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Sample records for functional brain plasticity

  1. Strengthening connections: functional connectivity and brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Clare; Castellanos, F. Xavier

    2014-01-01

    The ascendancy of functional neuroimaging has facilitated the addition of network-based approaches to the neuropsychologist’s toolbox for evaluating the sequelae of brain insult. In particular, intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) mapping of resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) data constitutes an ideal approach to measuring macro-scale networks in the human brain. Beyond the value of iFC mapping for charting how the functional topography of the brain is altered by insult and injury, iFC analyses can provide insights into effects of experience-dependent plasticity at the macro level of large-scale functional networks. Such insights are foundational to the design of training and remediation interventions that will best facilitate recovery of function. In this review, we consider what is currently known about the origin and function of iFC in the brain, and how this knowledge is informative in neuropsychological settings. We then summarize studies that have examined experience-driven plasticity of iFC in healthy control participants, and frame these findings in terms of a schema that may aid in the interpretation of results and the generation of hypothesis for rehabilitative studies. Finally, we outline some caveats to the R-fMRI approach, as well as some current developments that are likely to bolster the utility of the iFC paradigm for neuropsychology. PMID:24496903

  2. 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

  3. Narrative Skill in Children with Early Unilateral Brain Injury: A Possible Limit to Functional Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demir, Ozlem Ece; Levine, Susan C.; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2010-01-01

    Children with pre- or perinatal brain injury (PL) exhibit marked plasticity for language learning. Previous work has focused mostly on the emergence of earlier-developing skills, such as vocabulary and syntax. Here we ask whether this plasticity for earlier-developing aspects of language extends to more complex, later-developing language functions…

  4. Imaging brain plasticity after trauma

    PubMed Central

    Kou, Zhifeng; Iraji, Armin

    2014-01-01

    The brain is highly plastic after stroke or epilepsy; however, there is a paucity of brain plasticity investigation after traumatic brain injury (TBI). This mini review summarizes the most recent evidence of brain plasticity in human TBI patients from the perspective of advanced magnetic resonance imaging. Similar to other forms of acquired brain injury, TBI patients also demonstrated both structural reorganization as well as functional compensation by the recruitment of other brain regions. However, the large scale brain network alterations after TBI are still unknown, and the field is still short of proper means on how to guide the choice of TBI rehabilitation or treatment plan to promote brain plasticity. The authors also point out the new direction of brain plasticity investigation. PMID:25206874

  5. 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.

  6. Investigating brain functional evolution and plasticity using microelectrode array technology.

    PubMed

    Napoli, Alessandro; Obeid, Iyad

    2015-10-01

    The aim of this work was to investigate long and short-term plasticity responsible for memory formation in dissociated neuronal networks. In order to address this issue, a set of experiments was designed and implemented in which the microelectrode array electrode grid was divided into four quadrants, two of which were chronically stimulated, every two days for one hour with a stimulation paradigm that varied over time. Overall network and quadrant responses were then analyzed to quantify what level of plasticity took place in the network and how this was due to the stimulation interruption. The results demonstrate that there were no spatial differences in the stimulus-evoked activity within quadrants. Furthermore, the implemented stimulation protocol induced depression effects in the neuronal networks as demonstrated by the consistently lower network activity following stimulation sessions. Finally, the analysis demonstrated that the inhibitory effects of the stimulation decreased over time, thus suggesting a habituation phenomenon. These findings are sufficient to conclude that electrical stimulation is an important tool to interact with dissociated neuronal cultures, but localized stimuli are not enough to drive spatial synaptic potentiation or depression. On the contrary, the ability to modulate synaptic temporal plasticity was a feasible task to achieve by chronic network stimulation. PMID:26476356

  7. 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

  8. Plasticity in the developing brain: intellectual, language and academic functions in children with ischaemic perinatal stroke.

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

    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 matures. This study aimed to examine the stability of intellectual, academic and language functioning during development in children with perinatal stroke, and to resolve the inconsistencies raised in previous studies. Participants were 29 pre-school to school-age children with documented unilateral ischaemic perinatal stroke and 24 controls. Longitudinal testing of intellectual and cognitive abilities was conducted at two time points. Study 1 examined IQ, academic skills and language functions using the same test version over the test-retest interval. Study 2 examined IQ over a longer test-retest interval (pre-school to school-age), and utilized different test versions. This study has resulted in important new findings. There is no evidence of decline in cognitive function over time in children with perinatal unilateral brain damage. These results indicate that there is sufficient ongoing plasticity in the developing brain following early focal damage to result in the stability of cognitive functions over time. Also, the presence of seizures limits plasticity such that there is not only significantly lower performance on intellectual and language measures in the seizure group (Study 1), but the course of cognitive development is significantly altered (as shown in Study 2). This study provides information to support the notion of functional plasticity in the developing brain; yields much-needed clarification in the literature of prognosis in children with early ischaemic perinatal stroke; provides evidence that seizures limit plasticity during development; and avoids many of the confounds in prior studies. A greater understanding of how children with ischaemic perinatal stroke fare over time is particularly important, as there has been conflicting information regarding prognosis for this population. It appears that when damage is sustained very early in brain development, cerebral functional reorganization acts to sustain a stable rate of development over time. PMID:18697910

  9. 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

  10. Narrative Skill in Children with Early Unilateral Brain Injury: A Possible Limit to Functional Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Demir, Özlem Ece; Levine, Susan C.; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2009-01-01

    Children with pre- or perinatal brain injury (PL) exhibit marked plasticity for language learning. Previous work mostly focused on the emergence of earlier developing skills, such as vocabulary and syntax. Here we ask whether this plasticity for earlier developing aspects of language extends to more complex, later-developing language functions by examining the narrative production of children with PL. Using an elicitation technique that involves asking children to create stories de novo in response to a story stem, we collected narratives from 11 children with PL and 20 typically-developing (TD) children. Narratives were analyzed for length, diversity of the vocabulary used, use of complex syntax, complexity of the macro-level narrative structure and use of narrative evaluation. Children’s language performance on vocabulary and syntax tasks outside of the narrative context was also measured. Findings show that children with PL produced shorter stories, used less diverse vocabulary, produced structurally less complex stories at the macro-level, and made fewer inferences regarding the cognitive states of the story characters. These differences in the narrative task emerged even though children with PL did not differ from TD children on vocabulary and syntax tasks outside of the narrative context. Thus, findings suggest that there may be limitations to the plasticity for language functions displayed by children with PL, and that these limitations may be most apparent in complex, decontextualized language tasks such as narrative production. PMID:20590727

  11. Psychotherapy and brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Collerton, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, I will review why psychotherapy is relevant to the question of how consciousness relates to brain plasticity. A great deal of the research and theorizing on consciousness and the brain, including my own on hallucinations for example (Collerton and Perry, 2011) has focused upon specific changes in conscious content which can be related to temporal changes in restricted brain systems. I will argue that psychotherapy, in contrast, allows only a focus on holistic aspects of consciousness; an emphasis which may usefully complement what can be learnt from more specific methodologies. PMID:24046752

  12. 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…

  13. Functional and anatomical basis for brain plasticity in facial palsy rehabilitation using the masseteric nerve.

    PubMed

    Buendia, Javier; Loayza, Francis R; Luis, Elkin O; Celorrio, Marta; Pastor, Maria A; Hontanilla, Bernardo

    2016-03-01

    Several techniques have been described for smile restoration after facial nerve paralysis. When a nerve other than the contralateral facial nerve is used to restore the smile, some controversy appears because of the nonphysiological mechanism of smile recovering. Different authors have reported natural results with the masseter nerve. The physiological pathways which determine whether this is achieved continue to remain unclear. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, brain activation pattern measuring blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal during smiling and jaw clenching was recorded in a group of 24 healthy subjects (11 females). Effective connectivity of premotor regions was also compared in both tasks. The brain activation pattern was similar for smile and jaw-clenching tasks. Smile activations showed topographic overlap though more extended for smile than clenching. Gender comparisons during facial movements, according to kinematics and BOLD signal, did not reveal significant differences. Effective connectivity results of psychophysiological interaction (PPI) from the same seeds located in bilateral facial premotor regions showed significant task and gender differences (p < 0.001). The hypothesis of brain plasticity between the facial nerve and masseter nerve areas is supported by the broad cortical overlap in the representation of facial and masseter muscles. PMID:26683008

  14. Brain Plasticity and Behaviour in the Developing Brain

    PubMed Central

    Kolb, Bryan; Gibb, Robbin

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To review general principles of brain development, identify basic principles of brain plasticity, and discuss factors that influence brain development and plasticity. Method: A literature review of relevant English-language manuscripts on brain development and plasticity was conducted. Results: Brain development progresses through a series of stages beginning with neurogenesis and progressing to neural migration, maturation, synaptogenesis, pruning, and myelin formation. Eight basic principles of brain plasticity are identified. Evidence that brain development and function is influenced by different environmental events such as sensory stimuli, psychoactive drugs, gonadal hormones, parental-child relationships, peer relationships, early stress, intestinal flora, and diet. Conclusions: The development of the brain reflects more than the simple unfolding of a genetic blueprint but rather reflects a complex dance of genetic and experiential factors that shape the emerging brain. Understanding the dance provides insight into both normal and abnormal development. PMID:22114608

  15. Using brain-computer interfaces to induce neural plasticity and restore function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosse-Wentrup, Moritz; Mattia, Donatella; Oweiss, Karim

    2011-04-01

    Analyzing neural signals and providing feedback in realtime is one of the core characteristics of a brain-computer interface (BCI). As this feature may be employed to induce neural plasticity, utilizing BCI technology for therapeutic purposes is increasingly gaining popularity in the BCI community. In this paper, we discuss the state-of-the-art of research on this topic, address the principles of and challenges in inducing neural plasticity by means of a BCI, and delineate the problems of study design and outcome evaluation arising in this context. We conclude with a list of open questions and recommendations for future research in this field.

  16. Motor Network Plasticity and Low-Frequency Oscillations Abnormalities in Patients with Brain Gliomas: A Functional MRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Chen; Zhang, Ming; Min, Zhigang; Rana, Netra; Zhang, Qiuli; Liu, Xin; Li, Min; Lin, Pan

    2014-01-01

    Brain plasticity is often associated with the process of slow-growing tumor formation, which remodels neural organization and optimizes brain network function. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether motor function plasticity would display deficits in patients with slow-growing brain tumors located in or near motor areas, but who were without motor neurological deficits. We used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to probe motor networks in 15 patients with histopathologically confirmed brain gliomas and 15 age-matched healthy controls. All subjects performed a motor task to help identify individual motor activity in the bilateral primary motor cortex (PMC) and supplementary motor area (SMA). Frequency-based analysis at three different frequencies was then used to investigate possible alterations in the power spectral density (PSD) of low-frequency oscillations. For each group, the average PSD was determined for each brain region and a nonparametric test was performed to determine the difference in power between the two groups. Significantly reduced inter-hemispheric functional connectivity between the left and right PMC was observed in patients compared with controls (P<0.05). We also found significantly decreased PSD in patients compared to that in controls, in all three frequency bands (low: 0.01–0.02 Hz; middle: 0.02–0.06 Hz; and high: 0.06–0.1 Hz), at three key motor regions. These findings suggest that in asymptomatic patients with brain tumors located in eloquent regions, inter-hemispheric connection may be more vulnerable. A comparison of the two approaches indicated that power spectral analysis is more sensitive than functional connectivity analysis for identifying the neurological abnormalities underlying motor function plasticity induced by slow-growing tumors. PMID:24806463

  17. The concept of brain plasticity--Paillard's systemic analysis and emphasis on structure and function (followed by the translation of a seminal paper by Paillard on plasticity).

    PubMed

    Will, Bruno; Dalrymple-Alford, John; Wolff, Mathieu; Cassel, Jean-Christophe

    2008-09-01

    Although rejected for the most part of the 20th Century, the idea of brain plasticity began to receive wide acceptance from the 1970s. Yet there has been relatively little theoretical comment on the definition and use of "plasticity" in the field of neurobiology. An early exception to this lack of critical reflection on neural plasticity was provided by Jacques Paillard in a seminal paper that he published in 1976 [Paillard J. Réflexions sur l'usage du concept de plasticité en neurobiology. J Psychol 1976;1:33-47]. As this valuable contribution was published in French, the present authors provide an English adaptation to help convey his ideas to an international audience, together with a contemporary commentary on this paper. Paillard's definition of the term "plasticity" is probably as pertinent today as it was 30 years ago, especially in terms of its relevance to multiple levels of analysis of brain function (molecular, cellular, systemic). Sadly, Jacques Paillard died in 2006; our comments therefore also include a brief biographical tribute to this outstanding neuroscientist. PMID:18222008

  18. NGF, Brain and Behavioral Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Berry, Alessandra; Bindocci, Erika; Alleva, Enrico

    2012-01-01

    Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) was initially studied for its role as a key player in the regulation of peripheral innervations. However, the successive finding of its release in the bloodstream of male mice following aggressive encounters and its presence in the central nervous system led to the hypothesis that variations in brain NGF levels, caused by psychosocial stressor, and the related alterations in emotionality, could be functional to the development of proper strategies to cope with the stressor itself and thus to survive. Years later this vision is still relevant, and the body of evidence on the role of NGF has been strengthened and expanded from trophic factor playing a role in brain growth and differentiation to a much more complex messenger, involved in psychoneuroendocrine plasticity. PMID:22474604

  19. [Brain development and plasticity].

    PubMed

    Martinez-Morga, M; Martinez, S

    2016-02-21

    Neurodevelopmental disorders are associated to functional anomalies of the brain that become manifest early on in life. Traditionally, they have been related almost exclusively to the appearance of intellectual disability and delayed psychomotor development. The causes of these disorders have been partially described, and include anomalies due to genetic causes (Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, etc.), exposure to toxic factors during pregnancy (foetal alcohol syndrome), infections (cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, etc.) or other alterations, including a status of great immaturity at birth (very preterm). Epidemiological data based on a better knowledge of the diseases affecting the central nervous system suggest that some mental disorders, which appear in adolescence or early adulthood, also have their origin in anomalies in brain development. This review aims to offer an overview of brain development. Some of the cellular and molecular processes that may account for the similarities and differences in the phenotypes that generate alterations affecting normal development are also analysed. The study is conducted with a view to clearly identifying processes that are susceptible to modification by means of therapeutic intervention consisting in an early care programme. PMID:26922956

  20. 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

  1. Mechanistic basis and functional roles of long-term plasticity in auditory neurons induced by a brain-generated estrogen.

    PubMed

    Tremere, Liisa A; Kovaleski, Ryan F; Burrows, Kaiping; Jeong, Jin Kwon; Pinaud, Raphael

    2012-11-14

    The classic estrogen 17β-estradiol (E2) was recently identified as a novel modulator of hearing function. It is produced rapidly, in an experience-dependent fashion, by auditory cortical neurons of both males and females. This brain-generated E2 enhances the efficiency of auditory coding and improves the neural and behavioral discrimination of auditory cues. Remarkably, the effects of E2 are long-lasting and persist for hours after local rises in hormone levels have subsided. The mechanisms and functional consequences of this E2-induced plasticity of auditory responses are unknown. Here, we addressed these issues in the zebra finch model by combining intracerebral pharmacology, biochemical assays, in vivo neurophysiology in awake animals, and computational and information theoretical approaches. We show that auditory experience activates the MAPK pathway in an E2-dependent manner. This effect is mediated by estrogen receptor β (ERβ), which directly associates with MEKK1 to sequentially modulate MEK and ERK activation, where the latter is required for the engagement of downstream molecular targets. We further show that E2-mediated activation of the MAPK cascade is required for the long-lasting enhancement of auditory-evoked responses in the awake brain. Moreover, a functional consequence of this E2/MAPK activation is to sustain enhanced information handling and neural discrimination by auditory neurons for several hours following hormonal challenge. Our results demonstrate that brain-generated E2 engages, via a nongenomic interaction between an estrogen receptor and a kinase, a persistent form of experience-dependent plasticity that enhances the neural coding and discrimination of behaviorally relevant sensory signals in the adult vertebrate brain. PMID:23152630

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Evolutionary Perspectives on Language and Brain Plasticity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deacon, Terrence W.

    2000-01-01

    This review discusses how general principles of brain development have contributed to both human brain plasticity and the acquisition of the human capacity for speech. Specifically, the role played by plastic developmental processes in the evolution and development of articulate control over vocalization in speech is examined. (Contains…

  14. 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

  15. SAHA Enhances Synaptic Function and Plasticity In Vitro but Has Limited Brain Availability In Vivo and Does Not Impact Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Hanson, Jesse E.; La, Hank; Plise, Emile; Chen, Yung-Hsiang; Ding, Xiao; Hanania, Taleen; Sabath, Emily V.; Alexandrov, Vadim; Brunner, Dani; Leahy, Emer; Steiner, Pascal; Liu, Lichuan; Scearce-Levie, Kimberly; Zhou, Qiang

    2013-01-01

    Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) is an inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDACs) used for the treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) and under consideration for other indications. In vivo studies suggest reducing HDAC function can enhance synaptic function and memory, raising the possibility that SAHA treatment could have neurological benefits. We first examined the impacts of SAHA on synaptic function in vitro using rat organotypic hippocampal brain slices. Following several days of SAHA treatment, basal excitatory but not inhibitory synaptic function was enhanced. Presynaptic release probability and intrinsic neuronal excitability were unaffected suggesting SAHA treatment selectively enhanced postsynaptic excitatory function. In addition, long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory synapses was augmented, while long-term depression (LTD) was impaired in SAHA treated slices. Despite the in vitro synaptic enhancements, in vivo SAHA treatment did not rescue memory deficits in the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Along with the lack of behavioral impact, pharmacokinetic analysis indicated poor brain availability of SAHA. Broader assessment of in vivo SAHA treatment using high-content phenotypic characterization of C57Bl6 mice failed to demonstrate significant behavioral effects of up to 150 mg/kg SAHA following either acute or chronic injections. Potentially explaining the low brain exposure and lack of behavioral impacts, SAHA was found to be a substrate of the blood brain barrier (BBB) efflux transporters Pgp and Bcrp1. Thus while our in vitro data show that HDAC inhibition can enhance excitatory synaptic strength and potentiation, our in vivo data suggests limited brain availability may contribute to the lack of behavioral impact of SAHA following peripheral delivery. These results do not predict CNS effects of SAHA during clinical use and also emphasize the importance of analyzing brain drug levels when interpreting preclinical behavioral pharmacology. PMID:23922875

  16. 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

  17. Sensory rehabilitation in the plastic brain.

    PubMed

    Collignon, Olivier; Champoux, François; Voss, Patrice; Lepore, Franco

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to consider new sensory rehabilitation avenues in the context of the brain's remarkable ability to reorganize itself following sensory deprivation. Here, deafness and blindness are taken as two illustrative models. Mainly, two promising rehabilitative strategies based on opposing theoretical principles will be considered: sensory substitution and neuroprostheses. Sensory substitution makes use of the remaining intact senses to provide blind or deaf individuals with coded information of the lost sensory system. This technique thus benefits from added neural resources in the processing of the remaining senses resulting from crossmodal plasticity, which is thought to be coupled with behavioral enhancements in the intact senses. On the other hand, neuroprostheses represent an invasive approach aimed at stimulating the deprived sensory system directly in order to restore, at least partially, its functioning. This technique therefore relies on the neuronal integrity of the brain areas normally dedicated to the deprived sense and is rather hindered by the compensatory reorganization observed in the deprived cortex. Here, we stress that our understanding of the neuroplastic changes that occur in sensory-deprived individuals may help guide the design and the implementation of such rehabilitative methods. PMID:21741554

  18. Environment and brain plasticity: towards an endogenous pharmacotherapy.

    PubMed

    Sale, Alessandro; Berardi, Nicoletta; Maffei, Lamberto

    2014-01-01

    Brain plasticity refers to the remarkable property of cerebral neurons to change their structure and function in response to experience, a fundamental theoretical theme in the field of basic research and a major focus for neural rehabilitation following brain disease. While much of the early work on this topic was based on deprivation approaches relying on sensory experience reduction procedures, major advances have been recently obtained using the conceptually opposite paradigm of environmental enrichment, whereby an enhanced stimulation is provided at multiple cognitive, sensory, social, and motor levels. In this survey, we aim to review past and recent work concerning the influence exerted by the environment on brain plasticity processes, with special emphasis on the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms and starting from experimental work on animal models to move to highly relevant work performed in humans. We will initiate introducing the concept of brain plasticity and describing classic paradigmatic examples to illustrate how changes at the level of neuronal properties can ultimately affect and direct key perceptual and behavioral outputs. Then, we describe the remarkable effects elicited by early stressful conditions, maternal care, and preweaning enrichment on central nervous system development, with a separate section focusing on neurodevelopmental disorders. A specific section is dedicated to the striking ability of environmental enrichment and physical exercise to empower adult brain plasticity. Finally, we analyze in the last section the ever-increasing available knowledge on the effects elicited by enriched living conditions on physiological and pathological aging brain processes. PMID:24382886

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Contrasting Acute and Slow-Growing Lesions: A New Door to Brain Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Desmurget, Michel; Bonnetblanc, FranCois; Duffau, Hugues

    2007-01-01

    The concept of plasticity describes the mechanisms that rearrange cerebral organization following a brain injury. During the last century, plasticity has been mainly investigated in humans with acute strokes. It was then shown: (i) that the brain is organized into highly specialized functional areas, often designated "eloquent" areas and (ii) that…

  4. NREM Sleep Oscillations and Brain Plasticity in Aging

    PubMed Central

    Fogel, Stuart; Martin, Nicolas; Lafortune, Marjolaine; Barakat, Marc; Debas, Karen; Laventure, Samuel; Latreille, Véronique; Gagnon, Jean-François; Doyon, Julien; Carrier, Julie

    2012-01-01

    The human electroencephalogram (EEG) during non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) is characterized mainly by high-amplitude (>75??V), slow-frequency (<4?Hz) waves (slow waves), and sleep spindles (?11–15?Hz; >0.25?s). These NREM oscillations play a crucial role in brain plasticity, and importantly, NREM sleep oscillations change considerably with aging. This review discusses the association between NREM sleep oscillations and cerebral plasticity as well as the functional impact of age-related changes on NREM sleep oscillations. We propose that age-related reduction in sleep-dependent memory consolidation may be due in part to changes in NREM sleep oscillations. PMID:23248614

  5. Synaptic plasticity functions in an organic electrochemical transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gkoupidenis, Paschalis; Schaefer, Nathan; Strakosas, Xenofon; Fairfield, Jessamyn A.; Malliaras, George G.

    2015-12-01

    Synaptic plasticity functions play a crucial role in the transmission of neural signals in the brain. Short-term plasticity is required for the transmission, encoding, and filtering of the neural signal, whereas long-term plasticity establishes more permanent changes in neural microcircuitry and thus underlies memory and learning. The realization of bioinspired circuits that can actually mimic signal processing in the brain demands the reproduction of both short- and long-term aspects of synaptic plasticity in a single device. Here, we demonstrate the implementation of neuromorphic functions similar to biological memory, such as short- to long-term memory transition, in non-volatile organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs). Depending on the training of the OECT, the device displays either short- or long-term plasticity, therefore, exhibiting non von Neumann characteristics with merged processing and storing functionalities. These results are a first step towards the implementation of organic-based neuromorphic circuits.

  6. Changes in cortical plasticity after mild traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Bashir, Shahid; Vernet, Marine; Yoo, Woo-Kyoung; Mizrahi, Ilan; Theoret, Hugo; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Even after a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms may be long lasting and never resolve completely. The neurophysiologic substrate for such lasting deficits remains unclear. There is a lack of objective measures of early brain abnormalities following mild TBI, which could shed light on the genesis of these lasting impairments. Methods: Here we report findings in a previously healthy man tested 2 and 6 weeks after a well-documented concussion. Findings were compared with 12 control subjects. All subjects underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI). Testing included neuropsychological evaluation and physiological assessment with TMS and EEG, excitatory/inhibitory balance and brain plasticity. Results: While the MRI, DTI and neuropsychological evaluations showed no abnormalities, neurophysiologic tests revealed subclinical abnormalities in our patient: (1) Significantly higher intracortical facilitation than the control group at both time points; (2) Intracortical inhibition presumably mediated by GABAB receptors was absent at week 2, but returned to normal value at week 6; (3) Abnormal mechanisms of plasticity at week 2, that normalize at week 6. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate a transient alteration of brain cortical physiology following concussion independent of anatomical findings and neuropsychological function. This case study suggests that TMS measures may serve as sensitive biomarkers of physiologic brain abnormalities after concussion. PMID:22596356

  7. Principles of brain plasticity in improving sensorimotor function of the knee and leg in patients with anterior cruciate ligament injury: a double-blind randomized exploratory trial

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Severe traumatic knee injury, including injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), leads to impaired sensorimotor function. Although improvements are achieved by training, impairment often persists. Because good sensorimotor function is associated with better patient-reported function and a potential lower risk of future joint problems, more effective treatment is warranted. Temporary cutaneous anesthesia of adjacent body parts was successfully used on the hand and foot to improve sensorimotor function. The aim of this study was to test whether this principle of brain plasticity could be used on the knee. The hypothesis was that temporary anesthesia of the skin area above and below the knee would improve sensorimotor function of the ipsilateral knee and leg in subjects with ACL injury. Methods In this double-blind exploratory study, 39 subjects with ACL injury (mean age 24?years, SD 5.2, 49% women, mean 52?weeks after injury or reconstruction) and self-reported functional limitations and lack of trust in the knee were randomized to temporary local cutaneous application of anesthetic (EMLA®) (n?=?20) or placebo cream (n?=?19). Fifty grams of EMLA®, or placebo, was applied on the leg 10?cm above and 10?cm below the center of patella, leaving the area around the knee without cream. Measures of sensory function (perception of touch, vibration sense, knee kinesthesia) and motor function (knee muscle strength, hop test) were assessed before and after 90 minutes of treatment with EMLA® or placebo. The paired t-test was used for comparisons within groups and analysis of variance between groups, except for ordinal data where the Wilcoxon signed rank test, or Mann–Whitney test, was used. The number of subjects needed was determined by an a priori sample size calculation. Results No statistically significant or clinically relevant differences were seen over time (before vs. after) in the measures of sensory or motor functions in the EMLA® group or in the placebo group. There were no differences between the groups due to treatment effect (EMLA® vs. placebo). Conclusions Temporary cutaneous anesthesia of adjacent body parts had no effect in improving sensorimotor function of the knee and leg in subjects with severe traumatic knee ligament injury. PMID:22574814

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Structure, function, and plasticity of GABA transporters

    PubMed Central

    Scimemi, Annalisa

    2014-01-01

    GABA transporters belong to a large family of neurotransmitter:sodium symporters. They are widely expressed throughout the brain, with different levels of expression in different brain regions. GABA transporters are present in neurons and in astrocytes and their activity is crucial to regulate the extracellular concentration of GABA under basal conditions and during ongoing synaptic events. Numerous efforts have been devoted to determine the structural and functional properties of GABA transporters. There is also evidence that the expression of GABA transporters on the cell membrane and their lateral mobility can be modulated by different intracellular signaling cascades. The strength of individual synaptic contacts and the activity of entire neuronal networks may be finely tuned by altering the density, distribution and diffusion rate of GABA transporters within the cell membrane. These findings are intriguing because they suggest the existence of complex regulatory systems that control the plasticity of GABAergic transmission in the brain. Here we review the current knowledge on the structural and functional properties of GABA transporters and highlight the molecular mechanisms that alter the expression and mobility of GABA transporters at central synapses. PMID:24987330

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  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. 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

  4. Functional plasticity in cognitive aging: review and hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Greenwood, P M

    2007-11-01

    Cognitive aging reflects not only loss but also adaptation to loss. The adult brain is capable of plastic change, including change in cortical representation. This has been seen in association not only with frank lesions but also in healthy individuals as a function of experience and training. This review considers the potential for adult plasticity together with evidence of a relation in old age between regional cortical atrophy/shrinkage and increased activation in neuroimaging. Those cortical regions shown most consistently to shrink in adulthood--prefrontal and parietal cortices--are the same regions showing increased regional activation in aging. Combining several strands of behavioral and neuroimaging evidence, the author argues that functional plasticity alters the course of cognitive aging. The author advances the hypothesis that losses in regional brain integrity drive functional reorganization through changes in processing strategy and makes specific predictions from that hypothesis. PMID:17983277

  5. The maternal brain and its plasticity in humans.

    PubMed

    Kim, Pilyoung; Strathearn, Lane; Swain, James E

    2016-01-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Parental Care". Early mother-infant relationships play important roles in infants' optimal development. New mothers undergo neurobiological changes that support developing mother-infant relationships regardless of great individual differences in those relationships. In this article, we review the neural plasticity in human mothers' brains based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. First, we review the neural circuits that are involved in establishing and maintaining mother-infant relationships. Second, we discuss early postpartum factors (e.g., birth and feeding methods, hormones, and parental sensitivity) that are associated with individual differences in maternal brain neuroplasticity. Third, we discuss abnormal changes in the maternal brain related to psychopathology (i.e., postpartum depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse) and potential brain remodeling associated with interventions. Last, we highlight potentially important future research directions to better understand normative changes in the maternal brain and risks for abnormal changes that may disrupt early mother-infant relationships. PMID:26268151

  6. Brain plasticity in Diptera and Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Groh, Claudia; Meinertzhagen, Ian A.

    2010-01-01

    To mediate different types of behaviour, nervous systems must coordinate the proper operation of their neural circuits as well as short- and long-term alterations that occur within those circuits. The latter ultimately devolve upon specific changes in neuronal structures, membrane properties and synaptic connections that are all examples of plasticity. This reorganization of the adult nervous system is shaped by internal and external influences both during development and adult maturation. In adults, behavioural experience is a major driving force of neuronal plasticity studied particularly in sensory systems. The range of adaptation depends on features that are important to a particular species, so that learning is essential for foraging in honeybees, while regenerative capacities are important in hemimetabolous insects with long appendages. Experience is usually effective during a critical period in early adult life, when neural function becomes tuned to future conditions in an insect's life. Changes occur at all levels, in synaptic circuits, neuropile volumes, and behaviour. There are many examples, and this review incorporates only a select few, mainly those from Diptera and Hymenoptera. PMID:20036946

  7. Split My Brain: A Case Study of Seizure Disorder and Brain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Omarzu, Julia

    2004-01-01

    This case involves a couple deciding whether or not their son should undergo brain surgery to treat a severe seizure disorder. In examining this dilemma, students apply knowledge of brain anatomy and function. They also learn about brain scanning techniques and discuss the plasticity of the brain.

  8. 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

  9. Brain Dynamics Promotes Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lourenço, Carlos

    Dynamical structure in the brain promotes biological function. Natural scientists look for correlations between measured electrical signals and behavior or mental states. Computational scientists have new opportunities to receive ’algorithmic’ inspiration from brain processes and propose computational paradigms. Thus a tradition which dates back to the 1940s with neural nets research is renewed. Real processes in the brain are ’complex’ and withstand trivial descriptions. However, dynamical complexity need not be at odds with a computational description of the phenomena and with the inspiration for algorithms that actually compute something in an engineering sense. We engage this complexity from a computational viewpoint, not excluding dynamical regimes that a number of authors are willing to label as chaos. The key question is: what may we be missing computation-wise if we overlook brain dynamics? At this point in brain research, we are happy if we can at least provide a partial answer.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Functional Brain Imaging

    PubMed Central

    2006-01-01

    Executive Summary Objective The objective of this analysis is to review a spectrum of functional brain imaging technologies to identify whether there are any imaging modalities that are more effective than others for various brain pathology conditions. This evidence-based analysis reviews magnetoencephalography (MEG), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), positron emission tomography (PET), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for the diagnosis or surgical management of the following conditions: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), brain tumours, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative, neurologic condition characterized by cognitive impairment and memory loss. The Canadian Study on Health and Aging estimated that there will be 97,000 incident cases (about 60,000 women) of dementia (including AD) in Canada in 2006. In Ontario, there will be an estimated 950 new cases and 580 deaths due to brain cancer in 2006. Treatments for brain tumours include surgery and radiation therapy. However, one of the limitations of radiation therapy is that it damages tissue though necrosis and scarring. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may not distinguish between radiation effects and resistant tissue, creating a potential role for functional brain imaging. Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that provokes repetitive seizures. In Ontario, the rate of epilepsy is estimated to be 5 cases per 1,000 people. Most people with epilepsy are effectively managed with drug therapy; but about 50% do not respond to drug therapy. Surgical resection of the seizure foci may be considered in these patients, and functional brain imaging may play a role in localizing the seizure foci. Multiple sclerosis is a progressive, inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). The cause of MS is unknown; however, it is thought to be due to a combination of etiologies, including genetic and environmental components. The prevalence of MS in Canada is 240 cases per 100,000 people. Parkinson’s disease is the most prevalent movement disorder; it affects an estimated 100,000 Canadians. Currently, the standard for measuring disease progression is through the use of scales, which are subjective measures of disease progression. Functional brain imaging may provide an objective measure of disease progression, differentiation between parkinsonian syndromes, and response to therapy. The Technology Being Reviewed Functional Brain Imaging Functional brain imaging technologies measure blood flow and metabolism. The results of these tests are often used in conjunction with structural imaging (e.g., MRI or CT). Positron emission tomography and MRS identify abnormalities in brain tissues. The former measures abnormalities through uptake of radiotracers in the brain, while the latter measures chemical shifts in metabolite ratios to identify abnormalities. The potential role of functional MRI (fMRI) is to identify the areas of the brain responsible for language, sensory and motor function (sensorimotor cortex), rather than identifying abnormalities in tissues. Magnetoencephalography measures magnetic fields of the electric currents in the brain, identifying aberrant activity. Magnetoencephalography may have the potential to localize seizure foci and to identify the sensorimotor cortex, visual cortex and auditory cortex. In terms of regulatory status, MEG and PET are licensed by Health Canada. Both MRS and fMRI use a MRI platform; thus, they do not have a separate licence from Health Canada. The radiotracers used in PET scanning are not licensed by Health Canada for general use but can be used through a Clinical Trials Application. Review Strategy The literature published up to September 2006 was searched in the following databases: MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, CENTRAL, and International Network of Agencies for H

  14. Inhibitory synaptic plasticity: spike timing-dependence and putative network function

    PubMed Central

    Vogels, T. P.; Froemke, R. C.; Doyon, N.; Gilson, M.; Haas, J. S.; Liu, R.; Maffei, A.; Miller, P.; Wierenga, C. J.; Woodin, M. A.; Zenke, F.; Sprekeler, H.

    2013-01-01

    While the plasticity of excitatory synaptic connections in the brain has been widely studied, the plasticity of inhibitory connections is much less understood. Here, we present recent experimental and theoretical findings concerning the rules of spike timing-dependent inhibitory plasticity and their putative network function. This is a summary of a workshop at the COSYNE conference 2012. PMID:23882186

  15. Inhibitory synaptic plasticity: spike timing-dependence and putative network function.

    PubMed

    Vogels, T P; Froemke, R C; Doyon, N; Gilson, M; Haas, J S; Liu, R; Maffei, A; Miller, P; Wierenga, C J; Woodin, M A; Zenke, F; Sprekeler, H

    2013-01-01

    While the plasticity of excitatory synaptic connections in the brain has been widely studied, the plasticity of inhibitory connections is much less understood. Here, we present recent experimental and theoretical findings concerning the rules of spike timing-dependent inhibitory plasticity and their putative network function. This is a summary of a workshop at the COSYNE conference 2012. PMID:23882186

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Sex differences in brain plasticity: a new hypothesis for sex ratio bias in autism.

    PubMed

    Mottron, Laurent; Duret, Pauline; Mueller, Sophia; Moore, Robert D; Forgeot d'Arc, Baudouin; Jacquemont, Sebastien; Xiong, Lan

    2015-01-01

    Several observations support the hypothesis that differences in synaptic and regional cerebral plasticity between the sexes account for the high ratio of males to females in autism. First, males are more susceptible than females to perturbations in genes involved in synaptic plasticity. Second, sex-related differences in non-autistic brain structure and function are observed in highly variable regions, namely, the heteromodal associative cortices, and overlap with structural particularities and enhanced activity of perceptual associative regions in autistic individuals. Finally, functional cortical reallocations following brain lesions in non-autistic adults (for example, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis) are sex-dependent. Interactions between genetic sex and hormones may therefore result in higher synaptic and consecutively regional plasticity in perceptual brain areas in males than in females. The onset of autism may largely involve mutations altering synaptic plasticity that create a plastic reaction affecting the most variable and sexually dimorphic brain regions. The sex ratio bias in autism may arise because males have a lower threshold than females for the development of this plastic reaction following a genetic or environmental event. PMID:26052415

  19. Brain Allometry and Neural Plasticity in the Bumblebee Bombus occidentalis

    PubMed Central

    Riveros, Andre J.; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2010-01-01

    Brain plasticity is a common phenomenon across animals and in many cases it is associated with behavioral transitions. In social insects, such as bees, wasps and ants, plasticity in a particular brain compartment involved in multisensory integration (the mushroom body) has been associated with transitions between tasks differing in cognitive demands. However, in most of these cases, transitions between tasks are age-related, requiring the experimental manipulation of the age structure in the studied colonies to distinguish age and experience-dependent effects. To better understand the interplay between brain plasticity and behavioral performance it would therefore be advantageous to study species whose division of labor is not age-dependent. Here, we focus on brain plasticity in the bumblebee Bombus occidentalis, in which division of labor is strongly affected by the individual's body size instead of age. We show that, like in vertebrates, body size strongly correlates with brain size. We also show that foraging experience, but not age, significantly correlates with the increase in the size of the mushroom body, and in particular one of its components, the medial calyx. Our results support previous findings from other social insects suggesting that the mushroom body plays a key role in experience-based decision making. We also discuss the use of bumblebees as models to analyze neural plasticity and the association between brain size and behavioral performance. PMID:20516659

  20. Assessing brain plasticity across the lifespan with transcranial magnetic stimulation: why, how, and what is the ultimate goal?

    PubMed Central

    Freitas, Catarina; Farzan, Faranak; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2013-01-01

    Sustaining brain and cognitive function across the lifespan must be one of the main biomedical goals of the twenty-first century. We need to aim to prevent neuropsychiatric diseases and, thus, to identify and remediate brain and cognitive dysfunction before clinical symptoms manifest and disability develops. The brain undergoes a complex array of changes from developmental years into old age, putatively the underpinnings of changes in cognition and behavior throughout life. A functionally “normal” brain is a changing brain, a brain whose capacity and mechanisms of change are shifting appropriately from one time-point to another in a given individual's life. Therefore, assessing the mechanisms of brain plasticity across the lifespan is critical to gain insight into an individual's brain health. Indexing brain plasticity in humans is possible with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which, in combination with neuroimaging, provides a powerful tool for exploring local cortical and brain network plasticity. Here, we review investigations to date, summarize findings, and discuss some of the challenges that need to be solved to enhance the use of TMS measures of brain plasticity across all ages. Ultimately, TMS measures of plasticity can become the foundation for a brain health index (BHI) to enable objective correlates of an individual's brain health over time, assessment across diseases and disorders, and reliable evaluation of indicators of efficacy of future preventive and therapeutic interventions. PMID:23565072

  1. A Plastic Temporal Brain Code for Conscious State Generation

    PubMed Central

    Dresp-Langley, Birgitta; Durup, Jean

    2009-01-01

    Consciousness is known to be limited in processing capacity and often described in terms of a unique processing stream across a single dimension: time. In this paper, we discuss a purely temporal pattern code, functionally decoupled from spatial signals, for conscious state generation in the brain. Arguments in favour of such a code include Dehaene et al.'s long-distance reverberation postulate, Ramachandran's remapping hypothesis, evidence for a temporal coherence index and coincidence detectors, and Grossberg's Adaptive Resonance Theory. A time-bin resonance model is developed, where temporal signatures of conscious states are generated on the basis of signal reverberation across large distances in highly plastic neural circuits. The temporal signatures are delivered by neural activity patterns which, beyond a certain statistical threshold, activate, maintain, and terminate a conscious brain state like a bar code would activate, maintain, or inactivate the electronic locks of a safe. Such temporal resonance would reflect a higher level of neural processing, independent from sensorial or perceptual brain mechanisms. PMID:19644552

  2. Plasticity-related genes in brain development and amygdala-dependent learning.

    PubMed

    Ehrlich, D E; Josselyn, S A

    2016-01-01

    Learning about motivationally important stimuli involves plasticity in the amygdala, a temporal lobe structure. Amygdala-dependent learning involves a growing number of plasticity-related signaling pathways also implicated in brain development, suggesting that learning-related signaling in juveniles may simultaneously influence development. Here, we review the pleiotropic functions in nervous system development and amygdala-dependent learning of a signaling pathway that includes brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), extracellular signaling-related kinases (ERKs) and cyclic AMP-response element binding protein (CREB). Using these canonical, plasticity-related genes as an example, we discuss the intersection of learning-related and developmental plasticity in the immature amygdala, when aversive and appetitive learning may influence the developmental trajectory of amygdala function. We propose that learning-dependent activation of BDNF, ERK and CREB signaling in the immature amygdala exaggerates and accelerates neural development, promoting amygdala excitability and environmental sensitivity later in life. PMID:26419764

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. Reorganization and plastic changes of the human brain associated with skill learning and expertise

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Yongmin

    2014-01-01

    Novel experience and learning new skills are known as modulators of brain function. Advances in non-invasive brain imaging have provided new insight into structural and functional reorganization associated with skill learning and expertise. Especially, significant imaging evidences come from the domains of sports and music. Data from in vivo imaging studies in sports and music have provided vital information on plausible neural substrates contributing to brain reorganization underlying skill acquisition in humans. This mini review will attempt to take a narrow snapshot of imaging findings demonstrating functional and structural plasticity that mediate skill learning and expertise while identifying converging areas of interest and possible avenues for future research. PMID:24550812

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. How Cognitive Plasticity Resolves the Brain's Information Processing Dilemma

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Diankun; Ma, Weiyi; Kendrick, Keith M.; Hu, Qingqing; Yao, Dezhong

    2013-01-01

    A key unresolved question in cognitive science is whether the brain uses asynchronous or synchronous patterns of information transmission. Using an auditory learning task combined with electrophysiological recordings, we reveal for the first time that cognitive plasticity during learning transforms an asynchronous into a synchronous transmission pattern to achieve rapid, error-free performance. We also present a new model showing how the brain may resolve its information processing and transmission dilemma. PMID:24091591

  11. 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

  12. Removing brakes on adult brain plasticity: from molecular to behavioral interventions

    PubMed Central

    Bavelier, D.; Levi, D.M.; Li, R.W.; Dan, Y.; Hensch, T.K.

    2010-01-01

    Adult brain plasticity, although possible, remains more restricted in scope than during development. Here, we address conditions under which circuit rewiring may be facilitated in the mature brain. At a cellular and molecular level, adult plasticity is actively limited. Some of these “brakes” are structural, such as peri-neuronal nets or myelin, which inhibit neurite outgrowth. Others are functional, acting directly upon excitatory-inhibitory balance within local circuits. Plasticity in adulthood can be induced either by lifting these brakes through invasive interventions or by exploiting endogenous permissive factors, such as neuromodulators. Using the amblyopic visual system as a model, we discuss genetic, pharmacological, and environmental removal of brakes to enable recovery of vision in adult rodents. Although these mechanisms remain largely uncharted in the human, we consider how they may provide a biological foundation for the remarkable increase in plasticity after action video game play by amblyopic subjects. PMID:21068299

  13. Motor enrichment and the induction of plasticity before or after brain injury.

    PubMed

    Kleim, Jeffrey A; Jones, Theresa A; Schallert, Timothy

    2003-11-01

    Voluntary exercise, treadmill activity, skills training, and forced limb use have been utilized in animal studies to promote brain plasticity and functional change. Motor enrichment may prime the brain to respond more adaptively to injury, in part by upregulating trophic factors such as GDNF, FGF-2, or BDNF. Discontinuation of exercise in advance of brain injury may cause levels of trophic factor expression to plummet below baseline, which may leave the brain more vulnerable to degeneration. Underfeeding and motor enrichment induce remarkably similar molecular and cellular changes that could underlie their beneficial effects in the aged or injured brain. Exercise begun before focal ischemic injury increases BDNF and other defenses against cell death and can maintain or expand motor representations defined by cortical microstimulation. Interfering with BDNF synthesis causes the motor representations to recede or disappear. Injury to the brain, even in sedentary rats, causes a small, gradual increase in astrocytic expression of neurotrophic factors in both local and remote brain regions. The neurotrophic factors may inoculate those areas against further damage and enable brain repair and use-dependent synaptogenesis associated with recovery of function or compensatory motor learning. Plasticity mechanisms are particularly active during time-windows early after focal cortical damage or exposure to dopamine neurotoxins. Motor and cognitive impairments may contribute to self-imposed behavioral impoverishment, leading to a reduced plasticity. For slow degenerative models, early forced forelimb use or exercise has been shown to halt cell loss, whereas delayed rehabilitation training is ineffective and disuse is prodegenerative. However, it is possible that, in the chronic stages after brain injury, a regimen of exercise would reactivate mechanisms of plasticity and thus enhance rehabilitation targeting residual functional deficits. PMID:14584829

  14. 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

  15. Does meditation enhance cognition and brain plasticity?

    PubMed

    Xiong, Glen L; Doraiswamy, P Murali

    2009-08-01

    Meditation practices have various health benefits including the possibility of preserving cognition and preventing dementia. While the mechanisms remain investigational, studies show that meditation may affect multiple pathways that could play a role in brain aging and mental fitness. For example, meditation may reduce stress-induced cortisol secretion and this could have neuroprotective effects potentially via elevating levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Meditation may also potentially have beneficial effects on lipid profiles and lower oxidative stress, both of which could in turn reduce the risk for cerebrovascular disease and age-related neurodegeneration. Further, meditation may potentially strengthen neuronal circuits and enhance cognitive reserve capacity. These are the theoretical bases for how meditation might enhance longevity and optimal health. Evidence to support a neuroprotective effect comes from cognitive, electroencephalogram (EEG), and structural neuroimaging studies. In one cross-sectional study, meditation practitioners were found to have a lower age-related decline in thickness of specific cortical regions. However, the enthusiasm must be balanced by the inconsistency and preliminary nature of existing studies as well as the fact that meditation comprises a heterogeneous group of practices. Key future challenges include the isolation of a potential common element in the different meditation modalities, replication of existing findings in larger randomized trials, determining the correct "dose," studying whether findings from expert practitioners are generalizable to a wider population, and better control of the confounding genetic, dietary and lifestyle influences. PMID:19743551

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Plasticity of Hippocampal Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance: Missing the Synaptic Control in the Epileptic Brain

    PubMed Central

    Bonansco, Christian; Fuenzalida, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is the capacity generated by experience to modify the neural function and, thereby, adapt our behaviour. Long-term plasticity of glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission occurs in a concerted manner, finely adjusting the excitatory-inhibitory (E/I) balance. Imbalances of E/I function are related to several neurological diseases including epilepsy. Several evidences have demonstrated that astrocytes are able to control the synaptic plasticity, with astrocytes being active partners in synaptic physiology and E/I balance. Here, we revise molecular evidences showing the epileptic stage as an abnormal form of long-term brain plasticity and propose the possible participation of astrocytes to the abnormal increase of glutamatergic and decrease of GABAergic neurotransmission in epileptic networks. PMID:27006834

  19. [FUNCTIONAL PLASTIC OF ANTERIOR ABDOMINAL WALL HERNIAS].

    PubMed

    Grubnik, V V; Parfentyeva, N D; Parfentyev, R S

    2015-07-01

    In order to improve the treatment efficacy of postoperative anterior abdominal wall hernias the method of plastic with restoration of anatomical and physiological properties of the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall was used. After the intervention by the improved method, regardless of the location of the hernia defect yielded promising results for the conservation of anterior abdominal wall muscle function in 75% of cases completely restored functional ability of muscles recti abdomini. PMID:26591212

  20. 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

  1. Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity modulates the critical phase of brain development.

    PubMed

    Chaudhury, Sraboni; Sharma, Vikram; Kumar, Vivek; Nag, Tapas C; Wadhwa, Shashi

    2016-04-01

    Plasticity or neuronal plasticity is a unique and adaptive feature of nervous system which allows neurons to reorganize their interactions in response to an intrinsic or extrinsic stimulation and shapes the formation and maintenance of a functional neuronal circuit. Synaptic plasticity is the most important form of neural plasticity and plays critical role during the development allowing the formation of precise neural connectivity via the process of pruning. In the sensory systems-auditory and visual, this process is heavily dependent on the external cues perceived during the development. Environmental enrichment paradigms in an activity-dependent manner result in early maturation of the synapses and more efficient trans-synaptic signaling or communication flow. This has been extensively observed in the avian auditory system. On the other hand, stimuli results in negative effect can cause alterations in the synaptic connectivity and strength resulting in various developmental brain disorders including autism, fragile X syndrome and rett syndrome. In this review we discuss the role of different forms of activity (spontaneous or environmental) during the development of the nervous system in modifying synaptic plasticity necessary for shaping the adult brain. Also, we try to explore various factors (molecular, genetic and epigenetic) involved in altering the synaptic plasticity in positive and negative way. PMID:26515724

  2. Using non-invasive brain stimulation to augment motor training-induced plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Bolognini, Nadia; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Fregni, Felipe

    2009-01-01

    Therapies for motor recovery after stroke or traumatic brain injury are still not satisfactory. To date the best approach seems to be the intensive physical therapy. However the results are limited and functional gains are often minimal. The goal of motor training is to minimize functional disability and optimize functional motor recovery. This is thought to be achieved by modulation of plastic changes in the brain. Therefore, adjunct interventions that can augment the response of the motor system to the behavioural training might be useful to enhance the therapy-induced recovery in neurological populations. In this context, noninvasive brain stimulation appears to be an interesting option as an add-on intervention to standard physical therapies. Two non-invasive methods of inducing electrical currents into the brain have proved to be promising for inducing long-lasting plastic changes in motor systems: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). These techniques represent powerful methods for priming cortical excitability for a subsequent motor task, demand, or stimulation. Thus, their mutual use can optimize the plastic changes induced by motor practice, leading to more remarkable and outlasting clinical gains in rehabilitation. In this review we discuss how these techniques can enhance the effects of a behavioural intervention and the clinical evidence to date. PMID:19292910

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. Higher Brain Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chiaia, N.L.; Teyler, T.J.

    1983-01-01

    Focuses on how learning works. Discusses three major components related to processing information--sensory and perceptual systems, integration of information, and output of information--and developmental and environmental factors affecting brain information in each of these areas. Concludes with discussion of biological bases for cognitive and…

  8. 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

  9. Linking neocortical, cognitive, and genetic variability in autism with alterations of brain plasticity: the Trigger-Threshold-Target model.

    PubMed

    Mottron, Laurent; Belleville, Sylvie; Rouleau, Guy A; Collignon, Olivier

    2014-11-01

    The phenotype of autism involves heterogeneous adaptive traits (strengths vs. disabilities), different domains of alterations (social vs. non-social), and various associated genetic conditions (syndromic vs. nonsyndromic autism). Three observations suggest that alterations in experience-dependent plasticity are an etiological factor in autism: (1) the main cognitive domains enhanced in autism are controlled by the most plastic cortical brain regions, the multimodal association cortices; (2) autism and sensory deprivation share several features of cortical and functional reorganization; and (3) genetic mutations and/or environmental insults involved in autism all appear to affect developmental synaptic plasticity, and mostly lead to its upregulation. We present the Trigger-Threshold-Target (TTT) model of autism to organize these findings. In this model, genetic mutations trigger brain reorganization in individuals with a low plasticity threshold, mostly within regions sensitive to cortical reallocations. These changes account for the cognitive enhancements and reduced social expertise associated with autism. Enhanced but normal plasticity may underlie non-syndromic autism, whereas syndromic autism may occur when a triggering mutation or event produces an altered plastic reaction, also resulting in intellectual disability and dysmorphism in addition to autism. Differences in the target of brain reorganization (perceptual vs. language regions) account for the main autistic subgroups. In light of this model, future research should investigate how individual and sex-related differences in synaptic/regional brain plasticity influence the occurrence of autism. PMID:25155242

  10. Reorganization of Functional Connectivity as a Correlate of Cognitive Recovery in Acquired Brain Injury

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castellanos, Nazareth P.; Paul, Nuria; Ordonez, Victoria E.; Demuynck, Olivier; Bajo, Ricardo; Campo, Pablo; Bilbao, Alvaro; Ortiz, Tomas; del-Pozo, Francisco; Maestu, Fernando

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive processes require a functional interaction between specialized multiple, local and remote brain regions. Although these interactions can be strongly altered by an acquired brain injury, brain plasticity allows network reorganization to be principally responsible for recovery. The present work evaluates the impact of brain injury on…

  11. Reorganization of Functional Connectivity as a Correlate of Cognitive Recovery in Acquired Brain Injury

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castellanos, Nazareth P.; Paul, Nuria; Ordonez, Victoria E.; Demuynck, Olivier; Bajo, Ricardo; Campo, Pablo; Bilbao, Alvaro; Ortiz, Tomas; del-Pozo, Francisco; Maestu, Fernando

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive processes require a functional interaction between specialized multiple, local and remote brain regions. Although these interactions can be strongly altered by an acquired brain injury, brain plasticity allows network reorganization to be principally responsible for recovery. The present work evaluates the impact of brain injury on…

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Cognitive development in children born preterm: implications for theories of brain plasticity following early injury.

    PubMed

    Luciana, Monica

    2003-01-01

    The human brain is functionally altered through experience, a phenomenon known as plasticity. Relevant experiences may be negative, as in brain injury. Adult brain injury results in permanent impairment. However, it has been assumed that early injury leads to substantial functional recovery. Animal studies suggest several predictions regarding whether this principle generally holds true. These studies indicate that the timing of brain injury, relative to the expected course of neurodevelopment, impacts the extent of recovery. Injuries occurring during the period of cell migration are particularly detrimental. However, outcome must be assessed longitudinally because apparent recovery in childhood may reverse as the brain matures. Moreover, recovery of one function may come at the expense of others. Whether these findings characterize outcome following preterm birth is the focus of this review. Preterm birth is associated with high rates of neurodevelopmental disability, primarily due to hypoxic-ischemic events. Periventricular brain structures and white matter tracts are particularly vulnerable to damage. Through school age, preterm children exhibit diminished levels of global intellectual function, attention, memory, and reasoning skills relative to full-term peers. It is questionable whether these deficits persist. Because few studies have followed recent cohorts into young adulthood, it is argued that outcome cannot be reliably described based on the available literature. Moreover, important contributors to later development have been neglected, including both genetic and experiential factors. With improved assessment, it may be possible to develop interventions based on the individual child's constellation of genetic, biological, and sociodemographic risks. PMID:14984136

  16. [Components of plastic disrupt the function of the nervous system].

    PubMed

    Szychowski, Konrad Andrzej; Wójtowicz, Anna Katarzyna

    2013-01-01

    Development of the chemical industry leads to the development of new chemical compounds, which naturally do not exist in the environment. These chemicals are used to reduce flammability, increase plasticity, or improve solubility of other substances. Many of these compounds, which are components of plastic, the new generation of cosmetics, medical devices, food packaging and other everyday products, are easily released into the environment. Many studies have shown that a major lipophilicity characterizes substances such as phthalates, BPA, TBBPA and PCBs. This feature allows them to easily penetrate into living cells, accumulate in the tissues and the organs, and affect human and animal health. Due to the chemical structures, these compounds are able to mimic some endogenous hormones such as estradiol and to disrupt the hormone homeostasis. They can also easily pass the placental barrier and the blood-brain barrier. As numerous studies have shown, these chemicals disturb the proper functions of the nervous system from the earliest moments of life. It has been proven that these compounds affect neurogenesis as well as the synaptic transmission process. As a consequence, they interfere with the formation of the sex of the brain, as well as with the learning processes, memory and behavior. Additionally, the cytotoxic and pro-apoptotic effect may cause neurodegenerative diseases. This article presents the current state of knowledge about the effects of phthalates, BPA, TBBPA, and PCBs on the nervous system. PMID:23752602

  17. Alteration and Reorganization of Functional Networks: A New Perspective in Brain Injury Study

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Using the virtual brain to reveal the role of oscillations and plasticity in shaping brain's dynamical landscape.

    PubMed

    Roy, Dipanjan; Sigala, Rodrigo; Breakspear, Michael; McIntosh, Anthony Randal; Jirsa, Viktor K; Deco, Gustavo; Ritter, Petra

    2014-12-01

    Spontaneous brain activity, that is, activity in the absence of controlled stimulus input or an explicit active task, is topologically organized in multiple functional networks (FNs) maintaining a high degree of coherence. These "resting state networks" are constrained by the underlying anatomical connectivity between brain areas. They are also influenced by the history of task-related activation. The precise rules that link plastic changes and ongoing dynamics of resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) remain unclear. Using the framework of the open source neuroinformatics platform "The Virtual Brain," we identify potential computational mechanisms that alter the dynamical landscape, leading to reconfigurations of FNs. Using a spiking neuron model, we first demonstrate that network activity in the absence of plasticity is characterized by irregular oscillations between low-amplitude asynchronous states and high-amplitude synchronous states. We then demonstrate the capability of spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) combined with intrinsic alpha (8-12 Hz) oscillations to efficiently influence learning. Further, we show how alpha-state-dependent STDP alters the local area dynamics from an irregular to a highly periodic alpha-like state. This is an important finding, as the cortical input from the thalamus is at the rate of alpha. We demonstrate how resulting rhythmic cortical output in this frequency range acts as a neuronal tuner and, hence, leads to synchronization or de-synchronization between brain areas. Finally, we demonstrate that locally restricted structural connectivity changes influence local as well as global dynamics and lead to altered rs-FC. PMID:25131838

  1. 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, β-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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Transsynaptic trophic effects of steroid hormones in an avian model of adult brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Brenowitz, Eliot A

    2015-04-01

    The avian song control system provides an excellent model for studying transsynaptic trophic effects of steroid sex hormones. Seasonal changes in systemic testosterone (T) and its metabolites regulate plasticity of this system. Steroids interact with the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to influence cellular processes of plasticity in nucleus HVC of adult birds, including the addition of newborn neurons. This interaction may also occur transsynpatically; T increases the synthesis of BDNF in HVC, and BDNF protein is then released by HVC neurons on to postsynaptic cells in nucleus RA where it has trophic effects on activity and morphology. Androgen action on RA neurons increases their activity and this has a retrograde trophic effect on the addition of new neurons to HVC. The functional linkage of sex steroids to BDNF may be of adaptive value in regulating the trophic effects of the neurotrophin and coordinating circuit function in reproductively relevant contexts. PMID:25285401

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Training-induced behavioral and brain plasticity in inhibitory control.

    PubMed

    Spierer, Lucas; Chavan, Camille F; Manuel, Aurelie L

    2013-01-01

    Deficits in inhibitory control, the ability to suppress ongoing or planned motor or cognitive processes, contribute to many psychiatric and neurological disorders. The rehabilitation of inhibition-related disorders may therefore benefit from neuroplasticity-based training protocols aiming at normalizing inhibitory control proficiency and the underlying brain networks. Current literature on training-induced behavioral and brain plasticity in inhibitory control suggests that improvements may follow either from the development of automatic forms of inhibition or from the strengthening of top-down, controlled inhibition. Automatic inhibition develops in conditions of consistent and repeated associations between inhibition-triggering stimuli and stopping goals. Once established, the stop signals directly elicit inhibition, thereby bypassing slow, top-down executive control and accelerating stopping processes. In contrast, training regimens involving varying stimulus-response associations or frequent inhibition failures prevent the development of automatic inhibition and thus strengthen top-down inhibitory processes rather than bottom-up ones. We discuss these findings in terms of developing optimal inhibitory control training regimens for rehabilitation purposes. PMID:23914169

  9. PET-imaging of brain plasticity after cochlear implantation.

    PubMed

    Strelnikov, K; Marx, M; Lagleyre, S; Fraysse, B; Deguine, O; Barone, P

    2015-04-01

    In this article, we review the PET neuroimaging literature, which indicates peculiarities of brain networks involved in speech restoration after cochlear implantation. We consider data on implanted patients during stimulation as well as during resting state, which indicates basic long-term reorganisation of brain functional architecture. On the basis of our analysis of neuroimaging literature and considering our own studies, we indicate that auditory recovery in deaf patients after cochlear implantation partly relies on visual cues. The brain develops mechanisms of audio-visual integration as a strategy to achieve high levels of speech recognition. It turns out that this neuroimaging evidence is in line with behavioural findings of better audiovisual integration in these patients. Thus, strong visually and audio-visually based rehabilitation during the first months after cochlear implantation would significantly improve and fasten the functional recovery of speech intelligibility and other auditory functions in these patients. We provide perspectives for further neuroimaging studies in cochlear implanted patients, which would help understand brain organisation to restore auditory cognitive processing in the implanted patients and would potentially suggest novel approaches for their rehabilitation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled . PMID:25448166

  10. 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

  11. Brain structural plasticity in survivors of a major earthquake

    PubMed Central

    Lui, Su; Chen, Long; Yao, Li; Xiao, Yuan; Wu, Qi-Zhu; Zhang, Jun-Ran; Huang, Xiao-Qi; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Yu-Qin; Chen, Hua-Fu; Chan, Raymond C.K.; Sweeney, John A.; Gong, Qi-Yong

    2013-01-01

    Background Stress responses have been studied extensively in animal models, but effects of major life stress on the human brain remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to determine whether survivors of a major earthquake, who were presumed to have experienced extreme emotional stress during the disaster, demonstrate differences in brain anatomy relative to individuals who have not experienced such stressors. Methods Healthy survivors living in an area devastated by a major earthquake and matched healthy controls underwent 3-dimentional high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Survivors were scanned 13–25 days after the earthquake; controls had undergone MRI for other studies not long before the earthquake. We used optimized voxel-based morphometry analysis to identify regional differences of grey matter volume between the survivors and controls. Results We included 44 survivors (17 female, mean age 37 [standard deviation (SD) 10.6] yr) and 38 controls (14 female, mean age 35.3 [SD 11.2] yr) in our analysis. Compared with controls, the survivors showed significantly lower grey matter volume in the bilateral insula, hippocampus, left caudate and putamen, and greater grey matter volume in the bilateral orbitofrontal cortex and the parietal lobe (all p < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparison). Limitations Differences in the variance of survivor and control data could impact study findings. Conclusion Acute anatomic alterations could be observed in earthquake survivors in brain regions where functional alterations after stress have been described. Anatomic changes in the present study were observed earlier than previously reported and were seen in prefrontal–limbic, parietal and striatal brain systems. Together with the results of previous functional imaging studies, our observations suggest a complex pattern of human brain response to major life stress affecting brain systems that modulate and respond to heightened affective arousal. PMID:23710694

  12. Sleep, plasticity and memory from molecules to whole-brain networks.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

    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 of memory. 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, rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) 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 NREM sleep. 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 exerts powerful effects on molecular, cellular and network mechanisms of plasticity that govern both initial learning and subsequent long-term memory consolidation. PMID:24028961

  13. 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

  14. Immune dysregulation and cognitive vulnerability in the aging brain: Interactions of microglia, IL-1?, BDNF and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Susan L

    2015-09-01

    Older individuals often experience declines in cognitive function after events (e.g. infection, or injury) that trigger activation of the immune system. This occurs at least in part because aging sensitizes the response of microglia (the brain's resident immune cells) to signals triggered by an immune challenge. In the aging brain, microglia respond to these signals by producing more pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g. interleukin-1beta or IL-1?) and producing them for longer than microglia in younger brains. This exaggerated inflammatory response can compromise processes critical for optimal cognitive functioning. Interleukin-1? is central to the inflammatory response and is a key mediator and modulator of an array of associated biological functions; thus its production and release is usually very tightly regulated. This review will focus on the impact of dysregulated production of IL-1? on hippocampus dependent-memory systems and associated synaptic plasticity processes. The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) helps to protect neurons from damage caused by infection or injury, and it plays a critical role in many of the same memory and hippocampal plasticity processes compromised by dysregulated production of IL-1?. This suggests that an exaggerated brain inflammatory response, arising from aging and a secondary immune challenge, may erode the capacity to provide the BDNF needed for memory-related plasticity processes at hippocampal synapses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'. PMID:25549562

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Neural Plasticity in Human Brain Connectivity: The Effects of Long Term Deep Brain Stimulation of the Subthalamic Nucleus in Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    van Hartevelt, Tim J.; Cabral, Joana; Deco, Gustavo; Møller, Arne; Green, Alexander L.; Aziz, Tipu Z.; Kringelbach, Morten L.

    2014-01-01

    Background Positive clinical outcomes are now well established for deep brain stimulation, but little is known about the effects of long-term deep brain stimulation on brain structural and functional connectivity. Here, we used the rare opportunity to acquire pre- and postoperative diffusion tensor imaging in a patient undergoing deep brain stimulation in bilateral subthalamic nuclei for Parkinson’s Disease. This allowed us to analyse the differences in structural connectivity before and after deep brain stimulation. Further, a computational model of spontaneous brain activity was used to estimate the changes in functional connectivity arising from the specific changes in structural connectivity. Results We found significant localised structural changes as a result of long-term deep brain stimulation. These changes were found in sensory-motor, prefrontal/limbic, and olfactory brain regions which are known to be affected in Parkinson’s Disease. The nature of these changes was an increase of nodal efficiency in most areas and a decrease of nodal efficiency in the precentral sensory-motor area. Importantly, the computational model clearly shows the impact of deep brain stimulation-induced structural alterations on functional brain changes, which is to shift the neural dynamics back towards a healthy regime. The results demonstrate that deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s Disease leads to a topological reorganisation towards healthy bifurcation of the functional networks measured in controls, which suggests a potential neural mechanism for the alleviation of symptoms. Conclusions The findings suggest that long-term deep brain stimulation has not only restorative effects on the structural connectivity, but also affects the functional connectivity at a global level. Overall, our results support causal changes in human neural plasticity after long-term deep brain stimulation and may help to identify the underlying mechanisms of deep brain stimulation. PMID:24466120

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Genetic Mapping of Brain Plasticity Across Development in Williams Syndrome: ERP Markers of Face and Language Processing

    PubMed Central

    Mills, D. L.; Dai, L.; Fishman, I.; Yam, A.; Appelbaum, L. G.; Galaburda, A.; Bellugi, U.; Korenberg, J. R.

    2014-01-01

    In Williams Syndrome (WS), a known genetic deletion results in atypical brain function with strengths in face and language processing. We examined how genetic influences on brain activity change with development. In three studies, ERPs from large samples of children, adolescents, and adults with the full genetic deletion for WS were compared to typically developing controls, and two adults with partial deletions for WS. Studies 1 and 2 identified ERP markers of brain plasticity in WS across development. Study 3 suggested that in adults with partial deletions for WS, specific genes may be differentially implicated in face and language processing. PMID:24219698

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  4. 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

  5. Seasonal female brain plasticity in processing social vs. sexual vocal signals.

    PubMed

    Cousillas, Hugo; George, Isabelle; Alcaix, Sandrine; Henry, Laurence; Richard, Jean-Pierre; Hausberger, Martine

    2013-03-01

    While cerebral plasticity has been extensively studied and demonstrated - during ontogenetic development, few studies have considered adult plasticity in different social contexts using relevant social communication signals. Communication requires adaptability throughout the life of an individual, especially in species for which breeding periods (when intersexual signaling prevails) are interspersed with more 'social' (non-sexual) periods when intrasexual bonding prevails. In songbirds, structure or frequency of songs or song elements may convey different information depending on the season. This is the case in the European starling, where some song structures characterize social bonds between females while other song structures are more characteristic of male courtship. We hypothesized that the female perceptual system may have adapted to these changes in song structure and function according to season, and we tested for potential seasonal brain plasticity. Electrophysiological recordings from adult female starlings during playback of song elements with different functions showed clear seasonal (breeding/non-breeding) changes in neuronal responses in the primary auditory area. The proportion of responsive sites was higher in response to social (non-sexual) songs during the non-reproductive season, and higher in response to sexual songs during the reproductive season. PMID:23294108

  6. Methylphenidate and the Juvenile Brain: Enhancement of Attention at the Expense of Cortical Plasticity?

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Kimberly R.; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2013-01-01

    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

  7. Does induction of plastic change in motor cortex improve leg function after stroke?

    PubMed

    Uy, J; Ridding, M C; Hillier, S; Thompson, P D; Miles, T S

    2003-10-14

    Combined peripheral nerve and brain stimulation ("dual stimulation") induces changes in the excitability of normal motor cortex. The authors sought to establish whether dual stimulation would also induce motor cortex plasticity and associated functional improvements in nine stroke patients with chronic stable hemiparesis. Following 4 weeks of daily dual stimulation, improvements were seen in some neurophysiological and functional measures. This technique may offer therapeutic opportunities in some stroke patients. PMID:14557574

  8. Day differences in the cortisol awakening response predict day differences in synaptic plasticity in the brain.

    PubMed

    Clow, Angela; Law, Robin; Evans, Phil; Vallence, Ann-Maree; Hodyl, Nicolette A; Goldsworthy, Mitchell R; Rothwell, John R; Ridding, Michael C

    2014-05-01

    The cortisol awakening response (CAR) is the most prominent, dynamic and variable part of the circadian pattern of cortisol secretion. Despite this, its precise purpose is unknown. Aberrant patterns of the CAR are associated with impaired physical and mental health and reduced cognitive function, suggesting that it may have a pervasive role or roles. It has been suggested that the CAR primes the brain for the expected demands of the day but the mechanisms underlying this process are unknown. We examined temporal covariation of the CAR and rapid transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)-induced long term depression (LTD)-like responses in the motor cortex. Plasticity was evaluated across 180 measures from five time points on four sessions across nine healthy researcher participants, mean age 25?±?2.5 years. Plasticity estimates were obtained in the afternoon after measurement of the CAR on 4 days, at least 3 days apart. As both CAR magnitude and rTMS-induced responses are variable across days, we hypothesized that days with larger than individual average CARs would be associated with a greater than individual average plasticity response. This was confirmed by mixed regression modelling where variation in the CAR predicted variation in rTMS-induced responses (df: 1, 148.24; F: 10.41; p?=?0.002). As the magnitude of the CAR is regulated by the "master" circadian CLOCK, and synaptic plasticity is known to be modulated by peripheral "slave" CLOCK genes, we suggest that the CAR may be a mediator between the master and peripheral circadian systems to entrain daily levels of synaptic plasticity. PMID:24646342

  9. Dynamic imaging of brain function

    PubMed Central

    Hyder, Fahmeed

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, there have been unprecedented methodological advances in the dynamic imaging of brain activities. Electrophysiological, optical, and magnetic resonance methods now allow mapping of functional activation (or deactivation) by measurement of neuronal activity (e.g., membrane potential, ion flux, neurotransmitter flux), energy metabolism (e.g., glucose consumption, oxygen consumption, creatine kinase flux), and functional hyperemia (e.g., blood oxygenation, blood flow, blood volume). Properties of the glutamatergic synapse are used as a model to reveal activities at the nerve terminal and their associated changes in energy demand and blood flow. This approach reveals that each method measures different tissue- and/or cell-specific components with specified spatiotemporal resolution. While advantages and disadvantages of different methods are apparent and often used to supersede one another in terms of specificity and/or sensitivity, no particular technique is the optimal dynamic brain imaging method because each method is unique in some respect. Because the demand for energy substrates is a fundamental requirement for function, energy-based methods may allow quantitative dynamic imaging in vivo. However there are exclusive neurobiological insights gained by combining some of these different dynamic imaging techniques. PMID:18839085

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. The role of sleep in memory consolidation and brain plasticity: dream or reality?

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G; Benington, Joel H

    2006-12-01

    The notion that a good night of sleep improves memory is widely accepted by the general public. Among sleep scientists, however, the idea has been hotly debated for decades. In this review, the authors consider current evidence for and against the hypothesis that sleep facilitates memory consolidation and promotes plastic changes in the brain. They find that despite a steady accumulation of positive findings over the past decade, the precise role of sleep in memory and brain plasticity remains elusive. This impasse may be resolved by more integrated approaches that combine behavioral and neurophysiological measurements in well-described in vivo models of synaptic plasticity. PMID:17079514

  13. Disrupted functional brain networks in autistic toddlers.

    PubMed

    Boersma, Maria; Kemner, Chantal; de Reus, Marcel A; Collin, Guusje; Snijders, Tineke M; Hofman, Dennis; Buitelaar, Jan K; Stam, Cornelis J; van den Heuvel, Martijn P

    2013-01-01

    Communication and integration of information between brain regions plays a key role in healthy brain function. Conversely, disruption in brain communication may lead to cognitive and behavioral problems. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by impaired social interactions and aberrant basic information processing. Aberrant brain connectivity patterns have indeed been hypothesized to be a key neural underpinning of autism. In this study, graph analytical tools are used to explore the possible deviant functional brain network organization in autism at a very early stage of brain development. Electroencephalography (EEG) recordings in 12 toddlers with autism (mean age 3.5 years) and 19 control subjects were used to assess interregional functional brain connectivity, with functional brain networks constructed at the level of temporal synchronization between brain regions underlying the EEG electrodes. Children with autism showed a significantly increased normalized path length and reduced normalized clustering, suggesting a reduced global communication capacity already during early brain development. In addition, whole brain connectivity was found to be significantly reduced in these young patients suggesting an overall under-connectivity of functional brain networks in autism. Our findings support the hypothesis of abnormal neural communication in autism, with deviating effects already present at the early stages of brain development. PMID:23259692

  14. [Functional MRI of the brain].

    PubMed

    Naruse, S

    1995-12-01

    An introduction to functional MRI (fMRI) of the brain was described. Basically there are two methods in fMRI; one is using extrinsic substance and the other intrinsic substance. The blood oxygen level dependent contrast method, which uses intrinsic substance, is used commonly at present. This method is based on the idea that the signal intensity changes due to the oxygenation of hemoglobin (Hb) in the blood vessels. Oxy-Hb has a diamagnetic property which does not affect the signal intensity of water proton. On the other hand, deoxy-Hb is paramagnetic and shortens the T2 relaxation time of the water proton. By the activation of brain, blood flow increases around the activated area with a little increase of oxygen consumption, resulting in an increase of oxy-Hb in the capillary of this area. Consequently signal increase occurs in the activated area of the brain on MRI due to the decrease of deoxy-Hb. The fMRI was measured by pulse sequences sensitive to the T2 changes such as echo planar imaging (EPI) on 1.5 T systems or gradient echo imaging (GRE) on high-filed magnetic systems (3.0-4.0 T). It becomes possible to get fMRI on conventional MRI scanners using GRE pulse sequence. Many activation tasks are adopted for fMRI; not only simple tasks such as motor, photic and sensory stimulations but also complex tasks such as hearing of words, word generation, imagination, coordination motion, etc. A rapid increase of signal intensity was observed in the primary cortical area corresponding to each task, and the activated area is visualized by the subtraction imaging or statistically treated imaging. The fMRI has big advantages to get brain functional imaging because of non-invasive measurement, using intrinsic substance, highly spatial and temporal resolution and easy measurement on conventional clinical devices. Therefore, the fMRI will be used more and more widely in future, especially by introducing the EPI technique to the clinical MRI scanners. PMID:8752393

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Altered Resting Brain Function and Structure in Professional Badminton Players

    PubMed Central

    Di, Xin; Zhu, Senhua; Wang, Pin; Ye, Zhuoer; Zhou, Ke; Zhuo, Yan

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Neuroimaging studies of professional athletic or musical training have demonstrated considerable practice-dependent plasticity in various brain structures, which may reflect distinct training demands. In the present study, structural and functional brain alterations were examined in professional badminton players and compared with healthy controls using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and resting-state functional MRI. Gray matter concentration (GMC) was assessed using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), and resting-brain functions were measured by amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and seed-based functional connectivity. Results showed that the athlete group had greater GMC and ALFF in the right and medial cerebellar regions, respectively. The athlete group also demonstrated smaller ALFF in the left superior parietal lobule and altered functional connectivity between the left superior parietal and frontal regions. These findings indicate that badminton expertise is associated with not only plastic structural changes in terms of enlarged gray matter density in the cerebellum, but also functional alterations in fronto-parietal connectivity. Such structural and functional alterations may reflect specific experiences of badminton training and practice, including high-capacity visuo-spatial processing and hand-eye coordination in addition to refined motor skills. PMID:22840241

  20. Altered resting brain function and structure in professional badminton players.

    PubMed

    Di, Xin; Zhu, Senhua; Jin, Hua; Wang, Pin; Ye, Zhuoer; Zhou, Ke; Zhuo, Yan; Rao, Hengyi

    2012-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies of professional athletic or musical training have demonstrated considerable practice-dependent plasticity in various brain structures, which may reflect distinct training demands. In the present study, structural and functional brain alterations were examined in professional badminton players and compared with healthy controls using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and resting-state functional MRI. Gray matter concentration (GMC) was assessed using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), and resting-brain functions were measured by amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and seed-based functional connectivity. Results showed that the athlete group had greater GMC and ALFF in the right and medial cerebellar regions, respectively. The athlete group also demonstrated smaller ALFF in the left superior parietal lobule and altered functional connectivity between the left superior parietal and frontal regions. These findings indicate that badminton expertise is associated with not only plastic structural changes in terms of enlarged gray matter density in the cerebellum, but also functional alterations in fronto-parietal connectivity. Such structural and functional alterations may reflect specific experiences of badminton training and practice, including high-capacity visuo-spatial processing and hand-eye coordination in addition to refined motor skills. PMID:22840241

  1. Synthesis of Research on Brain Plasticity: The Classroom Environment and Curriculum Enrichment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sylwester, Robert

    1986-01-01

    Outlines research findings on enriched environment investigations on the development of the brain's neocortex. Although the research has been conducted on animal brains, researchers expect to find related patterns in plasticity in humans. The research is important to educators as it challenges them to define, create, and maintain an emotionally…

  2. 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

  3. Sleep-dependent motor memory plasticity in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Walker, M P; Stickgold, R; Alsop, D; Gaab, N; Schlaug, G

    2005-01-01

    Growing evidence indicates a role for sleep in off-line memory processing, specifically in post-training consolidation. In humans, sleep has been shown to trigger overnight learning on a motor-sequence memory task, while equivalent waking periods produce no such improvement. But while the behavioral characteristics of sleep-dependent motor learning become increasingly well characterized, the underlying neural basis remains unknown. Here we present functional magnetic resonance imaging data demonstrating a change in the representation of a motor memory after a night of sleep. Subjects trained on a motor-skill memory and 12 hours later, after either sleep or wake, were retested during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Following sleep relative to wake, regions of increased activation were expressed in the right primary motor cortex, medial prefrontal lobe, hippocampus and left cerebellum; changes that can support faster motor output and more precise mapping of key-press movements. In contrast, signal decreases were identified in parietal cortices, the left insular cortex, temporal pole and fronto-polar region, reflecting a reduced need for conscious spatial monitoring and a decreased emotional task burden. This evidence of an overnight, systems-level change in the representation of a motor memory holds important implications for acquiring real-life skills and in clinical rehabilitation following brain trauma, such as stroke. PMID:15964485

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

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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

  6. Promoting Motor Function by Exercising the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Perrey, Stephane

    2013-01-01

    Exercise represents a behavioral intervention that enhances brain health and motor function. The increase in cerebral blood volume in response to physical activity may be responsible for improving brain function. Among the various neuroimaging techniques used to monitor brain hemodynamic response during exercise, functional near-infrared spectroscopy could facilitate the measurement of task-related cortical responses noninvasively and is relatively robust with regard to the subjects’ motion. Although the components of optimal exercise interventions have not been determined, evidence from animal and human studies suggests that aerobic exercise with sufficiently high intensity has neuroprotective properties and promotes motor function. This review provides an insight into the effect of physical activity (based on endurance and resistance exercises) on brain function for producing movement. Since most progress in the study of brain function has come from patients with neurological disorders (e.g., stroke and Parkinson’s patients), this review presents some findings emphasizing training paradigms for restoring motor function. PMID:24961309

  7. Enhanced human brain associative plasticity in Costello syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Dileone, M; Profice, P; Pilato, F; Alfieri, P; Cesarini, L; Mercuri, E; Leoni, C; Tartaglia, M; Di Iorio, R; Zampino, G; Di Lazzaro, V

    2010-01-01

    Costello syndrome (CS) is a rare multiple congenital anomaly disorder which is caused by germline mutations in the v-Ha-ras Harvey rat sarcoma viral oncogene homologue (HRAS) proto-oncogene. Experimental data suggest perturbing effects of the mutated protein on the functional and structural organization of networks of cerebral cortex and on the activity-dependent strengthening of synaptic transmission known as long term potentiation (LTP). In five patients with molecularly proven diagnosis of CS and in a group of 13 age-matched control subjects we investigated activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. To this end, we used a paired associative stimulation (PAS) protocol, in which left ulnar nerve stimuli were followed by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) pulses to right cortical hand area, and recorded motor evoked potentials (MEPs) by single pulse TMS from left first dorsal interosseus (FDI) muscle before and after PAS. In 4 out of 5 CS patients and in a subgroup of nine control subjects we also evaluated the time course and the topographical specificity of PAS after-effects. In these two subgroups, MEPs were measured before, immediately after and 30 min after PAS in the left FDI and left abductor pollicis brevis (APB). While the PAS protocol led to a 65% increase of the FDI MEP amplitude in controls, the LTP-like phenomenon was significantly more pronounced in CS patients, with motor responses increased by 230%. In addition, CS patients showed a similar MEP increase in both muscles while control subjects showed a slight increase in APB and only immediately after PAS. We hypothesize that the extremely enhanced PAS after-effects could be due to the influence of HRAS activity on the susceptibility of synapses to undergo LTP. PMID:20660566

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Right ventricular plasticity and functional imaging

    PubMed Central

    Brittain, Evan L.; Hemnes, Anna R.; Keebler, Mary; Lawson, Mark; Byrd, Benjamin F.; DiSalvo, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Right ventricular (RV) function is a strong independent predictor of outcome in a number of distinct cardiopulmonary diseases. The RV has a remarkable ability to sustain damage and recover function which may be related to unique anatomic, physiologic, and genetic factors that differentiate it from the left ventricle. This capacity has been described in patients with RV myocardial infarction, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and chronic thromboembolic disease as well as post-lung transplant and post-left ventricular assist device implantation. Various echocardiographic and magnetic resonance imaging parameters of RV function contribute to the clinical assessment and predict outcomes in these patients; however, limitations remain with these techniques. Early diagnosis of RV function and better insight into the mechanisms of RV recovery could improve patient outcomes. Further refinement of established and emerging imaging techniques is necessary to aid subclinical diagnosis and inform treatment decisions. PMID:23130100

  12. Functional Data Analysis in Brain Imaging Studies

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Tian Siva

    2010-01-01

    Functional data analysis (FDA) considers the continuity of the curves or functions, and is a topic of increasing interest in the statistics community. FDA is commonly applied to time-series and spatial-series studies. The development of functional brain imaging techniques in recent years made it possible to study the relationship between brain and mind over time. Consequently, an enormous amount of functional data is collected and needs to be analyzed. Functional techniques designed for these data are in strong demand. This paper discusses three statistically challenging problems utilizing FDA techniques in functional brain imaging analysis. These problems are dimension reduction (or feature extraction), spatial classification in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, and the inverse problem in magneto-encephalography studies. The application of FDA to these issues is relatively new but has been shown to be considerably effective. Future efforts can further explore the potential of FDA in functional brain imaging studies. PMID:21833205

  13. Insulin Action in Brain Regulates Systemic Metabolism and Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Kleinridders, André; Ferris, Heather A.; Cai, Weikang

    2014-01-01

    Insulin receptors, as well as IGF-1 receptors and their postreceptor signaling partners, are distributed throughout the brain. Insulin acts on these receptors to modulate peripheral metabolism, including regulation of appetite, reproductive function, body temperature, white fat mass, hepatic glucose output, and response to hypoglycemia. Insulin signaling also modulates neurotransmitter channel activity, brain cholesterol synthesis, and mitochondrial function. Disruption of insulin action in the brain leads to impairment of neuronal function and synaptogenesis. In addition, insulin signaling modulates phosphorylation of tau protein, an early component in the development of Alzheimer disease. Thus, alterations in insulin action in the brain can contribute to metabolic syndrome, and the development of mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24931034

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Raichle, Marcus E

    2015-05-19

    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

  17. Reversed timing-dependent associative plasticity in the human brain through interhemispheric interactions

    PubMed Central

    Vollmann, Henning; Taubert, Marco; Sehm, Bernhard; Cohen, Leonardo G.; Villringer, Arno; Ragert, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    Spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) has been proposed as one of the key mechanisms underlying learning and memory. Repetitive median nerve stimulation, followed by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the contralateral primary motor cortex (M1), defined as paired-associative stimulation (PAS), has been used as an in vivo model of STDP in humans. PAS-induced excitability changes in M1 have been repeatedly shown to be time-dependent in a STDP-like fashion, since synchronous arrival of inputs within M1 induces long-term potentiation-like effects, whereas an asynchronous arrival induces long-term depression (LTD)-like effects. Here, we show that interhemispheric inhibition of the sensorimotor network during PAS, with the peripheral stimulation over the hand ipsilateral to the motor cortex receiving TMS, results in a LTD-like effect, as opposed to the standard STDP-like effect seen for contralateral PAS. Furthermore, we could show that this reversed-associative plasticity critically depends on the timing interval between afferent and cortical stimulation. These results indicate that the outcome of associative stimulation in the human brain depends on functional network interactions (inhibition or facilitation) at a systems level and can either follow standard or reversed STDP-like mechanisms. PMID:23407353

  18. Margaret Kennard (1899–1975): Not a ‘Principle’ of Brain Plasticity But a Founding Mother of Developmental Neuropsychology

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Maureen

    2009-01-01

    According to the ‘Kennard Principle’, there is a negative linear relation between age at brain injury and functional outcome. Other things being equal, the younger the lesioned organism, the better the outcome. But the ‘Kennard Principle’ is neither Kennard’s nor a principle. In her work, Kennard sought to explain the factors that predicted functional outcome (age, to be sure, but also staging, laterality, location, and number of brain lesions, and outcome domain) and the neural mechanisms that altered the lesioned brain’s functionality. This paper discusses Kennard’s life and years at Yale (1931–1943); considers the genesis and scope of her work on early-onset brain lesions, which represents an empirical and theoretical foundation for current developmental neuropsychology; offers an historical explanation of why the ‘Kennard Principle’ emerged in the context of early 1970s work on brain plasticity; shows why uncritical belief in the ‘Kennard Principle’ continues to shape current research and practice; and reviews the continuing importance of her work. PMID:20079891

  19. New insights into the Role of Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor in Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Waterhouse, Emily G.; Xu, Baoji

    2009-01-01

    Substantial evidence indicates that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a crucial role in synaptic plasticity. Long-lasting synaptic plasticity is restricted to active synapses and requires new protein synthesis. Recent work has identified local protein synthesis as an important source for new protein during the expression of enduring synaptic plasticity. This review discusses recent progress in understanding the mechanisms that restrict the action of BDNF to active synapses and by which BDNF mediates chemical and structural modifications of individual synapses, placing an emphasis on the role of local protein synthesis in these processes. PMID:19577647

  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-β-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-1β. 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. Exercise-mimetic AICAR transiently benefits brain function.

    PubMed

    Guerrieri, Davide; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-07-30

    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-β-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-1β. 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

  2. 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)

  3. Pulmonary functions in plastic factory workers: a preliminary study.

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

    Khaliq F; Singh P; Chandra P; Gupta K; Vaney N

    2011-01-01

    Exposure to long term air pollution in the work environment may result in decreased lung functions and various other health problems. A significant occupational hazard to lung functions is experienced by plastic factory workers. The present study is planned to assess the pulmonary functions of workers in the plastic factory where recycling of pastic material was done. These workers were constantly exposed to fumes of various chemicals throughout the day. Thirty one workers of plastic factory were assessed for their pulmonary functions. Parameters were compared with 31 age and sex matched controls not exposed to the same environment. The pulmonary function tests were done using Sibelmed Datospir 120 B portable spirometer. A significant decrease in most of the flow rates (MEF 25%, MEF 50%, MEF 75% and FEF 25-75%) and most of the lung volumes and capacities (FVC, FEV1, VC, TV, ERV, MVV) were observed in the workers. Smoking and duration of exposure were not affecting the lung functions as the non smokers also showed a similar decrement in pulmonary functions. Similarly the workers working for less than 5 years also had decrement in pulmonary functions indicating that their lungs are being affected even if they have worked for one year. Exposure to the organic dust in the work environment should be controlled by adequate engineering measures, complemented by effective personal respiratory protection.

  4. Pulmonary functions in plastic factory workers: a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Khaliq, Farah; Singh, Pawan; Chandra, Prakash; Gupta, Keshav; Vaney, Neelam

    2011-01-01

    Exposure to long term air pollution in the work environment may result in decreased lung functions and various other health problems. A significant occupational hazard to lung functions is experienced by plastic factory workers. The present study is planned to assess the pulmonary functions of workers in the plastic factory where recycling of pastic material was done. These workers were constantly exposed to fumes of various chemicals throughout the day. Thirty one workers of plastic factory were assessed for their pulmonary functions. Parameters were compared with 31 age and sex matched controls not exposed to the same environment. The pulmonary function tests were done using Sibelmed Datospir 120 B portable spirometer. A significant decrease in most of the flow rates (MEF 25%, MEF 50%, MEF 75% and FEF 25-75%) and most of the lung volumes and capacities (FVC, FEV1, VC, TV, ERV, MVV) were observed in the workers. Smoking and duration of exposure were not affecting the lung functions as the non smokers also showed a similar decrement in pulmonary functions. Similarly the workers working for less than 5 years also had decrement in pulmonary functions indicating that their lungs are being affected even if they have worked for one year. Exposure to the organic dust in the work environment should be controlled by adequate engineering measures, complemented by effective personal respiratory protection. PMID:22315811

  5. 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

  6. Effects of plasticizers and plastic bags on granulocyte function during storage.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, M; Sasakawa, S

    1987-01-01

    The influence of the plasticizers, di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) and tri-(2-ethylhexyl)trimellitate (TOTM), on granulocyte function was examined. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) bags with DEHP (DEHP-PVC) leaked DEHP into plasma, but TOTM did not dissolve in plasma under the same conditions. Glow discharge treatment inhibited the leakage of DEHP from DEHP-PVC bags. Depending on the amount of DEHP added into granulocyte suspension, chemotaxis and bactericidal activity decreased, but cell counts and phagocytosis were not affected. During storage for 24 h at 22 degrees C, granulocyte function decreased greatly in DEHP-PVC, but was well maintained in the bags which did not leak plasticizers, TOTM-PVC and glow-discharged DEHP-PVC. PMID:3660766

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. Simple models of human brain functional networks.

    PubMed

    Vértes, Petra E; Alexander-Bloch, Aaron F; Gogtay, Nitin; Giedd, Jay N; Rapoport, Judith L; Bullmore, Edward T

    2012-04-10

    Human brain functional networks are embedded in anatomical space and have topological properties--small-worldness, modularity, fat-tailed degree distributions--that are comparable to many other complex networks. Although a sophisticated set of measures is available to describe the topology of brain networks, the selection pressures that drive their formation remain largely unknown. Here we consider generative models for the probability of a functional connection (an edge) between two cortical regions (nodes) separated by some Euclidean distance in anatomical space. In particular, we propose a model in which the embedded topology of brain networks emerges from two competing factors: a distance penalty based on the cost of maintaining long-range connections; and a topological term that favors links between regions sharing similar input. We show that, together, these two biologically plausible factors are sufficient to capture an impressive range of topological properties of functional brain networks. Model parameters estimated in one set of functional MRI (fMRI) data on normal volunteers provided a good fit to networks estimated in a second independent sample of fMRI data. Furthermore, slightly detuned model parameters also generated a reasonable simulation of the abnormal properties of brain functional networks in people with schizophrenia. We therefore anticipate that many aspects of brain network organization, in health and disease, may be parsimoniously explained by an economical clustering rule for the probability of functional connectivity between different brain areas. PMID:22467830

  9. Emergence of Functional Specificity in Balanced Networks with Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Sadeh, Sadra; Clopath, Claudia; Rotter, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    In rodent visual cortex, synaptic connections between orientation-selective neurons are unspecific at the time of eye opening, and become to some degree functionally specific only later during development. An explanation for this two-stage process was proposed in terms of Hebbian plasticity based on visual experience that would eventually enhance connections between neurons with similar response features. For this to work, however, two conditions must be satisfied: First, orientation selective neuronal responses must exist before specific recurrent synaptic connections can be established. Second, Hebbian learning must be compatible with the recurrent network dynamics contributing to orientation selectivity, and the resulting specific connectivity must remain stable for unspecific background activity. Previous studies have mainly focused on very simple models, where the receptive fields of neurons were essentially determined by feedforward mechanisms, and where the recurrent network was small, lacking the complex recurrent dynamics of large-scale networks of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Here we studied the emergence of functionally specific connectivity in large-scale recurrent networks with synaptic plasticity. Our results show that balanced random networks, which already exhibit highly selective responses at eye opening, can develop feature-specific connectivity if appropriate rules of synaptic plasticity are invoked within and between excitatory and inhibitory populations. If these conditions are met, the initial orientation selectivity guides the process of Hebbian learning and, as a result, functionally specific and a surplus of bidirectional connections emerge. Our results thus demonstrate the cooperation of synaptic plasticity and recurrent dynamics in large-scale functional networks with realistic receptive fields, highlight the role of inhibition as a critical element in this process, and paves the road for further computational studies of sensory processing in neocortical network models equipped with synaptic plasticity. PMID:26090844

  10. Brain Plasticity and the Art of Teaching to Learn

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martinez, Margaret

    2005-01-01

    "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself, "wrote Leo Tolstoy. Have you ever thought about how learning changes your brain? If yes, this paper may help you explore the research that will change our learning landscape in the next few years! Recent developers in the neurosciences and education research…

  11. Perspectives of TRPV1 Function on the Neurogenesis and Neural Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez-Barrantes, R.; Cordova, C.; Poblete, H.; Muñoz, P.; Marchant, I.; Wianny, F.; Olivero, P.

    2016-01-01

    The development of new strategies to renew and repair neuronal networks using neural plasticity induced by stem cell graft could enable new therapies to cure diseases that were considered lethal until now. In adequate microenvironment a neuronal progenitor must receive molecular signal of a specific cellular context to determine fate, differentiation, and location. TRPV1, a nonselective calcium channel, is expressed in neurogenic regions of the brain like the subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus and the telencephalic subventricular zone, being valuable for neural differentiation and neural plasticity. Current data show that TRPV1 is involved in several neuronal functions as cytoskeleton dynamics, cell migration, survival, and regeneration of injured neurons, incorporating several stimuli in neurogenesis and network integration. The function of TRPV1 in the brain is under intensive investigation, due to multiple places where it has been detected and its sensitivity for different chemical and physical agonists, and a new role of TRPV1 in brain function is now emerging as a molecular tool for survival and control of neural stem cells. PMID:26881090

  12. 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…

  13. Brain, Mind and Language Functional Architectures

    PubMed Central

    Fingelkurts, Andrew A; Fingelkurts, Alexander A; Marchetti, Giorgio

    2010-01-01

    The interaction between brain and language has been investigated by a vast amount of research and different approaches, which however do not offer a comprehensive and unified theoretical framework to analyze how brain functioning performs the mental processes we use in producing language and in understanding speech. This Special Issue addresses the need to develop such a general theoretical framework, by fostering an interaction among the various scientific disciplines and methodologies, which centres on investigating the functional architecture of brain, mind and language, and is articulated along the following main dimensions of research: (a) Language as a regulatory contour of brain and mental processes; (b) Language as a unique human phenomenon; (c) Language as a governor of human behaviour and brain operations; (d) Language as an organizational factor of ontogenesis of mentation and behaviour. PMID:20922047

  14. 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

  15. Impact of fatty acids on brain circulation, structure and function.

    PubMed

    Haast, Roy A M; Kiliaan, Amanda J

    2015-01-01

    The use of dietary intervention has evolved into a promising approach to prevent the onset and progression of brain diseases. The positive relationship between intake of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (?3-LCPUFAs) and decreased onset of disease- and aging-related deterioration of brain health is increasingly endorsed across epidemiological and diet-interventional studies. Promising results are found regarding to the protection of proper brain circulation, structure and functionality in healthy and diseased humans and animal models. These include enhanced cerebral blood flow (CBF), white and gray matter integrity, and improved cognitive functioning, and are possibly mediated through increased neurovascular coupling, neuroprotection and neuronal plasticity, respectively. Contrary, studies investigating diets high in saturated fats provide opposite results, which may eventually lead to irreversible damage. Studies like these are of great importance given the high incidence of obesity caused by the increased and decreased consumption of respectively saturated fats and ?3-LCPUFAs in the Western civilization. This paper will review in vivo research conducted on the effects of ?3-LCPUFAs and saturated fatty acids on integrity (circulation, structure and function) of the young, aging and diseased brain. PMID:24485516

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Longitudinal fMRI studies: Exploring brain plasticity and repair in MS.

    PubMed

    Enzinger, Christian; Pinter, Daniela; Rocca, Maria A; De Luca, John; Sastre-Garriga, Jaume; Audoin, Bertrand; Filippi, Massimo

    2016-03-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has greatly advanced our understanding of cerebral functional changes occurring in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, most of our knowledge regarding brain plasticity and repair in MS as evidenced by fMRI has been extrapolated from cross-sectional studies across different phenotypes of the disease. This topical review provides an overview of this research, but also highlights limitations of existing fMRI studies with cross-sectional design. We then review the few existing longitudinal fMRI studies and discuss the feasibility and constraints of serial fMRI in individuals with MS. We further emphasize the potential to track fMRI changes in evolving disease and the insights this may give in terms of mechanisms of adaptation and repair, focusing on serial fMRI to monitor response to disease-modifying therapies or rehabilitation interventions. Finally, we offer recommendations for designing future research studies to overcome previous methodological shortcomings. PMID:26683590

  19. 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

  20. White matter in the older brain is more plastic than in the younger brain

    PubMed Central

    Yotsumoto, Yuko; Chang, Li-Hung; Ni, Rui; Pierce, Russell; Andersen, George J; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka

    2014-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) with younger subjects is associated with changes in functional activation of the early visual cortex. Although overall brain properties decline with age, it is unclear whether these declines are associated with visual perceptual learning. Here we use diffusion tensor imaging to test whether changes in white matter are involved in VPL for older adults. After training on a texture discrimination task for 3 daily sessions, both older and younger subjects show performance improvements. While the older subjects show significant changes in fractional anisotropy (FA) in the white matter beneath the early visual cortex after training, no significant change in FA is observed for younger subjects. These results suggest that the mechanism for VPL in older individuals is considerably different from that in younger individuals and that VPL of older individuals involves re-organization of white matter. PMID:25407566

  1. Method of euthanasia affects amygdala plasticity in horizontal brain slices from mice.

    PubMed

    Kulisch, C; Eckers, N; Albrecht, D

    2011-10-15

    An important consideration in any terminal experiment is the method used for euthanizing animals. Although the prime consideration is that the method is humane, some methods can have a dramatic impact on experimental outcomes. The standard inhalant anesthetic for experiments in brain slices is isoflurane, which replaced the flammable ethers used in the pioneer days of surgery. To our knowledge, there are no data available evaluating the effects of the method of euthanasia on plasticity changes in brain slices. Here, we compare the magnitude of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) after euthanasia following either ether or isoflurane anesthesia, as well as in mice decapitated without anesthesia. We found no differences in input-output curves using different methods of euthanasia. The LTP magnitude did not differ between ether and normal isoflurane anesthesia. After deep isoflurane anesthesia LTP induced by high frequency stimulation of cortical or intranuclear afferents was significantly reduced compared to ether anesthesia. In contrast to ether anesthesia and decapitation without anesthesia, the low frequency stimulation of cortical afferents induced a reliable LA-LTD after deep isoflurane anesthesia. Low frequency stimulation of intranuclear afferents only caused LTD after pretreatment with ether anesthesia. The results demonstrate that the method of euthanasia can influence brain plasticity for hours at least in the interface chamber. Therefore, the method of euthanasia is an important consideration when brain plasticity will be evaluated. PMID:21875617

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men

    MedlinePLUS

    ... the RSNA Annual Meeting Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men At A Glance Using ... video games for one week causes changes in brain function. The brain regions affected by violent video ...

  6. Functional brain changes in presymptomatic Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Reading, Sarah A J; Dziorny, Adam C; Peroutka, Laura A; Schreiber, Mathew; Gourley, Lisa M; Yallapragada, Venu; Rosenblatt, Adam; Margolis, Russell L; Pekar, James J; Pearlson, Godfrey D; Aylward, Elizabeth; Brandt, Jason; Bassett, Susan S; Ross, Christopher A

    2004-06-01

    Evidence suggests early structural brain changes in individuals with the Huntington's disease (HD) genetic mutation who are presymptomatic for the movement symptoms of the illness. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of functional brain changes in this same population using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Subjects and matched controls underwent an functional magnetic resonance imaging "interference" protocol, a task known to be mediated in part by corticostriatal circuitry. In the setting of normal cognitive performance, presymptomatic HD subjects had significantly and specifically less activation in the left anterior cingulate cortex (BA 24, 32) compared with matched controls. PMID:15174024

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Nitroxy/azido-functionalized triazoles as potential energetic plasticizers.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yongxing; Shreeve, Jean'ne M

    2015-05-01

    The synthesis of a series of nitroxy- and azido-functionalized compounds, based on 4-amino-3,5-di(hydroxymethyl)-1,2,4-triazole, for possible use as an energetic plasticizers is described. All compounds were fully characterized. Two of them were further confirmed by X-ray single crystal diffraction. Energetic performance was calculated by using EXPLO5 v6.01 based on calculated heats of formation (Gaussian 03) and experimentally determined densities at 25?°C. The results show that the nitration product 1-nitro-3,5-di(nitroxymethyl)-1,2,4-triazole, containing a nitro group and two nitroxy groups, exhibits good detonation properties (D=8574?m?s(-1) , P=32.7?GPa). In addition, its low melting point makes it very attractive as an energetic plasticizer in solid propellants. PMID:25801532

  10. 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

  11. Brain Connectivity Plasticity in the Motor Network after Ischemic Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Lin; Xu, Huijuan

    2013-01-01

    The motor function is controlled by the motor system that comprises a series of cortical and subcortical areas interacting via anatomical connections. The motor function will be disturbed when the stroke lesion impairs either any of these areas or their connections. More and more evidence indicates that the reorganization of the motor network including both areas and their anatomical and functional connectivity might contribute to the motor recovery after stroke. Here, we review recent studies employing models of anatomical, functional, and effective connectivity on neuroimaging data to investigate how ischemic stroke influences the connectivity of motor areas and how changes in connectivity relate to impaired function and functional recovery. We suggest that connectivity changes constitute an important pathophysiological aspect of motor impairment after stroke and important mechanisms of motor recovery. We also demonstrate that therapeutic interventions may facilitate motor recovery after stroke by modulating the connectivity among the motor areas. In conclusion, connectivity analyses improved our understanding of the mechanisms of motor recovery after stroke and may help to design hypothesis-driven treatment strategies and sensitive measures for outcome prediction in stroke patients. PMID:23738150

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Adaptive Motor Imagery: A Multimodal Study of Immobilization-Induced Brain Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Burianová, Hana; Sowman, Paul F; Marstaller, Lars; Rich, Anina N; Williams, Mark A; Savage, Greg; Al-Janabi, Shahd; de Lissa, Peter; Johnson, Blake W

    2016-03-01

    The consequences of losing the ability to move a limb are traumatic. One approach that examines the impact of pathological limb nonuse on the brain involves temporary immobilization of a healthy limb. Here, we investigated immobilization-induced plasticity in the motor imagery (MI) circuitry during hand immobilization. We assessed these changes with a multimodal paradigm, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure neural activation, magnetoencephalography (MEG) to track neuronal oscillatory dynamics, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to assess corticospinal excitability. fMRI results show a significant decrease in neural activation for MI of the constrained hand, localized to sensorimotor areas contralateral to the immobilized hand. MEG results show a significant decrease in beta desynchronization and faster resynchronization in sensorimotor areas contralateral to the immobilized hand. TMS results show a significant increase in resting motor threshold in motor cortex contralateral to the constrained hand, suggesting a decrease in corticospinal excitability in the projections to the constrained hand. These results demonstrate a direct and rapid effect of immobilization on MI processes of the constrained hand, suggesting that limb nonuse may not only affect motor execution, as evidenced by previous studies, but also MI. These findings have important implications for the effectiveness of therapeutic approaches that use MI as a rehabilitation tool to ameliorate the negative effects of limb nonuse. PMID:25477368

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Advantages in functional imaging of the brain

    PubMed Central

    Mier, Walter; Mier, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    As neuronal pathologies cause only minor morphological alterations, molecular imaging techniques are a prerequisite for the study of diseases of the brain. The development of molecular probes that specifically bind biochemical markers and the advances of instrumentation have revolutionized the possibilities to gain insight into the human brain organization and beyond this—visualize structure-function and brain-behavior relationships. The review describes the development and current applications of functional brain imaging techniques with a focus on applications in psychiatry. A historical overview of the development of functional imaging is followed by the portrayal of the principles and applications of positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), two key molecular imaging techniques that have revolutionized the ability to image molecular processes in the brain. We conclude that the juxtaposition of PET and fMRI in hybrid PET/MRI scanners enhances the significance of both modalities for research in neurology and psychiatry and might pave the way for a new area of personalized medicine. PMID:26042013

  19. 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

  20. 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-γ. 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

  1. 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

  2. Progesterone Receptors: Form and Function in Brain

    PubMed Central

    Brinton, Roberta Diaz; Thompson, Richard F.; Foy, Michael R.; Baudry, Michel; Wang, JunMing; Finch, Caleb E; Morgan, Todd E.; Stanczyk, Frank Z.; Pike, Christian J.; Nilsen, Jon

    2008-01-01

    Emerging data indicate that progesterone has multiple non-reproductive functions in the central nervous system to regulate cognition, mood, inflammation, mitochondrial function, neurogenesis and regeneration, myelination and recovery from traumatic brain injury. Progesterone-regulated neural responses are mediated by an array of progesterone receptors (PR) that include the classic nuclear PRA and PRB receptors and splice variants of each, the seven transmembrane domain 7TMPRβ and the membrane-associated 25-Dx PR (PGRMC1). These PRs induce classic regulation of gene expression while also transducing signaling cascades that originate at the cell membrane and ultimately activate transcription factors. Remarkably, PRs are broadly expressed throughout the brain and can be detected in every neural cell type. The distribution of PRs beyond hypothalamic borders, suggests a much broader role of progesterone in regulating neural function. Despite the large body of evidence regarding progesterone regulation of reproductive behaviors and estrogen-inducible responses as well as effects of progesterone metabolite neurosteroids, much remains to be discovered regarding the functional outcomes resulting from activation of the complex array of PRs in brain by gonadally and / or glial derived progesterone. Moreover, the impact of clinically used progestogens and developing selective PR modulators for targeted outcomes in brain is a critical avenue of investigation as the non-reproductive functions of PRs have far-reaching implications for hormone therapy to maintain neurological health and function throughout menopausal aging. PMID:18374402

  3. Why and How Physical Activity Promotes Experience-Induced Brain Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kempermann, Gerd; Fabel, Klaus; Ehninger, Dan; Babu, Harish; Leal-Galicia, Perla; Garthe, Alexander; Wolf, Susanne A.

    2010-01-01

    Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is an unusual case of brain plasticity, since new neurons (and not just neurites and synapses) are added to the network in an activity-dependent way. At the behavioral level the plasticity-inducing stimuli include both physical and cognitive activity. In reductionistic animal studies these types of activity can be studied separately in paradigms like voluntary wheel running and environmental enrichment. In both of these, adult neurogenesis is increased but the net effect is primarily due to different mechanisms at the cellular level. Locomotion appears to stimulate the precursor cells, from which adult neurogenesis originates, to increased proliferation and maintenance over time, whereas environmental enrichment, as well as learning, predominantly promotes survival of immature neurons, that is the progeny of the proliferating precursor cells. Surprisingly, these effects are additive: boosting the potential for adult neurogenesis by physical activity increases the recruitment of cells following cognitive stimulation in an enriched environment. Why is that? We argue that locomotion actually serves as an intrinsic feedback mechanism, signaling to the brain, including its neural precursor cells, increasing the likelihood of cognitive challenges. In the wild (other than in front of a TV), no separation of physical and cognitive activity occurs. Physical activity might thus be much more than a generally healthy garnish to leading “an active life” but an evolutionarily fundamental aspect of “activity,” which is needed to provide the brain and its systems of plastic adaptation with the appropriate regulatory input and feedback. PMID:21151782

  4. Young blood reverses age-related impairments in cognitive function and synaptic plasticity in mice.

    PubMed

    Villeda, Saul A; Plambeck, Kristopher E; Middeldorp, Jinte; Castellano, Joseph M; Mosher, Kira I; Luo, Jian; Smith, Lucas K; Bieri, Gregor; Lin, Karin; Berdnik, Daniela; Wabl, Rafael; Udeochu, Joe; Wheatley, Elizabeth G; Zou, Bende; Simmons, Danielle A; Xie, Xinmin S; Longo, Frank M; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2014-06-01

    As human lifespan increases, a greater fraction of the population is suffering from age-related cognitive impairments, making it important to elucidate a means to combat the effects of aging. Here we report that exposure of an aged animal to young blood can counteract and reverse pre-existing effects of brain aging at the molecular, structural, functional and cognitive level. Genome-wide microarray analysis of heterochronic parabionts--in which circulatory systems of young and aged animals are connected--identified synaptic plasticity-related transcriptional changes in the hippocampus of aged mice. Dendritic spine density of mature neurons increased and synaptic plasticity improved in the hippocampus of aged heterochronic parabionts. At the cognitive level, systemic administration of young blood plasma into aged mice improved age-related cognitive impairments in both contextual fear conditioning and spatial learning and memory. Structural and cognitive enhancements elicited by exposure to young blood are mediated, in part, by activation of the cyclic AMP response element binding protein (Creb) in the aged hippocampus. Our data indicate that exposure of aged mice to young blood late in life is capable of rejuvenating synaptic plasticity and improving cognitive function. PMID:24793238

  5. 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

  6. Characterizing Brain Cortical Plasticity and Network Dynamics Across the Age-Span in Health and Disease with TMS-EEG and TMS-fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Freitas, Catarina; Oberman, Lindsay; Horvath, Jared C.; Halko, Mark; Eldaief, Mark; Bashir, Shahid; Vernet, Marine; Shafi, Mouhshin; Westover, Brandon; Vahabzadeh-Hagh, Andrew M.; Rotenberg, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Brain plasticity can be conceptualized as nature’s invention to overcome limitations of the genome and adapt to a rapidly changing environment. As such, plasticity is an intrinsic property of the brain across the life-span. However, mechanisms of plasticity may vary with age. The combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with electroencephalography (EEG) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) enables clinicians and researchers to directly study local and network cortical plasticity, in humans in vivo, and characterize their changes across the age-span. Parallel, translational studies in animals can provide mechanistic insights. Here, we argue that, for each individual, the efficiency of neuronal plasticity declines throughout the age-span and may do so more or less prominently depending on variable ‘starting-points’ and different ‘slopes of change’ defined by genetic, biological, and environmental factors. Furthermore, aberrant, excessive, insufficient, or mistimed plasticity may represent the proximal pathogenic cause of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders such as autism spectrum disorders or Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:21842407

  7. 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

  8. Functional interrelationship of brain aging and delirium.

    PubMed

    Rapazzini, Piero

    2016-02-01

    Theories on the development of delirium are complementary rather than competing and they may relate to each other. Here, we highlight that similar alterations in functional brain connectivity underlie both the observed age-related deficits and episodes of delirium. The default mode network (DMN) is a group of brain regions showing a greater level of activity at rest than during attention-based tasks. These regions include the posteromedial-anteromedial cortices and temporoparietal junctions. Evidence suggests that awareness is subserved through higher order neurons associated with the DMN. By using functional MRI disruption of DMN, connectivity and weaker task-induced deactivations of these regions are observed both in age-related cognitive impairment and during episodes of delirium. We can assume that an acute up-regulation of inhibitory tone within the brain acts to further disrupt network connectivity in vulnerable patients, who are predisposed by a reduced baseline connectivity, and triggers the delirium. PMID:25998952

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  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. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function

    PubMed Central

    Lauritzen, Lotte; Brambilla, Paolo; Mazzocchi, Alessandra; Harsløf, Laurine B. S.; Ciappolino, Valentina; Agostoni, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a structural constituent of membranes specifically in the central nervous system. Its accumulation in the fetal brain takes place mainly during the last trimester of pregnancy and continues at very high rates up to the end of the second year of life. Since the endogenous formation of DHA seems to be relatively low, DHA intake may contribute to optimal conditions for brain development. We performed a narrative review on research on the associations between DHA levels and brain development and function throughout the lifespan. Data from cell and animal studies justify the indication of DHA in relation to brain function for neuronal cell growth and differentiation as well as in relation to neuronal signaling. Most data from human studies concern the contribution of DHA to optimal visual acuity development. Accumulating data indicate that DHA may have effects on the brain in infancy, and recent studies indicate that the effect of DHA may depend on gender and genotype of genes involved in the endogenous synthesis of DHA. While DHA levels may affect early development, potential effects are also increasingly recognized during childhood and adult life, suggesting a role of DHA in cognitive decline and in relation to major psychiatric disorders. PMID:26742060

  14. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function.

    PubMed

    Lauritzen, Lotte; Brambilla, Paolo; Mazzocchi, Alessandra; Harsløf, Laurine B S; Ciappolino, Valentina; Agostoni, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a structural constituent of membranes specifically in the central nervous system. Its accumulation in the fetal brain takes place mainly during the last trimester of pregnancy and continues at very high rates up to the end of the second year of life. Since the endogenous formation of DHA seems to be relatively low, DHA intake may contribute to optimal conditions for brain development. We performed a narrative review on research on the associations between DHA levels and brain development and function throughout the lifespan. Data from cell and animal studies justify the indication of DHA in relation to brain function for neuronal cell growth and differentiation as well as in relation to neuronal signaling. Most data from human studies concern the contribution of DHA to optimal visual acuity development. Accumulating data indicate that DHA may have effects on the brain in infancy, and recent studies indicate that the effect of DHA may depend on gender and genotype of genes involved in the endogenous synthesis of DHA. While DHA levels may affect early development, potential effects are also increasingly recognized during childhood and adult life, suggesting a role of DHA in cognitive decline and in relation to major psychiatric disorders. PMID:26742060

  15. DYNAMIC PLASTICITY: THE ROLE OF GLUCOCORTICOIDS, BRAIN-DERIVED NEUROTROPHIC FACTOR AND OTHER TROPHIC FACTORS

    PubMed Central

    GRAY, J. D.; MILNER, T. A.; MCEWEN, B. S.

    2013-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a secreted protein that has been linked to numerous aspects of plasticity in the central nervous system (CNS). Stress-induced remodeling of the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and amygdala is coincident with changes in the levels of BDNF, which has been shown to act as a trophic factor facilitating the survival of existing and newly born neurons. Initially, hippocampal atrophy after chronic stress was associated with reduced BDNF, leading to the hypothesis that stress-related learning deficits resulted from suppressed hippocampal neurogenesis. However, recent evidence suggests that BDNF also plays a rapid and essential role in regulating synaptic plasticity, providing another mechanism through which BDNF can modulate learning and memory after a stressful event. Numerous reports have shown BDNF levels are highly dynamic in response to stress, and not only vary across brain regions but also fluctuate rapidly, both immediately after a stressor and over the course of a chronic stress paradigm. Yet, BDNF alone is not sufficient to effect many of the changes observed after stress. Glucocorticoids and other molecules have been shown to act in conjunction with BDNF to facilitate both the morphological and molecular changes that occur, particularly changes in spine density and gene expression. This review briefly summarizes the evidence supporting BDNF’s role as a trophic factor modulating neuronal survival, and will primarily focus on the interactions between BDNF and other systems within the brain to facilitate synaptic plasticity. This growing body of evidence suggests a more nuanced role for BDNF in stress-related learning and memory, where it acts primarily as a facilitator of plasticity and is dependent upon the coactivation of glucocorticoids and other factors as the determinants of the final cellular response. PMID:22922121

  16. 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

  17. Switching roles: the functional plasticity of adult tissue stem cells.

    PubMed

    Wabik, Agnieszka; Jones, Philip H

    2015-05-01

    Adult organisms have to adapt to survive, and the same is true for their tissues. Rates and types of cell production must be rapidly and reversibly adjusted to meet tissue demands in response to both local and systemic challenges. Recent work reveals how stem cell (SC) populations meet these requirements by switching between functional states tuned to homoeostasis or regeneration. This plasticity extends to differentiating cells, which are capable of reverting to SCs after injury. The concept of the niche, the micro-environment that sustains and regulates stem cells, is broadening, with a new appreciation of the role of physical factors and hormonal signals. Here, we review different functions of SCs, the cellular mechanisms that underlie them and the signals that bias the fate of SCs as they switch between roles. PMID:25812989

  18. Magnesium Protects Cognitive Functions and Synaptic Plasticity in Streptozotocin-Induced Sporadic Alzheimer’s Model

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Jian; Wang, Zhi-Hao; Zeng, Juan; Liu, En-Jie; Li, Xiao-Guang; Huang, Rong-Xi; Gao, Di; Li, Meng-Zhu; Zhang, Yao; Liu, Gong-Ping; Wang, Jian-Zhi

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by profound synapse loss and impairments of learning and memory. Magnesium affects many biochemical mechanisms that are vital for neuronal properties and synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have demonstrated that the serum and brain magnesium levels are decreased in AD patients; however, the exact role of magnesium in AD pathogenesis remains unclear. Here, we found that the intraperitoneal administration of magnesium sulfate increased the brain magnesium levels and protected learning and memory capacities in streptozotocin-induced sporadic AD model rats. We also found that magnesium sulfate reversed impairments in long-term potentiation (LTP), dendritic abnormalities, and the impaired recruitment of synaptic proteins. Magnesium sulfate treatment also decreased tau hyperphosphorylation by increasing the inhibitory phosphorylation of GSK-3β at serine 9, thereby increasing the activity of Akt at Ser473 and PI3K at Tyr458/199, and improving insulin sensitivity. We conclude that magnesium treatment protects cognitive function and synaptic plasticity by inhibiting GSK-3β in sporadic AD model rats, which suggests a potential role for magnesium in AD therapy. PMID:25268773

  19. 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

  20. Electromagnetic inverse applications for functional brain imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, C.C.

    1997-10-01

    This is the final report of a one-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). This project addresses an important mathematical and computational problem in functional brain imaging, namely the electromagnetic {open_quotes}inverse problem.{close_quotes} Electromagnetic brain imaging techniques, magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG), are based on measurements of electrical potentials and magnetic fields at hundreds of locations outside the human head. The inverse problem is the estimation of the locations, magnitudes, and time-sources of electrical currents in the brain from surface measurements. This project extends recent progress on the inverse problem by combining the use of anatomical constraints derived from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with Bayesian and other novel algorithmic approaches. The results suggest that we can achieve significant improvements in the accuracy and robustness of inverse solutions by these two approaches.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Publishing in the field of brain plasticity, repair and rehabilitation: an emerging neuroscience niche journal.

    PubMed

    Sabel, B A; Matzke, S; Prilloff, S

    2007-01-01

    The journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience (RNN) is now published in its 25th volume since its inception in 1989. RNN focuses on the emerging field of brain plasticity, repair and rehabilitation, including original and review papers both in basic research (animal experiments, in vitro studies) and in the clinical domain, including brain imaging studies. During the last decade RNN has experienced a steady progress in its reference value and scientific impact. The ISI-impact factor has risen from 1.117 (1997) to 2.862 (2006). This places the journal at the 81st rank among all 200 neuroscience journals, i.e. 60% of all neuroscience journals have a lower impact factor. When compared to other journals in the field of rehabilitation, RNN ranks number 1. Causes for this positive development are, among others: (1) the field of neuroplasticity, regeneration, recovery and rehabilitation is an emerging field in medicine and therefore the number of publications and their citation rate overall increases, (2) the special issues strategy, (3) a top level editorial board, and (4) the quality of papers submitted to RNN continuously improves as RNN is gaining increasing acceptance in the scientific community. Thus, in the space of neuroscience in general, and rehabilitation in particular, RNN has become a visible, high impact journal and a leading source of original scientific information pertaining to brain plasticity , rehabilitation and repair. RNN is likely to gain more momentum as the field matures further. PMID:18334762

  5. Structural and functional brain imaging in schizophrenia.

    PubMed Central

    Cleghorn, J M; Zipursky, R B; List, S J

    1991-01-01

    We present an evaluation of the contribution of structural and functional brain imaging to our understanding of schizophrenia. Methodological influences on the validity of the data generated by these new technologies include problems with measurement and clinical and anatomic heterogeneity. These considerations greatly affect the interpretation of the data generated by these technologies. Work in these fields to date, however, has produced strong evidence which suggests that schizophrenia is a disease which involves abnormalities in the structure and function of many brain areas. Structural brain imaging studies of schizophrenia using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are reviewed and their contribution to current theories of the pathogenesis of schizophrenia are discussed. Positron emission tomography (PET) studies of brain metabolic activity and dopamine receptor binding in schizophrenia are summarized and the critical questions raised by these studies are outlined. Future studies in these fields have the potential to yield critical insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia; new directions for studies of schizophrenia using these technologies are identified. PMID:1911736

  6. Individual diversity of functional brain network economy.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Andreas; Kranz, Georg S; Sladky, Ronald; Ganger, Sebastian; Windischberger, Christian; Kasper, Siegfried; Lanzenberger, Rupert

    2015-04-01

    On average, brain network economy represents a trade-off between communication efficiency, robustness, and connection cost, although an analogous understanding on an individual level is largely missing. Evaluating resting-state networks of 42 healthy participants with seven Tesla functional magnetic resonance imaging and graph theory revealed that not even half of all possible connections were common across subjects. The strongest similarities among individuals were observed for interhemispheric and/or short-range connections, which may relate to the essential feature of the human brain to develop specialized systems within each hemisphere. Despite this marked variability in individual network architecture, all subjects exhibited equal small-world properties. Furthermore, interdependency between four major network economy metrics was observed across healthy individuals. The characteristic path length was associated with the clustering coefficient (peak correlation r=0.93), the response to network attacks (r=-0.97), and the physical connection cost in three-dimensional space (r=-0.62). On the other hand, clustering was negatively related to attack response (r=-0.75) and connection cost (r=-0.59). Finally, increased connection cost was associated with better response to attacks (r=0.65). This indicates that functional brain networks with high global information transfer also exhibit strong network resilience. However, it seems that these advantages come at the cost of decreased local communication efficiency and increased physical connection cost. Except for wiring length, the results were replicated on a subsample at three Tesla (n=20). These findings highlight the finely tuned interrelationships between different parameters of brain network economy. Moreover, the understanding of the individual diversity of functional brain network economy may provide further insights in the vulnerability to mental and neurological disorders. PMID:25411715

  7. 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

  8. Robust transient dynamics and brain functions.

    PubMed

    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

  9. Peroxisomes in brain development and function.

    PubMed

    Berger, Johannes; Dorninger, Fabian; Forss-Petter, Sonja; Kunze, Markus

    2016-05-01

    Peroxisomes contain numerous enzymatic activities that are important for mammalian physiology. Patients lacking either all peroxisomal functions or a single enzyme or transporter function typically develop severe neurological deficits, which originate from aberrant development of the brain, demyelination and loss of axonal integrity, neuroinflammation or other neurodegenerative processes. Whilst correlating peroxisomal properties with a compilation of pathologies observed in human patients and mouse models lacking all or individual peroxisomal functions, we discuss the importance of peroxisomal metabolites and tissue- and cell type-specific contributions to the observed brain pathologies. This enables us to deconstruct the local and systemic contribution of individual metabolic pathways to specific brain functions. We also review the recently discovered variability of pathological symptoms in cases with unexpectedly mild presentation of peroxisome biogenesis disorders. Finally, we explore the emerging evidence linking peroxisomes to more common neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, autism and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Peroxisomes edited by Ralf Erdmann. PMID:26686055

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

    PubMed Central

    Judaš, Miloš; Sedmak, Goran; Kostović, 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. 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

  12. When "altering brain function" becomes "mind control".

    PubMed

    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

  13. Non-Invasive Brain-to-Brain Interface (BBI): Establishing Functional Links between Two Brains

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Seung-Schik; Kim, Hyungmin; Filandrianos, Emmanuel; Taghados, Seyed Javid; Park, Shinsuk

    2013-01-01

    Transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) is capable of modulating the neural activity of specific brain regions, with a potential role as a non-invasive computer-to-brain interface (CBI). In conjunction with the use of brain-to-computer interface (BCI) techniques that translate brain function to generate computer commands, we investigated the feasibility of using the FUS-based CBI to non-invasively establish a functional link between the brains of different species (i.e. human and Sprague-Dawley rat), thus creating a brain-to-brain interface (BBI). The implementation was aimed to non-invasively translate the human volunteer’s intention to stimulate a rat’s brain motor area that is responsible for the tail movement. The volunteer initiated the intention by looking at a strobe light flicker on a computer display, and the degree of synchronization in the electroencephalographic steady-state-visual-evoked-potentials (SSVEP) with respect to the strobe frequency was analyzed using a computer. Increased signal amplitude in the SSVEP, indicating the volunteer’s intention, triggered the delivery of a burst-mode FUS (350 kHz ultrasound frequency, tone burst duration of 0.5 ms, pulse repetition frequency of 1 kHz, given for 300 msec duration) to excite the motor area of an anesthetized rat transcranially. The successful excitation subsequently elicited the tail movement, which was detected by a motion sensor. The interface was achieved at 94.0±3.0% accuracy, with a time delay of 1.59±1.07 sec from the thought-initiation to the creation of the tail movement. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of a computer-mediated BBI that links central neural functions between two biological entities, which may confer unexplored opportunities in the study of neuroscience with potential implications for therapeutic applications. PMID:23573251

  14. Brain On Stress: Vulnerability and Plasticity of the Prefrontal Cortex Over the Life Course

    PubMed Central

    McEwen, Bruce S.; Morrison, John H.

    2013-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in working memory, self-regulatory and goal-directed behaviors and displays remarkable structural and functional plasticity over the life course. Neural circuitry, molecular profiles and neurochemistry can be changed by experiences, which influences behavior as well as neuroendocrine and autonomic function. Such effects have a particular impact during infancy and in adolescence. Behavioral stress affects both the structure and function of PFC, though such effects are not necessarily permanent, as young animals show remarkable neuronal resilience if the stress is discontinued. During aging, neurons within the PFC become less resilient to stress. There are also sex differences in the PFC response to stressors. While such stress- and sex-hormone related alterations occur in regions mediating the highest levels of cognitive function and self regulatory control, the fact that they are not necessarily permanent has implications for future behavior-based therapies that harness neural plasticity for recovery. PMID:23849196

  15. Scanning Laser Optical Tomography Resolves Structural Plasticity during Regeneration in an Insect Brain

    PubMed Central

    Eickhoff, René; Lorbeer, Raoul-Amadeus; Scheiblich, Hannah; Heisterkamp, Alexander; Meyer, Heiko; Stern, Michael; Bicker, Gerd

    2012-01-01

    Background Optical Projection Tomography (OPT) is a microscopic technique that generates three dimensional images from whole mount samples the size of which exceeds the maximum focal depth of confocal laser scanning microscopes. As an advancement of conventional emission-OPT, Scanning Laser Optical Tomography (SLOTy) allows simultaneous detection of fluorescence and absorbance with high sensitivity. In the present study, we employ SLOTy in a paradigm of brain plasticity in an insect model system. Methodology We visualize and quantify volumetric changes in sensory information procession centers in the adult locust, Locusta migratoria. Olfactory receptor neurons, which project from the antenna into the brain, are axotomized by crushing the antennal nerve or ablating the entire antenna. We follow the resulting degeneration and regeneration in the olfactory centers (antennal lobes and mushroom bodies) by measuring their size in reconstructed SLOTy images with respect to the untreated control side. Within three weeks post treatment antennal lobes with ablated antennae lose as much as 60% of their initial volume. In contrast, antennal lobes with crushed antennal nerves initially shrink as well, but regain size back to normal within three weeks. The combined application of transmission-and fluorescence projections of Neurobiotin labeled axotomized fibers confirms that recovery of normal size is restored by regenerated afferents. Remarkably, SLOTy images reveal that degeneration of olfactory receptor axons has a trans-synaptic effect on second order brain centers and leads to size reduction of the mushroom body calyx. Conclusions This study demonstrates that SLOTy is a suitable method for rapid screening of volumetric plasticity in insect brains and suggests its application also to vertebrate preparations. PMID:22829931

  16. Combined cognitive-psychological-physical intervention induces reorganization of intrinsic functional brain architecture in older adults.

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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

  18. Functional integration and inference in the brain.

    PubMed

    Friston, Karl

    2002-10-01

    Self-supervised models of how the brain represents and categorises the causes of its sensory input can be divided into two classes: those that minimise the mutual information (i.e. redundancy) among evoked responses and those that minimise the prediction error. Although these models have similar goals, the way they are attained, and the functional architectures employed, can be fundamentally different. This review describes the two classes of models and their implications for the functional anatomy of sensory cortical hierarchies in the brain. We then consider how empirical evidence can be used to disambiguate between architectures that are sufficient for perceptual learning and synthesis. Most models of representational learning require prior assumptions about the distribution of sensory causes. Using the notion of empirical Bayes, we show that these assumptions are not necessary and that priors can be learned in a hierarchical context. Furthermore, we try to show that learning can be implemented in a biologically plausible way. The main point made in this review is that backward connections, mediating internal or generative models of how sensory inputs are caused, are essential if the process generating inputs cannot be inverted. Because these processes are dynamical in nature, sensory inputs correspond to a non-invertible nonlinear convolution of causes. This enforces an explicit parameterisation of generative models (i.e. backward connections) to enable approximate recognition and suggests that feedforward architectures, on their own, are not sufficient. Moreover, nonlinearities in generative models, that induce a dependence on backward connections, require these connections to be modulatory; so that estimated causes in higher cortical levels can interact to predict responses in lower levels. This is important in relation to functional asymmetries in forward and backward connections that have been demonstrated empirically. To ascertain whether backward influences are expressed functionally requires measurements of functional integration among brain systems. This review summarises approaches to integration in terms of effective connectivity and proceeds to address the question posed by the theoretical considerations above. In short, it will be shown that functional neuroimaging can be used to test for interactions between bottom-up and top-down inputs to an area. The conclusion of these studies points toward the prevalence of top-down influences and the plausibility of generative models of sensory brain function. PMID:12450490

  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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Hierarchical modularity in human brain functional networks.

    PubMed

    Meunier, David; Lambiotte, Renaud; Fornito, Alex; Ersche, Karen D; Bullmore, Edward T

    2009-01-01

    The idea that complex systems have a hierarchical modular organization originated in the early 1960s and has recently attracted fresh support from quantitative studies of large scale, real-life networks. Here we investigate the hierarchical modular (or "modules-within-modules") decomposition of human brain functional networks, measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging in 18 healthy volunteers under no-task or resting conditions. We used a customized template to extract networks with more than 1800 regional nodes, and we applied a fast algorithm to identify nested modular structure at several hierarchical levels. We used mutual information, 0 < I < 1, to estimate the similarity of community structure of networks in different subjects, and to identify the individual network that is most representative of the group. Results show that human brain functional networks have a hierarchical modular organization with a fair degree of similarity between subjects, I = 0.63. The largest five modules at the highest level of the hierarchy were medial occipital, lateral occipital, central, parieto-frontal and fronto-temporal systems; occipital modules demonstrated less sub-modular organization than modules comprising regions of multimodal association cortex. Connector nodes and hubs, with a key role in inter-modular connectivity, were also concentrated in association cortical areas. We conclude that methods are available for hierarchical modular decomposition of large numbers of high resolution brain functional networks using computationally expedient algorithms. This could enable future investigations of Simon's original hypothesis that hierarchy or near-decomposability of physical symbol systems is a critical design feature for their fast adaptivity to changing environmental conditions. PMID:19949480

  7. Exercise but not (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate or β-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. β-Alanine (B-ALA) is a naturally occurring β-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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. Optimal level activity of matrix metalloproteinases is critical for adult visual plasticity in the healthy and stroke-affected brain.

    PubMed

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Fortuna, Michal G; Löwel, Siegrid

    2016-01-01

    The ability of the adult brain to undergo plastic changes is of particular interest in medicine, especially regarding recovery from injuries or improving learning and cognition. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been associated with juvenile experience-dependent primary visual cortex (V1) plasticity, yet little is known about their role in this process in the adult V1. Activation of MMPs is a crucial step facilitating structural changes in a healthy brain; however, upon brain injury, upregulated MMPs promote the spread of a lesion and impair recovery. To clarify these seemingly opposing outcomes of MMP-activation, we examined the effects of MMP-inhibition on experience-induced plasticity in healthy and stoke-affected adult mice. In healthy animals, 7-day application of MMP-inhibitor prevented visual plasticity. Additionally, treatment with MMP-inhibitor once but not twice following stroke rescued plasticity, normally lost under these conditions. Our data imply that an optimal level of MMP-activity is crucial for adult visual plasticity to occur. PMID:26609811

  12. Optimal level activity of matrix metalloproteinases is critical for adult visual plasticity in the healthy and stroke-affected brain

    PubMed Central

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Fortuna, Michal G; Löwel, Siegrid

    2015-01-01

    The ability of the adult brain to undergo plastic changes is of particular interest in medicine, especially regarding recovery from injuries or improving learning and cognition. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been associated with juvenile experience-dependent primary visual cortex (V1) plasticity, yet little is known about their role in this process in the adult V1. Activation of MMPs is a crucial step facilitating structural changes in a healthy brain; however, upon brain injury, upregulated MMPs promote the spread of a lesion and impair recovery. To clarify these seemingly opposing outcomes of MMP-activation, we examined the effects of MMP-inhibition on experience-induced plasticity in healthy and stoke-affected adult mice. In healthy animals, 7-day application of MMP-inhibitor prevented visual plasticity. Additionally, treatment with MMP-inhibitor once but not twice following stroke rescued plasticity, normally lost under these conditions. Our data imply that an optimal level of MMP-activity is crucial for adult visual plasticity to occur. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11290.001 PMID:26609811

  13. 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.

  14. Smart plastic functionalization by nanoimprint and injection molding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zalkovskij, Maksim; Thamdrup, Lasse H.; Smistrup, Kristian; Andén, Thomas; Johansson, Alicia C.; Mikkelsen, Niels Jørgen; Madsen, Morten Hannibal; Garnæs, Jørgen; Kristiansen, Tommy Tungelund; Diemer, Mads; Døssing, Michael; Minzari, Daniel; Tang, Peter Torben; Kristensen, Anders; Taboryski, Rafael; Essendrop, Søren; Nielsen, Theodor; Bilenberg, Brian

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, we present a route for making smart functionalized plastic parts by injection molding with sub-micrometer surface structures. The method is based on combining planar processes well known and established within silicon micro and sub-micro fabrication with proven high resolution and high fidelity with truly freeform injection molding inserts. The link between the planar processes and the freeform shaped injection molding inserts is enabled by the use of nanoimprint with flexible molds for the pattern definition combined with unidirectional sputter etching for transferring the pattern. With this approach, we demonstrate the transfer of down to 140 nm wide holes on large areas with good structure fidelity on an injection molding steel insert. The durability of the sub-micrometer structures on the inserts have been investigated by running two production series of 102,000 and 73,000 injection molded parts, respectively, on two different inserts and inspecting the inserts before and after the production series and the molded parts during the production series.

  15. 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

  16. Functional brain correlates of heterosexual paedophilia.

    PubMed

    Schiffer, Boris; Paul, Thomas; Gizewski, Elke; Forsting, Michael; Leygraf, Norbert; Schedlowski, Manfred; Kruger, Tillmann H C

    2008-05-15

    Although the neuronal mechanisms underlying normal sexual motivation and function have recently been examined, the alterations in brain function in deviant sexual behaviours such as paedophilia are largely unknown. The objective of this study was to identify paedophilia-specific functional networks implicated in sexual arousal. Therefore a consecutive sample of eight paedophile forensic inpatients, exclusively attracted to females, and 12 healthy age-matched heterosexual control participants from a comparable socioeconomic stratum participated in a visual sexual stimulation procedure during functional magnetic resonance imaging. The visual stimuli were sexually stimulating photographs and emotionally neutral photographs. Immediately after the imaging session subjective responses pertaining to sexual desire were recorded. Principally, the brain response of heterosexual paedophiles to heteropaedophilic stimuli was comparable to that of heterosexual males to heterosexual stimuli, including different limbic structures (amygdala, cingulate gyrus, and hippocampus), the substantia nigra, caudate nucleus, as well as the anterior cingulate cortex, different thalamic nuclei, and associative cortices. However, responses to visual sexual stimulation were found in the orbitofrontal cortex in healthy heterosexual males, but not in paedophiles, in whom abnormal activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was observed. Thus, in line with clinical observations and neuropsychological studies, it seems that central processing of sexual stimuli in heterosexual paedophiles may be altered by a disturbance in the prefrontal networks, which, as has already been hypothesized, may be associated with stimulus-controlled behaviours, such as sexual compulsive behaviours. Moreover, these findings may suggest a dysfunction (in the functional and effective connectivity) at the cognitive stage of sexual arousal processing. PMID:18358744

  17. Acute function of secreted amyloid precursor protein fragment APPsα in synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Hick, Meike; Herrmann, Ulrike; Weyer, Sascha W; Mallm, Jan-Philipp; Tschäpe, Jakob-Andreas; Borgers, Marianne; Mercken, Marc; Roth, Fabian C; Draguhn, Andreas; Slomianka, Lutz; Wolfer, David P; Korte, Martin; Müller, Ulrike C

    2015-01-01

    The key role of APP in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease is well established. However, postnatal lethality of double knockout mice has so far precluded the analysis of the physiological functions of APP and the APLPs in the brain. Previously, APP family proteins have been implicated in synaptic adhesion, and analysis of the neuromuscular junction of constitutive APP/APLP2 mutant mice showed deficits in synaptic morphology and neuromuscular transmission. Here, we generated animals with a conditional APP/APLP2 double knockout (cDKO) in excitatory forebrain neurons using NexCre mice. Electrophysiological recordings of adult NexCre cDKOs indicated a strong synaptic phenotype with pronounced deficits in the induction and maintenance of hippocampal LTP and impairments in paired pulse facilitation, indicating a possible presynaptic deficit. These deficits were also reflected in impairments in nesting behavior and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory tasks, including deficits in Morris water maze and radial maze performance. Moreover, while no gross alterations of brain morphology were detectable in NexCre cDKO mice, quantitative analysis of adult hippocampal CA1 neurons revealed prominent reductions in total neurite length, dendritic branching, reduced spine density and reduced spine head volume. Strikingly, the impairment of LTP could be selectively rescued by acute application of exogenous recombinant APPsα, but not APPsβ, indicating a crucial role for APPsα to support synaptic plasticity of mature hippocampal synapses on a rapid time scale. Collectively, our analysis reveals an essential role of APP family proteins in excitatory principal neurons for mediating normal dendritic architecture, spine density and morphology, synaptic plasticity and cognition. PMID:25432317

  18. 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

  19. Distinct PKA and Epac compartmentalization in airway function and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Dekkers, Bart G J; Racké, Kurt; Schmidt, Martina

    2013-02-01

    Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are obstructive lung diseases characterized by airway obstruction, airway inflammation and airway remodelling. Next to inflammatory cells and airway epithelial cells, airway mesenchymal cells, including airway smooth muscle cells and (myo)fibroblasts, substantially contribute to disease features by the release of inflammatory mediators, smooth muscle contraction, extracellular matrix deposition and structural changes in the airways. Current pharmacological treatment of both diseases intends to target the dynamic features of the endogenous intracellular suppressor cyclic AMP (cAMP). This review will summarize our current knowledge on cAMP and will emphasize on key discoveries and paradigm shifts reflecting the complex spatio-temporal nature of compartmentalized cAMP signalling networks in health and disease. As airway fibroblasts and airway smooth muscle cells are recognized as central players in the development and progression of asthma and COPD, we will focus on the role of cAMP signalling in their function in relation to airway function and plasticity. We will recapture on the recent identification of cAMP-sensing multi-protein complexes maintained by cAMP effectors, including A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs), proteins kinase A (PKA), exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac), cAMP-elevating seven-transmembrane (7TM) receptors and phosphodiesterases (PDEs) and we will report on findings indicating that the pertubation of compartmentalized cAMP signalling correlates with the pathopysiology of obstructive lung diseases. Future challenges include studies on cAMP dynamics and compartmentalization in the lung and the development of novel drugs targeting these systems for therapeutic interventions in chronic obstructive inflammatory diseases. PMID:23089371

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

    MedlinePLUS

    ... Media Hub 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 ...

  1. Dietary boron, brain function, and cognitive performance.

    PubMed Central

    Penland, J G

    1994-01-01

    Although the trace element boron has yet to be recognized as an essential nutrient for humans, recent data from animal and human studies suggest that boron may be important for mineral metabolism and membrane function. To investigate further the functional role of boron, brain electrophysiology and cognitive performance were assessed in response to dietary manipulation of boron (approximately 0.25 versus approximately 3.25 mg boron/2000 kcal/day) in three studies with healthy older men and women. Within-subject designs were used to assess functional responses in all studies. Spectral analysis of electroencephalographic data showed effects of dietary boron in two of the three studies. When the low boron intake was compared to the high intake, there was a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the proportion of low-frequency activity, and a decrease in the proportion of higher-frequency activity, an effect often observed in response to general malnutrition and heavy metal toxicity. Performance (e.g., response time) on various cognitive and psychomotor tasks also showed an effect of dietary boron. When contrasted with the high boron intake, low dietary boron resulted in significantly poorer performance (p < 0.05) on tasks emphasizing manual dexterity (studies II and III); eye-hand coordination (study II); attention (all studies); perception (study III); encoding and short-term memory (all studies); and long-term memory (study I). Collectively, the data from these three studies indicate that boron may play a role in human brain function and cognitive performance, and provide additional evidence that boron is an essential nutrient for humans. PMID:7889884

  2. Plastic responses in the metabolome and functional traits of maize plants to temperature variations.

    PubMed

    Sun, C X; Gao, X X; Li, M Q; Fu, J Q; Zhang, Y L

    2016-03-01

    Environmentally inducible phenotypic plasticity is a major player in plant responses to climate change. However, metabolic responses and their role in determining the phenotypic plasticity of plants that are subjected to temperature variations remain poorly understood. The metabolomic profiles and metabolite levels in the leaves of three maize inbred lines grown in different temperature conditions were examined with a nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomic technique. The relationship of functional traits to metabolome profiles and the metabolic mechanism underlying temperature variations were then explored. A comparative analysis showed that during heat and cold stress, maize plants shared common plastic responses in biomass accumulation, carbon, nitrogen, sugars, some amino acids and compatible solutes. We also found that the plastic response of maize plants to heat stress was different from that under cold stress, mainly involving biomass allocation, shikimate and its aromatic amino acid derivatives, and other non-polar metabolites. The plastic responsiveness of functional traits of maize lines to temperature variations was low, while the metabolic responsiveness in plasticity was high, indicating that functional and metabolic plasticity may play different roles in maize plant adaptation to temperature variations. A linear regression analysis revealed that the maize lines could adapt to growth temperature variations through the interrelation of plastic responses in the metabolomes and functional traits, such as biomass allocation and the status of carbon and nitrogen. We provide valuable insight into the plastic response strategy of maize plants to temperature variations that will permit the optimisation of crop cultivation in an increasingly variable environment. PMID:26280133

  3. 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

  4. Regions, systems, and the brain: hierarchical measures of functional integration in fMRI.

    PubMed

    Marrelec, Guillaume; Bellec, Pierre; Krainik, Alexandre; Duffau, Hugues; Pélégrini-Issac, Mélanie; Lehéricy, Stéphane; Benali, Habib; Doyon, Julien

    2008-08-01

    In neuroscience, the notion has emerged that the brain abides by two principles: segregation and integration. Segregation into functionally specialized systems and integration of information flow across systems are basic principles that are thought to shape the functional architecture of the brain. A measure called integration, originating from information theory and derived from mutual information, has been proposed to characterize the global integrative state of a network. In this paper, we show that integration can be applied in a hierarchical fashion to quantify functional interactions between compound systems, each system being composed of several regions. We apply this method to fMRI datasets from patients with low-grade glioma and show how it can efficiently extract information related to both intra- and interhemispheric reorganization induced by lesional brain plasticity. PMID:18396441

  5. Intrinsic Functional Plasticity of the Sensory-Motor Network in Patients with Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, F. Q.; Tan, Y. M.; Wu, L.; Zhuang, Y.; He, L. C.; Gong, H. H.

    2015-01-01

    Several neuroimaging studies have suggested brain reorganisation in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM); however, the changes in spontaneous neuronal activity that are associated with connectedness remain largely unknown. In this study, functional connectivity strength (FCS), a data-driven degree centrality method based on a theoretical approach, was applied for the first time to investigate changes in the sensory-motor network (SMN) at the voxel level. Comparatively, CSM not only showed significantly decreased FCS in the operculum-integrated regions, which exhibited reduced resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) around the Rolandic sulcus, but it also showed increased FCS in the premotor, primary somatosensory, and parietal-integrated areas, which primarily showed an enhanced rsFC pattern. Correlation analysis showed that altered FCS (in the left premotor-ventral/precentral-operculum, right operculum-parietale 4, and right S1) was associated with worsening Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores and that the rsFC pattern was influenced by cervical cord micro-structural damage at the C2 level. Together, these findings suggest that during myelopathy, the intrinsic functional plasticity of the SMN responds to the insufficient sensory and motor experience in CSM patients. This knowledge may improve our understanding of the comprehensive functional defects found in CSM patients and may inspire the development of new therapeutic strategies in the future. PMID:25897648

  6. Yield Functions and Plastic Potentials for BCC Metals and Possibly Other Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Christensen, R M

    2005-09-29

    Yield functions and plastic potentials are expressed in terms of the invariants of the stress tensor for polycrystalline metals and other isotropic materials. The plastic volume change data of Richmond is used to evaluate the embedded materials properties for some bcc metals and one polymer. A general form for the plastic potential is found that is intended to represent and cover a wide range of materials types.

  7. Brain microvascular function during cardiopulmonary bypass

    SciTech Connect

    Sorensen, H.R.; Husum, B.; Waaben, J.; Andersen, K.; Andersen, L.I.; Gefke, K.; Kaarsen, A.L.; Gjedde, A.

    1987-11-01

    Emboli in the brain microvasculature may inhibit brain activity during cardiopulmonary bypass. Such hypothetical blockade, if confirmed, may be responsible for the reduction of cerebral metabolic rate for glucose observed in animals subjected to cardiopulmonary bypass. In previous studies of cerebral blood flow during bypass, brain microcirculation was not evaluated. In the present study in animals (pigs), reduction of the number of perfused capillaries was estimated by measurements of the capillary diffusion capacity for hydrophilic tracers of low permeability. Capillary diffusion capacity, cerebral blood flow, and cerebral metabolic rate for glucose were measured simultaneously by the integral method, different tracers being used with different circulation times. In eight animals subjected to normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass, and seven subjected to hypothermic bypass, cerebral blood flow, cerebral metabolic rate for glucose, and capillary diffusion capacity decreased significantly: cerebral blood flow from 63 to 43 ml/100 gm/min in normothermia and to 34 ml/100 gm/min in hypothermia and cerebral metabolic rate for glucose from 43.0 to 23.0 mumol/100 gm/min in normothermia and to 14.1 mumol/100 gm/min in hypothermia. The capillary diffusion capacity declined markedly from 0.15 to 0.03 ml/100 gm/min in normothermia but only to 0.08 ml/100 gm/min in hypothermia. We conclude that the decrease of cerebral metabolic rate for glucose during normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass is caused by interruption of blood flow through a part of the capillary bed, possibly by microemboli, and that cerebral blood flow is an inadequate indicator of capillary blood flow. Further studies must clarify why normal microvascular function appears to be preserved during hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass.

  8. Videogame training strategy-induced change in brain function during a complex visuomotor task.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyunkyu; Voss, Michelle W; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Boot, Walter R; Vo, Loan T K; Basak, Chandramallika; Vanpatter, Matt; Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica; Kramer, Arthur F

    2012-07-01

    Although changes in brain function induced by cognitive training have been examined, functional plasticity associated with specific training strategies is still relatively unexplored. In this study, we examined changes in brain function during a complex visuomotor task following training using the Space Fortress video game. To assess brain function, participants completed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before and after 30 h of training with one of two training regimens: Hybrid Variable-Priority Training (HVT), with a focus on improving specific skills and managing task priority, or Full Emphasis Training (FET), in which participants simply practiced the game to obtain the highest overall score. Control participants received only 6 h of FET. Compared to FET, HVT learners reached higher performance on the game and showed less brain activation in areas related to visuo-spatial attention and goal-directed movement after training. Compared to the control group, HVT exhibited less brain activation in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), coupled with greater performance improvement. Region-of-interest analysis revealed that the reduction in brain activation was correlated with improved performance on the task. This study sheds light on the neurobiological mechanisms of improved learning from directed training (HVT) over non-directed training (FET), which is related to visuo-spatial attention and goal-directed motor planning, while separating the practice-based benefit, which is related to executive control and rule management. PMID:22504276

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Structural plasticity underlies experience-dependent functional plasticity of cortical circuits

    PubMed Central

    Wilbrecht, Linda; Holtmaat, Anthony; Wright, Nick; Fox, Kevin; Svoboda, Karel

    2010-01-01

    The stabilization of new spines in the barrel cortex is enhanced after whisker trimming, but its relationship to experience-dependent plasticity is unclear. Here we show that in wild type mice whisker potentiation and spine stabilization is most pronounced for layer 5 neurons at the border between spared and deprived barrel columns. In homozygote ?CaMKII-T286A mice, which lack experience-dependent potentiation of responses to spared whiskers, there is no increase in new spine stabilization at the border between barrel columns after whisker trimming. Our data provide a causal link between new spine synapses and plasticity of adult cortical circuits and suggest that ?CaMKII autophosphorylation plays a role in the stabilization but not formation of new spines. PMID:20371813

  12. Neurobiological markers of exercise-related brain plasticity in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Voss, Michelle W.; Erickson, Kirk I.; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Chaddock, Laura; Kim, Jennifer S.; Alves, Heloisa; Szabo, Amanda; White, Siobhan M.; Wójcicki, Thomas R.; Mailey, Emily L.; Olson, Erin A.; Gothe, Neha; Potter, Vicki V.; Martin, Stephen A.; Pence, Brandt D.; Cook, Marc D.; Woods, Jeffrey A.; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.

    2012-01-01

    The current study examined how a randomized one-year aerobic exercise program for healthy older adults would affect serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), insulin-like growth factor type 1 (IGF-1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) - putative markers of exercise-induced benefits on brain function. The study also examined whether (a) change in the concentration of these growth factors was associated with alterations in functional connectivity following exercise, and (b) the extent to which pre-intervention growth factor levels were associated with training-related changes in functional connectivity. In 65 participants (mean age = 66.4), we found that although there were no group-level changes in growth factors as a function of the intervention, increased temporal lobe connectivity between the bilateral parahippocampus and the bilateral middle temporal gyrus was associated with increased BDNF, IGF-1, and VEGF for an aerobic walking group but not for a non-aerobic control group, and greater pre-intervention VEGF was associated with greater training-related increases in this functional connection. Results are consistent with animal models of exercise and the brain, but are the first to show in humans that exercise-induced increases in temporal lobe functional connectivity are associated with changes in growth factors and may be augmented by greater baseline VEGF. PMID:23123199

  13. 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.

  14. Effects of the diet on brain function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernstrom, John D.

    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 neurotransmitter products.

  15. Plasticity in unimodal and multimodal brain areas reflects multisensory changes in self-face identification.

    PubMed

    Apps, Matthew A J; Tajadura-Jiménez, Ana; Sereno, Marty; Blanke, Olaf; Tsakiris, Manos

    2015-01-01

    Nothing provides as strong a sense of self as seeing one's face. Nevertheless, it remains unknown how the brain processes the sense of self during the multisensory experience of looking at one's face in a mirror. Synchronized visuo-tactile stimulation on one's own and another's face, an experience that is akin to looking in the mirror but seeing another's face, causes the illusory experience of ownership over the other person's face and changes in self-recognition. Here, we investigate the neural correlates of this enfacement illusion using fMRI. We examine activity in the human brain as participants experience tactile stimulation delivered to their face, while observing either temporally synchronous or asynchronous tactile stimulation delivered to another's face on either a specularly congruent or incongruent location. Activity in the multisensory right temporo-parietal junction, intraparietal sulcus, and the unimodal inferior occipital gyrus showed an interaction between the synchronicity and the congruency of the stimulation and varied with the self-reported strength of the illusory experience, which was recorded after each stimulation block. Our results highlight the important interplay between unimodal and multimodal information processing for self-face recognition, and elucidate the neurobiological basis for the plasticity required for identifying with our continuously changing visual appearance. PMID:23964067

  16. Behavioral plasticity in honey bees is associated with differences in brain microRNA transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    Greenberg, J. K.; Xia, J.; Zhou, X.; Thatcher, S. R.; Gu, X.; Ament, S. A.; Newman, T. C.; Green, P. J.; Zhang, W.; Robinson, G. E.; Ben-Shahar, Y.

    2012-01-01

    Small, non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in many biological processes, including the development of the nervous system. However, the roles of miRNAs in natural behavioral and neuronal plasticity are not well understood. To help address this we characterized the microRNA transcriptome in the adult worker honey bee head and investigated whether changes in microRNA expression levels in the brain are associated with division of labor among honey bees, a well-established model for socially regulated behavior. We determined that several miRNAs were downregulated in bees that specialize on brood care (nurses) relative to foragers. Additional experiments showed that this downregulation is dependent upon social context; it only occurred when nurse bees were in colonies that also contained foragers. Analyses of conservation patterns of brain-expressed miRNAs across Hymenoptera suggest a role for certain miRNAs in the evolution of the Aculeata, which includes all the eusocial hymenopteran species. Our results support the intriguing hypothesis that miRNAs are important regulators of social behavior at both developmental and evolutionary time scales. PMID:22409512

  17. Higher brain functions served by the lowly rodent primary visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Gavornik, Jeffrey P.

    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 as a potential substrate for learning and memory. The pace of discovery has quickened considerably in recent years as mice have become the preferred species to study visual cortical plasticity, and new studies have overturned the dogma that primary sensory cortex is immutable after a developmental critical period. Recent work has shown that, in addition to ocular dominance plasticity, adult visual cortex exhibits several forms of response modification previously considered the exclusive province of higher cortical areas. These “higher brain functions” include neural reports of stimulus familiarity, reward-timing prediction, and spatiotemporal sequence learning. Primary visual cortex can no longer be viewed as a simple visual feature detector with static properties determined during early development. Rodent V1 is a rich and dynamic cortical area in which functions normally associated only with “higher” brain regions can be studied at the mechanistic level. PMID:25225298

  18. 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

  19. 3D Standard Brain of the Red Flour Beetle Tribolium Castaneum: A Tool to Study Metamorphic Development and Adult Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Dreyer, David; Vitt, Holger; Dippel, Stefan; Goetz, Brigitte; el Jundi, Basil; Kollmann, Martin; Huetteroth, Wolf; Schachtner, Joachim

    2009-01-01

    The red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum is emerging as a further standard insect model beside Drosophila. Its genome is fully sequenced and it is susceptible for genetic manipulations including RNA-interference. We use this beetle to study adult brain development and plasticity primarily with respect to the olfactory system. In the current study, we provide 3D standard brain atlases of freshly eclosed adult female and male beetles (A0). The atlases include eight paired and three unpaired neuropils including antennal lobes (ALs), optic lobe neuropils, mushroom body calyces and pedunculi, and central complex. For each of the two standard brains, we averaged brain areas of 20 individual brains. Additionally, we characterized eight selected olfactory glomeruli from 10 A0 female and male beetles respectively, which we could unequivocally recognize from individual to individual owing to their size and typical position in the ALs. In summary, comparison of the averaged neuropil volumes revealed no sexual dimorphism in any of the reconstructed neuropils in A0 Tribolium brains. Both, the female and male 3D standard brain are also used for interspecies comparisons, and, importantly, will serve as future volumetric references after genetical manipulation especially regarding metamorphic development and adult plasticity. PMID:20339482

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Functional Genomics of Physiological Plasticity and Local Adaptation in Killifish

    PubMed Central

    Galvez, Fernando; Zhang, Shujun; Williams, Larissa M.; Oleksiak, Marjorie F.

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary solutions to the physiological challenges of life in highly variable habitats can span the continuum from evolution of a cosmopolitan plastic phenotype to the evolution of locally adapted phenotypes. Killifish (Fundulus sp.) have evolved both highly plastic and locally adapted phenotypes within different selective contexts, providing a comparative system in which to explore the genomic underpinnings of physiological plasticity and adaptive variation. Importantly, extensive variation exists among populations and species for tolerance to a variety of stressors, and we exploit this variation in comparative studies to yield insights into the genomic basis of evolved phenotypic variation. Notably, species of Fundulus occupy the continuum of osmotic habitats from freshwater to marine and populations within Fundulus heteroclitus span far greater variation in pollution tolerance than across all species of fish. Here, we explore how transcriptome regulation underpins extreme physiological plasticity on osmotic shock and how genomic and transcriptomic variation is associated with locally evolved pollution tolerance. We show that F. heteroclitus quickly acclimate to extreme osmotic shock by mounting a dramatic rapid transcriptomic response including an early crisis control phase followed by a tissue remodeling phase involving many regulatory pathways. We also show that convergent evolution of locally adapted pollution tolerance involves complex patterns of gene expression and genome sequence variation, which is confounded with body-weight dependence for some genes. Similarly, exploiting the natural phenotypic variation associated with other established and emerging model organisms is likely to greatly accelerate the pace of discovery of the genomic basis of phenotypic variation. PMID:20581107

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  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. Possible contributions of a novel form of synaptic plasticity in Aplysia to reward, memory, and their dysfunctions in mammalian brain

    PubMed Central

    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 mammals, where it may contribute to reward, memory, and their dysfunctions in several psychiatric disorders. In Aplysia, spontaneous release is enhanced by activation of presynaptic serotonin receptors, but presynaptic D1 dopamine receptors or nicotinic acetylcholine receptors could play a similar role in mammals. Those receptors enhance spontaneous release of glutamate in hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, prefrontal cortex, ventral tegmental area, and nucleus accumbens. In all of those brain areas, glutamate can activate postsynaptic receptors to elevate Ca2+ and engage mechanisms of early-phase long-term potentiation (LTP), including AMPA receptor insertion, and of late-phase LTP, including protein synthesis and growth. Thus, presynaptic receptors and spontaneous release may contribute to postsynaptic mechanisms of plasticity in brain regions involved in reward and memory, and could play roles in disorders that affect plasticity in those regions, including addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). PMID:24049187

  11. Deterioration of plasticity and metabolic homeostasis in the brain of the UCD-T2DM rat model of naturally occurring type-2 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Rahul; Zhuang, Yumei; Cummings, Bethany P; Stanhope, Kimber L; Graham, James L; Havel, Peter J; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2014-09-01

    The rising prevalence of type-2 diabetes is becoming a pressing issue based on emerging reports that T2DM can also adversely impact mental health. We have utilized the UCD-T2DM rat model in which the onset of T2DM develops spontaneously across time and can serve to understand the pathophysiology of diabetes in humans. An increased insulin resistance index and plasma glucose levels manifested the onset of T2DM. There was a decrease in hippocampal insulin receptor signaling in the hippocampus, which correlated with peripheral insulin resistance index along the course of diabetes onset (r=-0.56, p<0.01). T2DM increased the hippocampal levels of 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE; a marker of lipid peroxidation) in inverse proportion to the changes in the mitochondrial regulator PGC-1α. Disrupted energy homeostasis was further manifested by a concurrent reduction in energy metabolic markers, including TFAM, SIRT1, and AMPK phosphorylation. In addition, T2DM influenced brain plasticity as evidenced by a significant reduction of BDNF-TrkB signaling. These results suggest that the pathology of T2DM in the brain involves a progressive and coordinated disruption of insulin signaling, and energy homeostasis, with profound consequences for brain function and plasticity. All the described consequences of T2DM were attenuated by treatment with the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, liraglutide. Similar results to those of liraglutide were obtained by exposing T2DM rats to a food energy restricted diet, which suggest that normalization of brain energy metabolism is a crucial factor to counteract central insulin sensitivity and synaptic plasticity associated with T2DM. PMID:24840661

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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-κB) is a well-known regulator of inflammation, stress, and immune responses as well as cell survival. In the nervous system, NF-κB 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-κB 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-κB regulates neuroprotection, neuronal transmission, and long-term memory. In addition, after genetic ablation of all NF-κB 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-κB target gene PKAcat and other downstream target genes such as Igf2 are critically involved. Therefore, NF-κB 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-κB in neurons, we will discuss on a neuroinflammatory role of the transcription factor in glia. Finally, a model for NF-κB homeostasis on the molecular level is presented, in order to explain seemingly the contradictory, the friend or foe, role of NF-κB in the nervous system. PMID:26635522

  16. Multi-functionality and plasticity characterize epithelial cells in Hydra.

    PubMed

    Buzgariu, W; Al Haddad, S; Tomczyk, S; Wenger, Y; Galliot, B

    2015-01-01

    Epithelial sheets, a synapomorphy of all metazoans but porifers, are present as 2 layers in cnidarians, ectoderm and endoderm, joined at their basal side by an extra-cellular matrix named mesoglea. In the Hydra polyp, epithelial cells of the body column are unipotent stem cells that continuously self-renew and concomitantly express their epitheliomuscular features. These multifunctional contractile cells maintain homeostasis by providing a protective physical barrier, by digesting nutrients, by selecting a stable microbiota, and by rapidly closing wounds. In addition, epithelial cells are highly plastic, supporting the adaptation of Hydra to physiological and environmental changes, such as long starvation periods where survival relies on a highly dynamic autophagy flux. Epithelial cells also play key roles in developmental processes as evidenced by the organizer activity they develop to promote budding and regeneration. We propose here an integrative view of the homeostatic and developmental aspects of epithelial plasticity in Hydra. PMID:26716072

  17. Multi-functionality and plasticity characterize epithelial cells in Hydra

    PubMed Central

    Buzgariu, W; Al Haddad, S; Tomczyk, S; Wenger, Y; Galliot, B

    2015-01-01

    Epithelial sheets, a synapomorphy of all metazoans but porifers, are present as 2 layers in cnidarians, ectoderm and endoderm, joined at their basal side by an extra-cellular matrix named mesoglea. In the Hydra polyp, epithelial cells of the body column are unipotent stem cells that continuously self-renew and concomitantly express their epitheliomuscular features. These multifunctional contractile cells maintain homeostasis by providing a protective physical barrier, by digesting nutrients, by selecting a stable microbiota, and by rapidly closing wounds. In addition, epithelial cells are highly plastic, supporting the adaptation of Hydra to physiological and environmental changes, such as long starvation periods where survival relies on a highly dynamic autophagy flux. Epithelial cells also play key roles in developmental processes as evidenced by the organizer activity they develop to promote budding and regeneration. We propose here an integrative view of the homeostatic and developmental aspects of epithelial plasticity in Hydra. PMID:26716072

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Breakdown of the brain’s functional network modularity with awareness

    PubMed Central

    Godwin, Douglass; Barry, Robert L.; Marois, René

    2015-01-01

    Neurobiological theories of awareness propose divergent accounts of the spatial extent of brain changes that support conscious perception. Whereas focal theories posit mostly local regional changes, global theories propose that awareness emerges from the propagation of neural signals across a broad extent of sensory and association cortex. Here we tested the scalar extent of brain changes associated with awareness using graph theoretical analysis applied to functional connectivity data acquired at ultra-high field while subjects performed a simple masked target detection task. We found that awareness of a visual target is associated with a degradation of the modularity of the brain’s functional networks brought about by an increase in intermodular functional connectivity. These results provide compelling evidence that awareness is associated with truly global changes in the brain’s functional connectivity. PMID:25759440

  1. Brain Research: The Necessity for Separating Sites, Actions and Functions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meeker, Mary

    Educators, as applied scientists, must work in partnership with investigative scientists who are researching brain functions in order to reach a better understanding of gifted students and students who are intelligent but do not learn. Improper understanding of brain functions can cause gross errors in educational placement. Until recently, the…

  2. [Functional organization of a photoperiodic brain system].

    PubMed

    ZamorskiÄ­, I I; Pishak, V P

    2003-01-01

    The neurofunctional system, which receives a photoperiod, is a photoperiodic brain system. As a part of chronoperiodic system of organism it is involved in perception and transfer of information about the main external Zeitgeber to the peripheral tissues. Such role of photoperiodic system allows it not only synchronize the chronorhythms of different somatic and visceral functions, but also realize the coordination and the modulation of adaptation mechanisms to the stressors influence. The present review is focused on the ways of conduction of photoperiodic information, role of suprachiasmatic nuclei of hypothalamus in endogenous oscillation of chronorhythms and pineal gland as a neuroendocrinal transducer; and also on characteristics of circadian and circannual parts of photoperiodic system. Special attention is given to vegetative part of photoperiodic system and melatonin--"the hormone of dark". It is supposed that adenosine, one of the humoral elements of photoperiodic system, is involved in transfer of duration of the light part of photoperiod. Due to presented data we have come to the conclusion that septohippocampal system is one of the center for saving photoperiodic information. PMID:14658302

  3. 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.

  4. Multivariate approach to functional MRI analysis for brain function study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, Tianhu; Udupa, Jayaram K.

    1999-05-01

    Functional MRI (fMRI) is a means of analyzing localized brain activity. It is statistically modeled by the multivariate Gaussian probability distribution (in space) and the time series (in time). However, the currently used analysis method takes an univariate approach. That is, the spatial relationships among voxels are ignored. This paper presents a multivariate analysis method. It formulates fMRI activation foci detection as a sensor-array signal processing problem and converts hypotheses tests of the univariate approach to a computer vision approach. It first creates multiple independent, identical sub-images and then uses a covariance matrix to characterize the multivariate Gaussian environment. Not only it utilizes the voxel intensities but also their spatio-temporal relationships. It achieves computer speed superiority over the existing methods. Results obtained by using simulated images, phantom images, and real fMRI data are included. The theoretical and experimental results obtained by using this approach were in good agreement.

  5. Structural and functional connectivity in traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Hui; Yang, Yang; Xi, Ji-hui; Chen, Zi-qian

    2015-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury survivors often experience cognitive deficits and neuropsychiatric symptoms. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying specific impairments are not fully understood. Advances in neuroimaging techniques (such as diffusion tensor imaging and functional MRI) have given us new insights on structural and functional connectivity patterns of the human brain in both health and disease. The connectome derived from connectivity maps reflects the entire constellation of distributed brain networks. Using these powerful neuroimaging approaches, changes at the microstructural level can be detected through regional and global properties of neuronal networks. Here we will review recent developments in the study of brain network abnormalities in traumatic brain injury, mainly focusing on structural and functional connectivity. Some connectomic studies have provided interesting insights into the neurological dysfunction that occurs following traumatic brain injury. These techniques could eventually be helpful in developing imaging biomarkers of cognitive and neurobehavioral sequelae, as well as predicting outcome and prognosis. PMID:26889200

  6. The connection between rhythmicity and brain function.

    PubMed

    Thaut, M H; Kenyon, G P; Schauer, M L; McIntosh, G C

    1999-01-01

    Although rhythm and music are not entirely synonymous terms, rhythm constitutes one of the most essential structural and organizational elements of music. When considering the effect of music on human adaptation, the profound effect of rhythm on the motor system strongly suggests that the time structure of music is the essential element relating music specifically to motor behavior. Why the motor system appears so sensitive to auditory priming and timing stimulation can only be partially answered so far. The high-performance function of the auditory system regarding processing of time information makes good functional sense within the constraints of auditory sensory processing. Thus, the motor system sensitivity to auditory entrainment may simply be an evolutionary useful function of taking advantage of the specific and unique aspects of auditory information processing for enhanced control and organization of motor behavior; e.g, in the time domain. Unlike processes in the motor system, many other physiological processes cannot be effectively entrained by external sensory stimuli. For example, there is probably a very good protective reason why other cyclical physiological processes (e.g., autonomic processes such as heart rate) have only very limited entrainment capacity to external rhythmic cues. Some of the basic auditory-motor arousal connections may also have their basis in adaptive evolutionary processes related to survival behavior; e.g., in fight or flight reactions. Much of the "why" in auditory-motor interactions, however, remains unknown heuristically. In the absence of this knowledge, great care should be taken to not compensate for this lack of understanding of specific cause and effect processes by assigning anthropomorphic descriptions to the behavior of biological and physical systems. The unraveling of the perceptual, physiological, and neuroanatomical basis of the interaction between rhythm and movement has been, and continues to be, a fascinating endeavor with important ramifications for the study of brain function, sensory perception, and motor behavior. One of the most exciting findings in this research, however, may be the evidence that the interaction between auditory rhythm and physical response can be effectively harnessed for specific therapeutic purposes in the rehabilitation of persons with movement disorders. PMID:10101675

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Sleep, Clocks and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Sleep is widely believed to play an essential role in synaptic plasticity. However, the precise mechanisms governing this presumptive function are largely unknown. There is also evidence for independent circadian oscillations in synaptic strength and morphology. Therefore, synaptic changes observed after sleep reflect interactions between state-dependent (e.g. wake vs. sleep) and state-independent (circadian) processes. In this article we review how sleep and biological clocks influence synaptic plasticity. We discuss these findings in the context of current plasticity-based theories of sleep function and propose a new model that integrates circadian and brain state influences on synaptic plasticity. PMID:25087980

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. Music Making as a Tool for Promoting Brain Plasticity across the Life Span

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Catherine Y.; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2010-01-01

    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 skills over the course of a musician's lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying the brain effects of acquiring specialized sensorimotor skills. For example, musicians learn and repeatedly practice the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation) while receiving continuous multisensory feedback. This association learning can strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) while activating multimodal integration regions (e.g., around the intraparietal sulcus). We argue that training of this neural network may produce cross-modal effects on other behavioral or cognitive operations that draw on this network. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. These enhancements suggest the potential for music making as an interactive treatment or intervention for neurological and developmental disorders, as well as those associated with normal aging. PMID:20889966

  14. Development of large-scale functional brain networks in children.

    PubMed

    Supekar, Kaustubh; Musen, Mark; Menon, Vinod

    2009-07-01

    The ontogeny of large-scale functional organization of the human brain is not well understood. Here we use network analysis of intrinsic functional connectivity to characterize the organization of brain networks in 23 children (ages 7-9 y) and 22 young-adults (ages 19-22 y). Comparison of network properties, including path-length, clustering-coefficient, hierarchy, and regional connectivity, revealed that although children and young-adults' brains have similar "small-world" organization at the global level, they differ significantly in hierarchical organization and interregional connectivity. We found that subcortical areas were more strongly connected with primary sensory, association, and paralimbic areas in children, whereas young-adults showed stronger cortico-cortical connectivity between paralimbic, limbic, and association areas. Further, combined analysis of functional connectivity with wiring distance measures derived from white-matter fiber tracking revealed that the development of large-scale brain networks is characterized by weakening of short-range functional connectivity and strengthening of long-range functional connectivity. Importantly, our findings show that the dynamic process of over-connectivity followed by pruning, which rewires connectivity at the neuronal level, also operates at the systems level, helping to reconfigure and rebalance subcortical and paralimbic connectivity in the developing brain. Our study demonstrates the usefulness of network analysis of brain connectivity to elucidate key principles underlying functional brain maturation, paving the way for novel studies of disrupted brain connectivity in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. PMID:19621066

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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].

  19. 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

  20. Amyloid ?-Protein Dimers Isolated Directly from Alzheimer Brains Impair Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Shankar, Ganesh M.; Li, Shaomin; Mehta, Tapan H.; Garcia-Munoz, Amaya; Shepardson, Nina E.; Smith, Imelda; Brett, Francesca M.; Farrell, Michael A.; Rowan, Michael J.; Lemere, Cynthia A.; Regan, Ciaran M.; Walsh, Dominic M.; Sabatini, Bernardo L.; Selkoe, Dennis J.

    2009-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) constitutes a rising threat to public health. Despite extensive research in cellular and animal models, identifying the pathogenic agent present in the human brain and showing that it confers key features of AD have not been achieved. We extracted soluble amyloid ?–protein (A?) oligomers directly from the cerebral cortex of typical AD subjects. The oligomers potently inhibited long term potentiation (LTP), enhanced long term depression (LTD), and reduced dendritic spine density in normal rodent hippocampus. Soluble A? from AD brain also disrupted the memory of a learned behavior in normal rats. These various effects were specifically attributable to A? dimers. Mechanistically, metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR) were required for LTD enhancement and NMDA receptors (NMDAR) for spine loss. Co-administering antibodies to the A? N-terminus prevented the LTP and LTD deficits, whereas antibodies to the mid-region or C-terminus were less effective. Insoluble amyloid plaque cores from AD cortex did not impair LTP unless they were first solubilized to release A? dimers, suggesting that plaque cores are largely inactive but sequester A? dimers that are synaptotoxic. We conclude that soluble A? oligomers extracted from AD brains potently impair synapse structure and function and that dimers are the smallest synaptotoxic species. PMID:18568035

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

    PubMed Central

    Gonda, Abigél; Herczeg, Gábor; Merilä, Juha

    2009-01-01

    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

  2. Differential effects of social and physical environmental enrichment on brain plasticity, cognition, and ultrasonic communication in rats.

    PubMed

    Brenes, Juan C; Lackinger, Martin; Höglinger, Günter U; Schratt, Gerhard; Schwarting, Rainer K W; Wöhr, Markus

    2016-06-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) exerts beneficial effects on brain plasticity, cognition, and anxiety/depression, leading to a brain that can counteract deficits underlying various brain disorders. Because the complexity of the EE commonly used makes it difficult to identify causal aspects, we examined possible factors using a 2 × 2 design with social EE (two vs. six rats) and physical EE (physically enriched vs. nonenriched). For the first time, we demonstrate that social and physical EE have differential effects on brain plasticity, cognition, and ultrasonic communication. Expectedly, physical EE promoted neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation, but not in the subventricular zone, and, as a novel finding, affected microRNA expression levels, with the activity-dependent miR-124 and miR-132 being upregulated. Concomitant improvements in cognition were observed, yet social deficits were seen in the emission of prosocial 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) paralleled by a lack of social approach in response to them, consistent with the intense world syndrome/theory of autism. In contrast, social EE had only minor effects on brain plasticity and cognition, but led to increased prosocial 50-kHz USV emission rates and enhanced social approach behavior. Importantly, social deficits following physical EE were prevented by additional social EE. The finding that social EE has positive whereas physical EE has negative effects on social behavior indicates that preclinical studies focusing on EE as a potential treatment in models for neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by social deficits, such as autism, should include social EE in addition to physical EE, because its lack might worsen social deficits. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1586-1607, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26132842

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The Exercising Brain: Changes in Functional Connectivity Induced by an Integrated Multimodal Cognitive and Whole-Body Coordination Training.

    PubMed

    Demirakca, Traute; Cardinale, Vita; Dehn, Sven; Ruf, Matthias; Ende, Gabriele

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the impact of "life kinetik" training on brain plasticity in terms of an increased functional connectivity during resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). The training is an integrated multimodal training that combines motor and cognitive aspects and challenges the brain by introducing new and unfamiliar coordinative tasks. Twenty-one subjects completed at least 11 one-hour-per-week "life kinetik" training sessions in 13 weeks as well as before and after rs-fMRI scans. Additionally, 11 control subjects with 2 rs-fMRI scans were included. The CONN toolbox was used to conduct several seed-to-voxel analyses. We searched for functional connectivity increases between brain regions expected to be involved in the exercises. Connections to brain regions representing parts of the default mode network, such as medial frontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex, did not change. Significant connectivity alterations occurred between the visual cortex and parts of the superior parietal area (BA7). Premotor area and cingulate gyrus were also affected. We can conclude that the constant challenge of unfamiliar combinations of coordination tasks, combined with visual perception and working memory demands, seems to induce brain plasticity expressed in enhanced connectivity strength of brain regions due to coactivation. PMID:26819776

  6. The Exercising Brain: Changes in Functional Connectivity Induced by an Integrated Multimodal Cognitive and Whole-Body Coordination Training

    PubMed Central

    Demirakca, Traute; Cardinale, Vita; Dehn, Sven; Ruf, Matthias; Ende, Gabriele

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the impact of “life kinetik” training on brain plasticity in terms of an increased functional connectivity during resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). The training is an integrated multimodal training that combines motor and cognitive aspects and challenges the brain by introducing new and unfamiliar coordinative tasks. Twenty-one subjects completed at least 11 one-hour-per-week “life kinetik” training sessions in 13 weeks as well as before and after rs-fMRI scans. Additionally, 11 control subjects with 2 rs-fMRI scans were included. The CONN toolbox was used to conduct several seed-to-voxel analyses. We searched for functional connectivity increases between brain regions expected to be involved in the exercises. Connections to brain regions representing parts of the default mode network, such as medial frontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex, did not change. Significant connectivity alterations occurred between the visual cortex and parts of the superior parietal area (BA7). Premotor area and cingulate gyrus were also affected. We can conclude that the constant challenge of unfamiliar combinations of coordination tasks, combined with visual perception and working memory demands, seems to induce brain plasticity expressed in enhanced connectivity strength of brain regions due to coactivation. PMID:26819776

  7. Raf Kinase Inhibitory Protein (RKIP): Functional Pleiotropy in the Mammalian Brain

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Harrod H.; Mendoza-Viveros, Lucia; Mehta, Neel; Cheng, Hai-Ying M.

    2016-01-01

    In 1984, a cytosolic protein was isolated from bovine brain and coined phosphatidylethanolamine binding protein (PEBP) to describe its phospholipid-binding potential. Its cellular function remained elusive for more than a decade until it was discovered that PEBP had the ability to suppress the Raf1-mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, earning it the new name of Raf1 kinase inhibitory protein (RKIP). This milestone discovery has paved the way for numerous studies that have now extended the reach of RKIP’s function to other signaling cascades, within the context of various physiological and pathophysiological systems. This review will summarize our current knowledge of the neurophysiological roles of RKIP in the mammalian brain, including its function in the circadian clock and synaptic plasticity. It will also discuss evidence for an involvement of RKIP and its derived neuropeptide, hippocampal cholinergic neurostimulating peptide (HCNP), in neural development and differentiation. Implications in certain pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease and brain cancer will be highlighted. By chronicling the diverse functions of RKIP in the brain, we hope that this review will serve as a timely resource that ignites future studies on this versatile, multifaceted protein in the nervous system. PMID:25597360

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Neural Substrate Expansion for the Restoration of Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Chen, H Isaac; Jgamadze, Dennis; Serruya, Mijail D; Cullen, D Kacy; Wolf, John A; Smith, Douglas H

    2016-01-01

    Restoring neurological and cognitive function in individuals who have suffered brain damage is one of the principal objectives of modern translational neuroscience. Electrical stimulation approaches, such as deep-brain stimulation, have achieved the most clinical success, but they ultimately may be limited by the computational capacity of the residual cerebral circuitry. An alternative strategy is brain substrate expansion, in which the computational capacity of the brain is augmented through the addition of new processing units and the reconstitution of network connectivity. This latter approach has been explored to some degree using both biological and electronic means but thus far has not demonstrated the ability to reestablish the function of large-scale neuronal networks. In this review, we contend that fulfilling the potential of brain substrate expansion will require a significant shift from current methods that emphasize direct manipulations of the brain (e.g., injections of cellular suspensions and the implantation of multi-electrode arrays) to the generation of more sophisticated neural tissues and neural-electric hybrids in vitro that are subsequently transplanted into the brain. Drawing from neural tissue engineering, stem cell biology, and neural interface technologies, this strategy makes greater use of the manifold techniques available in the laboratory to create biocompatible constructs that recapitulate brain architecture and thus are more easily recognized and utilized by brain networks. PMID:26834579

  14. Neural Substrate Expansion for the Restoration of Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Chen, H. Isaac; Jgamadze, Dennis; Serruya, Mijail D.; Cullen, D. Kacy; Wolf, John A.; Smith, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    Restoring neurological and cognitive function in individuals who have suffered brain damage is one of the principal objectives of modern translational neuroscience. Electrical stimulation approaches, such as deep-brain stimulation, have achieved the most clinical success, but they ultimately may be limited by the computational capacity of the residual cerebral circuitry. An alternative strategy is brain substrate expansion, in which the computational capacity of the brain is augmented through the addition of new processing units and the reconstitution of network connectivity. This latter approach has been explored to some degree using both biological and electronic means but thus far has not demonstrated the ability to reestablish the function of large-scale neuronal networks. In this review, we contend that fulfilling the potential of brain substrate expansion will require a significant shift from current methods that emphasize direct manipulations of the brain (e.g., injections of cellular suspensions and the implantation of multi-electrode arrays) to the generation of more sophisticated neural tissues and neural-electric hybrids in vitro that are subsequently transplanted into the brain. Drawing from neural tissue engineering, stem cell biology, and neural interface technologies, this strategy makes greater use of the manifold techniques available in the laboratory to create biocompatible constructs that recapitulate brain architecture and thus are more easily recognized and utilized by brain networks. PMID:26834579

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. Early constraint-induced movement therapy promotes functional recovery and neuronal plasticity in a subcortical hemorrhage model rat.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Akimasa; Misumi, Sachiyo; Ueda, Yoshitomo; Shimizu, Yuko; Cha-Gyun, Jung; Tamakoshi, Keigo; Ishida, Kazuto; Hida, Hideki

    2015-05-01

    Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) promotes functional recovery of impaired forelimbs after hemiplegic strokes, including intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). We used a rat model of subcortical hemorrhage to compare the effects of delivering early or late CIMT after ICH. The rat model was made by injecting collagenase into the globus pallidus near the internal capsule, and then forcing rats to use the affected forelimb for 7 days starting either 1 day (early CIMT) or 17 days (late CIMT) after the lesion. Recovery of forelimb function in the skilled reaching test and the ladder stepping test was found after early-CIMT, while no significant recovery was shown after late CIMT or in the non-CIMT controls. Early CIMT was associated with greater numbers of ΔFosB-positive cells in the ipsi-lesional sensorimotor cortex layers II-III and V. Additionally, we found expression of the growth-related genes brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and growth-related protein 43 (GAP-43), and abundant dendritic arborization of pyramidal neurons in the sensorimotor area. Similar results were not detected in the contra-lesional cortex. In contrast to early CIMT, late CIMT failed to induce any changes in plasticity. We conclude that CIMT induces molecular and morphological plasticity in the ipsi-lesional sensorimotor cortex and facilitates better functional recovery when initiated immediately after hemorrhage. PMID:25700666

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

    PubMed

    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

  1. 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

  2. In vivo visuotopic brain mapping with manganese-enhanced MRI and resting-state functional connectivity MRI.

    PubMed

    Chan, Kevin C; Fan, Shu-Juan; Chan, Russell W; Cheng, Joe S; Zhou, Iris Y; Wu, Ed X

    2014-04-15

    The rodents are an increasingly important model for understanding the mechanisms of development, plasticity, functional specialization and disease in the visual system. However, limited tools have been available for assessing the structural and functional connectivity of the visual brain network globally, in vivo and longitudinally. There are also ongoing debates on whether functional brain connectivity directly reflects structural brain connectivity. In this study, we explored the feasibility of manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) via 3 different routes of Mn(2+) administration for visuotopic brain mapping and understanding of physiological transport in normal and visually deprived adult rats. In addition, resting-state functional connectivity MRI (RSfcMRI) was performed to evaluate the intrinsic functional network and structural-functional relationships in the corresponding anatomical visual brain connections traced by MEMRI. Upon intravitreal, subcortical, and intracortical Mn(2+) injection, different topographic and layer-specific Mn enhancement patterns could be revealed in the visual cortex and subcortical visual nuclei along retinal, callosal, cortico-subcortical, transsynaptic and intracortical horizontal connections. Loss of visual input upon monocular enucleation to adult rats appeared to reduce interhemispheric polysynaptic Mn(2+) transfer but not intra- or inter-hemispheric monosynaptic Mn(2+) transport after Mn(2+) injection into visual cortex. In normal adults, both structural and functional connectivity by MEMRI and RSfcMRI was stronger interhemispherically between bilateral primary/secondary visual cortex (V1/V2) transition zones (TZ) than between V1/V2 TZ and other cortical nuclei. Intrahemispherically, structural and functional connectivity was stronger between visual cortex and subcortical visual nuclei than between visual cortex and other subcortical nuclei. The current results demonstrated the sensitivity of MEMRI and RSfcMRI for assessing the neuroarchitecture, neurophysiology and structural-functional relationships of the visual brains in vivo. These may possess great potentials for effective monitoring and understanding of the basic anatomical and functional connections in the visual system during development, plasticity, disease, pharmacological interventions and genetic modifications in future studies. PMID:24394694

  3. Insulin Receptor Signaling Regulates Synapse Number, Dendritic Plasticity and Circuit Function in Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Shu-Ling; Chen, Chih-Ming; Cline, Hollis T.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Insulin receptor signaling has been postulated to play a role in synaptic plasticity, however the function of the insulin receptor in CNS is not clear. To test whether insulin receptor signaling affects visual system function, we recorded light-evoked responses in optic tectal neurons in living Xenopus tadpoles. Tectal neurons transfected with dominant negative insulin receptor (dnIR) which reduces insulin receptor phosphorylation or morpholino against insulin receptor which reduces total insulin receptor protein level have significantly smaller light-evoked responses than controls. dnIR-expressing neurons have reduced synapse density assessed by EM, decreased AMPA mEPSC frequency and altered experience-dependent dendritic arbor structural plasticity, although synaptic vesicle release probability, assessed by paired pulse responses, synapse maturation, assessed by AMPA/NMDA ratio and ultrastructural criteria, is unaffected by dnIR expression. These data indicate that insulin receptor signaling regulates circuit function and plasticity by controlling synapse density. PMID:18549783

  4. Functional principal component model for high-dimensional brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Zipunnikov, Vadim; Caffo, Brian; Yousem, David M; Davatzikos, Christos; Schwartz, Brian S; Crainiceanu, Ciprian

    2011-10-01

    We explore a connection between the singular value decomposition (SVD) and functional principal component analysis (FPCA) models in high-dimensional brain imaging applications. We formally link right singular vectors to principal scores of FPCA. This, combined with the fact that left singular vectors estimate principal components, allows us to deploy the numerical efficiency of SVD to fully estimate the components of FPCA, even for extremely high-dimensional functional objects, such as brain images. As an example, a FPCA model is fit to high-resolution morphometric (RAVENS) images. The main directions of morphometric variation in brain volumes are identified and discussed. PMID:21798354

  5. 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

  6. Free D-aspartate regulates neuronal dendritic morphology, synaptic plasticity, gray matter volume and brain activity in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Errico, F; Nisticò, R; Di Giorgio, A; Squillace, M; Vitucci, D; Galbusera, A; Piccinin, S; Mango, D; Fazio, L; Middei, S; Trizio, S; Mercuri, N B; Teule, M A; Centonze, D; Gozzi, A; Blasi, G; Bertolino, A; Usiello, A

    2014-01-01

    D-aspartate (D-Asp) is an atypical amino acid, which is especially abundant in the developing mammalian brain, and can bind to and activate N-methyl-D-Aspartate receptors (NMDARs). In line with its pharmacological features, we find that mice chronically treated with D-Asp show enhanced NMDAR-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents and basal cerebral blood volume in fronto-hippocampal areas. In addition, we show that both chronic administration of D-Asp and deletion of the gene coding for the catabolic enzyme D-aspartate oxidase (DDO) trigger plastic modifications of neuronal cytoarchitecture in the prefrontal cortex and CA1 subfield of the hippocampus and promote a cytochalasin D-sensitive form of synaptic plasticity in adult mouse brains. To translate these findings in humans and consistent with the experiments using Ddo gene targeting in animals, we performed a hierarchical stepwise translational genetic approach. Specifically, we investigated the association of variation in the gene coding for DDO with complex human prefrontal phenotypes. We demonstrate that genetic variation predicting reduced expression of DDO in postmortem human prefrontal cortex is mapped on greater prefrontal gray matter and activity during working memory as measured with MRI. In conclusion our results identify novel NMDAR-dependent effects of D-Asp on plasticity and physiology in rodents, which also map to prefrontal phenotypes in humans. PMID:25072322

  7. Neuroecology of cartilaginous fishes: the functional implications of brain scaling.

    PubMed

    Yopak, K E

    2012-04-01

    It is a widely accepted view that neural development can reflect morphological adaptations and sensory specializations. The aim of this review is to give a broad overview of the current status of brain data available for cartilaginous fishes and examine how perspectives on allometric scaling of brain size across this group of fishes has changed within the last 50 years with the addition of new data and more rigorous statistical analyses. The current knowledge of neuroanatomy in cartilaginous fishes is reviewed and data on brain size (encephalization, n = 151) and interspecific variation in brain organization (n = 84) has been explored to ascertain scaling relationships across this clade. It is determined whether similar patterns of brain organization, termed cerebrotypes, exist in species that share certain lifestyle characteristics. Clear patterns of brain organization exist across cartilaginous fishes, irrespective of phylogenetic grouping and, although this study was not a functional analysis, it provides further evidence that chondrichthyan brain structures might have developed in conjunction with specific behaviours or enhanced cognitive capabilities. Larger brains, with well-developed telencephala and large, highly foliated cerebella are reported in species that occupy complex reef or oceanic habitats, potentially identifying a reef-associated cerebrotype. In contrast, benthic and benthopelagic demersal species comprise the group with the smallest brains, with a relatively reduced telencephalon and a smooth cerebellar corpus. There is also evidence herein of a bathyal cerebrotype; deep-sea benthopelagic sharks possess relatively small brains and show a clear relative hypertrophy of the medulla oblongata. Despite the patterns observed and documented, significant gaps in the literature have been highlighted. Brain mass data are only currently available on c. 16% of all chondrichthyan species, and only 8% of species have data available on their brain organization, with far less on subsections of major brain areas that receive distinct sensory input. The interspecific variability in brain organization further stresses the importance of performing functional studies on a greater range of species. Only an expansive data set, comprised of species that span a variety of habitats and taxonomic groups, with widely disparate behavioural repertoires, combined with further functional analyses, will help shed light on the extent to which chondrichthyan brains have evolved as a consequence of behaviour, habitat and lifestyle in addition to phylogeny. PMID:22497414

  8. 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

  9. Mental Training as a Tool in the Neuroscientific Study of Brain and Cognitive Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. The presence of perforated synapses in the striatum after dopamine depletion, is this a sign of maladaptive brain plasticity?

    PubMed

    Anaya-Martínez, Verónica; Gutierrez-Valdez, Ana Luisa; Ordoñez-Librado, Jose Luis; Montiel-Flores, Enrique; Sánchez-Betancourt, Javier; Sánchez Vázquez del Mercado, César; Reynoso-Erazo, Leonardo; Tron-Alvarez, Rocío; Avila-Costa, Maria Rosa

    2014-12-01

    Synaptic plasticity is the process by which long-lasting changes take place at synaptic connections. The phenomenon itself is complex and can involve many levels of organization. Some authors separate forms into adaptations that have positive or negative consequences for the individual. It has been hypothesized that an increase in the number of synapses may represent a structural basis for the enduring expression of synaptic plasticity during some events that involve memory and learning; also, it has been suggested that perforated synapses increase in number after some diseases and experimental situations. The aim of this study was to analyze whether dopamine depletion induces changes in the synaptology of the corpus striatum of rats after the unilateral injection of 6-OHDA. The findings suggest that after the lesion, both contralateral and ipsilateral striata exhibit an increased length of the synaptic ending in ipsilateral (since third day) and contralateral striatum (since Day 20), loss of axospinous synapses in ipsilateral striatum and a significant increment in the number of perforated synapses, suggesting brain plasticity that might be deleterious for the spines, because this type of synaptic contacts are presumably excitatory, and in the absence of the modulatory effects of dopamine, the neuron could die through excitotoxic mechanisms. Thus, we can conclude that the presence of perforated synapses after striatal dopamine depletion might be a form of maladaptive synaptic plasticity. PMID:25246608

  11. 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.

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. Standardized environmental enrichment supports enhanced brain plasticity in healthy rats and prevents cognitive impairment in epileptic rats.

    PubMed

    Fares, Raafat P; Belmeguenai, Amor; Sanchez, Pascal E; 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  18. 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

  19. Plasticity of functional connectivity in the adult spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Cai, L.L; Courtine, G; Fong, A.J; Burdick, J.W; Roy, R.R; Edgerton, V.R

    2006-01-01

    This paper emphasizes several characteristics of the neural control of locomotion that provide opportunities for developing strategies to maximize the recovery of postural and locomotor functions after a spinal cord injury (SCI). The major points of this paper are: (i) the circuitry that controls standing and stepping is extremely malleable and reflects a continuously varying combination of neurons that are activated when executing stereotypical movements; (ii) the connectivity between neurons is more accurately perceived as a functional rather than as an anatomical phenomenon; (iii) the functional connectivity that controls standing and stepping reflects the physiological state of a given assembly of synapses, where the probability of these synaptic events is not deterministic; (iv) rather, this probability can be modulated by other factors such as pharmacological agents, epidural stimulation and/or motor training; (v) the variability observed in the kinematics of consecutive steps reflects a fundamental feature of the neural control system and (vi) machine-learning theories elucidate the need to accommodate variability in developing strategies designed to enhance motor performance by motor training using robotic devices after an SCI. PMID:16939979

  20. 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

  1. Brain-Computer Interface Controlled Cyborg: Establishing a Functional Information Transfer Pathway from Human Brain to Cockroach Brain

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    An all-chain-wireless brain-to-brain system (BTBS), which enabled motion control of a cyborg cockroach via human brain, was developed in this work. Steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) based brain-computer interface (BCI) was used in this system for recognizing human motion intention and an optimization algorithm was proposed in SSVEP to improve online performance of the BCI. The cyborg cockroach was developed by surgically integrating a portable microstimulator that could generate invasive electrical nerve stimulation. Through Bluetooth communication, specific electrical pulse trains could be triggered from the microstimulator by BCI commands and were sent through the antenna nerve to stimulate the brain of cockroach. Serial experiments were designed and conducted to test overall performance of the BTBS with six human subjects and three cockroaches. The experimental results showed that the online classification accuracy of three-mode BCI increased from 72.86% to 78.56% by 5.70% using the optimization algorithm and the mean response accuracy of the cyborgs using this system reached 89.5%. Moreover, the results also showed that the cyborg could be navigated by the human brain to complete walking along an S-shape track with the success rate of about 20%, suggesting the proposed BTBS established a feasible functional information transfer pathway from the human brain to the cockroach brain. PMID:26982717

  2. Brain-Computer Interface Controlled Cyborg: Establishing a Functional Information Transfer Pathway from Human Brain to Cockroach Brain.

    PubMed

    Li, Guangye; Zhang, Dingguo

    2016-01-01

    An all-chain-wireless brain-to-brain system (BTBS), which enabled motion control of a cyborg cockroach via human brain, was developed in this work. Steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) based brain-computer interface (BCI) was used in this system for recognizing human motion intention and an optimization algorithm was proposed in SSVEP to improve online performance of the BCI. The cyborg cockroach was developed by surgically integrating a portable microstimulator that could generate invasive electrical nerve stimulation. Through Bluetooth communication, specific electrical pulse trains could be triggered from the microstimulator by BCI commands and were sent through the antenna nerve to stimulate the brain of cockroach. Serial experiments were designed and conducted to test overall performance of the BTBS with six human subjects and three cockroaches. The experimental results showed that the online classification accuracy of three-mode BCI increased from 72.86% to 78.56% by 5.70% using the optimization algorithm and the mean response accuracy of the cyborgs using this system reached 89.5%. Moreover, the results also showed that the cyborg could be navigated by the human brain to complete walking along an S-shape track with the success rate of about 20%, suggesting the proposed BTBS established a feasible functional information transfer pathway from the human brain to the cockroach brain. PMID:26982717

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Magnetic resonance and the human brain: anatomy, function and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Talos, I-F; Mian, A Z; Zou, K H; Hsu, L; Goldberg-Zimring, D; Haker, S; Bhagwat, J G; Mulkern, R V

    2006-05-01

    The introduction and development, over the last three decades, of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and MR spectroscopy technology for in vivo studies of the human brain represents a truly remarkable achievement, with enormous scientific and clinical ramifications. These effectively non-invasive techniques allow for studies of the anatomy, the function and the metabolism of the living human brain. They have allowed for new understandings of how the healthy brain works and have provided insights into the mechanisms underlying multiple disease processes which affect the brain. Different MR techniques have been developed for studying anatomy, function and metabolism. The primary focus of this review is to describe these different methodologies and to briefly review how they are being employed to more fully appreciate the intricacies associated with the organ, which most distinctly differentiates the human species from the other animal forms on earth. PMID:16568243

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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 apply the proposed method to data provided by the Human Connectome Project (HCP).

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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 β-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

  16. 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.

  17. Alcohol Elicits Functional and Structural Plasticity Selectively in Dopamine D1 Receptor-Expressing Neurons of the Dorsomedial Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Yifeng; Wang, Xuehua; Roltsch Hellard, Emily; Ma, Tengfei; Gil, Hannah; Ben Hamida, Sami

    2015-01-01

    Addiction is thought to be a maladaptive form of learning and memory caused by drug-evoked aberrant synaptic plasticity. We previously showed that alcohol facilitates synaptic plasticity in the dorsomedial striatum (DMS), a brain region that drives goal-directed behaviors. The majority of DMS cells are medium spiny neurons (MSNs) that express dopamine D1 receptors (D1Rs) or D2 receptors (D2Rs), which drive “Go” or “No-Go” behaviors, respectively. Here, we report that alcohol induces cell type-specific synaptic and structural plasticity in the DMS. Using mice that express a fluorescence marker to visualize D1R or D2R MSNs, we show that repeated cycles of systemic administration of alcohol or alcohol consumption induces a long-lasting increase in AMPAR activity specifically in DMS D1R but not in D2R MSNs. Importantly, we report that alcohol consumption increases the complexity of dendritic branching and the density of mature mushroom-shaped spines selectively in DMS D1R MSNs. Finally, we found that blockade of D1R but not D2R activity in the DMS attenuates alcohol consumption. Together, these data suggest that alcohol intake produces profound functional and structural plasticity events in a subpopulation of neurons in the DMS that control reinforcement-related learning. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Alcohol addiction is considered maladaptive learning and memory processes. Here we unraveled a long-lasting cellular mechanism that may contribute to the memory of alcohol-seeking behaviors. Specifically, we found that alcohol consumption produces a long-lasting enhancement of channel activity and persistent alterations of neuronal morphology in a part of the brain (DMS) that controls alcohol-drinking behaviors. Furthermore, we show that these alterations occur only in a subpopulation of neurons that positively control reward and reinforcement of drugs of abuse. Finally, we report that blocking the activity of this neuronal population reduces alcohol intake. As such synaptic and structural changes are the cellular hallmarks of learning and memory, and these neuroadaptations may drive the development of pathological heavy alcohol consumption. PMID:26290240

  18. Organization of Cognitive Functions in the Brain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Aaron

    Neuropsychological research on the effects of hemispherectomy-the excision of one of the cerebral hemispheres-in children and adults adds to knowledge about the division of labor between the left cerebral hemisphere, which specializes in language and verbal cognitive functions, and the right hemisphere, which specializes in nonlanguage functions.…

  19. Plasticity of the worker bumblebee brain in relation to age and rearing environment.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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 bumblebee 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 bumblebee workers in a factorial manner. Newly emerged bumblebees were maintained in the presence or absence of supplemental visual and/or olfactory stimuli for 7 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 bumblebee brain development in many subtle ways. PMID:24281415

  20. 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

  1. Effects of elevation of brain magnesium on fear conditioning, fear extinction, and synaptic plasticity in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex and lateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Abumaria, Nashat; Yin, Bin; Zhang, Ling; Li, Xiang-Yao; Chen, Tao; Descalzi, Giannina; Zhao, Liangfang; Ahn, Matae; Luo, Lin; Ran, Chen; Zhuo, Min; Liu, Guosong

    2011-10-19

    Anxiety disorders, such as phobias and posttraumatic stress disorder, are among the most common mental disorders. Cognitive therapy helps in treating these disorders; however, many cases relapse or resist the therapy, which justifies the search for cognitive enhancers that might augment the efficacy of cognitive therapy. Studies suggest that enhancement of plasticity in certain brain regions such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and/or hippocampus might enhance the efficacy of cognitive therapy. We found that elevation of brain magnesium, by a novel magnesium compound [magnesium-l-threonate (MgT)], enhances synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and learning and memory in rats. Here, we show that MgT treatment enhances retention of the extinction of fear memory, without enhancing, impairing, or erasing the original fear memory. We then explored the molecular basis of the effects of MgT treatment on fear memory and extinction. In intact animals, elevation of brain magnesium increased NMDA receptors (NMDARs) signaling, BDNF expression, density of presynaptic puncta, and synaptic plasticity in the PFC but, interestingly, not in the basolateral amygdala. In vitro, elevation of extracellular magnesium concentration increased synaptic NMDAR current and plasticity in the infralimbic PFC, but not in the lateral amygdala, suggesting a difference in their sensitivity to elevation of brain magnesium. The current study suggests that elevation of brain magnesium might be a novel approach for enhancing synaptic plasticity in a regional-specific manner leading to enhancing the efficacy of extinction without enhancing or impairing fear memory formation. PMID:22016520

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Decreased Functional Brain Connectivity in Adolescents with Internet Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Soon-Beom; Zalesky, Andrew; Cocchi, Luca; Fornito, Alex; Choi, Eun-Jung; Kim, Ho-Hyun; Suh, Jeong-Eun; Kim, Chang-Dai; Kim, Jae-Won; Yi, Soon-Hyung

    2013-01-01

    Background Internet addiction has become increasingly recognized as a mental disorder, though its neurobiological basis is unknown. This study used functional neuroimaging to investigate whole-brain functional connectivity in adolescents diagnosed with internet addiction. Based on neurobiological changes seen in other addiction related disorders, it was predicted that connectivity disruptions in adolescents with internet addiction would be most prominent in cortico-striatal circuitry. Methods Participants were 12 adolescents diagnosed with internet addiction and 11 healthy comparison subjects. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance images were acquired, and group differences in brain functional connectivity were analyzed using the network-based statistic. We also analyzed network topology, testing for between-group differences in key graph-based network measures. Results Adolescents with internet addiction showed reduced functional connectivity spanning a distributed network. The majority of impaired connections involved cortico-subcortical circuits (?24% with prefrontal and ?27% with parietal cortex). Bilateral putamen was the most extensively involved subcortical brain region. No between-group difference was observed in network topological measures, including the clustering coefficient, characteristic path length, or the small-worldness ratio. Conclusions Internet addiction is associated with a widespread and significant decrease of functional connectivity in cortico-striatal circuits, in the absence of global changes in brain functional network topology. PMID:23451272

  5. 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 α3 domain of MHC I allosterically, resulting in enhanced peptide selector function.

  6. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy maps cortical plasticity underlying altered motor performance induced by transcranial direct current stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Bilal; Hodics, Timea; Hervey, Nathan; Kondraske, George; Stowe, Ann M.; Alexandrakis, George

    2013-01-01

    Abstract. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the human sensorimotor cortex during physical rehabilitation induces plasticity in the injured brain that improves motor performance. Bi-hemispheric tDCS is a noninvasive technique that modulates cortical activation by delivering weak current through a pair of anodal–cathodal (excitation–suppression) electrodes, placed on the scalp and centered over the primary motor cortex of each hemisphere. To quantify tDCS-induced plasticity during motor performance, sensorimotor cortical activity was mapped during an event-related, wrist flexion task by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) before, during, and after applying both possible bi-hemispheric tDCS montages in eight healthy adults. Additionally, torque applied to a lever device during isometric wrist flexion and surface electromyography measurements of major muscle group activity in both arms were acquired concurrently with fNIRS. This multiparameter approach found that hemispheric suppression contralateral to wrist flexion changed resting-state connectivity from intra-hemispheric to inter-hemispheric and increased flexion speed (p<0.05). Conversely, exciting this hemisphere increased opposing muscle output resulting in a decrease in speed but an increase in accuracy (p<0.05 for both). The findings of this work suggest that tDCS with fNIRS and concurrent multimotor measurements can provide insights into how neuroplasticity changes muscle output, which could find future use in guiding motor rehabilitation. PMID:24193947

  7. 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

  8. Linking structure and function: Information processing in the brain

    SciTech Connect

    Gremillion, M.A.V.

    1990-01-01

    Traditionally, theories of function in neuroscience have emerged from physiology. Physiologists have suggested a number of means by which information in the brain can be processed, yet the principles underlying the generation of these phenomena are not well understood. A complex systems approach would be to examine the overall structure and function of the system and to attempt to establish a common framework for information processing interactions. This paper will use the structure-function relationship as a basis for exploring units of information processing. It will examine the brain as a whole, first providing the non-specialists with an short overview of the structure and some of the functions or outputs of the brain. It then very briefly reviews three of the prominent theoretical concepts that have emerged in the last few decades: receptive fields, feature extraction, and parallel processing. Next, it addresses the question of information processing and outlines the structures which have traditionally been proposed to be the basic unit of information processing. An alternative unit on which information processing in the brain might be based is then proposed, and data outlined to support it. Finally, the implications of this different mode of processing are discussed, both for the brain and for other complex systems. 40 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  9. 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.

  10. Dynamic Brain Functional Connectivity Modulated by Resting-State Networks

    PubMed Central

    Di, Xin; Biswal, Bharat B.

    2014-01-01

    Studies of large-scale brain functional connectivity using the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have advanced our understanding of human brain functions. Although the evidence of dynamic functional connectivity is accumulating, the variations of functional connectivity over time have not been well characterized. In the present study, we aimed to associate the variations of functional connectivity with the intrinsic activities of the resting-state networks during a single resting-state scan by comparing functional connectivity differences between when a network had higher and lower intrinsic activities. The activities of the salience network, default mode network (DMN), and motor network were associated with changes of resting-state functional connectivity. Higher activity of the salience network was accompanied by greater functional connectivity between the fronto-parietal regions and the DMN regions, and between the regions within the DMN. Higher DMN activity was associated with less connectivity between the regions within the DMN, and greater connectivity between the regions within the fronto-parietal network. Higher motor network activity was correlated with greater connectivity between the regions within the motor network, and smaller connectivity between the DMN regions and fronto-parietal regions, and between the DMN regions and the motor regions. In addition, the whole brain network modularity was positively correlated with the motor network activity, suggesting that the brain is more segregated as sub-systems when the motor network is intrinsically activated. Together, these results demonstrate the association between the resting-state connectivity variations and the intrinsic activities of specific networks, which can provide insights on the dynamic changes in large-scale brain connectivity and network configurations. PMID:25713839

  11. Functional Connectivity Hubs and Networks in the Awake Marmoset Brain

    PubMed Central

    Belcher, Annabelle M.; Yen, Cecil Chern-Chyi; Notardonato, Lucia; Ross, Thomas J.; Volkow, Nora D.; Yang, Yihong; Stein, Elliot A.; Silva, Afonso C.; Tomasi, Dardo

    2016-01-01

    In combination with advances in analytical methods, resting-state fMRI is allowing unprecedented access to a better understanding of the network organization of the brain. Increasing evidence suggests that this architecture may incorporate highly functionally connected nodes, or “hubs”, and we have recently proposed local functional connectivity density (lFCD) mapping to identify highly-connected nodes in the human brain. Here, we imaged awake nonhuman primates to test whether, like the human brain, the marmoset brain contains FC hubs. Ten adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) were acclimated to mild, comfortable restraint using individualized helmets. Following restraint training, resting BOLD data were acquired during eight consecutive 10 min scans for each subject. lFCD revealed prominent cortical and subcortical hubs of connectivity across the marmoset brain; specifically, in primary and secondary visual cortices (V1/V2), higher-order visual association areas (A19M/V6[DM]), posterior parietal and posterior cingulate areas (PGM and A23b/A31), thalamus, dorsal and ventral striatal areas (caudate, putamen, lateral septal nucleus, and anterior cingulate cortex (A24a). lFCD hubs were highly connected to widespread areas of the brain, and further revealed significant network-network interactions. These data provide a baseline platform for future investigations in a nonhuman primate model of the brain’s network topology. PMID:26973476

  12. Functional brain regeneration in the acoel worm Symsagittifera roscoffensis.

    PubMed

    Sprecher, Simon G; Bernardo-Garcia, F Javier; van Giesen, Lena; Hartenstein, Volker; Reichert, Heinrich; Neves, Ricardo; Bailly, Xavier; Martinez, Pedro; Brauchle, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The ability of some animals to regrow their head and brain after decapitation provides a striking example of the regenerative capacity within the animal kingdom. The acoel worm Symsagittifera roscoffensis can regrow its head, brain and sensory head organs within only a few weeks after decapitation. How rapidly and to what degree it also reacquires its functionality to control behavior however remains unknown. We provide here a neuroanatomical map of the brain neuropils of the adult S. roscoffensis and show that after decapitation a normal neuroanatomical organization of the brain is restored in the majority of animals. By testing different behaviors we further show that functionality of both sensory perception and the underlying brain architecture are restored within weeks after decapitation. Interestingly not all behaviors are restored at the same speed and to the same extent. While we find that phototaxis recovered rapidly, geotaxis is not restored within 7?weeks. Our findings show that regeneration of the head, sensory organs and brain result in the restoration of directed navigation behavior, suggesting a tight coordination in the regeneration of certain sensory organs with that of their underlying neural circuits. Thus, at least in S. roscoffensis, the regenerative capacity of different sensory modalities follows distinct paths. PMID:26581588

  13. Functional brain regeneration in the acoel worm Symsagittifera roscoffensis

    PubMed Central

    Sprecher, Simon G.; Bernardo-Garcia, F. Javier; van Giesen, Lena; Hartenstein, Volker; Reichert, Heinrich; Neves, Ricardo; Bailly, Xavier; Martinez, Pedro; Brauchle, Michael

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The ability of some animals to regrow their head and brain after decapitation provides a striking example of the regenerative capacity within the animal kingdom. The acoel worm Symsagittifera roscoffensis can regrow its head, brain and sensory head organs within only a few weeks after decapitation. How rapidly and to what degree it also reacquires its functionality to control behavior however remains unknown. We provide here a neuroanatomical map of the brain neuropils of the adult S. roscoffensis and show that after decapitation a normal neuroanatomical organization of the brain is restored in the majority of animals. By testing different behaviors we further show that functionality of both sensory perception and the underlying brain architecture are restored within weeks after decapitation. Interestingly not all behaviors are restored at the same speed and to the same extent. While we find that phototaxis recovered rapidly, geotaxis is not restored within 7 weeks. Our findings show that regeneration of the head, sensory organs and brain result in the restoration of directed navigation behavior, suggesting a tight coordination in the regeneration of certain sensory organs with that of their underlying neural circuits. Thus, at least in S. roscoffensis, the regenerative capacity of different sensory modalities follows distinct paths. PMID:26581588

  14. Functional brain networks in movement disorders: recent advances

    PubMed Central

    Holtbernd, Florian; Eidelberg, David

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of review Different neuroimaging techniques have been used to identify disease-specific functional brain networks in Parkinson’s disease, atypical parkinsonian syndromes, and other movement disorders. This review highlights recent advances in network imaging and its clinical applications in movement disorders. Recent findings Positron emission tomography and functional MRI studies have revealed distinct, abnormal metabolic brain networks and altered interregional connectivity in Parkinson’s disease and related movement disorders. Network-level functional changes have been found to correlate with disease severity and progression. Moreover, network-based categorization algorithms are proving useful in enhancing the accuracy of clinical diagnosis in patients with early symptoms and in providing objective evidence of treatment response. Summary Although in most movement disorders the predominant histopathology involves the basal ganglia, including the substantia nigra, functional changes in relevant neural circuits are not limited to these structures. The current advances in functional brain imaging have contributed to a better pathophysiological understanding of movement disorders as complex alterations of widespread functional brain networks. The promising findings from recent studies may help to establish new and reliable biomarkers to monitor disease progression and treatment effects in future clinical trials. PMID:22710361

  15. Estimating brain's functional graph from the structural graph's Laplacian

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdelnour, F.; Dayan, M.; Devinsky, O.; Thesen, T.; Raj, A.

    2015-09-01

    The interplay between the brain's function and structure has been of immense interest to the neuroscience and connectomics communities. In this work we develop a simple linear model relating the structural network and the functional network. We propose that the two networks are related by the structural network's Laplacian up to a shift. The model is simple to implement and gives accurate prediction of function's eigenvalues at the subject level and its eigenvectors at group level.

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

    PubMed

    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

  17. Human brain networks function in connectome-specific harmonic waves.

    PubMed

    Atasoy, Selen; Donnelly, Isaac; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-01

    A key characteristic of human brain activity is coherent, spatially distributed oscillations forming behaviour-dependent brain networks. However, a fundamental principle underlying these networks remains unknown. Here we report that functional networks of the human brain are predicted by harmonic patterns, ubiquitous throughout nature, steered by the anatomy of the human cerebral cortex, the human connectome. We introduce a new technique extending the Fourier basis to the human connectome. In this new frequency-specific representation of cortical activity, that we call 'connectome harmonics', oscillatory networks of the human brain at rest match harmonic wave patterns of certain frequencies. We demonstrate a neural mechanism behind the self-organization of connectome harmonics with a continuous neural field model of excitatory-inhibitory interactions on the connectome. Remarkably, the critical relation between the neural field patterns and the delicate excitation-inhibition balance fits the neurophysiological changes observed during the loss and recovery of consciousness. PMID:26792267

  18. Human brain networks function in connectome-specific harmonic waves

    PubMed Central

    Atasoy, Selen; Donnelly, Isaac; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-01

    A key characteristic of human brain activity is coherent, spatially distributed oscillations forming behaviour-dependent brain networks. However, a fundamental principle underlying these networks remains unknown. Here we report that functional networks of the human brain are predicted by harmonic patterns, ubiquitous throughout nature, steered by the anatomy of the human cerebral cortex, the human connectome. We introduce a new technique extending the Fourier basis to the human connectome. In this new frequency-specific representation of cortical activity, that we call ‘connectome harmonics', oscillatory networks of the human brain at rest match harmonic wave patterns of certain frequencies. We demonstrate a neural mechanism behind the self-organization of connectome harmonics with a continuous neural field model of excitatory–inhibitory interactions on the connectome. Remarkably, the critical relation between the neural field patterns and the delicate excitation–inhibition balance fits the neurophysiological changes observed during the loss and recovery of consciousness. PMID:26792267

  19. 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

  20. Richard P. Bunge memorial lecture. Nerve injury and repair--a challenge to the plastic brain.

    PubMed

    Lundborg, Göran

    2003-12-01

    Repair and reconstruction of major nerve trunks in the upper extremity is a very challenging surgical problem. Today, there is no surgical repair technique that can assure recovery of tactile discrimination in the hand of an adult patient following nerve repair. In contrast, young individuals usually attain a complete recovery of functional sensibility. The outcome from nerve repair depends mainly on central nervous system factors including functional cortical reorganizational processes caused by misdirection in axonal outgrowth. Deafferentation due to local anesthetic block, amputation or nerve transection in the upper extremity leads to very rapid cortical synaptic remodeling, resulting in a distorted cortical hand representation as well as in enlarged and overlapping cortical receptive fields. Sensory relearning programs are aimed at refinement of these receptive fields to normalize the distorted hand map and improve processing at a high-order cortical level in the context of the 'new language spoken by the hand'. As peripheral nerve repair techniques cannot be further refined, there is a need for new and improved strategies for sensory relearning following nerve repair. We propose the utilization of multimodal capacity of the brain, using another sense (hearing) to substitute for lost hand sensation and to provide an alternate sensory input from the hand early after transection. The purpose was to modulate cortical reorganizations due to deafferentation to preserve cortical hand representation. Preliminary results from a prospective clinical randomized study indicate that the use of a Sensor Glove System, which stereophonically transposes the friction sound elicited by active touch, results in improved recovery of tactile discrimination in the nerve-injured hand. Future strategies for treatment of nerve injuries should promote cellular methods to minimize post-traumatic nerve cell death and to improve axonal outgrowth rate and orientation, but high on the agenda are new strategies for refined sensory relearning following nerve repair. PMID:14641646

  1. Functional Reorganizations of Brain Network in Prelingually Deaf Adolescents.

    PubMed

    Li, Wenjing; Li, Jianhong; Wang, Jieqiong; Zhou, Peng; Wang, Zhenchang; Xian, Junfang; He, Huiguang

    2016-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies suggested structural or functional brain reorganizations occurred in prelingually deaf subjects. However, little is known about the reorganizations of brain network architectures in prelingually deaf adolescents. The present study aims to investigate alterations of whole-brain functional network using resting-state fMRI and graph theory analysis. We recruited 16 prelingually deaf adolescents (10~18 years) and 16 normal controls matched in age and gender. Brain networks were constructed from mean time courses of 90 regions. Widely distributed network was observed in deaf subjects, with increased connectivity between the limbic system and regions involved in visual and language processing, suggesting reinforcement of the processing for the visual and verbal information in deaf adolescents. Decreased connectivity was detected between the visual regions and language regions possibly due to inferior reading or speaking skills in deaf subjects. Using graph theory analysis, we demonstrated small-worldness property did not change in prelingually deaf adolescents relative to normal controls. However, compared with healthy adolescents, eight regions involved in visual, language, and auditory processing were identified as hubs only present in prelingually deaf adolescents. These findings revealed reorganization of brain functional networks occurred in prelingually deaf adolescents to adapt to deficient auditory input. PMID:26819781

  2. Functional Reorganizations of Brain Network in Prelingually Deaf Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wenjing; Li, Jianhong; Wang, Jieqiong; Zhou, Peng; Wang, Zhenchang; Xian, Junfang; He, Huiguang

    2016-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies suggested structural or functional brain reorganizations occurred in prelingually deaf subjects. However, little is known about the reorganizations of brain network architectures in prelingually deaf adolescents. The present study aims to investigate alterations of whole-brain functional network using resting-state fMRI and graph theory analysis. We recruited 16 prelingually deaf adolescents (10~18 years) and 16 normal controls matched in age and gender. Brain networks were constructed from mean time courses of 90 regions. Widely distributed network was observed in deaf subjects, with increased connectivity between the limbic system and regions involved in visual and language processing, suggesting reinforcement of the processing for the visual and verbal information in deaf adolescents. Decreased connectivity was detected between the visual regions and language regions possibly due to inferior reading or speaking skills in deaf subjects. Using graph theory analysis, we demonstrated small-worldness property did not change in prelingually deaf adolescents relative to normal controls. However, compared with healthy adolescents, eight regions involved in visual, language, and auditory processing were identified as hubs only present in prelingually deaf adolescents. These findings revealed reorganization of brain functional networks occurred in prelingually deaf adolescents to adapt to deficient auditory input. PMID:26819781

  3. Neural interfaces for the brain and spinal cord--restoring motor function.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Andrew; Zimmermann, Jonas B

    2012-12-01

    Regaining motor function is of high priority to patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). A variety of electronic devices that interface with the brain or spinal cord, which have applications in neural prosthetics and neurorehabilitation, are in development. Owing to our advancing understanding of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, new technologies to monitor, decode and manipulate neural activity are being translated to patient populations, and have demonstrated clinical efficacy. Brain-machine interfaces that decode motor intentions from cortical signals are enabling patient-driven control of assistive devices such as computers and robotic prostheses, whereas electrical stimulation of the spinal cord and muscles can aid in retraining of motor circuits and improve residual capabilities in patients with SCI. Next-generation interfaces that combine recording and stimulating capabilities in so-called closed-loop devices will further extend the potential for neuroelectronic augmentation of injured motor circuits. Emerging evidence suggests that integration of closed-loop interfaces into intentional motor behaviours has therapeutic benefits that outlast the use of these devices as prostheses. In this Review, we summarize this evidence and propose that several known plasticity mechanisms, operating in a complementary manner, might underlie the therapeutic effects that are achieved by closing the loop between electronic devices and the nervous system. PMID:23147846

  4. 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

  5. Large-scale functional connectivity networks in the rodent brain.

    PubMed

    Gozzi, Alessandro; Schwarz, Adam J

    2016-02-15

    Resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (rsfMRI) of the human brain has revealed multiple large-scale neural networks within a hierarchical and complex structure of coordinated functional activity. These distributed neuroanatomical systems provide a sensitive window on brain function and its disruption in a variety of neuropathological conditions. The study of macroscale intrinsic connectivity networks in preclinical species, where genetic and environmental conditions can be controlled and manipulated with high specificity, offers the opportunity to elucidate the biological determinants of these alterations. While rsfMRI methods are now widely used in human connectivity research, these approaches have only relatively recently been back-translated into laboratory animals. Here we review recent progress in the study of functional connectivity in rodent species, emphasising the ability of this approach to resolve large-scale brain networks that recapitulate neuroanatomical features of known functional systems in the human brain. These include, but are not limited to, a distributed set of regions identified in rats and mice that may represent a putative evolutionary precursor of the human default mode network (DMN). The impact and control of potential experimental and methodological confounds are also critically discussed. Finally, we highlight the enormous potential and some initial application of connectivity mapping in transgenic models as a tool to investigate the neuropathological underpinnings of the large-scale connectional alterations associated with human neuropsychiatric and neurological conditions. We conclude by discussing the translational potential of these methods in basic and applied neuroscience. PMID:26706448

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.…

  9. 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.…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Functional absence of brain photoreceptors mediating entrainment of circadian rhythms in the adult rat.

    PubMed

    Groos, G A; van der Kooy, D

    1981-01-15

    The photic energy penetrating into the brain was increased in adult rats sustaining craniotomies sealed with transparent plastic. After blinding, these animals failed to entrain their circadian food intake rhythm to light-dark cycles. Short pulses of light did not phase-shift the freerunning rhythm. We conclude that adult rats lack brain photoreceptors mediating entrainment of circadian rhythms. PMID:7202675

  13. Pro-cognitive drug effects modulate functional brain network organization

    PubMed Central

    Giessing, Carsten; Thiel, Christiane M.

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies document that cholinergic and noradrenergic drugs improve attention, memory and cognitive control in healthy subjects and patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. In humans neural mechanisms of cholinergic and noradrenergic modulation have mainly been analyzed by investigating drug-induced changes of task-related neural activity measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Endogenous neural activity has often been neglected. Further, although drugs affect the coupling between neurons, only a few human studies have explicitly addressed how drugs modulate the functional connectome, i.e., the functional neural interactions within the brain. These studies have mainly focused on synchronization or correlation of brain activations. Recently, there are some drug studies using graph theory and other new mathematical approaches to model the brain as a complex network of interconnected processing nodes. Using such measures it is possible to detect not only focal, but also subtle, widely distributed drug effects on functional network topology. Most important, graph theoretical measures also quantify whether drug-induced changes in topology or network organization facilitate or hinder information processing. Several studies could show that functional brain integration is highly correlated with behavioral performance suggesting that cholinergic and noradrenergic drugs which improve measures of cognitive performance should increase functional network integration. The purpose of this paper is to show that graph theory provides a mathematical tool to develop theory-driven biomarkers of pro-cognitive drug effects, and also to discuss how these approaches can contribute to the understanding of the role of cholinergic and noradrenergic modulation in the human brain. Finally we discuss the “global workspace” theory as a theoretical framework of pro-cognitive drug effects and argue that pro-cognitive effects of cholinergic and noradrenergic drugs might be related to higher network integration. PMID:22973209

  14. Modulatory Interactions of Resting-State Brain Functional Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Di, Xin; Biswal, Bharat B.

    2013-01-01

    The functional brain connectivity studies are generally based on the synchronization of the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals. Functional connectivity measures usually assume a stable relationship over time; however, accumulating studies have reported time-varying properties of strength and spatial distribution of functional connectivity. The present study explored the modulation of functional connectivity between two regions by a third region using the physiophysiological interaction (PPI) technique. We first identified eight brain networks and two regions of interest (ROIs) representing each of the networks using a spatial independent component analysis. A voxel-wise analysis was conducted to identify regions that showed modulatory interactions (PPI) with the two ROIs of each network. Mostly, positive modulatory interactions were observed within regions involved in the same system. For example, the two regions of the dorsal attention network revealed modulatory interactions with the regions related to attention, while the two regions of the extrastriate network revealed modulatory interactions with the regions in the visual cortex. In contrast, the two regions of the default mode network (DMN) revealed negative modulatory interactions with the regions in the executive network, and vice versa, suggesting that the activities of one network may be associated with smaller within network connectivity of the competing network. These results validate the use of PPI analysis to study modulation of resting-state functional connectivity by a third region. The modulatory effects may provide a better understanding of complex brain functions. PMID:24023609

  15. "Hotheaded": the role OF TRPV1 in brain functions.

    PubMed

    Martins, D; Tavares, I; Morgado, C

    2014-10-01

    The TRPV1 (vanilloid 1) channel is best known for its role in sensory transmission in the nociceptive neurons of the peripheral nervous system. Although first studied in the dorsal root ganglia as the receptor for capsaicin, TRPV1 has been recently recognized to have a broader distribution in the central nervous system, where it is likely to constitute an atypical neurotransmission system involved in several functions through modulation of both neuronal and glial activities. The endovanilloid-activated brain TRPV1 channels seem to be involved in somatosensory, motor and visceral functions. Recent studies suggested that TRPV1 channels also account for more complex functions, as addiction, anxiety, mood and cognition/learning. However, more studies are needed before the relevance of TRPV1 in brain activity can be clearly stated. This review highlights the increasing importance of TRPV1 as a regulator of brain function and discusses possible bases for the future development of new therapeutic approaches that by targeting brain TRPV1 receptors might be used for the treatment of several neurological disorders. PMID:24887171

  16. Functional Brain Image Analysis Using Joint Function-Structure Priors

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jing; Papademetris, Xenophon; Staib, Lawrence H.; Schultz, Robert T.; Duncan, James S.

    2010-01-01

    We propose a new method for context-driven analysis of functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI) that incorporates spatial relationships between functional parameter clusters and anatomical structure directly for the first time. We design a parametric scheme that relates functional and structural spatially-compact regions in a single unified manner. Our method is motivated by the fact that the fMRI and anatomical MRI (aMRI) have consistent relations that provide configurations and context that aid in fMRI analysis. We develop a statistical decision-making strategy to estimate new fMRI parameter images (based on a General Linear Model-GLM) and spatially-clustered zones within these images. The analysis is based on the time-series data and contextual information related to appropriate spatial grouping of parameters in the functional data and the relationship of this grouping to relevant gray matter structure from the anatomical data. We introduce a representation for the joint prior of the functional and structural information, and define a joint probability distribution over the variations of functional clusters and the related structure contained in a set of training images. We estimate the Maximum A Posteriori (MAP) functional parameters, formulating the function-structure model in terms of level set functions. Results from 3D fMRI and aMRI show that this context-driven analysis potentially extracts more meaningful information than the standard GLM approach. PMID:20543899

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Posttranslational marks control architectural and functional plasticity of the nuclear pore complex basket.

    PubMed

    Niño, Carlos A; Guet, David; Gay, Alexandre; Brutus, Sergine; Jourquin, Frédéric; Mendiratta, Shweta; Salamero, Jean; Géli, Vincent; Dargemont, Catherine

    2016-01-18

    The nuclear pore complex (NPC) serves as both the unique gate between the nucleus and the cytoplasm and a major platform that coordinates nucleocytoplasmic exchanges, gene expression, and genome integrity. To understand how the NPC integrates these functional constraints, we dissected here the posttranslational modifications of the nuclear basket protein Nup60 and analyzed how they intervene to control the plasticity of the NPC. Combined approaches highlight the role of monoubiquitylation in regulating the association dynamics of Nup60 and its partner, Nup2, with the NPC through an interaction with Nup84, a component of the Y complex. Although major nuclear transport routes are not regulated by Nup60 modifications, monoubiquitylation of Nup60 is stimulated upon genotoxic stress and regulates the DNA-damage response and telomere repair. Together, these data reveal an original mechanism contributing to the plasticity of the NPC at a molecular-organization and functional level. PMID:26783300

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Brain-computer interface controlled functional electrical stimulation device for foot drop due to stroke.

    PubMed

    Do, An H; Wang, Po T; King, Christine E; Schombs, Andrew; Cramer, Steven C; Nenadic, Zoran

    2012-01-01

    Gait impairment due to foot drop is a common outcome of stroke, and current physiotherapy provides only limited restoration of gait function. Gait function can also be aided by orthoses, but these devices may be cumbersome and their benefits disappear upon removal. Hence, new neuro-rehabilitative therapies are being sought to generate permanent improvements in motor function beyond those of conventional physiotherapies through positive neural plasticity processes. Here, the authors describe an electroencephalogram (EEG) based brain-computer interface (BCI) controlled functional electrical stimulation (FES) system that enabled a stroke subject with foot drop to re-establish foot dorsiflexion. To this end, a prediction model was generated from EEG data collected as the subject alternated between periods of idling and attempted foot dorsiflexion. This prediction model was then used to classify online EEG data into either "idling" or "dorsiflexion" states, and this information was subsequently used to control an FES device to elicit effective foot dorsiflexion. The performance of the system was assessed in online sessions, where the subject was prompted by a computer to alternate between periods of idling and dorsiflexion. The subject demonstrated purposeful operation of the BCI-FES system, with an average cross-correlation between instructional cues and BCI-FES response of 0.60 over 3 sessions. In addition, analysis of the prediction model indicated that non-classical brain areas were activated in the process, suggesting post-stroke cortical re-organization. In the future, these systems may be explored as a potential therapeutic tool that can help promote positive plasticity and neural repair in chronic stroke patients. PMID:23367397

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Anatomical and functional assemblies of brain BOLD oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Baria, Alexis T.; Baliki, Marwan N.; Parrish, Todd; Apkarian, A. Vania

    2011-01-01

    Brain oscillatory activity has long been thought to have spatial properties, the details of which are unresolved. Here we examine spatial organizational rules for the human brain oscillatory activity as measured by blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD). Resting state BOLD signal was transformed into frequency space (Welch’s method), averaged across subjects, and its spatial distribution studied as a function of four frequency bands, spanning the full bandwidth of BOLD. The brain showed anatomically constrained distribution of power for each frequency band. This result was replicated on a repository dataset of 195 subjects. Next, we examined larger-scale organization by parceling the neocortex into regions approximating Brodmann Areas (BAs). This indicated that BAs of simple function/connectivity (unimodal), vs. complex properties (transmodal), are dominated by low frequency BOLD oscillations, and within the visual ventral stream we observe a graded shift of power to higher frequency bands for BAs further removed from the primary visual cortex (increased complexity), linking frequency properties of BOLD to hodology. Additionally, BOLD oscillation properties for the default mode network demonstrated that it is composed of distinct frequency dependent regions. When the same analysis was performed on a visual-motor task, frequency-dependent global and voxel-wise shifts in BOLD oscillations could be detected at brain sites mostly outside those identified with general linear modeling. Thus, analysis of BOLD oscillations in full bandwidth uncovers novel brain organizational rules, linking anatomical structures and functional networks to characteristic BOLD oscillations. The approach also identifies changes in brain intrinsic properties in relation to responses to external inputs. PMID:21613505

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

    PubMed

    Yi, Sun Shin

    2015-05-15

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. Tesmilifene modifies brain endothelial functions and opens the blood-brain/blood-glioma barrier.

    PubMed

    Walter, Fruzsina R; Veszelka, Szilvia; Pásztói, Mária; Péterfi, Zoltán A; Tóth, András; Rákhely, Gábor; Cervenak, László; Ábrahám, Csongor S; Deli, Mária A

    2015-09-01

    Tesmilifene, a tamoxifen analog with antihistamine action, has chemopotentiating properties in experimental and clinical cancer studies. In our previous works, tesmilifene increased the permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in animal and culture models. Our aim was to investigate the effects of tesmilifene on brain microvessel permeability in the rat RG2 glioma model and to reveal its mode of action in brain endothelial cells. Tesmilifene significantly increased fluorescein extravasation in the glioma. Short-term treatment with tesmilifene reduced the resistance and increased the permeability for marker molecules in a rat triple co-culture BBB model. Tesmilifene also affected the barrier integrity in brain endothelial cells co-cultured with RG2 glioblastoma cells. Tesmilifene inhibited the activity of P-glycoprotein and multidrug resistance-associated protein-1 efflux pumps and down-regulated the mRNA expression of tight junction proteins, efflux pumps, solute carriers, and metabolic enzymes important for BBB functions. Among the possible signaling pathways that regulate BBB permeability, tesmilifene activated the early nuclear translocation of NF?B. The MAPK/ERK and PI3K/Akt kinase pathways were also involved. We demonstrate for the first time that tesmilifene increases permeability marker molecule extravasation in glioma and inhibits efflux pump activity in brain endothelial cells, which may have therapeutic relevance. Tesmilifene, a chemopotentiator in experimental and clinical cancer studies increases vascular permeability in RG2 glioma in rats and permeability for marker molecules in a culture model of the blood-brain barrier. Tesmilifene inhibits the activity of efflux pumps and down-regulates the mRNA expression of tight junction proteins, transporters, and metabolic enzymes important for the blood-brain barrier functions, which may have therapeutic relevance. PMID:26112237

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Altered functional and structural brain network organization in autism.

    PubMed

    Rudie, J D; Brown, J A; Beck-Pancer, D; Hernandez, L M; Dennis, E L; Thompson, P M; Bookheimer, S Y; Dapretto, M

    2012-01-01

    Structural and functional underconnectivity have been reported for multiple brain regions, functional systems, and white matter tracts in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Although recent developments in complex network analysis have established that the brain is a modular network exhibiting small-world properties, network level organization has not been carefully examined in ASD. Here we used resting-state functional MRI (n = 42 ASD, n = 37 typically developing; TD) to show that children and adolescents with ASD display reduced short and long-range connectivity within functional systems (i.e., reduced functional integration) and stronger connectivity between functional systems (i.e., reduced functional segregation), particularly in default and higher-order visual regions. Using graph theoretical methods, we show that pairwise group differences in functional connectivity are reflected in network level reductions in modularity and clustering (local efficiency), but shorter characteristic path lengths (higher global efficiency). Structural networks, generated from diffusion tensor MRI derived fiber tracts (n = 51 ASD, n = 43 TD), displayed lower levels of white matter integrity yet higher numbers of fibers. TD and ASD individuals exhibited similar levels of correlation between raw measures of structural and functional connectivity (n = 35 ASD, n = 35 TD). However, a principal component analysis combining structural and functional network properties revealed that the balance of local and global efficiency between structural and functional networks was reduced in ASD, positively correlated with age, and inversely correlated with ASD symptom severity. Overall, our findings suggest that modeling the brain as a complex network will be highly informative in unraveling the biological basis of ASD and other neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:24179761

  18. Neurolinguistics: Structure, Function, and Connectivity in the Bilingual Brain

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Becky; Yin, Bin; O'Brien, Beth

    2016-01-01

    Advances in neuroimaging techniques and analytic methods have led to a proliferation of studies investigating the impact of bilingualism on the cognitive and brain systems in humans. Lately, these findings have attracted much interest and debate in the field, leading to a number of recent commentaries and reviews. Here, we contribute to the ongoing discussion by compiling and interpreting the plethora of findings that relate to the structural, functional, and connective changes in the brain that ensue from bilingualism. In doing so, we integrate theoretical models and empirical findings from linguistics, cognitive/developmental psychology, and neuroscience to examine the following issues: (1) whether the language neural network is different for first (dominant) versus second (nondominant) language processing; (2) the effects of bilinguals' executive functioning on the structure and function of the “universal” language neural network; (3) the differential effects of bilingualism on phonological, lexical-semantic, and syntactic aspects of language processing on the brain; and (4) the effects of age of acquisition and proficiency of the user's second language in the bilingual brain, and how these have implications for future research in neurolinguistics. PMID:26881224

  19. Neurolinguistics: Structure, Function, and Connectivity in the Bilingual Brain.

    PubMed

    Wong, Becky; Yin, Bin; O'Brien, Beth

    2016-01-01

    Advances in neuroimaging techniques and analytic methods have led to a proliferation of studies investigating the impact of bilingualism on the cognitive and brain systems in humans. Lately, these findings have attracted much interest and debate in the field, leading to a number of recent commentaries and reviews. Here, we contribute to the ongoing discussion by compiling and interpreting the plethora of findings that relate to the structural, functional, and connective changes in the brain that ensue from bilingualism. In doing so, we integrate theoretical models and empirical findings from linguistics, cognitive/developmental psychology, and neuroscience to examine the following issues: (1) whether the language neural network is different for first (dominant) versus second (nondominant) language processing; (2) the effects of bilinguals' executive functioning on the structure and function of the "universal" language neural network; (3) the differential effects of bilingualism on phonological, lexical-semantic, and syntactic aspects of language processing on the brain; and (4) the effects of age of acquisition and proficiency of the user's second language in the bilingual brain, and how these have implications for future research in neurolinguistics. PMID:26881224

  20. Cross-hemispheric functional connectivity in the human fetal brain

    PubMed Central

    Thomason, ME; Dassanayake, MT; Shen, S; Katkuri, Y; Alexis, M; Anderson, AL; Yeo, L; Mody, S; Hernandez-Andrade, E; Hassan, SS; Studholme, C; Jeong, JW; Romero, R

    2013-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates that psychiatric and developmental disorders are generally caused by disruptions in the functional connectivity (FC) of brain networks. Events occurring during development, and in particular during fetal life, have been implicated in the genesis of such disorders. However, the developmental timetable for the emergence of neural FC during human fetal life is unknown. We present the results of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging performed in 25 healthy human fetuses in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy (24 to 38 weeks of gestation). We report the presence of bilateral fetal brain FC and regional and age-related variation in FC. Significant bilateral connectivity was evident in half of the 42 areas tested, and the strength of FC between homologous cortical brain regions increased with advancing gestational age. We also observed medial to lateral gradients in fetal functional brain connectivity. These findings improve understanding of human fetal central nervous system development and provide a basis for examining the role of insults during fetal life in the subsequent development of disorders in neural FC. PMID:23427244

  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, 43.5 years) with smell loss after an infection of the upper respiratory tract (mean disease duration, 4.64 years) and 14 healthy controls (seven female, seven male; mean age, 30.1 years) 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. Brain structural and functional correlates of resilience to Bipolar Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Frangou, Sophia

    2011-01-01

    Background: Resilient adaptation can be construed in different ways, but as used here it refers to adaptive brain responses associated with avoidance of psychopathology despite expressed genetic predisposition to Bipolar Disorder (BD). Although family history of BD is associated with elevated risk of affective morbidity a significant proportion of first-degree relatives remain free of psychopathology. Examination of brain structure and function in these individuals may inform on adaptive responses that pre-empt disease expression. Methods: Data presented here are derived from the Vulnerability to Bipolar Disorders Study (VIBES) which includes BD patients, asymptomatic relatives and controls. Participants underwent extensive investigations including brain structural (sMRI) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We present results from sMRI voxel-based-morphometry and from conventional and connectivity analyses of fMRI data obtained during the Stroop Colour Word Test (SCWT), a task of cognitive control during conflict resolution. All analyses were implemented using Statistical Parametric Mapping software version 5 (SPM5). Resilience in relatives was operationalized as the lifetime absence of clinical-range symptoms. Results: Resilient relatives of BD patients expressed structural, functional, and connectivity changes reflecting the effect of genetic risk on the brain. These included increased insular volume, decreased activation within the posterior and inferior parietal regions involved in selective attention during the SCWT, and reduced fronto-insular and fronto-cingulate connectivity. Resilience was associated with increased cerebellar vermal volume and enhanced functional coupling between the dorsal and the ventral prefrontal cortex during the SCWT. Conclusions: Our findings suggests the presence of biological mechanisms associated with resilient adaptation of brain networks and pave the way for the identification of outcome-specific trajectories given a bipolar genotype. PMID:22363273

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Two distinct forms of functional lateralization in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Gotts, Stephen J; Jo, Hang Joon; Wallace, Gregory L; Saad, Ziad S; Cox, Robert W; Martin, Alex

    2013-09-01

    The hemispheric lateralization of certain faculties in the human brain has long been held to be beneficial for functioning. However, quantitative relationships between the degree of lateralization in particular brain regions and the level of functioning have yet to be established. Here we demonstrate that two distinct forms of functional lateralization are present in the left vs. the right cerebral hemisphere, with the left hemisphere showing a preference to interact more exclusively with itself, particularly for cortical regions involved in language and fine motor coordination. In contrast, right-hemisphere cortical regions involved in visuospatial and attentional processing interact in a more integrative fashion with both hemispheres. The degree of lateralization present in these distinct systems selectively predicted behavioral measures of verbal and visuospatial ability, providing direct evidence that lateralization is associated with enhanced cognitive ability. PMID:23959883

  6. Making the lifetime connection between brain and machine for restoring and enhancing function

    PubMed Central

    Kennedy, Philip; Andreasen, Dinal; Bartels, Jess; Ehirim, Princewill; Mao, Hui; Velliste, Meel; Wichmann, Thomas; Wright, Joe

    2014-01-01

    A reliable neural interface that lasts a lifetime will lead to the development of neural prosthetic devices as well as the possibility that brain function can be enhanced. Our data demonstrate that a reliable neural interface is best achieved when the surrounding neuropil grows into the electrode tip where it is held securely, allowing myelinated axons to be recorded using implanted amplifiers. Stable single and multiunits were recorded from three implanted subjects and classified according to amplitudes and firing rates. In one paralyzed and mute subject implanted for over 5 years with a double electrode in the speech motor cortex, the single units allowed recognition of over half the 39 English language phonemes detected using a variety of decoding methods. These single units were used by the subject in a speech task where vowel phonemes were recognized and fed back to the subject using audio output. Weeks of training resulted in an 80% success rate in producing four vowels in an adaptation of the classic center-out task used in motor control studies. The importance of using single units was shown in a different task using pure tones that the same subject heard and then sung or hummed in his head. Feedback was associated with smoothly coordinated unit firings. The plasticity of the unit firings was demonstrated over several sessions first without, and then with, feedback. These data suggest that units can be reliably recorded over years, that there is an inverse relationship between single unit firing rate and amplitude, that pattern recognition decoding paradigms can allow phoneme recognition, that single units appear more important than multiunits when precision is important, and that units are plastic in their functional relationships. These characteristics of a reliable neural interface are essential for the development of neural prostheses and also for the future enhancement of human brain function. PMID:21867791