas of the right hemisphere which are homologous to language areas of the…

  19. Meta-analytic approaches to mapping the brain, its functions and

    E-print Network

    Johansen, Adam

    Meta-analytic approaches to mapping the brain, its functions and connectivity Simon Eickhoff-specific findings Inference on brain function and pathomechanisms is based on a specific observed difference between Articles on Schizophrenia, Depression und Autism All report standardised results! There are many studies

  20. Dynamic brain architectures in local brain activity and functional network efficiency associate with efficient reading in bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Feng, Gangyi; Chen, Hsuan-Chih; Zhu, Zude; He, Yong; Wang, Suiping

    2015-10-01

    The human brain is organized as a dynamic network, in which both regional brain activity and inter-regional connectivity support high-level cognitive processes, such as reading. However, it is still largely unknown how the functional brain network organizes to enable fast and effortless reading processing in the native language (L1) but not in a non-proficient second language (L2), and whether the mechanisms underlying local activity are associated with connectivity dynamics in large-scale brain networks. In the present study, we combined activation-based and multivariate graph-theory analysis with functional magnetic resonance imaging data to address these questions. Chinese-English unbalanced bilinguals read narratives for comprehension in Chinese (L1) and in English (L2). Compared with L2, reading in L1 evoked greater brain activation and recruited a more globally efficient but less clustered network organization. Regions with both increased network efficiency and enhanced brain activation in L1 reading were mostly located in the fronto-temporal reading-related network (RN), whereas regions with decreased global network efficiency, increased clustering, and more deactivation in L2 reading were identified in the default mode network (DMN). Moreover, functional network efficiency was closely associated with local brain activation, and such associations were also modulated by reading efficiency in the two languages. Our results demonstrate that an economical and integrative brain network topology is associated with efficient reading, and further reveal a dynamic association between network efficiency and local activation for both RN and DMN. These findings underscore the importance of considering interregional connectivity when interpreting local BOLD signal changes in bilingual reading. PMID:26095088

  1. Functional brain network changes associated with clinical and biochemical measures of the severity of hepatic encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Jao, Tun; Schröter, Manuel; Chen, Chao-Long; Cheng, Yu-Fan; Lo, Chun-Yi Zac; Chou, Kun-Hsien; Patel, Ameera X; Lin, Wei-Che; Lin, Ching-Po; Bullmore, Edward T

    2015-11-15

    Functional properties of the brain may be associated with changes in complex brain networks. However, little is known about how properties of large-scale functional brain networks may be altered stepwise in patients with disturbance of consciousness, e.g., an encephalopathy. We used resting-state fMRI data on patients suffering from various degrees of hepatic encephalopathy (HE) to explore how topological and spatial network properties of functional brain networks changed at different cognitive and consciousness states. Severity of HE was measured clinically and by neuropsychological tests. Fifty-eight non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis patients and 62 normal controls were studied. Patients were subdivided into liver cirrhosis with no outstanding HE (NoHE, n=23), minimal HE with cognitive impairment only detectable by neuropsychological tests (MHE, n=28), and clinically overt HE (OHE, n=7). From the earliest stage, the NoHE, functional brain networks were progressively more random, less clustered, and less modular. Since the intermediate stage (MHE), increased ammonia level was accompanied by concomitant exponential decay of mean connectivity strength, especially in the primary cortical areas and midline brain structures. Finally, at the OHE stage, there were radical reorganization of the topological centrality-i.e., the relative importance-of the hubs and reorientation of functional connections between nodes. In summary, this study illustrated progressively greater abnormalities in functional brain network organization in patients with clinical and biochemical evidence of more severe hepatic encephalopathy. The early-than-expected brain network dysfunction in cirrhotic patients suggests that brain functional connectivity and network analysis may provide useful and complementary biomarkers for more aggressive and earlier intervention of hepatic encephalopathy. Moreover, the stepwise deterioration of functional brain networks in HE patients may suggest that hierarchical network properties are necessary for normal brain function. PMID:26236028

  2. Plasticity in functional traits in the context of climate change: a case study of the subalpine forb Boechera stricta (Brassicaceae).

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jill T; Gezon, Zachariah J

    2015-04-01

    Environmental variation often induces shifts in functional traits, yet we know little about whether plasticity will reduce extinction risks under climate change. As climate change proceeds, phenotypic plasticity could enable species with limited dispersal capacity to persist in situ, and migrating populations of other species to establish in new sites at higher elevations or latitudes. Alternatively, climate change could induce maladaptive plasticity, reducing fitness, and potentially stalling adaptation and migration. Here, we quantified plasticity in life history, foliar morphology, and ecophysiology in Boechera stricta (Brassicaceae), a perennial forb native to the Rocky Mountains. In this region, warming winters are reducing snowpack and warming springs are advancing the timing of snow melt. We hypothesized that traits that were historically advantageous in hot and dry, low-elevation locations will be favored at higher elevation sites due to climate change. To test this hypothesis, we quantified trait variation in natural populations across an elevational gradient. We then estimated plasticity and genetic variation in common gardens at two elevations. Finally, we tested whether climatic manipulations induce plasticity, with the prediction that plants exposed to early snow removal would resemble individuals from lower elevation populations. In natural populations, foliar morphology and ecophysiology varied with elevation in the predicted directions. In the common gardens, trait plasticity was generally concordant with phenotypic clines from the natural populations. Experimental snow removal advanced flowering phenology by 7 days, which is similar in magnitude to flowering time shifts over 2-3 decades of climate change. Therefore, snow manipulations in this system can be used to predict eco-evolutionary responses to global change. Snow removal also altered foliar morphology, but in unexpected ways. Extensive plasticity could buffer against immediate fitness declines due to changing climates. PMID:25470363

  3. Functional abnormalities in normally appearing athletes following mild traumatic brain injury: a functional MRI study.

    PubMed

    Slobounov, Semyon M; Zhang, K; Pennell, D; Ray, W; Johnson, B; Sebastianelli, W

    2010-04-01

    Memory problems are one of the most common symptoms of sport-related mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), known as concussion. Surprisingly, little research has examined spatial memory in concussed athletes given its importance in athletic environments. Here, we combine functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a virtual reality (VR) paradigm designed to investigate the possibility of residual functional deficits in recently concussed but asymptomatic individuals. Specifically, we report performance of spatial memory navigation tasks in a VR environment and fMRI data in 15 athletes suffering from MTBI and 15 neurologically normal, athletically active age matched controls. No differences in performance were observed between these two groups of subjects in terms of success rate (94 and 92%) and time to complete the spatial memory navigation tasks (mean = 19.5 and 19.7 s). Whole brain analysis revealed that similar brain activation patterns were observed during both encoding and retrieval among the groups. However, concussed athletes showed larger cortical networks with additional increases in activity outside of the shared region of interest (ROI) during encoding. Quantitative analysis of blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal revealed that concussed individuals had a significantly larger cluster size during encoding at parietal cortex, right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and right hippocampus. In addition, there was a significantly larger BOLD signal percent change at the right hippocampus. Neither cluster size nor BOLD signal percent change at shared ROIs was different between groups during retrieval. These major findings are discussed with respect to current hypotheses regarding the neural mechanism responsible for alteration of brain functions in a clinical setting. PMID:20039023

  4. Gene Risk Factors for Age-Related Brain Disorders May Affect Immune System Function

    MedlinePLUS

    ... factors for age-related brain disorders may affect immune system function June 17, 2014 Scientists have discovered gene ... risk factors for age-related neurological disorders to immune system functions, such as inflammation, offers new insights into ...

  5. Examining the Complex Regulation and Drug-Induced Plasticity of Dopamine Release and Uptake Using Voltammetry in Brain Slices

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Fast scan cyclic voltammetry in brain slices (slice voltammetry) has been used over the last several decades to increase substantially our understanding of the complex local regulation of dopamine release and uptake in the striatum. This technique is routinely used for the study of changes that occur in the dopamine system associated with various disease states and pharmacological treatments, and to study mechanisms of local circuitry regulation of dopamine terminal function. In the context of this Review, we compare the relative advantages of voltammetry using striatal slice preparations versus in vivo preparations, and highlight recent advances in our understanding of dopamine release and uptake in the striatum specifically from studies that use slice voltammetry in drug-naïve animals and animals with a history of psychostimulant self-administration. PMID:23581570

  6. Exploring Dynamic Brain Functional Networks Using Continuous “State-Related” Functional MRI

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xun; Zang, Yu-Feng; Zhang, Han

    2015-01-01

    We applied a “temporal decomposition” method, which decomposed a single brain functional network into several “modes”; each of them dominated a short temporal period, on a continuous, “state-” related, “finger-force feedback” functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment. With the hypothesis that attention and internal/external information processing interaction could be manipulated by different (real and sham) feedback conditions, we investigated functional network dynamics of the “default mode,” “executive control,” and sensorimotor networks. They were decomposed into several modes. During real feedback, the occurrence of “default mode-executive control competition-related” mode was higher than that during sham feedback (P = 0.0003); the “default mode-visual facilitation-related” mode more frequently appeared during sham than real feedback (P = 0.0004). However, the dynamics of the sensorimotor network did not change significantly between two conditions (P > 0.05). Our results indicated that the visual-guided motor feedback involves higher cognitive functional networks rather than primary motor network. The dynamics monitoring of inner and outside environment and multisensory integration could be the mechanisms. This study is an extension of our previous region-specific and static-styled study of our brain functional architecture. PMID:26413546

  7. Polysialic acid glycomimetic promotes functional recovery and plasticity after spinal cord injury in mice.

    PubMed

    Mehanna, Ali; Jakovcevski, Igor; Acar, Ay?e; Xiao, Meifang; Loers, Gabriele; Rougon, Geneviève; Irintchev, Andrey; Schachner, Melitta

    2010-01-01

    Regeneration after injury of the central nervous system is poor due to the abundance of molecules inhibiting axonal growth. Here we pursued to promote regeneration after thoracic spinal cord injury in young adult C57BL/6J mice using peptides which functionally mimic polysialic acid (PSA) and human natural killer cell-1 (HNK-1) glycan, carbohydrate epitopes known to promote neurite outgrowth in vitro. Subdural infusions were performed with an osmotic pump, over 2 weeks. When applied immediately after injury, the PSA mimetic and the combination of PSA and HNK-1 mimetics, but not the HNK-1 mimetic alone, improved functional recovery as assessed by locomotor rating and video-based motion analysis over a 6-week observation period. Better outcome in PSA mimetic-treated mice was associated with higher, as compared with control mice, numbers of cholinergic and glutamatergic terminals and monaminergic axons in the lumbar spinal cord, and better axonal myelination proximal to the injury site. In contrast to immediate post-traumatic application, the PSA mimetic treatment was ineffective when initiated 3 weeks after spinal cord injury. Our data suggest that PSA mimetic peptides can be efficient therapeutic tools improving, by augmenting plasticity, functional recovery when applied during the acute phase of spinal cord injury. PMID:19826404

  8. Sustained deep-tissue pain alters functional brain connectivity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jieun; Loggia, Marco L; Edwards, Robert R; Wasan, Ajay D; Gollub, Randy L; Napadow, Vitaly

    2013-08-01

    Recent functional brain connectivity studies have contributed to our understanding of the neurocircuitry supporting pain perception. However, evoked-pain connectivity studies have employed cutaneous and/or brief stimuli, which induce sensations that differ appreciably from the clinical pain experience. Sustained myofascial pain evoked by pressure cuff affords an excellent opportunity to evaluate functional connectivity change to more clinically relevant sustained deep-tissue pain. Connectivity in specific networks known to be modulated by evoked pain (sensorimotor, salience, dorsal attention, frontoparietal control, and default mode networks: SMN, SLN, DAN, FCN, and DMN) was evaluated with functional-connectivity magnetic resonance imaging, both at rest and during a sustained (6-minute) pain state in healthy adults. We found that pain was stable, with no significant changes of subjects' pain ratings over the stimulation period. Sustained pain reduced connectivity between the SMN and the contralateral leg primary sensorimotor (S1/M1) representation. Such SMN-S1/M1 connectivity decreases were also accompanied by and correlated with increased SLN-S1/M1 connectivity, suggesting recruitment of activated S1/M1 from SMN to SLN. Sustained pain also increased DAN connectivity to pain processing regions such as mid-cingulate cortex, posterior insula, and putamen. Moreover, greater connectivity during pain between contralateral S1/M1 and posterior insula, thalamus, putamen, and amygdala was associated with lower cuff pressures needed to reach the targeted pain sensation. These results demonstrate that sustained pain disrupts resting S1/M1 connectivity by shifting it to a network known to process stimulus salience. Furthermore, increased connectivity between S1/M1 and both sensory and affective processing areas may be an important contribution to interindividual differences in pain sensitivity. PMID:23718988

  9. A Developmental Switch for Hebbian Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Martens, Marijn B.; Celikel, Tansu; Tiesinga, Paul H. E.

    2015-01-01

    Hebbian forms of synaptic plasticity are required for the orderly development of sensory circuits in the brain and are powerful modulators of learning and memory in adulthood. During development, emergence of Hebbian plasticity leads to formation of functional circuits. By modeling the dynamics of neurotransmitter release during early postnatal cortical development we show that a developmentally regulated switch in vesicle exocytosis mode triggers associative (i.e. Hebbian) plasticity. Early in development spontaneous vesicle exocytosis (SVE), often considered as 'synaptic noise', is important for homogenization of synaptic weights and maintenance of synaptic weights in the appropriate dynamic range. Our results demonstrate that SVE has a permissive, whereas subsequent evoked vesicle exocytosis (EVE) has an instructive role in the expression of Hebbian plasticity. A timed onset for Hebbian plasticity can be achieved by switching from SVE to EVE and the balance between SVE and EVE can control the effective rate of Hebbian plasticity. We further show that this developmental switch in neurotransmitter release mode enables maturation of spike-timing dependent plasticity. A mis-timed or inadequate SVE to EVE switch may lead to malformation of brain networks thereby contributing to the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:26172394

  10. Fractal-based Correlation Analysis for Resting State Functional Connectivity of the Rat Brain in Functional MRI

    E-print Network

    Fractal-based Correlation Analysis for Resting State Functional Connectivity of the Rat Brain the brain s hemodynamic response to a stimulation. On' the other hand, the low-frequency spontaneous such that the wavelet correlation spectrum between long memory processes is scale-invariant over low frequency scales

  11. Brain-based Correlations Between Psychological Factors and Functional Dyspepsia

    PubMed Central

    Nan, Jiaofen; Liu, Jixin; Mu, Junya; Dun, Wanghuan; Zhang, Ming; Gong, Qiyong; Qin, Wei; Tian, Jie; Liang, Fanrong; Zeng, Fang

    2015-01-01

    Background/Aims Increasing evidence shows involvement of psychological disorders in functional dyspepsia (FD), but how psychological factors exert their influences upon FD remains largely unclear. The purpose of the present study was to explore the brain-based correlations of psychological factors and FD. Methods Based on Fluorine-18-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography, the altered cerebral glycometabolism was investigated in 40 FD patients compared with 20 healthy controls during resting state using statistical parametric mapping software. Results FD patients exhibited increased glucose metabolism in multiple regions relative to controls (P < 0.001, family-wise error corrected). After controlling for the dyspeptic symptoms, increased aberrations persisted within the insula, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), middle cingulate cortex (MCC) and middle frontal cortex (midFC), which was related to anxiety and depression score. Interestingly, FD patients without anxiety/depression symptoms also showed increased glycometabolism within the insula, ACC, MCC and midFC. Moreover, FD patients with anxiety/depression symptoms exhibited more significant hypermetabolism within the above 4 sites compared with patients without anxiety/depression symptoms. Conclusions Our results suggested that the altered cerebral glycometabolism may be in a vicious cycle of psychological vulnerabilities and increased gastrointestinal symptoms. PMID:25540947

  12. Astrocytes, Synapses and Brain Function: A Computational Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadkarni, Suhita

    2006-03-01

    Modulation of synaptic reliability is one of the leading mechanisms involved in long- term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) and therefore has implications in information processing in the brain. A recently discovered mechanism for modulating synaptic reliability critically involves recruitments of astrocytes - star- shaped cells that outnumber the neurons in most parts of the central nervous system. Astrocytes until recently were thought to be subordinate cells merely participating in supporting neuronal functions. New evidence, however, made available by advances in imaging technology has changed the way we envision the role of these cells in synaptic transmission and as modulator of neuronal excitability. We put forward a novel mathematical framework based on the biophysics of the bidirectional neuron-astrocyte interactions that quantitatively accounts for two distinct experimental manifestation of recruitment of astrocytes in synaptic transmission: a) transformation of a low fidelity synapse transforms into a high fidelity synapse and b) enhanced postsynaptic spontaneous currents when astrocytes are activated. Such a framework is not only useful for modeling neuronal dynamics in a realistic environment but also provides a conceptual basis for interpreting experiments. Based on this modeling framework, we explore the role of astrocytes for neuronal network behavior such as synchrony and correlations and compare with experimental data from cultured networks.

  13. State-dependent changes of connectivity patterns and functional brain network topology in autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Barttfeld, Pablo; Wicker, Bruno; Cukier, Sebastián; Navarta, Silvana; Lew, Sergio; Leiguarda, Ramón; Sigman, Mariano

    2012-12-01

    Anatomical and functional brain studies have converged to the hypothesis that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are associated with atypical connectivity. Using a modified resting-state paradigm to drive subjects' attention, we provide evidence of a very marked interaction between ASD brain functional connectivity and cognitive state. We show that functional connectivity changes in opposite ways in ASD and typicals as attention shifts from external world towards one's body generated information. Furthermore, ASD subject alter more markedly than typicals their connectivity across cognitive states. Using differences in brain connectivity across conditions, we ranked brain regions according to their classification power. Anterior insula and dorsal-anterior cingulate cortex were the regions that better characterize ASD differences with typical subjects across conditions, and this effect was modulated by ASD severity. These results pave the path for diagnosis of mental pathologies based on functional brain networks obtained from a library of mental states. PMID:23044278

  14. Modeling dynamic functional information flows on large-scale brain networks.

    PubMed

    Lv, Peili; Guo, Lei; Hu, Xintao; Li, Xiang; Jin, Changfeng; Han, Junwei; Li, Lingjiang; Liu, Tianming

    2013-01-01

    Growing evidence from the functional neuroimaging field suggests that human brain functions are realized via dynamic functional interactions on large-scale structural networks. Even in resting state, functional brain networks exhibit remarkable temporal dynamics. However, it has been rarely explored to computationally model such dynamic functional information flows on large-scale brain networks. In this paper, we present a novel computational framework to explore this problem using multimodal resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data. Basically, recent literature reports including our own studies have demonstrated that the resting state brain networks dynamically undergo a set of distinct brain states. Within each quasi-stable state, functional information flows from one set of structural brain nodes to other sets of nodes, which is analogous to the message package routing on the Internet from the source node to the destination. Therefore, based on the large-scale structural brain networks constructed from DTI data, we employ a dynamic programming strategy to infer functional information transition routines on structural networks, based on which hub routers that most frequently participate in these routines are identified. It is interesting that a majority of those hub routers are located within the default mode network (DMN), revealing a possible mechanism of the critical functional hub roles played by the DMN in resting state. Also, application of this framework on a post trauma stress disorder (PTSD) dataset demonstrated interesting difference in hub router distributions between PTSD patients and healthy controls. PMID:24579202

  15. Mismatch negativity, social cognition, and functional outcomes in patients after traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Hui-yan; Li, Qiang; Chen, Xi-ping; Tao, Lu-yang

    2015-01-01

    Mismatch negativity is generated automatically, and is an early monitoring indicator of neuronal integrity impairment and functional abnormality in patients with brain injury, leading to decline of cognitive function. Antipsychotic medication cannot affect mismatch negativity. The present study aimed to explore the relationships of mismatch negativity with neurocognition, daily life and social functional outcomes in patients after brain injury. Twelve patients with traumatic brain injury and 12 healthy controls were recruited in this study. We examined neurocognition with the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised China, and daily and social functional outcomes with the Activity of Daily Living Scale and Social Disability Screening Schedule, respectively. Mismatch negativity was analyzed from electroencephalogram recording. The results showed that mismatch negativity amplitudes decreased in patients with traumatic brain injury compared with healthy controls. Mismatch negativity amplitude was negatively correlated with measurements of neurocognition and positively correlated with functional outcomes in patients after traumatic brain injury. Further, the most significant positive correlations were found between mismatch negativity in the fronto-central region and measures of functional outcomes. The most significant positive correlations were also found between mismatch negativity at the FCz electrode and daily living function. Mismatch negativity amplitudes were extremely positively associated with Social Disability Screening Schedule scores at the Fz electrode in brain injury patients. These experimental findings suggest that mismatch negativity might efficiently reflect functional outcomes in patients after traumatic brain injury. PMID:26170824

  16. Bilingual brain organization: a functional magnetic resonance adaptation study.

    PubMed

    Klein, Denise; Zatorre, Robert J; Chen, Jen-Kai; Milner, Brenda; Crane, Joelle; Belin, Pascal; Bouffard, Marc

    2006-05-15

    We used functional magnetic resonance adaptation (fMRA) to examine whether intra-voxel functional specificity may be present for first (L1)- and second (L2)-language processing. We examined within- and across-language adaptation for spoken words in English-French bilinguals who had acquired their L2 after the age of 4 years. Subjects listened to words presented binaurally through earphones. In two control conditions (one for each language), six identical words were presented to obtain maximal adaptation. The remaining six conditions each consisted of five words that were identical followed by a sixth word that differed. There were thus a total of eight experimental conditions: no-change (sixth word identical to first five); a change in meaning (different final word in L1); a change in language (final item translated into L2); a change in meaning and language (different final word in L2). The same four conditions were presented in L2. The study also included a silent baseline. At the neural level, within- and across-language word changes resulted in release from adaptation. This was true for separate analyses of L1 and L2. We saw no evidence for greater recovery from adaptation in across-language relative to within-language conditions. While many brain regions were common to L1 and L2, we did observe differences in adaptation for forward translation (L1 to L2) as compared to backward translation (L2 to L1). The results support the idea that, at the lexical level, the neural substrates for L1 and L2 in bilinguals are shared, but with some populations of neurons within these shared regions showing language-specific responses. PMID:16460968

  17. Relationship Between Neurocognitive Function and Quality of Life After Whole-Brain Radiotherapy in Patients With Brain Metastasis

    SciTech Connect

    Li Jing; Bentzen, Soren M.; Li Jialiang; Renschler, Markus; Mehta, Minesh P.

    2008-05-01

    Purpose: To examine the relationship between neurocognitive function (NCF) and quality of life (QOL) in patients with brain metastases after whole-brain radiotherapy. Patients and Methods: A total of 208 patients from the whole-brain radiotherapy arm of a Phase III trial (PCI-P120-9801), who underwent regular NCF and QOL (ADL [activities of daily living] and FACT-Br [Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain-specific]) testing, were analyzed. Spearman's rank correlation was calculated between NCF and QOL, using each patient's own data, at each time point. To test the hypothesis that NCF declines before QOL changes, the predictive effect of NCF from previous visits on QOL was studied with a linear mixed-effects model. Neurocognitive function or QOL deterioration was defined relative to each patient's own baseline. Lead or lag time, defined as NCF deterioration before or after the date of QOL decline, respectively, was computed. Results: At baseline, all NCF tests showed statistically significant correlations with ADL, which became stronger at 4 months. A similar observation was made with FACT-Br. Neurocognitive function scores from previous visits predicted ADL (p < 0.05 for seven of eight tests) or FACT-Br. Scores on all eight NCF tests deteriorated before ADL decline (net lead time 9-153 days); and scores on six of eight NCF tests deteriorated before FACT-Br (net lead time 9-82 days). Conclusions: Neurocognitive function and QOL are correlated. Neurocognitive function scores from previous visits are predictive of QOL. Neurocognitive function deterioration precedes QOL decline. The sequential association between NCF and QOL decline suggests that delaying NCF deterioration is a worthwhile treatment goal in brain metastases patients.

  18. New Approaches for Studying Synaptic Development, Function, and Plasticity Using Drosophila as a Model System

    PubMed Central

    Frank, C. Andrew; Wang, Xinnan; Collins, Catherine A.; Rodal, Avital A.; Yuan, Quan; Verstreken, Patrik

    2013-01-01

    The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been established as a premier experimental model system for neuroscience research. These organisms are genetically tractable, yet their nervous systems are sufficiently complex to study diverse processes that are conserved across metazoans, including neural cell fate determination and migration, axon guidance, synaptogenesis and function, behavioral neurogenetics, and responses to neuronal injury. For several decades, Drosophila neuroscientists have taken advantage of a vast toolkit of genetic and molecular techniques to reveal fundamental principles of neuroscience illuminating to all systems, including the first behavioral mutants from Seymour Benzer's pioneering work in the 1960s and 1970s, the cloning of the first potassium channel in the 1980s, and the identification of the core genes that orchestrate axon guidance and circadian rhythms in the 1990s. Over the past decade, new tools and innovations in genetic, imaging, and electrophysiological technologies have enabled the visualization, in vivo, of dynamic processes in synapses with unprecedented resolution. We will review some of the fresh insights into synaptic development, function, and plasticity that have recently emerged in Drosophila with an emphasis on the unique advantages of this model system. PMID:24198346

  19. New approaches for studying synaptic development, function, and plasticity using Drosophila as a model system.

    PubMed

    Frank, C Andrew; Wang, Xinnan; Collins, Catherine A; Rodal, Avital A; Yuan, Quan; Verstreken, Patrik; Dickman, Dion K

    2013-11-01

    The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been established as a premier experimental model system for neuroscience research. These organisms are genetically tractable, yet their nervous systems are sufficiently complex to study diverse processes that are conserved across metazoans, including neural cell fate determination and migration, axon guidance, synaptogenesis and function, behavioral neurogenetics, and responses to neuronal injury. For several decades, Drosophila neuroscientists have taken advantage of a vast toolkit of genetic and molecular techniques to reveal fundamental principles of neuroscience illuminating to all systems, including the first behavioral mutants from Seymour Benzer's pioneering work in the 1960s and 1970s, the cloning of the first potassium channel in the 1980s, and the identification of the core genes that orchestrate axon guidance and circadian rhythms in the 1990s. Over the past decade, new tools and innovations in genetic, imaging, and electrophysiological technologies have enabled the visualization, in vivo, of dynamic processes in synapses with unprecedented resolution. We will review some of the fresh insights into synaptic development, function, and plasticity that have recently emerged in Drosophila with an emphasis on the unique advantages of this model system. PMID:24198346

  20. Prospective demonstration of brain plasticity after intensive abacus-based mental calculation training: An fMRI study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, C. L.; Wu, T. H.; Cheng, M. C.; Huang, Y. H.; Sheu, C. Y.; Hsieh, J. C.; Lee, J. S.

    2006-12-01

    Abacus-based mental calculation is a unique Chinese culture. The abacus experts can perform complex computations mentally with exceptionally fast speed and high accuracy. However, the neural bases of computation processing are not yet clearly known. This study used a BOLD contrast 3T fMRI system to explore the brain activation differences between abacus experts and non-expert subjects. All the acquired data were analyzed using SPM99 software. From the results, different ways of performing calculations between the two groups were seen. The experts tended to adopt efficient visuospatial/visuomotor strategy (bilateral parietal/frontal network) to process and retrieve all the intermediate and final results on the virtual abacus during calculation. By contrast, coordination of several networks (verbal, visuospatial processing and executive function) was required in the normal group to carry out arithmetic operations. Furthermore, more involvement of the visuomotor imagery processing (right dorsal premotor area) for imagining bead manipulation and low level use of the executive function (frontal-subcortical area) for launching the relatively time-consuming sequentially organized process was noted in the abacus expert group than in the non-expert group. We suggest that these findings may explain why abacus experts can reveal the exceptional computational skills compared to non-experts after intensive training.

  1. A novel brain partition highlights the modular skeleton shared by structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Diez, Ibai; Bonifazi, Paolo; Escudero, Iñaki; Mateos, Beatriz; Muñoz, Miguel A.; Stramaglia, Sebastiano; Cortes, Jesus M.

    2015-01-01

    Elucidating the intricate relationship between brain structure and function, both in healthy and pathological conditions, is a key challenge for modern neuroscience. Recent progress in neuroimaging has helped advance our understanding of this important issue, with diffusion images providing information about structural connectivity (SC) and functional magnetic resonance imaging shedding light on resting state functional connectivity (rsFC). Here, we adopt a systems approach, relying on modular hierarchical clustering, to study together SC and rsFC datasets gathered independently from healthy human subjects. Our novel approach allows us to find a common skeleton shared by structure and function from which a new, optimal, brain partition can be extracted. We describe the emerging common structure-function modules (SFMs) in detail and compare them with commonly employed anatomical or functional parcellations. Our results underline the strong correspondence between brain structure and resting-state dynamics as well as the emerging coherent organization of the human brain. PMID:26037235

  2. A novel brain partition highlights the modular skeleton shared by structure and function.

    PubMed

    Diez, Ibai; Bonifazi, Paolo; Escudero, Iñaki; Mateos, Beatriz; Muñoz, Miguel A; Stramaglia, Sebastiano; Cortes, Jesus M

    2015-01-01

    Elucidating the intricate relationship between brain structure and function, both in healthy and pathological conditions, is a key challenge for modern neuroscience. Recent progress in neuroimaging has helped advance our understanding of this important issue, with diffusion images providing information about structural connectivity (SC) and functional magnetic resonance imaging shedding light on resting state functional connectivity (rsFC). Here, we adopt a systems approach, relying on modular hierarchical clustering, to study together SC and rsFC datasets gathered independently from healthy human subjects. Our novel approach allows us to find a common skeleton shared by structure and function from which a new, optimal, brain partition can be extracted. We describe the emerging common structure-function modules (SFMs) in detail and compare them with commonly employed anatomical or functional parcellations. Our results underline the strong correspondence between brain structure and resting-state dynamics as well as the emerging coherent organization of the human brain. PMID:26037235

  3. Neurocognitive Function of Patients with Brain Metastasis Who Received Either Whole Brain Radiotherapy Plus Stereotactic Radiosurgery or Radiosurgery Alone

    SciTech Connect

    Aoyama, Hidefumi . E-mail: hao@radi.med.hokudai.ac.jp; Tago, Masao; Kato, Norio; Toyoda, Tatsuya; Kenjyo, Masahiro; Hirota, Saeko; Shioura, Hiroki; Inomata, Taisuke; Kunieda, Etsuo; Hayakawa, Kazushige; Nakagawa, Keiichi; Kobashi, Gen; Shirato, Hiroki

    2007-08-01

    Purpose: To determine how the omission of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) affects the neurocognitive function of patients with one to four brain metastases who have been treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). Methods and Materials: In a prospective randomized trial between WBRT+SRS and SRS alone for patients with one to four brain metastases, we assessed the neurocognitive function using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Of the 132 enrolled patients, MMSE scores were available for 110. Results: In the baseline MMSE analyses, statistically significant differences were observed for total tumor volume, extent of tumor edema, age, and Karnofsky performance status. Of the 92 patients who underwent the follow-up MMSE, 39 had a baseline MMSE score of {<=}27 (17 in the WBRT+SRS group and 22 in the SRS-alone group). Improvements of {>=}3 points in the MMSEs of 9 WBRT+SRS patients and 11 SRS-alone patients (p = 0.85) were observed. Of the 82 patients with a baseline MMSE score of {>=}27 or whose baseline MMSE score was {<=}26 but had improved to {>=}27 after the initial brain treatment, the 12-, 24-, and 36-month actuarial free rate of the 3-point drop in the MMSE was 76.1%, 68.5%, and 14.7% in the WBRT+SRS group and 59.3%, 51.9%, and 51.9% in the SRS-alone group, respectively. The average duration until deterioration was 16.5 months in the WBRT+SRS group and 7.6 months in the SRS-alone group (p = 0.05). Conclusion: The results of the present study have revealed that, for most brain metastatic patients, control of the brain tumor is the most important factor for stabilizing neurocognitive function. However, the long-term adverse effects of WBRT on neurocognitive function might not be negligible.

  4. Spatially Aggregated Multi-Class Pattern Classification in Functional MRI using Optimally Selected Functional Brain Areas

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Weili; Ackley, Elena S.; Martínez-Ramón, Manel; Posse, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    In previous works, boosting aggregation of classifier outputs from discrete brain areas has been demonstrated to reduce dimensionality, and improve the robustness and accuracy of fMRI classification. However, dimensionality reduction and classification of mixed activation patterns of multiple classes remain challenging. In the present study, the goals were (a) to reduce dimensionality by combining feature reduction at the voxel level and backward elimination of optimally aggregated classifiers at the region level, (b) to compare region selection for spatially aggregated classification using boosting and partial least squares regression methods and (c) to resolve mixed activation patterns using probabilistic prediction of individual tasks. Brain activation maps from interleaved visual, motor, auditory and cognitive tasks were segmented into 144 functional regions. Feature selection reduced the number of feature voxels by more than 50%, leaving 95 regions. The two aggregation approaches further reduced the number of regions to 30, resulting in more than 75% reduction of classification time and misclassification rates of less than 3%. Boosting and partial least squares (PLS) were compared to select the most discriminative and the most task correlated regions, respectively. Successful task prediction in mixed activation patterns was feasible within the first block of task activation in real time fMRI experiments. This methodology is suitable for sparsifying activation patterns in real-time fMRI and for neurofeedback from distributed networks of brain activation. PMID:22902471

  5. Laser technique for anatomical-functional study of the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez-Huerta, Laura; Hernandez, Adan; Ayala, Griselda; Marroquin, Javier; Silva, Adriana B.; Khotiaintsev, Konstantin S.; Svirid, Vladimir A.; Flores, Gonzalo; Khotiaintsev, Sergei N.

    1999-05-01

    The brain represents one of the most complex systems that we know yet. In its study, non-destructive methods -- in particular, behavioral studies play an important role. By alteration of brain functioning (e.g. by pharmacological means) and observation of consequent behavior changes an important information on brain organization and functioning is obtained. For inducing local alterations, permanent brain lesions are employed. However, for correct results this technique has to be quasi-non-destructive, i.e. not to affect the normal brain function. Hence, the lesions should be very small, accurate and applied precisely over the structure (e.g. the brain nucleus) of interest. These specifications are difficult to meet with the existing techniques for brain lesions -- specifically, neurotoxical, mechanical and electrical means because they result in too extensive damage. In this paper, we present new laser technique for quasi-non- destructive anatomical-functional mapping in vivo of the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) of the rat. The technique is based on producing of small-size, well-controlled laser- induced lesions over some areas of the MPFC. The anesthetized animals are subjected to stereotactic surgery and certain points of the MPFC are exposed the confined radiation of the 10 W cw CO2 laser. Subsequent behavioral changes observed in neonatal and adult animals as well as histological data prove effectiveness of this technology for anatomical- functional studies of the brain by areas, and as a treatment method for some pathologies.

  6. Changes in functional brain organization and behavioral correlations after rehabilitative therapy using a brain-computer interface

    PubMed Central

    Young, Brittany M.; Nigogosyan, Zack; Walton, Léo M.; Song, Jie; Nair, Veena A.; Grogan, Scott W.; Tyler, Mitchell E.; Edwards, Dorothy F.; Caldera, Kristin; Sattin, Justin A.; Williams, Justin C.; Prabhakaran, Vivek

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to examine the changes in task-related brain activity induced by rehabilitative therapy using brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies and whether these changes are relevant to functional gains achieved through the use of these therapies. Stroke patients with persistent upper-extremity motor deficits received interventional rehabilitation therapy using a closed-loop neurofeedback BCI device (n = 8) or no therapy (n = 6). Behavioral assessments using the Stroke Impact Scale, the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), and the Nine-Hole Peg Test (9-HPT) as well as task-based fMRI scans were conducted before, during, after, and 1 month after therapy administration or at analogous intervals in the absence of therapy. Laterality Index (LI) values during finger tapping of each hand were calculated for each time point and assessed for correlation with behavioral outcomes. Brain activity during finger tapping of each hand shifted over the course of BCI therapy, but not in the absence of therapy, to greater involvement of the non-lesioned hemisphere (and lesser involvement of the stroke-lesioned hemisphere) as measured by LI. Moreover, changes from baseline LI values during finger tapping of the impaired hand were correlated with gains in both objective and subjective behavioral measures. These findings suggest that the administration of interventional BCI therapy can induce differential changes in brain activity patterns between the lesioned and non-lesioned hemispheres and that these brain changes are associated with changes in specific motor functions. PMID:25076886

  7. Changes in functional brain organization and behavioral correlations after rehabilitative therapy using a brain-computer interface.

    PubMed

    Young, Brittany M; Nigogosyan, Zack; Walton, Léo M; Song, Jie; Nair, Veena A; Grogan, Scott W; Tyler, Mitchell E; Edwards, Dorothy F; Caldera, Kristin; Sattin, Justin A; Williams, Justin C; Prabhakaran, Vivek

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to examine the changes in task-related brain activity induced by rehabilitative therapy using brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies and whether these changes are relevant to functional gains achieved through the use of these therapies. Stroke patients with persistent upper-extremity motor deficits received interventional rehabilitation therapy using a closed-loop neurofeedback BCI device (n = 8) or no therapy (n = 6). Behavioral assessments using the Stroke Impact Scale, the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), and the Nine-Hole Peg Test (9-HPT) as well as task-based fMRI scans were conducted before, during, after, and 1 month after therapy administration or at analogous intervals in the absence of therapy. Laterality Index (LI) values during finger tapping of each hand were calculated for each time point and assessed for correlation with behavioral outcomes. Brain activity during finger tapping of each hand shifted over the course of BCI therapy, but not in the absence of therapy, to greater involvement of the non-lesioned hemisphere (and lesser involvement of the stroke-lesioned hemisphere) as measured by LI. Moreover, changes from baseline LI values during finger tapping of the impaired hand were correlated with gains in both objective and subjective behavioral measures. These findings suggest that the administration of interventional BCI therapy can induce differential changes in brain activity patterns between the lesioned and non-lesioned hemispheres and that these brain changes are associated with changes in specific motor functions. PMID:25076886

  8. A Brain-Wide Study of Age-Related Changes in Functional Connectivity.

    PubMed

    Geerligs, Linda; Renken, Remco J; Saliasi, Emi; Maurits, Natasha M; Lorist, Monicque M

    2015-07-01

    Aging affects functional connectivity between brain areas, however, a complete picture of how aging affects integration of information within and between functional networks is missing. We used complex network measures, derived from a brain-wide graph, to provide a comprehensive overview of age-related changes in functional connectivity. Functional connectivity in young and older participants was assessed during resting-state fMRI. The results show that aging has a large impact, not only on connectivity within functional networks but also on connectivity between the different functional networks in the brain. Brain networks in the elderly showed decreased modularity (less distinct functional networks) and decreased local efficiency. Connectivity decreased with age within networks supporting higher level cognitive functions, that is, within the default mode, cingulo-opercular and fronto-parietal control networks. Conversely, no changes in connectivity within the somatomotor and visual networks, networks implicated in primary information processing, were observed. Connectivity between these networks even increased with age. A brain-wide analysis approach of functional connectivity in the aging brain thus seems fundamental in understanding how age affects integration of information. PMID:24532319

  9. Integration of visual and motor functional streams in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Sepulcre, Jorge

    2014-05-01

    A long-standing difficulty in brain research has been to disentangle how information flows across circuits composed by multiple local and distant cerebral areas. At the large-scale level, several brain imaging methods have contributed to the understanding of those circuits by capturing the covariance or coupling patterns of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activity between distributed brain regions. The hypothesis is that underlying information processes are closely associated to synchronized brain activity, and therefore to the functional connectivity structure of the human brain. In this study, we have used a recently developed method called stepwise functional connectivity analysis. Our results show that motor and visual connectivity merge in a multimodal integration network that links together perception, action and cognition in the human functional connectome. PMID:24699175

  10. Functional Brain Imaging and the Neural Basis for Voiding Dysfunction in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Smith, Phillip P; Kuchel, George A; Griffiths, Derek

    2015-11-01

    Brain abnormalities may contribute to the increased prevalence of urinary dysfunction such as overactive bladder and urge incontinence in older individuals. Functional brain imaging suggests that 3 independent neural circuits (frontal, midcingulate, and subcortical) control voiding by suppressing the voiding reflex in the brainstem periaqueductal gray. Damage to the connecting pathways subserving these circuits (white matter hyperintensities) increases with age and is associated both with severity of urge incontinence and changes in brain function. Multicomponent therapies targeting structural and functional neural abnormalities may be more effective than any single treatment focused on the bladder. PMID:26476115

  11. Weighted Functional Brain Network Modeling via Network Filtration

    E-print Network

    Chung, Moo K.

    the local and global differences of the brain networks of 24 attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), 26 autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 11 pediatric control (PedCon) children ob- tained through

  12. The Effects of Long Duration Bed Rest on Brain Functional Connectivity and Sensorimotor Functioning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassady, K.; Koppelmans, V.; De Dios, Y.; Stepanyan, V.; Szecsy, D.; Gadd, N.; Wood, S.; Reuter-Lorenz, P.; Castenada, R. Riascos; Kofman, I.; Bloomberg, J.; Mulavara, A; Seidler, R.

    2016-01-01

    Long duration spaceflight has been associated with detrimental alterations in human sensorimotor functioning. Prolonged exposure to a head-down tilt (HDT) position during long duration bed rest can resemble several effects of the microgravity environment such as reduced sensory inputs, body unloading and increased cephalic fluid distribution. The question of whether microgravity affects other central nervous system functions such as brain functional connectivity and its relationship with behavior is largely unknown, but of importance to the health and performance of astronauts both during and post-flight. In the present study, we investigate the effects of prolonged exposure to HDT bed rest on resting state brain functional connectivity and its association with behavioral changes in 17 male participants. To validate that our findings were not due to confounding factors such as time or task practice, we also acquired resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and behavioral measurements from 14 normative control participants at four time points. Bed rest participants remained in bed with their heads tilted down six degrees below their feet for 70 consecutive days. Rs-fMRI and behavioral data were obtained at seven time points averaging around: 12 and 8 days prior to bed rest; 7, 50, and 70 days during bed rest; and 8 and 12 days after bed rest. 70 days of HDT bed rest resulted in significant increases in functional connectivity during bed rest followed by a reversal of changes in the post bed rest recovery period between motor cortical and somatosensory areas of the brain. In contrast, decreases in connectivity were observed between temporoparietal regions. Furthermore, post-hoc correlation analyses revealed a significant relationship between motor-somatosensory network connectivity and standing balance performance changes; participants that exhibited the greatest increases in connectivity strength showed the least deterioration in postural equilibrium with HDT bed rest. This suggests that neuroplastic processes may facilitate adaptation to the HDT bed rest environment. The findings from this study provide novel insights into the neurobiology and future risk assessments of long-duration spaceflight.

  13. Effects of a 60 Hz Magnetic Field Exposure Up to 3000 ?T on Human Brain Activation as Measured by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Legros, Alexandre; Modolo, Julien; Brown, Samantha; Roberston, John; Thomas, Alex W.

    2015-01-01

    Several aspects of the human nervous system and associated motor and cognitive processes have been reported to be modulated by extremely low-frequency (ELF, < 300 Hz) time-varying Magnetic Fields (MF). Due do their worldwide prevalence; power-line frequencies (60 Hz in North America) are of particular interest. Despite intense research efforts over the last few decades, the potential effects of 60 Hz MF still need to be elucidated, and the underlying mechanisms to be understood. In this study, we have used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to characterize potential changes in functional brain activation following human exposure to a 60 Hz MF through motor and cognitive tasks. First, pilot results acquired in a first set of subjects (N=9) were used to demonstrate the technical feasibility of using fMRI to detect subtle changes in functional brain activation with 60 Hz MF exposure at 1800 ?T. Second, a full study involving a larger cohort of subjects tested brain activation during 1) a finger tapping task (N=20), and 2) a mental rotation task (N=21); before and after a one-hour, 60 Hz, 3000 ?T MF exposure. The results indicate significant changes in task-induced functional brain activation as a consequence of MF exposure. However, no impact on task performance was found. These results illustrate the potential of using fMRI to identify MF-induced changes in functional brain activation, suggesting that a one-hour 60 Hz, 3000 ?T MF exposure can modulate activity in specific brain regions after the end of the exposure period (i.e., residual effects). We discuss the possibility that MF exposure at 60 Hz, 3000 ?T may be capable of modulating cortical excitability via a modulation of synaptic plasticity processes. PMID:26214312

  14. Functional Connectivity MRI in Infants: Exploration of the Functional Organization of the Developing Brain

    PubMed Central

    Smyser, Christopher D.; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Neil, Jeffrey J.

    2011-01-01

    Advanced neuroimaging techniques have been increasingly applied to the study of preterm and term infants in an effort to further define the functional cerebral architecture of the developing brain. Despite improved understanding of the complex relationship between structure and function obtained through these investigations, significant questions remain regarding the nature, location, and timing of the maturational changes which occur during early development. Functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) utilizes spontaneous, low frequency (< 0.1 Hz), coherent fluctuations in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal to identify networks of functional cerebral connections. Due to the intrinsic characteristics of its image acquisition and analysis, fcMRI offers a novel neuroimaging approach well suited to investigation of infants. Recently, this methodology has been successfully applied to examine neonatal populations, defining normative patterns of large-scale neural network development in the maturing brain. The resting-state networks (RSNs) identified in these studies reflect the evolving cerebral structural architecture, presumably driven by varied genetic and environmental influences. Principal features of these investigations and their role in characterization of the tenets of neural network development during this critical developmental period are highlighted in this review. Despite these successes, optimal methods for fcMRI data acquisition and analysis for this population have not yet been defined. Further, appropriate schemes for interpretation and translation of fcMRI results remain unknown, a matter of increasing importance as functional neuroimaging findings are progressively applied in the clinical arena. Notwithstanding these concerns, fcMRI provides insight into the earliest forms of cerebral connectivity and therefore holds great promise for future neurodevelopmental investigations. PMID:21376813

  15. Young Children's Changing Conceptualizations of Brain Function: Implications for Teaching Neuroscience in Early Elementary Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Peter J.; Comalli, Christina E.

    2012-01-01

    Research Findings: Two exploratory studies explored young children's views of brain function and whether these views can be modified through exposure to a brief classroom intervention. In Study 1, children aged 4-13 years reported that the brain is used for "thinking," although older children were more likely than younger children to also endorse…

  16. Fusion of Functional Brain Imaging Modalities using L-Norms Signal Reconstruction YAROSLAV O. HALCHENKO

    E-print Network

    Bucci, David J.

    RUMBA Rutgers University Mind Brain Analysis Fusion of Functional Brain Imaging Modalities using L-Norms-error (l2 norm) minimization leads to the best estimator in case of Gaussian data noise, absolute error (l1 norm) minimization can lead to a more robust solution in the presence of outliers. This fact lead us

  17. Integrating Functional Brain Neuroimaging and Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in Child Psychiatry Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pavuluri, Mani N.; Sweeney, John A.

    2008-01-01

    The use of cognitive neuroscience and functional brain neuroimaging to understand brain dysfunction in pediatric psychiatric disorders is discussed. Results show that bipolar youths demonstrate impairment in affective and cognitive neural systems and in these two circuits' interface. Implications for the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric…

  18. Protein plasticity underlines activation and function of ATP-independent chaperones

    PubMed Central

    Suss, Ohad; Reichmann, Dana

    2015-01-01

    One of the key issues in biology is to understand how cells cope with protein unfolding caused by changes in their environment. Self-protection is the natural immediate response to any sudden threat and for cells the critical issue is to prevent aggregation of existing proteins. Cellular response to stress is therefore indistinguishably linked to molecular chaperones, which are the first line of defense and function to efficiently recognize misfolded proteins and prevent their aggregation. One of the major protein families that act as cellular guards includes a group of ATP-independent chaperones, which facilitate protein folding without the consumption of ATP. This review will present fascinating insights into the diversity of ATP-independent chaperones, and the variety of mechanisms by which structural plasticity is utilized in the fine-tuning of chaperone activity, as well as in crosstalk within the proteostasis network. Research into this intriguing class of chaperones has introduced new concepts of stress response to a changing cellular environment, and paved the way to uncover how this environment affects protein folding. PMID:26284255

  19. Associations between Level and Change in Physical Function and Brain Volumes

    PubMed Central

    Bastin, Mark E.; del Carmen Valdés Hernández, Maria; Murray, Catherine; Royle, Natalie A.; Muñoz Maniega, Susana; Starr, John M.; Deary, Ian J.; Wardlaw, Joanna M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Higher levels of fitness or physical function are positively associated with cognitive outcomes but the potential underlying mechanisms via brain structure are still to be elucidated in detail. We examined associations between brain structure and physical function (contemporaneous and change over the previous three years) in community-dwelling older adults. Methodology/Principal Findings Participants from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (N=694) underwent brain MRI at age 73 years to assess intracranial volume, and the volumes of total brain tissue, ventricles, grey matter, normal-appearing white matter, and white matter lesions. At ages 70 and 73, physical function was assessed by 6-meter walk, grip strength, and forced expiratory volume. A summary ‘physical function factor’ was derived from the individual measures using principal components analysis. Performance on each individual physical function measure declined across the three year interval (p<0.001). Higher level of physical function at ages 70 and 73 was associated with larger total brain tissue and white matter volumes, and smaller ventricular and white matter lesion volumes (standardized ? ranged in magnitude from 0.07 to 0.17, p<0.001 to 0.034). Decline in physical function from age 70 to 73 was associated with smaller white matter volume (0.08, p<0.01, though not after correction for multiple testing), but not with any other brain volumetric measurements. Conclusions/Significance Physical function was related to brain volumes in community-dwelling older adults: declining physical function was associated with less white matter tissue. Further study is required to explore the detailed mechanisms through which physical function might influence brain structure, and vice versa. PMID:24265818

  20. Deep-Brain Electrical Microstimulation Is an Effective Tool to Explore Functional Characteristics of Somatosensory Neurons in the Rat Brain

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Han-Jia; Chen, Kuang-Hsuan; Jaw, Fu-Shan

    2015-01-01

    In neurophysiology researches, peripheral stimulation is used along with recordings of neural activities to study the processing of somatosensory signals in the brain. However, limited precision of peripheral stimulation makes it difficult to activate the neuron with millisecond resolution and study its functional properties in this scale. Also, tissue/receptor damage that could occur in some experiments often limits the amount of responses that can be recorded and hence reduces data reproducibility. To overcome these limitations, electrical microstimulation (ES) of the brain could be used to directly and more precisely evoke neural responses. For this purpose, a deep-brain ES protocol for rat somatosensory relay neurons was developed in this study. Three male Wistar rats were used in the experiment. The ES was applied to the thalamic region responsive to hindpaw tactile stimulation (TS) via a theta glass microelectrode. The resulting ES-evoked cortical responses showed action potentials and thalamocortical relay latencies very similar to those evoked by TS. This result shows that the developed deep-brain ES protocol is an effective tool to bypass peripheral tissue for in vivo functional analysis of specific types of somatosensory neurons. This protocol could be readily applied in researches of nociception and other somatosensory systems to allow more extensive exploration of the neural functional networks. PMID:25695538

  1. Structural plasticity of remote cortical brain regions is determined by connectivity to the primary lesion in subcortical stroke.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Bastian; Schulz, Robert; Bönstrup, Marlene; Hummel, Friedhelm C; Sedlacik, Jan; Fiehler, Jens; Gerloff, Christian; Thomalla, Götz

    2015-09-01

    Cortical atrophy as demonstrated by measurement of cortical thickness (CT) is a hallmark of various neurodegenerative diseases. In the wake of an acute ischemic stroke, brain architecture undergoes dynamic changes that can be tracked by structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies as soon as 3 months after stroke. In this study, we measured changes of CT in cortical areas connected to subcortical stroke lesions in 12 patients with upper extremity paresis combining white-matter tractography and semi-automatic measurement of CT using the Freesurfer software. Three months after stroke, a significant decrease in CT of -2.6% (median, upper/lower boundary of 95% confidence interval -4.1%/-1.1%) was detected in areas connected to ischemic lesions, whereas CT in unconnected cortical areas remained largely unchanged. A cluster of significant cortical thinning was detected in the superior frontal gyrus of the stroke hemisphere using a surface-based general linear model correcting for multiple comparisons. There was no significant correlation of changes in CT with clinical outcome parameters. Our results show a specific impact of subcortical lesions on distant, yet connected cortical areas explainable by secondary neuro-axonal degeneration of distant areas. PMID:25920957

  2. Characteristics of Brains in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Structure, Function and Connectivity across the Lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Ha, Sungji; Sohn, In-Jung; Kim, Namwook; Sim, Hyeon Jeong