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Sample records for sensory cortical processing

  1. Exploring the cortical evidence of a sensory-discrimination process.

    PubMed Central

    Romo, Ranulfo; Hernández, Adrián; Zainos, Antonio; Brody, Carlos; Salinas, Emilio

    2002-01-01

    Humans and monkeys have similar abilities to discriminate the difference in frequency between two consecutive mechanical vibrations applied to their fingertips. This task can be conceived as a chain of neural operations: encoding the two consecutive stimuli, maintaining the first stimulus in working memory, comparing the second stimulus with the memory trace left by the first stimulus and communicating the result of the comparison to the motor apparatus. We studied this chain of neural operations by recording and manipulating neurons from different areas of the cerebral cortex while monkeys performed the task. The results indicate that neurons of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) generate a neural representation of vibrotactile stimuli which correlates closely with psychophysical performance. Discrimination based on microstimulation patterns injected into clusters of S1 neurons is indistinguishable from that produced by natural stimuli. Neurons from the secondary somatosensory cortex (S2), prefrontal cortex and medial premotor cortex (MPC) display at different times the trace of the first stimulus during the working-memory component of the task. Neurons from S2 and MPC appear to show the comparison between the two stimuli and correlate with the behavioural decisions. These neural operations may contribute to the sensory-discrimination process studied here. PMID:12217172

  2. Awake vs. anesthetized: layer-specific sensory processing in visual cortex and functional connectivity between cortical areas.

    PubMed

    Sellers, Kristin K; Bennett, Davis V; Hutt, Axel; Williams, James H; Fröhlich, Flavio

    2015-06-01

    During general anesthesia, global brain activity and behavioral state are profoundly altered. Yet it remains mostly unknown how anesthetics alter sensory processing across cortical layers and modulate functional cortico-cortical connectivity. To address this gap in knowledge of the micro- and mesoscale effects of anesthetics on sensory processing in the cortical microcircuit, we recorded multiunit activity and local field potential in awake and anesthetized ferrets (Mustela putoris furo) during sensory stimulation. To understand how anesthetics alter sensory processing in a primary sensory area and the representation of sensory input in higher-order association areas, we studied the local sensory responses and long-range functional connectivity of primary visual cortex (V1) and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Isoflurane combined with xylazine provided general anesthesia for all anesthetized recordings. We found that anesthetics altered the duration of sensory-evoked responses, disrupted the response dynamics across cortical layers, suppressed both multimodal interactions in V1 and sensory responses in PFC, and reduced functional cortico-cortical connectivity between V1 and PFC. Together, the present findings demonstrate altered sensory responses and impaired functional network connectivity during anesthesia at the level of multiunit activity and local field potential across cortical layers. PMID:25833839

  3. Awake vs. anesthetized: layer-specific sensory processing in visual cortex and functional connectivity between cortical areas

    PubMed Central

    Sellers, Kristin K.; Bennett, Davis V.; Hutt, Axel; Williams, James H.

    2015-01-01

    During general anesthesia, global brain activity and behavioral state are profoundly altered. Yet it remains mostly unknown how anesthetics alter sensory processing across cortical layers and modulate functional cortico-cortical connectivity. To address this gap in knowledge of the micro- and mesoscale effects of anesthetics on sensory processing in the cortical microcircuit, we recorded multiunit activity and local field potential in awake and anesthetized ferrets (Mustela putoris furo) during sensory stimulation. To understand how anesthetics alter sensory processing in a primary sensory area and the representation of sensory input in higher-order association areas, we studied the local sensory responses and long-range functional connectivity of primary visual cortex (V1) and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Isoflurane combined with xylazine provided general anesthesia for all anesthetized recordings. We found that anesthetics altered the duration of sensory-evoked responses, disrupted the response dynamics across cortical layers, suppressed both multimodal interactions in V1 and sensory responses in PFC, and reduced functional cortico-cortical connectivity between V1 and PFC. Together, the present findings demonstrate altered sensory responses and impaired functional network connectivity during anesthesia at the level of multiunit activity and local field potential across cortical layers. PMID:25833839

  4. A magnetoencephalography study of multi-modal processing of pain anticipation in primary sensory cortices.

    PubMed

    Gopalakrishnan, R; Burgess, R C; Plow, E B; Floden, D P; Machado, A G

    2015-09-24

    Pain anticipation plays a critical role in pain chronification and results in disability due to pain avoidance. It is important to understand how different sensory modalities (auditory, visual or tactile) may influence pain anticipation as different strategies could be applied to mitigate anticipatory phenomena and chronification. In this study, using a countdown paradigm, we evaluated with magnetoencephalography the neural networks associated with pain anticipation elicited by different sensory modalities in normal volunteers. When encountered with well-established cues that signaled pain, visual and somatosensory cortices engaged the pain neuromatrix areas early during the countdown process, whereas the auditory cortex displayed delayed processing. In addition, during pain anticipation, the visual cortex displayed independent processing capabilities after learning the contextual meaning of cues from associative and limbic areas. Interestingly, cross-modal activation was also evident and strong when visual and tactile cues signaled upcoming pain. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and mid-cingulate cortex showed significant activity during pain anticipation regardless of modality. Our results show pain anticipation is processed with great time efficiency by a highly specialized and hierarchical network. The highest degree of higher-order processing is modulated by context (pain) rather than content (modality) and rests within the associative limbic regions, corroborating their intrinsic role in chronification. PMID:26210576

  5. Altered sensory processing and dendritic remodeling in hyperexcitable visual cortical networks.

    PubMed

    Vannini, Eleonora; Restani, Laura; Pietrasanta, Marta; Panarese, Alessandro; Mazzoni, Alberto; Rossetto, Ornella; Middei, Silvia; Micera, Silvestro; Caleo, Matteo

    2016-07-01

    Epilepsy is characterized by impaired circuit function and a propensity for spontaneous seizures, but how plastic rearrangements within the epileptic focus trigger cortical dysfunction and hyperexcitability is only partly understood. Here we have examined alterations in sensory processing and the underlying biochemical and neuroanatomical changes in tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT)-induced focal epilepsy in mouse visual cortex. We documented persistent epileptiform electrographic discharges and upregulation of GABAergic markers at the completion of TeNT effects. We also found a significant remodeling of the dendritic arbors of pyramidal neurons, with increased dendritic length and branching, and overall reduction in spine density but significant preservation of mushroom, mature spines. Functionally, spontaneous neuronal discharge was increased, visual responses were less reliable, and electrophysiological and behavioural visual acuity was consistently impaired in TeNT-injected mice. These data demonstrate robust, long-term remodeling of both inhibitory and excitatory circuitry associated with specific disturbances of network function in neocortical epilepsy. PMID:26163822

  6. Acquired fears reflected in cortical sensory processing: A review of electrophysiological studies of human classical conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Miskovic, Vladimir; Keil, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    The capacity to associate neutral stimuli with affective value is an important survival strategy that can be accomplished by cell assemblies obeying Hebbian learning principles. In the neuroscience laboratory, classical fear conditioning has been extensively used as a model to study learning related changes in neural structure and function. Here, we review the effects of classical fear conditioning on electromagnetic brain activity in humans, focusing on how sensory systems adapt to changing fear-related contingencies. By considering spatio-temporal patterns of mass neuronal activity we illustrate a range of cortical changes related to a retuning of neuronal sensitivity to amplify signals consistent with fear-associated stimuli at the cost of other sensory information. Putative mechanisms that may underlie fear-associated plasticity at the level of the sensory cortices are briefly considered and several avenues for future work are outlined. PMID:22891639

  7. Modeling the effect of locus coeruleus firing on cortical state dynamics and single-trial sensory processing.

    PubMed

    Safaai, Houman; Neves, Ricardo; Eschenko, Oxana; Logothetis, Nikos K; Panzeri, Stefano

    2015-10-13

    Neuronal responses to sensory stimuli are not only driven by feedforward sensory pathways but also depend upon intrinsic factors (collectively known as the network state) that include ongoing spontaneous activity and neuromodulation. To understand how these factors together regulate cortical dynamics, we recorded simultaneously spontaneous and somatosensory-evoked multiunit activity from primary somatosensory cortex and from the locus coeruleus (LC) (the neuromodulatory nucleus releasing norepinephrine) in urethane-anesthetized rats. We found that bursts of ipsilateral-LC firing preceded by few tens of milliseconds increases of cortical excitability, and that the 1- to 10-Hz rhythmicity of LC discharge appeared to increase the power of delta-band (1-4 Hz) cortical synchronization. To investigate quantitatively how LC firing might causally influence spontaneous and stimulus-driven cortical dynamics, we then constructed and fitted to these data a model describing the dynamical interaction of stimulus drive, ongoing synchronized cortical activity, and noradrenergic neuromodulation. The model proposes a coupling between LC and cortex that can amplify delta-range cortical fluctuations, and shows how suitably timed phasic LC bursts can lead to enhanced cortical responses to weaker stimuli and increased temporal precision of cortical stimulus-evoked responses. Thus, the temporal structure of noradrenergic modulation may selectively and dynamically enhance or attenuate cortical responses to stimuli. Finally, using the model prediction of single-trial cortical stimulus-evoked responses to discount single-trial state-dependent variability increased by ∼70% the sensory information extracted from cortical responses. This suggests that downstream circuits may extract information more effectively after estimating the state of the circuit transmitting the sensory message. PMID:26417078

  8. Modeling the effect of locus coeruleus firing on cortical state dynamics and single-trial sensory processing

    PubMed Central

    Safaai, Houman; Neves, Ricardo; Eschenko, Oxana; Logothetis, Nikos K.; Panzeri, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal responses to sensory stimuli are not only driven by feedforward sensory pathways but also depend upon intrinsic factors (collectively known as the network state) that include ongoing spontaneous activity and neuromodulation. To understand how these factors together regulate cortical dynamics, we recorded simultaneously spontaneous and somatosensory-evoked multiunit activity from primary somatosensory cortex and from the locus coeruleus (LC) (the neuromodulatory nucleus releasing norepinephrine) in urethane-anesthetized rats. We found that bursts of ipsilateral-LC firing preceded by few tens of milliseconds increases of cortical excitability, and that the 1- to 10-Hz rhythmicity of LC discharge appeared to increase the power of delta-band (1–4 Hz) cortical synchronization. To investigate quantitatively how LC firing might causally influence spontaneous and stimulus-driven cortical dynamics, we then constructed and fitted to these data a model describing the dynamical interaction of stimulus drive, ongoing synchronized cortical activity, and noradrenergic neuromodulation. The model proposes a coupling between LC and cortex that can amplify delta-range cortical fluctuations, and shows how suitably timed phasic LC bursts can lead to enhanced cortical responses to weaker stimuli and increased temporal precision of cortical stimulus-evoked responses. Thus, the temporal structure of noradrenergic modulation may selectively and dynamically enhance or attenuate cortical responses to stimuli. Finally, using the model prediction of single-trial cortical stimulus-evoked responses to discount single-trial state-dependent variability increased by ∼70% the sensory information extracted from cortical responses. This suggests that downstream circuits may extract information more effectively after estimating the state of the circuit transmitting the sensory message. PMID:26417078

  9. Contributions of cortical feedback to sensory processing in primary visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Petro, Lucy S.; Vizioli, Luca; Muckli, Lars

    2014-01-01

    Closing the structure-function divide is more challenging in the brain than in any other organ (Lichtman and Denk, 2011). For example, in early visual cortex, feedback projections to V1 can be quantified (e.g., Budd, 1998) but the understanding of feedback function is comparatively rudimentary (Muckli and Petro, 2013). Focusing on the function of feedback, we discuss how textbook descriptions mask the complexity of V1 responses, and how feedback and local activity reflects not only sensory processing but internal brain states. PMID:25414677

  10. Contributions of cortical feedback to sensory processing in primary visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Petro, Lucy S; Vizioli, Luca; Muckli, Lars

    2014-01-01

    Closing the structure-function divide is more challenging in the brain than in any other organ (Lichtman and Denk, 2011). For example, in early visual cortex, feedback projections to V1 can be quantified (e.g., Budd, 1998) but the understanding of feedback function is comparatively rudimentary (Muckli and Petro, 2013). Focusing on the function of feedback, we discuss how textbook descriptions mask the complexity of V1 responses, and how feedback and local activity reflects not only sensory processing but internal brain states. PMID:25414677

  11. Discontinuity of cortical gradients reflects sensory impairment

    PubMed Central

    Saadon-Grosman, Noam; Tal, Zohar; Itshayek, Eyal; Amedi, Amir; Arzy, Shahar

    2015-01-01

    Topographic maps and their continuity constitute a fundamental principle of brain organization. In the somatosensory system, whole-body sensory impairment may be reflected either in cortical signal reduction or disorganization of the somatotopic map, such as disturbed continuity. Here we investigated the role of continuity in pathological states. We studied whole-body cortical representations in response to continuous sensory stimulation under functional MRI (fMRI) in two unique patient populations—patients with cervical sensory Brown-Séquard syndrome (injury to one side of the spinal cord) and patients before and after surgical repair of cervical disk protrusion—enabling us to compare whole-body representations in the same study subjects. We quantified the spatial gradient of cortical activation and evaluated the divergence from a continuous pattern. Gradient continuity was found to be disturbed at the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and the supplementary motor area (SMA), in both patient populations: contralateral to the disturbed body side in the Brown-Séquard group and before repair in the surgical group, which was further improved after intervention. Results corresponding to the nondisturbed body side and after surgical repair were comparable with control subjects. No difference was found in the fMRI signal power between the different conditions in the two groups, as well as with respect to control subjects. These results suggest that decreased sensation in our patients is related to gradient discontinuity rather than signal reduction. Gradient continuity may be crucial for somatotopic and other topographical organization, and its disruption may characterize pathological processing. PMID:26655739

  12. Discontinuity of cortical gradients reflects sensory impairment.

    PubMed

    Saadon-Grosman, Noam; Tal, Zohar; Itshayek, Eyal; Amedi, Amir; Arzy, Shahar

    2015-12-29

    Topographic maps and their continuity constitute a fundamental principle of brain organization. In the somatosensory system, whole-body sensory impairment may be reflected either in cortical signal reduction or disorganization of the somatotopic map, such as disturbed continuity. Here we investigated the role of continuity in pathological states. We studied whole-body cortical representations in response to continuous sensory stimulation under functional MRI (fMRI) in two unique patient populations-patients with cervical sensory Brown-Séquard syndrome (injury to one side of the spinal cord) and patients before and after surgical repair of cervical disk protrusion-enabling us to compare whole-body representations in the same study subjects. We quantified the spatial gradient of cortical activation and evaluated the divergence from a continuous pattern. Gradient continuity was found to be disturbed at the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and the supplementary motor area (SMA), in both patient populations: contralateral to the disturbed body side in the Brown-Séquard group and before repair in the surgical group, which was further improved after intervention. Results corresponding to the nondisturbed body side and after surgical repair were comparable with control subjects. No difference was found in the fMRI signal power between the different conditions in the two groups, as well as with respect to control subjects. These results suggest that decreased sensation in our patients is related to gradient discontinuity rather than signal reduction. Gradient continuity may be crucial for somatotopic and other topographical organization, and its disruption may characterize pathological processing. PMID:26655739

  13. Cortical sensory plasticity in a model of migraine with aura

    PubMed Central

    Theriot, Jeremy J.; Toga, Arthur W.; Prakash, Neal; Ju, Y. Sungtaek; Brennan, K.C.

    2012-01-01

    The migraine attack is characterized by alterations in sensory perception, such as photophobia or allodynia, which have in common an uncomfortable amplification of the percept. It is not known how these changes arise. We evaluated the ability of cortical spreading depression (CSD), the proposed mechanism of the migraine aura, to shape the cortical activity that underlies sensory perception. We measured forepaw- and hindpaw-evoked sensory responses in rat, before and after CSD, using multi-electrode array recordings and 2-dimensional optical spectroscopy. CSD significantly altered cortical sensory processing on a timescale compatible with the duration of the migraine attack. Both electrophysiological and hemodynamic maps had a reduced surface area (were sharpened) after CSD. Electrophysiological responses were potentiated at the receptive field center, but suppressed in surround regions. Finally, the normal adaptation of sensory evoked responses was attenuated at the receptive field center. In summary, we show that CSD induces changes in the evoked cortical response that are consistent with known mechanisms of cortical plasticity. These mechanisms provide a novel neurobiological substrate to explain the sensory alterations of the migraine attack. PMID:23115163

  14. Cortical gating of oropharyngeal sensory stimuli.

    PubMed

    Wheeler-Hegland, Karen; Pitts, Teresa; Davenport, Paul W

    2010-01-01

    Somatosensory evoked potentials provide a measure of cortical neuronal activation in response to various types of sensory stimuli. In order to prevent flooding of the cortex with redundant information various sensory stimuli are gated cortically such that response to stimulus 2 (S2) is significantly reduced in amplitude compared to stimulus 1 (S1). Upper airway protective mechanisms, such as swallowing and cough, are dependent on sensory input for triggering and modifying their motor output. Thus, it was hypothesized that central neural gating would be absent for paired-air puff stimuli applied to the oropharynx. Twenty-three healthy adults (18-35 years) served as research participants. Pharyngeal sensory evoked potentials (PSEPs) were measured via 32-electrode cap (10-20 system) connected to SynAmps(2) Neuroscan EEG System. Paired-pulse air puffs were delivered with an inter-stimulus interval of 500 ms to the oropharynx using a thin polyethylene tube connected to a flexible laryngoscope. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and a repeated measures analysis of variance. There were no significant differences found for the amplitudes S1 and S2 for any of the four component PSEP peaks. Mean gating ratios were above 0.90 for each peak. Results supports our hypothesis that sensory central neural gating would be absent for component PSEP peaks with paired-pulse stimuli delivered to the oropharynx. This may be related to the need for constant sensory monitoring necessary for adequate airway protection associated with swallowing and coughing. PMID:21423402

  15. Bidirectional plasticity of cortical pattern recognition and behavioral sensory acuity

    PubMed Central

    Chapuis, Julie; Wilson, Donald A.

    2011-01-01

    Learning to adapt to a complex and fluctuating environment requires the ability to adjust neural representations of sensory stimuli. Through pattern completion processes, cortical networks can reconstruct familiar patterns from degraded input patterns, while pattern separation processes allow discrimination of even highly overlapping inputs. Here we show that the balance between pattern separation and completion is experience-dependent. Rats given extensive training with overlapping complex odorant mixtures show improved behavioral discrimination ability and enhanced cortical ensemble pattern separation. In contrast, behavioral training to disregard normally detectable differences between overlapping mixtures results in impaired cortical ensemble pattern separation (enhanced pattern completion) and impaired discrimination. This bidirectional effect was not found in the olfactory bulb, and may be due to plasticity within olfactory cortex itself. Thus pattern recognition, and the balance between pattern separation and completion, is highly malleable based on task demands and occurs in concert with changes in perceptual performance. PMID:22101640

  16. Efficient sensory cortical coding optimizes pursuit eye movements.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bing; Macellaio, Matthew V; Osborne, Leslie C

    2016-01-01

    In the natural world, the statistics of sensory stimuli fluctuate across a wide range. In theory, the brain could maximize information recovery if sensory neurons adaptively rescale their sensitivity to the current range of inputs. Such adaptive coding has been observed in a variety of systems, but the premise that adaptation optimizes behaviour has not been tested. Here we show that adaptation in cortical sensory neurons maximizes information about visual motion in pursuit eye movements guided by that cortical activity. We find that gain adaptation drives a rapid (<100 ms) recovery of information after shifts in motion variance, because the neurons and behaviour rescale their sensitivity to motion fluctuations. Both neurons and pursuit rapidly adopt a response gain that maximizes motion information and minimizes tracking errors. Thus, efficient sensory coding is not simply an ideal standard but a description of real sensory computation that manifests in improved behavioural performance. PMID:27611214

  17. Long-term modification of cortical synapses improves sensory perception

    PubMed Central

    Froemke, Robert C.; Carcea, Ioana; Barker, Alison J.; Yuan, Kexin; Seybold, Bryan; Martins, Ana Raquel O.; Zaika, Natalya; Bernstein, Hannah; Wachs, Megan; Levis, Philip A.; Polley, Daniel B.; Merzenich, Michael M.; Schreiner, Christoph E.

    2013-01-01

    Synapses and receptive fields of the cerebral cortex are plastic. However, changes to specific inputs must be coordinated within neural networks to ensure that excitability and feature selectivity are appropriately configured for perception of the sensory environment. Long-lasting enhancements and decrements to rat primary auditory cortical excitatory synaptic strength were induced by pairing acoustic stimuli with activation of the nucleus basalis neuromodulatory system. Here we report that these synaptic modifications were approximately balanced across individual receptive fields, conserving mean excitation while reducing overall response variability. Decreased response variability should increase detection and recognition of near-threshold or previously imperceptible stimuli, as we found in behaving animals. Thus, modification of cortical inputs leads to wide-scale synaptic changes, which are related to improved sensory perception and enhanced behavioral performance. PMID:23178974

  18. Cortical organization in insectivora: the parallel evolution of the sensory periphery and the brain.

    PubMed

    Catania, K C

    2000-06-01

    Insectivores are traditionally described as a primitive group that has not changed much in the course of mammalian evolution. In contrast, recent studies reveal a great diversity of sensorimotor specializations among insectivores adapted to a number of different ecological niches, indicating that there has been significant diversification and change in the course of their evolution. Here the organization of sensory cortex is compared in the African hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris), the masked shrew (Sorex cinereus), the eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus), and the star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata). Each of these four closely related species lives in a unique ecological niche, exhibits a different repertoire of behaviors, and has a different configuration of peripheral sensory receptors. Corresponding specializations of cortical sensory areas reveal a number of ways in which the cortex has evolved in parallel with changes to the sensory periphery. These specializations include expansion of cortical representations (cortical magnification), the addition or loss of cortical areas in the processing network, and the subdivision of areas into modules (barrels and stripes). PMID:10971016

  19. Correlation between Cortical State and Locus Coeruleus Activity: Implications for Sensory Coding in Rat Barrel Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Fazlali, Zeinab; Ranjbar-Slamloo, Yadollah; Adibi, Mehdi; Arabzadeh, Ehsan

    2016-01-01

    Cortical state modulates the background activity of cortical neurons, and their evoked response to sensory stimulation. Multiple mechanisms are involved in switching between cortical states including various neuromodulatory systems. Locus Coeruleus (LC) is one of the major neuromodulatory nuclei in the brainstem with widespread projections throughout the brain and modulates the activity of cells and networks. Here, we quantified the link between the LC spontaneous activity, cortical state and sensory processing in the rat vibrissal somatosensory “barrel” cortex (BC). We simultaneously recorded unit activity from LC and BC along with prefrontal electroencephalogram (EEG) while presenting brief whisker deflections under urethane anesthesia. The ratio of low to high frequency components of EEG (referred to as the L/H ratio) was employed to identify cortical state. We found that the spontaneous activity of LC units exhibited a negative correlation with the L/H ratio. Cross-correlation analysis revealed that changes in LC firing preceded changes in the cortical state: the correlation of the LC firing profile with the L/H ratio was maximal at an average lag of −1.2 s. We further quantified BC neuronal responses to whisker stimulation during the synchronized and desynchronized states. In the desynchronized state, BC neurons showed lower stimulus detection threshold, higher response fidelity, and shorter response latency. The most prominent change was observed in the late phase of BC evoked activity (100–400 ms post stimulus onset): almost every BC unit exhibited a greater late response during the desynchronized state. Categorization of the BC evoked responses based on LC activity (into high and low LC discharge rates) resulted in highly similar response profiles compared to categorization based on the cortical state (low and high L/H ratios). These findings provide evidence for the involvement of the LC neuromodulatory system in desynchronization of cortical state

  20. Flexibility and Stability in Sensory Processing Revealed Using Visual-to-Auditory Sensory Substitution.

    PubMed

    Hertz, Uri; Amedi, Amir

    2015-08-01

    The classical view of sensory processing involves independent processing in sensory cortices and multisensory integration in associative areas. This hierarchical structure has been challenged by evidence of multisensory responses in sensory areas, and dynamic weighting of sensory inputs in associative areas, thus far reported independently. Here, we used a visual-to-auditory sensory substitution algorithm (SSA) to manipulate the information conveyed by sensory inputs while keeping the stimuli intact. During scan sessions before and after SSA learning, subjects were presented with visual images and auditory soundscapes. The findings reveal 2 dynamic processes. First, crossmodal attenuation of sensory cortices changed direction after SSA learning from visual attenuations of the auditory cortex to auditory attenuations of the visual cortex. Secondly, associative areas changed their sensory response profile from strongest response for visual to that for auditory. The interaction between these phenomena may play an important role in multisensory processing. Consistent features were also found in the sensory dominance in sensory areas and audiovisual convergence in associative area Middle Temporal Gyrus. These 2 factors allow for both stability and a fast, dynamic tuning of the system when required. PMID:24518756

  1. Remodeling sensory cortical maps implants specific behavioral memory.

    PubMed

    Bieszczad, K M; Miasnikov, A A; Weinberger, N M

    2013-08-29

    Neural mechanisms underlying the capacity of memory to be rich in sensory detail are largely unknown. A candidate mechanism is learning-induced plasticity that remodels the adult sensory cortex. Here, expansion in the primary auditory cortical (A1) tonotopic map of rats was induced by pairing a 3.66-kHz tone with activation of the nucleus basalis, mimicking the effects of natural associative learning. Remodeling of A1 produced de novo specific behavioral memory, but neither memory nor plasticity was consistently at the frequency of the paired tone, which typically decreased in A1 representation. Rather, there was a specific match between individual subjects' area of expansion and the tone that was strongest in each animal's memory, as determined by post-training frequency generalization gradients. These findings provide the first demonstration of a match between the artificial induction of specific neural representational plasticity and artificial induction of behavioral memory. As such, together with prior and present findings for detection, correlation and mimicry of plasticity with the acquisition of memory, they satisfy a key criterion for neural substrates of memory. This demonstrates that directly remodeling sensory cortical maps is sufficient for the specificity of memory formation. PMID:23639876

  2. Maximizing Sensory Dynamic Range by Tuning the Cortical State to Criticality

    PubMed Central

    Gautam, Shree Hari; Hoang, Thanh T.; McClanahan, Kylie; Grady, Stephen K.; Shew, Woodrow L.

    2015-01-01

    Modulation of interactions among neurons can manifest as dramatic changes in the state of population dynamics in cerebral cortex. How such transitions in cortical state impact the information processing performed by cortical circuits is not clear. Here we performed experiments and computational modeling to determine how somatosensory dynamic range depends on cortical state. We used microelectrode arrays to record ongoing and whisker stimulus-evoked population spiking activity in somatosensory cortex of urethane anesthetized rats. We observed a continuum of different cortical states; at one extreme population activity exhibited small scale variability and was weakly correlated, the other extreme had large scale fluctuations and strong correlations. In experiments, shifts along the continuum often occurred naturally, without direct manipulation. In addition, in both the experiment and the model we directly tuned the cortical state by manipulating inhibitory synaptic interactions. Our principal finding was that somatosensory dynamic range was maximized in a specific cortical state, called criticality, near the tipping point midway between the ends of the continuum. The optimal cortical state was uniquely characterized by scale-free ongoing population dynamics and moderate correlations, in line with theoretical predictions about criticality. However, to reproduce our experimental findings, we found that existing theory required modifications which account for activity-dependent depression. In conclusion, our experiments indicate that in vivo sensory dynamic range is maximized near criticality and our model revealed an unanticipated role for activity-dependent depression in this basic principle of cortical function. PMID:26623645

  3. Maximizing Sensory Dynamic Range by Tuning the Cortical State to Criticality.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Shree Hari; Hoang, Thanh T; McClanahan, Kylie; Grady, Stephen K; Shew, Woodrow L

    2015-12-01

    Modulation of interactions among neurons can manifest as dramatic changes in the state of population dynamics in cerebral cortex. How such transitions in cortical state impact the information processing performed by cortical circuits is not clear. Here we performed experiments and computational modeling to determine how somatosensory dynamic range depends on cortical state. We used microelectrode arrays to record ongoing and whisker stimulus-evoked population spiking activity in somatosensory cortex of urethane anesthetized rats. We observed a continuum of different cortical states; at one extreme population activity exhibited small scale variability and was weakly correlated, the other extreme had large scale fluctuations and strong correlations. In experiments, shifts along the continuum often occurred naturally, without direct manipulation. In addition, in both the experiment and the model we directly tuned the cortical state by manipulating inhibitory synaptic interactions. Our principal finding was that somatosensory dynamic range was maximized in a specific cortical state, called criticality, near the tipping point midway between the ends of the continuum. The optimal cortical state was uniquely characterized by scale-free ongoing population dynamics and moderate correlations, in line with theoretical predictions about criticality. However, to reproduce our experimental findings, we found that existing theory required modifications which account for activity-dependent depression. In conclusion, our experiments indicate that in vivo sensory dynamic range is maximized near criticality and our model revealed an unanticipated role for activity-dependent depression in this basic principle of cortical function. PMID:26623645

  4. Effects of aging and sensory loss on glial cells in mouse visual and auditory cortices

    PubMed Central

    Tremblay, Marie-Ève; Zettel, Martha L.; Ison, James R.; Allen, Paul D.; Majewska, Ania K.

    2011-01-01

    Normal aging is often accompanied by a progressive loss of receptor sensitivity in hearing and vision, whose consequences on cellular function in cortical sensory areas have remained largely unknown. By examining the primary auditory (A1) and visual (V1) cortices in two inbred strains of mice undergoing either age-related loss of audition (C57BL/6J) or vision (CBA/CaJ), we were able to describe cellular and subcellular changes that were associated with normal aging (occurring in A1 and V1 of both strains) or specifically with age-related sensory loss (only in A1 of C57BL/6J or V1 of CBA/CaJ), using immunocytochemical electron microscopy and light microscopy. While the changes were subtle in neurons, glial cells and especially microglia were transformed in aged animals. Microglia became more numerous and irregularly distributed, displayed more variable cell body and process morphologies, occupied smaller territories, and accumulated phagocytic inclusions that often displayed ultrastructural features of synaptic elements. Additionally, evidence of myelination defects were observed, and aged oligodendrocytes became more numerous and were more often encountered in contiguous pairs. Most of these effects were profoundly exacerbated by age-related sensory loss. Together, our results suggest that the age-related alteration of glial cells in sensory cortical areas can be accelerated by activity-driven central mechanisms that result from an age-related loss of peripheral sensitivity. In light of our observations, these age-related changes in sensory function should be considered when investigating cellular, cortical and behavioral functions throughout the lifespan in these commonly used C57BL/6J and CBA/CaJ mouse models. PMID:22223464

  5. Rate and timing of cortical responses driven by separate sensory channels

    PubMed Central

    Saal, Hannes P; Harvey, Michael A; Bensmaia, Sliman J

    2015-01-01

    The sense of touch comprises multiple sensory channels that each conveys characteristic signals during interactions with objects. These neural signals must then be integrated in such a way that behaviorally relevant information about the objects is preserved. To understand the process of integration, we implement a simple computational model that describes how the responses of neurons in somatosensory cortex—recorded from awake, behaving monkeys—are shaped by the peripheral input, reconstructed using simulations of neuronal populations that reproduce natural spiking responses in the nerve with millisecond precision. First, we find that the strength of cortical responses is driven by one population of nerve fibers (rapidly adapting) whereas the timing of cortical responses is shaped by the other (Pacinian). Second, we show that input from these sensory channels is integrated in an optimal fashion that exploits the disparate response behaviors of different fiber types. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10450.001 PMID:26650354

  6. Large-scale imaging of cortical dynamics during sensory perception and behavior.

    PubMed

    Wekselblatt, Joseph B; Flister, Erik D; Piscopo, Denise M; Niell, Cristopher M

    2016-06-01

    Sensory-driven behaviors engage a cascade of cortical regions to process sensory input and generate motor output. To investigate the temporal dynamics of neural activity at this global scale, we have improved and integrated tools to perform functional imaging across large areas of cortex using a transgenic mouse expressing the genetically encoded calcium sensor GCaMP6s, together with a head-fixed visual discrimination behavior. This technique allows imaging of activity across the dorsal surface of cortex, with spatial resolution adequate to detect differential activity in local regions at least as small as 100 μm. Imaging during an orientation discrimination task reveals a progression of activity in different cortical regions associated with different phases of the task. After cortex-wide patterns of activity are determined, we demonstrate the ability to select a region that displayed conspicuous responses for two-photon microscopy and find that activity in populations of individual neurons in that region correlates with locomotion in trained mice. We expect that this paradigm will be a useful probe of information flow and network processing in brain-wide circuits involved in many sensory and cognitive processes. PMID:26912600

  7. Spatiotemporal dynamics of early cortical gesture processing.

    PubMed

    Möhring, Nicole; Shen, Christina; Neuhaus, Andres H

    2014-10-01

    Gesture processing has been consistently shown to be associated with activation of the inferior parietal lobe (IPL); however, little is known about the integration of IPL activation into the temporal dynamics of early sensory areas. Using a temporally graded repetition suppression paradigm, we examined the activation and time course of brain areas involved in hand gesture processing. We recorded event-related potentials in response to stimulus pairs of static hand images forming gestures of the popular rock-paper-scissors game and estimated their neuronal generators. We identified two main components associated with adaptive patterns related to stimulus repetition. The N190 component elicited at temporo-parietal sites adapted to repetitions of the same gesture and was associated with right-hemispheric extrastriate body area activation. A later component at parieto-occipital sites demonstrated temporally graded adaptation effects for all gestures with a left-hemispheric dominance. Source localization revealed concurrent activations of the right extrastriate body area, fusiform gyri bilaterally, and the left IPL at about 250 ms. The adaptation pattern derived from the graded repetition suppression paradigm demonstrates the functional sensitivity of these sources to gesture processing. Given the literature on IPL contribution to imitation, action recognition, and action execution, IPL activation at about 250 ms may represent the access into specific cognitive routes for gesture processing and may thus be involved in integrating sensory information from cortical body areas into subsequent visuo-motor transformation processes. PMID:24875144

  8. Measurement in Sensory Modulation: The Sensory Processing Scale Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Lucy J.; Sullivan, Jillian C.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE. Sensory modulation issues have a significant impact on participation in daily life. Moreover, understanding phenotypic variation in sensory modulation dysfunction is crucial for research related to defining homogeneous groups and for clinical work in guiding treatment planning. We thus evaluated the new Sensory Processing Scale (SPS) Assessment. METHOD. Research included item development, behavioral scoring system development, test administration, and item analyses to evaluate reliability and validity across sensory domains. RESULTS. Items with adequate reliability (internal reliability >.4) and discriminant validity (p < .01) were retained. Feedback from the expert panel also contributed to decisions about retaining items in the scale. CONCLUSION. The SPS Assessment appears to be a reliable and valid measure of sensory modulation (scale reliability >.90; discrimination between group effect sizes >1.00). This scale has the potential to aid in differential diagnosis of sensory modulation issues. PMID:25184464

  9. Distinct Computational Principles Govern Multisensory Integration in Primary Sensory and Association Cortices.

    PubMed

    Rohe, Tim; Noppeney, Uta

    2016-02-22

    Human observers typically integrate sensory signals in a statistically optimal fashion into a coherent percept by weighting them in proportion to their reliabilities [1-4]. An emerging debate in neuroscience is to which extent multisensory integration emerges already in primary sensory areas or is deferred to higher-order association areas [5-9]. This fMRI study used multivariate pattern decoding to characterize the computational principles that define how auditory and visual signals are integrated into spatial representations across the cortical hierarchy. Our results reveal small multisensory influences that were limited to a spatial window of integration in primary sensory areas. By contrast, parietal cortices integrated signals weighted by their sensory reliabilities and task relevance in line with behavioral performance and principles of statistical optimality. Intriguingly, audiovisual integration in parietal cortices was attenuated for large spatial disparities when signals were unlikely to originate from a common source. Our results demonstrate that multisensory interactions in primary and association cortices are governed by distinct computational principles. In primary visual cortices, spatial disparity controlled the influence of non-visual signals on the formation of spatial representations, whereas in parietal cortices, it determined the influence of task-irrelevant signals. Critically, only parietal cortices integrated signals weighted by their bottom-up reliabilities and top-down task relevance into multisensory spatial priority maps to guide spatial orienting. PMID:26853368

  10. Unimodal primary sensory cortices are directly connected by long-range horizontal projections in the rat sensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Stehberg, Jimmy; Dang, Phat T.; Frostig, Ron D.

    2014-01-01

    Research based on functional imaging and neuronal recordings in the barrel cortex subdivision of primary somatosensory cortex (SI) of the adult rat has revealed novel aspects of structure-function relationships in this cortex. Specifically, it has demonstrated that single whisker stimulation evokes subthreshold neuronal activity that spreads symmetrically within gray matter from the appropriate barrel area, crosses cytoarchitectural borders of SI and reaches deeply into other unimodal primary cortices such as primary auditory (AI) and primary visual (VI). It was further demonstrated that this spread is supported by a spatially matching underlying diffuse network of border-crossing, long-range projections that could also reach deeply into AI and VI. Here we seek to determine whether such a network of border-crossing, long-range projections is unique to barrel cortex or characterizes also other primary, unimodal sensory cortices and therefore could directly connect them. Using anterograde (BDA) and retrograde (CTb) tract-tracing techniques, we demonstrate that such diffuse horizontal networks directly and mutually connect VI, AI and SI. These findings suggest that diffuse, border-crossing axonal projections connecting directly primary cortices are an important organizational motif common to all major primary sensory cortices in the rat. Potential implications of these findings for topics including cortical structure-function relationships, multisensory integration, functional imaging, and cortical parcellation are discussed. PMID:25309339

  11. Primary motor and sensory cortical areas communicate via spatiotemporally coordinated networks at multiple frequencies.

    PubMed

    Arce-McShane, Fritzie I; Ross, Callum F; Takahashi, Kazutaka; Sessle, Barry J; Hatsopoulos, Nicholas G

    2016-05-01

    Skilled movements rely on sensory information to shape optimal motor responses, for which the sensory and motor cortical areas are critical. How these areas interact to mediate sensorimotor integration is largely unknown. Here, we measure intercortical coherence between the orofacial motor (MIo) and somatosensory (SIo) areas of cortex as monkeys learn to generate tongue-protrusive force. We report that coherence between MIo and SIo is reciprocal and that neuroplastic changes in coherence gradually emerge over a few days. These functional networks of coherent spiking and local field potentials exhibit frequency-specific spatiotemporal properties. During force generation, theta coherence (2-6 Hz) is prominent and exhibited by numerous paired signals; before or after force generation, coherence is evident in alpha (6-13 Hz), beta (15-30 Hz), and gamma (30-50 Hz) bands, but the functional networks are smaller and weaker. Unlike coherence in the higher frequency bands, the distribution of the phase at peak theta coherence is bimodal with peaks near 0° and ±180°, suggesting that communication between somatosensory and motor areas is coordinated temporally by the phase of theta coherence. Time-sensitive sensorimotor integration and plasticity may rely on coherence of local and large-scale functional networks for cortical processes to operate at multiple temporal and spatial scales. PMID:27091982

  12. Cortical Plasticity, Excitatory–Inhibitory Balance, and Sensory Perception

    PubMed Central

    Carcea, Ioana; Froemke, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Experience shapes the central nervous system throughout life. Structural and functional plasticity confers a remarkable ability on the brain, allowing neural circuits to adequately adapt to dynamic environments. This process can require selective adjustment of many excitatory and inhibitory synapses in an organized manner, in such a way as to enhance representations of behaviorally important sensory stimuli while preserving overall network excitability. The rules and mechanisms that orchestrated these changes across different synapses and throughout neuronal ensembles are beginning to be understood. Here, we review the evidence connecting synaptic plasticity to functional plasticity and perceptual learning, focusing on the roles of various neuromodulatory systems in enabling plasticity of adult neural circuits. However, the challenge remains to appropriately leverage these systems and forms of plasticity to persistently improve perceptual abilities and behavioral performance. PMID:24309251

  13. Intersensory selective attention and temporal orienting operate in parallel and are instantiated in spatially distinct sensory and motor cortices.

    PubMed

    Pomper, Ulrich; Keil, Julian; Foxe, John J; Senkowski, Daniel

    2015-08-01

    Knowledge about the sensory modality in which a forthcoming event might occur permits anticipatory intersensory attention. Information as to when exactly an event occurs enables temporal orienting. Intersensory and temporal attention mechanisms are often deployed simultaneously, but as yet it is unknown whether these processes operate interactively or in parallel. In this human electroencephalography study, we manipulated intersensory attention and temporal orienting in the same paradigm. A continuous stream of bisensory visuo-tactile inputs was presented, and a preceding auditory cue indicated to which modality participants should attend (visual or tactile). Temporal orienting was manipulated blockwise by presenting stimuli either at regular or irregular intervals. Using linear beamforming, we examined neural oscillations at virtual channels in sensory and motor cortices. Both attentional processes simultaneously modulated the power of anticipatory delta- and beta-band oscillations, as well as delta-band phase coherence. Modulations in sensory cortices reflected intersensory attention, indicative of modality-specific gating mechanisms. Modulations in motor and partly in somatosensory cortex reflected temporal orienting, indicative of a supramodal preparatory mechanism. We found no evidence for interactions between intersensory attention and temporal orienting, suggesting that these two mechanisms act in parallel and largely independent of each other in sensory and motor cortices. PMID:26032901

  14. Cortically-Controlled Population Stochastic Facilitation as a Plausible Substrate for Guiding Sensory Transfer across the Thalamic Gateway

    PubMed Central

    Béhuret, Sébastien; Deleuze, Charlotte; Gomez, Leonel; Frégnac, Yves; Bal, Thierry

    2013-01-01

    The thalamus is the primary gateway that relays sensory information to the cerebral cortex. While a single recipient cortical cell receives the convergence of many principal relay cells of the thalamus, each thalamic cell in turn integrates a dense and distributed synaptic feedback from the cortex. During sensory processing, the influence of this functional loop remains largely ignored. Using dynamic-clamp techniques in thalamic slices in vitro, we combined theoretical and experimental approaches to implement a realistic hybrid retino-thalamo-cortical pathway mixing biological cells and simulated circuits. The synaptic bombardment of cortical origin was mimicked through the injection of a stochastic mixture of excitatory and inhibitory conductances, resulting in a gradable correlation level of afferent activity shared by thalamic cells. The study of the impact of the simulated cortical input on the global retinocortical signal transfer efficiency revealed a novel control mechanism resulting from the collective resonance of all thalamic relay neurons. We show here that the transfer efficiency of sensory input transmission depends on three key features: i) the number of thalamocortical cells involved in the many-to-one convergence from thalamus to cortex, ii) the statistics of the corticothalamic synaptic bombardment and iii) the level of correlation imposed between converging thalamic relay cells. In particular, our results demonstrate counterintuitively that the retinocortical signal transfer efficiency increases when the level of correlation across thalamic cells decreases. This suggests that the transfer efficiency of relay cells could be selectively amplified when they become simultaneously desynchronized by the cortical feedback. When applied to the intact brain, this network regulation mechanism could direct an attentional focus to specific thalamic subassemblies and select the appropriate input lines to the cortex according to the descending influence of

  15. Do Gravity-Related Sensory Information Enable the Enhancement of Cortical Proprioceptive Inputs When Planning a Step in Microgravity?

    PubMed Central

    Saradjian, Anahid H.; Paleressompoulle, Dany; Louber, Didier; Coyle, Thelma; Blouin, Jean; Mouchnino, Laurence

    2014-01-01

    We recently found that the cortical response to proprioceptive stimulation was greater when participants were planning a step than when they stood still, and that this sensory facilitation was suppressed in microgravity. The aim of the present study was to test whether the absence of gravity-related sensory afferents during movement planning in microgravity prevented the proprioceptive cortical processing to be enhanced. We reestablished a reference frame in microgravity by providing and translating a horizontal support on which the participants were standing and verified whether this procedure restored the proprioceptive facilitation. The slight translation of the base of support (lateral direction), which occurred prior to step initiation, stimulated at least cutaneous and vestibular receptors. The sensitivity to proprioceptive stimulation was assessed by measuring the amplitude of the cortical somatosensory-evoked potential (SEP, over the Cz electrode) following the vibration of the leg muscle. The vibration lasted 1 s and the participants were asked to either initiate a step at the vibration offset or to remain still. We found that the early SEP (90–160 ms) was smaller when the platform was translated than when it remained stationary, revealing the existence of an interference phenomenon (i.e., when proprioceptive stimulation is preceded by the stimulation of different sensory modalities evoked by the platform translation). By contrast, the late SEP (550 ms post proprioceptive stimulation onset) was greater when the translation preceded the vibration compared to a condition without pre-stimulation (i.e., no translation). This suggests that restoring a body reference system which is impaired in microgravity allowed a greater proprioceptive cortical processing. Importantly, however, the late SEP was similarly increased when participants either produced a step or remained still. We propose that the absence of step-induced facilitation of proprioceptive cortical

  16. Modulation of Specific Sensory Cortical Areas by Segregated Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons Demonstrated by Neuronal Tracing and Optogenetic Stimulation in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Chaves-Coira, Irene; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Rodrigo-Angulo, Margarita; Núñez, Ángel

    2016-01-01

    Neocortical cholinergic activity plays a fundamental role in sensory processing and cognitive functions. Previous results have suggested a refined anatomical and functional topographical organization of basal forebrain (BF) projections that may control cortical sensory processing in a specific manner. We have used retrograde anatomical procedures to demonstrate the existence of specific neuronal groups in the BF involved in the control of specific sensory cortices. Fluoro-Gold (FlGo) and Fast Blue (FB) fluorescent retrograde tracers were deposited into the primary somatosensory (S1) and primary auditory (A1) cortices in mice. Our results revealed that the BF is a heterogeneous area in which neurons projecting to different cortical areas are segregated into different neuronal groups. Most of the neurons located in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB) projected to the S1 cortex, indicating that this area is specialized in the sensory processing of tactile stimuli. However, the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (B) nucleus shows a similar number of cells projecting to the S1 as to the A1 cortices. In addition, we analyzed the cholinergic effects on the S1 and A1 cortical sensory responses by optogenetic stimulation of the BF neurons in urethane-anesthetized transgenic mice. We used transgenic mice expressing the light-activated cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2, tagged with a fluorescent protein (ChR2-YFP) under the control of the choline-acetyl transferase promoter (ChAT). Cortical evoked potentials were induced by whisker deflections or by auditory clicks. According to the anatomical results, optogenetic HDB stimulation induced more extensive facilitation of tactile evoked potentials in S1 than auditory evoked potentials in A1, while optogenetic stimulation of the B nucleus facilitated either tactile or auditory evoked potentials equally. Consequently, our results suggest that cholinergic projections to the cortex are organized into segregated

  17. Modulation of Specific Sensory Cortical Areas by Segregated Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons Demonstrated by Neuronal Tracing and Optogenetic Stimulation in Mice.

    PubMed

    Chaves-Coira, Irene; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Rodrigo-Angulo, Margarita; Núñez, Ángel

    2016-01-01

    Neocortical cholinergic activity plays a fundamental role in sensory processing and cognitive functions. Previous results have suggested a refined anatomical and functional topographical organization of basal forebrain (BF) projections that may control cortical sensory processing in a specific manner. We have used retrograde anatomical procedures to demonstrate the existence of specific neuronal groups in the BF involved in the control of specific sensory cortices. Fluoro-Gold (FlGo) and Fast Blue (FB) fluorescent retrograde tracers were deposited into the primary somatosensory (S1) and primary auditory (A1) cortices in mice. Our results revealed that the BF is a heterogeneous area in which neurons projecting to different cortical areas are segregated into different neuronal groups. Most of the neurons located in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB) projected to the S1 cortex, indicating that this area is specialized in the sensory processing of tactile stimuli. However, the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (B) nucleus shows a similar number of cells projecting to the S1 as to the A1 cortices. In addition, we analyzed the cholinergic effects on the S1 and A1 cortical sensory responses by optogenetic stimulation of the BF neurons in urethane-anesthetized transgenic mice. We used transgenic mice expressing the light-activated cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2, tagged with a fluorescent protein (ChR2-YFP) under the control of the choline-acetyl transferase promoter (ChAT). Cortical evoked potentials were induced by whisker deflections or by auditory clicks. According to the anatomical results, optogenetic HDB stimulation induced more extensive facilitation of tactile evoked potentials in S1 than auditory evoked potentials in A1, while optogenetic stimulation of the B nucleus facilitated either tactile or auditory evoked potentials equally. Consequently, our results suggest that cholinergic projections to the cortex are organized into segregated

  18. Cortical network architecture for context processing in primate brain

    PubMed Central

    Chao, Zenas C; Nagasaka, Yasuo; Fujii, Naotaka

    2015-01-01

    Context is information linked to a situation that can guide behavior. In the brain, context is encoded by sensory processing and can later be retrieved from memory. How context is communicated within the cortical network in sensory and mnemonic forms is unknown due to the lack of methods for high-resolution, brain-wide neuronal recording and analysis. Here, we report the comprehensive architecture of a cortical network for context processing. Using hemisphere-wide, high-density electrocorticography, we measured large-scale neuronal activity from monkeys observing videos of agents interacting in situations with different contexts. We extracted five context-related network structures including a bottom-up network during encoding and, seconds later, cue-dependent retrieval of the same network with the opposite top-down connectivity. These findings show that context is represented in the cortical network as distributed communication structures with dynamic information flows. This study provides a general methodology for recording and analyzing cortical network neuronal communication during cognition. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06121.001 PMID:26416139

  19. Cortical Variability in the Sensory-Evoked Response in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haigh, Sarah M.; Heeger, David J.; Dinstein, Ilan; Minshew, Nancy; Behrmann, Marlene

    2015-01-01

    Previous findings have shown that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) evince greater intra-individual variability (IIV) in their sensory-evoked fMRI responses compared to typical control participants. We explore the robustness of this finding with a new sample of high-functioning adults with autism. Participants were presented with…

  20. Between molecules and experience: role of early patterns of coordinated activity for the development of cortical maps and sensory abilities.

    PubMed

    Hanganu-Opatz, Ileana L

    2010-09-01

    Sensory systems processing information from the environment rely on precisely formed and refined neuronal networks that build maps of sensory receptor epithelia at different subcortical and cortical levels. These sensory maps share similar principles of function and emerge according to developmental processes common in visual, somatosensory and auditory systems. Whereas molecular cues set the coarse organization of cortico-subcortical topography, its refinement is known to succeed under the influence of experience-dependent electrical activity during critical periods. However, coordinated patterns of activity synchronize the cortico-subcortical networks long before the meaningful impact of environmental inputs on sensory maps. Recent studies elucidated the cellular and network mechanisms underlying the generation of these early patterns of activity and highlighted their similarities across species. Moreover, the experience-independent activity appears to act as a functional template for the maturation of sensory networks and cortico-subcortical maps. A major goal for future research will be to analyze how this early activity interacts with the molecular cues and to determine whether it is permissive or rather supporting for the establishment of sensory topography. PMID:20381527

  1. Progression to deep sleep is characterized by changes to BOLD dynamics in sensory cortices.

    PubMed

    Davis, Ben; Tagliazucchi, Enzo; Jovicich, Jorge; Laufs, Helmut; Hasson, Uri

    2016-04-15

    Sleep has been shown to subtly disrupt the spatial organization of functional connectivity networks in the brain, but in a way that largely preserves the connectivity within sensory cortices. Here we evaluated the hypothesis that sleep does impact sensory cortices, but through alteration of activity dynamics. We therefore examined the impact of sleep on hemodynamics using a method for quantifying non-random, high frequency signatures of the blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal (amplitude variance asymmetry; AVA). We found that sleep was associated with the elimination of these dynamics in a manner that is restricted to auditory, motor and visual cortices. This elimination was concurrent with increased variance of activity in these regions. Functional connectivity between regions showing AVA during wakefulness maintained a relatively consistent hierarchical structure during wakefulness and N1 and N2 sleep, despite a gradual reduction of connectivity strength as sleep progressed. Thus, sleep is related to elimination of high frequency non-random activity signatures in sensory cortices that are robust during wakefulness. The elimination of these AVA signatures conjointly with preservation of the structure of functional connectivity patterns may be linked to the need to suppress sensory inputs during sleep while still maintaining the capacity to react quickly to complex multimodal inputs. PMID:26724779

  2. Progression to deep sleep is characterized by changes to BOLD dynamics in sensory cortices

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Ben; Tagliazucchi, Enzo; Jovicich, Jorge; Laufs, Helmut; Hasson, Uri

    2016-01-01

    Sleep has been shown to subtly disrupt the spatial organization of functional connectivity networks in the brain, but in a way that largely preserves the connectivity within sensory cortices. Here we evaluated the hypothesis that sleep does impact sensory cortices, but through alteration of activity dynamics. We therefore examined the impact of sleep on hemodynamics using a method for quantifying non-random, high frequency signatures of the blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal (amplitude variance asymmetry; AVA). We found that sleep was associated with the elimination of these dynamics in a manner that is restricted to auditory, motor and visual cortices. This elimination was concurrent with increased variance of activity in these regions. Functional connectivity between regions showing AVA during wakefulness maintained a relatively consistent hierarchical structure during wakefulness and N1 and N2 sleep, despite a gradual reduction of connectivity strength as sleep progressed. Thus, sleep is related to elimination of high frequency non-random activity signatures in sensory cortices that are robust during wakefulness. The elimination of these AVA signatures conjointly with preservation of the structure of functional connectivity patterns may be linked to the need to suppress sensory inputs during sleep while still maintaining the capacity to react quickly to complex multimodal inputs. PMID:26724779

  3. Optic-flow selective cortical sensory regions associated with self-reported states of vection

    PubMed Central

    Uesaki, Maiko; Ashida, Hiroshi

    2015-01-01

    Optic flow is one of the most important visual cues to the estimation of self-motion. It has repeatedly been demonstrated that a cortical network including visual, multisensory, and vestibular areas is implicated in processing optic flow; namely, visual areas middle temporal cortex (MT+), V6; multisensory areas ventral intra-parietal area (VIP), cingulate sulcus visual area, precuneus motion area (PcM); and vestibular areas parieto-insular vestibular cortex (PIVC) and putative area 2v (p2v). However, few studies have investigated the roles of and interaction between the optic-flow selective sensory areas within the context of self-motion perception. When visual information (i.e., optic flow) is the sole cue to computing self-motion parameters, the discrepancy amongst the sensory signals may induce an illusion of self-motion referred to as ‘vection.’ This study aimed to identify optic-flow selective sensory areas that are involved in the processing of visual cues to self-motion, by introducing vection as an index and assessing activation in which of those areas reflect vection, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The results showed that activity in visual areas MT+ and V6, multisensory area VIP and vestibular area PIVC was significantly greater while participants were experiencing vection, as compared to when they were experiencing no vection, which may indicate that activation in MT+, V6, VIP, and PIVC reflects vection. The results also place VIP in a good position to integrate visual cues related to self-motion and vestibular information. PMID:26106350

  4. In vitro and in vivo measures of evoked excitatory and inhibitory conductance dynamics in sensory cortices.

    PubMed

    Monier, C; Fournier, J; Frégnac, Y

    2008-04-30

    In order to better understand the synaptic nature of the integration process operated by cortical neurons during sensory processing, it is necessary to devise quantitative methods which allow one to infer the level of conductance change evoked by the sensory stimulation and, consequently, the dynamics of the balance between excitation and inhibition. Such detailed measurements are required to characterize the static versus dynamic nature of the non-linear interactions triggered at the single cell level by sensory stimulus. This paper primarily reviews experimental data from our laboratory based on direct conductance measurements during whole-cell patch clamp recordings in two experimental preparations: (1) in vitro, during electrical stimulation in the visual cortex of the rat and (2) in vivo, during visual stimulation, in the primary visual cortex of the anaesthetized cat. Both studies demonstrate that shunting inhibition is expressed as well in vivo as in vitro. Our in vivo data reveals that a high level of diversity is observed in the degree of interaction (from linear to non-linear) and in the temporal interplay (from push-pull to synchronous) between stimulus-driven excitation (E) and inhibition (I). A detailed analysis of the E/I balance during evoked spike activity further shows that the firing strength results from a simultaneous decrease of evoked inhibition and increase of excitation. Secondary, the paper overviews the various computational methods used in the literature to assess conductance dynamics, measured in current clamp as well as in voltage clamp in different neocortical areas and species, and discuss the consistency of their estimations. PMID:18215425

  5. Gating of sensory input at spinal and cortical levels during preparation and execution of voluntary movement

    PubMed Central

    Seki, Kazuhiko; Fetz, Eberhard E.

    2012-01-01

    All bodily movements stimulate peripheral receptors that activate neurons in the brain and spinal cord through afferent feedback. How these reafferent signals are processed within the central nervous system during movement is a key question in motor control. We investigated cutaneous sensory evoked potentials (SEPs) in the spinal cord, primary somatosensory and motor cortex and premotor cortex in monkeys performing an instructed delay task. Afferent inputs from cutaneous receptors were suppressed at several levels in a task-dependent manner. We found two types of suppression. First, suppression during active limb movement is observed in the spinal cord and all three cortical areas. This suppression is induced by both bottom-up and top-down gating mechanisms. Second, during preparation for upcoming movement evoked responses were suppressed exclusively in the motor cortical areas, and the magnitude of suppression was correlated with the reaction time of the subsequent movement. This suppression could be induced by a top-down gating mechanism to facilitate the preparation and execution of upcoming movement. PMID:22262887

  6. Functional results of electrical cortical stimulation of the lower sensory strip.

    PubMed

    Tanriverdi, Taner; Al-Jehani, Hosam; Poulin, Nicole; Olivier, Andre

    2009-09-01

    The aim of this paper is to provide functional results obtained from electrical cortical stimulation of the lower postcentral gyrus in patients who underwent either lesional or non-lesional epilepsy surgery. Group I (n=393) included those patients with gliosis or normal tissue and Group II (n=107) included patients with space-occupying lesions. For cortical stimulation, a unipolar voltage-controlled electrode was used. The tongue, lip, and hand/finger sequences over the lower postcentral gyrus lateromedially in both groups were in agreement with classic teaching. The presence of structural lesions, such as tumors and dysplasia, did not affect the vertical representation of the body parts on the lower sensory strip. Individual variations, which included mosaicism over the sensory strip, were frequent. Whether the functional variability and mosaicism within the sensory cortex result from a pathological condition or not remains to be elucidated in healthy humans using advanced non-invasive brain mapping techniques. PMID:19497753

  7. Top-down modulation of visual and auditory cortical processing in aging.

    PubMed

    Guerreiro, Maria J S; Eck, Judith; Moerel, Michelle; Evers, Elisabeth A T; Van Gerven, Pascal W M

    2015-02-01

    Age-related cognitive decline has been accounted for by an age-related deficit in top-down attentional modulation of sensory cortical processing. In light of recent behavioral findings showing that age-related differences in selective attention are modality dependent, our goal was to investigate the role of sensory modality in age-related differences in top-down modulation of sensory cortical processing. This question was addressed by testing younger and older individuals in several memory tasks while undergoing fMRI. Throughout these tasks, perceptual features were kept constant while attentional instructions were varied, allowing us to devise all combinations of relevant and irrelevant, visual and auditory information. We found no top-down modulation of auditory sensory cortical processing in either age group. In contrast, we found top-down modulation of visual cortical processing in both age groups, and this effect did not differ between age groups. That is, older adults enhanced cortical processing of relevant visual information and suppressed cortical processing of visual distractors during auditory attention to the same extent as younger adults. The present results indicate that older adults are capable of suppressing irrelevant visual information in the context of cross-modal auditory attention, and thereby challenge the view that age-related attentional and cognitive decline is due to a general deficits in the ability to suppress irrelevant information. PMID:25300470

  8. Sensory experience regulates cortical inhibition by inducing IGF1 in VIP neurons.

    PubMed

    Mardinly, A R; Spiegel, I; Patrizi, A; Centofante, E; Bazinet, J E; Tzeng, C P; Mandel-Brehm, C; Harmin, D A; Adesnik, H; Fagiolini, M; Greenberg, M E

    2016-03-17

    Inhibitory neurons regulate the adaptation of neural circuits to sensory experience, but the molecular mechanisms by which experience controls the connectivity between different types of inhibitory neuron to regulate cortical plasticity are largely unknown. Here we show that exposure of dark-housed mice to light induces a gene program in cortical vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)-expressing neurons that is markedly distinct from that induced in excitatory neurons and other subtypes of inhibitory neuron. We identify Igf1 as one of several activity-regulated genes that are specific to VIP neurons, and demonstrate that IGF1 functions cell-autonomously in VIP neurons to increase inhibitory synaptic input onto these neurons. Our findings further suggest that in cortical VIP neurons, experience-dependent gene transcription regulates visual acuity by activating the expression of IGF1, thus promoting the inhibition of disinhibitory neurons and affecting inhibition onto cortical pyramidal neurons. PMID:26958833

  9. Control of Somatosensory Cortical Processing by Thalamic Posterior Medial Nucleus: A New Role of Thalamus in Cortical Function

    PubMed Central

    Castejon, Carlos; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Nuñez, Angel

    2016-01-01

    Current knowledge of thalamocortical interaction comes mainly from studying lemniscal thalamic systems. Less is known about paralemniscal thalamic nuclei function. In the vibrissae system, the posterior medial nucleus (POm) is the corresponding paralemniscal nucleus. POm neurons project to L1 and L5A of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in the rat brain. It is known that L1 modifies sensory-evoked responses through control of intracortical excitability suggesting that L1 exerts an influence on whisker responses. Therefore, thalamocortical pathways targeting L1 could modulate cortical firing. Here, using a combination of electrophysiology and pharmacology in vivo, we have sought to determine how POm influences cortical processing. In our experiments, single unit recordings performed in urethane-anesthetized rats showed that POm imposes precise control on the magnitude and duration of supra- and infragranular barrel cortex whisker responses. Our findings demonstrated that L1 inputs from POm imposed a time and intensity dependent regulation on cortical sensory processing. Moreover, we found that blocking L1 GABAergic inhibition or blocking P/Q-type Ca2+ channels in L1 prevents POm adjustment of whisker responses in the barrel cortex. Additionally, we found that POm was also controlling the sensory processing in S2 and this regulation was modulated by corticofugal activity from L5 in S1. Taken together, our data demonstrate the determinant role exerted by the POm in the adjustment of somatosensory cortical processing and in the regulation of cortical processing between S1 and S2. We propose that this adjustment could be a thalamocortical gain regulation mechanism also present in the processing of information between cortical areas. PMID:26820514

  10. Control of Somatosensory Cortical Processing by Thalamic Posterior Medial Nucleus: A New Role of Thalamus in Cortical Function.

    PubMed

    Castejon, Carlos; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Nuñez, Angel

    2016-01-01

    Current knowledge of thalamocortical interaction comes mainly from studying lemniscal thalamic systems. Less is known about paralemniscal thalamic nuclei function. In the vibrissae system, the posterior medial nucleus (POm) is the corresponding paralemniscal nucleus. POm neurons project to L1 and L5A of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in the rat brain. It is known that L1 modifies sensory-evoked responses through control of intracortical excitability suggesting that L1 exerts an influence on whisker responses. Therefore, thalamocortical pathways targeting L1 could modulate cortical firing. Here, using a combination of electrophysiology and pharmacology in vivo, we have sought to determine how POm influences cortical processing. In our experiments, single unit recordings performed in urethane-anesthetized rats showed that POm imposes precise control on the magnitude and duration of supra- and infragranular barrel cortex whisker responses. Our findings demonstrated that L1 inputs from POm imposed a time and intensity dependent regulation on cortical sensory processing. Moreover, we found that blocking L1 GABAergic inhibition or blocking P/Q-type Ca2+ channels in L1 prevents POm adjustment of whisker responses in the barrel cortex. Additionally, we found that POm was also controlling the sensory processing in S2 and this regulation was modulated by corticofugal activity from L5 in S1. Taken together, our data demonstrate the determinant role exerted by the POm in the adjustment of somatosensory cortical processing and in the regulation of cortical processing between S1 and S2. We propose that this adjustment could be a thalamocortical gain regulation mechanism also present in the processing of information between cortical areas. PMID:26820514

  11. Sensory stimuli reduce the dimensionality of cortical activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazzucato, Luca; Fontanini, Alfredo; La Camera, Giancarlo

    Neural ensembles in alert animals generate complex patterns of activity. Although cortical activity unfolds in a space whose dimension is equal to the number of neurons, it is often restricted to a lower dimensional subspace. Dimensionality is the minimal number of dimensions that accurately capture neural dynamics, and may be related to the computational tasks supported by the neural circuit. Here, we investigate the dimensionality of neural ensembles from the insular cortex of alert rats during periods of `ongoing' (spontaneous) and stimulus-evoked activity. We find that the dimensionality grows with ensemble size, and does so significantly faster during ongoing compared to evoked activity. We explain both results using a recurrent spiking network with clustered architecture, and obtain analytical results on the dependence of dimensionality on ensemble size, number of clusters, and pair-wise noise correlations. The theory predicts a characteristic scaling with ensemble size and the existence of an upper bound on dimensionality, which grows with the number of clusters and decreases with the amount of noise correlations. To our knowledge, this is the first mechanistic model of neural dimensionality in cortex during both spontaneous and evoked activity.

  12. Input-Specific Gain Modulation by Local Sensory Context Shapes Cortical and Thalamic Responses to Complex Sounds.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Ross S; Ahrens, Misha B; Linden, Jennifer F; Sahani, Maneesh

    2016-07-20

    Sensory neurons are customarily characterized by one or more linearly weighted receptive fields describing sensitivity in sensory space and time. We show that in auditory cortical and thalamic neurons, the weight of each receptive field element depends on the pattern of sound falling within a local neighborhood surrounding it in time and frequency. Accounting for this change in effective receptive field with spectrotemporal context improves predictions of both cortical and thalamic responses to stationary complex sounds. Although context dependence varies among neurons and across brain areas, there are strong shared qualitative characteristics. In a spectrotemporally rich soundscape, sound elements modulate neuronal responsiveness more effectively when they coincide with sounds at other frequencies, and less effectively when they are preceded by sounds at similar frequencies. This local-context-driven lability in the representation of complex sounds-a modulation of "input-specific gain" rather than "output gain"-may be a widespread motif in sensory processing. PMID:27346532

  13. Interhemispheric claustral circuits coordinate sensory and motor cortical areas that regulate exploratory behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jared B.; Alloway, Kevin D.

    2014-01-01

    The claustrum has a role in the interhemispheric transfer of certain types of sensorimotor information. Whereas the whisker region in rat motor (M1) cortex sends dense projections to the contralateral claustrum, the M1 forelimb representation does not. The claustrum sends strong ipsilateral projections to the whisker regions in M1 and somatosensory (S1) cortex, but its projections to the forelimb cortical areas are weak. These distinctions suggest that one function of the M1 projections to the contralateral claustrum is to coordinate the cortical areas that regulate peripheral sensor movements during behaviors that depend on bilateral sensory acquisition. If this hypothesis is true, then similar interhemispheric circuits should interconnect the frontal eye fields (FEF) with the contralateral claustrum and its network of projections to vision-related cortical areas. To test this hypothesis, anterograde and retrograde tracers were placed in physiologically-defined parts of the FEF and primary visual cortex (V1) in rats. We observed dense FEF projections to the contralateral claustrum that terminated in the midst of claustral neurons that project to both FEF and V1. While the FEF inputs to the claustrum come predominantly from the contralateral hemisphere, the claustral projections to FEF and V1 are primarily ipsilateral. Detailed comparison of the present results with our previous studies on somatomotor claustral circuitry revealed a well-defined functional topography in which the ventral claustrum is connected with visuomotor cortical areas and the dorsal regions are connected with somatomotor areas. These results suggest that subregions within the claustrum play a critical role in coordinating the cortical areas that regulate the acquisition of modality-specific sensory information during exploration and other behaviors that require sensory attention. PMID:24904315

  14. Storing maternal memories: Hypothesizing an interaction of experience and estrogen on sensory cortical plasticity to learn infant cues

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Sunayana B.; Liu, Robert C.

    2013-01-01

    Much of the literature on maternal behavior has focused on the role of infant experience and hormones in a canonical subcortical circuit for maternal motivation and maternal memory. Although early studies demonstrated that the cerebral cortex also plays a significant role in maternal behaviors, little has been done to explore what that role may be. Recent work though has provided evidence that the cortex, particularly sensory cortices, contains correlates of sensory memories of infant cues, consistent with classical studies of experience-dependent sensory cortical plasticity in non-maternal paradigms. By reviewing the literature from both the maternal behavior and sensory cortical plasticity fields, focusing on the auditory modality, we hypothesize that maternal hormones (predominantly estrogen) may act to prime auditory cortical neurons for a longer-lasting neural trace of infant vocal cues, thereby facilitating recognition and discrimination. This could then more efficiently activate the subcortical circuit to elicit and sustain maternal behavior. PMID:23916405

  15. Histone Deacetylase Inhibition via RGFP966 Releases the Brakes on Sensory Cortical Plasticity and the Specificity of Memory Formation.

    PubMed

    Bieszczad, Kasia M; Bechay, Kiro; Rusche, James R; Jacques, Vincent; Kudugunti, Shashi; Miao, Wenyan; Weinberger, Norman M; McGaugh, James L; Wood, Marcelo A

    2015-09-23

    Research over the past decade indicates a novel role for epigenetic mechanisms in memory formation. Of particular interest is chromatin modification by histone deacetylases (HDACs), which, in general, negatively regulate transcription. HDAC deletion or inhibition facilitates transcription during memory consolidation and enhances long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. A key open question remains: How does blocking HDAC activity lead to memory enhancements? To address this question, we tested whether a normal function of HDACs is to gate information processing during memory formation. We used a class I HDAC inhibitor, RGFP966 (C21H19FN4O), to test the role of HDAC inhibition for information processing in an auditory memory model of learning-induced cortical plasticity. HDAC inhibition may act beyond memory enhancement per se to instead regulate information in ways that lead to encoding more vivid sensory details into memory. Indeed, we found that RGFP966 controls memory induction for acoustic details of sound-to-reward learning. Rats treated with RGFP966 while learning to associate sound with reward had stronger memory and additional information encoded into memory for highly specific features of sounds associated with reward. Moreover, behavioral effects occurred with unusually specific plasticity in primary auditory cortex (A1). Class I HDAC inhibition appears to engage A1 plasticity that enables additional acoustic features to become encoded in memory. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms act to regulate sensory cortical plasticity, which offers an information processing mechanism for gating what and how much is encoded to produce exceptionally persistent and vivid memories. Significance statement: Here we provide evidence of an epigenetic mechanism for information processing. The study reveals that a class I HDAC inhibitor (Malvaez et al., 2013; Rumbaugh et al., 2015; RGFP966, chemical formula C21H19FN4O) alters the formation of auditory memory by

  16. Histone Deacetylase Inhibition via RGFP966 Releases the Brakes on Sensory Cortical Plasticity and the Specificity of Memory Formation

    PubMed Central

    Bechay, Kiro; Rusche, James R.; Jacques, Vincent; Kudugunti, Shashi; Miao, Wenyan; Weinberger, Norman M.; McGaugh, James L.

    2015-01-01

    Research over the past decade indicates a novel role for epigenetic mechanisms in memory formation. Of particular interest is chromatin modification by histone deacetylases (HDACs), which, in general, negatively regulate transcription. HDAC deletion or inhibition facilitates transcription during memory consolidation and enhances long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. A key open question remains: How does blocking HDAC activity lead to memory enhancements? To address this question, we tested whether a normal function of HDACs is to gate information processing during memory formation. We used a class I HDAC inhibitor, RGFP966 (C21H19FN4O), to test the role of HDAC inhibition for information processing in an auditory memory model of learning-induced cortical plasticity. HDAC inhibition may act beyond memory enhancement per se to instead regulate information in ways that lead to encoding more vivid sensory details into memory. Indeed, we found that RGFP966 controls memory induction for acoustic details of sound-to-reward learning. Rats treated with RGFP966 while learning to associate sound with reward had stronger memory and additional information encoded into memory for highly specific features of sounds associated with reward. Moreover, behavioral effects occurred with unusually specific plasticity in primary auditory cortex (A1). Class I HDAC inhibition appears to engage A1 plasticity that enables additional acoustic features to become encoded in memory. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms act to regulate sensory cortical plasticity, which offers an information processing mechanism for gating what and how much is encoded to produce exceptionally persistent and vivid memories. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Here we provide evidence of an epigenetic mechanism for information processing. The study reveals that a class I HDAC inhibitor (Malvaez et al., 2013; Rumbaugh et al., 2015; RGFP966, chemical formula C21H19FN4O) alters the formation of auditory memory by

  17. Convergence of Cortical and Sensory Driver Inputs on Single Thalamocortical Cells

    PubMed Central

    Groh, Alexander; Bokor, Hajnalka; Mease, Rebecca A.; Plattner, Viktor M.; Hangya, Balázs; Stroh, Albrecht; Deschenes, Martin; Acsády, László

    2014-01-01

    Ascending and descending information is relayed through the thalamus via strong, “driver” pathways. According to our current knowledge, different driver pathways are organized in parallel streams and do not interact at the thalamic level. Using an electron microscopic approach combined with optogenetics and in vivo physiology, we examined whether driver inputs arising from different sources can interact at single thalamocortical cells in the rodent somatosensory thalamus (nucleus posterior, POm). Both the anatomical and the physiological data demonstrated that ascending driver inputs from the brainstem and descending driver inputs from cortical layer 5 pyramidal neurons converge and interact on single thalamocortical neurons in POm. Both individual pathways displayed driver properties, but they interacted synergistically in a time-dependent manner and when co-activated, supralinearly increased the output of thalamus. As a consequence, thalamocortical neurons reported the relative timing between sensory events and ongoing cortical activity. We conclude that thalamocortical neurons can receive 2 powerful inputs of different origin, rather than only a single one as previously suggested. This allows thalamocortical neurons to integrate raw sensory information with powerful cortical signals and transfer the integrated activity back to cortical networks. PMID:23825316

  18. Variance predicts salience in central sensory processing.

    PubMed

    Hermundstad, Ann M; Briguglio, John J; Conte, Mary M; Victor, Jonathan D; Balasubramanian, Vijay; Tkačik, Gašper

    2014-01-01

    Information processing in the sensory periphery is shaped by natural stimulus statistics. In the periphery, a transmission bottleneck constrains performance; thus efficient coding implies that natural signal components with a predictably wider range should be compressed. In a different regime--when sampling limitations constrain performance--efficient coding implies that more resources should be allocated to informative features that are more variable. We propose that this regime is relevant for sensory cortex when it extracts complex features from limited numbers of sensory samples. To test this prediction, we use central visual processing as a model: we show that visual sensitivity for local multi-point spatial correlations, described by dozens of independently-measured parameters, can be quantitatively predicted from the structure of natural images. This suggests that efficient coding applies centrally, where it extends to higher-order sensory features and operates in a regime in which sensitivity increases with feature variability. PMID:25396297

  19. Genetic mechanisms control the linear scaling between related cortical primary and higher order sensory areas.

    PubMed

    Zembrzycki, Andreas; Stocker, Adam M; Leingärtner, Axel; Sahara, Setsuko; Chou, Shen-Ju; Kalatsky, Valery; May, Scott R; Stryker, Michael P; O'Leary, Dennis Dm

    2015-01-01

    In mammals, the neocortical layout consists of few modality-specific primary sensory areas and a multitude of higher order ones. Abnormal layout of cortical areas may disrupt sensory function and behavior. Developmental genetic mechanisms specify primary areas, but mechanisms influencing higher order area properties are unknown. By exploiting gain-of and loss-of function mouse models of the transcription factor Emx2, we have generated bi-directional changes in primary visual cortex size in vivo and have used it as a model to show a novel and prominent function for genetic mechanisms regulating primary visual area size and also proportionally dictating the sizes of surrounding higher order visual areas. This finding redefines the role for intrinsic genetic mechanisms to concomitantly specify and scale primary and related higher order sensory areas in a linear fashion. PMID:26705332

  20. Multilevel Cortical Processing of Somatosensory Novelty: A Magnetoencephalography Study

    PubMed Central

    Naeije, Gilles; Vaulet, Thibaut; Wens, Vincent; Marty, Brice; Goldman, Serge; De Tiège, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), this study investigates the spatio-temporal dynamics of the multilevel cortical processing of somatosensory change detection. Neuromagnetic signals of 16 healthy adult subjects (7 females and 9 males, mean age 29 ± 3 years) were recorded using whole-scalp-covering MEG while they underwent an oddball paradigm based on simple standard (right index fingertip tactile stimulation) and deviant (simultaneous right index fingertip and middle phalanx tactile stimulation) stimuli gathered into sequences to create and then deviate from stimulus patterns at multiple (local vs. global) levels of complexity. Five healthy adult subjects (3 females and 2 males, mean age 31, 6 ± 2 years) also underwent a similar oddball paradigm in which standard and deviant stimuli were flipped. Local deviations led to a somatosensory mismatch response peaking at 55–130 ms post-stimulus onset with a cortical generator located at the contralateral secondary somatosensory (cSII) cortex. The mismatch response was independent of the deviant stimuli physical characteristics. Global deviants led to a P300 response with cortical sources located bilaterally at temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) and supplementary motor area (SMA). The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and the SMA were found to generate a contingent magnetic variation (CMV) attributed to top-down expectations. Amplitude of mismatch responses were modulated by top-down expectations and correlated with both the magnitude of the CMV and the P300 amplitude at the right TPJ. These results provide novel empirical evidence for a unified sensory novelty detection system in the human brain by linking detection of salient sensory stimuli in personal and extra-personal spaces to a common framework of multilevel cortical processing. PMID:27313523

  1. Multilevel Cortical Processing of Somatosensory Novelty: A Magnetoencephalography Study.

    PubMed

    Naeije, Gilles; Vaulet, Thibaut; Wens, Vincent; Marty, Brice; Goldman, Serge; De Tiège, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), this study investigates the spatio-temporal dynamics of the multilevel cortical processing of somatosensory change detection. Neuromagnetic signals of 16 healthy adult subjects (7 females and 9 males, mean age 29 ± 3 years) were recorded using whole-scalp-covering MEG while they underwent an oddball paradigm based on simple standard (right index fingertip tactile stimulation) and deviant (simultaneous right index fingertip and middle phalanx tactile stimulation) stimuli gathered into sequences to create and then deviate from stimulus patterns at multiple (local vs. global) levels of complexity. Five healthy adult subjects (3 females and 2 males, mean age 31, 6 ± 2 years) also underwent a similar oddball paradigm in which standard and deviant stimuli were flipped. Local deviations led to a somatosensory mismatch response peaking at 55-130 ms post-stimulus onset with a cortical generator located at the contralateral secondary somatosensory (cSII) cortex. The mismatch response was independent of the deviant stimuli physical characteristics. Global deviants led to a P300 response with cortical sources located bilaterally at temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) and supplementary motor area (SMA). The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and the SMA were found to generate a contingent magnetic variation (CMV) attributed to top-down expectations. Amplitude of mismatch responses were modulated by top-down expectations and correlated with both the magnitude of the CMV and the P300 amplitude at the right TPJ. These results provide novel empirical evidence for a unified sensory novelty detection system in the human brain by linking detection of salient sensory stimuli in personal and extra-personal spaces to a common framework of multilevel cortical processing. PMID:27313523

  2. Hyperactivation balances sensory processing deficits during mood induction in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Dyck, Miriam; Loughead, James; Gur, Ruben C; Schneider, Frank; Mathiak, Klaus

    2014-02-01

    While impairments in emotion recognition are consistently reported in schizophrenia, there is some debate on the experience of emotion. Only few studies investigated neural correlates of emotional experience in schizophrenia. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study compared a standard visual mood induction paradigm with an audiovisual method aimed at eliciting emotions more automatically. To investigate the interplay of sensory, cognitive and emotional mechanisms during emotion experience, we examined connectivity patterns between brain areas. Sixteen schizophrenia patients and sixteen healthy subjects participated in two different mood inductions (visual and audiovisual) that were administered for different emotions (happiness, sadness and neutral). Confirming the dissociation of behavioral and neural correlates of emotion experience, patients rated their mood similarly to healthy subjects but showed differences in neural activations. Sensory brain areas were activated less, increased activity emerged in higher cortical areas, particularly during audiovisual stimulation. Connectivity was increased between primary and secondary sensory processing areas in schizophrenia. These findings support the hypothesis of a deficit in filtering and processing sensory information alongside increased higher-order cognitive effort compensating for perception deficits in the affective domain. This may suffice to recover emotion experience in ratings of clinically stable patients but may fail during acute psychosis. PMID:23051903

  3. Cortical swallowing processing in early subacute stroke

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Dysphagia is a major complication in hemispheric as well as brainstem stroke patients causing aspiration pneumonia and increased mortality. Little is known about the recovery from dysphagia after stroke. The aim of the present study was to determine the different patterns of cortical swallowing processing in patients with hemispheric and brainstem stroke with and without dysphagia in the early subacute phase. Methods We measured brain activity by mean of whole-head MEG in 37 patients with different stroke localisation 8.2 +/- 4.8 days after stroke to study changes in cortical activation during self-paced swallowing. An age matched group of healthy subjects served as controls. Data were analyzed by means of synthetic aperture magnetometry and group analyses were performed using a permutation test. Results Our results demonstrate strong bilateral reduction of cortical swallowing activation in dysphagic patients with hemispheric stroke. In hemispheric stroke without dysphagia, bilateral activation was found. In the small group of patients with brainstem stroke we observed a reduction of cortical activation and a right hemispheric lateralization. Conclusion Bulbar central pattern generators coordinate the pharyngeal swallowing phase. The observed right hemispheric lateralization in brainstem stroke can therefore be interpreted as acute cortical compensation of subcortically caused dysphagia. The reduction of activation in brainstem stroke patients and dysphagic patients with cortical stroke could be explained in terms of diaschisis. PMID:21392404

  4. Looking for the roots of cortical sensory computation in three-layered cortices

    PubMed Central

    Fournier, Julien; Müller, Christian M.; Laurent, Gilles

    2016-01-01

    Despite considerable effort over a century and the benefit of remarkable technical advances in the past few decades, we are still far from understanding mammalian cerebral cortex. With its six layers, modular architecture, canonical circuits, innumerable cell types, and computational complexity, isocortex remains a challenging mystery. In this review, we argue that identifying the structural and functional similarities between mammalian piriform cortex and reptilian dorsal cortex could help reveal common organizational and computational principles and by extension, some of the most primordial computations carried out in cortical networks. PMID:25291080

  5. Molecular Correlates of Cortical Network Modulation by Long-Term Sensory Experience in the Adult Rat Barrel Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vallès, Astrid; Granic, Ivica; De Weerd, Peter; Martens, Gerard J. M.

    2014-01-01

    Modulation of cortical network connectivity is crucial for an adaptive response to experience. In the rat barrel cortex, long-term sensory stimulation induces cortical network modifications and neuronal response changes of which the molecular basis is unknown. Here, we show that long-term somatosensory stimulation by enriched environment…

  6. Laminar Analysis of Excitatory Local Circuits in Vibrissal Motor and Sensory Cortical Areas

    PubMed Central

    Hooks, B. M.; Hires, S. Andrew; Zhang, Ying-Xin; Huber, Daniel; Petreanu, Leopoldo; Svoboda, Karel; Shepherd, Gordon M. G.

    2011-01-01

    Rodents move their whiskers to locate and identify objects. Cortical areas involved in vibrissal somatosensation and sensorimotor integration include the vibrissal area of the primary motor cortex (vM1), primary somatosensory cortex (vS1; barrel cortex), and secondary somatosensory cortex (S2). We mapped local excitatory pathways in each area across all cortical layers using glutamate uncaging and laser scanning photostimulation. We analyzed these maps to derive laminar connectivity matrices describing the average strengths of pathways between individual neurons in different layers and between entire cortical layers. In vM1, the strongest projection was L2/3→L5. In vS1, strong projections were L2/3→L5 and L4→L3. L6 input and output were weak in both areas. In S2, L2/3→L5 exceeded the strength of the ascending L4→L3 projection, and local input to L6 was prominent. The most conserved pathways were L2/3→L5, and the most variable were L4→L2/3 and pathways involving L6. Local excitatory circuits in different cortical areas are organized around a prominent descending pathway from L2/3→L5, suggesting that sensory cortices are elaborations on a basic motor cortex-like plan. PMID:21245906

  7. Sensory-driven and spontaneous gamma oscillations engage distinct cortical circuitry.

    PubMed

    Welle, Cristin G; Contreras, Diego

    2016-04-01

    Gamma oscillations are a robust component of sensory responses but are also part of the background spontaneous activity of the brain. To determine whether the properties of gamma oscillations in cortex are specific to their mechanism of generation, we compared in mouse visual cortex in vivo the laminar geometry and single-neuron rhythmicity of oscillations produced during sensory representation with those occurring spontaneously in the absence of stimulation. In mouse visual cortex under anesthesia (isoflurane and xylazine), visual stimulation triggered oscillations mainly between 20 and 50 Hz, which, because of their similar functional significance to gamma oscillations in higher mammals, we define here as gamma range. Sensory representation in visual cortex specifically increased gamma oscillation amplitude in the supragranular (L2/3) and granular (L4) layers and strongly entrained putative excitatory and inhibitory neurons in infragranular layers, while spontaneous gamma oscillations were distributed evenly through the cortical depth and primarily entrained putative inhibitory neurons in the infragranular (L5/6) cortical layers. The difference in laminar distribution of gamma oscillations during the two different conditions may result from differences in the source of excitatory input to the cortex. In addition, modulation of superficial gamma oscillation amplitude did not result in a corresponding change in deep-layer oscillations, suggesting that superficial and deep layers of cortex may utilize independent but related networks for gamma generation. These results demonstrate that stimulus-driven gamma oscillations engage cortical circuitry in a manner distinct from spontaneous oscillations and suggest multiple networks for the generation of gamma oscillations in cortex. PMID:26719085

  8. Imaging tactile imagery: changes in brain connectivity support perceptual grounding of mental images in primary sensory cortices.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Timo Torsten; Ostwald, Dirk; Blankenburg, Felix

    2014-09-01

    Constructing mental representations in the absence of sensory stimulation is a fundamental ability of the human mind and has been investigated in numerous brain imaging studies. However, it is still unclear how brain areas facilitating mental construction processes interact with brain regions related to specific sensory representations. In this fMRI study subjects formed mental representations of tactile stimuli either from memory (imagery) or from presentation of actual corresponding vibrotactile patterned stimuli. First our analysis addressed the question of whether tactile imagery recruits primary somatosensory cortex (SI), because the activation of early perceptual areas is classically interpreted as perceptual grounding of the mental image. We also tested whether a network, referred to as 'core construction system', is involved in the generation of mental representations in the somatosensory domain. In fact, we observed imagery-induced activation of SI. We further found support for the notion of a modality independent construction network with the retrosplenial cortices and the precuneus as core components, which were supplemented with the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Finally, psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analyses revealed robust imagery-modulated changes in the connectivity of these construction related areas, which suggests that they orchestrate the assembly of an abstract mental representation. Interestingly, we found increased coupling between prefrontal cortex (left IFG) and SI during mental imagery, indicating the augmentation of an abstract mental representation by reactivating perceptually grounded sensory details. PMID:24836010

  9. Variance predicts salience in central sensory processing

    PubMed Central

    Hermundstad, Ann M; Briguglio, John J; Conte, Mary M; Victor, Jonathan D; Balasubramanian, Vijay; Tkačik, Gašper

    2014-01-01

    Information processing in the sensory periphery is shaped by natural stimulus statistics. In the periphery, a transmission bottleneck constrains performance; thus efficient coding implies that natural signal components with a predictably wider range should be compressed. In a different regime—when sampling limitations constrain performance—efficient coding implies that more resources should be allocated to informative features that are more variable. We propose that this regime is relevant for sensory cortex when it extracts complex features from limited numbers of sensory samples. To test this prediction, we use central visual processing as a model: we show that visual sensitivity for local multi-point spatial correlations, described by dozens of independently-measured parameters, can be quantitatively predicted from the structure of natural images. This suggests that efficient coding applies centrally, where it extends to higher-order sensory features and operates in a regime in which sensitivity increases with feature variability. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03722.001 PMID:25396297

  10. Phonological Processing in Human Auditory Cortical Fields

    PubMed Central

    Woods, David L.; Herron, Timothy J.; Cate, Anthony D.; Kang, Xiaojian; Yund, E. W.

    2011-01-01

    We used population-based cortical-surface analysis of functional magnetic imaging data to characterize the processing of consonant–vowel–consonant syllables (CVCs) and spectrally matched amplitude-modulated noise bursts (AMNBs) in human auditory cortex as subjects attended to auditory or visual stimuli in an intermodal selective attention paradigm. Average auditory cortical field (ACF) locations were defined using tonotopic mapping in a previous study. Activations in auditory cortex were defined by two stimulus-preference gradients: (1) Medial belt ACFs preferred AMNBs and lateral belt and parabelt fields preferred CVCs. This preference extended into core ACFs with medial regions of primary auditory cortex (A1) and the rostral field preferring AMNBs and lateral regions preferring CVCs. (2) Anterior ACFs showed smaller activations but more clearly defined stimulus preferences than did posterior ACFs. Stimulus preference gradients were unaffected by auditory attention suggesting that ACF preferences reflect the automatic processing of different spectrotemporal sound features. PMID:21541252

  11. The topology of connections between rat prefrontal, motor and sensory cortices

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The connections of prefrontal cortex (PFC) were investigated in the rat brain to determine the order and location of input and output connections to motor and somatosensory cortex. Retrograde (100 nl Fluoro-Gold) and anterograde (100 nl Biotinylated Dextran Amines, BDA; Fluorescein and Texas Red) neuronanatomical tracers were injected into the subdivisions of the PFC (prelimbic, ventral orbital, ventrolateral orbital, dorsolateral orbital) and their projections studied. We found clear evidence for organized input projections from the motor and somatosensory cortices to the PFC, with distinct areas of motor and cingulate cortex projecting in an ordered arrangement to the subdivisions of PFC. As injection location of retrograde tracer was moved from medial to lateral in PFC, we observed an ordered arrangement of projections occurring in sensory-motor cortex. There was a significant effect of retrograde injection location on the position of labelled cells occurring in sensory-motor cortex (dorsoventral, anterior-posterior and mediolateral axes p < 0.001). The arrangement of output projections from PFC also displayed a significant ordered projection to sensory-motor cortex (dorsoventral p < 0.001, anterior-posterior p = 0.002 and mediolateral axes p < 0.001). Statistical analysis also showed that the locations of input and output labels vary with respect to one another (in the dorsal-ventral and medial-lateral axes, p < 0.001). Taken together, the findings show that regions of PFC display an ordered arrangement of connections with sensory-motor cortex, with clear laminar organization of input connections. These results also show that input and output connections to PFC are not located in exactly the same sites and reveal a circuit between sensory-motor and PFC. PMID:25278850

  12. Cortical membrane potential signature of optimal states for sensory signal detection

    PubMed Central

    McGinley, Matthew J.; David, Stephen V.; McCormick, David A.

    2015-01-01

    The neural correlates of optimal states for signal detection task performance are largely unknown. One hypothesis holds that optimal states exhibit tonically depolarized cortical neurons with enhanced spiking activity, such as occur during movement. We recorded membrane potentials of auditory cortical neurons in mice trained on a challenging tone-in-noise detection task while assessing arousal with simultaneous pupillometry and hippocampal recordings. Arousal measures accurately predicted multiple modes of membrane potential activity, including: rhythmic slow oscillations at low arousal, stable hyperpolarization at intermediate arousal, and depolarization during phasic or tonic periods of hyper-arousal. Walking always occurred during hyper-arousal. Optimal signal detection behavior and sound-evoked responses, at both sub-threshold and spiking levels, occurred at intermediate arousal when pre-decision membrane potentials were stably hyperpolarized. These results reveal a cortical physiological signature of the classically-observed inverted-U relationship between task performance and arousal, and that optimal detection exhibits enhanced sensory-evoked responses and reduced background synaptic activity. PMID:26074005

  13. [Hemicape-like sensory disturbance caused by cortical infarction in the postcentral gyrus].

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Chikara; Kawamura, Nobutoshi; Torii, Takako; Ohyagi, Yasumasa; Kira, Jun-ichi

    2012-01-01

    We report a case of a small cortical infarction in the postcentral gyrus that presented an isolated hemicape-like sensory disturbance. A 47-year-old man suddenly developed numbness and paresthesia in the left neck, shoulder, arm, and upper trunk. Examination revealed hypoesthesia to touch and pain in these areas along with a hemicape-like distribution. The sensitivity to cold and vibration was normal, and two-point discrimination and graphesthesia were preserved. The patient had a normal visual field, muscle strength, and reflexes, and there were no neuropsychological deficits. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated a fresh, small cerebral infarction in the right postcentral gyrus, which was superior medial to the precentral knob. The area of infarction in this patient corresponds well with the area of the upper trunk, neck, head, shoulder, and arm in the sensory homunculus drawn by Penfield and Rassumussen. The spinal MRI was normal. Transesophageal echocardiography disclosed a patent foramen ovale with a right-to-left-shunt. The patient was diagnosed as having acute cerebral infarction, probably due to paradoxical embolism, and was treated with warfarin. A small localized infarct in the postcentral gyrus can present an isolated sensory disturbance with an atypical hemicape-like distribution. PMID:22453043

  14. Sensory Processing Subtypes in Autism: Association with Adaptive Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lane, Alison E.; Young, Robyn L.; Baker, Amy E. Z.; Angley, Manya T.

    2010-01-01

    Children with autism are frequently observed to experience difficulties in sensory processing. This study examined specific patterns of sensory processing in 54 children with autistic disorder and their association with adaptive behavior. Model-based cluster analysis revealed three distinct sensory processing subtypes in autism. These subtypes…

  15. Sensory cortical re-mapping following upper-limb amputation and subsequent targeted reinnervation: A case report.

    PubMed

    Yao, Jun; Chen, Albert; Kuiken, Todd; Carmona, Carolina; Dewald, Julius

    2015-01-01

    This case study demonstrates the change of sensory cortical representations of the residual parts of the arm in an individual who underwent a trans-humeral amputation and subsequent targeted reinnervation (TR). As a relatively new surgical technique, TR restores a direct neural connection from amputated sensorimotor nerves to specific target muscles. This method has been successfully applied to upper-limb and lower-limb amputees, and has shown effectiveness in regaining control signals via the newly re-innervated muscles. Correspondingly, recent study results have shown that motor representations for the missing limb move closer to their original locations following TR. Besides regaining motor control signals, TR also restores the sensation in the re-innervated skin areas. We therefore hypothesize that TR causes analogous cortical sensory remapping that may return closer to their original locations. In order to test this hypothesis, cortical activity in response to sensory-level electrical stimulation in different parts of the arm was studied longitudinally in one amputated individual before and up to 2 years after TR. Our results showed that 1) before TR, the cortical response to sensory electrical stimulation in the residual limb showed a diffuse bilateral pattern without a clear focus in either the time or spatial domain; and 2) 2 years after TR, the sensory map of the reinnervated median nerve reorganized, showing predominant activity over the contralateral S1 hand area as well as moderate activity over the ipsilateral S1. Therefore, this work provides new evidence for long-term sensory cortical plasticity in the human brain after TR. PMID:26106558

  16. Sensory cortical re-mapping following upper-limb amputation and subsequent targeted reinnervation: A case report

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Jun; Chen, Albert; Kuiken, Todd; Carmona, Carolina; Dewald, Julius

    2015-01-01

    This case study demonstrates the change of sensory cortical representations of the residual parts of the arm in an individual who underwent a trans-humeral amputation and subsequent targeted reinnervation (TR). As a relatively new surgical technique, TR restores a direct neural connection from amputated sensorimotor nerves to specific target muscles. This method has been successfully applied to upper-limb and lower-limb amputees, and has shown effectiveness in regaining control signals via the newly re-innervated muscles. Correspondingly, recent study results have shown that motor representations for the missing limb move closer to their original locations following TR. Besides regaining motor control signals, TR also restores the sensation in the re-innervated skin areas. We therefore hypothesize that TR causes analogous cortical sensory remapping that may return closer to their original locations. In order to test this hypothesis, cortical activity in response to sensory-level electrical stimulation in different parts of the arm was studied longitudinally in one amputated individual before and up to 2 years after TR. Our results showed that 1) before TR, the cortical response to sensory electrical stimulation in the residual limb showed a diffuse bilateral pattern without a clear focus in either the time or spatial domain; and 2) 2 years after TR, the sensory map of the reinnervated median nerve reorganized, showing predominant activity over the contralateral S1 hand area as well as moderate activity over the ipsilateral S1. Therefore, this work provides new evidence for long-term sensory cortical plasticity in the human brain after TR. PMID:26106558

  17. Sensory Processing in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crane, Laura; Goddard, Lorna; Pring, Linda

    2009-01-01

    Unusual sensory processing has been widely reported in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs); however, the majority of research in this area has focused on children. The present study assessed sensory processing in adults with ASD using the Adult/Adolescent Sensory Profile (AASP), a 60-item self-report questionnaire assessing levels of sensory…

  18. A Neural Circuit That Controls Cortical State, Plasticity, and the Gain of Sensory Responses in Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Stryker, Michael P.

    2015-01-01

    Neurons in the visual cortex were first found to be exquisitely selective for particular properties of visual stimuli in anesthetized animals, including mice. Studies of alert mice in an apparatus that allowed them to stand or run revealed that locomotion causes a change in cortical state that dramatically increases the magnitude of responses in neurons of the visual cortex without altering selectivity, effectively changing the gain of sensory responses. Locomotion also dramatically enhances adult plasticity in the recovery from long-term visual deprivation. We have studied the elements and operation of the neural circuit responsible for the enhancement of activity and shown that it enhances plasticity even in mice not free to run. The circuit consists of projections ascending from the midbrain locomotor region (MLR) to the basal forebrain, activating cholinergic and perhaps other projections to excite inhibitory interneurons expressing vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in the visual cortex. VIP cells activated by locomotion inhibit interneurons that express somatostatin (SST), thereby disinhibiting the excitatory principal neurons and allowing them to respond more strongly to effective visual stimuli. These findings reveal in alert animals how the ascending reticular activating system described in anesthetized animals 50 years ago operates to control cortical state. PMID:25948638

  19. Poor motor function is associated with reduced sensory processing after stroke.

    PubMed

    Campfens, S Floor; Zandvliet, Sarah B; Meskers, Carel G M; Schouten, Alfred C; van Putten, Michel J A M; van der Kooij, Herman

    2015-04-01

    The possibility to regain motor function after stroke depends on the intactness of motor and sensory pathways. In this study, we evaluated afferent sensory pathway information transfer and processing after stroke with the coherence between cortical activity and a position perturbation (position-cortical coherence, PCC). Eleven subacute stroke survivors participated in this study. Subjects performed a motor task with the affected and non-affected arm while continuous wrist position perturbations were applied. Cortical activity was measured using EEG. PCC was calculated between position perturbation and EEG at the contralateral and ipsilateral sensorimotor area. The presence of PCC was quantified as the number of frequencies where PCC is larger than zero across the sensorimotor area. All subjects showed significant contralateral PCC in affected and non-affected wrist tasks. Subjects with poor motor function had a reduced presence of contralateral PCC compared with subjects with good motor function in the affected wrist tasks. Amplitude of significant PCC did not differ between subjects with good and poor motor function. Our results show that poor motor function is associated with reduced sensory pathway information transfer and processing in subacute stroke subjects. Position-cortical coherence may provide additional insight into mechanisms of recovery of motor function after stroke. PMID:25651979

  20. Sensory processing dysfunction in the personal experience and neuronal machinery of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Javitt, Daniel C; Freedman, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Sensory processing deficits, first investigated by Kraepelin and Bleuler as possible pathophysiological mechanisms in schizophrenia, are now being recharacterized in the context of our current understanding of the molecular and neurobiological brain mechanisms involved. The National Institute of Mental Health Research Domain Criteria position these deficits as intermediaries between molecular and cellular mechanisms and clinical symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations. The prepulse inhibition of startle responses by a weaker preceding tone, the inhibitory gating of response to paired sensory stimuli characterized using the auditory P50 evoked response, and the detection of slight deviations in patterns of sensory stimulation eliciting the cortical mismatch negativity potential demonstrate deficits in early sensory processing mechanisms, whose molecular and neurobiological bases are increasingly well understood. Deficits in sensory processing underlie more complex cognitive dysfunction and are in turn affected by higher-level cognitive difficulties. These deficits are now being used to identify genes involved in familial transmission of schizophrenia and to monitor potentially therapeutic drug effects for both treatment and prevention. This research also provides a clinical reminder that patients' sensory perception of the surrounding world, even during treatment sessions, may differ considerably from others' perceptions. A person's ability to understand and interact effectively with the surrounding world ultimately depends on an underlying sensory experience of it. PMID:25553496

  1. Sensory processing dysfunction among Saudi children with and without autism

    PubMed Central

    Al-Heizan, Mohammed O.; AlAbdulwahab, Sami S; Kachanathu, Shaji John; Natho, Mohan

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] There is a dearth of studies that have examined the occurrence of sensory processing dysfunction and its components in Saudi Arabian children with autism. Therefore, this study investigated the manifestation of sensory processing dysfunction in autism and compared the functional components of sensory processing between Saudi Arabian children with and without autism. [Subjects and Methods] A convenience sample of 46 Saudi Arabian children with autism and 30 children without autism participated in this study. The sensory processing functions of both groups were assessed with the Short Sensory Profile. [Results] The overall findings indicated that 84.8% of children with autism demonstrated definite sensory processing dysfunction. The most prevalent sensory processing dysfunctions involved the under-responsive/seeks sensation (89.13%), auditory filtering (73.90%), and tactile sensitivity (60.87%) domains. Most of the children without autism (66.66%) demonstrated typical sensory function; the most prevalent sensory processing dysfunctions involved the tactile sensitivity (33.3%), under-responsive/seeks sensation (23.33%), and movement sensitivity (20%) domains. [Conclusion] Saudi Arabian children with and without autism have clinically significant sensory dysfunctions. However, the prevalence of those sensory dysfunctions in children with autism is significantly higher than in the children without autism. PMID:26157208

  2. Dynamic modulation of shared sensory and motor cortical rhythms mediates speech and non-speech discrimination performance

    PubMed Central

    Bowers, Andrew L.; Saltuklaroglu, Tim; Harkrider, Ashley; Wilson, Matt; Toner, Mary A.

    2014-01-01

    Oscillatory models of speech processing have proposed that rhythmic cortical oscillations in sensory and motor regions modulate speech sound processing from the bottom-up via phase reset at low frequencies (3–10 Hz) and from the top-down via the disinhibition of alpha/beta rhythms (8–30 Hz). To investigate how the proposed rhythms mediate perceptual performance, electroencephalographic (EEG) was recorded while participants passively listened to or actively identified speech and tone-sweeps in a two-force choice in noise discrimination task presented at high and low signal-to-noise ratios. EEG data were decomposed using independent component analysis and clustered across participants using principle component methods in EEGLAB. Left and right hemisphere sensorimotor and posterior temporal lobe clusters were identified. Alpha and beta suppression was associated with active tasks only in sensorimotor and temporal clusters. In posterior temporal clusters, increases in phase reset at low frequencies were driven by the quality of bottom-up acoustic information for speech and non-speech stimuli, whereas phase reset in sensorimotor clusters was associated with top-down active task demands. A comparison of correct discrimination trials to those identified at chance showed an earlier performance related effect for the left sensorimotor cluster relative to the left-temporal lobe cluster during the syllable discrimination task only. The right sensorimotor cluster was associated with performance related differences for tone–sweep stimuli only. Findings are consistent with internal model accounts suggesting that early efferent sensorimotor models transmitted along alpha and beta channels reflect a release from inhibition related to active attention to auditory discrimination. Results are discussed in the broader context of dynamic, oscillatory models of cognition proposing that top-down internally generated states interact with bottom-up sensory processing to enhance task

  3. The Applicability of the Short Sensory Profile for Screening Sensory Processing Disorders among Israeli Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engel-Yeger, Batya

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the applicability of the short sensory profile (SSP) for screening sensory processing disorders (SPDs) among typical children in Israel, and to evaluate the relationship between SPDs and socio-demographic parameters. Participants were 395 Israeli children, aged 3 years to 10 years 11 months, with typical…

  4. The cortical sensory representation of genitalia in women and men: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Cazala, Fadwa; Vienney, Nicolas; Stoléru, Serge

    2015-01-01

    Background Although genital sensations are an essential aspect of sexual behavior, the cortical somatosensory representation of genitalia in women and men remain poorly known and contradictory results have been reported. Objective To conduct a systematic review of studies based on electrophysiological and functional neuroimaging studies, with the aim to identify insights brought by modern methods since the early descriptions of the sensory homunculus in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). Results The review supports the interpretation that there are two distinct representations of genital sensations in SI, one on the medial surface and the other on the lateral surface. In addition, the review suggests that the secondary somatosensory cortex and the posterior insula support a representation of the affective aspects of genital sensation. Conclusion In view of the erogenous character of sensations originating in the genitalia, future studies on this topic should systematically assess qualitatively as well as quantitatively the sexually stimulating and/or sexually pleasurable characteristics of sensations felt by subjects in response to experimental stimuli. PMID:25766001

  5. Pairing broadband noise with cortical stimulation induces extensive suppression of ascending sensory activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markovitz, Craig D.; Hogan, Patrick S.; Wesen, Kyle A.; Lim, Hubert H.

    2015-04-01

    Objective. The corticofugal system can alter coding along the ascending sensory pathway. Within the auditory system, electrical stimulation of the auditory cortex (AC) paired with a pure tone can cause egocentric shifts in the tuning of auditory neurons, making them more sensitive to the pure tone frequency. Since tinnitus has been linked with hyperactivity across auditory neurons, we sought to develop a new neuromodulation approach that could suppress a wide range of neurons rather than enhance specific frequency-tuned neurons. Approach. We performed experiments in the guinea pig to assess the effects of cortical stimulation paired with broadband noise (PN-Stim) on ascending auditory activity within the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (CNIC), a widely studied region for AC stimulation paradigms. Main results. All eight stimulated AC subregions induced extensive suppression of activity across the CNIC that was not possible with noise stimulation alone. This suppression built up over time and remained after the PN-Stim paradigm. Significance. We propose that the corticofugal system is designed to decrease the brain’s input gain to irrelevant stimuli and PN-Stim is able to artificially amplify this effect to suppress neural firing across the auditory system. The PN-Stim concept may have potential for treating tinnitus and other neurological disorders.

  6. The cortical sensory representation of genitalia in women and men: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Cazala, Fadwa; Vienney, Nicolas; Stoléru, Serge

    2015-01-01

    Background : Although genital sensations are an essential aspect of sexual behavior, the cortical somatosensory representation of genitalia in women and men remain poorly known and contradictory results have been reported. Objective : To conduct a systematic review of studies based on electrophysiological and functional neuroimaging studies, with the aim to identify insights brought by modern methods since the early descriptions of the sensory homunculus in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). Results : The review supports the interpretation that there are two distinct representations of genital sensations in SI, one on the medial surface and the other on the lateral surface. In addition, the review suggests that the secondary somatosensory cortex and the posterior insula support a representation of the affective aspects of genital sensation. Conclusion : In view of the erogenous character of sensations originating in the genitalia, future studies on this topic should systematically assess qualitatively as well as quantitatively the sexually stimulating and/or sexually pleasurable characteristics of sensations felt by subjects in response to experimental stimuli. PMID:25766001

  7. Pairing broadband noise with cortical stimulation induces extensive suppression of ascending sensory activity

    PubMed Central

    Markovitz, Craig D.; Hogan, Patrick S.; Wesen, Kyle A.; Lim, Hubert H.

    2015-01-01

    Objective The corticofugal system can alter coding along the ascending sensory pathway. Within the auditory system, electrical stimulation of the auditory cortex (AC) paired with a pure tone can cause egocentric shifts in the tuning of auditory neurons, making them more sensitive to the pure tone frequency. Since tinnitus has been linked with hyperactivity across auditory neurons, we sought to develop a new neuromodulation approach that could suppress a wide range of neurons rather than enhance specific frequency-tuned neurons. Approach We performed experiments in the guinea pig to assess the effects of cortical stimulation paired with broadband noise (PN-Stim) on ascending auditory activity within the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (CNIC), a widely studied region for AC stimulation paradigms. Main results All eight stimulated AC regions induced extensive suppression of activity across the CNIC that was not possible with noise stimulation alone. This suppression built up over time and remained after the PN-Stim paradigm. Significance We propose that the corticofugal system is designed to decrease the brain’s input gain to irrelevant stimuli and PN-Stim is able to artificially amplify this effect to suppress neural firing across the auditory system. The PN-Stim concept may have potential for treating tinnitus and other neurological disorders. PMID:25686163

  8. Model of interactions between cortical areas for sensory-motor programs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnod, Yves; Guigon, Emmanuel; Otto, Isabelle; Grandguillaume, Philippe; Boutkhil, Latifa; Dorizzi, Bernadette; Marchal, Patrick

    1992-04-01

    The brain represents perceptual and motor information in several reference frames (for example body-centered, object-centered, or retinal-centered reference frames). In a simple sensory-motor program such as looking at and taking an object, at least three fundamental processes must be carried out by the cerebral cortex; (1) in order to recognize the target object, the cortex has to transform the pattern of excitation on the retina from a retinotopic coordinate system to a coordinate system centered on the object itself; (2) in order to bring a hand to the desired position in space, the cortex must transform the visual information related to the target location (relative to the hand) into an appropriate motor command of the reaching hand; (3) in order to guide coherent behavioral actions, more complex sensory-motor programs (for example, conditional reaching of a target) are constructed from time-dependent relations between these basic transformations. The cortex correlates sensory and motor events and learns to prepare responses to forthcoming events. Neurophysiological data on the motor area of the monkey allowed us to model the coordinate transformations from body-centered to arm-centered reference frames involved in the command of arm reaching movements in 3-D space. Anatomical and neuropsychological data suggest similar coordinate transformations along the visual pathway to relate retinal-centered to object-centered reference frames and we have thus extended the model to this coordinate transformation. Time integration seems to proceed differently since internal representations of programs are dynamically constructed. Available physiological and anatomical data on frontal areas (and particularly prefrontal cortex) help to predict specific learning mechanisms for time processing and then construct a model for learning sensory-motor sequences.

  9. Sensory Processing Dysfunction in the Personal Experience and Neuronal Machinery of Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Javitt, Daniel C.; Freedman, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Sensory processing deficits, first investigated by Kraeplin and Bleuler as possible pathophysiological mechanisms in schizophrenia, are now being re-characterized in the context of modern understanding of the involved molecular and neurobiological brain mechanisms. The National Institute of Mental Health Research Domain Criteria position these deficits as intermediaries between molecular and cellular mechanisms and clinical symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations. The pre-pulse inhibition of startle responses by a weaker preceding tone, the inhibitory gating of response to paired sensory stimuli characterized using the auditory P50 evoked response, and the detection of slightly different stimuli that elicits the cortical Mismatch Negativity potential demonstrate deficits in early sensory processing mechanisms, whose molecular and neurobiological bases are increasingly well understood. Deficits in sensory processing underlie more complex cognitive dysfunction and, vice versa, are affected by higher-level cognitive difficulties. These deficits are now being used to identify genes involved in familial transmission of the illness and to monitor potentially therapeutic drug effects for both treatment and prevention. This research also provides a clinical reminder that patients’ sensory perception of the surrounding world, even during treatment sessions, may differ considerable from others’ perceptions. A person’s ability to understand and interact effectively with surrounding world ultimately depends upon an underlying sensory experience of it. PMID:25553496

  10. Persistence of Functional Sensory Maps in the Absence of Cortical Layers in the Somsatosensory Cortex of Reeler Mice.

    PubMed

    Guy, Julien; Wagener, Robin J; Möck, Martin; Staiger, Jochen F

    2015-09-01

    In rodents, layer IV of the primary somatosensory cortex contains the barrel field, where individual, large facial whiskers are represented as a dense cluster of cells. In the reeler mouse, a model of disturbed cortical development characterized by a loss of cortical lamination, the barrel field exists in a distorted manner. Little is known about the consequences of such a highly disturbed lamination on cortical function in this model. We used in vivo intrinsic signal optical imaging together with piezo-controlled whisker stimulation to explore sensory map organization and stimulus representation in the barrel field. We found that the loss of cortical layers in reeler mice had surprisingly little incidence on these properties. The overall topological order of whisker representations is highly preserved and the functional activation of individual whisker representations is similar in size and strength to wild-type controls. Because intrinsic imaging measures hemodynamic signals, we furthermore investigated the cortical blood vessel pattern of both genotypes, where we also did not detect major differences. In summary, the loss of the reelin protein results in a widespread disturbance of cortical development which compromises neither the establishment nor the function of an ordered, somatotopic map of the facial whiskers. PMID:24759695

  11. Persistence of Functional Sensory Maps in the Absence of Cortical Layers in the Somsatosensory Cortex of Reeler Mice

    PubMed Central

    Guy, Julien; Wagener, Robin J.; Möck, Martin; Staiger, Jochen F.

    2015-01-01

    In rodents, layer IV of the primary somatosensory cortex contains the barrel field, where individual, large facial whiskers are represented as a dense cluster of cells. In the reeler mouse, a model of disturbed cortical development characterized by a loss of cortical lamination, the barrel field exists in a distorted manner. Little is known about the consequences of such a highly disturbed lamination on cortical function in this model. We used in vivo intrinsic signal optical imaging together with piezo-controlled whisker stimulation to explore sensory map organization and stimulus representation in the barrel field. We found that the loss of cortical layers in reeler mice had surprisingly little incidence on these properties. The overall topological order of whisker representations is highly preserved and the functional activation of individual whisker representations is similar in size and strength to wild-type controls. Because intrinsic imaging measures hemodynamic signals, we furthermore investigated the cortical blood vessel pattern of both genotypes, where we also did not detect major differences. In summary, the loss of the reelin protein results in a widespread disturbance of cortical development which compromises neither the establishment nor the function of an ordered, somatotopic map of the facial whiskers. PMID:24759695

  12. Perspectives on Sensory Processing Disorder: A Call for Translational Research

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Lucy J.; Nielsen, Darci M.; Schoen, Sarah A.; Brett-Green, Barbara A.

    2009-01-01

    This article explores the convergence of two fields, which have similar theoretical origins: a clinical field originally known as sensory integration and a branch of neuroscience that conducts research in an area also called sensory integration. Clinically, the term was used to identify a pattern of dysfunction in children and adults, as well as a related theory, assessment, and treatment method for children who have atypical responses to ordinary sensory stimulation. Currently the term for the disorder is sensory processing disorder (SPD). In neuroscience, the term sensory integration refers to converging information in the brain from one or more sensory domains. A recent subspecialty in neuroscience labeled multisensory integration (MSI) refers to the neural process that occurs when sensory input from two or more different sensory modalities converge. Understanding the specific meanings of the term sensory integration intended by the clinical and neuroscience fields and the term MSI in neuroscience is critical. A translational research approach would improve exploration of crucial research questions in both the basic science and clinical science. Refinement of the conceptual model of the disorder and the related treatment approach would help prioritize which specific hypotheses should be studied in both the clinical and neuroscience fields. The issue is how we can facilitate a translational approach between researchers in the two fields. Multidisciplinary, collaborative studies would increase knowledge of brain function and could make a significant contribution to alleviating the impairments of individuals with SPD and their families. PMID:19826493

  13. Reported Sensory Processing of Children with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bruni, Maryanne; Cameron, Debra; Dua, Shelly; Noy, Sarah

    2010-01-01

    Investigators have identified delays and differences in cognitive, language, motor, and sensory development in children with Down syndrome (DS). The purpose of this study was to determine the parent-reported frequency of sensory processing issues in children with DS aged 3-10 years, and the parent-reported functional impact of those sensory…

  14. Oxytocin Enhances Social Recognition by Modulating Cortical Control of Early Olfactory Processing.

    PubMed

    Oettl, Lars-Lennart; Ravi, Namasivayam; Schneider, Miriam; Scheller, Max F; Schneider, Peggy; Mitre, Mariela; da Silva Gouveia, Miriam; Froemke, Robert C; Chao, Moses V; Young, W Scott; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Grinevich, Valery; Shusterman, Roman; Kelsch, Wolfgang

    2016-05-01

    Oxytocin promotes social interactions and recognition of conspecifics that rely on olfaction in most species. The circuit mechanisms through which oxytocin modifies olfactory processing are incompletely understood. Here, we observed that optogenetically induced oxytocin release enhanced olfactory exploration and same-sex recognition of adult rats. Consistent with oxytocin's function in the anterior olfactory cortex, particularly in social cue processing, region-selective receptor deletion impaired social recognition but left odor discrimination and recognition intact outside a social context. Oxytocin transiently increased the drive of the anterior olfactory cortex projecting to olfactory bulb interneurons. Cortical top-down recruitment of interneurons dynamically enhanced the inhibitory input to olfactory bulb projection neurons and increased the signal-to-noise of their output. In summary, oxytocin generates states for optimized information extraction in an early cortical top-down network that is required for social interactions with potential implications for sensory processing deficits in autism spectrum disorders. PMID:27112498

  15. Fast Synaptic Inhibition in Spinal Sensory Processing and Pain Control

    PubMed Central

    Zeilhofer, Hanns Ulrich; Wildner, Hendrik; Yevenes, Gonzalo E.

    2013-01-01

    The two amino acids γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) and glycine mediate fast inhibitory neurotransmission in different CNS areas and serve pivotal roles in the spinal sensory processing. Under healthy conditions, they limit the excitability of spinal terminals of primary sensory nerve fibers and of intrinsic dorsal horn neurons through pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms, and thereby facilitate the spatial and temporal discrimination of sensory stimuli. Removal of fast inhibition not only reduces the fidelity of normal sensory processing but also provokes symptoms very much reminiscent of pathological and chronic pain syndromes. This review summarizes our knowledge of the molecular bases of spinal inhibitory neurotransmission and its organization in dorsal horn sensory circuits. Particular emphasis is placed on the role and mechanisms of spinal inhibitory malfunction in inflammatory and neuropathic chronic pain syndromes. PMID:22298656

  16. Neural Mechanisms of Cortical Motion Computation Based on a Neuromorphic Sensory System

    PubMed Central

    Abdul-Kreem, Luma Issa; Neumann, Heiko

    2015-01-01

    The visual cortex analyzes motion information along hierarchically arranged visual areas that interact through bidirectional interconnections. This work suggests a bio-inspired visual model focusing on the interactions of the cortical areas in which a new mechanism of feedforward and feedback processing are introduced. The model uses a neuromorphic vision sensor (silicon retina) that simulates the spike-generation functionality of the biological retina. Our model takes into account two main model visual areas, namely V1 and MT, with different feature selectivities. The initial motion is estimated in model area V1 using spatiotemporal filters to locally detect the direction of motion. Here, we adapt the filtering scheme originally suggested by Adelson and Bergen to make it consistent with the spike representation of the DVS. The responses of area V1 are weighted and pooled by area MT cells which are selective to different velocities, i.e. direction and speed. Such feature selectivity is here derived from compositions of activities in the spatio-temporal domain and integrating over larger space-time regions (receptive fields). In order to account for the bidirectional coupling of cortical areas we match properties of the feature selectivity in both areas for feedback processing. For such linkage we integrate the responses over different speeds along a particular preferred direction. Normalization of activities is carried out over the spatial as well as the feature domains to balance the activities of individual neurons in model areas V1 and MT. Our model was tested using different stimuli that moved in different directions. The results reveal that the error margin between the estimated motion and synthetic ground truth is decreased in area MT comparing with the initial estimation of area V1. In addition, the modulated V1 cell activations shows an enhancement of the initial motion estimation that is steered by feedback signals from MT cells. PMID:26554589

  17. Cortical EEG components that reflect inverse effectiveness during visuotactile integration processing.

    PubMed

    Kanayama, Noriaki; Kimura, Kenta; Hiraki, Kazuo

    2015-02-19

    Multisensory integration is required to interpret information from multiple senses and then produce the appropriate behavioral output. Inverse effectiveness, a phenomenon in which weaker stimuli induce greater activation of multisensory neurons than do stronger stimuli, is an essential component of multisensory integration. The superior colliculus is especially abundant in multisensory neurons with properties of inverse effectiveness. However, multisensory neurons are distributed throughout the brain, suggesting that a wide range of brain regions are involved in generating multisensory behavior in addition to the superior colliculus. In this study, we aimed to use scalp EEG to elucidate the cortical responses that respond to multisensory stimuli according to the principle of inverse effectiveness. By modulating the intensity of the tactile aspect of a simultaneous visuotactile stimulus, we explored the time-frequency component of scalp EEG waveforms produced during multi-sensory stimulation. Using this method, we determined the relative values and temporal dynamics of the increment of power spectrum (event-related spectrum perturbation) and phase coherence across trials (e.g., inter-trial phase coherency) produced by multisensory stimulation compared to unisensory stimulation. In the somatosensory and anterior cingulate cortices, we observed significant differences in the inter-trial phase coherence of the theta band oscillation 200-400 ms post-stimulus, in response to visuotactile (multisensory) and tactile (unisensory) stimulation, while no differences were found in later time windows and other cortical areas. These results suggest that inverse effectiveness is an important aspect of multi-sensory processing in the somato-sensory and frontal cerebral cortices. PMID:25514335

  18. Sensory processing and world modeling for an active ranging device

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hong, Tsai-Hong; Wu, Angela Y.

    1991-01-01

    In this project, we studied world modeling and sensory processing for laser range data. World Model data representation and operation were defined. Sensory processing algorithms for point processing and linear feature detection were designed and implemented. The interface between world modeling and sensory processing in the Servo and Primitive levels was investigated and implemented. In the primitive level, linear features detectors for edges were also implemented, analyzed and compared. The existing world model representations is surveyed. Also presented is the design and implementation of the Y-frame model, a hierarchical world model. The interfaces between the world model module and the sensory processing module are discussed as well as the linear feature detectors that were designed and implemented.

  19. Strain differences of the effect of enucleation and anophthalmia on the size and growth of sensory cortices in mice.

    PubMed

    Massé, Ian O; Guillemette, Sonia; Laramée, Marie-Eve; Bronchti, Gilles; Boire, Denis

    2014-11-01

    Anophthalmia is a condition in which the eye does not develop from the early embryonic period. Early blindness induces cross-modal plastic modifications in the brain such as auditory and haptic activations of the visual cortex and also leads to a greater solicitation of the somatosensory and auditory cortices. The visual cortex is activated by auditory stimuli in anophthalmic mice and activity is known to alter the growth pattern of the cerebral cortex. The size of the primary visual, auditory and somatosensory cortices and of the corresponding specific sensory thalamic nuclei were measured in intact and enucleated C57Bl/6J mice and in ZRDCT anophthalmic mice (ZRDCT/An) to evaluate the contribution of cross-modal activity on the growth of the cerebral cortex. In addition, the size of these structures were compared in intact, enucleated and anophthalmic fourth generation backcrossed hybrid C57Bl/6J×ZRDCT/An mice to parse out the effects of mouse strains and of the different visual deprivations. The visual cortex was smaller in the anophthalmic ZRDCT/An than in the intact and enucleated C57Bl/6J mice. Also the auditory cortex was larger and the somatosensory cortex smaller in the ZRDCT/An than in the intact and enucleated C57Bl/6J mice. The size differences of sensory cortices between the enucleated and anophthalmic mice were no longer present in the hybrid mice, showing specific genetic differences between C57Bl/6J and ZRDCT mice. The post natal size increase of the visual cortex was less in the enucleated than in the anophthalmic and intact hybrid mice. This suggests differences in the activity of the visual cortex between enucleated and anophthalmic mice and that early in-utero spontaneous neural activity in the visual system contributes to the shaping of functional properties of cortical networks. PMID:25242615

  20. Pain facilitates tactile processing in human somatosensory cortices.

    PubMed

    Ploner, Markus; Pollok, Bettina; Schnitzler, Alfons

    2004-09-01

    Touch and pain are intimately related modalities. Despite a substantial overlap in their cortical representations interactions between both modalities are largely unknown at the cortical level. We therefore used magnetoencephalography and selective nociceptive cutaneous laser stimulation to investigate the effects of brief painful stimuli on cortical processing of touch. Using a conditioning test stimulus paradigm, our results show that painful conditioning stimuli facilitate processing of tactile test stimuli applied 500 ms later. This facilitation applies to cortical responses later than 40 ms originating from primary (S1) and secondary (S2) somatosensory cortices but not to earlier S1 responses. By contrast, tactile conditioning stimuli yield a decrease of early as well as late responses to tactile test stimuli. Control experiments show that pain-induced facilitation of tactile processing is not restricted to the site of the painful conditioning stimulus, whereas auditory conditioning does not yield a comparable facilitation. Apart from a lack of spatial specificity, the facilitating effect of pain closely resembles attentional effects on cortical processing of tactile stimuli. Thus these findings may represent a physiological correlate of an alerting function of pain as a change in the internal state to prepare for processing signals of particular relevance. PMID:15115788

  1. Sensory cortex limits cortical maps and drives top-down plasticity in thalamocortical circuits

    PubMed Central

    Zembrzycki, Andreas; Chou, Shen-Ju; Ashery-Padan, Ruth; Stoykova, Anastassia; O’Leary, Dennis D.M.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Primary somatosensory cortex (S1) contains a complete body map that mirrors subcortical maps developed by peripheral sensory input projecting to sensory hindbrain, thalamus, then S1. Peripheral changes during development alter these maps through ‘bottom-up’ plasticity. Unknown is how S1 size influences map organization and if an altered S1 map feedbacks to affect subcortical maps. We show in mice that S1 is significantly reduced by cortex-specific deletion of Pax6, resulting in a reduced body map and loss of body representations by exclusion of later-differentiating sensory thalamocortical input. An initially normal sensory thalamus was re-patterned to match the aberrant S1 map by apoptotic deletion of thalamic neurons representing body parts with axons excluded from S1. Deleted representations were rescued by altering competition between thalamocortical axons by sensory deprivation or increasing S1. Thus, S1 size determined resolution and completeness of body maps and engaged ‘top-down’ plasticity that re-patterned sensory thalamus to match S1. PMID:23831966

  2. Redefining the Role of Limbic Areas in Cortical Processing.

    PubMed

    Chanes, Lorena; Barrett, Lisa Feldman

    2016-02-01

    There is increasing evidence that the brain actively constructs action and perception using past experience. In this paper, we propose that the direction of information flow along gradients of laminar differentiation provides important insight on the role of limbic cortices in cortical processing. Cortical limbic areas, with a simple laminar structure (e.g., no or rudimentary layer IV), send 'feedback' projections to lower level better laminated areas. We propose that this 'feedback' functions as predictions that drive processing throughout the cerebral cortex. This hypothesis has the potential to provide a unifying framework for an increasing number of proposals that use predictive coding to explain a myriad of neural processes and disorders, and has important implications for hypotheses about consciousness. PMID:26704857

  3. Experimental and Computational Studies of Cortical Neural Network Properties Through Signal Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clawson, Wesley Patrick

    Previous studies, both theoretical and experimental, of network level dynamics in the cerebral cortex show evidence for a statistical phenomenon called criticality; a phenomenon originally studied in the context of phase transitions in physical systems and that is associated with favorable information processing in the context of the brain. The focus of this thesis is to expand upon past results with new experimentation and modeling to show a relationship between criticality and the ability to detect and discriminate sensory input. A line of theoretical work predicts maximal sensory discrimination as a functional benefit of criticality, which can then be characterized using mutual information between sensory input, visual stimulus, and neural response,. The primary finding of our experiments in the visual cortex in turtles and neuronal network modeling confirms this theoretical prediction. We show that sensory discrimination is maximized when visual cortex operates near criticality. In addition to presenting this primary finding in detail, this thesis will also address our preliminary results on change-point-detection in experimentally measured cortical dynamics.

  4. Helping Children with Sensory Processing Disorders: The Role of Occupational Therapy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sweet, Margarita

    2010-01-01

    Normally functioning sensory systems develop through sensory experiences. Children are stimulated through their senses in many different ways. Even though a person's sensory system is intact, he or she may have a sensory processing disorder (SPD), also known as sensory integration dysfunction. This means the person's brain does not correctly…

  5. Changes in Early Cortical Visual Processing Predict Enhanced Reactivity in Deaf Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Bottari, Davide; Caclin, Anne; Giard, Marie-Hélène; Pavani, Francesco

    2011-01-01

    Individuals with profound deafness rely critically on vision to interact with their environment. Improvement of visual performance as a consequence of auditory deprivation is assumed to result from cross-modal changes occurring in late stages of visual processing. Here we measured reaction times and event-related potentials (ERPs) in profoundly deaf adults and hearing controls during a speeded visual detection task, to assess to what extent the enhanced reactivity of deaf individuals could reflect plastic changes in the early cortical processing of the stimulus. We found that deaf subjects were faster than hearing controls at detecting the visual targets, regardless of their location in the visual field (peripheral or peri-foveal). This behavioural facilitation was associated with ERP changes starting from the first detectable response in the striate cortex (C1 component) at about 80 ms after stimulus onset, and in the P1 complex (100–150 ms). In addition, we found that P1 peak amplitudes predicted the response times in deaf subjects, whereas in hearing individuals visual reactivity and ERP amplitudes correlated only at later stages of processing. These findings show that long-term auditory deprivation can profoundly alter visual processing from the earliest cortical stages. Furthermore, our results provide the first evidence of a co-variation between modified brain activity (cortical plasticity) and behavioural enhancement in this sensory-deprived population. PMID:21980501

  6. An internal model architecture for novelty detection: implications for cerebellar and collicular roles in sensory processing.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Sean R; Porrill, John; Pearson, Martin J; Pipe, Anthony G; Prescott, Tony J; Dean, Paul

    2012-01-01

    The cerebellum is thought to implement internal models for sensory prediction, but details of the underlying circuitry are currently obscure. We therefore investigated a specific example of internal-model based sensory prediction, namely detection of whisker contacts during whisking. Inputs from the vibrissae in rats can be affected by signals generated by whisker movement, a phenomenon also observable in whisking robots. Robot novelty-detection can be improved by adaptive noise-cancellation, in which an adaptive filter learns a forward model of the whisker plant that allows the sensory effects of whisking to be predicted and thus subtracted from the noisy sensory input. However, the forward model only uses information from an efference copy of the whisking commands. Here we show that the addition of sensory information from the whiskers allows the adaptive filter to learn a more complex internal model that performs more robustly than the forward model, particularly when the whisking-induced interference has a periodic structure. We then propose a neural equivalent of the circuitry required for adaptive novelty-detection in the robot, in which the role of the adaptive filter is carried out by the cerebellum, with the comparison of its output (an estimate of the self-induced interference) and the original vibrissal signal occurring in the superior colliculus, a structure noted for its central role in novelty detection. This proposal makes a specific prediction concerning the whisker-related functions of a region in cerebellar cortical zone A(2) that in rats receives climbing fibre input from the superior colliculus (via the inferior olive). This region has not been observed in non-whisking animals such as cats and primates, and its functional role in vibrissal processing has hitherto remained mysterious. Further investigation of this system may throw light on how cerebellar-based internal models could be used in broader sensory, motor and cognitive contexts. PMID

  7. Dissociating sensory from decision processes in human perceptual decision making

    PubMed Central

    Mostert, Pim; Kok, Peter; de Lange, Floris P.

    2015-01-01

    A key question within systems neuroscience is how the brain translates physical stimulation into a behavioral response: perceptual decision making. To answer this question, it is important to dissociate the neural activity underlying the encoding of sensory information from the activity underlying the subsequent temporal integration into a decision variable. Here, we adopted a decoding approach to empirically assess this dissociation in human magnetoencephalography recordings. We used a functional localizer to identify the neural signature that reflects sensory-specific processes, and subsequently traced this signature while subjects were engaged in a perceptual decision making task. Our results revealed a temporal dissociation in which sensory processing was limited to an early time window and consistent with occipital areas, whereas decision-related processing became increasingly pronounced over time, and involved parietal and frontal areas. We found that the sensory processing accurately reflected the physical stimulus, irrespective of the eventual decision. Moreover, the sensory representation was stable and maintained over time when it was required for a subsequent decision, but unstable and variable over time when it was task-irrelevant. In contrast, decision-related activity displayed long-lasting sustained components. Together, our approach dissects neuro-anatomically and functionally distinct contributions to perceptual decisions. PMID:26666393

  8. Complementary control of sensory adaptation by two types of cortical interneurons

    PubMed Central

    Natan, Ryan G; Briguglio, John J; Mwilambwe-Tshilobo, Laetitia; Jones, Sara I; Aizenberg, Mark; Goldberg, Ethan M; Geffen, Maria Neimark

    2015-01-01

    Reliably detecting unexpected sounds is important for environmental awareness and survival. By selectively reducing responses to frequently, but not rarely, occurring sounds, auditory cortical neurons are thought to enhance the brain's ability to detect unexpected events through stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA). The majority of neurons in the primary auditory cortex exhibit SSA, yet little is known about the underlying cortical circuits. We found that two types of cortical interneurons differentially amplify SSA in putative excitatory neurons. Parvalbumin-positive interneurons (PVs) amplify SSA by providing non-specific inhibition: optogenetic suppression of PVs led to an equal increase in responses to frequent and rare tones. In contrast, somatostatin-positive interneurons (SOMs) selectively reduce excitatory responses to frequent tones: suppression of SOMs led to an increase in responses to frequent, but not to rare tones. A mutually coupled excitatory-inhibitory network model accounts for distinct mechanisms by which cortical inhibitory neurons enhance the brain's sensitivity to unexpected sounds. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09868.001 PMID:26460542

  9. Thalamic Circuit Mechanisms Link Sensory Processing in Sleep and Attention

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zhe; Wimmer, Ralf D.; Wilson, Matthew A.; Halassa, Michael M.

    2016-01-01

    The correlation between sleep integrity and attentional performance is normally interpreted as poor sleep causing impaired attention. Here, we provide an alternative explanation for this correlation: common thalamic circuits regulate sensory processing across sleep and attention, and their disruption may lead to correlated dysfunction. Using multi-electrode recordings in mice, we find that rate and rhythmicity of thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) neurons are predictive of their functional organization in sleep and suggestive of their participation in sensory processing across states. Surprisingly, TRN neurons associated with spindles in sleep are also associated with alpha oscillations during attention. As such, we propose that common thalamic circuit principles regulate sensory processing in a state-invariant manner and that in certain disorders, targeting these circuits may be a more viable therapeutic strategy than considering individual states in isolation. PMID:26778969

  10. Sensory Cortical Control of a Visually Induced Arrest Behavior via Corticotectal Projections

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Feixue; Xiong, Xiaorui R.; Zingg, Brian; Ji, Xu-ying; Zhang, Li I.; Tao, Huizhong W.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Innate defense behaviors (IDBs) evoked by threatening sensory stimuli are essential for animal survival. Although subcortical circuits are implicated in IDBs, it remains largely unclear whether sensory cortex modulates IDBs and what are the underlying neural pathways. Here, we show that optogenetic silencing of corticotectal projections from layer 5 (L5) of the mouse primary visual cortex (V1) to the superior colliculus (SC) significantly reduces a SC-dependent innate behavior, i.e. temporary suspension of locomotion upon a sudden flash of light as short as milliseconds. Surprisingly, optogenetic activation of SC-projecting neurons in V1 or their axon terminals in SC sufficiently elicits the behavior, in contrast to other major L5 corticofugal projections. Thus, via the same corticofugal projection, visual cortex not only modulates the light-induced arrest behavior, but also can directly drive the behavior. Our results suggest that sensory cortex may play a previously unrecognized role in the top-down initiation of sensory-motor behaviors. PMID:25913860

  11. Reduced Sensory Oscillatory Activity during Rapid Auditory Processing as a Correlate of Language-Learning Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Heim, Sabine; Friedman, Jennifer Thomas; Keil, Andreas; Benasich, April A.

    2010-01-01

    Successful language acquisition has been hypothesized to involve the ability to integrate rapidly presented, brief acoustic cues in sensory cortex. A body of work has suggested that this ability is compromised in language-learning impairment (LLI). The present research aimed to examine sensory integration during rapid auditory processing by means of electrophysiological measures of oscillatory brain activity using data from a larger longitudinal study. Twenty-nine children with LLI and control participants with typical language development (n=18) listened to tone doublets presented at a temporal interval that is essential for accurate speech processing (70-ms interstimulus interval). The children performed a deviant (pitch change of second tone) detection task, or listened passively. The electroencephalogram was recorded from 64 electrodes. Data were source-projected to the auditory cortices and submitted to wavelet analysis, resulting in time-frequency representations of electrocortical activity. Results show significantly reduced amplitude and phase-locking of early (45–75 ms) oscillations in the gamma-band range (29–52 Hz), specifically in the LLI group, for the second stimulus of the tone doublet. This suggests altered temporal organization of sensory oscillatory activity in LLI when processing rapid sequences. PMID:21822356

  12. Learning strategy refinement reverses early sensory cortical map expansion but not behavior: Support for a theory of directed cortical substrates of learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Elias, Gabriel A; Bieszczad, Kasia M; Weinberger, Norman M

    2015-12-01

    Primary sensory cortical fields develop highly specific associative representational plasticity, notably enlarged area of representation of reinforced signal stimuli within their topographic maps. However, overtraining subjects after they have solved an instrumental task can reduce or eliminate the expansion while the successful behavior remains. As the development of this plasticity depends on the learning strategy used to solve a task, we asked whether the loss of expansion is due to the strategy used during overtraining. Adult male rats were trained in a three-tone auditory discrimination task to bar-press to the CS+ for water reward and refrain from doing so during the CS- tones and silent intertrial intervals; errors were punished by a flashing light and time-out penalty. Groups acquired this task to a criterion within seven training sessions by relying on a strategy that was "bar-press from tone-onset-to-error signal" ("TOTE"). Three groups then received different levels of overtraining: Group ST, none; Group RT, one week; Group OT, three weeks. Post-training mapping of their primary auditory fields (A1) showed that Groups ST and RT had developed significantly expanded representational areas, specifically restricted to the frequency band of the CS+ tone. In contrast, the A1 of Group OT was no different from naïve controls. Analysis of learning strategy revealed this group had shifted strategy to a refinement of TOTE in which they self-terminated bar-presses before making an error ("iTOTE"). Across all animals, the greater the use of iTOTE, the smaller was the representation of the CS+ in A1. Thus, the loss of cortical expansion is attributable to a shift or refinement in strategy. This reversal of expansion was considered in light of a novel theoretical framework (CONCERTO) highlighting four basic principles of brain function that resolve anomalous findings and explaining why even a minor change in strategy would involve concomitant shifts of involved brain

  13. Propofol Disrupts Functional Interactions between Sensory and High-Order Processing of Auditory Verbal Memory

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaolin; Lauer, Kathryn K.; Ward, Barney D.; Rao, Stephen M.; Li, Shi-Jiang; Hudetz, Anthony G.

    2011-01-01

    Current theories suggest that disrupting cortical information integration may account for the mechanism of general anesthesia in suppressing consciousness. Human cognitive operations take place in hierarchically structured neural organizations in the brain. The process of low-order neural representation of sensory stimuli becoming integrated in high-order cortices is also known as cognitive binding. Combining neuroimaging, cognitive neuroscience, and anesthetic manipulation, we examined how cognitive networks involved in auditory verbal memory are maintained in wakefulness, disrupted in propofol-induced deep sedation, and re-established in recovery. Inspired by the notion of cognitive binding, an fMRI-guided connectivity analysis was utilized to assess the integrity of functional interactions within and between different levels of the task-defined brain regions. Task-related responses persisted in the primary auditory cortex (PAC), but vanished in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and premotor areas in deep sedation. For connectivity analysis, seed regions representing sensory and high-order processing of the memory task were identified in the PAC and IFG. Propofol disrupted connections from the PAC seed to the frontal regions and thalamus, but not the connections from the IFG seed to a set of widely distributed brain regions in the temporal, frontal, and parietal lobes (with exception of the PAC). These later regions have been implicated in mediating verbal comprehension and memory. These results suggest that propofol disrupts cognition by blocking the projection of sensory information to high-order processing networks and thus preventing information integration. Such findings contribute to our understanding of anesthetic mechanisms as related to information and integration in the brain. PMID:21932265

  14. Lesions to Primary Sensory and Posterior Parietal Cortices Impair Recovery from Hand Paresis after Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Abela, Eugenio; Missimer, John; Wiest, Roland; Federspiel, Andrea; Hess, Christian; Sturzenegger, Matthias; Weder, Bruno

    2012-01-01

    Background Neuroanatomical determinants of motor skill recovery after stroke are still poorly understood. Although lesion load onto the corticospinal tract is known to affect recovery, less is known about the effect of lesions to cortical sensorimotor areas. Here, we test the hypothesis that lesions of somatosensory cortices interfere with the capacity to recover motor skills after stroke. Methods Standardized tests of motor skill and somatosensory functions were acquired longitudinally over nine months in 29 patients with stroke to the pre- and postcentral gyrus, including adjacent areas of the frontal, parietal and insular cortices. We derived the recovery trajectories of each patient for five motor subtest using least-squares curve fitting and objective model selection procedures for linear and exponential models. Patients were classified into subgroups based on their motor recovery models. Lesions were mapped onto diffusion weighted imaging scans and normalized into stereotaxic space using cost-function masking. To identify critical neuranatomical regions, voxel-wise subtractions were calculated between subgroup lesion maps. A probabilistic cytoarchitectonic atlas was used to quantify of lesion extent and location. Results Twenty-three patients with moderate to severe initial deficits showed exponential recovery trajectories for motor subtests that relied on precise distal movements. Those that retained a chronic motor deficit had lesions that extended to the center of the somatosensory cortex (area 2) and the intraparietal sulcus (areas hIP1, hIP2). Impaired recovery outcome correlated with lesion extent on this areas and somatosensory performance. The rate of recovery, however, depended on the lesion load onto the primary motor cortex (areas 4a, 4p). Conclusions Our findings support a critical role of uni-and multimodal somatosensory cortices in motor skill recovery. Whereas lesions to these areas influence recovery outcome, lesions to the primary motor

  15. Interaction of slow cortical rhythm with somatosensory information processing in urethane-anesthetized rats

    PubMed Central

    Toth, Attila; Gyengesi, Erika; Zaborszky, Laszlo; Detari, Laszlo

    2008-01-01

    Slow cortical rhythm (SCR) is a rhythmic alteration of active (hypopolarized), and silent (hyperpolarized) epochs in cortical cells. SCR was found to influence sensory information processing in various models, but these studies yielded inconsistent results. We examined sensory processing in anesthetized rats during SCR by recording multiple unit activity (MUA) and evoked field potentials (eFPs). Evoked field potentials as well as spontaneous FPs changes around spontaneous activations were analyzed by subsequent current source density (CSD) analysis. MUA responses and eFPs were recorded from the hindlimb area (HL) of the somatosensory cortex (SI) to electrical stimuli of the tibial nerve during active and silent states, respectively. Stimulus-associated MUA above the ongoing background activity did not differ significantly in active vs. silent states. Short latency (< 50 ms) eFP responses consisted of a sequence of deep-negative and deep-positive waves. Parameters of the first negative deflection were similar in both states. Stimulation in the silent state occasionally induced 500-700 ms long spindles in the alpha range (10-16 Hz). Spindles were never observed in responses to active state stimulation. CSD analysis showed moderately different cortical sink-source patterns when the stimulus was applied during active vs. silent state. Sinks first appeared in layer IV, V and VI, corresponding sources were in layer I/II, V and VI. Stronger activation appeared in the infraganular layers in the case of active state. CSD of spontaneous FPs revealed some sequential activation pattern in the cortex when strongest and earlier sink appeared in layer III during active states. PMID:18588861

  16. Cortical processing of a brightness illusion

    PubMed Central

    Roe, Anna Wang; Lu, Haidong D.; Hung, Chou P.

    2005-01-01

    Several brightness illusions indicate that borders can affect the perception of surfaces dramatically. In the Cornsweet illusion, two equiluminant surfaces appear to be different in brightness because of the contrast border between them. Here, we report the existence of cells in monkey visual cortex that respond to such an “illusory” brightness. We find that luminance responsive cells are located in color-activated regions (cytochrome oxidase blobs and bridges) of primary visual cortex (V1), whereas Cornsweet responsive cells are found preferentially in the color-activated regions (thin stripes) of second visual area (V2). This colocalization of brightness and color processing within V1 and V2 suggests a segregation of contour and surface processing in early visual pathways and a hierarchy of brightness information processing from V1 to V2 in monkeys. PMID:15738406

  17. Improvements of sensorimotor processes during action cascading associated with changes in sensory processing architecture-insights from sensory deprivation.

    PubMed

    Gohil, Krutika; Hahne, Anja; Beste, Christian

    2016-01-01

    In most everyday situations sensorimotor processes are quite complex because situations often require to carry out several actions in a specific temporal order; i.e. one has to cascade different actions. While it is known that changes to stimuli affect action cascading mechanisms, it is unknown whether action cascading changes when sensory stimuli are not manipulated, but the neural architecture to process these stimuli is altered. In the current study we test this hypothesis using prelingually deaf subjects as a model to answer this question. We use a system neurophysiological approach using event-related potentials (ERPs) and source localization techniques. We show that prelingually deaf subjects show improvements in action cascading. However, this improvement is most likely not due to changes at the perceptual (P1-ERP) and attentional processing level (N1-ERP), but due to changes at the response selection level (P3-ERP). It seems that the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) is important for these effects to occur, because the TPJ comprises overlapping networks important for the processing of sensory information and the selection of responses. Sensory deprivation thus affects cognitive processes downstream of sensory processing and only these seem to be important for behavioral improvements in situations requiring complex sensorimotor processes and action cascading. PMID:27321666

  18. Improvements of sensorimotor processes during action cascading associated with changes in sensory processing architecture–insights from sensory deprivation

    PubMed Central

    Gohil, Krutika; Hahne, Anja; Beste, Christian

    2016-01-01

    In most everyday situations sensorimotor processes are quite complex because situations often require to carry out several actions in a specific temporal order; i.e. one has to cascade different actions. While it is known that changes to stimuli affect action cascading mechanisms, it is unknown whether action cascading changes when sensory stimuli are not manipulated, but the neural architecture to process these stimuli is altered. In the current study we test this hypothesis using prelingually deaf subjects as a model to answer this question. We use a system neurophysiological approach using event-related potentials (ERPs) and source localization techniques. We show that prelingually deaf subjects show improvements in action cascading. However, this improvement is most likely not due to changes at the perceptual (P1-ERP) and attentional processing level (N1-ERP), but due to changes at the response selection level (P3-ERP). It seems that the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) is important for these effects to occur, because the TPJ comprises overlapping networks important for the processing of sensory information and the selection of responses. Sensory deprivation thus affects cognitive processes downstream of sensory processing and only these seem to be important for behavioral improvements in situations requiring complex sensorimotor processes and action cascading. PMID:27321666

  19. Sensory Processing in Internationally Adopted, Post-Institutionalized Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilbarger, Julia; Gunnar, Megan; Schneider, Mary; Pollak, Seth

    2010-01-01

    Background/Methods: Sensory processing capacities of 8-12-year-old internationally adopted (IA) children who experienced prolonged institutional care (greater than 12 months with 75% of pre-adoption lives in institutional care) prior to adoption into family environments (PI) were compared to a group of IA children who were adopted early (less than…

  20. A systematic review of sensory processing interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Case-Smith, Jane; Weaver, Lindy L; Fristad, Mary A

    2015-02-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorders often exhibit co-occurring sensory processing problems and receive interventions that target self-regulation. In current practice, sensory interventions apply different theoretic constructs, focus on different goals, use a variety of sensory modalities, and involve markedly disparate procedures. Previous reviews examined the effects of sensory interventions without acknowledging these inconsistencies. This systematic review examined the research evidence (2000-2012) of two forms of sensory interventions, sensory integration therapy and sensory-based intervention, for children with autism spectrum disorders and concurrent sensory processing problems. A total of 19 studies were reviewed: 5 examined the effects of sensory integration therapy and 14 sensory-based intervention. The studies defined sensory integration therapies as clinic-based interventions that use sensory-rich, child-directed activities to improve a child's adaptive responses to sensory experiences. Two randomized controlled trials found positive effects for sensory integration therapy on child performance using Goal Attainment Scaling (effect sizes ranging from .72 to 1.62); other studies (Levels III-IV) found positive effects on reducing behaviors linked to sensory problems. Sensory-based interventions are characterized as classroom-based interventions that use single-sensory strategies, for example, weighted vests or therapy balls, to influence a child's state of arousal. Few positive effects were found in sensory-based intervention studies. Studies of sensory-based interventions suggest that they may not be effective; however, they did not follow recommended protocols or target sensory processing problems. Although small randomized controlled trials resulted in positive effects for sensory integration therapies, additional rigorous trials using manualized protocols for sensory integration therapy are needed to evaluate effects for children with autism

  1. Cerebellar Processing of Sensory Inputs Primes Motor Cortex Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Velayudhan, B.; Hubsch, C.; Pradeep, S.; Roze, E.; Vidailhet, M.; Meunier, S.; Kishore, A.

    2013-01-01

    Plasticity of the human primary motor cortex (M1) has a critical role in motor control and learning. The cerebellum facilitates these functions using sensory feedback. We investigated whether cerebellar processing of sensory afferent information influences the plasticity of the primary motor cortex (M1). Theta-burst stimulation protocols (TBS), both excitatory and inhibitory, were used to modulate the excitability of the posterior cerebellar cortex and to condition an ongoing M1 plasticity. M1 plasticity was subsequently induced in 2 different ways: by paired associative stimulation (PAS) involving sensory processing and TBS that exclusively involves intracortical circuits of M1. Cerebellar excitation attenuated the PAS-induced M1 plasticity, whereas cerebellar inhibition enhanced and prolonged it. Furthermore, cerebellar inhibition abolished the topography-specific response of PAS-induced M1 plasticity, with the effects spreading to adjacent motor maps. Conversely, cerebellar excitation had no effect on the TBS-induced M1 plasticity. This demonstrates the key role of the cerebellum in priming M1 plasticity, and we propose that it is likely to occur at the thalamic or olivo-dentate nuclear level by influencing the sensory processing. We suggest that such a cerebellar priming of M1 plasticity could shape the impending motor command by favoring or inhibiting the recruitment of several muscle representations. PMID:22351647

  2. Thermodynamic Costs of Information Processing in Sensory Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Sartori, Pablo; Granger, Léo; Lee, Chiu Fan; Horowitz, Jordan M.

    2014-01-01

    Biological sensory systems react to changes in their surroundings. They are characterized by fast response and slow adaptation to varying environmental cues. Insofar as sensory adaptive systems map environmental changes to changes of their internal degrees of freedom, they can be regarded as computational devices manipulating information. Landauer established that information is ultimately physical, and its manipulation subject to the entropic and energetic bounds of thermodynamics. Thus the fundamental costs of biological sensory adaptation can be elucidated by tracking how the information the system has about its environment is altered. These bounds are particularly relevant for small organisms, which unlike everyday computers, operate at very low energies. In this paper, we establish a general framework for the thermodynamics of information processing in sensing. With it, we quantify how during sensory adaptation information about the past is erased, while information about the present is gathered. This process produces entropy larger than the amount of old information erased and has an energetic cost bounded by the amount of new information written to memory. We apply these principles to the E. coli's chemotaxis pathway during binary ligand concentration changes. In this regime, we quantify the amount of information stored by each methyl group and show that receptors consume energy in the range of the information-theoretic minimum. Our work provides a basis for further inquiries into more complex phenomena, such as gradient sensing and frequency response. PMID:25503948

  3. Developmental refinement of cortical systems for speech and voice processing.

    PubMed

    Bonte, Milene; Ley, Anke; Scharke, Wolfgang; Formisano, Elia

    2016-03-01

    Development typically leads to optimized and adaptive neural mechanisms for the processing of voice and speech. In this fMRI study we investigated how this adaptive processing reaches its mature efficiency by examining the effects of task, age and phonological skills on cortical responses to voice and speech in children (8-9years), adolescents (14-15years) and adults. Participants listened to vowels (/a/, /i/, /u/) spoken by different speakers (boy, girl, man) and performed delayed-match-to-sample tasks on vowel and speaker identity. Across age groups, similar behavioral accuracy and comparable sound evoked auditory cortical fMRI responses were observed. Analysis of task-related modulations indicated a developmental enhancement of responses in the (right) superior temporal cortex during the processing of speaker information. This effect was most evident through an analysis based on individually determined voice sensitive regions. Analysis of age effects indicated that the recruitment of regions in the temporal-parietal cortex and posterior cingulate/cingulate gyrus decreased with development. Beyond age-related changes, the strength of speech-evoked activity in left posterior and right middle superior temporal regions significantly scaled with individual differences in phonological skills. Together, these findings suggest a prolonged development of the cortical functional network for speech and voice processing. This development includes a progressive refinement of the neural mechanisms for the selection and analysis of auditory information relevant to the ongoing behavioral task. PMID:26777479

  4. A conserved switch in sensory processing prepares developing neocortex for vision

    PubMed Central

    Colonnese, Matthew T.; Kaminska, Anna; Minlebaev, Marat; Milh, Mathieu; Bloem, Bernard; Lescure, Sandra; Moriette, Guy; Chiron, Catherine; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Khazipov, Rustem

    2010-01-01

    Developing cortex generates endogenous activity that modulates the formation of functional units, but how this activity is altered to support mature function is poorly understood. Using recordings from the visual cortex of preterm human infants and neonatal rats, we report a novel “bursting” period of visual responsiveness during which the weak retinal output is amplified by endogenous network oscillations, enabling a primitive form of vision. This period ends shortly before delivery in humans and eye-opening in rodents with an abrupt switch to the mature visual response. The switch is causally linked to the emergence of an activated state of continuous cortical activity dependent on the ascending neuromodulatory systems involved in arousal. This switch is sensory-system specific but experience-independent, and also involves maturation of retinal processing. Thus the early development of visual processing is governed by a conserved, intrinsic program that switches thalamocortical response properties in anticipation of patterned vision. PMID:20696384

  5. Dynamic photophysical processes in laser irradiated human cortical skull bone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandelis, Andreas; Kwan, Chi-Hang; Matvienko, Anna

    2009-02-01

    Modulated luminescence (LUM) technique was applied to analyze photophysical processes in the cortical layer of human skull bones. The theoretical interpretation of the results was based on the optical excitation and decay rate equations of the fluorophore and on the molecular interaction parameter with the photon field density in the matrix of the bone. Using comparisons of the theory with the frequency response of dental LUM it was concluded that the optically active molecular species (fluorophore) in the bones is hydroxyapatite. An effective relaxation lifetime of skull cortical bone was derived theoretically and was found to depend on the intrinsic fluorophore decay lifetime, on the photon field density, and on the thickness of the bone. The experimentally measured dependencies were in excellent agreement with the theoretical model. The theory was able to yield measurements of the optical scattering coefficient, optical absorption coefficient, and mean coupling coefficient. These results show that the quantitative LUM can be used as a sensitive method to measure optical properties of the active fluorophore in cortical skull bones and the optical-field-induced molecular interaction parameter. When calibrated vs. laser intensity, the modulated luminescence can also be used to measure human skull thickness. These traits can be applied to monitor the bone mineral density (BMD) and, ultimately can be used as potential markers of bone health or disease, such as osteoporosis or bone cancer.

  6. Cortical activity is more stable when sensory stimuli are consciously perceived

    PubMed Central

    Schurger, Aaron; Sarigiannidis, Ioannis; Naccache, Lionel; Sitt, Jacobo D.; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2015-01-01

    According to recent evidence, stimulus-tuned neurons in the cerebral cortex exhibit reduced variability in firing rate across trials, after the onset of a stimulus. However, in order for a reduction in variability to be directly relevant to perception and behavior, it must be realized within trial—the pattern of activity must be relatively stable. Stability is characteristic of decision states in recurrent attractor networks, and its possible relevance to conscious perception has been suggested by theorists. However, it is difficult to measure on the within-trial time scales and broadly distributed spatial scales relevant to perception. We recorded simultaneous magneto- and electroencephalography (MEG and EEG) data while subjects observed threshold-level visual stimuli. Pattern-similarity analyses applied to the data from MEG gradiometers uncovered a pronounced decrease in variability across trials after stimulus onset, consistent with previous single-unit data. This was followed by a significant divergence in variability depending upon subjective report (seen/unseen), with seen trials exhibiting less variability. Applying the same analysis across time, within trial, we found that the latter effect coincided in time with a difference in the stability of the pattern of activity. Stability alone could be used to classify data from individual trials as “seen” or “unseen.” The same metric applied to EEG data from patients with disorders of consciousness exposed to auditory stimuli diverged parametrically according to clinically diagnosed level of consciousness. Differences in signal strength could not account for these results. Conscious perception may involve the transient stabilization of distributed cortical networks, corresponding to a global brain-scale decision. PMID:25847997

  7. The ipsilateral cortico-cortical connexions between the cytoarchitectonic subdivisions of the primary somatic sensory cortex in the monkey.

    PubMed

    Shanks, M F; Pearson, R C; Powell, T P

    1985-04-01

    The ipsilateral cortico-cortical connexions passing between the architectonic subdivisions of the primary somatic sensory cortex, S1, of the monkey have been studied with axonal degeneration methods after the placement of small lesions. All architectonic subdivisions except area 3a, and all the topographic representations, have been involved by the lesions. The degeneration of local intracortical fibres has the same features that have been described in other cortical areas: dense terminal degeneration for about 200 micron immediately around the lesion and moderate degeneration extending for a few millimetres with that in layers I, IV and the deep part of V being the most marked and reaching furthest; the degeneration extends further in the antero-posterior than in the medio-lateral dimension, and further posteriorly than anteriorly. The arrangement of the intercortical fibre connexions varies with the architectonic subdivision and with the topographic representation, and as in other sensory areas these fibres may be considered as either feed-forward or feed-back. The feed-forward projections are heavy, terminate in all layers of the cortex but mainly in layer IV and the deep part of layer III, whereas the feed-back connexions are lighter and end in layers I, II, the superficial part of layer III and in layers V and VI. In the antero-posterior dimension, feed-forward fibres from area 3b go to areas 3a, 1 and 2; area 1 sends feed-forward connexions to areas 3a and 2 and feed-back to area 3b; area 2 sends a feed-forward projection to area 3a and feed-back to areas 3b and 1; all areas also send fibres to area 5. A lesion in one of the architectonic subdivisions in the trunk and face representations results in degeneration throughout the antero-posterior extent of S1, but after damage within an architectonic area in the distal limb regions, there are foci of degeneration in the middle of the antero-posterior extents of the other areas but with little or none at the

  8. Steady-state evoked potentials to tag specific components of nociceptive cortical processing.

    PubMed

    Colon, Elisabeth; Nozaradan, Sylvie; Legrain, Valery; Mouraux, André

    2012-03-01

    Studies have shown that the periodic repetition of a stimulus induces, at certain stimulation frequencies, a sustained electro-cortical response of corresponding frequency, referred to as steady-state evoked potential (SSEP). Using infrared laser stimulation, we recently showed that SSEPs can be used to explore nociceptive cortical processing. Here, we implemented a novel approach to elicit such responses, using a periodic intra-epidermal electrical stimulation of cutaneous Aδ-nociceptors (Aδ-SSEPs). Using a wide range of frequencies (3-43 Hz), we compared the scalp topographies and temporal dynamics of these Aδ-SSEPs to the Aβ-SSEPs elicited by non-nociceptive transcutaneous electrical stimulation, as well as to the transient ERPs elicited by the onsets of the 10-s stimulation trains, applied to the left and right hand. At 3 Hz, we found that the topographies of Aβ- and Aδ-SSEPs were both maximal at the scalp vertex, and resembled closely that of the late P2 wave of transient ERPs, suggesting activity originating from the same neuronal populations. The responses also showed marked habituation, suggesting that they were mainly related to unspecific, attention-related processes. In contrast, at frequencies >3 Hz, the topographies of Aβ- and Aδ-SSEPs were markedly different. Aβ-SSEPs were maximal over the contralateral parietal region, whereas Aδ-SSEPs were maximal over midline frontal regions, thus indicating an entrainment of distinct neuronal populations. Furthermore, the responses showed no habituation, suggesting more obligatory and specific stages of sensory processing. Taken together, our results indicate that Aβ- and Aδ-SSEPs offer a unique opportunity to study the cortical representation of nociception and touch. PMID:22197788

  9. Dissociation of motor and sensory inhibition processes in normal aging

    PubMed Central

    Anguera, Joaquin A.; Gazzaley, Adam

    2011-01-01

    Objective Age-related cognitive impairments have been attributed to deficits in inhibitory processes that mediate both motor restraint and sensory filtering. However, behavioral studies have failed to show an association between tasks that measure these distinct types of inhibition. In the present study, we hypothesized neural markers reflecting each type of inhibition may reveal a relationship across inhibitory domains in older adults. Methods Electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral measures were used to explore whether there was an across-participant correlation between sensory suppression and motor inhibition. Sixteen healthy older adult participants (65-80 years) engaged in two separate experimental paradigms: a selective attention, delayed-recognition task and a stop-signal task. Results Findings revealed no significant relationship existed between neural markers of sensory suppression (P1 amplitude; N170 latency) and markers of motor inhibition (N2 and P3 amplitude and latency) in older adults. Conclusions These distinct inhibitory domains are differentially impacted in normal aging, as evidenced by previous behavioral work and the current neural findings. Thus a generalized inhibitory deficit may not be a common impairment in cognitive aging. Significance Given that some theories of cognitive aging suggest age-related failure of inhibitory mechanisms may span different modalities, the present findings contribute to an alternative view where age-related declines within each inhibitory modality are unrelated. PMID:21963321

  10. Sound-induced enhancement of low-intensity vision: Multisensory influences on human sensory-specific cortices and thalamic bodies relate to perceptual enhancement of visual detection sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Noesselt, Toemme; Tyll, Sascha; Boehler, Carsten Nicolas; Budinger, Eike; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Driver, Jon

    2010-01-01

    Combining information across modalities can affect sensory performance. We studied how co-occurring sounds modulate behavioral visual detection sensitivity (d’), and neural responses, for visual stimuli of higher or lower intensity. Co-occurrence of a sound enhanced human detection sensitivity for lower- but not higher-intensity visual targets. fMRI linked this to boosts in activity-levels for sensory-specific visual and auditory cortex, plus multisensory superior temporal sulcus (STS), specifically for a lower-intensity visual event when paired with a sound. Thalamic structures in visual and auditory pathways, the lateral and medial geniculate bodies respectively (LGB, MGB) showed a similar pattern. Subject-by-subject psychophysical benefits correlated with corresponding fMRI-signals in visual, auditory and multisensory regions. We also analysed differential ‘coupling’ patterns of LGB and MGB with other regions in the different experimental conditions. Effective-connectivity analyses showed enhanced coupling of sensory-specific thalamic bodies with the affected cortical sites during enhanced detection of lower-intensity visual events paired with sounds. Coupling strength between visual and auditory thalamus with cortical regions, including STS, co-varied parametrically with the psychophysical benefit for this specific multisensory context. Our results indicate that multisensory enhancement of detection sensitivity for low-contrast visual stimuli by co-occurring sounds reflects a brain network involving not only established multisensory STS and sensory-specific cortex, but also visual and auditory thalamus. PMID:20943902

  11. Facilitated early cortical processing of nude human bodies.

    PubMed

    Alho, Jussi; Salminen, Nelli; Sams, Mikko; Hietanen, Jari K; Nummenmaa, Lauri

    2015-07-01

    Functional brain imaging has identified specialized neural systems supporting human body perception. Responses to nude vs. clothed bodies within this system are amplified. However, it remains unresolved whether nude and clothed bodies are processed by same cerebral networks or whether processing of nude bodies recruits additional affective and arousal processing areas. We recorded simultaneous MEG and EEG while participants viewed photographs of clothed and nude bodies. Global field power revealed a peak ∼145ms after stimulus onset to both clothed and nude bodies, and ∼205ms exclusively to nude bodies. Nude-body-sensitive responses were centered first (100-200ms) in the extrastriate and fusiform body areas, and subsequently (200-300ms) in affective-motivational areas including insula and anterior cingulate cortex. We conclude that visibility of sexual features facilitates early cortical processing of human bodies, the purpose of which is presumably to trigger sexual behavior and ultimately ensure reproduction. PMID:25960070

  12. Asperger Syndrome and Sensory Processing: A Conceptual Model and Guidance for Intervention Planning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunn, Winnie; Saiter, Jessica; Rinner, Louann

    2002-01-01

    This article discusses sensory processing concepts and their application to children with Asperger syndrome (AS). Basic characteristics of the sensory systems are outlined, a model for sensory processing is described, and a summary of data supporting the model in work with children with AS is presented. Case studies are included. (Contains…

  13. A Comparison of Patterns of Sensory Processing in Children with and without Developmental Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheung, Phoebe P. P.; Siu, Andrew M. H.

    2009-01-01

    This study compared the patterns of sensory processing among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and children without disabilities. Parents reported on the frequency of sensory processing issues by completing the Chinese Sensory Profile (CSP). Children with disabilities (ASD or ADHD)…

  14. Cross-Modality Sharpening of Visual Cortical Processing through Layer-1-Mediated Inhibition and Disinhibition.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Leena A; Mesik, Lukas; Ji, Xu-Ying; Fang, Qi; Li, Hai-Fu; Li, Ya-Tang; Zingg, Brian; Zhang, Li I; Tao, Huizhong Whit

    2016-03-01

    Cross-modality interaction in sensory perception is advantageous for animals' survival. How cortical sensory processing is cross-modally modulated and what are the underlying neural circuits remain poorly understood. In mouse primary visual cortex (V1), we discovered that orientation selectivity of layer (L)2/3, but not L4, excitatory neurons was sharpened in the presence of sound or optogenetic activation of projections from primary auditory cortex (A1) to V1. The effect was manifested by decreased average visual responses yet increased responses at the preferred orientation. It was more pronounced at lower visual contrast and was diminished by suppressing L1 activity. L1 neurons were strongly innervated by A1-V1 axons and excited by sound, while visual responses of L2/L3 vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) neurons were suppressed by sound, both preferentially at the cell's preferred orientation. These results suggest that the cross-modality modulation is achieved primarily through L1 neuron- and L2/L3 VIP-cell-mediated inhibitory and disinhibitory circuits. PMID:26898778

  15. Loss of promoter IV-driven BDNF expression impacts oscillatory activity during sleep, sensory information processing and fear regulation.

    PubMed

    Hill, J L; Hardy, N F; Jimenez, D V; Maynard, K R; Kardian, A S; Pollock, C J; Schloesser, R J; Martinowich, K

    2016-01-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder is characterized by hyperarousal, sensory processing impairments, sleep disturbances and altered fear regulation; phenotypes associated with changes in brain oscillatory activity. Molecules associated with activity-dependent plasticity, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), may regulate neural oscillations by controlling synaptic activity. BDNF synthesis includes production of multiple Bdnf transcripts, which contain distinct 5' noncoding exons. We assessed arousal, sensory processing, fear regulation and sleep in animals where BDNF expression from activity-dependent promoter IV is disrupted (Bdnf-e4 mice). Bdnf-e4 mice display sensory hyper-reactivity and impaired electrophysiological correlates of sensory information processing as measured by event-related potentials (ERP). Utilizing electroencephalogram, we identified a decrease in slow-wave activity during non-rapid eye movement sleep, suggesting impaired sleep homeostasis. Fear extinction is controlled by hippocampal-prefrontal cortical BDNF signaling, and neurophysiological communication patterns between the hippocampus (HPC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) correlate with behavioral performance during extinction. Impaired fear extinction in Bdnf-e4 mice is accompanied by increased HPC activation and decreased HPC-mPFC theta phase synchrony during early extinction, as well as increased mPFC activation during extinction recall. These results suggest that activity-dependent BDNF signaling is critical for regulating oscillatory activity, which may contribute to altered behavior. PMID:27552586

  16. Gravity receptors - An ultrastructural basis for peripheral sensory processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.; Donovan, K.

    1984-01-01

    The present ultrastructural study of serial sections has shown that type II hair cells of the anterior part of the utricular macula are integrated into the afferent neural circuitry of type I cells, which are arranged in clusters. Additionally, there exists a complex system of intramacularly originating efferent-type nerve fibers and terminals. The findings, taken together, suggest that on morphological grounds, complex processing of sensory information occurs in gravity receptors. Asymmetry of such a complex system may contribute to motion and space-motion sickness.

  17. General Anesthetic Conditions Induce Network Synchrony and Disrupt Sensory Processing in the Cortex.

    PubMed

    Lissek, Thomas; Obenhaus, Horst A; Ditzel, Désirée A W; Nagai, Takeharu; Miyawaki, Atsushi; Sprengel, Rolf; Hasan, Mazahir T

    2016-01-01

    General anesthetics are commonly used in animal models to study how sensory signals are represented in the brain. Here, we used two-photon (2P) calcium activity imaging with cellular resolution to investigate how neuronal activity in layer 2/3 of the mouse barrel cortex is modified under the influence of different concentrations of chemically distinct general anesthetics. Our results show that a high isoflurane dose induces synchrony in local neuronal networks and these cortical activity patterns closely resemble those observed in EEG recordings under deep anesthesia. Moreover, ketamine and urethane also induced similar activity patterns. While investigating the effects of deep isoflurane anesthesia on whisker and auditory evoked responses in the barrel cortex, we found that dedicated spatial regions for sensory signal processing become disrupted. We propose that our isoflurane-2P imaging paradigm can serve as an attractive model system to dissect cellular and molecular mechanisms that induce the anesthetic state, and it might also provide important insight into sleep-like brain states and consciousness. PMID:27147963

  18. General Anesthetic Conditions Induce Network Synchrony and Disrupt Sensory Processing in the Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lissek, Thomas; Obenhaus, Horst A.; Ditzel, Désirée A. W.; Nagai, Takeharu; Miyawaki, Atsushi; Sprengel, Rolf; Hasan, Mazahir T.

    2016-01-01

    General anesthetics are commonly used in animal models to study how sensory signals are represented in the brain. Here, we used two-photon (2P) calcium activity imaging with cellular resolution to investigate how neuronal activity in layer 2/3 of the mouse barrel cortex is modified under the influence of different concentrations of chemically distinct general anesthetics. Our results show that a high isoflurane dose induces synchrony in local neuronal networks and these cortical activity patterns closely resemble those observed in EEG recordings under deep anesthesia. Moreover, ketamine and urethane also induced similar activity patterns. While investigating the effects of deep isoflurane anesthesia on whisker and auditory evoked responses in the barrel cortex, we found that dedicated spatial regions for sensory signal processing become disrupted. We propose that our isoflurane-2P imaging paradigm can serve as an attractive model system to dissect cellular and molecular mechanisms that induce the anesthetic state, and it might also provide important insight into sleep-like brain states and consciousness. PMID:27147963

  19. A quantitative comparison of the hemispheric, areal, and laminar origins of sensory and motor cortical projections to the superior colliculus of the cat.

    PubMed

    Butler, Blake E; Chabot, Nicole; Lomber, Stephen G

    2016-09-01

    The superior colliculus (SC) is a midbrain structure central to orienting behaviors. The organization of descending projections from sensory cortices to the SC has garnered much attention; however, rarely have projections from multiple modalities been quantified and contrasted, allowing for meaningful conclusions within a single species. Here, we examine corticotectal projections from visual, auditory, somatosensory, motor, and limbic cortices via retrograde pathway tracers injected throughout the superficial and deep layers of the cat SC. As anticipated, the majority of cortical inputs to the SC originate in the visual cortex. In fact, each field implicated in visual orienting behavior makes a substantial projection. Conversely, only one area of the auditory orienting system, the auditory field of the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (fAES), and no area involved in somatosensory orienting, shows significant corticotectal inputs. Although small relative to visual inputs, the projection from the fAES is of particular interest, as it represents the only bilateral cortical input to the SC. This detailed, quantitative study allows for comparison across modalities in an animal that serves as a useful model for both auditory and visual perception. Moreover, the differences in patterns of corticotectal projections between modalities inform the ways in which orienting systems are modulated by cortical feedback. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2623-2642, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26850989

  20. Sensory Processing in Low-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Distinct Sensory Profiles and Their Relationships with Behavioral Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Gonthier, Corentin; Longuépée, Lucie; Bouvard, Martine

    2016-09-01

    Sensory processing abnormalities are relatively universal in individuals with autism spectrum disorder, and can be very disabling. Surprisingly, very few studies have investigated these abnormalities in low-functioning adults with autism. The goals of the present study were (a) to characterize distinct profiles of sensory dysfunction, and (b) to understand how sensory dysfunction relates to behavioral disorders in this population. Data were collected for a representative sample of inpatients in autism care centers (N = 148) and a non-clinical control group. Results demonstrated that sensory dysfunction (a) is highly prevalent in low-functioning adults with ASD and differentiates at least four sub-profiles of patients, and (b) predicts specific patterns of behavioral disorders. Implications for care are discussed. PMID:27364513

  1. Altered processing of sensory stimuli in patients with migraine.

    PubMed

    de Tommaso, Marina; Ambrosini, Anna; Brighina, Filippo; Coppola, Gianluca; Perrotta, Armando; Pierelli, Francesco; Sandrini, Giorgio; Valeriani, Massimiliano; Marinazzo, Daniele; Stramaglia, Sebastiano; Schoenen, Jean

    2014-03-01

    Migraine is a cyclic disorder, in which functional and morphological brain changes fluctuate over time, culminating periodically in an attack. In the migrainous brain, temporal processing of external stimuli and sequential recruitment of neuronal networks are often dysfunctional. These changes reflect complex CNS dysfunction patterns. Assessment of multimodal evoked potentials and nociceptive reflex responses can reveal altered patterns of the brain's electrophysiological activity, thereby aiding our understanding of the pathophysiology of migraine. In this Review, we summarize the most important findings on temporal processing of evoked and reflex responses in migraine. Considering these data, we propose that thalamocortical dysrhythmia may be responsible for the altered synchronicity in migraine. To test this hypothesis in future research, electrophysiological recordings should be combined with neuroimaging studies so that the temporal patterns of sensory processing in patients with migraine can be correlated with the accompanying anatomical and functional changes. PMID:24535465

  2. A Systematic Review of Sensory Processing Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Case-Smith, Jane; Weaver, Lindy L.; Fristad, Mary A.

    2015-01-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorders often exhibit co-occurring sensory processing problems and receive interventions that target self-regulation. In current practice, sensory interventions apply different theoretic constructs, focus on different goals, use a variety of sensory modalities, and involve markedly disparate procedures. Previous…

  3. Analysis and modeling of neural processes underlying sensory preconditioning.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Yukihisa; Hirashima, Daisuke; Mizunami, Makoto

    2013-03-01

    Sensory preconditioning (SPC) is a procedure to demonstrate learning to associate between relatively neutral sensory stimuli in the absence of an external reinforcing stimulus, the underlying neural mechanisms of which have remained obscure. We address basic questions about neural processes underlying SPC, including whether neurons that mediate reward or punishment signals in reinforcement learning participate in association between neutral sensory stimuli. In crickets, we have suggested that octopaminergic (OA-ergic) or dopaminergic (DA-ergic) neurons participate in memory acquisition and retrieval in appetitive or aversive conditioning, respectively. Crickets that had been trained to associate an odor (CS2) with a visual pattern (CS1) (phase 1) and then to associate CS1 with water reward or quinine punishment (phase 2) exhibited a significantly increased or decreased preference for CS2 that had never been paired with the US, demonstrating successful SPC. Injection of an OA or DA receptor antagonist at different phases of the SPC training and testing showed that OA-ergic or DA-ergic neurons do not participate in learning of CS2-CS1 association in phase 1, but that OA-ergic neurons participate in learning in phase 2 and memory retrieval after appetitive SPC training. We also obtained evidence suggesting that association between CS2 and US, which should underlie conditioned response of crickets to CS2, is formed in phase 2, contrary to the standard theory of SPC assuming that it occurs in the final test. We propose models of SPC to account for these findings, by extending our model of classical conditioning. PMID:23380289

  4. Auditory midbrain processing is differentially modulated by auditory and visual cortices: An auditory fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Gao, Patrick P; Zhang, Jevin W; Fan, Shu-Juan; Sanes, Dan H; Wu, Ed X

    2015-12-01

    The cortex contains extensive descending projections, yet the impact of cortical input on brainstem processing remains poorly understood. In the central auditory system, the auditory cortex contains direct and indirect pathways (via brainstem cholinergic cells) to nuclei of the auditory midbrain, called the inferior colliculus (IC). While these projections modulate auditory processing throughout the IC, single neuron recordings have samples from only a small fraction of cells during stimulation of the corticofugal pathway. Furthermore, assessments of cortical feedback have not been extended to sensory modalities other than audition. To address these issues, we devised blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigms to measure the sound-evoked responses throughout the rat IC and investigated the effects of bilateral ablation of either auditory or visual cortices. Auditory cortex ablation increased the gain of IC responses to noise stimuli (primarily in the central nucleus of the IC) and decreased response selectivity to forward species-specific vocalizations (versus temporally reversed ones, most prominently in the external cortex of the IC). In contrast, visual cortex ablation decreased the gain and induced a much smaller effect on response selectivity. The results suggest that auditory cortical projections normally exert a large-scale and net suppressive influence on specific IC subnuclei, while visual cortical projections provide a facilitatory influence. Meanwhile, auditory cortical projections enhance the midbrain response selectivity to species-specific vocalizations. We also probed the role of the indirect cholinergic projections in the auditory system in the descending modulation process by pharmacologically blocking muscarinic cholinergic receptors. This manipulation did not affect the gain of IC responses but significantly reduced the response selectivity to vocalizations. The results imply that auditory cortical

  5. Prefrontal cortical minicolumn: from executive control to disrupted cognitive processing

    PubMed Central

    Casanova, Manuel F.

    2014-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex of the primate brain has a modular architecture based on the aggregation of neurons in minicolumnar arrangements having afferent and efferent connections distributed across many brain regions to represent, select and/or maintain behavioural goals and executive commands. Prefrontal cortical microcircuits are assumed to play a key role in the perception to action cycle that integrates relevant information about environment, and then selects and enacts behavioural responses. Thus, neurons within the interlaminar microcircuits participate in various functional states requiring the integration of signals across cortical layers and the selection of executive variables. Recent research suggests that executive abilities emerge from cortico-cortical interactions between interlaminar prefrontal cortical microcircuits, whereas their disruption is involved in a broad spectrum of neurologic and psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and drug addiction. The focus of this review is on the structural, functional and pathological approaches involving cortical minicolumns. Based on recent technological progress it has been demonstrated that microstimulation of infragranular cortical layers with patterns of microcurrents derived from supragranular layers led to an increase in cognitive performance. This suggests that interlaminar prefrontal cortical microcircuits are playing a causal role in improving cognitive performance. An important reason for the new interest in cortical modularity comes from both the impressive progress in understanding anatomical, physiological and pathological facets of cortical microcircuits and the promise of neural prosthetics for patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders. PMID:24531625

  6. Disentangling Early Sensory Information Processing Deficits in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Rissling, Anthony J.; Braff, David L.; Swerdlow, Neal R.; Hellemann, Gerhard; Rassovsky, Yuri; Sprock, Joyce; Pela, Marlena; Light, Gregory A.

    2012-01-01

    Objective The disentangling of early sensory information processing deficits and examination of their relationships to demographic and clinical factors are important steps for the validation of potential biomarkers and/or endophenotypes of schizophrenia. The aims of the present study were to characterize commonly used sensory event-related potential deficits, to determine whether they are 1) distinct from one another and 2) independently associated with important clinical characteristics. Methods MMN, P3a and RON event-related potentials (ERP) were recorded from schizophrenia patients (SZ; n=429) and nonpsychiatric comparison subjects (NCS; n=286). Subgroup analyses on demographic and clinical variables were performed. Results Schizophrenia patients exhibited robust ERP deficits at frontocentral electrodes (MMN: d=1.10; P3a: d=0.87; RON: d=0.77), consistent with previous studies. Each ERP component uniquely accounted for variance in amplitude and schizophrenia deficits. Amplitude reductions occurred with increasing age in both NCS and SZ patients. A small subset of patients prescribed combinations of 1st and 2nd generation antipsychotics exhibited significantly reduced MMN amplitude relative to other medication-defined subgroups. Conclusions MMN, P3a, and RON are dissociable deficits with distinct relationships to age and medication status in schizophrenia patients, potentially reflecting divergent pathophysiological processes. Reduced MMN in patients taking multiple antipsychotic medications appear to be attributable to greater severity of symptoms and functional impairments, rather than a medication effect. Significance Independent information processing deficits in schizophrenia patients may differentially contribute to the commonly observed deficits in neurocognitive and psychosocial functioning. PMID:22608970

  7. Simulating Cortical Feedback Modulation as Changes in Excitation and Inhibition in a Cortical Circuit Model

    PubMed Central

    Murray, John D.; McCormick, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Cortical feedback pathways are hypothesized to distribute context-dependent signals during flexible behavior. Recent experimental work has attempted to understand the mechanisms by which cortical feedback inputs modulate their target regions. Within the mouse whisker sensorimotor system, cortical feedback stimulation modulates spontaneous activity and sensory responsiveness, leading to enhanced sensory representations. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying these effects are currently unknown. In this study we use a simplified neural circuit model, which includes two recurrent excitatory populations and global inhibition, to simulate cortical modulation. First, we demonstrate how changes in the strengths of excitation and inhibition alter the input–output processing responses of our model. Second, we compare these responses with experimental findings from cortical feedback stimulation. Our analyses predict that enhanced inhibition underlies the changes in spontaneous and sensory evoked activity observed experimentally. More generally, these analyses provide a framework for relating cellular and synaptic properties to emergent circuit function and dynamic modulation. PMID:27595137

  8. Simulating Cortical Feedback Modulation as Changes in Excitation and Inhibition in a Cortical Circuit Model.

    PubMed

    Zagha, Edward; Murray, John D; McCormick, David A

    2016-01-01

    Cortical feedback pathways are hypothesized to distribute context-dependent signals during flexible behavior. Recent experimental work has attempted to understand the mechanisms by which cortical feedback inputs modulate their target regions. Within the mouse whisker sensorimotor system, cortical feedback stimulation modulates spontaneous activity and sensory responsiveness, leading to enhanced sensory representations. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying these effects are currently unknown. In this study we use a simplified neural circuit model, which includes two recurrent excitatory populations and global inhibition, to simulate cortical modulation. First, we demonstrate how changes in the strengths of excitation and inhibition alter the input-output processing responses of our model. Second, we compare these responses with experimental findings from cortical feedback stimulation. Our analyses predict that enhanced inhibition underlies the changes in spontaneous and sensory evoked activity observed experimentally. More generally, these analyses provide a framework for relating cellular and synaptic properties to emergent circuit function and dynamic modulation. PMID:27595137

  9. Sensory Processing in Preterm Preschoolers and Its Association with Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Jenna N.; Feldman, Heidi M.; Huffman, Lynne C.; Loe, Irene M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Symptoms of abnormal sensory processing have been related to preterm birth, but have not yet been studied specifically in preterm preschoolers. The degree of association between sensory processing and other domains is important for understanding the role of sensory processing symptoms in the development of preterm children. Aims To test two related hypotheses: (1) preterm preschoolers have more sensory processing symptoms than full term preschoolers and (2) sensory processing is associated with both executive function and adaptive function in preterm preschoolers. Study Design Cross-sectional study Subjects Preterm children (≤34 weeks of gestation; n = 54) and full term controls (≥37 weeks of gestation; n = 73) ages 3-5 years. Outcome Measures Sensory processing was assessed with the Short Sensory Profile. Executive function was assessed with (1) parent ratings on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function- Preschool version and (2) a performance-based battery of tasks. Adaptive function was assessed with the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-II. Results Preterm preschoolers showed significantly more sensory symptoms than full term controls. A higher percentage of preterm than full term preschoolers had elevated numbers of sensory symptoms (37% vs. 12%). Sensory symptoms in preterm preschoolers were associated with scores on executive function measures, but were not significantly associated with adaptive function. Conclusions Preterm preschoolers exhibited more sensory symptoms than full term controls. Preterm preschoolers with elevated numbers of sensory symptoms also showed executive function impairment. Future research should further examine whether sensory processing and executive function should be considered independent or overlapping constructs. PMID:25706317

  10. Predictions interact with missing sensory evidence in semantic processing areas.

    PubMed

    Scharinger, Mathias; Bendixen, Alexandra; Herrmann, Björn; Henry, Molly J; Mildner, Toralf; Obleser, Jonas

    2016-02-01

    Human brain function draws on predictive mechanisms that exploit higher-level context during lower-level perception. These mechanisms are particularly relevant for situations in which sensory information is compromised or incomplete, as for example in natural speech where speech segments may be omitted due to sluggish articulation. Here, we investigate which brain areas support the processing of incomplete words that were predictable from semantic context, compared with incomplete words that were unpredictable. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), participants heard sentences that orthogonally varied in predictability (semantically predictable vs. unpredictable) and completeness (complete vs. incomplete, i.e. missing their final consonant cluster). The effects of predictability and completeness interacted in heteromodal semantic processing areas, including left angular gyrus and left precuneus, where activity did not differ between complete and incomplete words when they were predictable. The same regions showed stronger activity for incomplete than for complete words when they were unpredictable. The interaction pattern suggests that for highly predictable words, the speech signal does not need to be complete for neural processing in semantic processing areas. Hum Brain Mapp 37:704-716, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26583355

  11. Assessment of anodal and cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on MMN-indexed auditory sensory processing.

    PubMed

    Impey, Danielle; de la Salle, Sara; Knott, Verner

    2016-06-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive form of brain stimulation which uses a very weak constant current to temporarily excite (anodal stimulation) or inhibit (cathodal stimulation) activity in the brain area of interest via small electrodes placed on the scalp. Currently, tDCS of the frontal cortex is being used as a tool to investigate cognition in healthy controls and to improve symptoms in neurological and psychiatric patients. tDCS has been found to facilitate cognitive performance on measures of attention, memory, and frontal-executive functions. Recently, a short session of anodal tDCS over the temporal lobe has been shown to increase auditory sensory processing as indexed by the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) event-related potential (ERP). This preliminary pilot study examined the separate and interacting effects of both anodal and cathodal tDCS on MMN-indexed auditory pitch discrimination. In a randomized, double blind design, the MMN was assessed before (baseline) and after tDCS (2mA, 20min) in 2 separate sessions, one involving 'sham' stimulation (the device is turned off), followed by anodal stimulation (to temporarily excite cortical activity locally), and one involving cathodal stimulation (to temporarily decrease cortical activity locally), followed by anodal stimulation. Results demonstrated that anodal tDCS over the temporal cortex increased MMN-indexed auditory detection of pitch deviance, and while cathodal tDCS decreased auditory discrimination in baseline-stratified groups, subsequent anodal stimulation did not significantly alter MMN amplitudes. These findings strengthen the position that tDCS effects on cognition extend to the neural processing of sensory input and raise the possibility that this neuromodulatory technique may be useful for investigating sensory processing deficits in clinical populations. PMID:27054908

  12. Cortical substrates and functional correlates of auditory deviance processing deficits in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Rissling, Anthony J.; Miyakoshi, Makoto; Sugar, Catherine A.; Braff, David L.; Makeig, Scott; Light, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    Although sensory processing abnormalities contribute to widespread cognitive and psychosocial impairments in schizophrenia (SZ) patients, scalp-channel measures of averaged event-related potentials (ERPs) mix contributions from distinct cortical source-area generators, diluting the functional relevance of channel-based ERP measures. SZ patients (n = 42) and non-psychiatric comparison subjects (n = 47) participated in a passive auditory duration oddball paradigm, eliciting a triphasic (Deviant−Standard) tone ERP difference complex, here termed the auditory deviance response (ADR), comprised of a mid-frontal mismatch negativity (MMN), P3a positivity, and re-orienting negativity (RON) peak sequence. To identify its cortical sources and to assess possible relationships between their response contributions and clinical SZ measures, we applied independent component analysis to the continuous 68-channel EEG data and clustered the resulting independent components (ICs) across subjects on spectral, ERP, and topographic similarities. Six IC clusters centered in right superior temporal, right inferior frontal, ventral mid-cingulate, anterior cingulate, medial orbitofrontal, and dorsal mid-cingulate cortex each made triphasic response contributions. Although correlations between measures of SZ clinical, cognitive, and psychosocial functioning and standard (Fz) scalp-channel ADR peak measures were weak or absent, for at least four IC clusters one or more significant correlations emerged. In particular, differences in MMN peak amplitude in the right superior temporal IC cluster accounted for 48% of the variance in SZ-subject performance on tasks necessary for real-world functioning and medial orbitofrontal cluster P3a amplitude accounted for 40%/54% of SZ-subject variance in positive/negative symptoms. Thus, source-resolved auditory deviance response measures including MMN may be highly sensitive to SZ clinical, cognitive, and functional characteristics. PMID:25379456

  13. The importance of sensory integration processes for action cascading.

    PubMed

    Gohil, Krutika; Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Beste, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Dual tasking or action cascading is essential in everyday life and often investigated using tasks presenting stimuli in different sensory modalities. Findings obtained with multimodal tasks are often broadly generalized, but until today, it has remained unclear whether multimodal integration affects performance in action cascading or the underlying neurophysiology. To bridge this gap, we asked healthy young adults to complete a stop-change paradigm which presented different stimuli in either one or two modalities while recording behavioral and neurophysiological data. Bimodal stimulus presentation prolonged response times and affected bottom-up and top-down guided attentional processes as reflected by the P1 and N1, respectively. However, the most important effect was the modulation of response selection processes reflected by the P3 suggesting that a potentially different way of forming task goals operates during action cascading in bimodal vs. unimodal tasks. When two modalities are involved, separate task goals need to be formed while a conjoint task goal may be generated when all stimuli are presented in the same modality. On a systems level, these processes seem to be related to the modulation of activity in fronto-polar regions (BA10) as well as Broca's area (BA44). PMID:25820681

  14. The importance of sensory integration processes for action cascading

    PubMed Central

    Gohil, Krutika; Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Beste, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Dual tasking or action cascading is essential in everyday life and often investigated using tasks presenting stimuli in different sensory modalities. Findings obtained with multimodal tasks are often broadly generalized, but until today, it has remained unclear whether multimodal integration affects performance in action cascading or the underlying neurophysiology. To bridge this gap, we asked healthy young adults to complete a stop-change paradigm which presented different stimuli in either one or two modalities while recording behavioral and neurophysiological data. Bimodal stimulus presentation prolonged response times and affected bottom-up and top-down guided attentional processes as reflected by the P1 and N1, respectively. However, the most important effect was the modulation of response selection processes reflected by the P3 suggesting that a potentially different way of forming task goals operates during action cascading in bimodal vs. unimodal tasks. When two modalities are involved, separate task goals need to be formed while a conjoint task goal may be generated when all stimuli are presented in the same modality. On a systems level, these processes seem to be related to the modulation of activity in fronto-polar regions (BA10) as well as Broca's area (BA44). PMID:25820681

  15. Functional Brain Imaging of Multi-sensory Vestibular Processing during Computerized Dynamic Posturography using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Karim, Helmet; Fuhrman, Susan I; Sparto, Patrick; Furman, Joseph; Huppert, Theodore

    2013-01-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a non-invasive brain imaging method that uses light to record regional changes in cerebral blood flow in the cortex during activation. FNIRS uses portable wearable sensors to allow measurements of brain activation during tasking. In this study, fNIRS was used to investigate how the brain processes information from multiple sensory modalities during dynamic posturography. Fifteen healthy volunteers (9M/6F; ages 28 +/− 9 yrs) participated in the posturography study while undergoing fNIRS brain imaging. Four standard conditions from the sensory organization test (SOT) were performed and a bilateral fNIRS probe was used to examine the cortical brain responses from the frontal, temporal, and parietal brain regions. We found there was bilateral activation in the temporal-parietal areas (superior temporal gyrus, STG, and supramarginal gyrus, SMG) when both vision and proprioceptive information was degraded; forcing reliance on primarily vestibular information in the control of balance. This is consistent with previous reports of the role of these regions in vestibular control and demonstrates the potential utility of fNIRS in the study of cortical control of vestibular function during standing balance tasks. PMID:23419940

  16. Highly energized inhibitory interneurons are a central element for information processing in cortical networks

    PubMed Central

    Kann, Oliver; Papageorgiou, Ismini E; Draguhn, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Gamma oscillations (∼30 to 100 Hz) provide a fundamental mechanism of information processing during sensory perception, motor behavior, and memory formation by coordination of neuronal activity in networks of the hippocampus and neocortex. We review the cellular mechanisms of gamma oscillations about the underlying neuroenergetics, i.e., high oxygen consumption rate and exquisite sensitivity to metabolic stress during hypoxia or poisoning of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Gamma oscillations emerge from the precise synaptic interactions of excitatory pyramidal cells and inhibitory GABAergic interneurons. In particular, specialized interneurons such as parvalbumin-positive basket cells generate action potentials at high frequency (‘fast-spiking') and synchronize the activity of numerous pyramidal cells by rhythmic inhibition (‘clockwork'). As prerequisites, fast-spiking interneurons have unique electrophysiological properties and particularly high energy utilization, which is reflected in the ultrastructure by enrichment with mitochondria and cytochrome c oxidase, most likely needed for extensive membrane ion transport and γ-aminobutyric acid metabolism. This supports the hypothesis that highly energized fast-spiking interneurons are a central element for cortical information processing and may be critical for cognitive decline when energy supply becomes limited (‘interneuron energy hypothesis'). As a clinical perspective, we discuss the functional consequences of metabolic and oxidative stress in fast-spiking interneurons in aging, ischemia, Alzheimer's disease, and schizophrenia. PMID:24896567

  17. Pitch processing of dynamic lexical tones in the auditory cortex is influenced by sensory and extrasensory processes.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Ananthanarayan; Gandour, Jackson T; Suresh, Chandan H

    2015-05-01

    The aim is to evaluate how language experience (Chinese, English) shapes processing of pitch contours as reflected in the amplitude of cortical pitch response components. Responses were elicited from three dynamic curvilinear nonspeech stimuli varying in pitch direction and location of peak acceleration: Mandarin lexical Tone 2 (rising) and Tone 4 (falling), and a flipped variant of Tone 2, Tone 2' (nonnative). At temporal sites (T7/T8), Chinese listeners' Na-Pb response amplitudes to Tones 2 and 4 were greater than those of English listeners in the right hemisphere only; a rightward asymmetry for Tones 2 and 4 was restricted to the Chinese group. In common to both Fz-to-linked T7/T8 and T7/T8 electrode sites, the stimulus pattern (Tones 2 and 4 > Tone 2') was found in the Chinese group only. As reflected by Pb-Nb at Fz, Chinese subjects' amplitudes were larger than those of English subjects in response to Tones 2 and 4, and Tones 2 and 4 were larger than Tone 2', whereas for English subjects, Tone 2 was larger than Tone 2' and Tone 4. At frontal electrode sites (F3/F4), regardless of component or hemisphere, Chinese subjects' responses were larger in amplitude than those of English subjects across stimuli. For either group, responses to Tones 2 and 4 were larger than Tone 2'. No hemispheric asymmetry was observed at the frontal electrode sites. These findings demonstrate that cortical pitch response components are differentially modulated by experience-dependent, temporally distinct but functionally overlapping, weighting of sensory and extrasensory effects on pitch processing of lexical tones in the right temporal lobe and, more broadly, are consistent with a distributed hierarchical predictive coding process. PMID:25943576

  18. Pitch processing of dynamic lexical tones in the auditory cortex is influenced by sensory and extrasensory processes

    PubMed Central

    Krishnan, Ananthanarayan; Gandour, Jackson T.; Suresh, Chandan H.

    2015-01-01

    The aim is to evaluate how language experience (Chinese, English) shapes processing of pitch contours as reflected in the amplitude of cortical pitch response components. Responses were elicited from three dynamic, curvilinear, nonspeech stimuli varying in pitch direction and location of peak acceleration: Mandarin lexical Tone2 (rising) and Tone4 (falling); and a flipped variant of Tone2, Tone2′ (nonnative). At temporal sites (T7/T8), Chinese Na-Pb response amplitude to Tones 2 & 4 was greater than English in the right hemisphere only; a rightward asymmetry for Tones 2 & 4 was restricted to the Chinese group. In common to both Fz-to-linked T7/T8 and T7/T8 electrode sites, the stimulus pattern (Tones 2 & 4 > Tone2′) was found in the Chinese group only. As reflected by Pb-Nb at Fz, Chinese amplitude was larger than English in response to Tones 2 & 4; and Tones 2 & 4 were larger than Tone2′; whereas for English, Tone2 was larger than Tone2′ and Tone4. At frontal electrode sites (F3/F4), regardless of component or hemisphere, Chinese responses were larger in amplitude than English across stimuli. For either group, responses to Tones 2 & 4 were larger than Tone2′. No hemispheric asymmetry was observed at the frontal electrode sites. These findings highlight that cortical pitch response components are differentially modulated by experience-dependent, temporally distinct but functionally overlapping weighting of sensory and extrasensory effects on pitch processing of lexical tones in the right temporal lobe and, more broadly, are consistent with a distributed hierarchical predictive coding process. PMID:25943576

  19. Incorporating Midbrain Adaptation to Mean Sound Level Improves Models of Auditory Cortical Processing

    PubMed Central

    Schoppe, Oliver; King, Andrew J.; Schnupp, Jan W.H.; Harper, Nicol S.

    2016-01-01

    Adaptation to stimulus statistics, such as the mean level and contrast of recently heard sounds, has been demonstrated at various levels of the auditory pathway. It allows the nervous system to operate over the wide range of intensities and contrasts found in the natural world. Yet current standard models of the response properties of auditory neurons do not incorporate such adaptation. Here we present a model of neural responses in the ferret auditory cortex (the IC Adaptation model), which takes into account adaptation to mean sound level at a lower level of processing: the inferior colliculus (IC). The model performs high-pass filtering with frequency-dependent time constants on the sound spectrogram, followed by half-wave rectification, and passes the output to a standard linear–nonlinear (LN) model. We find that the IC Adaptation model consistently predicts cortical responses better than the standard LN model for a range of synthetic and natural stimuli. The IC Adaptation model introduces no extra free parameters, so it improves predictions without sacrificing parsimony. Furthermore, the time constants of adaptation in the IC appear to be matched to the statistics of natural sounds, suggesting that neurons in the auditory midbrain predict the mean level of future sounds and adapt their responses appropriately. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT An ability to accurately predict how sensory neurons respond to novel stimuli is critical if we are to fully characterize their response properties. Attempts to model these responses have had a distinguished history, but it has proven difficult to improve their predictive power significantly beyond that of simple, mostly linear receptive field models. Here we show that auditory cortex receptive field models benefit from a nonlinear preprocessing stage that replicates known adaptation properties of the auditory midbrain. This improves their predictive power across a wide range of stimuli but keeps model complexity low as it

  20. Development of sensory processes during limb regeneration in adult crayfish.

    PubMed

    Cooper, R L

    1998-06-01

    The capacity of the crayfish Procambarus clarkii to regenerate its walking legs provides a system for studying the mechanisms of neural regeneration and repair. A set number of excitatory and inhibitory motor neurons innervate all the limb musculature throughout the normal development and regeneration of a limb. The cell bodies of the motor neurons reside within the segmental ganglion and, upon loss of the limb, their axons regrow from their severed distal ends. The cell bodies of the sensory neurons, in contrast, are located close to their sensory endings within the limb, and they are therefore lost, along with the limb, upon autotomy, leaving the severed, distal axonal stumps of the sensory neurons within the ganglionic root. During the regeneration of a limb, new sensory neurons develop within the limb, and their axons must then grow into the ganglionic root to make the appropriate connections for the new limb to become functional. Evidence is presented in the present paper that the sensory axonal stumps do not degenerate before the new sensory neurons appear within the root as the limb regenerates. These results also indicate a progressive advance of growth cones, presumably sensory in origin, towards the neuropil within the ganglion over time. PMID:9576885

  1. Early sensory processing deficits predict sensitivity to distraction in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Smucny, Jason; Olincy, Ann; Eichman, Lindsay C; Lyons, Emma; Tregellas, Jason R

    2013-06-01

    Patients with schizophrenia frequently report difficulties paying attention during important tasks, because they are distracted by noise in the environment. The neurobiological mechanism underlying this problem is, however, poorly understood. The goal of this study was to determine if early sensory processing deficits contribute to sensitivity to distracting noise in schizophrenia. To that end, we examined the effect of environmentally relevant distracting noise on performance of an attention task in 19 patients with schizophrenia and 22 age and gender-matched healthy comparison subjects. Using electroencephalography, P50 auditory gating ratios also were measured in the same subjects and were examined for their relationship to noise-induced changes in performance on the attention task. Positive symptoms also were evaluated in patients. Distracting noise caused a greater increase in reaction time in patients, relative to comparison subjects, on the attention task. Higher P50 auditory gating ratios also were observed in patients. P50 gating ratio significantly correlated with the magnitude of noise-induced increase in reaction time. Noise-induced increase in reaction time was associated with delusional thoughts in patients. P50 ratios were associated with delusional thoughts and hallucinations in patients. In conclusion, the observation of noise effects on attention in patients is consistent with subjective reports from patients. The observed relationship between noise effects on reaction time and P50 auditory gating supports the hypothesis that early inhibitory processing deficits may contribute to susceptibility to distraction in the illness. PMID:23590872

  2. ICA-derived cortical responses indexing rapid multi-feature auditory processing in six-month-old infants.

    PubMed

    Piazza, Caterina; Cantiani, Chiara; Akalin-Acar, Zeynep; Miyakoshi, Makoto; Benasich, April A; Reni, Gianluigi; Bianchi, Anna Maria; Makeig, Scott

    2016-06-01

    The abilities of infants to perceive basic acoustic differences, essential for language development, can be studied using auditory event-related potentials (ERPs). However, scalp-channel averaged ERPs sum volume-conducted contributions from many cortical areas, reducing the functional specificity and interpretability of channel-based ERP measures. This study represents the first attempt to investigate rapid auditory processing in infancy using independent component analysis (ICA), allowing exploration of source-resolved ERP dynamics and identification of ERP cortical generators. Here, we recorded 60-channel EEG data in 34 typically developing 6-month-old infants during a passive acoustic oddball paradigm presenting 'standard' tones interspersed with frequency- or duration-deviant tones. ICA decomposition was applied to single-subject EEG data. The best-fitting equivalent dipole or bilaterally symmetric dipole pair was then estimated for each resulting independent component (IC) process using a four-layer infant head model. Similar brain-source ICs were clustered across subjects. Results showed ERP contributions from auditory cortex and multiple extra-auditory cortical areas (often, bilaterally paired). Different cortical source combinations contributed to the frequency- and duration-deviant ERP peak sequences. For ICs in an ERP-dominant source cluster located in or near the mid-cingulate cortex, source-resolved frequency-deviant response N2 latency and P3 amplitude at 6 months-of-age predicted vocabulary size at 20 months-of-age. The same measures for scalp channel F6 (though not for other frontal channels) showed similar but weaker correlations. These results demonstrate the significant potential of ICA analyses to facilitate a deeper understanding of the neural substrates of infant sensory processing. PMID:26944858

  3. Functionally Approached Body (FAB) Strategies for Young Children Who Have Behavioral and Sensory Processing Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pagano, John

    2005-01-01

    Functionally Approached Body (FAB) Strategies offer a clinical approach to help parents of young children with behavioral and sensory processing strategies. This article introduces the FAB Strategies, clinical strategies developed by the author for understanding and addressing young children's behavioral and sensory processing challenges. The FAB…

  4. Vasopressin Proves Es-sense-tial: Vasopressin and the Modulation of Sensory Processing in Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Bester-Meredith, Janet K.; Fancher, Alexandria P.; Mammarella, Grace E.

    2015-01-01

    As mammals develop, they encounter increasing social complexity in the surrounding world. In order to survive, mammals must show appropriate behaviors toward their mates, offspring, and same-sex conspecifics. Although the behavioral effects of the neuropeptide arginine vasopressin (AVP) have been studied in a variety of social contexts, the effects of this neuropeptide on multimodal sensory processing have received less attention. AVP is widely distributed through sensory regions of the brain and has been demonstrated to modulate olfactory, auditory, gustatory, and visual processing. Here, we review the evidence linking AVP to the processing of social stimuli in sensory regions of the brain and explore how sensory processing can shape behavioral responses to these stimuli. In addition, we address the interplay between hormonal and neural AVP in regulating sensory processing of social cues. Because AVP pathways show plasticity during development, early life experiences may shape life-long processing of sensory information. Furthermore, disorders of social behavior such as autism and schizophrenia that have been linked with AVP also have been linked with dysfunctions in sensory processing. Together, these studies suggest that AVP’s diversity of effects on social behavior across a variety of mammalian species may result from the effects of this neuropeptide on sensory processing. PMID:25705203

  5. Ontogeny of Excitatory Spinal Neurons Processing Distinct Somatic Sensory Modalities

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yi; Lopes, Claudia; Wende, Hagen; Guo, Zhen; Cheng, Leping; Birchmeier, Carmen

    2013-01-01

    Spatial and temporal cues govern the genesis of a diverse array of neurons located in the dorsal spinal cord, including dI1-dI6, dILA, and dILB subtypes, but their physiological functions are poorly understood. Here we generated a new line of conditional knock-out (CKO) mice, in which the homeobox gene Tlx3 was removed in dI5 and dILB cells. In these CKO mice, development of a subset of excitatory neurons located in laminae I and II was impaired, including itch-related GRPR-expressing neurons, PKCγ-expressing neurons, and neurons expressing three neuropeptide genes: somatostatin, preprotachykinin 1, and the gastrin-releasing peptide. These CKO mice displayed marked deficits in generating nocifensive motor behaviors evoked by a range of pain-related or itch-related stimuli. The mutants also failed to exhibit escape response evoked by dynamic mechanical stimuli but retained the ability to sense innocuous cooling and/or warm. Thus, our studies provide new insight into the ontogeny of spinal neurons processing distinct sensory modalities. PMID:24027274

  6. Sensory profiles for dried fig (Ficus carica L.) cultivars commercially grown and processed in California.

    PubMed

    Haug, Megan T; King, Ellena S; Heymann, Hildegarde; Crisosto, Carlos H

    2013-08-01

    A trained sensory panel evaluated the 6 fig cultivars currently sold in the California dried fig market. The main flavor and aroma attributes determined by the sensory panel were "caramel," "honey," "raisin," and "fig," with additional aroma attributes: "common date," "dried plum," and "molasses." Sensory differences were observed between dried fig cultivars. All figs were processed by 2 commercial handlers. Processing included potassium sorbate as a preservative and SO2 application as an antibrowning agent for white cultivars. As a consequence of SO2 use during processing, high sulfite residues affected the sensory profiles of the white dried fig cultivars. Significant differences between dried fig cultivars and sources demonstrate perceived differences between processing and storage methods. The panel-determined sensory lexicon can help with California fig marketing. PMID:23957419

  7. The role of sensory-motor modality compatibility in language processing.

    PubMed

    Schaeffner, Simone; Koch, Iring; Philipp, Andrea M

    2016-03-01

    Language processing requires the combination of compatible (auditory-vocal and visual-manual) or incompatible (auditory-manual and visual-vocal) sensory-motor modalities, and switching between these sensory-motor modality combinations is very common in every-day life. Sensory-motor modality compatibility is defined as the similarity of stimulus modality and the modality of response-related sensory consequences. We investigated the influence of sensory-motor modality compatibility during performing language-related cognitive operations on different linguistic levels. More specifically, we used a variant of the task-switching paradigm, in which participants had to switch between compatible or between incompatible sensory-motor modality combinations during a verbal semantic categorization (Experiment 1) or during a word-form decision (Experiment 2). The data show higher switch costs (i.e., higher reaction times and error rates in switch trials compared to repetition trials) in incompatible sensory-motor modality combinations than in compatible sensory-motor modality combinations. This was true for every language-related cognitive operation, regardless of the individual linguistic level. Taken together, the present study demonstrates that sensory-motor modality compatibility plays an important role in modality switching during language processing. PMID:25813198

  8. Age-Related Variability in Cortical Activity during Language Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fridriksson, Julius; Morrow, K. Leigh; Moser, Dana; Baylis, Gordon C.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The present study investigated the extent of cortical activity during overt picture naming using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Method: Participants comprised 20 healthy, adult participants with ages ranging from 20 to 82 years. While undergoing fMRI, participants completed a picture-naming task consisting of 60…

  9. Asymmetrical Cortical Processing of Radial Expansioncontraction in Infants and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shirai, Nobu; Birtles, Deirdre; Wattam-Bell, John; Yamaguchi, Masami K.; Kanazawa, So; Atkinson, Janette; Braddick, Oliver

    2009-01-01

    We report asymmetrical cortical responses (steady-state visual evoked potentials) to radial expansion and contraction in human infants and adults. Forty-four infants (22 3-month-olds and 22 4-month-olds) and nine adults viewed dynamic dot patterns which cyclically (2.1 Hz) alternate between radial expansion (or contraction) and random directional…

  10. Alcohol sensory processing and its relevance for ingestion.

    PubMed

    Brasser, Susan M; Castro, Norma; Feretic, Brian

    2015-09-01

    Alcohol possesses complex sensory attributes that are first detected by the body via sensory receptors and afferent fibers that promptly transmit signals to brain areas involved in mediating ingestive motivation, reinforcement, and addictive behavior. Given that the chemosensory cues accompanying alcohol consumption are among the most intimate, consistent, and immediate predictors of alcohol's postabsorptive effects, with experience these stimuli also gain powerful associative incentive value to elicit craving and related physiologic changes, maintenance of ongoing alcohol use, and reinstatement of drug seeking after periods of abstinence. Despite the above, preclinical research has traditionally dichotomized alcohol's taste and postingestive influences as independent regulators of motivation to drink. The present review summarizes current evidence regarding alcohol's ability to directly activate peripheral and central oral chemosensory circuits, relevance for intake of the drug, and provides a framework for moving beyond a dissociation between the sensory and postabsorptive effects of alcohol to understand their neurobiological integration and significance for alcohol addiction. PMID:25304192

  11. Relationship between Social Competence and Sensory Processing in Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hilton, Claudia; Graver, Kathleen; LaVesser, Patricia

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: This study examines the relationship between social competence and sensory processing in children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders. Methodology: Children, ages 6-10 (N = 36), with high functioning autism spectrum disorders were assessed using the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) and the Sensory Profile (SP). A bivariate…

  12. Sensory Processing Measure-HK Chinese Version: Psychometric Properties and Pattern of Response across Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Cynthia Y. Y.; Chung, Jenny C. C.; Chan, Chetwyn C. H.; Li-Tsang, Cecilia W. P.

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of the Sensory Processing Measure-Hong Kong Chinese version (SPM-HKC), and to study the pattern of behavioral response of children towards sensory events across home and school settings. The two major forms of the SPM, Home Form and Main Classroom Form, were translated into Chinese in this…

  13. Brief Report: Exploring the Relationship between Sensory Processing and Repetitive Behaviours in Williams Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riby, Deborah M.; Janes, Emily; Rodgers, Jacqui

    2013-01-01

    This study explored the relationship between sensory processing abnormalities and repetitive behaviours in children with Williams Syndrome (WS; n = 21). This is a novel investigation bringing together two clinical phenomena for the first time in this neuro-developmental disorder. Parents completed the Sensory Profile (Short Form; Dunn in The…

  14. Sensory Processing Relates to Attachment to Childhood Comfort Objects of College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalpidou, Maria

    2012-01-01

    The author tested the hypothesis that attachment to comfort objects is based on the sensory processing characteristics of the individual. Fifty-two undergraduate students with and without a childhood comfort object reported sensory responses and performed a tactile threshold task. Those with a comfort object described their object and rated their…

  15. The Stimulus Selectivity and Connectivity of Layer Six Principal Cells Reveals Cortical Microcircuits Underlying Visual Processing

    PubMed Central

    Vélez-Fort, Mateo; Rousseau, Charly V.; Niedworok, Christian J.; Wickersham, Ian R.; Rancz, Ede A.; Brown, Alexander P.Y.; Strom, Molly; Margrie, Troy W.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Sensory computations performed in the neocortex involve layer six (L6) cortico-cortical (CC) and cortico-thalamic (CT) signaling pathways. Developing an understanding of the physiological role of these circuits requires dissection of the functional specificity and connectivity of the underlying individual projection neurons. By combining whole-cell recording from identified L6 principal cells in the mouse primary visual cortex (V1) with modified rabies virus-based input mapping, we have determined the sensory response properties and upstream monosynaptic connectivity of cells mediating the CC or CT pathway. We show that CC-projecting cells encompass a broad spectrum of selectivity to stimulus orientation and are predominantly innervated by deep layer V1 neurons. In contrast, CT-projecting cells are ultrasparse firing, exquisitely tuned to orientation and direction information, and receive long-range input from higher cortical areas. This segregation in function and connectivity indicates that L6 microcircuits route specific contextual and stimulus-related information within and outside the cortical network. PMID:25175879

  16. Attentional selection of location and modality in vision and touch modulates low-frequency activity in associated sensory cortices

    PubMed Central

    Kennett, Steffan; Driver, Jon

    2012-01-01

    Selective attention allows us to focus on particular sensory modalities and locations. Relatively little is known about how attention to a sensory modality may relate to selection of other features, such as spatial location, in terms of brain oscillations, although it has been proposed that low-frequency modulation (α- and β-bands) may be key. Here, we investigated how attention to space (left or right) and attention to modality (vision or touch) affect ongoing low-frequency oscillatory brain activity over human sensory cortex. Magnetoencephalography was recorded while participants performed a visual or tactile task. In different blocks, touch or vision was task-relevant, whereas spatial attention was cued to the left or right on each trial. Attending to one or other modality suppressed α-oscillations over the corresponding sensory cortex. Spatial attention led to reduced α-oscillations over both sensorimotor and occipital cortex contralateral to the attended location in the cue-target interval, when either modality was task-relevant. Even modality-selective sensors also showed spatial-attention effects for both modalities. The visual and sensorimotor results were generally highly convergent, yet, although attention effects in occipital cortex were dominant in the α-band, in sensorimotor cortex, these were also clearly present in the β-band. These results extend previous findings that spatial attention can operate in a multimodal fashion and indicate that attention to space and modality both rely on similar mechanisms that modulate low-frequency oscillations. PMID:22323628

  17. Extreme sensory processing patterns and their relation with clinical conditions among individuals with major affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Engel-Yeger, Batya; Muzio, Caterina; Rinosi, Giorgio; Solano, Paola; Geoffroy, Pierre Alexis; Pompili, Maurizio; Amore, Mario; Serafini, Gianluca

    2016-02-28

    Previous studies highlighted the involvement of sensory perception in emotional processes. However, the role of extreme sensory processing patterns expressed in hyper- or hyposensitivity was not thoroughly considered. The present study, in real life conditions, examined the unique sensory processing patterns of individuals with major affective disorders and their relationship with psychiatric symptomatology. The sample consisted of 105 participants with major affective conditions ranging in age from 20 to 84 years (mean=56.7±14.6). All participants completed the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS-A), the second version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP). Sensory sensitivity/avoiding hypersensitivity patterns and low registration (a hyposensitivity pattern) were prevalent among our sample as compared to normative data. About seventy percent of the sample showed lower seeking tendency. Stepwise regression analyses revealed that depression and anxious/cyclothymic affective temperaments were predicted by sensory sensory/avoiding. Anxious and irritable affective temperaments were predicted by low registration. Hyperthymic affective temperament and lower severity of depression were predicted by sensation seeking. Hyposensitivity or hypersensitivity may be "trait" markers of individuals with major affective disorders. Interventions should refer to the individual unique sensory profiles and their behavioral and functional impact in the context of real life. PMID:26738981

  18. DEVELOPMENT OF MARKETABLE TYPING SKILL--SENSORY PROCESSES UNDERLYING ACQUISITION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    WEST, LEONARD J.

    THE PROJECT ATTEMPTED TO PROVIDE FURTHER DATA ON THE DOMINANT HYPOTHESIS ABOUT THE SENSORY MECHANISMS UNDERLYING SKILL ACQUISITION IN TYPEWRITING. IN SO DOING, IT PROPOSED TO FURNISH A BASIS FOR IMPORTANT CORRECTIVES TO SUCH CONVENTIONAL INSTRUCTIONAL PROCEDURES AS TOUCH TYPING. SPECIFICALLY, THE HYPOTHESIS HAS BEEN THAT KINESTHESIS IS NOT…

  19. Switching between Sensory and Affective Systems Incurs Processing Costs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vermeulen, Nicolas; Niedenthal, Paula M.; Luminet, Olivier

    2007-01-01

    Recent models of the conceptual system hold that concepts are grounded in simulations of actual experiences with instances of those concepts in sensory-motor systems (e.g., Barsalou, 1999, 2003; Solomon & Barsalou, 2001). Studies supportive of such a view have shown that verifying a property of a concept in one modality, and then switching to…

  20. Effects of infant and maternal sensory processing on infant fussing, crying, and sleep.

    PubMed

    McGeorge, Kate; Milne, Lisa; Cotton, Louise; Whelan, Tom

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of infant and maternal sensory processing on sleep, fussing, and crying in a sample of 55 firstborn, 4- to 7-month-old infants and their mothers. Mothers completed self-report questionnaires to assess maternal and infant sensory processing styles and a 4-day diary of infant behavior, including sleep, fussing, and crying. Higher levels of infant Sensation Avoiding were associated with less sleep, more fussing, and more crying whereas higher levels of Sensory Sensitivity were associated with less sleep and more fussing. The positive association between infant Sensation Avoiding and crying was strengthened by lower levels of Low Registration in mothers. The effect of infant Sensory Sensitivity on reducing total sleep also was strengthened by lower levels of maternal Low Registration. Assessment of infant sensory processing as well as the moderating effect of maternal sensory processing on the relationship between infant sensory processing and infant regulatory capacities need to be considered when assessing and designing interventions for families in which infant regulation is problematic. PMID:25892527

  1. Beta EEG reflects sensory processing in active wakefulness and homeostatic sleep drive in quiet wakefulness.

    PubMed

    Grønli, Janne; Rempe, Michael J; Clegern, William C; Schmidt, Michelle; Wisor, Jonathan P

    2016-06-01

    Markers of sleep drive (<10 Hz; slow-wave activity and theta) have been identified in the course of slow-wave sleep and wakefulness. So far, higher frequencies in the waking electroencephalogram have not been examined thoroughly as a function of sleep drive. Here, electroencephalogram dynamics were measured in epochs of active wake (wake characterized by high muscle tone) or quiet wake (wake characterized by low muscle tone). It was hypothesized that the higher beta oscillations (15-35 Hz, measured by local field potential and electroencephalography) represent fundamentally different processes in active wake and quiet wake. In active wake, sensory stimulation elevated beta activity in parallel with gamma (80-90 Hz) activity, indicative of cognitive processing. In quiet wake, beta activity paralleled slow-wave activity (1-4 Hz) and theta (5-8 Hz) in tracking sleep need. Cerebral lactate concentration, a measure of cerebral glucose utilization, increased during active wake whereas it declined during quiet wake. Mathematical modelling of state-dependent dynamics of cortical lactate concentration was more precisely predictive when quiet wake and active wake were included as two distinct substates rather than a uniform state of wakefulness. The extent to which lactate concentration declined in quiet wake and increased in active wake was proportionate to the amount of beta activity. These data distinguish quiet wake from active wake. Quiet wake, particularly when characterized by beta activity, is permissive to metabolic and electrophysiological changes that occur in slow-wave sleep. These data urge further studies on state-dependent beta oscillations across species. PMID:26825702

  2. Coordinated and Compartmentalized Neuromodulation Shapes Sensory Processing in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Cohn, Raphael; Morantte, Ianessa; Ruta, Vanessa

    2015-12-17

    Learned and adaptive behaviors rely on neural circuits that flexibly couple the same sensory input to alternative output pathways. Here, we show that the Drosophila mushroom body functions like a switchboard in which neuromodulation reroutes the same odor signal to different behavioral circuits, depending on the state and experience of the fly. Using functional synaptic imaging and electrophysiology, we reveal that dopaminergic inputs to the mushroom body modulate synaptic transmission with exquisite spatial specificity, allowing individual neurons to differentially convey olfactory signals to each of their postsynaptic targets. Moreover, we show that the dopaminergic neurons function as an interconnected network, encoding information about both an animal's external context and internal state to coordinate synaptic plasticity throughout the mushroom body. Our data suggest a general circuit mechanism for behavioral flexibility in which neuromodulatory networks act with synaptic precision to transform a single sensory input into different patterns of output activity. PAPERCLIP. PMID:26687359

  3. Putative lateral inhibition in sensory processing for directional turns

    PubMed Central

    Yafremava, Liudmila S.

    2011-01-01

    Computing targeted responses is a general problem in goal-directed behaviors. We sought the sensory template for directional turning in the predatory sea slug Pleurobranchaea californica, which calculates precise turn angles by averaging multiple stimulus sites on its chemotactile oral veil (Yafremava LS, Anthony CW, Lane L, Campbell JK, Gillette R. J Exp Biol 210: 561–569, 2007). Spiking responses to appetitive chemotactile stimulation were recorded in the two bilateral pairs of oral veil nerves, the large oral veil nerve (LOVN) and the tentacle nerve (TN). The integrative abilities of the peripheral nervous system were significant. Nerve spiking responses to punctate, one-site stimulation of the oral veil followed sigmoid relations as stimuli moved between lateral tentacle and the midline. Receptive fields of LOVN and TN were unilateral, overlapping, and oppositely weighted for responsiveness across the length of oral veil. Simultaneous two-site stimulation caused responses of amplitudes markedly smaller than the sum of corresponding one-site responses. Plots of two-site nerve responses against the summed approximate distances from midline of each site were markedly linear. Thus the sensory paths in the peripheral nervous system show reciprocal occlusion similar to lateral inhibition. This outcome suggests a novel neural function for lateral inhibitory mechanisms, distinct from simple contrast enhancement, in computation of both sensory maps and targeted motor actions. PMID:21490281

  4. Inhibitory Circuits in Cortical Layer 5

    PubMed Central

    Naka, Alexander; Adesnik, Hillel

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory neurons play a fundamental role in cortical computation and behavior. Recent technological advances, such as two photon imaging, targeted in vivo recording, and molecular profiling, have improved our understanding of the function and diversity of cortical interneurons, but for technical reasons most work has been directed towards inhibitory neurons in the superficial cortical layers. Here we review current knowledge specifically on layer 5 (L5) inhibitory microcircuits, which play a critical role in controlling cortical output. We focus on recent work from the well-studied rodent barrel cortex, but also draw on evidence from studies in primary visual cortex and other cortical areas. The diversity of both deep inhibitory neurons and their pyramidal cell targets make this a challenging but essential area of study in cortical computation and sensory processing. PMID:27199675

  5. Inhibitory Circuits in Cortical Layer 5.

    PubMed

    Naka, Alexander; Adesnik, Hillel

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory neurons play a fundamental role in cortical computation and behavior. Recent technological advances, such as two photon imaging, targeted in vivo recording, and molecular profiling, have improved our understanding of the function and diversity of cortical interneurons, but for technical reasons most work has been directed towards inhibitory neurons in the superficial cortical layers. Here we review current knowledge specifically on layer 5 (L5) inhibitory microcircuits, which play a critical role in controlling cortical output. We focus on recent work from the well-studied rodent barrel cortex, but also draw on evidence from studies in primary visual cortex and other cortical areas. The diversity of both deep inhibitory neurons and their pyramidal cell targets make this a challenging but essential area of study in cortical computation and sensory processing. PMID:27199675

  6. Brief Report: Assessment of Early Sensory Processing in Infants at High-Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Germani, Tamara; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Bryson, Susan; Brian, Jessica; Smith, Isabel; Roberts, Wendy; Szatmari, Peter; Roncadin, Caroline; Sacrey, Lori Ann R.; Garon, Nancy; Vaillancourt, Tracy

    2014-01-01

    This study assessed sensory processing differences between 24-month infants at high-risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), each with an older sibling with ASD, and low-risk infants with no family history of ASD. Sensory processing differences were assessed using the Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile, a parent-reported measure. Groups were compared…

  7. Relations between Temperament, Sensory Processing, and Motor Coordination in 3-Year-Old Children.

    PubMed

    Nakagawa, Atsuko; Sukigara, Masune; Miyachi, Taishi; Nakai, Akio

    2016-01-01

    Poor motor skills and differences in sensory processing have been noted as behavioral markers of common neurodevelopmental disorders. A total of 171 healthy children (81 girls, 90 boys) were investigated at age 3 to examine relations between temperament, sensory processing, and motor coordination. Using the Japanese versions of the Children's Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ), the Sensory Profile (SP-J), and the Little Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire (LDCDQ), this study examines an expanded model based on Rothbart's three-factor temperamental theory (surgency, negative affect, effortful control) through covariance structure analysis. The results indicate that effortful control affects both sensory processing and motor coordination. The subscale of the LDCDQ, control during movement, is also influenced by surgency, while temperamental negative affect and surgency each have an effect on subscales of the SP-J. PMID:27199852

  8. Relations between Temperament, Sensory Processing, and Motor Coordination in 3-Year-Old Children

    PubMed Central

    Nakagawa, Atsuko; Sukigara, Masune; Miyachi, Taishi; Nakai, Akio

    2016-01-01

    Poor motor skills and differences in sensory processing have been noted as behavioral markers of common neurodevelopmental disorders. A total of 171 healthy children (81 girls, 90 boys) were investigated at age 3 to examine relations between temperament, sensory processing, and motor coordination. Using the Japanese versions of the Children's Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ), the Sensory Profile (SP-J), and the Little Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire (LDCDQ), this study examines an expanded model based on Rothbart's three-factor temperamental theory (surgency, negative affect, effortful control) through covariance structure analysis. The results indicate that effortful control affects both sensory processing and motor coordination. The subscale of the LDCDQ, control during movement, is also influenced by surgency, while temperamental negative affect and surgency each have an effect on subscales of the SP-J. PMID:27199852

  9. Comparing Sensory Information Processing and Alexithymia between People with Substance Dependency and Normal

    PubMed Central

    Bashapoor, Sajjad; Hosseini-Kiasari, Seyyedeh Tayebeh; Daneshvar, Somayeh; Kazemi-Taskooh, Zeinab

    2015-01-01

    Background Sensory information processing and alexithymia are two important factors in determining behavioral reactions. Some studies explain the effect of the sensitivity of sensory processing and alexithymia in the tendency to substance abuse. Giving that, the aim of the current study was to compare the styles of sensory information processing and alexithymia between substance-dependent people and normal ones. Methods The research method was cross-sectional and the statistical population of the current study comprised of all substance-dependent men who are present in substance quitting camps of Masal, Iran, in October 2013 (n = 78). 36 persons were selected randomly by simple randomly sampling method from this population as the study group, and 36 persons were also selected among the normal population in the same way as the comparison group. Both groups was evaluated by using Toronto alexithymia scale (TAS) and adult sensory profile, and the multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) test was applied to analyze data. Findings The results showed that there are significance differences between two groups in low registration (P < 0.020, F = 5.66), sensation seeking (P < 0.050, F = 1.92), and sensory avoidance (P < 0.008, F = 7.52) as a components of sensory processing and difficulty in describing emotions (P < 0.001, F = 15.01) and difficulty in identifying emotions (P < 0.002, F = 10.54) as a components of alexithymia. However, no significant difference were found between two groups in components of sensory sensitivity (P < 0.170, F = 1.92) and external oriented thinking style (P < 0.060, F = 3.60). Conclusion These results showed that substance-dependent people process sensory information in a different way than normal people and show more alexithymia features than them. PMID:26885354

  10. Sensory processing in the vestibular nuclei during active head movements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gdowski, G. T.; Boyle, R.; McCrea, R. A.; Peterson, B. W. (Principal Investigator)

    2000-01-01

    Many secondary vestibular neurons are sensitive to head on trunk rotation during reflex-induced and voluntary head movements. During passive whole body rotation the interaction of head on trunk signals related to the vestibulo-collic reflex with vestibular signals increases the rotational gain of many secondary vestibular neurons, including many that project to the spinal cord. In some units, the sensitivity to head on trunk and vestibular input is matched and the resulting interaction produces an output that is related to the trunk velocity in space. In other units the head on trunk inputs are stronger and the resulting interaction produces an output that is larger during the reflex. During voluntary head movements, inputs related to head on trunk movement combine destructively with vestibular signals, and often cancel the sensory reafferent consequences of self-generated movements. Cancellation of sensory vestibular signals was observed in all of the antidromically identified secondary vestibulospinal units, even though many of these units were not significantly affected by reflexive head on trunk movements. The results imply that the inputs to vestibular neurons related to head on trunk rotation during reflexive and voluntary movements arise from different sources. We suggest that the relative strength of reflexive head on trunk input to different vestibular neurons might reflect the different functional roles they have in controlling the posture of the neck and body.

  11. Sensory Symptoms and Processing of Nonverbal Auditory and Visual Stimuli in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Claire R; Sanchez, Sandra S; Grenesko, Emily L; Brown, Christine M; Chen, Colleen P; Keehn, Brandon; Velasquez, Francisco; Lincoln, Alan J; Müller, Ralph-Axel

    2016-05-01

    Atypical sensory responses are common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While evidence suggests impaired auditory-visual integration for verbal information, findings for nonverbal stimuli are inconsistent. We tested for sensory symptoms in children with ASD (using the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile) and examined unisensory and bisensory processing with a nonverbal auditory-visual paradigm, for which neurotypical adults show bisensory facilitation. ASD participants reported more atypical sensory symptoms overall, most prominently in the auditory modality. On the experimental task, reduced response times for bisensory compared to unisensory trials were seen in both ASD and control groups, but neither group showed significant race model violation (evidence of intermodal integration). Findings do not support impaired bisensory processing for simple nonverbal stimuli in high-functioning children with ASD. PMID:25652601

  12. Social interest and the development of cortical face specialization: what autism teaches us about face processing.

    PubMed

    Grelotti, David J; Gauthier, Isabel; Schultz, Robert T

    2002-04-01

    Investigations of face processing in persons with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) inform upon theories of the development of "normal" face processing, and the story that emerges challenges some models of the nature and origin of cortical face specialization. Individuals with an ASD possess deficits in face processing and a lack of a fusiform face area (FFA). Evidence from studies of ASD can be conceptualized best using an expertise framework of face processing rather than models that postulate a face module in the fusiform gyrus. Because persons with an ASD have reduced social interest, they may fail to develop cortical face specialization. Face specialization may develop in normal individuals because they are socially motivated to regard the face, and such motivation promotes expertise for faces. The amygdala is likely the key node in the system that marks objects as emotionally salient and could be crucial to the development of cortical face specialization. PMID:11891634

  13. A central processing sensory deficit with Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Sungjae; Agada, Peter; Grill, Stephen; Kiemel, Tim; Jeka, John J

    2016-08-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive degenerative disease manifested by tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural instability. Deficits in proprioceptive integration are prevalent in individuals with PD, even at early stages of the disease. These deficits have been demonstrated primarily during investigations of reaching. Here, we investigated how PD affects sensory fusion of multiple modalities during upright standing. We simultaneously perturbed upright stance with visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive stimulation, to understand how these modalities are reweighted so that overall feedback remains suited to stabilizing upright stance in individuals with PD. Eight individuals with PD stood in a visual cave with a moving visual scene at 0.2 Hz while an 80-Hz vibratory stimulus was applied bilaterally to their Achilles tendons (stimulus turns on-off at 0.28 Hz) and a ±1 mA bilateral monopolar galvanic stimulus was applied at 0.36 Hz. The visual stimulus was presented at different amplitudes (0.2°, 0.8° rotation about ankle axis) to measure: the change in gain (weighting) to vision, an intramodal effect; and a simultaneous change in gain to vibration and galvanic stimulation, both intermodal effects. Trunk/leg gain relative to vision decreased when visual amplitude was increased, reflecting an intramodal visual effect. In contrast, when vibration was turned on/off, leg gain relative to vision was equivalent in individuals with PD, indicating no reweighting of visual information when proprioception was disrupted through vibration (i.e., no intermodal effect). Trunk and leg angle gain relative to GVS also showed no reweighting in individuals with PD. These results are in contrast to previous results with healthy adults, who showed clear intermodal effects in the same paradigm, suggesting that individuals with PD not only have a proprioceptive deficit during standing, but also have a cross-modal sensory fusion deficit that is crucial for upright stance

  14. Complementary roles of cortical oscillations in automatic and controlled processing during rapid serial tasks.

    PubMed

    Isabella, Silvia; Ferrari, Paul; Jobst, Cecilia; Cheyne, J Allan; Cheyne, Douglas

    2015-09-01

    Cognitive control may involve adjusting behaviour by inhibiting or altering habitual actions, requiring rapid communication between sensory, cognitive, and motor systems of the brain. Cognitive control may be achieved using top-down processing from frontal areas to inhibit prepared responses, likely mediated through frontal theta (4-8 Hz) oscillations. However there is conflicting evidence for mechanisms of response inhibition, where global and selective inhibition are either considered separate processes, or frontal areas maintain and execute goal-directed actions, including inhibition. In the current study we measured neuromagnetic oscillatory brain activity in twelve adults responding to rapidly presented visual cues. We used two tasks in the same subjects that required inhibition of a habitual "go" response. Presentation of infrequent "target" cues required subjects to completely inhibit responding (go/no-go task) or to perform an alternate response (go/switch task). Source analysis of oscillatory brain activity was compared for correct no-go and switch trials as well as error trials ("go" responses to targets). Frontal theta activity was similar in cortical location, amplitude and time course for correct no-go and switch responses reflecting an equivalent role in both global and selective response inhibition. Error-related frontal theta activity was also observed but was different in source location (errors vs correct, both tasks: p<0.005) and power (go/switch>go/no-go error, correct switch power, p=0.01). We additionally observed sensorimotor high gamma (60-90 Hz) activity accompanying motor responses, which was markedly stronger for correct switch and error responses compared with go responses, and was delayed for errors (p<0.01). These results suggest that gamma signals in the motor cortex may function to integrate inhibitory signals with sensorimotor processing, and may represent a mechanism for the overriding of habitual behaviours, as errors were

  15. Prestimulus influences on auditory perception from sensory representations and decision processes

    PubMed Central

    McNair, Steven W.

    2016-01-01

    The qualities of perception depend not only on the sensory inputs but also on the brain state before stimulus presentation. Although the collective evidence from neuroimaging studies for a relation between prestimulus state and perception is strong, the interpretation in the context of sensory computations or decision processes has remained difficult. In the auditory system, for example, previous studies have reported a wide range of effects in terms of the perceptually relevant frequency bands and state parameters (phase/power). To dissociate influences of state on earlier sensory representations and higher-level decision processes, we collected behavioral and EEG data in human participants performing two auditory discrimination tasks relying on distinct acoustic features. Using single-trial decoding, we quantified the relation between prestimulus activity, relevant sensory evidence, and choice in different task-relevant EEG components. Within auditory networks, we found that phase had no direct influence on choice, whereas power in task-specific frequency bands affected the encoding of sensory evidence. Within later-activated frontoparietal regions, theta and alpha phase had a direct influence on choice, without involving sensory evidence. These results delineate two consistent mechanisms by which prestimulus activity shapes perception. However, the timescales of the relevant neural activity depend on the specific brain regions engaged by the respective task. PMID:27071110

  16. Cortical plasticity for visuospatial processing and object recognition in deaf and hearing signers.

    PubMed

    Weisberg, Jill; Koo, Daniel S; Crain, Kelly L; Eden, Guinevere F

    2012-03-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity in deaf participants has been shown in a variety of studies focused on either the dorsal or ventral aspects of the visual system, but both systems have never been investigated in concert. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated functional plasticity for spatial processing (a dorsal visual pathway function) and for object processing (a ventral visual pathway function) concurrently, in the context of differing sensory (auditory deprivation) and language (use of a signed language) experience. During scanning, deaf native users of American Sign Language (ASL), hearing native ASL users, and hearing participants without ASL experience attended to either the spatial arrangement of frames containing objects or the identity of the objects themselves. These two tasks revealed the expected dorsal/ventral dichotomy for spatial versus object processing in all groups. In addition, the object identity matching task contained both face and house stimuli, allowing us to examine category-selectivity in the ventral pathway in all three participant groups. When contrasting the groups we found that deaf signers differed from the two hearing groups in dorsal pathway parietal regions involved in spatial cognition, suggesting sensory experience-driven plasticity. Group differences in the object processing system indicated that responses in the face-selective right lateral fusiform gyrus and anterior superior temporal cortex were sensitive to a combination of altered sensory and language experience, whereas responses in the amygdala were more closely tied to sensory experience. By selectively engaging the dorsal and ventral visual pathways within participants in groups with different sensory and language experiences, we have demonstrated that these experiences affect the function of both of these systems, and that certain changes are more closely tied to sensory experience, while others are driven by the combination of sensory and

  17. Cortical plasticity for visuospatial processing and object recognition in deaf and hearing signers

    PubMed Central

    Weisberg, Jill; Koo, Daniel S.; Crain, Kelly L.; Eden, Guinevere F.

    2012-01-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity in deaf participants has been shown in a variety of studies focused on either the dorsal or ventral aspects of the visual system, but both systems have never been investigated in concert. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated functional plasticity for spatial processing (a dorsal visual pathway function) and for object processing (a ventral visual pathway function) concurrently, in the context of differing sensory (auditory deprivation) and language (use of a signed language) experience. During scanning, deaf native users of American Sign Language (ASL), hearing native ASL users, and hearing participants without ASL experience attended to either the spatial arrangement of frames containing objects or the identity of the objects themselves. These two tasks revealed the expected dorsal/ventral dichotomy for spatial versus object processing in all groups. In addition, the object identity matching task contained both face and house stimuli, allowing us to examine category-selectivity in the ventral pathway in all three participant groups. When contrasting the groups we found that deaf signers differed from the two hearing groups in dorsal pathway parietal regions involved in spatial cognition, suggesting sensory experience-driven plasticity. Group differences in the object processing system indicated that responses in the face-selective right lateral fusiform gyrus and anterior superior temporal cortex were sensitive to a combination of altered sensory and language experience, whereas responses in the amygdala were more closely tied to sensory experience. By selectively engaging the dorsal and ventral visual pathways within participants in groups with different sensory and language experiences, we have demonstrated that these experiences affect the function of both of these systems, and that certain changes are more closely tied to sensory experience, while others are driven by the combination of sensory and

  18. Isovaline attenuates generalized epileptiform activity in hippocampal and primary sensory cortices and seizure behavior in pilocarpine treated rats.

    PubMed

    Yu, Wilson; Smith, Autumn B; Pilitsis, Julie G; Shin, Damian S

    2015-07-10

    Anti-seizure drugs are the most commonly employed treatment option for epilepsy and these generally provide effective management of seizures. However, 30% of patients with epilepsy are not adequately treated with anti-seizure medications and are considered intractable. Recently we reported that isovaline, a unique amino acid, could attenuate seizure like events (SLEs) in two in vitro hippocampal seizure models by selectively increasing the activity of interneurons, but not pyramidal neurons. Isovaline also attenuated hippocampal epileptiform activity and behavioral seizures in vivo in rats administered 4 aminopyridine (4AP). Here, we investigate whether isovaline is efficacious in attenuating secondarily generalized epileptiform activity and behavioral seizures in rats administered pilocarpine. We found that 150 mg/kg isovaline administered intravenously abolished pilocarpine-induced epileptiform activity in the primary sensory cortex and hippocampus and attenuated generalized forebrain behavioral seizures. We are the first to demonstrate that isovaline may be a plausible anti-seizure drug for secondarily generalized seizures and this could potentially lead to the development of a novel class of anti-seizure drugs focused around the unique mechanism(s) of isovaline. PMID:26007701

  19. Sensori-Motor Experience Leads to Changes in Visual Processing in the Developing Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, Karin Harman

    2010-01-01

    Since Broca's studies on language processing, cortical functional specialization has been considered to be integral to efficient neural processing. A fundamental question in cognitive neuroscience concerns the type of learning that is required for functional specialization to develop. To address this issue with respect to the development of neural…

  20. Self-Referential Processing, Rumination, and Cortical Midline Structures in Major Depression

    PubMed Central

    Nejad, Ayna Baladi; Fossati, Philippe; Lemogne, Cédric

    2013-01-01

    Major depression is associated with a bias toward negative emotional processing and increased self-focus, i.e., the process by which one engages in self-referential processing. The increased self-focus in depression is suggested to be of a persistent, repetitive and self-critical nature, and is conceptualized as ruminative brooding. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in self-referential processing has been previously emphasized in acute major depression. There is increasing evidence that self-referential processing as well as the cortical midline structures play a major role in the development, course, and treatment response of major depressive disorder. However, the links between self-referential processing, rumination, and the cortical midline structures in depression are still poorly understood. Here, we reviewed brain imaging studies in depressed patients and healthy subjects that have examined these links. Self-referential processing in major depression seems associated with abnormally increased activity of the anterior cortical midline structures. Abnormal interactions between the lateralized task-positive network, and the midline cortical structures of the default mode network, as well as the emotional response network, may underlie the pervasiveness of ruminative brooding. Furthermore, targeting this maladaptive form of rumination and its underlying neural correlates may be key for effective treatment. PMID:24124416

  1. Detection Rates of Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials at Different Sensation Levels in Infants with Sensory/Neural Hearing Loss and Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Gardner-Berry, Kirsty; Chang, Hsiuwen; Ching, Teresa Y C; Hou, Sanna

    2016-02-01

    With the introduction of newborn hearing screening, infants are being diagnosed with hearing loss during the first few months of life. For infants with a sensory/neural hearing loss (SNHL), the audiogram can be estimated objectively using auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing and hearing aids prescribed accordingly. However, for infants with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) due to the abnormal/absent ABR waveforms, alternative measures of auditory function are needed to assess the need for amplification and evaluate whether aided benefit has been achieved. Cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) are used to assess aided benefit in infants with hearing loss; however, there is insufficient information regarding the relationship between stimulus audibility and CAEP detection rates. It is also not clear whether CAEP detection rates differ between infants with SNHL and infants with ANSD. This study involved retrospective collection of CAEP, hearing threshold, and hearing aid gain data to investigate the relationship between stimulus audibility and CAEP detection rates. The results demonstrate that increases in stimulus audibility result in an increase in detection rate. For the same range of sensation levels, there was no difference in the detection rates between infants with SNHL and ANSD. PMID:27587922

  2. Hierarchical and serial processing in the spatial auditory cortical pathway is degraded by natural aging

    PubMed Central

    Juarez-Salinas, Dina L.; Engle, James R.; Navarro, Xochi O.; Recanzone, Gregg H.

    2010-01-01

    The compromised abilities to localize sounds and to understand speech are two hallmark deficits in aged individuals. The auditory cortex is necessary for these processes, yet we know little about how normal aging affects these early cortical fields. In this study, we recorded the spatial tuning of single neurons in primary (area A1) and secondary (area CL) auditory cortical areas in young and aged alert rhesus macaques. We found that the neurons of aged animals had greater spontaneous and driven activity, and broader spatial tuning compared to those of younger animals. Importantly, spatial tuning was not sharpened between A1 and CL in aged monkeys as it is in younger monkeys. This implies that a major effect of normal aging is a degradation of the hierarchical processing between serially connected cortical areas, which could be a key contributing mechanism of the general cognitive decline that is commonly observed in normal aging. PMID:21048138

  3. Parallel processing streams for motor output and sensory prediction during action preparation.

    PubMed

    Stenner, Max-Philipp; Bauer, Markus; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Haggard, Patrick; Dolan, Raymond J

    2015-03-15

    Sensory consequences of one's own actions are perceived as less intense than identical, externally generated stimuli. This is generally taken as evidence for sensory prediction of action consequences. Accordingly, recent theoretical models explain this attenuation by an anticipatory modulation of sensory processing prior to stimulus onset (Roussel et al. 2013) or even action execution (Brown et al. 2013). Experimentally, prestimulus changes that occur in anticipation of self-generated sensations are difficult to disentangle from more general effects of stimulus expectation, attention and task load (performing an action). Here, we show that an established manipulation of subjective agency over a stimulus leads to a predictive modulation in sensory cortex that is independent of these factors. We recorded magnetoencephalography while subjects performed a simple action with either hand and judged the loudness of a tone caused by the action. Effector selection was manipulated by subliminal motor priming. Compatible priming is known to enhance a subjective experience of agency over a consequent stimulus (Chambon and Haggard 2012). In line with this effect on subjective agency, we found stronger sensory attenuation when the action that caused the tone was compatibly primed. This perceptual effect was reflected in a transient phase-locked signal in auditory cortex before stimulus onset and motor execution. Interestingly, this sensory signal emerged at a time when the hemispheric lateralization of motor signals in M1 indicated ongoing effector selection. Our findings confirm theoretical predictions of a sensory modulation prior to self-generated sensations and support the idea that a sensory prediction is generated in parallel to motor output (Walsh and Haggard 2010), before an efference copy becomes available. PMID:25540223

  4. Left hemispheric dominance of vestibular processing indicates lateralization of cortical functions in rats.

    PubMed

    Best, Christoph; Lange, Elena; Buchholz, Hans-Georg; Schreckenberger, Mathias; Reuss, Stefan; Dieterich, Marianne

    2014-11-01

    Lateralization of cortical functions such as speech dominance, handedness and processing of vestibular information are present not only in humans but also in ontogenetic older species, e.g. rats. In human functional imaging studies, the processing of vestibular information was found to be correlated with the hemispherical dominance as determined by the handedness. It is located mainly within the right hemisphere in right handers and within the left hemisphere in left handers. Since dominance of vestibular processing is unknown in animals, our aim was to study the lateralization of cortical processing in a functional imaging study applying small-animal positron emission tomography (microPET) and galvanic vestibular stimulation in an in vivo rat model. The cortical and subcortical network processing vestibular information could be demonstrated and correlated with data from other animal studies. By calculating a lateralization index as well as flipped region of interest analyses, we found that the vestibular processing in rats follows a strong left hemispheric dominance independent from the "handedness" of the animals. These findings support the idea of an early hemispheric specialization of vestibular cortical functions in ontogenetic older species. PMID:23979449

  5. Effect of Auditory Motion Velocity on Reaction Time and Cortical Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Getzmann, Stephan

    2009-01-01

    The study investigated the processing of sound motion, employing a psychophysical motion discrimination task in combination with electroencephalography. Following stationary auditory stimulation from a central space position, the onset of left- and rightward motion elicited a specific cortical response that was lateralized to the hemisphere…

  6. AUDITORY CORTICAL PLASTICITY: DOES IT PROVIDE EVIDENCE FOR COGNITIVE PROCESSING IN THE AUDITORY CORTEX?

    PubMed Central

    Irvine, Dexter R. F.

    2007-01-01

    The past 20 years have seen substantial changes in our view of the nature of the processing carried out in auditory cortex. Some processing of a cognitive nature, previously attributed to higher order “association” areas, is now considered to take place in auditory cortex itself. One argument adduced in support of this view is the evidence indicating a remarkable degree of plasticity in the auditory cortex of adult animals. Such plasticity has been demonstrated in a wide range of paradigms, in which auditory input or the behavioural significance of particular inputs is manipulated. Changes over the same time period in our conceptualization of the receptive fields of cortical neurons, and well-established mechanisms for use-related changes in synaptic function, can account for many forms of auditory cortical plasticity. On the basis of a review of auditory cortical plasticity and its probable mechanisms, it is argued that only plasticity associated with learning tasks provides a strong case for cognitive processing in auditory cortex. Even in this case the evidence is indirect, in that it has not yet been established that the changes in auditory cortex are necessary for behavioural learning and memory. Although other lines of evidence provide convincing support for cognitive processing in auditory cortex, that provided by auditory cortical plasticity remains equivocal. PMID:17303356

  7. Basal forebrain motivational salience signal enhances cortical processing and decision speed

    PubMed Central

    Raver, Sylvina M.; Lin, Shih-Chieh

    2015-01-01

    The basal forebrain (BF) contains major projections to the cerebral cortex, and plays a well-documented role in arousal, attention, decision-making, and in modulating cortical activity. BF neuronal degeneration is an early event in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementias, and occurs in normal cognitive aging. While the BF is best known for its population of cortically projecting cholinergic neurons, the region is anatomically and neurochemically diverse, and also contains prominent populations of non-cholinergic projection neurons. In recent years, increasing attention has been dedicated to these non-cholinergic BF neurons in order to better understand how non-cholinergic BF circuits control cortical processing and behavioral performance. In this review, we focus on a unique population of putative non-cholinergic BF neurons that encodes the motivational salience of stimuli with a robust ensemble bursting response. We review recent studies that describe the specific physiological and functional characteristics of these BF salience-encoding neurons in behaving animals. These studies support the unifying hypothesis whereby BF salience-encoding neurons act as a gain modulation mechanism of the decision-making process to enhance cortical processing of behaviorally relevant stimuli, and thereby facilitate faster and more precise behavioral responses. This function of BF salience-encoding neurons represents a critical component in determining which incoming stimuli warrant an animal’s attention, and is therefore a fundamental and early requirement of behavioral flexibility. PMID:26528157

  8. Basal forebrain motivational salience signal enhances cortical processing and decision speed.

    PubMed

    Raver, Sylvina M; Lin, Shih-Chieh

    2015-01-01

    The basal forebrain (BF) contains major projections to the cerebral cortex, and plays a well-documented role in arousal, attention, decision-making, and in modulating cortical activity. BF neuronal degeneration is an early event in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementias, and occurs in normal cognitive aging. While the BF is best known for its population of cortically projecting cholinergic neurons, the region is anatomically and neurochemically diverse, and also contains prominent populations of non-cholinergic projection neurons. In recent years, increasing attention has been dedicated to these non-cholinergic BF neurons in order to better understand how non-cholinergic BF circuits control cortical processing and behavioral performance. In this review, we focus on a unique population of putative non-cholinergic BF neurons that encodes the motivational salience of stimuli with a robust ensemble bursting response. We review recent studies that describe the specific physiological and functional characteristics of these BF salience-encoding neurons in behaving animals. These studies support the unifying hypothesis whereby BF salience-encoding neurons act as a gain modulation mechanism of the decision-making process to enhance cortical processing of behaviorally relevant stimuli, and thereby facilitate faster and more precise behavioral responses. This function of BF salience-encoding neurons represents a critical component in determining which incoming stimuli warrant an animal's attention, and is therefore a fundamental and early requirement of behavioral flexibility. PMID:26528157

  9. Graph analysis of cortical networks reveals complex anatomical communication substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-03-01

    Sensory information entering the nervous system follows independent paths of processing such that specific features are individually detected. However, sensory perception, awareness, and cognition emerge from the combination of information. Here we have analyzed the corticocortical network of the cat, looking for the anatomical substrate which permits the simultaneous segregation and integration of information in the brain. We find that cortical communications are mainly governed by three topological factors of the underlying network: (i) a large density of connections, (ii) segregation of cortical areas into clusters, and (iii) the presence of highly connected hubs aiding the multisensory processing and integration. Statistical analysis of the shortest paths reveals that, while information is highly accessible to all cortical areas, the complexity of cortical information processing may arise from the rich and intricate alternative paths in which areas can influence each other.

  10. A Flight Sensory-Motor to Olfactory Processing Circuit in the Moth Manduca sexta

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Samual P.; Chapman, Phillip D.; Lizbinski, Kristyn M.; Daly, Kevin C.; Dacks, Andrew M.

    2016-01-01

    Neural circuits projecting information from motor to sensory pathways are common across sensory domains. These circuits typically modify sensory function as a result of motor pattern activation; this is particularly so in cases where the resultant behavior affects the sensory experience or its processing. However, such circuits have not been observed projecting to an olfactory pathway in any species despite well characterized active sampling behaviors that produce reafferent mechanical stimuli, such as sniffing in mammals and wing beating in the moth Manduca sexta. In this study we characterize a circuit that connects a flight sensory-motor center to an olfactory center in Manduca. This circuit consists of a single pair of histamine immunoreactive (HA-ir) neurons that project from the mesothoracic ganglion to innervate a subset of ventral antennal lobe (AL) glomeruli. Furthermore, within the AL we show that the M. sexta histamine B receptor (MsHisClB) is exclusively expressed by a subset of GABAergic and peptidergic LNs, which broadly project to all olfactory glomeruli. Finally, the HA-ir cell pair is present in fifth stage instar larvae; however, the absence of MsHisClB-ir in the larval antennal center indicates that the circuit is incomplete prior to metamorphosis and importantly prior to the expression of flight behavior. Although the functional consequences of this circuit remain unknown, these results provide the first detailed description of a circuit that interconnects an olfactory system with motor centers driving flight behaviors including odor-guided flight. PMID:26909026

  11. Windows into Sensory Integration and Rates in Language Processing: Insights from Signed and Spoken Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hwang, So-One K.

    2011-01-01

    This dissertation explores the hypothesis that language processing proceeds in "windows" that correspond to representational units, where sensory signals are integrated according to time-scales that correspond to the rate of the input. To investigate universal mechanisms, a comparison of signed and spoken languages is necessary. Underlying the…

  12. A Pilot Study of Integrated Listening Systems for Children with Sensory Processing Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schoen, Sarah A.; Miller, Lucy J.; Sullivan, Jillian

    2015-01-01

    This pilot study explored the effects of Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) Focus Series on individualized parent goals for children with sensory processing impairments. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline, repeated measure across participants, single-case study design was employed (n = 7). The 40-session intervention was delivered at home and in…

  13. High pressure processing with hot sauce flavoring enhances sensory quality for raw oysters (Crassostrea virginica)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study evaluated the feasibility of flavoring raw oysters by placing them under pressure in the presence of selected flavorings. Hand-shucked raw oysters were processed at high pressure (600 MPa), in the presence or absence of (Sriracha®) flavoring, and evaluated by a trained sensory panel 3 an...

  14. The Relationship between Sensory Processing Patterns and Behavioural Responsiveness in Autistic Disorder: A Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Amy E. Z.; Lane, Alison; Angley, Manya T.; Young, Robyn L.

    2008-01-01

    Sensory processing (SP) difficulties have been reported in as many as 95% of children with autism, however, empirical research examining the existence of specific patterns of SP difficulties within this population is scarce. Furthermore, little attention has been given to examining the relationship between SP and either the core symptoms or…

  15. Atypical Sensory Processing in Adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Non-Affected Siblings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De la Marche, Wouter; Steyaert, Jean; Noens, Ilse

    2012-01-01

    Atypical sensory processing is common in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Specific profiles have been proposed in different age groups, but no study has focused specifically on adolescents. Identifying traits of ASD that are shared by individuals with ASD and their non-affected family members can shed light on the genetic underpinnings of ASD.…

  16. Are Sensory Processing Features Associated with Depressive Symptoms in Boys with an ASD?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bitsika, Vicki; Sharpley, Christopher F.; Mills, Richard

    2016-01-01

    The association between Sensory Processing Features (SPF) and depressive symptoms was investigated at two levels in 150 young males (6-18 years) with an ASD. First, a significant correlation was found between SPF and total depressive symptom scores. Second, different aspects of SPF significantly predicted different depressive symptom factors, with…

  17. Sensory Processing Dysfunctions as Expressed among Children with Different Severities of Intellectual Developmental Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engel-Yeger, Batya; Hardal-Nasser, Reem; Gal, Eynat

    2011-01-01

    High frequency of sensory processing dysfunctions (SPD) is prevalent among children with intellectual developmental disabilities and contributes to their maladaptive behaviors. However, the knowledge about the expressions of SPD in different levels of IDD severity is limited. As SPD may reduce adaptive responses and limit participation, this…

  18. Emotional and Behavioral Problems in Preschool Children with Autism: Relationship with Sensory Processing Dysfunction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tseng, Mei-Hui; Fu, Chung-Pei; Cermak, Sharon A.; Lu, Lu; Shieh, Jeng-Yi

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the sensory processing (SP) dysfunction and emotional and behavioral problems in preschool children with autism and then examine the relationship between the SP dysfunction and emotional and behavioral problems. The parents of 112 children aged 48-84 months (67 with autism; 45 age-matched typically developing)…

  19. Evidence of a sensory processing unit in the mammalian macula.

    PubMed

    Chimento, T C; Ross, M D

    1996-06-19

    We cut serial sections through the medial part of the rat vestibular macula for transmission electron microscopic (TEM) examination, computer-assisted 3-D reconstruction, and compartmental modeling. The ultrastructural research showed that many primary vestibular neurons have an unmyelinated segment, often branched, that extends between the heminode (putative site of the spike initiation zone) and the expanded terminal(s) (calyx, calyces). These segments, termed the neuron branches, and the calyces frequently have spine-like processes of various dimensions with bouton endings that morphologically are afferent, efferent, or reciprocal to other macular neural elements. The major questions posed by this study were whether small details of morphology, such as the size and location of neuronal processes or synapses, could influence the output of a vestibular afferent, and whether a knowledge of morphological details could guide the selection of values for simulation parameters. The conclusions from our simulations are (1) values of 5.0 k omega cm2 for membrane resistivity and 1.0 nS for synaptic conductance yield simulations that best match published physiological results; (2) process morphology has little effect on orthodromic spread of depolarization from the head (bouton) to the spike initiation zone (SIZ); (3) process morphology has no effect on antidromic spread of depolarization to the process head; (4) synapses do not sum linearly; (5) synapses are electrically close to the SIZ; and (6) all whole-cell simulations should be run with an active SIZ. PMID:8694415

  20. Evidence of a sensory processing unit in the mammalian macula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chimento, T. C.; Ross, M. D.

    1996-01-01

    We cut serial sections through the medial part of the rat vestibular macula for transmission electron microscopic (TEM) examination, computer-assisted 3-D reconstruction, and compartmental modeling. The ultrastructural research showed that many primary vestibular neurons have an unmyelinated segment, often branched, that extends between the heminode (putative site of the spike initiation zone) and the expanded terminal(s) (calyx, calyces). These segments, termed the neuron branches, and the calyces frequently have spine-like processes of various dimensions with bouton endings that morphologically are afferent, efferent, or reciprocal to other macular neural elements. The major questions posed by this study were whether small details of morphology, such as the size and location of neuronal processes or synapses, could influence the output of a vestibular afferent, and whether a knowledge of morphological details could guide the selection of values for simulation parameters. The conclusions from our simulations are (1) values of 5.0 k omega cm2 for membrane resistivity and 1.0 nS for synaptic conductance yield simulations that best match published physiological results; (2) process morphology has little effect on orthodromic spread of depolarization from the head (bouton) to the spike initiation zone (SIZ); (3) process morphology has no effect on antidromic spread of depolarization to the process head; (4) synapses do not sum linearly; (5) synapses are electrically close to the SIZ; and (6) all whole-cell simulations should be run with an active SIZ.

  1. White Matter Microstructure is Associated with Auditory and Tactile Processing in Children with and without Sensory Processing Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Yi-Shin; Gratiot, Mathilde; Owen, Julia P.; Brandes-Aitken, Anne; Desai, Shivani S.; Hill, Susanna S.; Arnett, Anne B.; Harris, Julia; Marco, Elysa J.; Mukherjee, Pratik

    2016-01-01

    Sensory processing disorders (SPDs) affect up to 16% of school-aged children, and contribute to cognitive and behavioral deficits impacting affected individuals and their families. While sensory processing differences are now widely recognized in children with autism, children with sensory-based dysfunction who do not meet autism criteria based on social communication deficits remain virtually unstudied. In a previous pilot diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) study, we demonstrated that boys with SPD have altered white matter microstructure primarily affecting the posterior cerebral tracts, which subserve sensory processing and integration. This disrupted microstructural integrity, measured as reduced white matter fractional anisotropy (FA), correlated with parent report measures of atypical sensory behavior. In this present study, we investigate white matter microstructure as it relates to tactile and auditory function in depth with a larger, mixed-gender cohort of children 8–12 years of age. We continue to find robust alterations of posterior white matter microstructure in children with SPD relative to typically developing children (TDC), along with more spatially distributed alterations. We find strong correlations of FA with both parent report and direct measures of tactile and auditory processing across children, with the direct assessment measures of tactile and auditory processing showing a stronger and more continuous mapping to the underlying white matter integrity than the corresponding parent report measures. Based on these findings of microstructure as a neural correlate of sensory processing ability, diffusion MRI merits further investigation as a tool to find biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment response in children with SPD. To our knowledge, this work is the first to demonstrate associations of directly measured tactile and non-linguistic auditory function with white matter microstructural integrity – not just in children with SPD, but

  2. The superiority in voice processing of the blind arises from neural plasticity at sensory processing stages.

    PubMed

    Föcker, Julia; Best, Anna; Hölig, Cordula; Röder, Brigitte

    2012-07-01

    Blind people rely much more on voices compared to sighted individuals when identifying other people. Previous research has suggested a faster processing of auditory input in blind individuals than sighted controls and an enhanced activation of temporal cortical regions during voice processing. The present study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to single out the sub-processes of auditory person identification that change and allow for superior voice processing after congenital blindness. A priming paradigm was employed in which two successive voices (S1 and S2) of either the same (50% of the trials) or different actors were presented. Congenitally blind and matched sighted participants made an old-young decision on the S2. During the pre-experimental familiarization with the stimuli, congenitally blind individuals showed faster learning rates than sighted controls. Reaction times were shorter in person-congruent trials than in person-incongruent trials in both groups. ERPs to S2 stimuli in person-incongruent as compared to person-congruent trials were significantly enhanced at early processing stages (100-160 ms) in congenitally blind participants only. A later negative ERP effect (>200 ms) was found in both groups. The scalp topographies of the experimental effects were characterized by a central and parietal distribution in the sighted but a more posterior distribution in the congenitally blind. These results provide evidence for an improvement of early voice processing stages and a reorganization of the person identification system as a neural correlate of compensatory behavioral improvements following congenital blindness. PMID:22588063

  3. Adaptation to sensory input tunes visual cortex to criticality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shew, Woodrow L.; Clawson, Wesley P.; Pobst, Jeff; Karimipanah, Yahya; Wright, Nathaniel C.; Wessel, Ralf

    2015-08-01

    A long-standing hypothesis at the interface of physics and neuroscience is that neural networks self-organize to the critical point of a phase transition, thereby optimizing aspects of sensory information processing. This idea is partially supported by strong evidence for critical dynamics observed in the cerebral cortex, but the impact of sensory input on these dynamics is largely unknown. Thus, the foundations of this hypothesis--the self-organization process and how it manifests during strong sensory input--remain unstudied experimentally. Here we show in visual cortex and in a computational model that strong sensory input initially elicits cortical network dynamics that are not critical, but adaptive changes in the network rapidly tune the system to criticality. This conclusion is based on observations of multifaceted scaling laws predicted to occur at criticality. Our findings establish sensory adaptation as a self-organizing mechanism that maintains criticality in visual cortex during sensory information processing.

  4. Sensory Temporal Processing in Adults with Early Hearing Loss

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heming, Joanne E.; Brown, Lenora N.

    2005-01-01

    This study examined tactile and visual temporal processing in adults with early loss of hearing. The tactile task consisted of punctate stimulations that were delivered to one or both hands by a mechanical tactile stimulator. Pairs of light emitting diodes were presented on a display for visual stimulation. Responses consisted of YES or NO…

  5. The signal processing architecture underlying subjective reports of sensory awareness

    PubMed Central

    Maniscalco, Brian; Lau, Hakwan

    2016-01-01

    What is the relationship between perceptual information processing and subjective perceptual experience? Empirical dissociations between stimulus identification performance and subjective reports of stimulus visibility are crucial for shedding light on this question. We replicated a finding that metacontrast masking can produce such a dissociation (Lau and Passingham, 2006), and report a novel finding that this paradigm can also dissociate stimulus identification performance from the efficacy with which visibility ratings predict task performance. We explored various hypotheses about the relationship between perceptual task performance and visibility rating by implementing them in computational models and using formal model comparison techniques to assess which ones best captured the unusual patterns in the data. The models fell into three broad categories: Single Channel models, which hold that task performance and visibility ratings are based on the same underlying source of information; Dual Channel models, which hold that there are two independent processing streams that differentially contribute to task performance and visibility rating; and Hierarchical models, which hold that a late processing stage generates visibility ratings by evaluating the quality of early perceptual processing. Taking into account the quality of data fitting and model complexity, we found that Hierarchical models perform best at capturing the observed behavioral dissociations. Because current theories of visual awareness map well onto these different model structures, a formal comparison between them is a powerful approach for arbitrating between the different theories. PMID:27499929

  6. Effect of radiation processing on nutritional, functional, sensory and antioxidant properties of red kidney beans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marathe, S. A.; Deshpande, R.; Khamesra, Arohi; Ibrahim, Geeta; Jamdar, Sahayog N.

    2016-08-01

    In the present study dry red kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), irradiated in the dose range of 0.25-10.0 kGy were evaluated for proximate composition, functional, sensory and antioxidant properties. Radiation processing up to 10 kGy did not affect proximate composition, hydration capacity and free fatty acid value. All the sensory attributes were unaffected at 1.0 kGy dose. The dose of 10 kGy, showed lower values for odor and taste, however, they were in acceptable range. Significant improvement in textural quality and reduction in cooking time was observed at dose of 10 kGy. Antioxidant activity of radiation processed samples was also assessed after normal processing such as soaking and pressure cooking. Both phenolic content and antioxidant activity evaluated in terms of DPPH free radical scavenging assay and inhibition in lipid peroxidation using rabbit erythrocyte ghost system, were marginally improved (5-10%) at the dose of 10 kGy in dry and cooked samples. During storage of samples for six months, no significant change was observed in sensory, cooking and antioxidant properties. Thus, radiation treatment of 1 kGy can be applied to get extended shelf life of kidney beans with improved functional properties without impairing bioactivity; nutritional quality and sensory property.

  7. Early sensory processing in right hemispheric stroke patients with and without extinction.

    PubMed

    de Haan, Bianca; Stoll, Tine; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2015-07-01

    While extinction is most commonly viewed as an attentional disorder and not as a consequence of a failure to process contralesional sensory information, it has been speculated that early sensory processing of contralesional targets in extinction patients might not be fully normal. We used a masked visuo-motor response priming paradigm to study the influence of both contralesional and ipsilesional peripheral subliminal prime stimuli on central target performance, allowing us to compare the strength of the early sensory processing associated with these prime stimuli between right brain damaged patients with and without extinction as well as healthy elderly subjects. We found that the effect of an informative subliminal prime in the left contralesional visual field on central target performance was significantly reduced in both right brain damaged patients with and without extinction. The results suggest that a low-level early sensory deterioration of the neural representation for contralesional prime stimuli is a general consequence of right hemispheric brain damage unrelated to the presence or absence of extinction. This suggests that the presence of a spatial bias against contralesional information is not sufficient to elicit extinction. For extinction to occur, this spatial bias might need to be accompanied by a pathological (non-directional) reduction of attentional capacity. PMID:26002755

  8. Cortical oscillations and speech processing: emerging computational principles and operations

    PubMed Central

    Giraud, Anne-Lise; Poeppel, David

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal oscillations are ubiquitous in the brain and may contribute to cognition in several ways: for example, by segregating information and organizing spike timing. Recent data show that delta, theta and gamma oscillations are specifically engaged by the multi-timescale, quasi-rhythmic properties of speech and can track its dynamics. We argue that they are foundational in speech and language processing, ‘packaging’ incoming information into units of the appropriate temporal granularity. Such stimulus-brain alignment arguably results from auditory and motor tuning throughout the evolution of speech and language and constitutes a natural model system allowing auditory research to make a unique contribution to the issue of how neural oscillatory activity affects human cognition. PMID:22426255

  9. The influence of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and sensory processing patterns on occupational engagement: a case study.

    PubMed

    Champagne, Tina

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of how Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, and Sensory Processing patterns influence occupational engagement, including work performance. Interventions and outcomes of the Sensory Modulation Program and approaches from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) are reviewed through single case exploration with a 42 year-old woman in outpatient services. The marked increase in occupational engagement and improved work performance in this single case review demonstrates the need for more research on the use of the Sensory Modulation Program and approaches from CBT with populations with PTSD, Depression, and Sensory Processing disorder. PMID:21248421

  10. Correlations of Sensory Processing and Visual Organization Ability with Participation in School-Aged Children with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wuang, Yee-Pay; Su, Chwen-Yng

    2011-01-01

    Previous work has highlighted delays and differences in cognitive, language, and sensorimotor functions in children diagnosed with Down syndrome (DS). However, sensory processing and visual organization abilities have not been well-examined in DS to date. This study aimed to investigate the developmental profile of sensory processing and visual…

  11. The Relationship between Sensory Processing Difficulties and Leisure Activity Preference of Children with Different Types of ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engel-Yeger, Batya; Ziv-On, Daniella

    2011-01-01

    Sensory processing difficulties (SPD) are prevalent among children with ADHD. Yet, the question whether different SPD characterize children with different types of ADHD has not received enough attention in the literature. The current study characterized sensory processing difficulties (SPD) of children with different types of ADHD and explored the…

  12. Processing of Speech Signals for Physical and Sensory Disabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levitt, Harry

    1995-10-01

    Assistive technology involving voice communication is used primarily by people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have speech and/or language disabilities. It is also used to a lesser extent by people with visual or motor disabilities. A very wide range of devices has been developed for people with hearing loss. These devices can be categorized not only by the modality of stimulation [i.e., auditory, visual, tactile, or direct electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve (auditory-neural)] but also in terms of the degree of speech processing that is used. At least four such categories can be distinguished: assistive devices (a) that are not designed specifically for speech, (b) that take the average characteristics of speech into account, (c) that process articulatory or phonetic characteristics of speech, and (d) that embody some degree of automatic speech recognition. Assistive devices for people with speech and/or language disabilities typically involve some form of speech synthesis or symbol generation for severe forms of language disability. Speech synthesis is also used in text-to-speech systems for sightless persons. Other applications of assistive technology involving voice communication include voice control of wheelchairs and other devices for people with mobility disabilities.

  13. Spatial frequency processing in scene-selective cortical regions.

    PubMed

    Kauffmann, Louise; Ramanoël, Stephen; Guyader, Nathalie; Chauvin, Alan; Peyrin, Carole

    2015-05-15

    Visual analysis begins with the parallel extraction of different attributes at different spatial frequencies. Low spatial frequencies (LSF) convey coarse information and are characterized by high luminance contrast, while high spatial frequencies (HSF) convey fine details and are characterized by low luminance contrast. In the present fMRI study, we examined how scene-selective regions-the parahippocampal place area (PPA), the retrosplenial cortex (RSC) and the occipital place area (OPA)-responded to spatial frequencies when contrast was either equalized or not equalized across spatial frequencies. Participants performed a categorization task on LSF, HSF and non-filtered scenes belonging to two different categories (indoors and outdoors). We either left contrast across scenes untouched, or equalized it using a root-mean-square contrast normalization. We found that when contrast remained unmodified, LSF and NF scenes elicited greater activation than HSF scenes in the PPA. However, when contrast was equalized across spatial frequencies, the PPA was selective to HFS. This suggests that PPA activity relies on an interaction between spatial frequency and contrast in scenes. In the RSC, LSF and NF elicited greater response than HSF scenes when contrast was not modified, while no effect of spatial frequencies appeared when contrast was equalized across filtered scenes, suggesting that the RSC is sensitive to high-contrast information. Finally, we observed selective activation of the OPA in response to HSF, irrespective of contrast manipulation. These results provide new insights into how scene-selective areas operate during scene processing. PMID:25754068

  14. Amyloid precursor protein expression and processing are differentially regulated during cortical neuron differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Bergström, Petra; Agholme, Lotta; Nazir, Faisal Hayat; Satir, Tugce Munise; Toombs, Jamie; Wellington, Henrietta; Strandberg, Joakim; Bontell, Thomas Olsson; Kvartsberg, Hlin; Holmström, Maria; Boreström, Cecilia; Simonsson, Stina; Kunath, Tilo; Lindahl, Anders; Blennow, Kaj; Hanse, Eric; Portelius, Erik; Wray, Selina; Zetterberg, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid precursor protein (APP) and its cleavage product amyloid β (Aβ) have been thoroughly studied in Alzheimer’s disease. However, APP also appears to be important for neuronal development. Differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) towards cortical neurons enables in vitro mechanistic studies on human neuronal development. Here, we investigated expression and proteolytic processing of APP during differentiation of human iPSCs towards cortical neurons over a 100-day period. APP expression remained stable during neuronal differentiation, whereas APP processing changed. α-Cleaved soluble APP (sAPPα) was secreted early during differentiation, from neuronal progenitors, while β-cleaved soluble APP (sAPPβ) was first secreted after deep-layer neurons had formed. Short Aβ peptides, including Aβ1-15/16, peaked during the progenitor stage, while processing shifted towards longer peptides, such as Aβ1-40/42, when post-mitotic neurons appeared. This indicates that APP processing is regulated throughout differentiation of cortical neurons and that amyloidogenic APP processing, as reflected by Aβ1-40/42, is associated with mature neuronal phenotypes. PMID:27383650

  15. Imaging cortical dynamics of language processing with the event-related optical signal.

    PubMed

    Tse, Chun-Yu; Lee, Chia-Lin; Sullivan, Jason; Garnsey, Susan M; Dell, Gary S; Fabiani, Monica; Gratton, Gabriele

    2007-10-23

    Language processing involves the rapid interaction of multiple brain regions. The study of its neurophysiological bases would therefore benefit from neuroimaging techniques combining both good spatial and good temporal resolution. Here we use the event-related optical signal (EROS), a recently developed imaging method, to reveal rapid interactions between left superior/middle temporal cortices (S/MTC) and inferior frontal cortices (IFC) during the processing of semantically or syntactically anomalous sentences. Participants were presented with sentences of these types intermixed with nonanomalous control sentences and were required to judge their acceptability. ERPs were recorded simultaneously with EROS and showed the typical activities that are elicited when processing anomalous stimuli: the N400 and the P600 for semantic and syntactic anomalies, respectively. The EROS response to semantically anomalous words showed increased activity in the S/MTC (corresponding in time with the N400), followed by IFC activity. Syntactically anomalous words evoked a similar sequence, with a temporal-lobe EROS response (corresponding in time with the P600), followed by frontal activity. However, the S/MTC activity corresponding to a semantic anomaly was more ventral than that corresponding to a syntactic anomaly. These data suggest that activation related to anomaly processing in sentences proceeds from temporal to frontal brain regions for both semantic and syntactic anomalies. This first EROS study investigating language processing shows that EROS can be used to image rapid interactions across cortical areas. PMID:17942677

  16. Imaging cortical dynamics of language processing with the event-related optical signal

    PubMed Central

    Tse, Chun-Yu; Lee, Chia-Lin; Sullivan, Jason; Garnsey, Susan M.; Dell, Gary S.; Fabiani, Monica; Gratton, Gabriele

    2007-01-01

    Language processing involves the rapid interaction of multiple brain regions. The study of its neurophysiological bases would therefore benefit from neuroimaging techniques combining both good spatial and good temporal resolution. Here we use the event-related optical signal (EROS), a recently developed imaging method, to reveal rapid interactions between left superior/middle temporal cortices (S/MTC) and inferior frontal cortices (IFC) during the processing of semantically or syntactically anomalous sentences. Participants were presented with sentences of these types intermixed with nonanomalous control sentences and were required to judge their acceptability. ERPs were recorded simultaneously with EROS and showed the typical activities that are elicited when processing anomalous stimuli: the N400 and the P600 for semantic and syntactic anomalies, respectively. The EROS response to semantically anomalous words showed increased activity in the S/MTC (corresponding in time with the N400), followed by IFC activity. Syntactically anomalous words evoked a similar sequence, with a temporal-lobe EROS response (corresponding in time with the P600), followed by frontal activity. However, the S/MTC activity corresponding to a semantic anomaly was more ventral than that corresponding to a syntactic anomaly. These data suggest that activation related to anomaly processing in sentences proceeds from temporal to frontal brain regions for both semantic and syntactic anomalies. This first EROS study investigating language processing shows that EROS can be used to image rapid interactions across cortical areas. PMID:17942677

  17. A role for bombesin in sensory processing in the spinal cord.

    PubMed

    O'Donohue, T L; Massari, V J; Pazoles, C J; Chronwall, B M; Shults, C W; Quirion, R; Chase, T N; Moody, T W

    1984-12-01

    Bombesin (BN)-containing neuronal processes were demonstrated in laminae I and II of the dorsal horn of the cat, rat, and mouse spinal cord by immunocytochemistry and radioimmunoassay. Dorsal rhizotomy in the cat resulted in a marked decrease in BN immunoreactivity in the dorsal horn indicating that BN is contained in primary sensory afferents. BN-binding sites were also localized in superficial laminae of the dorsal horn. The presence of both BN and BN-binding sites in the dorsal horn suggested that BN may be involved in sensory processing in the spinal cord. Consistent with this hypothesis, it was demonstrated that an injection of BN into the spinal cord caused a biting and scratching response indicative of sensory stimulation. The effect was similar to that observed after injection of substance P into the cord with the exception that the BN effect lasted about 100 times longer than that induced by substance P. Taken together, these data indicate that BN may be a neurotransmitter of primary sensory afferents to the spinal cord. PMID:6094746

  18. Prefrontal cortical activation during arithmetic processing differentiated by cultures: a preliminary fNIRS study.

    PubMed

    Yu, Juanghong; Pan, Yaozhang; Ang, Kai Keng; Guan, Cuntai; Leamy, Darren J

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the neural basis of arithmetic processes could play an important role in improving mathematical education. This study investigates the prefrontal cortical activation among subjects from different cultural backgrounds while performing two difficulty levels of mental arithmetic tasks. The prefrontal cortical activation is measured using a high density 206 channels fNIRS. 8 healthy subjects, consisting of 5 Asians and 3 Europeans, are included in this study. NIRS-SPM is used to compute hemoglobin response changes and generate brain activation map based on two contrasts defined as Easy versus Rest and Hard versus Rest. Differences between the Asian group and the European group are found in both contrasts of Easy versus Rest and Hard versus Rest. The results suggest people with different cultural backgrounds engage different neural pathways during arithmetic processing. PMID:23366981

  19. Children with dyslexia show cortical hyperactivation in response to increasing literacy processing demands

    PubMed Central

    Morken, Frøydis; Helland, Turid; Hugdahl, Kenneth; Specht, Karsten

    2014-01-01

    This fMRI study aimed to examine how differences in literacy processing demands may affect cortical activation patterns in 11- to 12-year-old children with dyslexia as compared to children with typical reading skills. Eleven children with and 18 without dyslexia were assessed using a reading paradigm based on different stages of literacy development. In the analyses, six regions showed an interaction effect between group and condition in a factorial ANOVA. These regions were selected as regions of interest (ROI) for further analyses. Overall, the dyslexia group showed cortical hyperactivation compared to the typical group. The difference between the groups tended to increase with increasing processing demands. Differences in cortical activation were not reflected in in-scanner reading performance. The six regions further grouped into three patterns, which are discussed in terms of processing demands, compensatory mechanisms, orthography and contextual facilitation. We conclude that the observed hyperactivation is chiefly a result of compensatory activity, modulated by other factors. PMID:25566160

  20. Auditory object salience: human cortical processing of non-biological action sounds and their acoustic signal attributes

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, James W.; Talkington, William J.; Tallaksen, Katherine C.; Frum, Chris A.

    2012-01-01

    Whether viewed or heard, an object in action can be segmented as a distinct salient event based on a number of different sensory cues. In the visual system, several low-level attributes of an image are processed along parallel hierarchies, involving intermediate stages wherein gross-level object form and/or motion features are extracted prior to stages that show greater specificity for different object categories (e.g., people, buildings, or tools). In the auditory system, though relying on a rather different set of low-level signal attributes, meaningful real-world acoustic events and “auditory objects” can also be readily distinguished from background scenes. However, the nature of the acoustic signal attributes or gross-level perceptual features that may be explicitly processed along intermediate cortical processing stages remain poorly understood. Examining mechanical and environmental action sounds, representing two distinct non-biological categories of action sources, we had participants assess the degree to which each sound was perceived as object-like versus scene-like. We re-analyzed data from two of our earlier functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task paradigms (Engel et al., 2009) and found that scene-like action sounds preferentially led to activation along several midline cortical structures, but with strong dependence on listening task demands. In contrast, bilateral foci along the superior temporal gyri (STG) showed parametrically increasing activation to action sounds rated as more “object-like,” independent of sound category or task demands. Moreover, these STG regions also showed parametric sensitivity to spectral structure variations (SSVs) of the action sounds—a quantitative measure of change in entropy of the acoustic signals over time—and the right STG additionally showed parametric sensitivity to measures of mean entropy and harmonic content of the environmental sounds. Analogous to the visual system, intermediate stages

  1. The impact of systemic cortical alterations on perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zheng

    2011-12-01

    Perception is the process of transmitting and interpreting sensory information, and the primary somatosensory (SI) area in the human cortex is the main sensory receptive area for the sensation of touch. The elaborate neuroanatomical connectivity that subserves the neuronal communication between adjacent and near-adjacent regions within sensory cortex has been widely recognized to be essential to normal sensory function. As a result, systemic cortical alterations that impact the cortical regional interaction, as associated with many neurological disorders, are expected to have significant impact on sensory perception. Recently, our research group has developed a novel sensory diagnostic system that employs quantitative sensory testing methods and is able to non-invasively assess central nervous system healthy status. The intent of this study is to utilize quantitative sensory testing methods that were designed to generate discriminable perception to objectively and quantitatively assess the impacts of different conditions on human sensory information processing capacity. The correlation between human perceptions with observations from animal research enables a better understanding of the underlying neurophysiology of human perception. Additional findings on different subject populations provide valuable insight of the underlying mechanisms for the development and maintenance of different neurological diseases. During the course of the study, several protocols were designed and utilized. And this set of sensory-based perceptual metrics was employed to study the effects of different conditions (non-noxious thermal stimulation, chronic pain stage, and normal aging) on sensory perception. It was found that these conditions result in significant deviations of the subjects' tactile information processing capacities from normal values. Although the observed shift of sensory detection sensitivity could be a result of enhanced peripheral activity, the changes in the effects

  2. Differential columnar processing in local circuits of barrel and insular cortices.

    PubMed

    Sato, Hajime; Shimanuki, Yasushi; Saito, Mitsuru; Toyoda, Hiroki; Nokubi, Takashi; Maeda, Yoshinobu; Yamamoto, Takashi; Kang, Youngnam

    2008-03-19

    The columnar organization is most apparent in the whisker barrel cortex but seems less apparent in the gustatory insular cortex. We addressed here whether there are any differences between the two cortices in columnar information processing by comparing the spatiotemporal patterns of excitation spread in the two cortices using voltage-sensitive dye imaging. In contrast to the well known excitation spread in the horizontal direction in layer II/III induced in the barrel cortex by layer IV stimulation, the excitation caused in the insular cortex by stimulation of layer IV spread bidirectionally in the vertical direction into layers II/III and V/VI, displaying a columnar image pattern. Bicuculline or picrotoxin markedly extended the horizontal excitation spread in layer II/III in the barrel cortex, leading to a generation of excitation in the underlying layer V/VI, whereas those markedly increased the amplitude of optical responses throughout the whole column in the insular cortex, subsequently widening the columnar image pattern. Such synchronous activities as revealed by the horizontal and vertical excitation spreads were consistently induced in the barrel and insular cortices, respectively, even by stimulation of different layers with varying intensities. Thus, a unique functional column existed in the insular cortex, in which intracolumnar communication between the superficial and deep layers was prominent, and GABA(A) action is involved in the inhibition of the intracolumnar communication in contrast to its involvement in intercolumnar lateral inhibition in the barrel cortex. These results suggest that the columnar information processing may not be universal across the different cortical areas. PMID:18354011

  3. Sensorial analysis evaluation in cereal bars preserved by ionizing radiation processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villavicencio, A. L. C. H.; Araújo, M. M.; Fanaro, G. B.; Rela, P. R.; Mancini-Filho, J.

    2007-11-01

    Gamma-rays utilized as a food-processing treatment to eliminate insect contamination is well established in food industries. Recent troubles in Brazilian cereal bars commercialization require a special consumer's attention because some products were contaminated by insects. To solve the problem, food-irradiation treatment was utilized as a safe and effective solution. The final product was free of insect contamination. The aim of this study was to determine the best radiation dose processing utilized to disinfestations and detect some change on sensorial characteristic by sensorial analysis in cereal bars. In this study, three different kinds of cereal bars were purchased in São Paulo (Brazil) in supermarkets and irradiated with 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 kGy at "Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares" (IPEN-CNEN/SP). The samples were treated with ionizing radiation using a 60Co gamma-ray facility (Gammacell 220, A.E.C.L.). That radiation doses were used successfully as an anti-insect treatment in the cereal bars, since in some food industries doses up to 3.0 kGy are used to guarantee at least a dose of 1.0 kGy in internal cereal bars package. Sensorial analysis was necessary since cereal bars contain ingredients very sensitive to ionizing radiation process.

  4. Propofol facilitates excitatory inputs of cerebellar Purkinje cells by depressing molecular layer interneuron activity during sensory information processing in vivo in mice.

    PubMed

    He, Yuan-Yuan; Jin, Ri; Jin, Wen-Zhe; Liu, Heng; Chu, Chun-Ping; Qiu, De-Lai

    2015-10-21

    Propofol is a rapid-acting sedative-hypnotic medication that has been widely used for the induction and maintenance of anesthesia; it has specific actions on different areas of the brain, such as sensory information transmission in the somatosensory cortex. However, the effects of propofol on the properties of sensory stimulation-evoked responses in cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) are currently unclear. In the present study, we studied the effects of propofol on facial stimulation-evoked responses in cerebellar PCs and molecular level interneurons (MLIs) in urethane-anesthetized mice using electrophysiological and pharmacological methods. Our results showed that cerebellar surface perfusion with propofol induced a decrease in the amplitude of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic component (P1) in a dose-dependent manner, but induced a significant increase in the amplitude of the excitatory response (N1). The IC50 of propofol-induced inhibition of P1 was 217.3 μM. In contrast, propofol (100 μM) depressed the spontaneous activity and tactile-evoked responses in MLIs. In addition, blocking GABA(A) receptor activity abolished the propofol (300 μM)-induced inhibition of the tactile-evoked inhibitory response and the increase in the sensory stimulation-evoked spike firing rate of PCs. These results indicated that propofol depressed the tactile stimulation-evoked spike firing of MLIs, resulting in a decrease in the amplitude of the tactile-evoked inhibitory response and an increase in the amplitude of the excitatory response in the cerebellar PCs of mice. Our results suggest that propofol modulates sensory information processing in cerebellar cortical PCs and MLIs through the activation of GABA(A) receptors. PMID:26317477

  5. Feasibility of event-related potential methodology to evaluate changes in cortical processing after rehabilitation in children with cerebral palsy: A pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Maitre, Nathalie L.; Henderson, Gena; Gogliotti, Shirley; Pearson, Jennifer; Simmons, Ashley; Wang, Lu; Slaughter, James C.; Key, Alexandra P.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the feasibility of using event-related potentials (ERPs) to measure changes in cortical processing following an established rehabilitative intervention (constraint-induced movement therapy, CIMT) for children with cerebral palsy (CP). Sixteen participants with a diagnosis of hemiparetic CP, with a median age of 6 years, were assessed pre and immediately post CIMT and at 6-month follow-up, using a picture–word match/mismatch discrimination task and standard neurobehavioral measures. Intervention effects were evident in improved performance on behavioral tests of sensory and motor function and the increased mean ERP amplitude of the N400 match/mismatch response on the side ipsilateral to the lesion. These effects were maintained 6 months after the intervention. No such changes were observed on the side contralateral to the lesion. This research suggests that ERPs can measure rehabilitation-induced changes in neural function in children with CP. PMID:24953907

  6. Thalamic control of sensory selection in divided attention

    PubMed Central

    Wimmer, Ralf D.; Schmitt, L. Ian; Davidson, Thomas J.; Nakajima, Miho; Deisseroth, Karl; Halassa, Michael M.

    2015-01-01

    How the brain selects appropriate sensory inputs and suppresses distractors is a central unsolved mystery in neuroscience. Given the well-established role of prefrontal cortex (PFC) in executive function1, its interactions with sensory cortical areas during attention have been hypothesized to control sensory selection2–5. To test this idea and more generally dissect the circuits underlying sensory selection, we developed a cross-modal divided attention task in mice enabling genetic access to this cognitive process. By optogenetically perturbing PFC function in a temporally-precise window, the ability of mice to appropriately select between conflicting visual and auditory stimuli was diminished. Surprisingly, equivalent sensory thalamo-cortical manipulations showed that behavior was causally dependent on PFC interactions with sensory thalamus, not cortex. Consistent with this notion, we found neurons of the visual thalamic reticular nucleus (visTRN) to exhibit PFC-dependent changes in firing rate predictive of the modality selected. visTRN activity was causal to performance as confirmed via subnetwork-specific bi-directional optogenetic manipulations. Through a combination of electrophysiology and intracellular chloride photometry, we demonstrated that visTRN dynamically controls visual thalamic gain through feedforward inhibition. Combined, our experiments introduce a new subcortical model of sensory selection, where prefrontal cortex biases thalamic reticular subnetworks to control thalamic sensory gain, selecting appropriate inputs for further processing. PMID:26503050

  7. A shift in sensory processing that enables the developing human brain to discriminate touch from pain.

    PubMed

    Fabrizi, Lorenzo; Slater, Rebeccah; Worley, Alan; Meek, Judith; Boyd, Stewart; Olhede, Sofia; Fitzgerald, Maria

    2011-09-27

    When and how infants begin to discriminate noxious from innocuous stimuli is a fundamental question in neuroscience [1]. However, little is known about the development of the necessary cortical somatosensory functional prerequisites in the intact human brain. Recent studies of developing brain networks have emphasized the importance of transient spontaneous and evoked neuronal bursting activity in the formation of functional circuits [2, 3]. These neuronal bursts are present during development and precede the onset of sensory functions [4, 5]. Their disappearance and the emergence of more adult-like activity are therefore thought to signal the maturation of functional brain circuitry [2, 4]. Here we show the changing patterns of neuronal activity that underlie the onset of nociception and touch discrimination in the preterm infant. We have conducted noninvasive electroencephalogram (EEG) recording of the brain neuronal activity in response to time-locked touches and clinically essential noxious lances of the heel in infants aged 28-45 weeks gestation. We show a transition in brain response following tactile and noxious stimulation from nonspecific, evenly dispersed neuronal bursts to modality-specific, localized, evoked potentials. The results suggest that specific neural circuits necessary for discrimination between touch and nociception emerge from 35-37 weeks gestation in the human brain. PMID:21906948

  8. Transcranial direct current stimulation as a tool in the study of sensory-perceptual processing.

    PubMed

    Costa, Thiago L; Lapenta, Olivia M; Boggio, Paulo S; Ventura, Dora F

    2015-08-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive neuromodulatory technique with increasing popularity in the fields of basic research and rehabilitation. It is an affordable and safe procedure that is beginning to be used in the clinic, and is a tool with potential to contribute to the understanding of neural mechanisms in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and medical research. This review presents examples of investigations in the fields of perception, basic sensory processes, and sensory rehabilitation that employed tDCS. We highlight some of the most relevant efforts in this area and discuss possible limitations and gaps in contemporary tDCS research. Topics include the five senses, pain, and multimodal integration. The present work aims to present the state of the art of this field of research and to inspire future investigations of perception using tDCS. PMID:26139152

  9. Impulsivity is Associated with Early Sensory Inhibition in Neurophysiological Processing of Affective Sounds

    PubMed Central

    Soshi, Takahiro; Noda, Takamasa; Ando, Kumiko; Nakazawa, Kanako; Tsumura, Hideki; Okada, Takayuki

    2015-01-01

    Impulsivity is widely related to socially problematic behaviors and psychiatric illness. Previous studies have investigated the relationship between response inhibition and impulsivity. However, no study has intensively examined how impulsivity correlates with automatic sensory processing before the drive for response inhibition to sensory inputs. Sensory gating (SG) is an automatic inhibitory function that attenuates the neural response to redundant sensory information and protects higher cognitive functions from the burst of information processing. Although SG functions abnormally in several clinical populations, there is very little evidence supporting SG changes in conjunction with impulsivity traits in non-clinical populations. The present study recruited healthy adults (n = 23) to conduct a neurophysiological experiment using a paired-click paradigm and self-report scales assessing impulsive behavioral traits. Auditory stimuli included not only a pure tone but also white noise to explore the differences in auditory-evoked potential (AEP) responses between the two stimuli. White noise is more affective than pure tones; therefore, we predicted that the SG of AEPs (P50, N100, and P200) for white noise would correlate more with self-reported impulsivity than with those for pure tones. Our main findings showed that SG of the P50 and P200 amplitudes significantly correlated with self-reported reward responsiveness and fun-seeking, respectively, only for white noise stimuli, demonstrating that higher-scoring impulsivity subcomponents were related to greater SG. Frequency-domain analyses also revealed that greater desynchronization of the beta band for the second white noise stimulus was associated with higher motor impulsivity scores, suggesting that an impulsivity-related change of SG was associated with attentional modulation. These findings indicate that the measurement of SG of white noise may be an efficient tool to evaluate impulsivity in non

  10. The impact of hemodynamic stress on sensory signal processing in the rodent lateral geniculate nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Zitnik, Gerard A.; Clark, Brain D.; Waterhouse, Barry D.

    2013-01-01

    Hemodynamic stress via hypotensive challenge has been shown previously to cause a corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)-mediated increase in tonic locus coeruleus (LC) activity and consequent release of norepinephrine (NE) in noradrenergic terminal fields. Although alterations in LC-NE can modulate the responsiveness of signal processing neurons along sensory pathways, little is understood regarding how continuous CRF-mediated activation of LC-NE output due to physiologically relevant stressor affects downstream target cell physiology. The goal of the present study was to investigate the effects of a physiological stressor [hemodynamic stress via sodium nitroprusside (SNP) i.v.] on stimulus evoked responses of sensory processing neurons that receive LC inputs. In rat, the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) of the thalamus is the primary relay for visual information and is a major target of the LC-NE system. We used extracellular recording techniques in the anesthetized rat monitor single dLGN neuron activity during repeated presentation of light stimuli before and during hemodynamic stress. A significant decrease in magnitude occurred, as well as an increase in latency of dLGN stimulus-evoked responses were observed during hemodynamic stress. In another group of animals the CRF antagonist DpheCRF12–41 was infused onto the ipsilateral LC prior to SNP administration. This infusion blocked the hypotension-induced changes in dLGN stimulus-evoked discharge. These results show that CRF-mediated increases in LC-NE due to hemodynamic stress disrupts the transmission of information along thalamic-sensory pathways by: (1) initially reducing signal transmission during onset of the stressor and (2) decreasing the speed of stimulus evoked sensory transmission. PMID:23643838